Catholic Church

Grief Ministry


Co-leaders Mary Helen Gammon and Jane Talbot  Email: 

Wanting to volunteer with this ministry?

Please, read about how we support those with a loss due to death and contact us to discuss how you can be involved. We need both behind-the-scenes helpers and those working directly with mourners.

What is a Grief Ministry?

Our mission is to support those who are suffering grief from the loss of a deceased loved one and to “companion” with them as they walk the road of bereavement to a “new normal."

Care is expressed in a variety of ways – our Companion Volunteers meet in person with those who have a loss due to death. This support can be experienced in two different formats - by attending small group Comfort Cafe (offered twice a month) or by joining in a 12-week grief support group (offered in the spring and the fall). All of our ministry efforts rely on the prayer support offered by Prayer Volunteers and the ongoing work of the Communication & Outreach Volunteers. Both of these groups support the ministry behind-the-scenes in sharing the grief ministry mission. This ministry also offers grief materials, resources and speakers/presentations to help inform everyone about the grief process.

What is grief? What is mourning? Are they the same?

Grief is a natural reaction to loss, a deep sorrow following the death of a loved one.

Mourning is the open expression of thoughts and feelings regarding the death of a loved one. Mourning refers to the outward expressions of a grief which is internal and unique for each person who grieves.

Grief and mourning are different in that the first is internal and the later is external, more visible to others.

What is the “companioning” model of grief support?

The Companioning Model is about walking with those who are grieving. Grief support is not about “leading” or “fixing” the griever. Companioning is about ears that can listen and a heart that cares. Companioning is about honoring another's pain by being alongside them, respecting their journey but not taking charge of it. Companions are caring supporters, not experts or professionals. Our Companioning Model honors the fact that each griever's journey is his/her own and is unique. We hold confidentiality as a must in all our interactions.



  Contact Name: Email:
Prayer Volunteers Ann Flanagan
Communications & Outreach Volunteers Eileen Morini
Comfort Cafe Volunteers Mary Lowe-Murphy
Surrport Groups Mary Helen Gammon
General Information




Understanding Your Grief: Ten Essential Touchstones for Finding Hope

And Healing Your Heart

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D

ISBN: 978-1-879651-35-7

Gentle Keeping: Prayers and Services for Remembering Departed Loved Ones Throughout the Year

by Mauryeen O’Brien, O.P.

ISBN: 978-1-59471-130-5

When Someone Dies: A Child-Caregiver Activity Book

by the National Alliance for Grieving Children

ISBN: 978-0-9963804-0-9

Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Loss

by Pat Schwiebert & Chuck DeKlyen

ISBN: 0-9615197-6-2

The Wilderness of Suicide Grief: Finding Your Way

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.

ISBN: 978-1-879651-68-5

An Empty Cradle, A Full Heart: Reflections for Mothers and Fathers after Miscarriage, Stillbirth or Infant Death

by Christine O’Keeffe Lafser

ISBN: 13-978-0829411737



A listing of grief-related websites, books and articles compiled by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia

A discussion of the challenges of grief, important things to remember about the process, and helpful things to do

Offers books and bereavement resources

Source for helpful articles, books and resources

National Alliance for Grieving Children

LOSS – Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide

Contact Emily Tegenkamp at