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Bridges Grief Ministry

Our parish offers a multi-faceted Grief Ministry designed to support individuals and families.  There are five areas of support offered through Bridges: letters; remembrance mass; heartstrings; daytime/evening support; and a holiday workshop.  While we often lend an ear to listen to those grieving, we are not counselors nor have any professional degree related training. We offer the love Christ has given us to serve those in need.

Grief Resources

What does Bridges Grief Ministry Offer? 

Adult Support Group

The adult support groups offers prayer and emotional support in a relaxed setting.  The support group is a non-denominational group, so people from all Christian backgrounds are welcome to attend once or on a regular basis.  The group meets the first and third Wednesdays of the month at 1:00 pm in the Conference Room (enter by the chapel).  See the parish calendar for updated dates, time, and location. 

The following testimonials are taken from those who are or have been involved with Holy Family’s support group.

Friends and family are very supportive in the beginning after a loved one dies, and yet grief goes on for a much longer time.  My grief is still right under the surface, and the support group allows me to express it, so that I can move through it rather than swallow it.  In the group process, I can receive the care and wisdom of others who are going, or have been, through loss.  It is their journey that reminds me that I can survive.  There is simply no other place for me to do this.  By A. (female)

Good Grief!  Is there such a thing?  Do not see many hands raised.  However, at such time there are 'good' things to do.  Perhaps the most important is bonding with those open not only to listening, but helping you feel your way thru this passage, and it is a passage.

When we are 'hurting' it is not always easy to share ones hurt   ---   since in reality we are not ourselves. Sharing 'our passage' at this weakened moment slowly allows us to refocus away from the loss and place us into the isolated world that others now accept, as we will eventually.

As Grandparents dealing with grief, you do have the solace of one another, but grief is a very personal experience, and clarity of our own emotions develop in a personal way.  The Bridges Grief Ministry allows one to loosen up those choke points that stress us during this period, just by listening and sharing. Tears are most welcome and laughter surprisingly now becomes a tonic sorely missed.  The word 'Ministry' now has a very visible definition, and helps in the answer to our prayer.  By D. (male)

Since the inception of the Bridges Ministry Group at Holy Family, January 2007, I have been a regular participant at Wednesday sessions that have helped me enormously in dealing with the death of my husband.  Holy Family established this grief support group as ecumenical, therefore, welcoming and open to all, not just parishioners.  I have received great love and support from all who have attended and joined with me on the path to rebuilding our lives.  We have prayed together, cried and laughed together and shared scriptures and stories all in the presence of the Holy Spirit.

I believe that "accidentally" learning of this program was truly an act of God."  By L. (female)

Day of Remembrance

An event designed to help families cope with the stress of grief following the death of a loved one is offered each November.  See the parish website or parish bulletin as the month comes closer for more details. 

Court Yard Blessing/Month of Remembrance

This annual liturgical memorial takes place each November and is designed to commemorate the lives of the beloved deceased.  The names of those parishioners called home during the year are carved in the stones of the parish courtyard each fall.  The families of those deceased parishioners are invited to bring a photo of that person to place near the stone and then before one of our weekend Masses the stones are blessed. 

Month of November

All parishioners are invited to bring a picture of their loved one to place on the baptismal font during the month of November as a way to remember our loved ones. 

Letter Writing

Letters are sent for six months following the death of a parishioner’s loved one. The materials sent provide helpful information about the grief process.  Once the parish office is notified about the death of a loved one, their name (and the name of the related parishioner) is added to the prayers of the faithful and the information is sent to our letter writing coordinator.  If you or someone else in the parish is suffering a loss of a loved one and would like to be a recipient of our letter writing ministry, please contact the parish office.  Please note that we typically send them to those who have lost a parent, child, or sibling, but are willing to send letters to those who feel that this would be helpful to them.