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Bridges Grief Ministry

Our parish offers a multi-faceted ecumenical Grief Ministry designed to support individuals and families.  We offer support in a variety of areas: remembrance Mass; daytime support group; ongoing contact for the first several months through letters/phone calls; and an annual Day of Remembrance featuring an invited speaker/counselor familiar with Grief.  We offer a series of educational seminars throughout the year on various aspects of aging and preparing for the "End of Life".  While we listen to those grieving, we are not counselors nor have any professional degree that is related to grief counseling.  We offer the love Christ has given us to serve those in need.

Grief Resources - Click on the following links for more information

What does Bridges Grief Ministry Offer? 

Bridges Grief Ministry offers a "Bridge from Loss to Life". The adult support group 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 from 1:00-2:00 pm.  Enter by the chapel door and inquire at the receptionist desk for the meeting location in the building.  See the parish calendar for updated dates, time and location.

Good Grief!  Is there really such a thing?  However, even in this time of grief 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 places us into a "new normal" world that others eventually accept.

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

  • "We come mourning, broken-hearted, scared, lonely.  We find understanding, compassion, courage, hope, friendship, thankfulness and Love.  Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.  This is Bridges."  By J.B. (female)
  • "The Bridges grief support group provided a step forward towards healing when I was lost in my own world of grief. A place I could just be myself, as awkward as I felt and not feel alone.  Sharing our stories of grieving, to hear and be heard was an important step in accepting and moving forward to a "new normal".  To have the connection with others who knew of grief provided a safe place while suffering the vulnerability of our mutual feelings of loss.  The meetings were always so warm, welcoming and encouraging, providing that much needed hope that healing would be possible."  By C.C. (female)
  • "Since I was a newer widow of 2 years, it was so good to know that were widows of many years, some as long as 19 years, that still had tears at times... and this made me realize that a widow can grow, try new things, and still shed tears no matter if she/he is a widow of one year or many years."  By D.B. (female)
  • "I was invited to join the grief group a couple of months after my husband died.  I started attending regularly and found it to be a place of love, compassion, and understanding.  These people had also lost a loved one and understood what I was going through.  They were non-judgemental and just listened as we shared our experiences when and if we chose to do so.  The group helped me move through my grief and recognize the multiple aspects of the process.  As I grew, I could also reach out to others to help them in their time of overwhelming sorrow." By J.S. (female)
  • "Since the inception of the Bridges Ministry Group at Holy Family, January 2007, I have been a regular participant at the Wednesday session 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 scripture 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.D. (female)
  • "While I was blessed with the support of many relatives and friends, no one understood my grief quite as deeply as those who had experienced such a loss themselves.  They were truly there for me!"  By S.A. (female)
  • "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 develops 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 suprisingly 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)

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. 

 Host/Hostess at Funerals

At least one grief minister attends and assists family and friends at funerals and viewings.