Parishes Offer Consolation Groups For Those Who Grieve A Loss

Parishes Offer Consolation Groups For Those Who Grieve A Loss

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By Kathy Fanger


“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.”
From an Irish headstone

When someone you love has died, you begin a journey that is often frightening, painful and sometimes lonely. No words, written or spoken, can take away the pain you feel. Emotions may change hour-by-hour, day-by-day and often on special occasions. Sometimes, you even find yourself questioning your faith. To begin to heal, it is helpful to learn about and understand the grieving process and how it will affect you today, tomorrow and forever.

Every person grieves differently and there is no time line for grief. Whether you are in your first year or 10th year since your loved one’s death, you will never “get over” your grief, but instead, learn to live with it. If you allow yourself the time and compassion to mourn, and truly work through your grief, you will heal. You will go on to find continued meaning in living and loving, being grateful to God for the one you loved who changed your life forever.

Members of the community should console the mourners with words of faith and support and with acts of kindness… (OCF, #10)

Many parishes in our diocese offer Grief or Consolation Groups led by trained parish staff and volunteers. They offer compassionate listening to the grievers, assuring them, “You are not alone. We are here to accompany you in your journey toward healing and wholeness.” Groups are safe, supportive, and confidential places to share feelings and stories. It is often in speaking about a loved one and the personal realities of grief that the healing process begins. Strength and hope are found through prayer, scripture, practical coping strategies and the bonds that form among the group members. All are reminded that God loves them and journeys with them, promising that they will see their loved ones again in the kingdom of heaven.

Parishes offering ongoing Grief Support meetings
Catholic Cemeteries –SOLACE-Soul + Grief – O’Connor Hospital Chapel – (650) 428-3730 Candee Lucas
Queen of Apostles (408) 241-1201 Shirley Ruzzo
Saint Athanasius (408) 948-1819 Deolinda Avila
Saint Joseph of Cupertino (408) 252-7653 Larry Compagnoni
Saint Joseph of Mountain View (650) 967-3831 Natalie Canata
Saint Thomas Aquinas (650) 494-6488 Lorraine Dabney
Saint Thomas of Canterbury (408) 708-7766 Linda Delescale

Parishes offering 5-6 week Grief Support sessions several times/year
Sacred Heart, Saratoga (408) 867-3634 Nancy Crowley
Holy Spirit (408) 997-5110 Leah Harris
Saint John the Baptist (408) 252-2546 Cory Mollat
Saint Victor (408) 929-1632 Sister Sara Michael King
Church of Transfiguration (408) 264-3600 Kathy Myers

Suicide Bereavement Support Group – 6 sessions 3 times/year
Holy Spirit (408) 997-5110 Leah Harris

Catholic Cemeteries’ mission embraces the works of mercy: to comfort those who mourn. We offer an extensive 12-hour training series for parish staff and volunteers 2-3 times each year on 3 consecutive Saturdays or 6 evenings. For more information on grief support groups and the training series, contact Kathy Fanger at (650) 428-3730 x508 or cemeteryinfo@dsj.org.