Solace in Our Time of Grieving

Solace in Our Time of Grieving

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By Candee Lucas,
M.A. Pastoral Ministries;
Aftercare Coordinator, Catholic Cemeteries

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

When we have experienced the death of a loved one, it’s often not easy to go out in the world for any purpose, let alone for the purpose of holding our grief in a public space. That is one of the reasons Diocese of San Jose Catholic Cemeteries created SOLACE: Soul+Grief, a monthly drop-in grief support group.

This group meets once a month on the FOURTH Wednesday in the chapel at O’Connor Hospital. We take a scripture verse or reflection and seek a quiet place in our hearts together to contemplate our losses, honor our loved ones, remember God’s place in our hearts, and seek to make a new connection with those gone from us.

Our loved one may have been at the very heart of a routine we find hard to pick up again. We cannot find words that will express the depth of feelings and the waves of incomprehension washing over us. There is simply not another human being with whom to share our grief. Or others may have discomfort with our depth of feeling. It helps to verbalize our feelings and experiences, and the impact our losses are having in our daily lives. We want to create a space where mourning may be buttressed with comfort; where hearts may be reopened and begin to mend; and, where sharing and tears may be embraced. In addition to sharing with one another (when appropriate for each), just listening and being there for one another can help us face the future with a little more sense of hope.

Through SOLACE, we learn as a community to reach out to one another in times of need, crisis, loss, and fear. This enables us as a community of like-minded beings to thrive and survive the most critical and important moments in our lives. We come together because we have to go on and because we find it is easier than to struggle apart. Sharing the burdens of life and losses is better than bearing them alone. It is one of the hallmarks of human existence that we seek solace and succor with one another, rather than try to weather life’s trials in isolation.

For it is when we open our hearts that we realize that there is a new space for another person, for bigger love, greater compassion, and more humanity.

This is the space that we hope SOLACE will begin to fill in our community. Please join us if you are suffering alone or if you know someone who needs community at this time. You are always welcome in our circle of healing love and support.


SOLACE – Soul + Grief
Monthly Drop-in Grief Support Group
August 22, 7-9 p.m. (4th Wednesday of each month)
O’Connor Hospital Chapel,
2105 Forest Ave, San Jose
Facilitator: Candee Lucas, M.A. Pastoral Ministries. We use a scripture reading as a seed for our sharing, discussion and support. No RSVP necessary. Free. Sponsored by Catholic Cemeteries and O’Connor Hospital.


Parish Bereavement Ministers’ Training Series
September 11, 18, 25, Oct. 2, 9, (Skip 16), 23
7 – 9 p.m. at Saint Joseph of Cupertino Parish-Community Center, 10110 N. DeAnza Blvd., Cupertino
This in-depth training and enrichment series is for parish staff, clergy and volunteers. Focus includes knowledge of the grief process, effective communication, and models of parish consolation programs. RSVP by September 5 to Kathy Fanger (650) 428-3730 x508 or cemeteryinfo@dsj.org. Cost $100/person. Fee returned upon completion of all 6 sessions.


Estate Planning
September 8, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Queen of Apostles Parish
Father Jim Mifsud Community Center
4911 Moorpark Ave, San Jose
Presenter: David J. Brazgel, Attorney, The Mlnarik Law Group, Inc.
Estate Planning is a comprehensive process involving many components: Living Trust; charitable and legacy planning, a lifetime gifting program, medical care planning (Advance Directive); financial power of attorney, burial and funeral planning. Free. RSVP’s are appreciated but not necessary:
(650) 428-3730, cemeteryinfo@dsj.org.


Anointing of the Sick Presentation followed by the Sacrament
September 15: 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. daily Chapel in the Church
Queen of Apostles Parish
Father Jim Mifsud Community Center
4911 Moorpark Ave, San Jose
There still may be a misunderstanding that this sacrament is solely for those on their death bed. Whether you are preparing for surgery, have a serious or ongoing condition, are frail in old age, or dealing with depression. The sacrament may be received more than once. Do not wait until death is imminent to receive this anointing. All are welcome.