Many parishes offer bereavement, grief support groups

    Parishes that offer bereavement groups or support ministries after death:
    ➤ Mary Queen of Peace, Mandeville, coordinator of Bereavement Ministry is Teresian Sister Marina Aranzabal, (985) 626-6977, srmarina@maryqueenofpeace.org. Sister Marina facilitates an eight-week bereavement support group that meets in the fall and spring on Friday mornings from 10-11 a.m. This group uses “The New Day Journal” as a basis for discussion. A Memorial Mass on the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed is held Nov. 2 for families who have lost relatives during this past year. A family member will light a candle in memory of their loved one and place it near the baptismal font. A NAIM chapter also meets every third Wednesday of the month for lunch and a short business meeting, led by Marsha Davis and Alice Childress. Individual grief counseling is available. 1501 West Causeway Approach, Mandeville.
    ➤ Most Holy Trinity, Bereavement Committee handles funerals that take place at the Covington church, 4465 Hwy. 190 East Service Road. (985) 892-0642, office. rayferro@mostholytrinity ano.org. Bereavement Mass on All Souls Day at 7 p.m. All family members of deceased receive a white rose. Food provided if needed at home or at church. Marilyn Schoen, (985) 624-8658, mschoen 2u@aol.com and Suzanne Gilbert (421-3358), suzygilb@bellsouth.net, coordinate the ministry.
    ➤ Sacred Heart of Jesus, “Angels of Mercy Bereavement Group” consists of 22 dedicated members of the parish who reach out to family members of the deceased. Along with offering prayers and comfort during their time of loss, they also offer food and drinks. Dianne Mayeux is the group’s coordinator and can be reached at 416-7073 or Dianne@mayeuxac.com.
    ➤ St. Angela Merici, Bereavement Ministry gives support to bereaved families by helping plan the funeral and assisting at the funeral Mass. Sister of Mount Carmel Paula Derise, 835-0324, coordinates. Sister Paula will also assist in pre-planning funeral liturgy. The Family Life Apostolate Bereavement group sends sympathy cards and provides food for family and friends during visitation. A NAIM chapter meets in the parish each month on Tuesdays.
    ➤ St. Augustine, Bereavement Committee, presider is Father Quentin Moody, pastor. Members include Audrey Amos, Beverly Curry, Linda Harris. For information, call the rectory at 525-5934.
    ➤ St. Christopher the Martyr Bereavement and Support Group handled by Dianne Vasquez, 835-0540. Offers support to parish priests for church or funeral home services. Offers assistance with readers during Mass and provides food. Support group meets every second Thursday of the month at 6:15 p.m. in the parish center, 3900 Derbigny St., Metairie, with guest speakers every other month and an annual celebration of parish deceased at a Memorial Mass and reception in July.
    ➤ St. Clement of Rome, Bereavement Ministry is a support group for those who have lost a loved one. Meetings are held in the Parish Center on the first Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. and the third Tuesday each month at 7 p.m., 4317 Richland Ave., Metairie. Annual Memorial Mass on All Saints Day (Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed) on Nov. 1 for families who have lost relatives during the past year. Candles are lit in their memory. Contact Carol Ryan, 887-7821 or stclement@scrparish.org.
    ➤ St. David, Bereavement Ministry offers assistance to members of deceased’s family with moral and spiritual assistance before and after the funeral. Assists the pastor and the family in planning the liturgy. Meets once a month. Prepares annual memorial liturgy inviting all families buried from the parish within the year. This year’s Mass will be celebrated Nov. 7 at 6:30 p.m. Procession with candles after the homily when each deceased called by name. Initiated by Josephite Father Oswald Pierre-Jules, pastor and coordinated by Frankie Gardner, president, 943-8760 or pagelgifts@yahoo.com.
    ➤ St. Francis Xavier, “Comfort Ministry” sends a Mass card to families who have lost a loved one. Msgr. Andrew Taormina, pastor, presides over the group. Contact Lillian McCarthy, 836-0090. 444 Metairie Road, Metairie.
    ➤ St. Gabriel the Archangel, Bereavement Ministry, composed of 10 members divided in teams of two, provides comfort and support to bereaved parish families in several ways. Lucille Conley, Ministry Leader, 286-3744, coordinates the activities of the group. A team meets with the family to offer sympathy and support, assists them in planning the funeral and in making arrangements for music, repast, etc. On the day of the funeral the team prepares the church for the funeral and makes sure that family members who will be participating in the funeral know what to do. Most funerals are attended by all the members of the Bereavement Ministry. Members of the ministry also make arrangements for the Memorial Mass (this year Nov. 3-4), which is offered for the deceased and the family. Families of loved ones lost during the past two years are invited to attend one of these parish Masses and bring up a vigil candle in memory of the parish’s  deceased as their names are called during the Prayers of the Faithful.
    ➤ St. Genevieve, Grief Support Group offers support to those who have lost a loved one, no matter what stage of grief they are in, believing that grief shared is grief divided. Members who are further along in the process give hope to others just beginning this very difficult journey. Meetings every fourth Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. in the meeting room (small building next to the church hall), 58203 Hwy. 433, Slidell. Coordinated by Tere Walsh, (985) 649-5505, walshpt@bellsouth.net.
    ➤ St. Hubert, 176 Anthony Monica St., Garyville, offers the Parish Hall for use in gathering after the funeral of a parishioner at no charge by calling (985) 535-3312 as soon as possible to reserve. Every effort will be made to accommodate the family. The Ladies Altar Society has three bereavement groups that rotate their time and service by receiving donated food and beverages on the morning of the funeral and volunteers are always welcome. The church supplies paper plates, napkins, dinnerware and cups, while the family provides food, ice, drinks and cleanup (check with parish office for more information). There is no cost to the family, so good will offerings are accepted for use of the hall.
    ➤ St. Jane de Chantal, Abita Springs, Hospitality Bereavement Ministry, invites family of deceased loved ones to attend a grief support meeting for about six weeks.  Coordinator is Mary Francis, (985) 290-9170 or email the parish office at stjanesec@hotmail.com.
    ➤ St. Joan of Arc, LaPlace, Bereavement Friends group expresses compassion of the church community to the bereaved family by helping with funeral arrangements, providing food, rosaries, notifying friends, etc. The Bereavement Friends also assist with the annual All Souls Day Mass and reception Nov. 2 at 6 p.m. for all parish families who have lost a loved one in the past year. Frankie Tarullo, (985) 652-2334, ftarullo@yahoo.com. 529 West 5th St., LaPlace.
    ➤ St. Luke the Evangelist, Bereavement Ministry is coordinated by Becky Dicharry and Susan Andres. For information, call the parish office at (985) 641-6439.
    ➤ St. Margaret Mary, Bereavement Ministry sends sympathy cards and offers help, if needed. Ministry leader: Joan Severs, (985) 641-1829, SlidellSevers@aol.com; 1050 Robert Blvd., Slidell. (985) 643-6124.
    ➤ St. Patrick, Port Sulphur, Family Life Center, 28698 Highway 23 Port Sulphur. Helen Saucier and Lillian Hebert, 564-6792, lead this ministry.

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