Bereavement ministries abound in archdiocese

By Clarion Herald Staff

Many parishes in the Archdiocese of New Orleans offer bereavement groups or grief support ministries after the death of a loved one:

All Saints Catholic Church, New Orleans
Bereavement team assists the family in preparing for the Funeral Mass by helping them choose the readings. Members also can assist in preparing the program. They attend the funeral and offer hospitality to those who come. They do followup calls or visits after the funeral. Contact Barbara Robinson at 361-8835.

Archdiocese Retreat Center, Metairie
Bereavement Support Group meets every third Wednesday of the month at 10 a.m. 5500 St. Mary St., Metairie. Contact Janice Bodet at 288-9040.

Ascension of Our Lord, LaPlace
The Bereavement Ministry Team coordinates support for parishioners experiencing grief following a death or important loss. Members offer assistance in planning readings and music, are present during the wake and Funeral Mass, prepare the church for Mass, request food donations for family receptions. They also meet with family members to identify areas of support needed after the funeral, send cards, care notes and monthly messages of comfort and healing to grieving family members. A Christmas Mass of Remembrance for all deceased will be held Dec. 13 at 6 p.m. Members meet monthly. Contact Susie Lanza at 650-0496 or the parish office at (985) 652-2615.

Blessed Seelos Parish, New Orleans
Open Arms Caring Ministry offers prayerful support for anyone coping with grief. By appointment. All matters discussed are kept strictly confidential. Contact the parish office at 943-5566 and leave a message for Mrs. Sandy Sanchez, O.P.

Center of Jesus The Lord at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, New Orleans
Stewards of Mercy ministry is a network of church community members who provide a mercy meal for family and friends after the Funeral Mass. Also, in an emergency such as illness in the family, members will provide meals or personal care for family members. Contact Debbie Montambo at 529-1636.

Corpus Christi-Epiphany, New Orleans
Bereavement Ministry assists celebrants and the family in preparation of the Funeral Mass and gives comfort and support for the bereaved family. A Mass and remembrance exhibit of all parishioners who have died during the year is offered each year. Contact Joycelyn Clementin at 655-1059.

Holy Family, Franklinton
A member of the bereavement ministry visits the family to assist in planning the Funeral Mass. If visitation is held in the church, coffee and light refreshments are provided. Ministry members also can provide a full meal for the family and their guests in the parish hall after the funeral. Contact the parish office at (985) 839-4040.

Mary Queen of Peace, Mandeville
Bereavement support in a confidential setting for those suffering the loss of a loved one. The group is facilitated on Fridays at 10 a.m. during the fall and spring by Teresian Sister Marina Aranzabal. Contact Sister Marina at or (985) 630-7130.

Most Holy Trinity, Covington
Ministry assists families with preparation of funeral services and is present to them to give comfort, greet attendees and assist the celebrant and church ministers with the Mass or service. Members can provide food for the family or help with visitation at the church. Families of the deceased are invited to attend a Memorial Mass on Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. Contact Terri Derbes at (985) 892-0642.

Our Lady of Lourdes, Slidell
Grief Ministry meets on the second Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m. in the Parish Life Center. Discusses reading material and plans for needs that come up. Contact Deacon Warren Berault at or Diane St. Germain at 701-5789,

Sacred Heart of Jesus, Norco
Angels of Mercy Bereavement Group consists of 22 parishioners who reach out to family members of the deceased. Along with spiritual support, the group provides food and drinks. Contact Dianne Mayeux at 416-7073 or

St. Andrew the Apostle, New Orleans
Bereavement committee provides food to the family of the deceased upon request. Contact Dr. Don Nolan at 392-0593.

St. Angela Merici, Metairie
Funeral Ministry consists of parishioners who aid and assist families in planning their loved one’s funerals. These parishioners meet with the families of the deceased and help them select readings and songs for the Funeral Mass. One training session is required to serve in this ministry. Contact Donna McNamara at

St. Ann Church and Shrine, Metairie
Bereavement Committee provides food and drink to the family of the deceased upon request. Contact Beverly Musso at 455-7071, ext. 222.

St. Anthony of Padua, New Orleans
Caring Ministry offers support for anyone who is coping with grief of any kind. Support is offered by appointment through faith and prayer. All matters discussed are kept strictly confidential. Call the parish office at 488-2651 and leave a message for Mrs. Sandy Sanchez, O.P.

St. Augustine, New Orleans
Bereavement Committee is overseen by Oblate Father Emmanuel Mulenga, pastor. Members include Audrey Amos, Beverly Curry and Linda Harris. Call the rectory at 525-5934.

St. Benilde, Metairie
Bereavement Committee assists parishioners upon the death of their loved ones by expressing condolences and offering to prepare a meal following the funeral. It also prepares food to help the family during their time of loss.

St. Charles Borromeo, Destrehan
The Next Chapter, a support group, was formed to offer moral and spiritual assistance to anyone who has suffered any type of loss. It meets at 7 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of each month in the St. Matthew Room, with roundtable discussions and occasional guest speakers. The office staff assists family members in selecting readings and music. An annual memorial Mass will be celebrated Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. for those who have lost a loved one during the past year. Contact the parish office at (985) 764-6383.

St. Christopher the Martyr, Metairie
Bereavement and Support Group Ministry meets on second Thursday of the month in the Parish Center with guest speakers on topics ranging from grief, loss of a spouse, etc. Contact Dianne Vasquez at 835-0540 or the rectory at 837-8214.

St. David, New Orleans
Bereavement Ministry offers assistance to members of deceased’s family with spiritual assistance before and after the funeral. Assists the pastor and the family in planning the liturgy. Meets once a month. Annual memorial Mass for families who have lost loved ones during the past year will be celebrated Nov. 8 at 6:30 p.m. by Josephite Father Oswald Pierre-Jules, pastor. Contact Frankie Gardner at 943-8760 or email

St. Dominic, New Orleans
Bereavement Ministry offers support for anyone who is coping with grief of any kind through faith and prayer. By appointment. All matters discussed are kept strictly confidential. Contact the parish office at 482-4156 and leave a message for Mrs. Sandy Sanchez, O.P.

St. Francis Xavier, Metairie
Comfort Ministry sends a Mass card to families who have lost a loved one. Msgr. Andrew Taormina, pastor, presides over the group. Contact Carol Pritchard at 835-6809.

St. Gabriel the Archangel, New Orleans
Bereavement Ministry provides comfort and support to bereaved parish families. A team meets with the family to offer sympathy and support, assists them in planning the funeral and in making arrangements for music and repast. The team prepares the church for the funeral. Contact the parish office at 282-0296.

St. Genevieve, Slidell
Christian Funeral Ministry assists the family in preparing for and during the funeral Mass. Contact Lugenia Devezin at (985) 288-4159.

St. Hubert, Garyville
The parish offers parishioners the Parish Hall, free of charge, for a family gathering after a funeral Mass. Call (985) 535-3312 to reserve. 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. The church supplies paper plates, napkins, dinnerware and cups, while the family provides food, ice, drinks and cleanup. Goodwill offerings are accepted for use of the hall.

St. Jane de Chantal, Abita Springs
Bereavement Ministry offers compassion and support to the families of the deceased. The group offers Masses for the family and their loved one, provides coffee and light refreshments during visitation until the Mass begins. St. Jane Hall will be made available to families free of charge if they wish to bring and serve a meal. Depending on burial arrangements, the meal may be either after the Mass or after the burial. Cleanup is family’s responsibility. Contact the parish office to make arrangements at (985) 892-1439.

St. Joachim, Marrero
Parish Bereavement Ministry strives to be a source of love, care and support to those who grieve the loss of a loved one. The ministry offers a prepared meal sponsored by volunteer members. Sympathy cards and Mass intentions are sent to the family. The rosary is offered at the funeral by Daughters of St. Joachim. Contact Angie Autin at 723-1472 or; Mary Plaisance at 258-6300 or

St. Joan of Arc, LaPlace
Bereavement Friends express compassion of the church community to the bereaved family by helping with arrangements, providing food, rosaries, notifying friends. Members assist with the annual All Souls’ Day Mass and reception on Nov. 2 at 6 p.m. for parish families who have lost a loved one in the past year. Contact Frankie Tarullo at (985) 652-2334 or The parish has a “Bridge to NAIM” group for the newly widowed. Meetings are held on the third Monday of each month at 6 p.m. Contact Pat Menard at 504-415-1032. Wings of Hope will offer spiritual support to the newly bereaved through the years following the death of a loved one with cards, telephone calls and remembrances. Contact Manya Edler at (985) 652-3303.

St. John the Baptist, Paradis
Our Bereavement Ministry offers prayerful support to parishioners with faith and through prayerful support, giving support for anyone coping with grief of any kind. Assists the bereaved at their time of loss. Contact Debra Frickey (985) 817-1244 or Janice Dufrene (985) 758-7845.

St. John of the Cross, Lacombe
Bereavement and Grief Support Group offers support in sharing the loss of a loved one. Contact Deacon Frank Drake at (985) 882-5372.

St. Joseph the Worker, Marrero
Good Shepherd Ministry ministers to families who have lost a loved one by helping the family plan the funeral, praying the rosary at the visitation or before the funeral liturgy, attending and participating in the Funeral Mass and praying for and with the deceased person’s family.  Also a follow up will be done by another ministry which will provide spiritual and emotional support to the families who are grieving as well as counseling and referral services when needed. Contact Ursula S. Allen at 347-8438.

St. Luke the Evangelist, Slidell
St. Luke’s Bereavement Ministry reaches out to parishioners who have lost a loved one and coordinates with the family to arrange any gathering after the funeral. It also sends cards to the family after the funeral and coordinates the Mass of Remembrance on All Souls’ Day, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. Contact Deacon Harold Burke or Becky Dicharry for more information at (985) 641-6429.

St. Mary of the Angels, New Orleans
Bereavement Committee is headed by Geraldine Aguillard, who is available to discuss the death of a loved one and fulfill the needs of everyone at the funeral Mass. Call her or Franciscan Father Joseph Hund, pastor, at 945-3186.

St. Raymond and St. Leo the Great, New Orleans
Bereavement Ministry is composed of lectors, extraordinary ministers of holy Communion, ushers and Health Ministry members. The group will visit the family of the deceased, upon request, to help them cope with their loss and assist in planning the Mass, including special tributes, readings, music and rosary. The group also will send a card to the family after the funeral. An annual Memorial Mass is celebrated for families who have lost a loved one during the year.

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