Bereavement groups, grief support available

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. 12 at 6 p.m. Members meet monthly. Contact Susie Lanza at (504) 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. Please call 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

The parish offers two bereavement groups in a confidential setting. One, in support of families for the loss of a loved one, meets on Tuesdays at 11:30 a.m. during the fall and spring. A separate support group for parents who have lost a child meets on the second Tuesday at 7 p.m. Both groups are facilitated by Teresian Sister Marina Aranzabal, or by phone at (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, Lacombe

“Sharing The Journey”, Widow and Widowers Grief Support Group makes available support and comfort to those experiencing the loss of a spouse, in a confidential and prayerful setting. The various stages of grief are shared with others on the same journey of loss. The layers of the new role of experiencing widowhood/widowerhood are also discussed and shared with spiritual support. Facilitator, Beverly Domingue, certified faith companion. Meetings are monthly on the second Wednesday from 1-3 p.m. in the church narthex. Contact the church office at (985) 882-5229.

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. Angela Merici, Metairie

Bridge to Naim is a support group for the recently widowed. A professional leads each meeting at 10:30 a.m. on the second Tuesday of the month in the Conference Room.  There is no charge or obligation. For more information contact, Jo at 833-9470.  

Coping with Life Alone is a ministry to help men and women who have lost their spouse either through death, divorce or separation. The program is designed to aid those who have lost their spouse deal with their grief and also to manage the many changes happening in their lives due their loss. The 10-week program is offered twice per year, typically beginning in June and December, with meetings on Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. in the conference room. For more information please contact Mike Caruso at

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 the parish office at 455-7071, ext. 222.

St. Anthony of Padua, New Orleans

Open Arms 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 Church, 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. 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 is celebrated annually by Josephite Father Oswald Pierre-Jules, pastor. Contact Frankie Gardner at 943-8760. 

St. Dominic, New Orleans

Open Arms Caring 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

Bereavement Ministry offers prayer support and Masses and is available to discuss opportunities for this coping with grief. Father Joe Palermo, pastor, moderates the ministry. For further information, 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. 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 and friends 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 (985) 892-1439 to make arrangements. Chairperson is Jo Kieffer, (985) 630-8508. 

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 Mary Plaisance at 258-6300 or; or Cathy Este at 347-6369.

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. 

St. John the Baptist, Paradis

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. 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. Contact Deacon Harold Burke 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. Also at the funeral Mass, the Evangelization Ministry under Vaughn Valeary presents the bereaved family with a SMA spiritual bag which includes a Bible, memorial card, list of church services and a pen. Call her or Franciscan Father Joseph Hund, pastor, at 945-3186.

St. Peter, Reserve

Bereavement Committee reaches out to a family member of recently deceased parishioners offering sympathy and support.  Along with spiritual support, this group can help families in preparing for the funeral as well as being available to receive donated food and beverages on the day of the funeral.  Sympathy cards are sent to the family.  Families of those who have lost loved ones during the past year are invited to the annual All Saints’ Day Mass at 10 a.m. and blessing of the cemetery.  If you’d like to help with this ministry, please contact Cheryl Entremont at (985) 212-1230 or via email at

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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