Ministry of Consolation

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The most profound, challenging and enduring emotional experience we will ever encounter is, for most of us, the death of a loved one. Death shakes our foundations. Everything changes. We may turn away from the death when it first occurs, but our days soon become filled with deep emotional and, perhaps, spiritual pain. We experience the full impact of our loved one’s death. We are grieving.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

Imagine sustaining a deep cut on your hand. At first you cannot believe it is there. The wound is fresh, open, and bleeding. Your hand is barely usable, and then the pain becomes profound. If you acknowledge the wound and the need for its proper care, it will, with time and attention, heal, bit by bit. There will be a scar, a reminder that you have suffered, but your hand will again be usable and without unendurable pain. Although scarred, the hand is whole again.

Death wounds us and our spiritual and emotional pain is indeed profound. We need to embark on the healing journey, the grief journey, on our way back to wholeness. With proper time and attention, we will heal, bit by bit. Although scarred, we can be whole again.

The Archdiocesan Office of Family Life Ministries

On the road to healing after the death of a loved one, it is indeed a blessing to have companions for the journey. The Office of Family Life Ministries of the Archdiocese of Newark is therefore committed to providing information, education, support, witness, presence and the opportunity for prayer and the celebration of the Eucharist to those who grieve.

The Office of Family Life Ministries sponsors parish-based bereavement support groups, in English and in Spanish, throughout the four counties of the Archdiocese of Newark. Support groups provide information on the grieving process and an opportunity to share experiences in a spiritual, caring, confidential setting. Archdiocesan groups are led by trained facilitators and are open to those of all faiths grieving the death of a loved one.

Jesus with children bSupport Groups for Parents Grieving the Death of a Child

The needs of parents who have suffered the loss of a son or daughter are unique. The Office of Family Life Ministries of the Archdiocese of Newark sponsors support groups for Parents Grieving the Death of a Child.  The groups are led by trained facilitators – parents who have personally experienced the death of a child.

Groups meet as follows:

  • St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Parish Center, 60 Byrd Avenue, Bloomfield, NJ on the first Wednesday of each month at 7:30pm (July and August is 7:00pm)
  • St. Peter the Apostle Church, Rectory Basement, 445 Fifth Avenue, River Edge, NJ on the third Monday of each month at 7:30pm

There is no fee to participate and pre-registration is not needed. Please call Lauren Egan at 973-497-4327 or email eganlaur@rcan.org for further information.

Family Life Ministries

Click here for a schedule of Loss and Transition Programs

Programa de Perdida y Transición en español (Pronto)