Compassionate Care Ministry

Contact  Janet Schirripa, Lay Ministry Support Coordinator  865.5704 jschirripa@saintraphael.org

Compassionate Care Ministry is St. Raphael’s effort to meet the needs of those who are walking through grief and mourning following the death of a loved one. It’s a highly personal and emotional time but we do have ways to comfort, console and support each other. Here’s a look at what is coming up in our parish community. You are welcome to attend, learn more, or volunteer if this need is something that is close to your heart.

Informal Gatherings / Sharing Grace
Sometimes we have difficult spots along our journey through grief. It’s not a smooth/linear process. Perhaps there’s an event/milestone that has triggered a need to talk through your concern with others who understand. We call this opportunity to gather Sharing Grace. Join us at a local restaurant or here on campus. These gatherings are not structured with a formal agenda, rather it’s an opportunity to be embraced by people who ‘get it’, to respond to the needs of the group that day. Come once or a few times, this is an ‘as needed’ opportunity. Look at the Event Calendar to the right of this page to find the next meetings. Gatherings off campus at a restaurant need an RSVP to reserve the right size table, otherwise just come as the need arises.

Periodic Mailings to Address Common Needs and Concerns during the Grief Journey
Compassionate Care offers a series of supportive mailings touching on common concerns as you move through the first year of transition following the death of a loved one. We’d be happy to see you receive this ongoing resource but we need to know about you and your loved one! Please connect with  Janet Schirripa, Lay Ministry Support Coordinator  865.5704 jschirripa@saintraphael.org to learn more or register.

Renewing Hope Grief Support Group
The Compassionate Care ministry gathers folks for the Renewing Hope Grief Support Group series twice each year. This six session group is for those who are working through bereavement concerns following the death of a loved one. The group offers spiritual, psychological and social supports to assist members on their journey through mourning. Come learn about the grief process, find ways to treasure memories while responding to each new day, and discover the many ways our Risen Lord is by your side. Your loss may have been a couple years ago or a few months ago.  You’d be most welcome to join us. Our group is facilitated by folks who are experienced in working with families and loss. Please connect with  Janet Schirripa, Lay Ministry Support Coordinator  at 865.5704 jschirripa@saintraphael.org  to learn more or register. The six session series begin in January and the end of August each year.

Resource Lending Library
For some folks in grief, reading supportive and spiritual material is comforting; for others the physical demands of reading and concentrating are just too much to handle, it’s one more pressure or expectation. Please also realize that there’s a question of ‘timing’, if a book doesn’t resonate with you right now, put it aside for a month or two. If you’re ready to explore the shared wisdom and experience of others, check out some of the following resources. You can tap the local library as well as bookstores, the internet etc. in addition to your funeral home, hospice or friend’s personal libraries. People will share items that were helpful for them. We have built a small resource lending library here at the parish. You’re welcome to come take a look. Additionally, if there are items you care to pass along to another on this walk through grief, perhaps consider donating the item to our efforts to build this resource. Thank you.                 Reading Materials

Memorial Prayer Service / Mass
Twice a year we gather as a community to remember our loved ones through a worship experience. During the Easter Season and in November we designate a Mass or vespers and create a liturgy that brings us together to honor and remember those who have passed. These are poignant and powerful gatherings, meant for anyone who has suffered a loss, be it from a distance or years ago. If you feel called to join us then you are more than welcome. As November approaches we will post the details of our gathering.

Surviving the Holidays When Getting Out of Bed is a Challenge: Strategies for the Grieving
This is a seasonal offering in November to assist folks who are stressed, confused and exhausted when thinking about the pending holidays in light of a recent death of a loved one. This is a one time event in a small group working in an interactive setting. We will explore strategies for communications, setting realistic expectations, managing stress and sadness, and meaningful ways to keep our loved one integral to our family traditions. Event details will be on the web and bulletin in the fall.