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  • Middletown couple uses first-hand experience to help pregnant couples cope with terminal diagnosis of babies
    It is difficult enough to lose a child, but receiving a terminal diagnosis for your unborn child can result in an unprecedented sense of grief.

    Barbara Keith and her family know all too well how difficult that can be. Keith, a lifelong member of St. Mary Parish, Middletown, and her husband, Ian, were given the devastating news halfway through her pregnancy in 2011 that their unborn daughter had Trisomy 18, a rare chromosome disorder. The Keiths were told that their baby, Joan, would likely not survive and that perhaps they should consider an abortion.
  • Listening is the key to ministry of bereaved
    Doris Hudak has learned a few valuable lessons during her 35 years in the field of bereavement ministry, the most important of which is that finding the right words to say to survivors after the death of a loved one is not the most important goal.
  • Spring Lake first responder's second book features stories of grief, faith, laughter
    After a successful first book on courage in the face of fear and grieving, Spring Lake first responder Andrea Jo Rodgers is back with “On Heaven’s Doorstep: God’s Help in Times of Crisis,” which features 30 true stories.
  • Nothing brings with it more opportunities for joy, and the unexpected, than spending time with your grandchild.

    On Easter morning, my five-year-old granddaughter brought me a toy that was not working. She asked me to change the batteries, but we needed a special screwdriver and not one of her uncles knew where this magical tool might be.

  • The Diocese’s pastoral care training program set to begin in the fall will include sessions required for those interested in bereavement ministry.
  • 2018 Annual Bereavement Supplement
    Click here to view the digital version of the annual bereavement supplement from The Monitor, which this year features stories on perinatal hospice, a personal account of bereavement ministry, a local author who shares her story on being  a first responder and more.
  • The following parishes have bereavement support groups:
  • Support for the grieving comes in many forms
    Sometimes it comes by way of a life-changing phone call: “There’s been an accident…” At other times, it starts with a diagnosis: “We’ve gotten the results of the biopsy…” or sometimes simply by the passage of so much time: “I don’t think Grandma has much time left.”
  • 2017 Annual Bereavement Supplement

    Click here to read a downloadable version of the annual bereavement supplement from The Monitor, that offers resources and insights for those mourning the loss of a loved one.

  • In genealogy research, Catholic cemeteries can provide some help

    OXNARD, Calf. – As interest in genealogical research increases, some Catholics have found that their relatives' final earthly addresses can be helpful, even valuable resources.

  • Advance funeral planning can spare loved ones extra grief

    No one expected Joe to die. Replace the name “Joe” with anyone you’ve known into that sentence. 

  • Funeral homes provide invaluable service, friendship to grief-stricken
    Millie is a widow. She has no children and no family in the area. For the past 15 years, after she finishes a morning of grocery shopping, she sometimes stops at the funeral home where she made the final arrangements for her husband.
  • The Monitor ANNUAL Bereavement SUPPLEMENT • 2015
    Topics included in this special supplement include...

    Diocesan family served by Catholic cemeteries

    Storytelling aids in grieving process

    Bereavement ministers share in fruits of their work

    Diocesan training slated for bereavement ministers

    Lazarus Ministry helps bereaved navigate funeral rites

    Parish listing of bereavement ministries

    Click to View 
  • Ministry of Hope - The Monitor's Annual bereavemnet supplement offers insights and practical resoures for those mourning deep losses.

    Click HERE to view the 2014 Bereavement supplement
  • Grief counselors steer communities toward long-term healing
    LONG ISLAND, N.Y. • After debris has been cleared and physical rebuilding is well underway, counselors for victims of natural disasters and violence contend that real healing still needs to take place.
  • How the internet can help the bereaved

    Many people use websites for funeral planning after a loved one has passed away. However, the Internet can also be a source to find comfort throughout the grieving process, learn about funeral etiquette, join a chat room or find a nearby church support group.

  • Personalized funerals are missing spiritual aspects

    LONG ISLAND, N.Y • The trend in funerals today toward more personalized, less traditional ceremonies is taking these services where no funerals have gone before.

  • Praying for the dead in a communion of saints

    Some people cannot imagine praying for the dead. What is unimaginable to many others is not to pray for those who die.

  • Light in the Darkness

    Cetta Lieb knows full well that most of the people she meets won’t consider the introduction a pleasant experience. But, in many ways, that’s what drives her to do her job.

  • “When a member of Christ’s Body dies, the faithful are called to a ministry of consolation to those who have suffered the loss of one whom they love. Christian consolation is rooted in that hope that comes from faith in the saving death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

    These words, excerpted from the Order of Christian Funerals, expresses the core of bereavement ministry encouraged and supported by the Diocesan Department of Pastoral Care.

  • 'If We Die with the Lord, We Shall Live with the Lord:' Reflections on the Order of Christian Funerals

    Coming from an Irish Catholic family, I can list everyone who was and, especially, who was not in attendance at family funerals!  It’s a trait that is not reserved exclusively to the Irish.


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