The Diocese’s pastoral care training program set to begin in the fall will include sessions required for those interested in bereavement ministry.

The training, which will be held on the grounds of St. Veronica Parish, 4215 Highway 9 North, Howell, will be held on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

In addition to bereavement, the sessions are encouraged for visitors of the sick, hospital or homebound visitors, jail or prison volunteers, family caregivers, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion in nursing homes or  hospitals, separated and divorced group ministers, Elizabeth ministers, Stephen ministers and parish pastoral ministers.

Sessions marked with an asterisk are required as preparation for leadership in parish-based bereavement or separated and divorced ministries.

The schedule is as follows:

• Day 1, Nov. 17: Morning session one, “Pastoral Theology: Understanding Suffering & the Healing Mission of Jesus”; afternoon session two, “Pastoral Spirituality: Love of God, Neighbor and Self.”

• Day 2, Dec. 15: Morning session three, “Pastoral Visits: The Nuts and Bolts of the Pastoral Encounter”; afternoon session four, “Pastoral Care “Rituals for Laypersons: Rites for Holy Communion and the Pastoral Care of the Sick and Dying.”

• Day 3, Jan. 13, 2019: Morning session five, “Pastoral Presence & The Art of Holy Listening: Part I (Skills)”; afternoon session six, “Pastoral Presence & The Art of Holy Listening: Part II (Skills).”

• Day 4, Feb. 2: Morning session seven, “Pastoral Care of the Dying: Companions on the Journey Home”; afternoon session eight, “Pastoral Care in the Face of Loss: Ministry to the Grieving.”

• Day 5, March 2: Morning session nine, “Pastoral Care via Parish Support-Groups: Best Practices”; afternoon session 10, “Pastoral Care of Families Planning Christian Funerals.”

• Day 6, April 6: Morning session 11, “Pastoral Care in Mental Health, Aging, Disabilities & Cultural Contexts”; afternoon session 12, “Pastoral Care Matters: The Law, Ethics & End-of-Life Healthcare Bioethics.”

Makeup date, April 13, for all sessions missed due to inclement weather.

Persons with counseling or social work backgrounds may be excused from sessions five and six, at the discretion of the program administrator. Those preparing for any parish pastoral ministry are strongly encouraged to take the entire program for the best preparation.

The base price is $30; full program for one person (12 sessions) is $330 (one free workshop); full program for two plus from same parish $300 (two free workshops); full bereavement training for one person (six sessions) $165 or full bereavement training for two plus from same parish $150 (one free workshop).

Registration includes a three-ring binder, books, workshops, coffee and water. Attendees are asked to bring their own lunch and snacks.

To register online, visit For information, contact the Department of Pastoral Care at or 609-403-7157.