What We Offer
The Bereavement Ministry was formed at the request of Father Reichert in 2009 to offer compassionate care and support to members of the parish community who have experienced the loss of a loved one.
Main objectives of this ministry are to be available to the bereaved of the parish family to offer physical, emotional and prayerful support when needed. This will include, as needed, help with everyday chores and duties while the bereaved are recovering from their loss; being there to offer companionship and to listen to them as they verbalize their feelings; to consider the mental or physical state of the bereaved and to offer them guidance in getting to the appropriate persons or facilities to help to alleviate their condition; to offer prayerful and meaningful opportunities for the parish community to offer their support; to orchestrate ongoing services and/or activities to bring the bereaved persons and their families back into the main stream of the parish and community activities.
Initial contact is made with the bereaved parishioners as soon as their loved one has died; a meeting is scheduled with the family to plan the funeral services and to determine their immediate needs. The preparation for the funeral and final disposition are made by the family with their chosen funeral home, including a time and date for the services. Next, the details of the mass are finalized; the celebrants, servers, readers, musicians, Eucharistic ministers are chosen and the women of the parish are contacted to work on the meal after the service.
Close contact with the family through a personal visit by bereavement ministry members occurs within the first week after the funeral. The needs are evaluated and the ministry members assure that they are handled accordingly. Follow-up visits are dictated by what the ministry members determine advisable, and telephone contact is then maintained, usually monthly for at least the first year. There is no set time limit or schedule for the follow up. It is determined by what the ministry members feel is needed.
The entire mission of this ministry, special services and/or activities is to maintain the sense of community for those who are suffering the grief and the loss of loved ones.
This ministry is still a “work in progress”. We are learning as we continue to function and we plan to progress to a point in the future where we can offer the grieving the opportunity to attend “grief share” sessions, or other types of activities where they can share their thoughts and cares with others who are going through the same things that they are experiencing.
We have placed a rack of brochures in the gathering area of the church which are very helpful to persons who are grieving. These have proved to be popular with many who have availed themselves of these helpful assets.
We have made available to the parish community a tool to “pre-plan” for their own physical departure from this world. A booklet titled “from here to eternity” can be found in the rack in the gathering area for this purpose. We also have hosted one seminar at the church to give the parish the opportunity to explore many end-of-life issues and their options for handling them. We will undoubtedly offer further opportunities of this sort in the future.
We have made a loose alliance with Hospice of Central Ohio in order to gain training and experience from those who are performing these services every day. This is proving to be very valuable to our growth and ability to minister to those of our parish family needing this type of assistance.
This ministry is presently staffed by about a dozen caring parishioners, who would happily welcome others. Meetings are held at the church on a monthly basis, which is announced in the church bulletin. Anyone interested in helping or offering ideas is welcome to attend.
Present members of the bereavement ministry are:
Margie Andrews, Eileen Baesmann, Joyce Curran, Butch and Carolyn Carter, Joe Lindsay, John and Neva Stover, Jack and Lucia Walsh. Any of these members can be reached through their listings in the church roster or by contacting the church office.