Grief is a painful, unique and often lonely process especially when we live in a culture that makes it difficult not only to talk about death and loss but to find ways to live through it. Twice a year we offer a 7-week program: Journeying from Grief to Healing. This is a structured supportive program that provides a unique opportunity to journey with others through readings, discussion and personal journaling from “grief to healing”. Sharing your thoughts, feelings and experiences with others in similar situations and in a safe environment can help you find inspiration, understanding and encouragement.
This program is usually held in Fall (Oct/Nov) in the evenings, mid-winter (Feb/ March) during the day and spring (April/May) in the evening.
Each year, during the month of November, when Catholics traditionally remember and pray for all the dead, we gather for our Annual Mass of Remembrance. At this Mass, we pray especially for all those whose funerals or burials we celebrated here in the past year, but all are welcome to join us and pray for all their beloved dead. This well attended liturgy allows us once again to mourn our loss with others who are also grieving. Together we look with hope to what our loved ones have gained and seek strength and comfort as we continue our own journey. It is followed by a reception with light refreshments in the school auditorium.
Often, after a family celebrates the funeral of a loved one, people forget that suddenly everything isn't "back to normal". Grief is a slow and difficult process, and especially the first year of holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries brings back painful memories and unresolved grief and pain.
Several years ago our Ministry of Encouragement designed cards to be sent to the bereaved every 3 months during the first year after the death of a loved one. Card senders are given a packet with all they need to participate in this ministry from the stamps to the return labels. They are also asked to keep that family in prayer during the year.
If you'd like to be a part of this healing ministry call Kerry Pitman at 508-668-4979 X1025.
During the month of November you are invited to enter the names of your deceased family members and friends in the Book of the Dead (found on a stand next to the ambo in the church or chapel), and we will remember those listed in the book during the entire month whenever we gather for liturgy.
Each year, we gather at St. Francis Cemetery on Washington Street on Memorial Day at 9:00am to celebrate the lives of loved one who have died. This outdoor mass is a special time for us to come together in our shared grief to mourn our loved ones. It is truly a communal celebration and people linger after the liturgy to share their lives and stories with each other over coffee and donuts. If there is inclement weather this mass is held in the church.