Bereavement Ministry

The Bereavement Ministry of MMR   

     and St. Stanislaus

The death of someone important to you—whether it is a spouse, a parent, a sibling, a friend, or a child—is a difficult and highly emotional experience.  Your grief journey can be overwhelming or even confusing at times. The Bereavement Ministry of Mary, Mother of the Redeemer, in conjunction with St. Stanislaus Parish, is here to help you, guide you, and prayerfully support you as you heal.  Although the grieving process is different for each individual, the shared experience of pain and loss is the common thread that bonds us.

On the second Thursday of each month, there is a general support group meeting offered at both parishes.  There is a morning session offered at MMR from 10 to 11:30, and an evening session offered at St. Stanislaus from 7 to 8:30.  During these 90 minutes, you will develop a sense of hope while healing, and a relief from the heartache for which you have been searching. You will never feel isolated or alone as the group patiently journeys with you through your valley of tears. 

These groups are offered to all adults, parishioners and non-parishioners, Catholic and non-Catholic, with no fee and with no pre-registration necessary. If you are unable to attend the group, but are in need of support, our ministry can also offer one-to-one compassionate listening.  For more information or questions, call Jennifer Breen at 215-896-2720 or

Please take a look at the calendar of meetings below! 

August 8: Open Forum — C.S. Lewis once observed, “The death of a loved one is an amputation.”  For many of us, that feels about right…that we are walking around missing an arm or a leg, and no one seems to notice. If this describes your experience, join us.  We will have an Open Forum, allowing those present to share their story and for the Spirit to lead the discussion as He wills.

September 12: Loss of Friends —  The death of a close friend can be as traumatic as the death of a family member.  Most often, friends do not have the same opportunity to mourn their loss or obtain closure as a family member would – they are not part of funeral planning; they don’t have an opportunity to claim mementos or personal effects of the deceased; they do not receive the same benefits for bereavement leave; they do not receive the same type of empathy or support as family members.  Join us to discuss your experience dealing with the loss of a friend.

October 10: Crazy Is Normal —  During the period of intense grief, people often worry that they are going crazy. Some people hear voices or see visions; others find themselves unable to concentrate or forgetting things. Come join us to talk about your experience.

November 14: Understanding the Process of Grief — Grieving is an individual, unique experience. Yet there is a wide variety of common reactions during the grief process—from sadness to anger, from numbness to pain, from guilt to fear. Come join us to talk about your experience.

December 12: For those who are grieving, the holidays can be very difficult occasions. Old traditions and memories of happy family gatherings serve as bitter reminders of what is lost forever. At this session, we will discuss ways of preparing for and coping with the upcoming holiday season.

January 9: Moving Ahead in the New Year When You Don’t Want to Move at All —  Now that the holidays are over, those who are grieving my feel let down, lethargic or more depressed than expected. Come join us to talk about your experience.

February 13: Surviving Stress and Loneliness — When someone we love dies, we experience physical and emotional stress.  But there are things we can do to cope with these feelings and help ourselves in our recovery. Come, join us.

March 12: Feelings of Denial and Guilt — Denial helps us to pace our feelings of grief. There is a grace in denial. It is nature’s way of letting in only as much as we can handle. (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross). Join us in our next Bereavement Support Group meeting when we will discuss the normal feelings of denial, bargaining and guilt.

April 16: Feelings of Anger and Depression — The Bereavement Ministry reminds you that you are not alone in your grief, there is always someone who wants to listen. Join us to discuss the topic of anger and depression as a normal part of grieving.

May 14: Our Relationship with God — The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Ps. 34:18). Join us in our next Bereavement Support Group meeting, when we will discuss how our relationship with God can grow with the loss of a loved one.

June 11: The Many Faces of Loss — Grief is not simple, and it is not limited to the pain of losing someone dear. When someone dies, there are often many other losses that follow: the loss of income, the loss of a home, even the loss of one’s identity. These secondary losses can complicate the grief process and turn one’s world upside down.

July 9: Sharing Memories — Thomas Campbell said, “To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” We cherish the memories, both good and bad, of those we have lost. And it is in sharing those memories with others that we re-experience the joy of their living.  Please join us  to share your memories of your loved one.  Feel free to bring photos and other mementos to show.