Local parishes offer bereavement support group

Starting this week, both St. Frances de Chantal Church and St. Benedict’s Church will be offering bereavement support group services.
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When one life ends, another begins.

For over a decade, St. Benedict’s Church has been offering a bereavement support group for people undergoing grief following a loved one’s death.

A spring session is scheduled to meet this Saturday, February 28 from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. in the convent.

According to Sister Betty McLaughlin, O.P., the group meets biannually in the fall and spring for eight meetings spread throughout the respective seasons.

St. Benedict’s spring session will continue its run on Saturday, April 25.

All are welcomed to attend she said,adding that no one is ever forced to speak at the meetings.

“The price of loving someone deeply is to have to suffer the experience of loss. However, it is worth the price because this individual still fills your heart with memories which will never die and we are better people because we have loved them and they have loved us,” explained Sr. McLaughlin.

This group presents a wonderful networking opportunity for people to meet others who are undergoing the same arduous journey in their lives. the program’s moderator said.

Refreshments will also be served during these meetings to promote a comforting environment for all who attend.

If you or someone you know may be interested, contact Sr. Betty McLaughlin at (718) 828-3403 ext. 104.

“If the death of that loved one makes a person live life better, then their death was not in vain,” explained Sr. McLaughlin.

St. Frances de Chantal will also be conducting a bereavement support group session during the springtime.

The 25-year strong program will conduct its first meeting on the evening of Thursday, March 19 inside the church’s Parish Meeting Room.

Similar to St. Benedict’s, St. Frances de Chantal’s biannual support group will have eight meetings spread out through June.

“The purpose of this group is to enable people to come together to promote healing through understanding and to help them work through their grief and readjustment by mutual support and encouragement,” said Sister Joan Marie O’Leary, O.P.

Sr. O’Leary revealed that sharing and education are this group’s two main components.

She added it is vital for people coping with grief to find a safe environment for them to share what they are experiencing.

The education portion of this program will give members a presentation focusing on an array of topics such as anger, guilt, loneliness, readjustment and memories following the loss of a loved one.

If interested, contact Sr. Joan Marie O’Leary at (718) 792-5500 ext. 13 before Monday, March 16.

These two groups will utilize Care Notes, professional literature which covers a wide array of topics concerning the grieving process and are free to participants.

Both parishes work in conjunction with Calvary Hospital, which offers a plethora of bereavement support groups for children, teens, young adults, adults and the elderly.

Bereavement services are offered at the Bronx-based hospital as well as St. Joseph High School in downtown Brooklyn. They are open to the public and free of charge.

Lynne Marie Pappalardi, officer coordinator of bereavement services, has seen interest in the program grow exponentially over the years.

“If someone is having trouble living their everyday life following the loss of a loved one, it helps in their healing process that they attend these services,” Pappalardi said.

To schedule an appointment, contact either Dr. Sherry Schachter, director of bereavement service at (718) 518-2125 or Pappalardi at (718) 518-2173.

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