Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4
The death of a loved one may be the greatest life altering event we will ever experience. Grief is our normal human response to any loss and yet both death and grieving are rarely comfortable topics in our present day.
In 2018, the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton developed a program and offered training for parish individuals to provide peer support to the grieving.
In the words if Archbishop Smith, “This program was designed as a resource for parishes and other pastoral ministries within the Church. Our pastoral work always includes comforting the sorrowful. It should not be lost on us that the two disciples on that ancient road to Emmaus did not have a known destination. In many ways the personal experience of grief is precisely like that. This program invites participants and facilitators alike to Live in the Word of God. …It is Jesus who accompanies us on our pilgrim way, leading us to him.”
This program consists of 8 consecutive weekly sessions. Each session is 2 hours long and includes a video by grief specialist, Dr. Bill Webster from his series entitled “Grief Matters”; an opportunity for discussion, prayer and refreshments. Each session is led by a small team of trained facilitators. One of our priest provides spiritual support. Participants receive a journal with short scripture passages, inspirational messages and a reflection guide for their personal grief journey. Meetings take place at the church in Our Lady’s room.
“Grief as a Journey” is offered 3 times a year with dates and details published in the parish bulletin. Please call the parish office at 780-960-0135 for more information or to register.
“While grief is a universal experience, it is at the same time unique and personal. How you experience grief will be different from anyone else.” -Dr. Bill Webster