Family Life Commission

                                                                                 Bereavement Ministry








The death of a loved one is an intense and painful experience for most people. Having the right support makes all of the difference, and here at St. Bart’s we want to make a difference by reaching out and helping members and families through the grief cycle.

Grieving? Remember:













Simply stated, grief happens because we love, and because we care.
It is the normal, natural, necessary response to a significant loss.
The more significant the loss, the more acute the grief response.
Grief represents a set of behaviors and feelings that are normal reactions to major loss and change.

 Mission
To minister to grieving parishioners and their families through various means of loving support and comfort.

Scope & Goals of Ministry

    Minister to our grieving parishioners and their families by the gift of our time, hearing their thoughts, and sharing their tears

    Support and console them in their loss through prayers

    Whenever possible, members of the ministry shall personally reach out to grieving families through


  • Visit to funeral home
  • Attending the funeral
  • Sending cards and notes
  • Personal visits if requested
  • Contacts during the holidays
  • Offering grief materials and literature when possible


If you or your family member has lost someone or is grieving, please contact us if we can offer love, comfort and support to your family!

What Do I Need to do to Volunteer for this Ministry?

The St. Bart’s Bereavement Ministry invites you to offer your time and talent to reach out to parish members and their families. The ministry offers you the opportunity to grow spiritually by showing your love and compassion. Training will be provided.

 







 
Bereavement Ministry Team Member Position Description

Reports to:         Bereavement Ministry Coordinator
     

                                         General Responsibilities of Every Ministry and Committee Member:

Specific Responsibilities of Bereavement Ministry Team members

Visitation Service
When someone dies, it is hard to know what to say to comfort surviving family members and friends. As a member of St. Bart’s Bereavement Ministry Team, you will help to provide a visitation service to people who have recently experienced the death of a loved one. The Team shall schedule times to provide a ministry of presence to the grieving person or family. They do not need to find the perfect words, but they are available to listen or to hold the hand of the grieving individual.

Calls of Support
Once the flurry of funeral activity dies down and out-of-town guests go home, grieving family members and friends find themselves alone with their grief. Sometimes this period is more difficult than the initial experience of loss because it can be lonely. Bereavement ministers make a point of periodically calling to check in with church and community members who have recently experienced the death of a loved one. During phone calls, they ask how the grieving person is doing, how they are processing their loss, and perhaps offer to go out to coffee or lunch.

Maintain St. Bart’s Grief Support Group
Our Bereavement Team members are in a unique position to connect people who have recently lost loved ones with one another. During initial meetings with grieving persons, the Teams members should ask whether the grieving individuals would be interested in participating in our grief support group.

Some Activities of the Support Group shall include:
Monthly or bi-monthly meetings, depending on the Team and the needs of those we serve.
The meeting will provide a venue to educate church and community members on the grief cycle
The meeting will also provide time for sharing and listening to one another
Most importantly, it shall be an opportunity for prayer and prayerful support.
Sometimes a Team member will host the Support Group and other times we shall invite specially trained counselors to help facilitate the group.

Meals and Basic Care
Sometimes people find that tending to their basic food and household needs is too much after the loss of a loved one. Most people are able to return to much of their normal activities within a few weeks, but often they need help in the meantime. The Team members shall work with  other Ministries and Committees to coordinate church volunteers to bring meals to the grieving person, as well as provide basic light housekeeping services for a few weeks. These services allow the grieving person to focus on his grief and get through the initial crisis without having to take care of overwhelming daily tasks.

Special Activities
Attend annual parish Ministry Recollection Day
Annual Parish Ministry Appreciation Dinner
Help with Annual Stewardship Fair

Meetings
As determined by the Team

Time Commitment
Determined by each member’s availability and commitment

Expected Length of Commitment
A minimum of one year

                              General Qualifications Required of Every Ministry and Committee Member:

 Specific Qualifications Required

  • Ability to empathize with others
  • Ability to listen
  • Ability to truly care for another who is suffering



                                              Bereavement Ministry Coordinator Position Description

Reports to:         Report to Commission Chairs

General Responsibilities of Every Ministry and Committee Chairperson and Coordinator:

Specific Responsibilities of Family Ministry Coordinator

  • Provide leadership for the Ministry
  • Delegate members to various assignments, like visits, calls, meals, etc. 
  • Helps the ministry to implement its goals and objectives through planned activities 
  • Helps to discern the needs of the parish groups they serve.
  • Helps to plan activities and programs that will address such needs
  • Helps to research for resources that will benefit those they serve


Special Activities

  • Host an orientation for new Team members
  • Attend Annual parish Leadership training
  • Attend annual parish Ministry Recollection Day
  • Annual Parish Ministry Appreciation Dinner
  • Help with Annual Stewardship Fair


Time of Commitment

  • Time for meetings
  • Time dedicated to follow up on proposed activities
  • Time dedicated to actual activities and programs

              Delegate other members to certain activities.

Expected Length of Commitment
A term of 3 years, renewable.

         General Qualifications Required of Every Ministry and Committee Chairperson and Coordinator:

Specific Qualifications Required

  • Ability to lead and delegate
  • Ability to work with team members
  • Ability to empathize and to listen
  • Ability to truly care for another who is suffering


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The Church of 
St. Bartholomew
  Yonkers
A Catholic Community
In the Archdiocese of
New York