If you have ever lost a loved one, then you know grief and mourning is never easy, but there is hope. St. Catherine Catholic Church will host Seasons of Hope, a unique Christ-centered support group for the bereaved. This program, rooted in Catholic tradition, conveys God’s consolation through scripture, prayer, reflection, fellowship, and prayerful activities. All are welcome.

The group meets for a series of four “Seasons” with six sessions in each of the Seasons, beginning Sunday, Sept. 15 and continuing through every other Sunday. The goal is to provide a faith community setting in which the words of Jesus speak the compassion of God.

The loss of a loved one is quite often an event that is most devastating and world changing. This is a very normal occurrence, especially in the first few months after a loss. Shock, disorientation, confusion, depression and isolation are very typical responses to the death of a loved one.

Probably the hardest of these is the isolation as the bereaved person often lacks the energy for social contact. However, they also find that relationships with friends and even family members can suffer as many of us struggle to know the best ways to relate to a bereaved person. We have come to realize that these bereaved persons tend to unnecessarily feel alone in their grief, believing that their prolonged feelings of pain and hurt are signs of weakness and embarrassment.

Are you:

- Looking for friends in Christ to share in your journey of sorrow?

- Trying to figure out the meaning of your grief?

- Wanting to get on with life but haven’t been able to?

- Open to new ways of coping with your grief?

If you answered “yes” to just one of the above, then Seasons of Hope is here for you. There is no need to suffer alone anymore.

Our Lord assured us that those who mourn are blessed and that they shall be comforted. Seasons of Hope provides the bereaved with an opportunity to come together to share in God’s love. With the help of the faith community, Seasons of Hope can give voice to each person’s unique grief journey and will help each participant explore their mourning; their grief journey, through scripture, prayer, reflection activities and faith sharing. The program is centered on Jesus Christ and is grounded in the healing wisdom, traditions and practices of the Catholic Church.

Seasons of Hope bereavement groups are offered in parishes across America and abroad and, with the support of St. Catherine’s pastor, Fr. Jose Gonzalez, this program is offered at St. Catherine Catholic Church. The Seasons are independent of one another so anyone may attend any given Season. For those searching for Christ in the midst of their grief, a Seasons of Hope group is a nurturing link to the Church, the Almighty, and other people of faith who are also mourning.

Registration is now open for Season One. To register, or for more information, contact JoMarie Grinkiewicz by email at jo.marie719@yahoo.com. Please register before Sept. 15 to assure a Participant Journal is available for you. There is a $6 registration fee to cover the cost of the journal and other materials. If you are unable to pay for a journal, one will be provided for you.

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