Loss & Bereavement

National Catholic Ministry to the Bereaved



Alive Alone: An organization for the education and charitable purposes to benefit bereaved parents, whose only child or all children are deceased, by providing a self-help network and publications to promote communication and healing, to assist in resolving their grief, and a means to reinvest their lives for a positive future:



AARP Grief and Loss Page: Offers articles on bereavement as well as information on finances, paperwork, and other practical issues which bereaved persons often face; http://www.aarp.org/families/grief_loss/


Ave Maria Press: Offers many pastoral and religious ministry books and items, including bereavement resources: 800-282-1865 x1 or [email protected] or http://www.avemariapress.com/


CareNotes: Sells "CareNotes" booklets and other good, well-written resources which mainly help people deal with grief and illness; 1-800-325-2511 or www.carenotes.com


The Centering Corporation: Many good books and other resources on grief and bereavement; dedicated to providing education and resources for the bereaved: 1-866-218-0101 or http://www.centeringcorp.com


The Compassionate Friends: A national nonprofit, self-help support organization that offers friendship, understanding, and hope to bereaved parents, grandparents and siblings; offers much helpful information and online support groups: 1-877-969-0010 or [email protected] or http://www.compassionatefriends.org/


The Dougy Center for Grieving Children and Families: Provides support and resources for children, teens, young adults, and their families grieving a death, and an interactive search engine for grief support centers near you; http://www.dougy.org/


Grief Digest: published by The Centering Corporation (see above); quarterly magazine supporting grieving people and caregivers: 1-866-218-0101 or http://www.centering.org/index.php?page=book&id=51 or http://griefdigestmagazine.com/


Grief Healing: Website offering information, comfort and support to the bereaved; also offers online e-mail courses about grief: http://www.griefhealing.com/


GriefHelp: Website offering a free downloadable grief resource guide titled "Road to Recovery"; http://www.griefhelp.org/

GriefWorks: Offers training, workshops, consulting, articles, and many suggested resources for the bereaved: 843-281-4232 or [email protected] or http://www.griefworks.com

In-Sight Books: Offers grief books and other resources, as well as resources on elder care transition; 800-658-9262 or http://www.insightbooks.com/

Living With Loss Magazine: A magazine with articles, stories, and poems by the bereaved for the bereaved; also offers booklets, books, cards, and other helpful materials; 1-888-604-HOPE (4673) or http://www.bereavementmag.com/

National Catholic Ministry to the Bereaved: Goals: to offer spiritual support and the healing comfort of God to all who mourn a loss through death; to develop and provide the resources and training programs to support ministries of consolation; and to increase networking, collaboration, and partnering with ministers of consolation, parishes, dioceses, and national organizations 314-638-2638 or http://www.griefwork.org/

New Hope: Offers many resources and book suggestions, especially for widows and widowers; http://www.newhope-grief.org/

Pauline Books & Media: Offers many excellent books on various subjects, including bereavement and grief; 617-676-4458 or 1-800-836-9723 (ordering from a parish) or http://www.pauline.org/

Rachel’s Vineyard: Offers weekend retreats for healing after abortion in locations throughout the world, year-round. This site also offers many good resources, books, etc. for the bereaved: http://www.rachelsvineyard.org/

Survivors of Suicide (tri-state Delaware Valley area): Offers information, resources, and local support group information for those in this area who have lost a loved one to suicide; 215-545-2242 or [email protected] or http://phillysos.tripod.com/ ; national website: http://www.survivorsofsuicide.com/

WidowNet: Online information and self-help resource for, and by, widows and widowers. Topics covered include grief, bereavement, recovery, and other information; also includes many good practical links of interest to widow(er) for things like finances, taxes, and legal issues: http://www.widownet.org/

YoungWidow: Offers resources, bulletin board, information on finding a support group, and general forum for widows and widowers; http://www.youngwidow.org/


Specific Recommended Books and Resources:

The Bereavement Ministry Program: A Comprehensive Guide for Churches


; Excellent binder/workbook delineating exactly how to start a bereavement ministry at your church, with specific guidelines and numerous helpful handouts. To obtain: 800-282-1865 x1 or


Catholic Etiquette for Funerals


, by Kay Lynn Isca (Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, 2003; includes worksheet in back for helping plan vigil services and funeral liturgies). To obtain: 1-800-348-2440 or


A Catholic Funeral


, by Patricia Rice (Liguori, MO: Liguori Publications, 2005); Excellent booklet with each part of the funeral preparations and funeral itself explained, with explanation of what roles family members and friends can perform, with good worksheets in the back to help plan each part of the services and funeral; To obtain: 1-800-325-9521 or


An Empty Cradle, A Full Heart: Reflections for Mothers and Fathers after Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Infant Death


, by Christine O’Keeffe Lafser (Chicago: Loyola Press, 1998); Beautiful little book offering individual small reflections and scripture passages for and from both mothers and fathers on the experience of the loss of a baby; To obtain: 800-621-1008 or


A Grief Observed


, by C.S. Lewis (New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2001 [originally written 1961]); Classic biographical account of this famous Christian author’s personal grief journey after his beloved wife Joy died of cancer. To obtain: www.amazon.com or Pauline Books: 617-676-4458 or 1-800-836-9723 (ordering from a parish) or


Grieving with the Help of Your Catholic Faith


, by Lorene Hanley Duquin (Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, 2006); To obtain: 1-800-348-2440 or


A Ministry of Consolation: Involving Your Parish in the Order of Christian Funerals


, by Mary Alice Piil, Joseph DeGrocco, and Rose Mary Cover (Collegeville, MN: 1997); Workbook on how to set up a bereavement/funeral ministry at one’s parish; To obtain; 1-800-858-5450 or


Order of Christian Funerals


(or Order of Christian Funerals, Study Edition; they are both the same text, but the latter is softbound and smaller), by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, a Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences (Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1989); This is the Roman Ritual approved for use in the U.S. in 1989, with all the elements of the vigil, funeral liturgy, and rite of committal; To obtain: 1-800-933-1800 or


Preparing a Catholic Funeral


, by Rev. Kenneth Koehler (Denver, CO: Living the Good News, 2004); Excellent booklet with worksheets at the back; To obtain: 1-800-242-1918 or



Salvifici Doloris


(On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering), Apostolic Letter of John Paul II, Feb. 11, 1984; To obtain: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_11021984_salvifici-doloris_en.html for online edition, or from Pauline Books for booklet edition: 617-676-4458 or 1-800-836-9723 (ordering from a parish) or


Seasons of Hope: Creating and Sustaining Catholic Bereavement Groups


[Guidebook]; a comprehensive guidebook written by a Catholic nurse, showing how to lead bereavement support groups that are Christ-centered and which are grounded in the wisdom, traditions, and practices of the Catholic church. Utilizes four Participant Journals (sold separately), one for each six-week "season." To obtain: 800-282-1865 x1 or


Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach


, by Kathryn J. Hermes, FSP (Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media, 2003); Excellent book that proposes aspects of the Catholic tradition as a support for surviving depression, as well as giving good psychological, medical, spiritual, and practical self-care suggestions; To obtain: Pauline Books: 617-676-4458 or 1-800-836-9723 (ordering from a parish) or


Through Death to Life: Preparing to Celebrate the Funeral Mass


, by Rev. Joseph M. Champlin (Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press; 1990); Booklet which includes the various prayers, scriptural passages, and other options available for the different parts of the funeral liturgy, and a worksheet in the back to compile one’s choices; To obtain: 800-282-1865 x1 or