“Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
These familiar words are taken from the Beatitudes given to us by Jesus; powerful words that call us to remember those who are actively mourning the loss of a loved one, calling Christians to recognize and care for the bereaved. And though grief is a personal and intimate journey, it is also a time when the kindness, love and care of a friend and/or a community can transform the pain of loss into new found joy in life.
The process of grieving is as diverse as there are people in this world. No two people experience grief in the same way, for no two people have experienced the exact same journey in life. Family members certainly have many things in common, but each are individuals and will grieve in their own unique way. As Christians we do not define a right or wrong way to grieve, we do not put time restraints on a person’s journey to overcome their grief and we must never judge another for the path they choose as they navigate the loss of a loved one.
I have been approached by a number of adults who have lost their spouse with a request for a gathering of widows and widowers here at St. Francis Xavier. After discussing this with Fr. Tim and presenting the idea to the Pastoral Council we have decided to invite all members grieving the loss of their spouse, whether recently or years ago, an opportunity to gather and befriend one another. I have chosen the name: “Bridges” for this group as bridges support us, providing safe passage. They connect us and assist us in arriving at a new place. This is the hope for this gathering of parishioners who find themselves alone after many years of marriage.
We will begin with a very informal gathering for coffee rolls and conversation after the 8:00 am morning Mass o Thursday, September 15th in the South Room of Xavier Hall. Here we will meet one another and make plans for the future of this group; choosing a day and time to meet. I envision this group gathering once a month for cards, or board games, prayer, reflective reading and conversation. We may even plan some outings together for lunch or a movie or local theater. We can talk about that when we meet on September 15th.
Please help in spreading the good news of “Bridges” to fellow parishioners who have lost a spouse and might be interested in gathering with others. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact me at 252-1363, ext. 1103. I would welcome the conversation. As a faith community, let us pray for all who are dealing with loss and grief for in the words of Jesus, “blessed are they.”
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC