Bereavement Ministry

Bereavement Ministry provides assistance through retreats, conferences and peer support for those who have lost loved ones.

17th Annual Mission Day May 8, 2018

End of Life Conference - Moral Guidelines, Healthcare Decisions, Pastoral Care

Join us as we explore issues pertaining to end of life. Presenting the day are experts from the field including Rev. C. Ryan McCarthy, who will share the Catholic Church’s guidelines on critical end of life decisions, and Dr. Colleen C. Brown, a physician certified in family medicine and Hospice & Palliative medicine, who will compare the program benefits and patient qualifications needed for eligibility into hospice and palliative treatment programs. Melissa Wilson, MSW, LCSW will offer information on specific resources and skills which participants can share with their family, friends, community, and parish.

Concluding the day, Rev. Jim Farrell will present on the pastoral care of patients and their families facing end of life, followed by an interactive panel discussion on witness statements from parishioners who faced a loss and how they experienced the ministry of consolation in their parishes.

The Conference will be held at Our Lady of Fatima Retreat House (5353 East 56th Street, Indianapolis IN, 46226) on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm. The cost is $30, which includes lunch and materials. Register online by April 30, 2018 at, or contact Deb VanVelse 317-236-1586 or


grieving woman

Seasons of Hope - Christ Centered Grief Support

SOH is a bereavement ministry centered on Jesus Christ and grouonded in the healing wisdom, traditions, and practices of our Catholic Church. The program illustrates how to develop a faith sharing ministry for those who have lost a loved one and find themselves having difficulty moving beyond their grief. The program offers six weekly sessions exploring mourning through scripture, prayer, reflection and sharing.

If you are in need of consolation after losing a loved one, this faith sharing group and other Catholic bereavement support programs are offered at several parishes thoughout the year.

If you would like help finding support or if you would like to begin a Seasons of Hope program in your parish or deanery, please contact Deb VanVelse at or 317-236-1586.

April 2 – May 7

St. Mary, 1331 Hunter Robbins Way, Greensburg will offer a six-week evening sessions of Seasons of Hope 6:30 – 8:30 PM in St. Mary’s meeting room.  If you are in need of consolation after losing a loved one, this Christ-centered faith sharing group offers prayer, scripture, faith sharing and fellowship. Come and be comforted.

If you are interested in attending this program, please call the Parish Office (812-663-8427) and leave your name and phone number.  If possible, please register by March 23.  You are welcome to bring a friend.


monthly support groups


Hope and Healing - St. Mark Catholic Church offers a monthly support group for adults who have lost a loved one to suicide, or struggle with thoughts of suicide, or seek to understand the causes and prevention of suicide. The meetings are held the second Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. PLEASE CALL FOR MEETING LOCATION

Spread Your Wings - A children's support group, ages 9 to 17 years is held at the same time, same location, different room.

For information on either group please call Judy Proctor (317) 851-8344 or visit Hope and Healing SOS.



Come Journey with Us: You Are Not Alone

The Eastside Catholic Community: Holy Spirit ~ Little Flower ~ Our Lady of Lourdes ~ St. Philip Neri, will be sponsoring a monthly support group for those who have suffered a loss of any kind – death, divorce, job, etc. If you feel lost, alone, or wonder if what you are going through is normal, please consider this a place to be with others who face similar grief or challenges.  Meetings will be held on the 2nd Thursday of each month beginning on August 10th at Holy Spirit Parish in the Parish Center, from 7-9pm.  For more information contact Peggy Clegg at 317-357-8352 or


Training for Lay Ministers to Lead Funeral Vigil Services

Offered Periodically or upon request 

Rev. Patrick J. Beidelman, S.T.L., Executive Director of the Secretariat for Worship and Evangelization, offers a training workshop for ecclesial lay ministers to lead funeral Vigil Services in the absence of a priest or deacon. For more information please contact Deb VanVelse 317-236-1586 or




Support and Resources

State and National Resources

Indianapolis Area Resources

If you need assistance finding a support group in the Indianapolis area, or would like additional information please contact, Deb Van Velse, Divorce and Bereavement Ministries Coordinator for additional information at 317-236-1586 or

Local site Links:

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