The St. Thomas the Apostle Bereavement Ministry
Purpose: To provide support for adults grieving the loss
of a loved one through a variety of ways.
How is support given?
Monthly Support Groups
10 week New Day Program
Good Grief Seminar
Through the above venues, the Bereavement Ministry seeks to provide a safe place where the bereaved can gain an understanding of the grief process, have the opportunity to talk through their experiences, and explore their thoughts and feelings with others who are also grieving the loss of a loved one. Doing so will assist the bereaved in working through their grief on their journey to healing so that they will be able to enjoy a happy and productive life with memories of their loved one.
Monthly support groups meet during the day and evening in the Parish Center at St. Thomas the Apostle Church and through Zoom Virtual Meetings. Please check with the Pastoral Care Office (203-888-2382 x104) for dates and times.
The New Day Program is a structured 10 week program using the book, “The New Day Journal “ written by Mauryeen O’Brien. Through reflections, readings, journaling, and sharing, participants work through the grieving process. The New Day Program gives participants the tools to move through their grief. It gives them a way to understand, accept and move toward a life without their loved one; a life where they can be happy and satisfied.
The Good Grief Seminar is a prelude to New Day. It is a power point presentation describing the many facets of the grief process followed by a question and answer period.
St. Thomas the Apostle has trained
Carol Flament (Retired)
New Day Bereavement Program
St. Thomas the Apostle Church Parish Center
Congratulations to Carol Flament on the publication of her new book,
Carol has facilitated bereavement support groups here at St. Thomas for over 20 years.
Carol holds an M.S. in Educational Research and was trained to facilitate bereavement groups by Sister Mauryeen O’Brien, author of the New Day Journal.
A former adjunct professor for a course titled “Death, Dying and Bereavement,” she has always loved interacting with people and helping them work through their challenges. With this handbook she hopes to reach out to others who may also be interested in helping the bereaved.
What have past participants said about their experiences
with the bereavement ministry?
"I found the New Day Program to be exactly what it was intended to be...a JOURNEY from grief to healing. It allowed time for the person grieving to do just that - without judgement from others, but rather with much love and support from complete strangers who could identify with my needs. Each week's meeting became: "a place to listen, yet be heard." "a place to cry, yet also laugh." "a place to find peace, yet never be over your loss." "a place to create lifelong friendships." I recommend taking the time for YOU as you work through this process."
"I am grateful for the Grief Group. They helped me grieve and heal with the death of my parents. I spread the good news of the Grief Group how wonderful they are and how it is to go through the grieving process with others."
"Thank you for talking when we were all crying, thank you for listening when we were all sharing, thank you for your patience, understanding and compassion."
"Thank you Grief Group for helping me through those dark times."
St. Thomas the Apostle Church has an extensive bereavement library. It is open from 9:30-2:00pm Monday through Friday for all parishioners and participants of the bereavement support groups. If you would like a book reserved and cannot come during the open hours, please contact Maryjane at 203-888-2382 ext 104 to make arrangements.
“Those of us who are strong and able
in the faith need to step in and
lend a hand to those who falter …
Each one of us needs to look after
the good of people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help.”
~ Romans 15:1-2 MSG
In this season of thanksgiving and gratitude we thank
Carol Flament. Over twenty years ago a call went out at St. Thomas the Apostle Church. “There is need for a bereavement ministry. Can anyone help?” Carol was one of those fine, unselfish people who stepped forward to begin a new ministry that would provide help and support to those grieving the loss of a loved one.
Carol has been a driving force as a lead facilitator in this ministry. With a sympathetic ear, an encouraging word and a warm hug she has been a friend and mentor to many, many people suffering the tragic loss of a loved one not only within our Church community but neighboring towns.
This month, after over twenty years Carol is stepping away from the Bereavement Ministry to pursue other interests. You will be missed, Carol. You have used countless opportunities within this Ministry to share a kind word and lend a helping hand. Thank you. We wish you well in your new pursuits.