Leaders learn to walk with those who mourn

Apr 15, 2021
Accompanying the grieving is a spiritual work of mercy. Although one can do this year round, Lent is a time of deepening this commitment to bring comfort to the afflicted. (NOELANI PARYS | FC)

ORLANDO | Loss is a key word defining the COVID-19 pandemic. Marked by quarantine and Zoom meetings, the Secretariat for Laity, Family and Life (SLFL) at the Diocese of Orlando will resume in-person Ministry Professional Gatherings for the first time in more than a year, this month. Appropriately, the topic is “Walking with Those Who Mourn”.

Director of the SLFL, Daniel Boyd noted, “I’d like to clarify and emphasize that this event is not just related to death and loss of life. It will equip ministry leaders to help people cope with any form of loss and transition in life, and the last year has been full of such experiences.”

He hopes the full-day event, April 22, hosted by staff from Catholic Charities of Central Florida Behavioral Health will provide practical knowledge and approaches to support parishioners as they mourn. “

Understanding the past year has brought on a plethora of experiences related to loss, from death to unemployment and separation of loved ones, the event is both timely and acknowledges the need to train ministry professionals in this sort of accompaniment.

Director of Children’s Ministry, John Molloy, noted several parish leaders approached him with this desire after trying to help parishioners grieving over various types of loss. “If part of our role as parish leaders is to extend the healing ministry of Jesus as laity, then we need to understand how to say, ‘rise, pick up your mat and walk’,” he said. “This journey is not one where we walk alone, but alongside other disciples and ultimately, a journey alongside Jesus— who has never left our side.”

By Glenda Meekins of the Florida Catholic, April 15, 2021