The Bellarmine Bereavement Ministry is a ministry of compassion, solidarity and care that began in 1979. As soon as the parish is notified of a death in the community, a member of the Bereavement Ministry contacts the family to assure them that the parish is willing and available to help in all the aspects of the funeral planning. This planning can take place either at the parish or at the home of the family.
As soon as the readings and songs are chosen, this information is sent to the presider, to the music director and to anyone else who will have a role to play in the liturgy. We invite the family to write the petitions (or, at least, to give us names or ideas that can help us to formulate them). Finally, we meet with members of Bellarmine’s staff to design the program according to the desires of the family members involved.
Members of the Bereavement Team are present on the day of the funeral (and also if there is a visitation before the mass). The Bereavement Team arrives early to asist with any set up and also to coordinate with the funeral directors. The Bereavement Team also arranges flowers in the narthex for a visitation and in the sanctuary for the Mass of the Resurrection.
We greet friends and welcome them to Bellarmine Chapel, inviting them to sign the guest register. The Bereavement Team is also available to serve as acolytes, lectors, Eucharistic ministers, helping people who bring up the gifts, singing and, in any other role, that might be needed. This same team is happy to stay later for clean up. This is a ministry that operates on very little notice and typically occurs on weekday mornings.
(For more information, contact Ruth Steinhert at: firstname.lastname@example.org)