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Family and Respect Life Contact:

Colleen Gerke
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100 East Eighth St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202
(513) 421-3131 voice
(513) 421-1582 fax

Colleen Gerke  x 2624
Bonnie Mack x 2623
Caron Bergen x 2653

Noreen Wendeln
1436 Needmore Rd.
Dayton OH 45414
(937) 222-0227 voice
(937) 279-9482 fax

Joshua Danis
119 East Water St.
Sidney, Ohio 45365
(937) 492-4449 voice
(937) 498-1193 fax



For every rainbow to be formed, you must have rain as well as constant sunshine, for constant sunshine makes a desert.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolations, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God. 2 Corninthians 1:3-4

So many emotions; so many highs; so many lows; sadness; strength; tears; bereavement; wonder; confusion; loneliness; emptiness;  I can’t concentrate; all of these feelings and more accompany the person in the loss of a loved one.

Everyone experiences grief differently.  Some hold it in; others try to get rid of it by letting it out.  Regardless of how grief affects a person, it always hurts.  Thankfully, grief is not a permanent state, but rather a process one goes through as a means of coping with loss.

It is important to understand grief and its effects while you’re grieving.  Understanding leads to acceptance, and acceptance leads to healing.  Grieving does not make you weak.  It makes you strong.  The first step in dealing with grief is accepting its existence.  Once you’ve acknowledged its presence, you can begin getting through it.


The death of a loved one is not the only occasion for grief.  Experiencing loss is a normal part of living, and grief is the normal human response to loss.  In fact, when we experience a significant loss and don’t grieve, we can suffer emotional, physical, and even spiritual harm.

Here are some less heralded but still significant losses in daily life which may cause grief:

When people move; the loss of a job; retirement; illness; child goes off to school; divorce; loss of a home from fire, tornado, or flood; rape; and many more.


Beginning Experience for those widowed, divorced or separated:
Upcoming Weekend:
April 12-14, 2013 at Bergamo Center, Dayton
Please visit the link above or to print a downloadable PDF for registration: BE Flyer

Beginning Experience is a grief recovery weekend serving those who have lost a relationship due to death of a spouse, divorce or separation.The weekend begins on Friday 7pm, and ends Sunday, 4pm. The cost is $150 per person for those who register within 6 weeks of the program, or $175 per person for late registrants. This includes 2 nights lodging and 5 meals. A $50 non refundable deposit is due with your application. Please contact Sara Cossel at 513.684.1196 or for more information.

Please visit the link below for individual Grief Support groups for those suffering a loss of a young child, teen, parent or spouse:
St. Maximilian Kolbe – Bereavement SupportCompanions on a Journey Grief Support

Some people have a great support system with their family, friends and neighbors.  Others feel very alone and struggle daily to go on.  If you are the latter, you will probably need to seek help and counseling.
There are various places to go for help.  Your local church would probably be a good starting point.  Your parish may already have a support group or a Stephan Minister or give names of other local groups.  Funeral Homes today are offering seminars and training for bereavement and bereavement ministry.  Hospice offers before care and sometimes aftercare.  Check the internet for organizations and websites for death and various losses.  Stop at your local library and peruse the book section on grief and loss.


There is a Parish Bereavement Network, a regional group of parish leaders (north of I-275, West Chester area) who will assist a parish team in establishing a Bereavement Ministry that goes beyond preparing liturgy and providing a meal.  Contact Karen Gottschall at 513.398.3821, ext. 3112 for more information.  A number of parishes within the Archdiocese of Cincinnati have successful bereavement programs that have been in existence for a number of years.  Parishes might also consider providing a book rack in the church with Care Notes, Mental Health Brochures dealing with grief and its aftermath, Bereavement Magazines, Bereavement Care, etc.

Listed below are two excellent websites:
National Catholic Ministry to the Bereaved:
Cancer Family Care: