New grief program will serve entire diocese

Catholic Family Services (CFS) will begin offering a new grief program called “Grief Share” this September. This is a world-wide Christian-based program designed for adults and presented in church settings.

This support group combines educational videos, a workbook and time for discussion. It will be offered three times a year and will be presented over 11 weeks each time.

Mary Weber, interim clinical director of CFS, says the program blends professional education with time for small group sharing and reflection. They hope it will allow more people around the diocese to get the grief counseling they need.

“CFS realizes not all people can drive to Sioux Falls for a grief support group,” Weber says. “The Grief Share model allows CFS to show the videos remotely via Zoom to rural parishes the same nights the group is offered in Sioux Falls.”

To get parishes ready, CFS will offer training to an identified group leader in the parish prior to the session beginning and then offer ongoing support after. At each session, each parish with a group participating will watch the video through a Zoom call. When the video and Zoom call are over, each group will host their own small group discussions in their parishes.

This program will also allow for smaller breakout discussion groups according to the participants particular loss, such as loss of a spouse, child, parent or sibling.

Weber has walked through the program and talked to others who have used it. She says the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

“I appreciated the blending of faith and grief. It’s an opportunity to reach more of our parishioners than ever before throughout our diocese,” Weber says. “No one needs to grieve alone and this program allows a space and format to support one another as people walk their grief journey.”

The first offering of the Grief Share program will begin Tuesday, September 15 and continue for 11 weeks. Cost of the program is free.

For more information, contact CFS at 605-988-3775 or 1-800-700-7867.