The Office of Evangelization and Discipleship supports parish ministry to the bereaved and the people in the Archdiocese of Atlanta whom those ministries serve by providing resource information and ministry training. Please contact us for additional information on training and resources available to parish ministry leaders.

Bereavement ministries are parish-based.  Call your parish for support from your clergy and to find out if the parish has an active bereavement ministry.  This may include funeral ministries offering practical help as well as emotional support when a loved one dies.  Some parishes offer support groups or other caring ministries for the time a loved one is dying or for help living without the one who died. If your parish does not have an active ministry, they may be able to refer you to sources of help. Click here if you need to find a phone number for a parish near you.

Online Bereavement Ministry Training

In collaboration with the Association of Catholic Mental Health Ministers (CMHM) we have updated and relaunched the bereavement training under the name of Accompanying Those Who Mourn.  You can now register for free through the CMHM’s website and this link.

Accompanying Those Who Mourn will provide the training necessary for parish or Catholic community leaders to start or further develop a bereavement ministry. The training will develop leaders’ understanding of grief and how to companion or accompany someone in their sorrow. 

This course is for those interested in beginning or improving a parish bereavement ministry, but it can also be helpful to those interested in learning more about grief and bereavement from a Catholic perspective.

Accompanying Those Who Mourn | Bereavement Minstry Training Logo

Course Highlights:

  • This course was developed by Patrick Metts, a Licensed Professional Counselor and Assistant Director of the Office of Evangelization & Discipleship in the Archdiocese of Atlanta. Additionally, Patrick received a Master of Marriage and Family Studies from the John Paul II Institute in Valencia, Spain.
  • The Companioning model of bereavement care – often we find that grief is treated from a clinical perspective or as a condition in need of treatment. However, we will find that the Companioning model of bereavement care is much more in line with our Catholic faith and one that we can all learn.
  • Bereavement care in the Catholic context – find out how bereavement care may look in a Catholic setting verses a non-Catholic or secular setting.

Course Content:

  • Utilize the book “Understanding Your Grief” by Dr. Alan Wolfelt as a basis for understanding grief and forming a bereavement ministry in your Catholic community.
  • Work through ten separate videos, packed with insightful content, and presented by Patrick Metts, LPC.
  • Take your learning and ministry deeper by diving into additional content that includes a presentation by Dr. Leonard DeLorenzo of the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame, and a video on grief in the context of dementia care.

Who should enroll?

  • Intended for individuals or groups seeking to begin or to further develop a bereavement ministry in their Catholic community.
  • Current ministry leaders who would like to develop and better their understanding of grief and how to accompany someone who has lost a loved one.
  • Someone who has lost a loved one in the past, has been through their own grief journey, and now is exploring how they might assist or help others who have lost a loved one.


Beginning Experience: Beginning Experience is a national program for adults grieving loss through death, divorce or separation. A Beginning Experience weekend, usually Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, can be very helpful for adults who are ready to come to terms with their loss and begin to move forward with their lives. The weekend is presented by teams that include clergy and people who have participated in weekends to help resolve their own loss and are now trained to lead.  Established in the 1970’s, Beginning Experience has its roots in the Catholic Church. The programs are open to people of all faiths.  Weekends are not offered in Georgia, but are available in Alabama and South Carolina. Some locations also offer programs for children. Some follow-up programs may also be available. Call 1-866-610-8877 or visit their website for scheduled dates and/or a contact person to answer your questions about what a weekend would be like.

Catholic Charities Atlanta’s Counseling Services: offers individual, couples, family, children, adolescent, and group counseling/ therapy provided by highly qualified, professional therapists.  For appointments and referrals, please call their client intake line at (404) 920-7745. (English and Espanol). Confidentiality is respected, and all faiths are welcome. A sliding fee scale is available.

Compassionate Friends: The Compassionate Friends provides highly personal comfort, hope, and support to every family experiencing the death of a son or a daughter, a brother or a sister, or a grandchild, and helps others better assist the grieving family.  Numerous chapters are located in the metro Atlanta area.

Funerals: Your parish will offer you support and assistance with funeral planning.  The Archdiocese of Atlanta’s Office of the Chancellor has also created a helpful brochure entitled We Believe in the Resurrection of the Dead: A Guide to Catholic Funerals in both English and Spanish.  For the brochure and for additional information on related topics, visit their webpage.

Holy Family Counseling Center: is currently made up of a number of Catholic therapists of varying backgrounds who have come together to offer aid to those who wish to receive counseling and psychotherapy that will not compromise their personal value system and beliefs. To learn about the therapists, please call 678-473-7972 or visit their website.

The House Next Door: The Link’s Children and Adolescents in Crisis and Grief program offers Bereavement Support Groups for Children age 4-19. Support groups are provided for children and teens who have experienced a death. A variety of therapeutic activities including music, art, play and storytelling are incorporated into the group sessions to facilitate each child’s unique process of grieving and healing. Additionally they offer Individual Counseling & Psychotherapy, Family Counseling & Psychotherapy, and Therapy Groups for Adolescents.

Rainbows: Children and youth can experience emotional healing by participating in Rainbows, a structured program with their peers led by trained adults. Rainbows is intended for children and youth who are grieving due to death, divorce or painful transition in their family (adolescent and adult programs called Spectrum and Prism are available but not as common). This is a well-established and well-researched program. Contact Jeana Griffith- Sts Peter and Paul, DeKalb, GA, 404-241-5862; Nicole John- Transfiguration Catholic Church, Marietta, GA-

Contact Information:

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