You Are Not Alone
Catholic Charities Bereavement Support Groups create a ‘sacred space’ to grieve
Grief is a deeply emotional journey. A special song, tender memory or approaching anniversary can trigger a range of feelings: sadness, anger, guilt, regret, relief. It is the language of grief. And those who walk this jagged path speak it best.
No one has to make this journey alone. Catholic Charities Bereavement Support Groups comfort and guide those who mourn a spouse, child, sibling, parent or best friend.
“There is support knowing you are not by yourself,” says Judy Nelson, who is community outreach coordinator at the Salem district office. She facilitates support groups that meet at St. Anne Parish in Hampstead. While she and other Parish & Community Services trained staff lead the groups, Nelson says it is the support that members provide each other that makes the real difference. They create a sacred space in which they can tell their stories, knowing they will be heard with open hearts and compassion.
“They help each other the best,” Nelson explains. Great comfort comes from having an understanding person walk with you on the road to healing.
Grieving is different for everyone. Some people participate in one group; others remain longer.
“They will walk away knowing they are in a process,” Nelson says. “And they will move through that process at some point and find that new normal. Most people do.”
Sister Helene Higgins, community outreach coordinator at the Rochester district office, facilitates Bereavement Support Groups on a regular basis at various Seacoast area parishes.
“The thing that helps people in all walks of life and in all stages of life is presence,” Higgins explains. “You are aware that they’re suffering and you are willing to be present to them, to listen to their suffering. In grief, many people walk away because they’re afraid.”
The Berlin district office will start a Bereavement Support Group this September. “It is critical to know that you are not alone. The world ends up stopping for you, and yet it doesn’t for everyone else,” says Nicole Plourde, community outreach coordinator who facilitates the Berlin groups.
For more information, please call Judy Nelson at the Salem district office, 603-893-1971; Sister Helene Higgins at the Rochester district office, 603-332-7701; or Nicole Plourde at the Berlin district office, 603-752-1325.
Substance use counseling programs start in Exeter, Nashua
You have children, spouses, siblings and friends who use opioids or other drugs and you don’t know what to do.
Catholic Charities Counseling Services’ new Substance Use Services program in Exeter and Nashua offers individual counseling and, for those who have been drug free for 30 days, group relapse prevention therapy. Because of you, people recovering from drug or alcohol use will find a master licensed alcohol and drug counselor (MLADC) at both sites ready to help.
Catholic Charities collaborated with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Exeter to launch a substance use counseling program at the Society’s center on April 3. Exeter Police and Exeter Hospital support this project to create an Exeter-based facility to serve area residents.
“It is part of the mission of Catholic Charities to move lives forward, and we are excited to join St. Vincent’s in reaching out to those in need of addiction services,” said the Rev. John J. Mahoney Jr., who is director of clinical services at Catholic Charities Counseling Services and a licensed mental health counselor.
A counselor staffs the Exeter facility and the Nashua district office. The counselor offers intake, assessment and referrals to treatment, one-on-one counseling, and relapse prevention group therapy for those in early recovery.
Counseling Services saw increased demand for direct care services following its “Families Coping with the Opioid Crisis” presentations that began last fall. About 150 people attended the five parish-based programs to date. Some people sought individualized counseling for themselves or loved ones afterwards.
2nd annual Lip Sync Battle at The Shaskeen in Manchester
Event will be Tuesday, Aug. 8
Get ready to rock Manchester at Catholic Charities’ 2nd annual Lip Sync Battle on Tuesday, Aug. 8. Join us for another terrific night of music, dancing and fun starting at 7 p.m. at The Shaskeen Irish Pub and Restaurant at 909 Elm St. in downtown Manchester.
Contestants rocked last year’s competition as they lip synced tunes by their favorite artists. This year’s event promises to be even better. Don’t miss out on the fun. A $10 cover gets you into the party. Grand prize goes to the contestant who raises the most money from crowd funding or online.
Proceeds go to a great cause: Catholic Charities prevents child abuse, provides skilled counseling to those struggling with drug and alcohol use, comforts the elderly, and teaches skills to break the cycle of poverty.
Too shy to lip sync? Support your favorite contestant or join us as a sponsor!
Check out cc-nh.org/lipsync to buy tickets or sign up as a contestant or sponsor. Contact Hannah Halle at 603-663-0213 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Watch for updates on Faceboook or Twitter.
21st Annual St. Charles 5K is Sept. 4
Pre-registration closes Aug. 31
Looking for a charity worth running for? Here’s the 5K for you. Join us at our 21st annual St. Charles 5K on Labor Day, Sept. 4.
The road race is flat, fast and fun for all ages and abilities. It starts at 9 a.m. at Martin’s Point at the Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth. A free Children’s Fun Run, raffle, food and other activities follow the race.
The Daughters of Mary Mother of Healing Love, better known as the “Running Nuns,” started the race in 1997. The nuns knew running is an effective tool to channel anger, frustration and build self-esteem in children from troubled backgrounds. Some of the children and nuns – in full habit – ran in the first race.
All proceeds from the race benefit St. Charles Children’s Home, which provides education for children with behavioral, emotional and social needs so they can successfully integrate back into their school systems.
Please join us for a great race suitable for skilled runners as well as children, families and walkers. Pre-registration closes Aug. 31. First 600 registered runners receive a free T-shirt. The course is USATF certified and professionally timed. Cash awards.
For more information or to register, see runningnuns.com.
You Came Through Every Time
Donors support Catholic Charities
Keith and Joyce Koerber believe in giving back to their community, both locally and globally. When the Koerbers decided to increase their local giving, the retired Goffstown couple knew exactly which charity would get their support.
Catholic Charities NH fit the bill on many levels. They like the way it allocates its resources and get comfort from knowing the agency guarantees donations go to New Hampshire residents who need it most.
“Catholic Charities is constantly striving to make sure they’re conscious of where resources go,” Keith said.
As a nurse practitioner for 30 years, Joyce spent many hours working with Catholic Charities’ counselors, social workers and case workers to ensure struggling people and families got services they needed to survive and thrive.
Whether she referred a pregnant teenager to Catholic Charities’ pregnancy and parenting education program, OUR PLACE, or contacted the local Parish & Community Services office to help a client who was struggling financially, Joyce said Catholic Charities came through every time.
“We called them for help and they never worried about someone’s religion,” Joyce explained. “The common thread every time was their sense of service. They were doing it because they love to do it. They were always caring and thoughtful.”
A recent tour of OUR PLACE affirmed their long-term support of Catholic Charities.
“Being able to see the work being done for our community made us more aware and even more dedicated to giving,” Joyce said.
The Koerbers and you move lives forward.
Your gift helps those struggling with substance use disorder, creates life plans, and supports the elderly. Because of you, families get stronger and people find hope.
A Prom for the Ages
Residents of Mt. Carmel Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Manchester celebrated a special evening: a Senior Prom.