Grief as a Journey: Our Walk to Emmaus

The death of someone we have loved leads us to question life’s purpose and meaning. We find ourselves asking many questions: Where is my life headed? What is its true meaning? How do I assess the rightness of my decisions? What is real and true? When the answers are unclear, we can lose the confidence that we once had about where all this was leading us.

Grief as a Journey: Our Walk to Emmaus is a resource for parishes and other pastoral ministries within the Church, structured in a nine-week support program for those grieving a loss. Our pastoral work always includes comforting the sorrowful and assuring them that they are not alone. The two disciples on that ancient road to Emmaus did not have a known destination; in many ways the personal experience of grief is precisely like that. This program offers help, fellowship, and the support of the Church community.

This fall, three parishes within the Archdiocese will be hosting weekly seminars/support groups for those who are trying to cope with the troubling effects of grief. Participants learn valuable information that will help them heal and be with others who are able to empathize. Start dates and facilitating parishes are listed below. Please contact the parish for more information and to register.

  •  Our Lady of Perpetual Help (780-467-5470): Monday, September 18, 6:30 PM
  • St. Thomas More (Dcn. Randy 780-435-5070): Tuesday, September 26, 7:00 PM
  • Holy Trinity (Bonnie 780-960-0135): Tuesday, October 3, 1:00 PM

Information for Facilitators

Pastors and their respective pastoral teams should consult the Facilitator’s Manual and its program role descriptions when discerning whom to call into this ministry. It is anticipated that most facilitators will be drawn from those who have lived through the experience of grief, and who have integrated this experience into their own faith life in such a way that they are role models within the Christian community.

This program can be emotionally rewarding, and at the same time, very demanding for facilitators. It requires a significant amount of preparatory work time before each session.

With that in mind, it is normally suggested that facilitators, as (primarily) volunteers and peers, be exclusively involved in this ministry during the planning and conduct of the program. The program may also include paid staff members, and certainly clergy (pastors, associate pastors and deacons) depending upon their particular gifts and availability.

The program is designed to be conducted by a team (two facilitators per team at minimum.)

In addition to the initial and ongoing training requirements of the program, all facilitators must meet all of the requirements for the Save Environments and Abuse Prevention Program of the Archdiocese of Edmonton prior to any involvement with this program.


Grief Matters ™

The resources for all nine sessions include videos (DVD) from the Centre for the Grief Journey entitled Grief Matters as guide and aide to parish facilitator teams. This resource is a required element of the program, and can be sourced directly from

Grief as a Journey

The following materials are available:

Facilitator’s Manual (Printed)

Participant Journal (Printed)