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Bereavement Support Group Facilitator Training

  • For parishioners currently working with the bereaved of a parish and/or who will be setting up a bereavement support group in the parish.
  • Participants must be invited and pre-screened by Parish Leadership or Pastoral Care Coordinator (screening material available from Pastoral Care Ministry Office)
  • Each Bereavement Support Group should have 2 Co-Facilitators; thus, we encourage 2 appropriately screened people to be registered for the training, either both from the same parish or 2 from different parishes within the same vicariate.

3 Day Training


Friday 9/10/21, Friday, 9/17/21 and Saturday 9/18/21


St. Paul the Apostle Church, 2733 Albany St., Schenectady, NY


Davia Boyle

Davia is a graduate of Maria College Bereavement Studies Program and has served as an adjunct faculty member at Maria College since 2010. She worked as a Bereavement Services Coordinator for a local funeral home for 8 years and has volunteered for Community Hospice, Wave Riders and facilitated Bereavement Support Groups, as well as workshops on grief management.

Margaret Syrett

Margaret became involved in Compassionate Friends, after the death of her son in 1980. She volunteered as a co-leader of their support groups for 22 years. She worked at Community Hospice of Schenectady as a Bereavement Coordinator for 6 years and at a local funeral home as a Bereavement Coordinator for 2 years, before retiring in 2002.


$125.00 (Includes cost of book, hand-out material, morning refreshments and lunch); please note that the fee is non-refundable unless the event is cancelled

Topics presented include:

  • Defining normal grief: grieving is natural; not grieving is unnatural
  • Identifying types of losses and factors that affect grieving patterns
  • Exploring different types of grief and when to refer to a professional or another group
  • Identifying gender differences in grieving, including styles of grieving
  • Discussing the impact of religion, spirituality and culture on grief/grieving
  • Identifying coping mechanisms and destructive ways of coping
  • Exploring the answers to “How do we Heal/Reinvest in Life?”
  • Interviewing and screening participants
  • Discussing the basics of facilitation
  • Discussing types of groups and environments, group dynamics and group processes
  • Troubleshooting and dealing with problem participants
  • Experiencing and evaluating a mock group
  • Identifying means of self-care for facilitators
  • Bereavement Resources


Training sessions include information on discernment and boundaries, group experiences, presentations, interactive exercises, prayer and reflection.

Attendance at all sessions is required for a Certificate.

Limited to 18 registrants; pre-screening and pre-registration are required.



For more information, please contact:

Harley McDevitt, Director of Pastoral Care Ministry
40 N. Main Ave., Albany, NY 12203