Bereavement Ministry

Ministry of Care Heart

Consolation is a beautiful word. It means “to be” (con-) “with the lonely one” (solus). To offer consolation is one of the most important ways to care. Life is so full of pain, sadness, and loneliness that we often wonder what we can do to alleviate the immense suffering we see. We can and must offer consolation. We can and must console the mother who lost her child, the young person with AIDS, the family whose house burned down, the soldier who was wounded, the teenager who contemplates suicide, the old man who wonders why he should stay alive.

To console does not mean to take away the pain but rather to be there and say, “You are not alone, I am with you. Together we can carry the burden. Don’t be afraid. I am here.” That is consolation. We all need to give it as well as to receive it.

Corporal Work of Mercy:  Bury the dead

Spiritual work of Mercy:  Pray for the Living and the Dead

The Bereavement Ministry         bereavement candles

meets on the 2nd Saturday of every month after celebrating 8:30 am Mass.  We meet in the St Luke’s Room (at bottom of steps).  It is a support group atmosphere with occasional speakers, different topics and lots of sharing. A continental breakfast is served.  Everyone and anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one is welcome and encouraged to attend.  It is an open meeting, there is no expectation of how often you will attend.  Some come every month for awhile, others only occasionally, and some only once.  We stay in touch with parishioners who have lost a loved one for a year with cards and calls.

We celebrate a Mass of Rememberance on Nov. 2nd (All Souls Day) every year.  During mass we process with candles (our loved ones’ names are on them) to the altar, have a “calling of the names (when all the names of all the deceased parishioners and names of parishioners’ loved ones who have died) are called out. It is a beautiful celebration of thanks (for the blessings of this life) and hope (for the blessing of eternal life!)

We send out letters of support and reading material 3 times during the 1st year after the death of your loved one.

The Archdiocese offers a weekend retreat called “Beginning Experience” for widowed, separated or divorced people.  There will be a 7 week course called “Copng with Life Alone” at Ascension beginning Jan 2020.  Then you are invited to attend the weekend retreat.

Contact Jean for info on registration, locale, etc
More info on Beginning Experience web site.

Perinatal Hospice and Bereavement support for miscarriages, Stillborns and newborn deaths

 Grieving Young Adults

This group is designed for young adults (ages 18-40) that have lost a loved one.  The group started meeting at Church of the Ascension in August 2015 and was initially titled “The Grief Journey: A Young Adult Grief Support Ministry.”  They now meet on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month (more details below).  If you are interested in being a part of  the group or know someone that could benefit from this ministry you can contact Marcus Kain at or head to the Grieving Young Adults Facebook page for additional information.

Holy Spirit Catholic Church (front room)    7-8:30 pm

11300 W. 103rd St.,Overland Park, KS. 66214

Click here for a conversation about the young adult grief ministry with Archbishop Naumann

A-Z How to help after the loss of a baby, any stage

The Archdiocese offers a weekend retreat called “Beginning Experience” for widowed, separated or divorced people.  Contact Jean for info on registration, locale, etc.

click here for more info: BE_logo

Click here for a   Bereavement Prayer

How to talk to children about death: Children and Death


When someone dies we celebrate a Funeral Mass, often calling it a “celebration of life”.  A life that touched others, loved others, was a parent, a child, an aunt, a grandpa, a friend, a coworker, a fellow parishioner.  Someone.  Someone with a story and a past.  But, the “celebration of life” is also, and perhaps more importantly, about the life that the person who died is now entering, an eternal, perfect  and permanent life that we are promised by our loving Father in heaven, where the veil is lifted and we can see clearly.  Where every tear is wiped away (doesn’t say we don’t cry!) and even death is no more.  So our funeral Mass is a celebration of thanks (which Eucharist means,) for the blessings of our earthly life and the blessing of eternal life!  But those of us left behind grieve and enter a new phase in our life, life without the physical presence of the person who died.  Catholics grieve with hope, though, through our many tears. Immediately, the bereaved usually have a lot of support and are very busy with arrangements and paper work and people.  The funeral Mass is planned and really expresses Jesus’ victory over death and our personal share in the resurrection.  It has special blessings and prayers but is comforting in it’s ritual and continuity.  After all this is over, everyone goes back home, resumes their “normal” life and the bereaved are left with a “new normal”. How can we support others through this difficult journey of learning how to live this new normal?  Here are some suggestions on what you can do. Always call the person who died by name.  Don’t be afraid to talk about special memories of him or her.  But more importantly, let the bereaved individual talk about the person who died.  Encourage them to do that.  Expect and and allow the bereaved to cry, be angry, and other expressions of emotion.  Don’t say ”She is being strong” when they don’t show emotion.  Being strong is being able to share and show emotion in a safe place with safe people.  Be that safe person for a friend.  It’s hard to watch someone really grieve, but it is essential to their finding the new normal.  True support does not mean that we there to cheer the person up.  Maybe the easiest way to what I just said is “listen and be present.”  You can’t say some magic words that will make the pain less.  There aren’t any.  Death hurts the loved ones left on earth.  Cliches are not helpful and often will make the bereaved feel worse. “God’s will, they are out of pain, you can have another baby” are not helpful.  The most important things we can offer the bereaved is our presence, our affection, our time and our willingness to listen.  If you have to say something, ask open ended questions about the deceased or about how the bereaved is feeling right now.  Other than that, listen!  And be prepared for the bereaved to repeat the story or memories.  That is all part of the journey to new normal.  Be prepared for silence, too. Offer and give practical assistance.  Meals that are easily frozen and heated up and come in disposable dishes are especially nice.  Especially weeks later.  Ask the bereaved what you can do to physically help, like laundry, make a bed, vacuum, cut the lawn, drive the kids.  Tiredness is a real symptom.  But the bereaved may also want to stay busy.  Ask and respect and just be there. People don’t “get over” grief.  They are forever changed and have a new normal in their life.  There is no time table.  There is no predictable way or time table for them to reconcile this new normal into their lives.  And you can remind them they aren’t crazy,  they’re mourning.  Yes, even after months or years.  Unexpected tears at hearing a song, thinking you saw the bereaved, having a dream, all these things are normal. As friends or loved ones, it’s a gift  you give them to let them continue to love their deceased loved one however they need to.

Ascension has a Bereavement Support Ministry that stays in touch with our bereaved parishioners for the first year after the death and a support group that meets the 1st Saturday of the month after a Mass for breakfast, support, prayer and an occasional speaker.  Please contact jean in the office for more information

Respite Care

Ministry of Care HeartCorporal Work of Mercy:  Care for the Sick

Spiritual Work of Mercy:  Comfort the Afflicted/To pray for the Living and the Dead

respite            RESPITE CARE
Respite is a rewarding ministry giving companionship and care to a homebound person; while allowing their caregiver some much needed time away. Men and women are needed to become volunteers. Volunteers serve in their own parish. You must go through training prior to becoming a volunteer. If you are a care giver or are ill and could use a volunteer, or if you would like to become a volunteer, please contact Mary Ann Woodward  @ or 897-3258 or Jean in the office.

 Click here for an inspiring story! :Help make the world a little kinder and more compassionate by reading this

Eucharistic Ministers-Homebound, Assisted Living and Hospital

Ministry of Care Heart

Spiritual Work of Mercy: Pray for the Living and the dead

Corporal Work of Mercy:  Care for the SickCommunion

We provide prayers and Holy Communion at least 2 times a week in all of the assisted living facilities within our borders and to the homebound. One of our priests visits to celebrate Mass or Sacrament of the Sick every other month, and  we try to gather the residents who are our Parishioners once a week for a communal prayer service with Holy Communion.

We offer Holy Communion daily at St Luke’s South.

We are in need of EMHC’s to help with assisted living facilities, homebounders and hospital. We seek out our Parishioners and provide a prayer and distribute Holy Communion. Historically we each take the same day of the month (for instance the 2nd Tuesday)and that stays the same every month.  Some choose to serve more than 1 day a month.

We NEED you!


If you tell me when you are available, I will slot you in.  The greatest part of this ministry is it flexible as to time.  Sundays are pretty routine, but you could do Sat.  I will hook you up to shadow someone.  If you want something place specific like ONLY HOMEBOUND or a specific assisted living or only hospital, tell me that too.  Thanks!  Jean

All of these day slots are one on one visits with our Parishioners, which means you can go at your convenience anytime during your slotted day.  And the day you go on is not written in stone.  The facilities have a binder with the list of Parishioners and their room numbers at the front desks.  Please contact Jean in the office if interested in this very rewarding outreach.  If you have children, this could be a lovely family activity.  If another day fits your schedule better I will “team you up” with the other EMHC going and you can split the load!  Contact Jean in the office for more info.  You must be a commissioned EMHC at Ascension to participate in this ministry.  Next training/commissioning is TBA

If you can help in this ministry, contact Jean in the office for open slots.

Covered In Prayer

Covered in prayer picMinistry of Care Heart  Covered in Prayer

Work of Mercy: Comfort the Sick

Covered in Prayer  

is the “blanket making” ministry of Church of the Ascension.  We gather one time a month (on the 4th Thursday of the month) to make blankets, talk and generally enjoy each other while we sew.  Bring your machine! You can come and just get material and take it home or you can learn how to make the blankets! We have people willing to teach you! We send over 150 blankets a year to our parishioners who are ill or hurting, along with friends and family members of parishioners, so we need LOTS of sewers!!!.  You don’t have to be an expert sewer (they let me come!). If you are looking for a family or “kid friendly” activity, we also need flannel blankets that we supply to troubled youth in facilities around our Parish  (Come to the Rosary at 6:30 first!!)  We meet in the St Luke’s room!

Questions: or  If someone you know could use a blanket, contact Jean in the office.  We send the blanket and a note and people LOVE them!

Another way to share your knitting talents is to make little cradles for a ministry to parents who have miscarried: Bridget’s Cradle !  And we have donated yarn!

For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

-Psalm 139:13-14

Bridget's Cradle

Join us for the Rosary prior to our meeting, beginning at 6:30 in Church.  Covered in Prayer meeting follows in the St Luke Room.

Contact Jean Hinman with any questions or for additional information at 681-3348 x131




Christmas Caroling

Christmas Caroling

GFile:Youth Choir in Healdsburg.jpget a bunch of friends together and go “sing some joy” this Christmas season.

Pick an evening then contact Jean in the office for names of bereaved or ill parishioners and spread some JOY!

The parishioners we visit LOVE THIS!!

AND you can go to Villa St Francis on Christmas Day, in mid afternoon to sing with the residents!  Beautiful, fun, and BLESSED experience for the whole family!

Let Jean  (in the office) know if you are interested…


Addiction Support

Ministry of Care Heart

Corporal Work of Mercy: Care for the Sick

Spiritual Work of Mercy:  All of them?

Click here for a Catholic Website on 12 steps

Click here for info on older adults and alcohol use/

Periodic support and educational meetings for help

AA- Sunday, 1:00-2:00pm / Wednesday, 7:00-8:00pm St John’s Room: (Farthest door to South and west of Church)

Al Anon- Sunday, 4:00-5:00pm  St John’s Room HELP IS OUT THERE!   Does someone you know drink too much or have a drug problem?  Help IS available by calling 816 471-7229 for ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS meeting or 816 531-2250 for NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS meeting.  Or you can ask for the family support groups called AL-ANON, ALATEEN, or NAR-ANON at 913 384-4653. Or the following web site:

Why do people take drugs?

In general, people begin taking drugs for a variety of reasons:

  • To feel good. Most abused drugs produce intense feelings of pleasure.  This initial sensation of euphoria is followed by other effects, which differ with the type of drug used.  For example, with stimulants such as cocaine, the “high” is followed by feelings of power, self-confidence, and increased energy.  In contrast, the euphoria caused by opiates such as heroin is followed by feelings of relaxation and satisfaction.
  • To feel better. Some people who suffer from social anxiety, stress-related disorders, and depression begin abusing drugs in an attempt to lessen feelings of distress.  Stress can play a major role in beginning drug use, continuing drug abuse, or relapse in patients recovering from addiction.
  • To do better. The increasing pressure that some individuals feel to chemically enhance or improve their athletic or cognitive performance can similarly play a role in initial experimentation and continued drug abuse.
  • Curiosity and “because others are doing it.” In this respect adolescents are particularly vulnerable because of the strong influence of peer pressure; they are more likely, for example, to engage in “thrilling” and “daring” behaviors.

So how do I resist peer pressure and live my life in a healthy, smart and uncomplicated way that helps ME be the best I can be?!

Peer pressure will be a fleeting thing in our lives. Peer pressure is largely about insecurity and a desire for acceptance for all involved. Most people eventually realize that intimidating others to feel important is manipulative and immature. Those who have been followers will usually realize it is more important to make their own decisions and be their own person than to be controlled by someone else. We must not give in to peer pressure, whatever the situation. Standing up for what we believe and what the Bible teaches will please God.

Throughout history, those who have been unafraid to stand on unpopular beliefs have been the ones to change the world and make things happen. There is so much in this world that we need to change, and so many people who need to be told about Christ. Letting other people decide what we do and how we behave is exactly what Satan hopes we will do; if we never stand up for what is right because of peer pressure, we are actually standing up for what is wrong.

Choose a Path

The following video illustrates a realistic scenario in which teens might be confronted with a decision about whether to abuse prescription drugs.
How It Works  : Click here for a choices video

First, a video clip sets up the scenario. At the end of each scene, viewers are asked to choose between two different paths. After viewers make their selection, the chosen scenario plays out. The video can be restarted to explore the outcomes of different decisions.

Why are Drugs so Hard to Quit?


In addition the following materials are available at no charge from the National Catholic Council on Alcoholism and Related Drug Problems:  “Prayers for the Addicted Persons and Their Loved Ones”, Serenity Prayer Bookmarks, Spirituality and Recovery from Addictions, “When They Won’t (or Can’t) Quit Alcohol or Drugs. 1 800 626-6910  or check out their web site:  Council on addictions

IS YOUR CHILD VISITING STRANGE AND EXOTIC PLACES ONLINE?? Cyber Dangers are EVERYWHERE!  Our primary concern as parents is safety.  Find practical steps to protect computers, cell phones, and wireless devices along with positive resources about love and sexuality to help your family (and marriage) thrive at arch kck

Web sites for alcoholics anonymous and Al Anon:  click here

Effect of addictions on your marriage:  Addictions are often ruinous to a marriage1

Enabling behaviors:  The Enabler

PARENTS 1. Remember our adolescent children are watching us.   Be a good example!

2. At adolescent events, should the adults be drinking alcohol?

3.Get to know your son or daughters friends and their parents.

4. Develop a code to get your son or daughter out of a bad situation.

5.Really question if sleep overs are necessary in the teenage years, especially those last minute sleep overs.(The Johnson county DA’s office reports more problems reach his desk that started with a sleep over.)

6.The average age of first drink in Johnson County is 13!!

7.Drinking before twenty-one is illegal and not a right of passage. The adolescent brain is still developing and in some cases the prefrontal lobe is not fully developed until age 25. Give them time to grow up.

8.Talk to your children about drugs and alcohol.

9.Grab and hug your kids even if they act like you’re smothering them.  A parents love is what they need.

10. Pray! These are hard years because your child is discovering who they are and there will be difficult moments, but be there for them as a teacher of their faith.

Safe Home

Ministry of Care HeartSAFEHOME’s Mission is to break the cycle domestic violence and partner abuse for victims and their children by providing shelter, advocacy, counseling, and prevention education in our community.


24-Hour Crisis Hotline:913.262.2868

Administrative Phone Number: 913.432.9300

All SAFEHOME services are free and confidential

SAFEHOME is the only accredited provider of shelter and comprehensive support services for victims of domestic violence in Johnson and Miami Counties, Kansas. At the shelter, SAFEHOME offers counseling and services to help victims of domestic violence and their children heal emotionally and physically, find employment and housing, and successfully transition to emotional and financial independence. Outreach Counseling offers support to individuals and families not living at the shelter and to those who are participating in SAFEHOME’s Transitional Living Program. SAFEHOME also provides community education and prevention, legal services provided by an on-site, licensed attorney and on-site advocacy at the Johnson County District Court and all local hospitals.

IHN – Interfaith Hospitality Network

Ministry of Care HeartSocial Concerns

Johnson County Interfaith Hospitality Network, Inc.

Corporal Work of Mercy:  Shelter the Homeless,/Feed the Hungry

Johnson County Interfaith Hospitality Network, Inc.

**Annual Dinner and Auction coming soon at the Overland Park Convention Center.  contact Ellen Johnson (685-2040)  (Ascension sponsors a table)

Come and get trained so you can meet, work with and assist the homeless in Johnson County.  Learn more about IHN at their website.

Next opportunity to help:   early Summer

Call Dorothy or Dave Long to help (if you’ve been through training ) or to bring food:  681-1289

A Community Response for Homeless Families”Empowering homeless families by engaging people of faith”

 The people are housed in different churches around the area. The requirements include rigorous education and strict behavioral expectations.  While Ascension does not host the families, we take two evenings and nights in the week that Olathe Bible Church hosts, which is once a quarter. We provide supervision through the evening until morning, meals, snacks and transportation. Training required to provide supervision, (offered several times a year) and help is also needed with providing meals and snacks.  Johnson County Interfaith Hospitality Network, Inc. is a nonprofit organization serving homeless families in Johnson County, Kansas.  Our mission is to unite and enable the faith community to provide homeless families with emergency shelter and meals, as well as compassionate assistance with social services, and relationships with caring people in the faith community.  We hope to return the homeless families to a renewed sense of dignity and hope, and independent living in the shortest time possible. Contact Dorothy or Dave or Ellen with questions.

Hillcrest Transitional Apartments

Ministry of Care HeartHillcrest’s websiteSocial Concerns

Corporal Work of Mercy:  Shelter the Homeless

Spiritual Work of Mercy:To instruct the ignorant ; To counsel the doubtful;To comfort the afflicted; To pray for the living and the dead.

Family Friendly Opportunities:


    We need volunteers to help us with the thrift store:

Cleaning and repairing furniture
Working with electronics and appliances
Driving a box truck to pick up donations
Sorting, cleaning, and pricing incoming donations
Stocking shelves
Merchandising and displaying
… And MORE!

Training is available! We welcome your service one time, weekly, or daily. We welcome you on your own, with a friend,
with your family, or with a group! Only certain volunteer roles
require committed scheduling.

To volunteer, contact Gayle Brunson at
or call (913) 808-5360.

Ascension sponsors 2 apartments (ONE NEW APARTMENT IN JO CO!) through this Kansas City area charity. We restock the apartments when the families graduate. We also sponsor several families for their Christmas needs through the Angel Tree at Ascension. We also help with monetary needs .

Hillcrest Transitional Housing offers homeless families, singles & youth a disciplined educational program within a caring, supportive environment. Unlike many organizations whose focus is one-time or emergency care, Hillcrest’s primary objective is to move clients from homelessness to self-sufficiency within 90 days by addressing the total life situation of the homeless families they serve. Hillcrest also provides a transitional housing program for homeless teens and young adults, ages 16-21, who have an educational goal. This unique program offers housing & supportive services for up to 24 months.

In exchange for rent/utility-free housing, aduts are required by written agreement to find full-time employment, obey program guidelines and attend weekly volunteer-taught classes in life skills, employment, community living and budgeting. Hillcrest also provides to clients in the transitoinal housing programs the following, through a network of community support: auto repair/donation, food pantry, medical assistance, dental work, GED classes, haircuts, glasses, school clothes, work uniforms, etc.  Always looking for volunteers to teach classes!

Questions: Jean in the office 

Habitat For Humanity


Corporal work of Mercy:  Shelter the HomelessHabitat June 20 build on faithpub

Ministry of Care HeartWhatsoever you do to the least of My people,Social Justice pubSocial Concerns
that you do unto Me.


Plan to help once we have some dates.  No construction experience needed.  Must be 18 or older and PREREGISTERED.  Contact our Ascension chairman:  Greg 780-5889

Waiver and Release Form Adult Build-ReStore (2):  must have for every build!

Call Joe to sign up your volunteers.      913-238-6501.


Heartland Habitat Direct Link

  listed below upcoming events that you might be interested in.


.How your support helps families:

Decent, affordable housing dramatically changes a family’s life:

  • The cycle of poverty is broken
  • Health, physical safety and security improve
  • Educational and job prospects increase
  • A sense of stability and dignity grows
  • Money is freed up for other essential needs

Information About Habitat For Humanity:

Habitat for Humanity’s mission is to build simple, decent homes and communities in partnership with God’s people in need all over the world using volunteer labor and donations. In fact, Church of the Ascension volunteers have been helping Heartland Habitat for Humanity to build decent homes and communities right here in Kansas City for the past several years, primarily in Wyandotte and Johnson County, KS.

Volunteering With Habitat For Humanity:

Volunteers drive Habitat for Humanity and people from all walks of life and ages are welcomed. Don’t have construction experience or building skills? No worries. There are many different ways to help out. You can help build homes, beautify neighborhoods by cleaning them up, volunteer at one of the Heartland Habitat ReStores, assist in the office, or even serve on committees and help with special projects that benefit the organization. Time commitments vary; some dedicate every day of the week. Others spend just a few hours each year. As a volunteer for Heartland Habitat for Humanity, you choose. All positions are a tremendous help that result, directly or indirectly, in the construction or repair of simple, decent and affordable homes and communities.


  • What to bring: Work clothes (long pants, work boots/shoes, work gloves, sun screen, tool belt/tools if you have them)
  • Volunteer Opportunities: Framing, installing siding, installing shingle roofing, installing sheetrock, electrical work, plumbing, painting, cleanup, landscape planting, general assistance, etc.
  • Must be 16 years or older and pre-registered (contact Greg Malmgren to do so)

To donate or shop for construction materials:

Heartland  Restore
9850 W 87th St
Overland Park, KS 66212
Phone: (913) 648-6001

Greg Malmgren, Chairperson
Social Concerns Ministry / Habitat for Humanity