As we explore sadness, depression, and grief, we who are grieving have come to know the pervasiveness of sadness within the grief journey. It is sometimes hard to believe that the intense feelings of absence, aloneness, and missing will ever lighten. What we do with these feelings is important.
Sadness is felt more strongly during the early months of grieving quite often, if not daily. Equating one’s degree of sadness with the degree of love and affection one had for the person who is no longer tangibly with us, helps us to move more easily through the depth of the sadness. Choosing to remain in the sadness for long periods of time can easily lead to a depression known to some grievers. They will visit and revisit their feelings of sadness, missing, and aloneness in order to feel closer to the person they have lost. As mentioned, remaining there is not helpful. Some feel it is a way to never forget the person lost. The truth is that forgetting persons with whom we have shared days, months, and years of our lives does not easily happen.
There will always be occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, or special family events when remembering with sadness will be felt. The consoling reality is that, in time, the sadness will lighten, as it should.
However, when the sadness, related to the losses we have faced, remains intense for long periods of time (weeks or months) it can incapacitate a person physically, emotionally, spiritually, and socially. Then depression has truly set in, that is the depression of grief. In situations like this the grieving persons will not freely admit to the degree of depression they are experiencing, but it may become evident to those with whom they live. In such circumstances there is a need for professional help. Medications, personal counseling, the support of a trusted friend or mentor, as well as a grief support group can be helpful. These interventions can prevent the grieving person from sinking more deeply into his or her sorrow, depression, or despair.
M any grieving persons are wary of taking medications like anti-depressants, sleep medications, anti-anxiety pills, etc. for fear of becoming dependent upon them, as can happen. Knowing that medications can help to take the edge off of the overpowering feelings being felt can ease the fears of addiction. It is important to realize that as the intense feelings lessen so will the need for the medications also lessen.
In truth, as helpful as medications can, be they can dampen the many feelings that accompany the grief process. Feelings like anger, guilt, regret, unforgiveness, and depression do need to be looked at, internally processed, and talked about with a trusted other so we can let them go. Blocking feelings for too long with many medications, denial, or even over-activity will certainly interfere with the healing that grief work can bring.
So, in conclusion, know that we will be sad, or maybe even depressed over the loss of someone special in our lives. Remaining in the sadness or the depression of grief for too long is certainly not helpful to grieving persons. Acquiring the assistance of a professional person can sometimes be needed. Overall, sadness is much a part of grieving a loss because we realize that we have lost someone that we have truly loved.
Breve de Duelo #17
A medida que exploramos la tristeza, la depresión y el dolor, los que sufrimos hemos llegado a conocer la omnipresencia de la tristeza en el camino de dolor. A veces es difícil creer que los intensos sentimientos de ausencia, soledad y falta de ausencia, soledad y lata de alguna vez se aclararán. Lo que hacemos con estos sentimientos es importante. La tristeza se siente con más fuerza durante los primeros meses de duelo con bastante frecuencia, si no todos los días. Al equiparar el grado de tristeza de uno con el grado de amor y afecto que uno siente por las persona que ya no es tangible con nosotros, nos ayuda a movernos más fácilmente a través de la tristeza. La elección de permanecer en la tristeza durante largos periodos de tiempo puede llevar fácilmente a una depresión conocida por algunos quejarse. Visitarán y volverán a sus sentimientos de tristeza, falta y soledad para sentirse más cerca de la persona que han perdido. Como se mencionó, permanecer allí no es útil. Algunos sienten que es forma de nunca olvidar a la persona perdida. La verdad es que olvidar a la personas que quienes compartimos días, meses y años de nuestras vidas no sucede fácilmente. Siempre habrá ocasiones como cumpleaños, aniversarios o eventos familiares especiales cuando se sentirá el recuerdo con tristeza. La realidad consoladora es que, con el tiempo, la tristeza se aligerara, como debe ser. Sin embargo, cuando la tristeza, relacionada con las pérdidas que hemos enfrentado, permanece intensa durante largos períodos de tiempo (semanas o meses), puede incapacitar a una persona físicamente, emocional, espiritualmente y socialmente. Entonces la depresión realmente se ha establecido, esa es la depresión del dolor. En situaciones como esta, las personas afligidas no admitirán libremente el grado de depresión que experimentan, pero puede ser evidente para las personas con quienes viven. En tales circunstancias se necesita ayuda profesional. Los medicamentos, el asesoramiento personal, el apoyo de un amigo o mentor de confianza, así como un grupo de apoyo para el duelo pueden ser útiles. Estas intervenciones pueden evitar que la persona afligida se hunda más profundamente en su dolor, depresión o desesperación. Muchas personas afligidas temen tomar medicamentos como los antidepresivos, los medicamentos para dormir, las pastillas contra la ansiedad, etc., por temor a volverse dependientes de ellos, como puede suceder. Saber que los medicamentos pueden ayudar a eliminar los sentimientos abrumadores que se sienten puede aliviar los temores de la adicción. Es importante darse cuneta de que a medida que disminuyen los sentimientos intensos, también disminuirá la necesidad de medicamentos. En verdad, tan útiles como pueden ser los medicamentos, pueden amortiguar los muchos sentimientos que acompañan el proceso de duelo. Los sentimientos como la ira, la culpa, el arrepentimiento, la falta de perdón y la depresión deben ser examinados, procesados internamente y discutidos con alguien de confianza para que podamos dejarlos ir. Bloquear los sentimientos durante demasiado tiempo con muchos medicamentos, rechazo o incluso actividad excesiva sin duda interferirá con la curación que puede traer el trabajo de la pena. Entonces, para concluir, sepa que estaremos tristes, o tal vez incluso deprimidos por la pérdida de alguien especial en nuestras vidas. Permanecer en la tristeza o la depresión de la pena durante mucho tiempo ciertamente no es útil para las personas en duelo. La adquisición de la asistencia de una persona profesional a veces puede ser necesaria. En general, la tristeza es una parte importante de la pérdida de un duelo porque nos damos cuenta de que hemos perdido a alguien a quien realmente amamos.
Here are some highlights from our Alumni Reunion! Thank you to all who came out to reminisce and for good times.
Our annual Father’s Day Novena will begin with the 5:00 PM Vigil Mass on Saturday, June 16th , and will conclude with the 6:00 PM Mass on June 24th. A thoughtful way to remember fathers, living and deceased, is by listing names on a Father’s Day envelope. Names will be read at each Mass that is celebrated throughout the Novena. A Father’s Day envelope is included in your regular weekly envelope packet. Addi- tional envelopes and cards will be available from the Knights of Columbus after Masses this weekend and next weekend. You may also stop by the parish office during regular business hours. A suggested offering is $5.00 per name listed.
Gearing up for summer vacation? Consider enrolling in eGiving through Faith Direct to make sure your gifts reach St. Matthias the Apostle when you cannot, and our ministries can continue uninterrupted. Visit www.faithdirect.net and use our church code: MD41. Thank you for your continued support of our parish family!
God Bless You,
What is a novena? “Nine days of public or private prayer for some special occasion or intention.” Its origin goes back to the nine days that the disciples and Mary spent together in prayer between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost Sunday.
Our novena will focus on asking God to bless our living mothers, and to grant eternal rest to our deceased mothers. The novena of Masses for our mothers will be held beginning with the Vigil Mass on May 12th through May 20th. Names of those honored or remembered will be read during the Prayer of the Faithful at each of the Masses during this nine day period.
You may pick up your Mother’s Day Novena Cards and remembrance envelopes at the parish office during regular business hours. Cards will also be available in the church vestibule after Masses this weekend and next weekend. A $ 5.00 offering is suggested for each name submitted to the novena.
The Father Albert Hughes Scholarship was established during the 45th anniversary year (2005) of the parish and in honor of our founding pastor, Father Edward Albert Hughes. Funding for this scholarship program is drawn from the annual fiscal year revenue of the “Every Penny Counts” Box in the parish church. Other donations from benefactors may be periodically received as well and these too are placed into this scholarship fund. Read more about the scholarship here.
To be considered for this scholarship, each family must have a Financial Aid application on file with TADS. All requirements listed on the application must be satisfied in order for an application to be considered. This fund is only available to students whose families are registered in this parish.
Submit this application to the rectory or school office before Tuesday, May 1, 2018 in a sealed envelope addressed:
“Personal and Confidential”
Attention: Reverend John H. Kennealy, Pastor
Father E. Albert Hughes Scholarship Application for 2018-2019
Adult Bible Study will resume on Tuesday, April 10th, at 9:15 AM in the Hughes Center. We are studying the book of Acts and we will pick up on Chapter 17. Please come and bring a friend!
Marian Devotion is held the first Saturday of the month at 12:00 PM in the church. Please join us.
The St. Matthias Prayer Group meets in the church every Sunday immediately after the 11:30 AM Mass. All are welcome.
2018 Annual Jubilarian Mass: Cardinal Donald Wuerl will celebrate the annual Jubilarian Mass honoring couples married 25, 30, 40, 50, and 51+ years on Sunday, June 17, 2018 at 2:00 PM at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Please call the parish office or use the sign-up forms in the back of church to register. Names of jubilarians need to be turned in to the parish office by Monday, April 16, 2018.
Volunteers are needed to staff the front office in the Hughes Center for 4 hour shifts once or twice a month. Please call Thad Ereme at 301-459-4814 x 207 for more information.
Members of the African Community are remind-ed to pay their annual contribution for the Mothers Day and Fathers Day celebrations. Emmanuel Amanyeiwe and Veronica Ike are collecting your contributions.
Teen Youth Ministry April Meeting: All parish teens are welcome to attend our next meeting this Sunday, April 8th, from 12:00 –2:30 PM in the Hughes Center.
The Catholic Women’s Association meets after the 11:30 AM Mass on the second and fourth Sun-days of the month.
Vigil Mass Saturday, March 24 at 5:00 PM
Mass in Spanish Saturday, March 24 at 7:00 PM
Regular Mass Schedule on Sunday March 25 at 8:00 AM, 9:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 6:00 PM
Monday, March 26 Daily Mass 8:30 AM Adoration 6:00—8:00 PM Confessions 7:00 PM
Tuesday, March 27 Daily Mass 8:30 AM
Wednesday, March 28 Daily Mass 8:30 AM Living Stations 10:30 AM
Holy Thursday, March 29
Mass of the Lord’s Supper 7:30 PM with Eucharistic Adoration Following Mass
Good Friday, March 30 Confessions 10:00 AM-12:00 PM Stations of the Cross 12:00 PM Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion with Veneration and Holy Communion 7:30 PM
Holy Saturday, March 31 Blessing of Food and Baskets 12:00 PM Easter Vigil 8:00 PM (No 5:00 PM or 7:00 PM Masses)
Easter Sunday April 1 Masses at 8:00 AM, 9:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 1:30 PM (Spanish) (NO 6:00 PM Mass)
Grief Brief # 16
As we begin a new grief message this month our focus will be on how children face losses and how they express their grief.
A number of people believe that babies and small children are unaware of a loss that occurs within a family. This is not totally true. Although they don’t understand the concept of death and the loss that ensues, they do sense that something is amiss. Their parents and others are sad , and perhaps weeping. They can easily respond to this with clinging and restless behavior.
As children enter the 2-6 year age ranges they can easily sense the absence of someone loved. They are no longer there within the family or at gatherings. They ask about the person or wait for them to be present once again. There are lots of questions that await answers on their part. They can be told that their special person had become tired, weakened, or ill and has died. They have left the family and friends for a place of rest, peace, and happiness. Children brought up in a Christian home are told that heaven in that special place. God is there, and other deceased family members are there . Their dear ones are all happy and well. It is helpful to reassure children that at some point, as their lives end, they too will be able to see and be with their special persons. This can be comforting to children.
It can be noted that parents who receive the many questions about loss and death may not be able to respond adequately to the questions asked by children. They may be heavily grieving. In which case, adult family members can offer to provide the requested information. The language needs to be simple and offered in the easiest manner possible so that responses to questions are understood. Linking sadness and others feelings of loss to the explanations being given will help children to more easily accept the feelings that they are experiencing. It might be noted that when children grieve, they do so in shorter time periods. They may ask their questions, express their sad feelings , and then be off to do a favorite activity. How different from the sustained periods of grieving that adults experience!
Adolescents, who are experiencing losses of family members or friends, react in a totally different manner. They grieve, but their grief expressions may be deeply internal or very overt. There can be enraged or have a sense of unfairness about the death, especially if it was traumatic, or perhaps marked by suicide. Grief Counselors in the school setting and anguished parents make every effort to reach out and provide comfort. Teens, however, readily turn to peers to express their feelings of loss.
The behavior of teens may express an acting out of their sense of dismay at loosing someone close to them. Behaviors may become reckless, explosive, or repressed by silence and a lack of communication. Adults can offer their presence, caring, and any signs of comfort at this difficult time. Group activities like candlelight vigils or memorial gatherings are helpful, as are offers of individual counseling by professional persons.
As can be seen, expressions of grief, related to losses experienced, will vary with the age groups of children. The support of caring adults, simple answers to questions, and the opportunity to express sad feelings in safe and sincere manners will always be helpful to children, as well as teens. Participating in memorial services and funerals will help to heal grieving hearts in significant ways. Having children participate in these rituals that mark the passage from life to death can bring healing to them, especially if they are prepared for the experience by loving and caring adults.