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Grief Ministry News and Events

Fr. Dick Celebrates 55 Years!

Fr. Richard Mevissen, CSsR celeberates 55 years as a priest; 50 years as a Redemptorist.  CONGRATULATIONS, FR. DICK !

Fr. Dick professed vows as a Redemptorist in 1961, and was ordained in 1966. He earned an MA in catechetical Theology, and did further graduate study in Religious Education. He has served as a college seminary instructor, parish priest and pastor, director of a college seminary residence, director of both a retreat center and a house of prayer, chaplain at a large Sisters motherhouse, and a member of the regional Redemptorist leadership team.


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After death, divorce or separation – the Beginning Experience

By Carol Baas Sowa
Today's Catholic

SAN ANTONIO • In 1973 a Sister of St. Mary of Namur and her friend, a divorced Catholic mother, attended a Marriage Encounter weekend in Fort Worth with the hope of developing a program for engaged couples. During that weekend, the divorcee (Jo Lamia, a former World War II WAVE whose husband’s infidelity had led to separation and then divorce) finally found healing and closure for the anger and grief brought about by the ending of her marriage years before.

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Faerie Pabich on Beginning Experience and Sr. Josephine Stewart

Participant of the very first "Beginning Experience" weekend in Texas, Faerie Pabich, shares the history of the ministry and her personal relationship with co-founder Sr. Josephine Stewart.


Faerie Pabich on Beginning Experience and Sr. Josephine Stewart. from Diocese of Knoxville on Vimeo.

Co-Founder of Beginning Experience International Ministry, Inc. passes away at age 82 in Ft. Worth, Texas

Ft. Worth, TX - Sr. Josephine Stewart died yesterday afternoon, May 8, 2014 at 3:30 p.m. after a long illness.  May her soul rest in peace.

Let us pray for Sr. Josephine and her family.  She has a sister and two surviving brothers and, of course, her congregation, the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur.  She was a member of Our Lady of Victory Center, at 909 West Shaw Street, in Fort Worth, Texas 76110.

Let us also pray for the Beginning Experience ministry, which Sister Josephine co-founded with Ms. Jo Lamia in 1974.  This ministry is alive and well today throughout the world thanks to the vision and guidance of Sr. Josephine.


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Beginning Experience Teams Transitioning to New Program Materials

Beginning Experience teams are transitioning now to offering the Beginning Experience Weekend program using materials that have been recently updated.  The Beginning Experience Weekend Manual for Presenting Team and the Beginninng Experience Weekend Manual for Coordinators guide presentation of the ministry's core grief resolution program. The materials are available under contract to Beginning Experience teams only.
Materials for teams in the Asia Pacific and Britain and Ireland regions are currently being reviewed by the respective Regional Boards for a "spelling, grammar and idiom." Those boards will make any adaptations needed for ease of use in the countries they serve.  The new manuals will be a feature of the 2013 Regional Conferences those two areas.

The Manual revisions have been a long time coming. The process began with a quesitonnaire sent to all teams asking for their experience with the previous material--what was clear, what was not, what seemed dated, and what should absolutely be kept. Recent grief process research was reviewed.

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2014 International Convention to be Held in New Orleans

New Orleans, Louisiana has been selected as the location of the 2014 Beginning Experience International Convention, with Louisiana Beginning Experience teams serving as hosts for their peer ministry colleagues at the international event. 

With the theme of "Celebrating the Vision in a Time of Change," the three-day program is planned as a weekend of learning, sharing, prayer and community for members of Beginning Experience teams, past team members and those who have participated in ministry programs for the separated, widowed and divorced.

International Board Report 2012

The 2012 International Convention featured a panel of International Board members reporting on the status of the ministry. View the presenters and their topics below. The panel presentation was followed by sessions in which groups of teams were invited to share their reactions, ask questions, and share best practices in their ministries at home. International Board members facilitated these sessions.

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