What About?

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Who attends a Joyful Again! program?

Widows and widowers of all ages who are trying to recover from the grief of their spouse's death.

Who conducts the program?

Joyful Again! is a peer ministry. Men and women who themselves have experienced the death of their spouse have completed training to facilitate groups and conduct the retreat/workshop.

What can I expect?

Unlike other support groups, Joyful Again! includes video presentations, time for reflection, small group sharing, journaling and optional prayer services.

Is this what I need?

Joyful Again! is for you, if you have –

  • Been to support groups, but are still asking. “Does it ever get better?”
  • Been unable to resolve guilt issues.
  • Been unable to move on to build a new life for yourself?

At Joyful Again! you will –

  • Celebrate your loved one’s life.
  • Reflect on the impact your spouse’s death has made on your own life.
  • Share your story with trained facilitators and others who also have been widowed.

Where and when are sessions held?

Joyful Again! retreat/workshops are held on several weekends throughout the year at Chicagoland parishes, hospitals, retreat houses, as well as at other suitable facilities. Participants leave after Saturday’s session and return Sunday morning.

Occasionally the program is held at facility with private overnight accommodations. 

What is the cost?

The usual donation of $85.00 includes meals and refreshments.

Lodging, when available, is extra.

Cost adjustment is available in special circumstances.

Do I have to be Catholic to attend?

No. Joyful Again! is an ecumenical program. Programs are usually a mixture of People of various persuasions. In any event, services are the last item in each day’s program and can be skipped if a conflict with personal choices.

But, all are always invited and welcome to participate and usually do with positive results.

How long is too long?

No matter how long you have been widowed, if there comes a time that you are still feeling or are feeling again the need to process your loss you are encouraged to attend. Some of the delaying circumstances that may have prohibited you to grieve immediately after the loss could be:

  • Being widowed with small children that need care and attention, leaving you with no time to address your needs.
  • Being the care person for an elderly parent and only after their death and you have time to care for yourself do you begin to process your spousal loss.
  • Keeping busy, avoiding processing your loss until time is on your hands when: your youngest leaves home; or you retire; or another person close to you also dies and you realize you have not resolved your grief.

When is too soon?

Joyful Again! is not recommended for those widowed less than 6 months, as this is too short a time to have passed for you to develop a perspective on how many changes have occurred in your life and how to begin to think of the future.

Click to view the Joyful Again Introduction Video.

The stories of four people who have experienced the loss of their spouse. Their reflections.

 " I felt like I needed a safe place to go to share my feelings of loss. 
It has been a very helpful experience to learn from others, especially during the small group  sharing."