Joyful Again!

For Bereavement Ministers
Complement or expand your existing program for widows and widowers

Joyful Again! complements your bereavement program

Over 30 years ago, our founder, Father Medard Laz, recognized that our time as ministers is limited. He sought to develop a program where individuals who had suffered the loss of a spouse could help others on similar journeys. Joyful Again! was designed as a peer ministry program.

In Exodus, Chapter 22, we hear God say –

“I will surely hear the cry of the widowed.”


Joyful Again! is here for your family of believers. Joyful Again! is here to assist widows, widowers, and ministers, not to take the place of existing bereavement groups.

Many people come to Joyful Again! who participate in other grief support or bereavement groups. It acknowledges that the death and the loss of a spouse does not wear a particular label. So, while it is a spiritually-grounded program, it embraces attendees from all faiths, denominations and persuasions.

The program is designed for a weekend, but if you choose to Start Your Own Chapter, the format can be varied to meet your needs.

New life for the widowed

In Luke, Chapter 7, we see Jesus who is moved to great compassion for the widow of Naim. Jesus comforts her as she weeps. Jesus then says to the body of her dead son, “I say to you arise!”

We cannot work the same miracle Jesus did for the widow’s son. But through Joyful Again! we can breathe new life into our widows & widowers today.


Advertising Joyful Again! weekends

Joyful Again! has developed a small ad you can use in your church’s or organization’s website, bulletin or other communications. A jpg is provided. We have also put the key details in a word document to help you spread the word. Our calendar is continually updated and we offer several weekends each year. Some offer overnight accommodations, others are for commuters.

Call us (708) 354-7211 or email us if you would like us to consider adding your location to our program in the future.


Start a Chapter in Your Area

Who is helped?

Men and women of all ages who have lost a spouse through death are welcome to attend. Individuals are encouraged to wait at least four to six months after the death before attending a Joyful Again! program, in order to allow some of the initial shock to lessen.

How to bring the program to your city:

Under the supervision of an accredited corporate institution (church, hospice, archdiocese, etc.) a charter group can be formed. There is a licensing agreement to comply with and reporting requirements, as well as a small licensing fee.

It is required that a group of at least 3 to 5 people attend the training session, and that at least 2 people attend an actual weekend retreat before entering into an agreement. National office staff is available to help with the initial formation of chapter.

  • How is the program organized?
  • The program is divided into 6 segments. Each segment consists of a 20-30 minute video, private journaling time and a small-group sharing session, all of which enable participants to reflect on what they have been experiencing after their loss. As the program progresses, it demonstrates the need to move from isolation to community, from looking at the past to focusing on the future.

    The forgiveness and thanksgiving services are part of the program’s healing process. These prayer services are optional for the participants.
  • What does the program provide?
    • Copyrighted videos
    • Operation manuals
    • Training manuals
    • Sample publicity brochures
    • National office staff assistance
    • Liturgy suggestions

  • Can we customize the program?
  • Yes, and there are already some customized programs available. The Ecumenical version was designed by the chaplain at Lutheran General Hospital to be used as part of their Hospice.

    Others have integrated Joyful Again! into hospice, Rainbows or bereavement programs at senior centers.
  • Optional formats for the program:
    • (Preferred) 2-day retreat at a retreat house with overnight accommodations
    • 2-day retreat at a location (parish, hospital, etc.) with commuters and no overnight
    • Bereavement support group meetings:
      • 3 meetings, with 2 videos shown at each meeting
      • 6 meetings, with 1 video shown at each meeting
  • Credentials:
    • Listed in the Official Catholic Directory
    • A 501(c)(3) Illinois not for profit corporation

(708) 354-7211


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