The mission of the Suicide Survivors ministry is to provide healing and compassionate support in a Christian setting to those who have suffered the loss of a loved one through suicide.
"The longer we don’t tell our story, the more we grow ourselves around the pain of what is not told. The truth is that telling heals. Not just once, but as a God given way to flush out the buildup of scar tissue that clogs our being. This is one fundamental purpose of human voice: to irrigate the heart dammed up with experience. And once the telling begins...it shows us how to lose and how to heal...how to face what seems unfaceable." -Mark Nepo
Beginning in January 2017, the Office of Marriage and Family Life hopes to launch Suicide Survivor support groups throughout all regions of the diocese. Updates will be posted here as progress is made; if you would like to receive email notifications when those updates occur, please contact Kelley Chapman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Office of Marriage & Family Life
Fr. Jude Halphen, Ph.D. specializes in adults, 18 years or older. Services are free of charge. Call the Office of Marriage and Family Life at 337-261-5653 to schedule an appointment or to receive a referral counseling list.
Free counseling services are provided by graduate students. Appointments are scheduled during the fall and spring semesters. For more information, please contact Clinic for Counseling and Personal Development (CCPD) at 337-482-1018.
What does it mean to be a “suicide survivor”?
A suicide survivor refers to someone who has lost a friend or family member through suicide. It is not a term that refers to an individual who has attempted suicide in the past.
If my loved one dies by suicide, will they go straight to hell?
While the Catechism of the Catholic Church does state that suicide is forbidden by the fifth commandment (2325), and that everyone must be responsible stewards of the life God has granted to each of us (2280), it also emphasizes that:
“We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives.” (2283)
This passage also references that, “God predestines no one to go to hell; for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end.” (1037) Furthermore, the Catechism acknowledges that, “Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide.” (2282)
My loved one died by suicide--what sort of grief support is available to me?
Attending a support ministry, attending counseling sessions, or even participating in a grief retreat can help you to grieve. For information on grief support ministries in this diocese, please visit our Grief Support page.