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Holy Family Cathedral » Uncategorized » Widows Ministry thrives at Holy Family

Widows Ministry thrives at Holy Family

Carol Lapolla helped to bring the Stand in the Gap widows program to Holy Family. She kindly answered these questions to help everyone understand what the widows program does.

Stand in the Gap widows photo

What does Stand in the Gap offer to widows?

Stand in the Gap Ministry is a program with an 18-year history. The goal is to connect people in need with people who care. Stand in the Gap is not an ecumenical organization and is not focused on specific denominations. It is a prayer-based small group movement. The widows program was developed after years of research and hundreds of interviews. The program includes both listening hearts and practical help. It fills gaps where communities have failed.

So, with the blessing of Msgr. Gier and the encouragement of Father Jovita, we began working on a Stand in the Gap program for the widows at Holy Family. Sister Mary Clare Buthod and Karla Conner were the project leaders and they soon grew a committee that included widows, Knights of Columbus and other concerned parishioners.

We launched our groups about a year ago and now offer both afternoon and evening groups to the widows of the parish.

Why are the needs of widows different from the needs of other single people?

Interviews with widows seemed to reflect the statement, “Only another widow can feel the depth of this pain.” Or another said, “I am blessed to have a wonderful family. They are very supportive, but something is missing. I needed to be with other women who actually knew what I was experiencing as a widow. I needed to know that I was not alone.” Yet another explained, “ My Stand in the Gap family has changed my life. We share at the deepest level. We all have endured the same crippling heartbreak; we can go together where an outsider, even family members, could not possibly go.”

What happens at group get-togethers?

Because I myself am not a widow, I do not attend the meetings, but our group leaders, Anne Sellars and Mary Jo Dixon tell me the groups offer support, laughter, prayer and encouragement. Groups discuss spiritual needs and share practical advice on home maintenance. I’ll bet they eat, too! And recently, on one of our hot Oklahoma afternoons one of our groups went swimming. Meetings are once a month.

You can get involved by remembering that being a widow should not have to mean being alone. Call us if you would like more information about this ministry. Both Anne (918-744-1788) and Mary Jo (918-630-8742) welcome your questions.

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