Item #: 0823-8
St Pauls Price: $9.95 $1.99 ends 12/31/2021



Author: Jeroid O'Neil Roussell, Jr., DMin
Copyright: 1999
First Printed: 06-04-1999

There are few areas of ministry, which require more of the minister from a personal, physical and psychological point of view than that of helping others cope with the often-overwhelming emotional impact of death. Though loss and grief are integral dimensions of life itself, they affect individuals in unique ways. Christians who are suffering see the hand of a compassionate and loving God supporting them in their need as they bear the cross that has been placed on their shoulders and look forward to the resurrection that is sure to follow. In these situations, the pastoral caregiver is a transforming presence, a concrete sign of God’s unconditional and everlasting love, sent by Him to be a light and a companion to the dying and their families in their hour of darkness. In these pages, Dr. Roussell offers caregivers any number of practical and worthwhile suggestions for improving their effectiveness and enhancing their personal and spiritual growth as individuals and as professional healthcare providers. A variety of questions and exercises in the three appendices, which follow the text, are designed to help caregivers evaluate and enhance the quality of their ability to assist themselves and others who are dealing with sorrow and grief.

About the Author: Dr. Jeroid (Jerry) O’Neil Roussell, Jr., a certified chaplain, teacher, consultant and ministerial advisor, is Coordinator of Pastoral Care at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend, Oregon. A brilliant speaker, he holds a Doctorate in Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary as well as a BA in Humanities and a Masters of Divinity from Catholic Theological Union, Chicago. His talents as a teacher give life and depth to his pioneering programs in Pastoral Ministries at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles and Marylhurst College, Oregon.

Book: 153 pages
ISBN: 978-0-8189-0823-1
Prod. Code: 0823-8

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"Following a holistic model of human life, Roussell believes that good medical and pastoral care must address mind, body, spirit, and relationships. From the Christian point of view, the doctrine of the incarnation is the basis both for a creative theology of suffering and the spiritual transformation of caregivers and their patients. Jesus Christ shares in our pain and the pain of our patients and invites us to transformation even in the context of death. In order to be effective in bereavement ministry, caregivers must be aware of their own experiences of mortality, suffering and pain. In so doing, they identify with the pain of the universe and their own connectedness as fellow sufferers with their patients. Openness to God's own suffering presence in her or his own suffering enables the caregiver to become a channel of divine healing. The unique aspect of Roussell's book is his emphasis on the spirituality of the caregiver which is often lost in our attempts to be objective and professional.... Roussell's book is an excellent contribution to the growing literature on bereavement ministry. Its strength and attraction is its holistic approach to the well-being of every participant in the healing circle. Roussell effectively combines narrative with theological reflection, using his own experience and the experiences of his patients as a means of understanding the significance of spiritual healing for care giver and patient alike. Hospital chaplains, priests and ministers, parish nurses, and lay ministers will benefit from encountering this slender text." --Bruce G. Epperly, Georgetown University in New Theology Review, August 2000


"This book is a resource for reflection for those in ministries of caregiving or bereavement. It is an excellent tool for training new ministers of care or bereavement. While dealing with grief that comes from sickness, suffering and death, the book also reviews the many forms of loss that people deal with throughout life. Relational loss comes from changes in significant relationships or opportunities to be with these people. Functional loss involves changes in bodily functions or adjustments in independence. Structural loss comes when a person loses a part of their body or the function of a part of the body. Systemic loss is experienced when children leave the home or when a friend leaves the priesthood. These are but a few of the losses experienced in life; each has its own unique effect on the person. The grief model includes the phases of initial awareness, an awareness of the extent of the loss, gaining perspective, resolving loss, reformulating loss and transforming loss. How a person reacts to loss and how people experience the phases varies. A caregiver will respect how the person chooses to work through grief, while providing supportive assistance to prevent the lingering effects of unhealthy responses. The book offers several reflective exercises that allow ministers to recognize their own patterns of response to loss as they assist others." --Rev. Henry Mancuso inThe Priest, May, 2000


"Beginning with an overview of the grief process and the nature of bereavement ministry, the author helps us understand what a person's experience of loss might be. He discusses triggers of anxiety and sadness as well as ways of finding new life and new meaning. The roles that theology and Scripture play in nurturing hope and understanding faith are also pursued. The appendix includes pastoral resources for self-evaluation in the areas of empathy, respect, genuinesss and warmth. Caregiver resources, a bibliography that lists both pastoral and grief literature complete the book. The affirmation and education offered to the person walking the journey with someone in grief make this a valuable resource." --Miriam J. Gallagher, RSM in Ministry & Liturgy, May 2000


"More books are appearing on grief every day, including books that deal with grief in the context of spirituality. Yet, here at Spiritual Book Associates, we have seen nothing like this new title from Alba House. Written especially for those involved in grief ministry, Dealing with Grief offers an incredible range of resources, from descriptions of the various 'stages' of aspects of grief, to theological resources for grief ministry, to very practical evaluations and exercises for pastoral ministers. Readers will also note with gratitude an excellent annotated bibliography. There is a basic philosophy at work here. Roussell puts it this way: "By accepting our own human vulnerabilities, we are able to enter into the struggles of others." Roussell goes the extra step, though, to work out what that principle means in the nuts and bolts of grief ministry. If grief ministry is an area you care about or bear responsibility for, this is a book you should read." --Spiritual Book News, a publication of Spiritual Book Associates, December 1999

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