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 Ministry to the Widowed (NAIM)



 The NAIM Ministry to the Widowed provides bereaved spouses of all faiths with spiritual, emotional and social support as they work through the painful process of grieving and to encourage them as they begin a new role in life.
The 'Naim' ministry is named after the widow of Naim whose son Jesus had raised from the dead (Luke 7:11-17).  Jesus is the model of grief and compassion. Observing a funeral of the son of the widow of Naim, Jesus was filled with empathy: he restored life to the son and helped the grieving mother.


NAIM was originally begun in Chicago in January, 1956.  In January 1964 a chapter opened in Detroit, Michigan.  The first Southern California Chapter was started in September 1973 at St. Justin Parish, Anaheim, by Alma Regan and a group of widows and widowers with the enthusiastic support of their pastor.
Soon thereafter their apostolate became known to the Bureau of Family Life, now the Office of Family Life, and approval was given to this organization to extend its ministry throughout the Archdiocese.There are now four chapters serving the five regions.  For more information, please call (213) 637-7398.
In AMORIS LÆTITIA (Joy of Love) Pope Francis writes:
“I can understand the anguish felt by those who have lost a much-loved person, a spouse with whom they have shared so much. Jesus himself was deeply moved and began to weep at the death of a friend”. Mourning a loss of a spouse has its challenges but we Catholic believe Jesus never judges or abandons us as we struggle with our grief while journeying into a new life. Pope Francis continues to say that pastoral care is necessary to “help the grieving person to realize that, after the loss of a loved one, they still have a mission to carry out.”
- Pope Francis (Source:

 widow banner


How We Support


NAIM is dedicated to:

•  Providing ministry to the widowed by the widowed.
•  Providing opportunities for lasting friendships and for spiritual and social support.
•  Helping widowed Catholics adjust to their new life.
•  Providing opportunities for spiritual growth through prayer and retreats.
•  Offering educational speakers and seminars that address the concerns and interests of widows and widowers.
•  Planning special events, such as dinners and outings.


Membership is open to all Catholic widows and widowers as well as Non-Catholic spouses. NAIM is governed by a Constitution and By-Laws.  The Structure of NAIM consists of an Executive Council and Chapter Boards with Chapters in the five Regions (where possible) of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
Dues are $10.00 per year per person.

Local Chapters of NAIM

•  Attend monthly Mass together.
•  Hold meetings once a month.
•  Provide opportunities for spiritual and educational growth.
•  Plan regular social gatherings and events.


The mission of NAIM is to offer a compassionate and supportive community within the Church where Catholic widows and widowers may associate with those who have had the same experiences. 
Betty J. Keys
Executive President
(323) 262-3388
Dee Armstron
Vice President
(818) 892-1809





Beginning Experience

The purpose of the Beginning Experience ministry is to facilitate the grief resolution process for adults and children who have suffered a loss through death, divorce or separation, thereby enabling them to again love themselves, others and God.

We accomplish the purpose by offering quality, copyrighted, grief resolution programs presented by trained peer ministers. These programs are designed to move grieving people through a transformational process to a new beginning in their lives.

Support Groups

Burbank Chapter
Dee Armstrong, President; (818) 892-1809
Nancy Valentino, 1st Vice President; (818) 846-5485
San Gabriel Valley Chapter
Eloise Bienvenu, President; (626) 919-3735
Corina Hiel, 1st Vice President; (626) 966-2639
Whittier Chapter

Mary Torres, President; (562) 943-0747
Joan Dickinson, Vice President; (562) 941-0484
Widowed Reading

A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis


 A classic work on grief, A Grief Observed is C.S. Lewis s honest reflection on the fundamental issues of life, death, and faith in the midst of loss. Written after his wife s tragic death as a way of surviving the mad midnight moments, A Grief Observed an unflinchingly truthful account of how loss can lead even a stalwart believer to lose all sense of meaning in the universe, and the inspirational tale of how he can possibly regain his bearings.

The North Face of God by Ken Gire
The North Face of God addresses those times of adversity when God seems to have abandoned us. Sometimes, when the cold winds of life blow and we cry out to God, he's silent, and we wonder if he still cares about usor ever cared. Drawing on the Psalms, Ken Gire climbs the mountainous terrain of God's seeming indifference and helps us learn how to hold on to hope, despite our circumstances. He also calls us to become good “climbing partners” for other people who need help and encouragement along the way.
Finding Your Way After Your Spouse Dies by Marta Felber
There is nothing you need more than the warm, reassuring voice of one who has traveled this path before. . . and survived after suffering the death of a spouse. In Finding Your Way After Your Spouse Dies, Marta Felber offers just such a voice-caring, hopeful, always pointing ahead to a tomorrow that will be a little easier than today. Having experienced her own spouse's death, Felber is never glib or simplistic. She knows the grief her readers are feeling and she encourages them to give it full expression. At the same time, she offers sound, practical suggestions on how to navigate difficult days. This book shies away from none of the difficult issues of bereavement. Felber gently urges her readers toward careful, honest examination of the issues they face.

How To Go On Living When Someone You Love Dies by Therese A. Rando PhD
Mourning the death of a loved one is a process all of us will go through at one time or another.  But wherever the death is sudden or anticipated, few of us are prepared for it or for the grief it brings. There is no right or wrong way to grieve; each person's response to loss will be different.  Now, in this compassionate, comprehensive guide,  Therese A. Rando, Ph.D., bereavement specialist and  author of Loss And Anticipatory  Grief, leads you gently through the painful but  necessary process of grieving and helps you find  the best way for yourself.
The Death of a Wife: Reflections for a Grieving Husband by Robert Vogt
 Each of these 31 brief reflections, remembrances, and meditations considers a different facet of the grieving process for a husband.
Death of a Husband: Reflections for a Grieving Wife by Helen Reichert Lambin
A collection of poignant reflections for a wife mourning the loss of her husband. Over forty reflections address different facets of the grieving process. Each offers insights that will touch a woman's heart, heal her soul, and point out new and hopeful directions.
When a Man Faces Grief / A Man You Know Is Grieving by James E. Miller and Thomas Golden
 Two books in one. One half is for men who are grieving, with 12 helpful suggestions, each a chapter by itself. The other half is for those who want to understand and help men who are grieving, also in twelve short, helpful chapters.
Arise from Darkness: What to Do When Life Doesn’t Make Sense by Benedict J. Groeschel, CFR
Well-known author, psychologist and priest Fr. Benedict Groeschel draws on his own years of personal experiences in dealing with people's problems, tragedies and "darkness" as he offers help and guidance for any Christian troubled or burdened by life. If you are struggling with fear, anxiety, grief, loss of loved ones, hurt, anger or anything that makes life difficult or the road through it dark, then this book was written for you. Fr. Benedict offers practical suggestions on how to keep going and even grow with the help of God's grace, even when this help seems remote.
How to Love Again: Moving from Grief to Growth by John Monbourquette
Combines psychology and spirituality in a unique manner to offer comfort in times of despair, and describes the healing that comes after loss. Encourages the reader to allow God and the natural wisdom of life to direct the course to recovery.
Catholic & Mourning a Loss: 5 Challenges and 5 Opportunities by Mauryeen O’Brien, OP
In Catholic & Mourning a Loss, O'Brien feels the Catholic faith, with its emphasis on forgiveness, healing and prayer, can help in this spiritual process. Catholic & Mourning a Loss is often used by grief counselors or in grief support groups and comes highly recommended. It could be of great use to priests, ministers or parish pastoral care personnel.
Grieving Reading
Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach by Kathryn J. Hermes, FSP
Embark on a journey of faithful hope and spiritual healing with best-selling author Kathryn J. Hermes, FSP. Updated contemporary international, national, and ecclesial acknowledgements provide a grounded reality with which to approach depression. Prompted by theological and sociological concerns, this spiritual companion operates from the Catholic tradition but extends into the biological, psychological, environmental and genetic components of depression. An entirely new section, "8 Steps to Inner Peace," offers insightful scriptural reflections and a step-by-step practical guide to finding peace.
Grief Support Group Material
The New Day Journal: A Journey from Grief to Healing by Mauryeen O’Brien
Through a series of reflections combined with writing and sharing activities suitable for support groups or individuals, The New Day Journal helps people accept the reality of their loss, experience the pain of grief and adjust to life without the deceased.
Grieving with the Help of Your Catholic Faith by Lorene Hanley Duquin
Losing a loved one is perhaps the most painful and overwhelming of life's experiences. It challenges you physically and emotionally, raises tough questions about the future, and incites impossible-to-answer questions about what you could have done differently. Your key to understanding all these issues ? and healing ? is your Catholic Faith. Grieving with the Help of Your Catholic Faith gives Catholics a meaningful way to help themselves or others through this challenging time.  A perfect resource for grief support groups, clergy, lay ministers, and individuals alike, Grieving with the Help of Your Catholic Faith offers comfort, empathy, and inspiration that will be relied upon time and time again.
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