The Sisters of Holyoke, MA have been awarded a special grant for Opioid Grief Support.  This is just another way that Sisters of Providence are out there on the front lines helping others in need.

Have you experienced the loss of a loved one from addiction?  Here is an example of a program offering a source of support.  Sr. Madeleine Joy, SP, an experienced grief counselor, is part of a special grant awarded to provide grief support for families and friends “who lost loved ones to substance abuse disorder.” With funds from the City of Westfield’ Drug Addiction and Recovery Team (DART), Sr. Madeleine with her co-facilitator Cindy Hadge began meetings via teleconference on July 7, 2020 which are free for the residents of Westfield and 8 surrounding towns.  Every Tuesday the support groups, consisting those who have lost a loved one more than 6 months ago to addiction, gather remotely.  Although there are many grief groups, those that focus on loss to due to overdose are rare.

Sr. Madeleine also is concerned about stigma, saying, “Due to the stigma that so isolates those who have lost loved ones to opioid addiction, I see it as so important to offer non-judgmental and compassionate care during this incredibly painful time in people’s lives.”

The former Chaplain at Farren Care Center in Turners Falls and Mercy Medical Center in Springfield, MA, Sr. Madeleine specializes in Recovery Spirituality, Cancer Care, Grief and Loss and Long Term Mental Health and Addiction Care and Treatment.  She is a facilitator of the 12-step Recovery Programs at Genesis Spiritual Life Center.  A graduate of Boston College with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree, she also has been certified as a Chaplain in Pastoral Care.

The Sisters of Providence from Holyoke have often collaborated with the City of Westfield, MA on projects to help others.  This is just one more example of their reaching out in the local community.  If you would ever meet Sr. Madeleine you would know why people open up to her easily.  It’s that wonderful smile and caring, non-judgmental attitude.

Barbara McMullen, CDP



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123, New Lenox, Chicago IL 60606

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