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Mission Services

St. Mary’s mission is to be a compassionate healing presence in our community. As a Catholic institution, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy and Catholic Health East, St. Mary’s reflects a commitment to the sacredness of human life and the dignity of each person we serve.

Mission Services is an integral part of St. Mary’s commitment to caring. St. Mary’s Mission Services encompasses Pastoral Care, Language Services, Community Benefits and Inpatient Care Concerns. Please visit our Patient Information page for more information regarding St. Mary’s Language Services, Inpatient Care Concerns and Advance Directives.

Spiritual Care

Our dedicated Pastoral Care staff of sisters and qualified chaplains is available to provide spiritual care and support in accord with each patient’s individual religious beliefs. Services include:

  • Prayer and Spiritual Counseling
  • Worship and Sacramental Ministry
  • Bereavement Support Groups

Community clergy are always welcome to visit members of their congregation who are patients at St. Mary’s. Please make arrangements through your religious community. To arrange a visit with a St. Mary’s chaplain, please ask your nurse to page a chaplain or call Mission Services at 706.389.3273.

Here’s a great and quick look at how we address the spiritual needs of all patients across St. Mary’s continuum of care. Take a few moments to listen in:


St. Mary’s Chapel is located in the main lobby and is available from 6 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. for private prayer and meditation. Everyone is welcome. Mass is televised on St. Mary’s in-house Care Channel, channel 20 on hospital televisions.

Mission Services is located on the first floor of the hospital in the Administrative hall just past the chapel to the left. For additional information please call 706.389.3273.

Grief/Bereavement Resources

St. Mary’s is dedicated to helping individuals who have experienced the recent loss of a loved one. These important bereavement services focus on people dealing with death by providing emotional and practical advice to help them better cope during this challenging time in their lives.

Athens Area

Healing Grief – St. Mary’s Hospice – Eight week workshop offered Spring and Fall, call 706-389-2273 for more information.

Life After Loss – Ongoing support group for adults meets on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Thursdays of each month from 7-8 p.m. in St. Mary’s Lobby Conference Room. Call 706.389.3426 for information.

Camp Nokose St. Mary’s Hospice – One day camp for children ages 6-12 who are grieving the death of a loved one. Offered annually in the Fall, call 706-389-2272 for more information.

UGA Catholic Center Bereavement Group – Wednesdays 2:30 to 3:30 pm, Facilitator: Mary Ellen Quinn, All Are Welcome, 706-543-2293.

Walking Through Grief – Compassionate Care Hospice – A six-week walking group on Wednesdays at 9 am at the Georgia Square Mall – For more information call (706) 369–3550.

Grief Share Grief Recovery Support Group – Athens 1st United Methodist Church – 13 weeks –  Call Rev. Martha Aenchbacher at 706-543-1442 to see when the group is scheduled.

Ongoing Grief Support Group – Piedmont Athens Regional, every 1st and 3rd Thursday, 10:00 -11:00 am, Talmadge Tower 2, Conference Room A. Open to the community, and there is no need to register. For information call 705-475-2305

Healing Grief Workshop – Loran Smith Cancer Center offers a nine-week workshop for those suffering from the loss of a loved one. The loss does not have to be a cancer-related death. Topics include accepting role changes and grief anniversaries. Call 706-475-4900 to see when the workshop is offered.

Regency Southern Care Hospice — Open group the third Thursday of each month. 825 Baxter Street, Athens, GA.  Contact Martina Bober at (706) 549-5558.

Grief Share Grief Recovery Support Group — Cornerstone Church of God – 13 weeks,–Call Rev. Steve Stringham, Care Pastor at 706-549-0000 to see when the group is scheduled.

Tuckston United Methodist, 4175 Lexington Road.  Stephens Ministry – one on one grief support available to anyone.  Call the church office to make appointment.  (706) 353-1311.

Compassionate Friends, Northeast Georgia Chapter, 800 West Lake Drive – Support for families who have experienced the death of a child. Chapters are usually led by parents who have experienced the death of a child themselves. National office number is 877-969-0010. Online support is also available, see information under OnLine Support.

Samaritan Center for Counseling and Wellness: Grief counseling is available without regardless of ability to pay. Call 706-369-7911.

Mind/Body Awareness for Grief – Group incorporating 8 yoga skills and talk therapy for healing grief – Suzanne Morgan McLean, LCSW, 706-425-8900

Nuçi’s Space. Suicide survivor’s support group, peer led. Suicide survivor’s support group; meets every 3rd Wednesday- 5:30 p.m. For information, call (706) 227-1515 or visit their web site at  *Adults & Children

Clarke County School District, Social Work Dept. School social workers can link children and families with the grief support resources they need. For help contacting a specific school’s social worker, contact Chrystal Gillis, School Social Work Services Director (706) 546-7721 ext. 20781;

Athens has a number of counselors offering grief therapy. They are found on

Winder Area

First United Methodist Church, 280 N. Broad St., Winder, GA 30680 – Stephen Ministry and Support Group, (770) 867-4594 or call the Group Leader: Janie Jennings, 770-307-6602 for information regarding the group.

Grief Share Grief Recovery Support Group – First Baptist Church, 770-867-3577 or call Bob Dixon at 770-867-9887.

Greensboro/Eatonton Area

Grief Share Grief Recovery Support Group – Christ Our King & Savior Catholic Church, 6341 Lake Oconee Parkway, Greensboro –Call 706-453-7292 (9am to 2 pm), email:

Grief Share Grief Recovery Support Group – Lake Oconee Presbyterian Church, 113 Scott Rd., Eatonton – Call 706-484-0600.

Lavonia/Hartwell Area

Cornerstone Baptist Church: 1543 Anderson Highway, Hartwell, Ga. 30643; 706-376-2029

Strickland Funeral Home of Lavonia, 355 Bear Creek Road, 30553 – Support Group being re-organized.   706-356-1110 (Also, they conduct a Longest Night/Blue Christmas Service in December for those grieving during the holidays)

Other Locations/Online Resources

Ivie Funeral Home, 10535 Elm Street, Commerce – 16 week, twice monthly program. Facilitator: Chris Porter. Call 706 -335-3178 for more information.

Galilee Christian Church hosts a grief class twice a month, with one class being offered once a month in the afternoons and another class being offered once a month in the evenings. Location:  Chapel of Galilee Christian Church at 2191 Galilee Church Road, Jefferson, Georgia 30549.  (706) 367-8605.  Pre-Registration is recommended but not required.  Please call the number above for more information of E-mail them at
Georgia Crisis & Access Line: Available 24/7 to assess crisis situations over the phone and mobile team available to do face-to-face assessments if needed. Call: 1-800-715-4225.
Hospice of Northeast Georgia Medical Center.  Regular monthly grief support groups in Braselton and Gainesville.  Call Holly Smith for more info at (770) 219 – 0276.  *Adults & Children.
Kate’s Club–  Kate’s Club empowers children and teens facing life after the death of a parent or sibling. Program and outreach coordinator Liz Carson, 1190 West Druid Hills Drive NE Suite T80 Atlanta, GA 30329.  Phone: (404) 347-7619  *Children & Teens

Grief Share Grief Recovery Support Group – Hamilton United Methodist Church, Dacula

Grief Share Grief Recovery Support Group – McKendree United Methodist Church, Lawrenceville

Grief Share Grief Recovery Support Group – Bethlehem Church, Bethlehem – Call 770-867-3577.

Camp Magik (Mainly About Grief in Kids) – A weekend camp for children grieving the death of a parent, sibling, or other immediate family member. Offered three times a year, for more information and to contact them see their website, .

Online Resources:

The Compassionate Friends Parent Chat Network –
A network of chat rooms specifically for bereaved parents, siblings and family members.   A schedule of chat times can be found on the main web site.
A direct link to the chat rooms is: 

Centering Corporation – A nonprofit organization in Omaha, Nebraska that offered a wide variety of books and pamphlets regarding grief, especially for use with children. Many of their pamphlets and books are free for single- copies. Call 1-866-218-0101 or go online at .