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Rainbow and Roses

A grief support ministry to provide support through the grieving process to anyone who has lost a loved one.

By John and Michele Charnisky



Mission Statement: A grief support ministry to provide support through the grieving process to anyone who has lost a loved one.

Goal: To reach out to every next of kin or other family member who has lost someone and provide them with grief support and the resource to access Parish Outreach assistance.

Rainbow and Roses is the Sts. Simon and Jude grief Ministry. Below is the story and how it was created.

Rainbow and Roses Story

By John and Michele Charnisky

Rainbow and Roses Grief Ministry was formed at SSJ in 1995 by Deacon John Charnisky and the late Jeanne Charnisky at the request of Monsignor Charles Domec. Deacon John and Jeanne lost their son Andrew in 1992 and formed a grief support group in Beaumont and then lost their daughter Annette in 1994. They found this group such a comfort to be able to share with others who were experiencing the unexpected and unknown emotional journey that comes after the death of a loved one. They wanted to be there for others to help them through their grief process.

The name Rainbow and Roses has a very significant meaning to the Charnisky family. Both Annette and Jeanne loved roses and while alive both Annette and Andrew used to give roses to their mother.

When Andrew died so suddenly in 1992, they settled on a cemetery in Warren, Pennsylvania where his grandparents used to mow every summer and where he spent his youth playing. Since the rest of the family was living in Texas at the time, they made one last visit to his grave before leaving to go home.

“It was a cold rainy day. We were standing over his grave praying and talking to him. His beloved Chow dog was with us. All of a sudden, the dog began barking, but there was no one else in the cemetery. As we looked up there was a ray of sunshine shining down on his grave and the most beautiful rainbow in the sky above. We felt that this was our confirmation from Andy and God that he was safely home with His Father.”

Andy had given his mother some flower bulbs for Christmas the year before and he and his father had just planted them a month before his death. Mother’s Day was a week after the family returned from Pennsylvania. On Mother’s Day morning there was one yellow flower for Jeanne.

In the year after Andy’s death, John and Jeanne bought a weekend cabin on Lake Sam Rayburn. They planted rose bushes along the fence that separated the forest from their property. Each year on Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day or Jeanne’s Birthday, both yellow and red rosebuds bloomed. "We felt that this was a sign from Annette and Andrew."

“In 2010 after Jeanne’s death, a close family friend brought a bouquet of roses for us. A few days later they were looking pretty droopy and we went to change the water and throw out the dead roses. We made a beautiful discovery. Towards the middle of one of the stems a new green shoot with a small rose bud was forming. This too was a sign to us from Jeanne that she was now on the other side in her new life and no longer suffering.”

Everyone grieves in a different way and it is an individual process. The Rainbow and Roses Ministry is here to support you in any way we can. Please contact us when you are ready and we look forward to sharing with you our experiences that have helped us through the grief journey.

All Parish members, family and next of kin are welcome. Please join  those of us who have lost a loved one and share your experience with  us.

*Ministry House, also known as the St. Vincent DePaul Center, is  the Old Youth building located behind the new Event Center. Enter the  Church Grounds at the Administration Building and follow the road to the  rear of the property.


Charley Duffy Email: Tel. 936-689-7191


1st and 3rd Thursday of every month: 1:00-2:30 p.m. in Room 19 of the Event Center

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