The last of the Aparecida bishops’ fourteen proposals for ministries to the family:
n) Bear in mind that the Word of God in both Old and New Testaments, asks us to show special care to widows. Strive to find out how they may receive pastoral care to help them deal with this situation, often one of abandonment and loneliness.
Churches in the US probably do pretty well among regular churchgoers who have lost a spouse. The bigger challenge is the outreach to the unchurched. If widows–and other people who are the focus of these family initiatives–were prepared to expand the church’s reach to those outside the parish boundaries, that would be in keeping with effort at mission and evangelization.
For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.