Queen of Peace Center’s help seen as saving lives

Kristy Pomirko, right, came to Queen of Peace Center in 2012 when she was pregnant with her first child and addicted to drugs. She credits her recovery, success in gaining employment and motherhood to the program. She talked with Susan Bevineau, who is celebrating 22 years in recovery this Christmas.

A smiling Kristy Pomirko, bubbly and chatty, turns serious when assessing the impact Queen of Peace Center had on her.

"I'm very thankful. Without Queen of Peace Center, I would not be sitting here today. I'd either be in jail, an institution (prison) or dead," she said.

Queen of Peace Center, a Catholic Charities agency, is a family-centered behavioral health care provider for women with addiction, their children and families. The recovery center provides a variety of treatment options to women with co-occurring disorders and those affected by trauma.

‘Who is waiting for you?’ | Filipino Catholics celebrate Simbang Gabi

Filipinos celebrated Simbang Gabi Dec. 15 at Holy Rosary Cathedral in Vancouver, British Columbia. Simbang Gabi is a Filipino tradition of nine Masses typically celebrated at dawn on the days leading up to Christmas Eve.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Two figures dressed as Mary and Joseph made their way down the center aisle of Vancouver's Holy Rosary Cathedral. At various points, they stopped and asked a parishioner playing the part of an innkeeper for a place to stay. Invariably the reply was negative. Finally, the two figures reached the foot of the altar and asked the congregation if they had any room for Christ. The congregation said they did have room for Christ, and only then did the entrance procession for the first Simbang Gabi Mass of the year begin.

BRIMMING WITH HOPE | The best Christmas programs ever

As a school administrator for many years, I have attended a good number of school Christmas programs. I have seen everything from simple songs on risers, to choreographed routines, to elaborate plays. This year, I had the privilege of attending the Christmas programs at Annunziata School, St. Gemma Center, and St. Joan of Arc, three locations for our Catholic special education programs. What I witnessed at each was extremely impressive, even for a veteran audience member.

POPE’S MESSAGE | Christmas reminds us of hope for the future

Pope Francis leads the Angelus from the window of his apartment overlooking St. Peter's Square Dec. 18 at the Vatican.

VATICAN CITY — The birth of Christ is a reminder for Christians to take a moment and reflect on the hope of salvation given by God to the world, Pope Francis said.

Those who are humble and poor like the shepherds come to realize the promise of hope that comes from trusting God and not from "their own securities, especially material goods," the pope said Dec. 21 at his weekly general audience.

Open your heart to that small splendor born in Bethlehem, pope says

CNS photo/Paul Haring

Pope Francis kisses a young girl during his general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Dec. 14.

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Christmas is a time to open your heart to the little and wondrous things found in baby Jesus -- born poor and defenseless so he could be near and bring hope to everyone, Pope Francis said.

"The most beautiful joy of Christmas is that inner joy of peace: the Lord wiped away my sins, the Lord has forgiven me, the Lord had mercy on me, he came to save me. That is the joy of Christmas," the pope said Dec. 14 at his weekly general audience.

Larger than life Christmas lights display is born out of appreciation for the simple things of Christmas

For 25 years, the Trevisano family has hosted a huge Christmas lights display at their home. For the past 13 years, they have accepted cash donations to benefit St. Patrick Center. Jay Trevisano displays 35,000 lights and more than 100 teddy bears at his Crestwood home.

Some of Jay Trevisano's fondest childhood Christmas memories include making ornaments with his six siblings and going Downtown to see Christmas lights, followed by a visit with Santa on the 13th floor of Famous-Barr.

The Trevisano family was stationed in Germany during the Vietnam War. When Trevisano's father was killed in the war — Jay Trevisano was 5 years old at the time — the family returned home to the United States, and they moved in with his mother's parents on the Hill.

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