Catholic Charities Helps Holiday Healing - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Catholic Charities Helps Holiday Healing

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With the unthinkable tragedy Friday in Connecticut, it's so sad to see that now, there will be even more people grieving this holiday.

Local support groups in Erie are helping the healing process in this family-oriented season. Catholic Charities is helping to fill the void, left by that empty seat, at the holiday table.

"PALS" is Catholic Charities' outstretched arm for "people after loss from suicide".

"The purpose is for folks who have had a suicide touch their lives... share that feeling," said Michael Adamus, one of the group's leaders.

Feelings of loss and loneliness can be highlighted during the holidays, which are so focused on family.

Learning to cope without a spouse can be another huge transition, especially during the festive season, and "Transitions" is the appropriate name of a group that offers support to people who have lost a husband or wife.

Whether through death, divorce or separation, the group welcomes all who are grieving a lost relationship.

"They're giving each other the gift of empathy," said Ann Badach, Director of Family Services for the Diocese of Erie. She said it has special value during the holidays, when loneliness seems to "echo through every room you walk into."

Fred Keck lost his wife Jeannie three years ago. He's now a Deacon at Holy Rosary, and he's both attended transitions meetings and spoken at them.

He said it was helpful to talk to other people who understood his circumstances, and to offer them advice in return.

"I learned that you never truly get over it," he said, "but it does get better."

For the Catholic Charities home page, click here.

For the PALS web site, click here.

For the Transitions web site, click here.

All meetings are held at St. Mark Catholic Center, located at 429 E. Grandview Blvd. in Erie.

Submit your event now
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