Valentine Event on Ending Violence Against Women


Surrounded by baby shower donations, Becky Gorley of the Queen of Peace Center speaks to the sisters and staff at the motherhouse about the work the center does with mothers who struggle with substance abuse.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, the community at the motherhouse gathered in faith anSisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet | Valentine's Day Baby Showerd action to promote the end of violence against women.

Sister Mary Ann Hilgeman lead the sisters and staff in a midday prayer, calling for the Sisters of St. Joseph to stand together as educators and advocates for the cause, as well as women of faith who work to serve and heal those who are suffering.

Violence against women takes various forms, from domestic violence, rape and trafficking to cultural injustices and war crimes. These traumas often lead women to another oppression, seeking solace in drugs and alcohol, leaving women and their families, especially the children, brokenhearted.

Following the prayer service, a baby shower for the Queen of Peace Center was held to support mothers who are struggling with addiction.

Part of Catholic Charities in St. Louis, the Queen of Peace Center is a family-centered behavioral healthcare provider for women with addiction, their children and families. Notably, they offer services pregnant women to ensure a healthy pregnancy, a healthy baby and a healthy mother.

Becky Gorley, the center’s program and community coordinator, attended the shower to educate the sisters and staff on the organization’s mission.

“Addiction does not exist in a vacuum,” Gorley said. “The women are using drugs to deal with trauma.”

Due to the nature of addiction, these women are often left with no support system. The center prides itself on what Gorley called “wrap around support” taking the women through each step of their recovery all the way to permanent housing.

Residental care is offered at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help facility, where the women benefit from living in community. “There are so many beautiful opportunities for growth,” she said.

Behind all the programs and services lies a spirit of hope aimed at helping the women re-invent themselves as confident, capable, clean and sober women and mothers.

“The staff make the women feel valued and loved,” Gorley said.

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