“I’ve said to people that I was born with a package of crayons in my mother’s womb,” said Servite Father Christopher Krymski, pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica and director of the National Shrine of St. Peregrine, 3121 W. Jackson Blvd. “My father was an artist and I think the DNA may have gone down to me.” His niece is an artist too, and his grandmother was also an artist. Now, Krymski is sharing his art to raise money to support twice-monthly breakfasts for the homeless at the parish. The works vary in price from $20 to $50, and many people give more than that to support the parish’s efforts. About 30 works of art using various materials are on display in the AVE-a Gallery located in the parish hall beneath the basilica. AVE-a stands for Against Violence Earth Art. “We’re here on the West Side, and we need that sort of positive affirmation and promotion of making something beautiful for the Lord in a peaceful way, so that’s what the AVE-a Gallery is all about,” said Krymski, who is also a certified art therapist. It costs about $400 to provide freshly prepared meals at each breakfast. Parish ministries prepare the hot breakfasts, which are served at 7 a.m. on the second and the fourth Saturdays of each month. Like many other meal ministries, Our Lady of Sorrows had to suspend its breakfasts during the pandemic, but recently started offering them again. “We buy fresh food. We don’t get leftovers,” Krymski said. “As one man said, ‘Father, I don’t get sick on your food because it’s fresh and the other food is stale or moldy that sometimes we get at the shelters.’” The breakfast ministry has been going on for 19 years. Krymski also shares his love of art with his parishioners. Each Wednesday morning, one hour before a scheduled Bible study, seniors gather for a coloring class. “This helps them to focus. The Lord has given us such a spirit that needs to be once again expressed,” he said., “In kindergarten, first grade, whenever, kids loved to color. Well, big kids, adult kids love to color too.” They use coloring sheets and simple tools like crayons, markers and colored pencils. “We don’t question people’s artwork. We just enjoy each other’s company for one hour,” he said. “We play music and I tell them they can color outside the lines.” “It’s making the invisible visible. What’s inside needs to come forward to explore your soul, your spirit. Inside it’s invisible, but when we do art it becomes visible,” Krymski said. Some of the people who attend live alone so the class connects them with others. “I’m more open to receiving the Scripture when we do it this way. That’s what I enjoy the most,” said John Signorella. “It amazes me that we can come together and enjoy the atmosphere like we do,” said Betty Keller. Some of the seniors’ art is on display and available for purchase in the AVE-a Gallery in the parish hall beneath the basilica. To purchase art or to visit the gallery, contact the parish at 773-638-5800. Brian Brach of the Office of Radio and Television contributed to this story.