NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The faithful gathered at St. Patrick’s Cathedral to celebrate Midnight Mass early Sunday morning, the first of numerous services there to mark Christmas Day.

Arbishop Timothy Dolan called Christmas a booster shot of hope for New York, and the world.

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WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell With A Special Story From 7 A.M. Mass At St. Patrick’s

Louise Ciero and her husband Rocko had always talked about coming to St. Patrick’s for Christmas Mass, but they never did it until this year.

“I’ve always wanted to do Christmas Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. So, my husband made it happen,” she said.

Rocko died of lung cancer eight months ago.

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“You don’t think about a lot of things when life is going so great and then you have a tragedy and then you just start thinking about all the things that the two of you would’ve really done together. You just talk about it, but now you make it happen,” she told WCBS 880 reporter Peter Haskell.

Louise says she’s not feeling sad, but rather greatful for the 37 years they had together.

At the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI delivered a Christmas message in more than a dozen languages at St. Peter’s Basilica. The Pontiff lamented the commercialization of Christmas.

In Bethlehem, hundreds turned out at St. Catherine’s Church in Manger Square despite heavy wind and rain.

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Some U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan set up a church at a NATO base in Kabul.