We hope that you’ve had a wonderful start to the 2018 year. With many exciting and important events in the past, present, and future, we can’t wait to see what this year brings for Catholic Charities- both for our staff and those we serve.

All Staff Meeting Update

Hopefully each of you had a delightful surprise when you heard that our All Staff meeting was cancelled on February 9th. We have now been able to schedule a NEW DATE which is Friday, May 11th. The time is still the same from 8:30 a.m. until about 3:00 p.m. Please plan accordingly with changing appointments for your clients. Reservations will be confirmed closer to that date.

Annual Report Coming Soon!

We are putting the finishing touches on the 2017 Annual Report. We cannot wait to share the final product with you all!

Lenten Luncheon Season is in Full Swing

The Sheboygan/Fond Du Lac Lenten Luncheon took place on Monday, February 26th at the St. Dominic Parish, and was a huge success! Keep reading to learn more about the Lenten Luncheons and see some moments that were captured!

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Program Highlights

Catholic Charities’ pregnancy and parenting support program is a FREE home visiting program available to serve pregnant and parenting individuals and/or families who live in the 10 counties of southeastern Wisconsin. The pregnancy support coordinator works with clients by providing education, support, and case management. Our home visitation services are family-centered, strength-based, and directed at establishing a trusting relationship.

In addition to the one-on-one work we do with clients, we also offer opportunities for clients to support one another and address issues of social isolation. We offer a support group for our parenting clients as well as a closed Facebook group. We also offer an annual birth mother retreat in collaboration with the Madison, Lacrosse, and Green Bay Catholic Charities Dioceses.

We are a fully licensed Child Placement Agency (CPA) in Wisconsin. We offer domestic infant adoptions, Independent, Interstate, Relative, and Step-parent adoptions. Our largest program is our domestic infant adoption program and we no longer offer international adoptions.

When we meet with prospective adoptive families we are often asked many of these question- how long will it take to adopt, how much will the process cost, what are the demographics of the children we are seeing needing adoptive families, what other info should we know?

The infographic below gives a snapshot on national adoption data.

Melanie and Jack first contacted Catholic Charities’ adoption program in 2013. Since then, they had several opportunities to show their profile to expectant parents, and were even matched with an expectant mom in 2015. When that match fell through, the couple was devastated, but came back into the agency’s waiting pool in hopes that a different situation would turn out in their favor. 2016 was a hard year for Melanie and Jack as they examined their lives and their motivation to adopt.

However, in January of 2017, a profile opportunity went out to the waiting families for a mom that was just about to deliver twins. They jumped at the opportunity, telling their adoption worker that they always hoped they would have twins. On January 10, 2017, the expectant mother viewed their profile book and instantly felt a connection with Melanie and Jack. She asked to meet them the next day and decided to match with them right after the meeting.

On January 12, 2017, the mother went in for an emergency c-section, and the boys, Avery and Tyson, were born that same day. Melanie and Jack went to the hospital right away and met their boys. They spent 16 days in the NICU and were discharged into the home of the serendipitous couple on January 28, 2017. They finalized their adoption on August 1, 2017; growing their family by, not one, but two! They have adjusted beautifully as a family of four and are anxious to re-enter the agency’s waiting pool when the boys turn one, to grow their family even more!

Advent/Christmas giving in December of 2017 brought in hundreds of donated items for Catholic Charities’ clients. Participating in the giving were the following churches:

Parishes were happy to see the ‘bundle’ collection options, which included bath, dental, hair care, hygiene, cleaning, stationary, baby, and family fun bundles for distribution to our client families.

Four volunteers from US Bank helped with picking up the items at two of the larger parishes, and delivered those items to both our Milwaukee and Waukesha Offices.

One church, Our Lady of Good Hope parish in Milwaukee, is engaging its parishioners in a weekly Lenten ‘bundle’ collection for our clients.

Lenten Luncheons Benefit Catholic Charities’ Programs and Services

This is the fourth year that Archbishop Listecki is hosting the Milwaukee/Waukesha Lenten Lunch, and, this year he is expanding this wonderful friend-raiser for Catholic Charities to the Sheboygan/Fond du La area and the Kenosha Racine area.

The annual Lenten Luncheon recognizes the good works of individuals, organizations and religious orders that serve individuals and families in need in our local communities.

The 2018 Lenten Luncheon ‘Treasures of the Church’ award recipients are:

Check out our Facebook page to see highlights from each Lenten Luncheon!

In this newsletter, we wanted to take some time and highlight all the good work that the Racine staff has been doing. Here is a wonderful testimonial of how our services are impacting people’s lives!

Racine Outreach case manager Peggy Caceres started working with Johanna in late December of 2017; who had just arrived in Wisconsin from Central America. She could speak some English but wanted to become more proficient, while also wanting to get a job and obtain her driver’s license. Peggy was able to assist Johanna to enroll in the English as a Second Language program at the Kenosha Literacy Council, while also assisting Johanna in applying at a local employment agency where she quickly secured a job. Furthermore, Peggy also worked with her to obtain her Wisconsin driver’s license. In a very short time, Johanna has accomplished a great deal; she is very eager to earn her GED and work toward a Certified Nursing Assistant degree. Johanna is goal-orientated and internally motivated, and so far it seems she will be successful. It also is comforting to have a case manager who can provide support and advocacy when she needs it!

The Board of Catholic Charities is composed of 20 members with Archbishop Jerome Listecki or his representative, Bishop Jeffrey Haines, as the president of the Board. There are 19 other members who attend the 5 general board meetings during the year. In addition, each committee member participates in one of the following meetings during the course of the year.

Board Members are very supportive of the work that staff does in relating with the clients who come to our doors on a daily basis. As you may be aware, about half of the program directors have been sharing the work that his or her program is involved in during the course of the year. Board members are very impressed with how you meet the needs of clients that come to our doors on a daily basis.

The Role of the Board of Trustees is to provide leadership in the development and monitoring of the effectiveness of the agency in fulfilling its philosophy, purpose, mission and and plans; to develop and approve agency-wide policies, guidelines, budgets, information relating to human resources; to select new members of the board and to develop revisions of the by Laws; and finally appreciate the work that each of you does in your mission of our agency.

As Board Members, each person serves on one or more of these committees:

Executive Committee: Members of this committee are the Officers who make decisions when needs arise outside of the regular board meetings. They also plan the agenda and run the meetings of the organization when the board is in session.

Advancement Committee: These members advise the staff in the areas of public relations and marketing, formulate long range fundraising goals and action plans to support the organization’s long and short term goals, and work closely with Mission Advancement Director, Jackie Rekowski.

Board Governance Committee: This committee concerns itself with the task of securing new Trustees for the agency, provides orientation of new members and reviews By Laws and Charters.

Finance Committee: Duties of this committee are to make recommendations to the full board with reference to the annual budget and general affairs of the corporation. They also retain the auditor for the annual audit. During the year, they work closely with the Management team to maintain an advisory role in the budget.

Parish Relation Committee: The duties of this group are to assist the Parish Relations Coordinator, Sharon Brumer, to identify and promote resources both within the Parish and Catholic Charities that can be shared to help alleviate human needs.

Programs Committee: This committee, along with Robert Kaisler, the CQI Director, shall spearhead the creation and ongoing review of a strategic plan, monitor and assess existing programs and serve as an advisory body to all program managers, and suggest funding for programs as needed.


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Sarah Werner


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