CATHOLIC HERALD STAFF
Registration has already exceeded 300 people for the upcoming Human Concerns Summit on April 6 at the Mary Mother of the Church Pastoral Center — but there’s still plenty of room, and walk-in registrants are more than welcome.
The summit is specifically aimed at parish human concerns committee members, respect life committee members and members of St. Vincent de Paul councils, but the issues addressed during this morning of networking and formation will be relevant to any individual interested in the ministry of human concerns, said Rob Shelledy, coordinator of the Archdiocesan Social Justice Ministry.
“What we’re really hoping to do is increase the number of Catholics that are involved in these ministries,” said Shelledy.
The summit will kick off at 9 a.m. in the Mater Christi Chapel with a welcome message, prayer and reflection led by Archbishop Jerome Listecki. Attendees can then choose one of six breakout workshops on a variety of different human concerns issues affecting the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, including:
— Pilot Initiative on Hunger, led by Vincent Noth, Synod Implementation team Social Justice and executive director of Riverwest Food Pantry.
— Life Issues: Getting to the Root, led by Anne Haines of Urban Ministry.
— Human Trafficking, led by Dcn. Steve Przedpelski of Franciscan Peacemakers and Three Holy Women Parish.
— How Can Parishes Respond to the Crisis of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Addiction?, led by Fr. Brian Mason of St. Mary Hales Corners and Jason Gonzalez, executive director of Fourth Dimension Sobriety.
— Recruitment and Maintaining Volunteers, led by Jessica Brandt, volunteer coordinator of Catholic Charities, and John Thompson of St. John Vianney, Brookfield.
— Advocacy and Immigration, led by Kim Vercauteren of Wisconsin Catholic Conference and Barb Graham, director of Catholic Charities Legal Services for Immigrants (LSI).
Following the workshops will be regional networking and collaboration, closing prayer and lunch in the dining hall. This closing portion of the morning will also include the formal announcement and overview of the upcoming Seven Days of Service event that will be taking place throughout the Archdiocese of Milwaukee during the last full week of September.
Running from Sept. 22-29 and spanning the Sept. 27 feast of St. Vincent de Paul, Seven Days of Service is one of the Archdiocese’s 175th anniversary events, and will “highlight the ongoing services that Catholics are providing to the broader community,” said Shelledy.
Parishes will be invited to support a variety of service initiatives, including the donation of care packages containing personal and hygiene items to nonprofits like Capuchin Community Services, Catholic Charities and Gerard’s Embrace. The archdiocese will also participate in cleanup and beautification efforts in the Amani neighborhood. During this week, many regional St. Vincent de Paul councils will also host their Friends of the Poor Run/Walk.
“Physically doing something might not be possible for folks because of physical limitations or age, but everybody can pray for the different ministries and services that we have in the archdiocese, and everyone can look for times when they can get involved,” said Shelledy. “A lot of the ministries also do need financial support. Everybody needs to do their part — you don’t have to do everything, but everyone can do something.”
Registration for the summit is free. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.