CATHOLIC HERALD STAFF
Archbishop Jerome Listecki will host the fifth annual Lenten Luncheon series this month to highlight the work being done by Catholic Charities Milwaukee and its community partners.
The luncheons also serve as the archbishop’s “Treasures of the Church” awards, which recognize the service of individuals and organizations committed to working toward the common good.
Three luncheons will be held in different parts of the archdiocese to recognize Catholic Charities’ reach across southeastern Wisconsin. Catholic Charities maintains offices in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, Kenosha, Sheboygan and Fond du Lac, and positively impacts more than 43,000 individuals each year, 94 percent of whom live at or below the federal poverty level.
“There are so very many people in need in our local communities. No single agency or church or organization can do this alone,” said Sharon Brumer, parish relations coordinator for Catholic Charities Milwaukee. “It takes many hands and hearts to respond to those in need.”
That’s precisely what makes Lenten Luncheons so important, she added. “They acknowledge others in the community who are doing God’s work in helping and serving others. Together we are impacting and changing lives.”
The luncheon dates are:
Thursday, March 14, at the Bristol Oaks Country Club, 16801 75th St., Bristol, recognizing the Kenosha and Racine areas. Award recipients will be Rev. Edward E. Carroll, Snap-On Incorporated and Sr. Immaculata Maria of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of Christ Order.
Tuesday, March 19, at Saint Francis de Sales Seminary, 3257 S. Lake Drive, St. Francis, recognizing the Milwaukee and Waukesha areas. Award recipients will be Sr. Patricia Rogers, OP, Town Bank and the Sisters of the Divine Savior.
Monday, March 25, at the St. Dominic Parish Activity Center, 2133 N. 22nd St., Sheboygan, recognizing the Sheboygan and Fond du Lac area. Award recipients will be Robert and Arlene Ramstack, Anchor of Hope Health Center and the Knights of Columbus District 61.
All luncheons begin at 11:30 a.m. and will be concluded by 1 p.m., to make attendance more convenient for those who work during normal business hours. The menu is simple Lenten fare, including soup, salad and bread, and is served by local Catholic school students. Individual registration is $25 and can be completed online at ccmke.org. There are also other levels of sponsorship available, including tables for larger groups.
All proceeds from the luncheons go to support Catholic Charities’ services in the counties where the luncheons are sponsored.
What are the Treasures of the Church?
The Treasures of the Church award grew out of a similar initiative called “In My Name” begun by then-Bishop Listecki during his tenure in the Diocese of La Crosse. The name of the award program refers to the story of St. Lawrence, an archdeacon of the church who lived in Rome during a time of great Christian persecution. It was St. Lawrence who had control of the Church’s treasury and who was commanded by the prefect of Rome to turn over the “riches of the Church” in the year 258, after the emperor Valerian ordered the execution of all bishops, priests and deacons. St. Lawrence requested three days to gather the Church’s wealth — time he used to hastily distribute as much of it to the poor as he could. On the third day, he presented to the prefect the true “treasures of the Church” — the poor, the crippled, the blind and the suffering. For this act of defiance, he was sentenced to death.
The recipients of the Archbishop’s Treasures of the Church awards are selected with the input of Catholic Charities’ vicar Fr. David Reith and chief operating officer Ricardo Cisneros as well as the host site priests and volunteer coordinators of the event.