During Holy week, we meditated on Jesus’ passion and death, and remembered how much suffering and pain He endured for us shortly after being proclaimed King by the crowds. We know through the Gospel that while praying at Golgotha he sweated blood, and we can only imagine the pain He must have felt at the cross. Our God is no stranger to suffering and He freely embraced it so that He could gain for us eternal life.
This is why Easter is a season of Hope. When all seem to be lost, when evil seems to have won, the resurrection happens. Christ knows our daily struggles and He offers us help. He understands and knows us better than we do ourselves; hence He knows what we need.
At Catholic Charities we see miracles happen every day. We experience situations of suffering and injustice, but we also experience how Christ works through so many people by providing help and hope. God will not be outdone in goodness, because He is goodness, love and hope. We can be confident that the work we do every day in His name will be according to His will and that is the best outcome.
Have a Happy Easter!
Criteria considered during the screening process included innovative implementation, demonstrated measurable results, collaboration with partners, and whether the effort was focused on needs-based groups. Connie will be honored at a ceremony at the Capitol later this year!
Governor Walker Honors 15 with 2016 Financial Literacy Award
The greatest gift of them all is LOVE. It can take many shapes and forms, but as Christ said, there is no greater gift or expression of our love than giving one’s life for another.
This reality is what makes life so fulfilling. We see and experience with our senses the LOVE of God in His creation, in the beauty of nature, in art and in music. We also experience it in our souls when we find truth, peace and goodness, and in relationship with others. In other words, we find GOD in all because He is LOVE and He created all.
God’s loving plan for us is very specific, and He invites us to be participants in that plan as a family. Pope Francis, in his address to families in Philadelphia made a statement that stuck with me. He said, “God made this marvel in which we live and since we’re a little mixed up, we are destroying it. But the most beautiful thing that God made, the Bible says, was the family. He created man and woman, and He gave them everything. He gave them the world! Grow, multiply, cultivate the earth, make it produce, make it grow. He presented to a family all of the love that He made in this marvelous creation.” Then he said, “All of the love, beauty and truth that God has in Himself, He gives to the family. And a family is truly a family when it is able to open its arms and receive all of this love. When God the Father gave His only Son to us and sent us the Holy Spirit, again He was donating Himself completely to us, His family.
On December 25th we celebrate the birth of Jesus, a gift from the Father who in His infinite wisdom, chose a humble Virgin mother and a faithful husband – the Holy Family – to receive His only Son into the world. The creator of all, the ruler of the universe, the almighty gave us His Son so that we could enjoy eternity with Him. What a gift! What Love!
The La Crosse Community Warming Center opened for the season on November 1, 2016. While the temperatures continue to drop, our need for Warming Center volunteers grows. Without volunteers like Sue, we would never be able to keep our doors open to serve the hundreds of members of our community experiencing homelessness each season.
Sue started volunteering at the La Crosse Community Warming Center 5 years ago after hearing about the Warming Center mission through her church, First Free Onalaska. Sue believes all people deserve love and compassion, and she hopes that by helping and serving people, she can make a difference in the life of someone who has a difficult situation.
As a volunteer at the Warming Center, Sue said she has gained a lot including a richer life experience and a great appreciation for all God has blessed her with – including her friends at the Warming Center. She said, “I’ve made lifelong friends, guests and volunteers alike. We’ve celebrated weddings and cried at funerals. We’ve laughed together and problem solved. We’ve shared our joys and our challenges.”
Sue shared with Catholic Charities that her favorite thing about volunteering at the Warming Center is the love and compassion and feeling of “family” among the guests and volunteers. She shared a story of one night when two men had a conversation over dinner: “They shared their love for music, the outdoors and other things in common. At one point, the first man said to the second man, ‘I’m surprised you are here, you don’t seem like you would be homeless.’ The second man replied, ‘I’m not homeless, I’m a volunteer like you!’ And the first man said, ‘I am a guest here tonight.’ And a friendship began.”
Sue was so excited to share her enjoyment of volunteering at the Warming Center. She said that volunteering at the Warming Center is as simple as remembering that we are all more alike than different, sharing a meal, and enjoying each other’s company. Sue shared her motivation and encouraged others; “Open your heart and mind to serve another human being who may not have the same life you do. Practice justice, show mercy, be compassionate and love others just as they are. To the world you are one person but you may be the world to another person.”