Richard SageHappy 4th of July! I’ve always thought of the 4th as kind of the mid-point of summer; framed on either end by Memorial Day and Labor Day. We’re halfway through the calendar year! The almanac indicates we’ll lose about an hour of sunlight by the end of the month, baseball’s All Star break is just days away (and how about those Brewers!); and we’ll soon be seeing Back To School signs in stores.

At Catholic Charities there’s also a certain rhythm to our activities that somewhat mirrors the calendar, but people’s needs don’t always know a particular season. We always try to be poised to respond whenever we’re called upon. And as I’ve mentioned previously, we’re busy working on possible new initiatives in transitional housing in Wausau and we’re hopeful the remodeling of our new Warming Center and offices in La Crosse will begin this month!

As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day, we’re also observing the US Bishops’ Third Annual Fortnight for Freedom. This year’s thematic focus is on the freedom to serve the poor and vulnerable in accord with human dignity and the Church’s teaching – a theme that touches the core of Catholic Charities. In part the Bishops write: “What we ask is nothing more than the right to follow our consciences as we live out our teaching. This right is not only about our ability to go to Mass on Sunday or pray the Rosary at home. It is about our ability to do the good works our faith calls us to do, without having to compromise that very same faith.” Religious freedom is a precious liberty that we possess and must protect as we celebrate the 4th of July.

From all of us at Catholic Charities, may you enjoy a restful, safe and blessed holiday weekend!

Deacon Richard Sage
Executive Director