Treasures of the Church
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Archbishop Listecki

Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki
Archbishop of Milwaukee


On Tuesday, Feb. 23, Saint Francis de Sales Seminary will host Catholic Charities for its second annual Archbishop’s Lenten Luncheon. Individuals from all over the area will gather to enjoy three different soups, salad and short bread cookies as we honor an individual, an organization and a religious order that support charitable works. The honorees will receive a signed, framed copy of the Treasures of the Church award – an artist’s rendition of St. Lawrence, deacon and martyr, who when ordered by the Emperor Diocletian to bring before him the treasures of the Church, returned the next day with widows, orphans, the lame and poor. “These,” he said, “are the treasures of the Church.” The emperor was so infuriated that he ordered St. Lawrence to be roasted alive. It is fitting that Catholic Charities’ recognition award is named the “Treasures of the Church.” This year’s recipients are wonderful examples of the charitable activities that take place in our archdiocese.
Individual |
This year’s award for an individual goes to Patricia Barnard, a woman who dedicated herself to feeding the poor. In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pat is an example of someone who took seriously the corporal works of mercy. A volunteer at St. Hyacinth Food Pantry, she collected clothes for distribution. Being able to speak several languages, Pat’s welcoming spirit bestowed a dignity on those in need. She attended last year’s Lenten Luncheon and was enthusiastic about the spirit that was generated – we even took a picture together. The next day, while on a trip to Savannah, Ga., Patricia unexpectedly passed. God had called her home. Her husband and daughter lost a loving wife and mother, and the poor lost a champion. Her husband will accept the Treasures of the Church award in her memory.
Organization |
It is strange to find a doctor who will do home visits and even stranger to find a lawyer that does. But here in Milwaukee, due to the generosity of attorneys Frank Daily, Julianna Ebert and Michael Gonring, a Mobile Legal Clinic filled with professional advice comes to the door of the poor in underserved areas. In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, the poor are given an equal footing before the law through the use of the Mobile Legal Clinic and the willingness of legal professionals to assist them in understanding their lawful rights and responsibilities. These generous professionals may even change the image of “the cutthroat lawyer” through their sensitive response to the needs of the poor.
Religious Order |
The Capuchin Franciscan Order has been at the forefront of service to the poor. Following their founder, St. Francis of Assisi, they generously give of their lives in service to those in need. Here in Milwaukee, the Capuchins staff the House of Peace and St. Ben’s Community Meal, serving the hungry and the homeless. In addition, their outreach introduces others within the community, parishes, schools and corporations to the joy of serving the poor and needy. The Capuchins maintain three parishes: St. Martin de Porres, St. Benedict the Moor and St. Francis of Assisi, where they foster personal dignity.
Catholic Charities of Milwaukee is one of the Church’s best kept secrets. It does so much good and collaborates with so many. In this Year of Mercy, it’s difficult to keep your light under a basket. The Lenten Luncheon celebrates the works of Catholic Charities and recognizes those who join in serving the poor. It’s all about love and those who LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Note: This blog originally appeared as the February 16, 2016 "Love One Another" email sent to Catholics throughout the Archdiocese of Milwaukee by Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki. If you are interested in signing up for these email messages, please click here.

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