Catholic Charities honors St. Martin de Porres Award finalists

By | November 16, 2011

• Christina Pallini, who serves as respect life consultant for the Diocese of Green Bay.

• Jennifer Wanke, executive director of LEAVEN (Limited Emergency Assistance Valley Ecumenical Network), which provides emergency assistance to the needy of the Fox Valley area.

• Seeds of Hope Committee, a grassroots group in Green Bay that seeks to put a face on poverty. Seeds of Hope Committee members include Eileen Littig, Mike DeGrand, Bree Decker, Bobbie Lison and Katie Schultz.

Pallini was nominated for her years of dedication to life issues. “Tina has been described as one who challenges the thoughts and actions of those she interacts with on a daily basis,” according to Catholic Charities. “She has organized regional Respect Life Masses, called our priests together to hear about post-abortion services with Vicki Thorn and the Project Rachel program, has brought in national speakers on end of life and respect for life issues and is a powerful witness to the faith we profess as Catholics.”

Wanke was recognized for her leadership serving the poor in the Fox Cities through Leaven. “For the families referred there by Catholic Charities, it is often a lifeline,” Catholic Charities noted. “It is through the leadership efforts of Jennifer and Leaven that the community embarked on a journey called Project Promise, which looks at root causes of poverty and invites people of faith to be part of lasting solutions to end poverty as we know it.”

Seeds of Hope, funded by a grant from the Catholic Foundation of the Green Bay Diocese and chaired by Bobbie Lison of Catholic Charities, was instrumental in putting together a photo journal display that offered firsthand accounts of people’s journeys and struggles living in poverty and moving to self-sufficiency.

The photo exhibit made its first appearance at the Neville Museum in Green Bay and has since been invited to other venues such as Ripon College, Northern Waters Gallery in Marinette and Manitowoc, and at the St. Vincent de Paul state conference. Next year the exhibit will be displayed at the national St. Vincent de Paul Conference.

Other nominees for the St. Martin de Porres Award included Bree Decker, Deacon Steve Meyer, Karean VanEss, Jean Rausch and Dominican Sr. Caroline Castellini.

St. Martin de Porres, a lay brother of the Dominican order in Lima, Peru, in the 17th century, dedicated his life to serving others. “St. Martin de Porres’ work embodies much of what we do here each day at Catholic Charities with the support and encouragement of many people of faith like those being recognized,” said Johnston.

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