The Compass: Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin   Lenten
 Wish List

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Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin
February 15, 2002 Issue

Build a playground for kids, no nails needed

Wish list asks donors to use Lent as time to reach out to needy

See the Wish List below.

By Patricia Kasten
Compass Associate Editor

Would you do the laundry for a tired, new mom? How about help kids in Peru brush their teeth? Maybe help an old person who has trouble getting up out of a chair?

That's exactly what Compass readers have been doing for eight years through the Lenten Giving/Easter Joy Wish List. This Lent, our readers have a chance to provide a mobile soup kitchen, teach prisoners about the saints, and provide warm meals for seniors in day care.

Through the Wish List project, The Compass matches donors (our readers) with community service and ministry organizations that help the poor, elderly, sick and disadvantaged in our area. These groups are often the ones we don't hear about as often, who do their good works relying on help coming via word of mouth.

Over the past eight years, more than 200 requests have been made through the Wish List. Last year, nearly 70% of the requests were answered. Over the years, a used van was provided for a transitional home for adults with developmental disabilities; diabetic supplies were given to a free health clinic; bibles went to prisoners and toys to after-school programs.

To help, all it takes is a check, a phone call, an extra purchase at the store. You don't have to open a shelter, start a health clinic or take in the homeless -- but you can participate in the work done in all these places. All you have to do is help one of the many local groups that already do these great, life-giving ministries.

Listed below, are just some of many worthy causes in our area. A short description of their work, a few requests and a contact person are listed. The Compass asks that individuals, schools or parish groups consider the requests and make them a Lenten project. We also ask that you make direct contact with each group, tell them that you read about them in The Compass, and do what you can to help. The Wish List will also appear at our web site throughout Lent.

Each group in The Compass' ninth Wish List helps make the world a more hope-filled place for the people whom Jesus called the "little ones." Join them this Lent, and bring a little Easter joy by April.

2002 Lenten Wish List

AVAIL, Antigo

AVAIL (Advocates for Victims of Domestic and Sexual Abuse in Langlade County), Inc. offers free services and shelter to victims of domestic and sexual abuse. Services include counseling, support groups, emergency shelter and a 24-hour crisis line for women and children. Most clients are women with children. They need playground equipment and funds to pay for a chain-link fence for the play yard.

"We have an extensive children's program for children who have been victims or witnesses of domestic violence," says executive director Michelle Arrowood.

They also have a number of smaller needs, including office and bedroom furnishings, infant and children carseats and gift certificates for haircuts. Call Arrowood at (715)623-5177.

Horizon Adult Day Care, Antigo

This day care facility provides activities and companionship in a safe, structured environment designed for seniors in the Langlade County area, especially those suffering confusion and memory loss. Day care provides their families with respite and is staffed by certified nursing assistants. Horizon is linked with Langlade Memorial Hospital.

The center needs a lift chair, a microwave oven for meals, and a glider rocker. Director Jennifer Renfro says a comfortable chair is a favorite for seniors and "we could use more around the center." Call her at (715)627-0657.

Fox Valley Jail Ministries, Appleton

Fox Valley Jail Ministry is an ecumenical effort providing religious ministry and counseling to 450 jail inmates and staff each year. Chaplain Fred Sowatzka provides one-on-one couseling to about 70 inmates each month. Chaplains of local jails are often the most forgotten, serving in temporary inmate facilities with few resources. Many inmates are young, first-time offenders, who may be held in jail for up to a year. Sowatzka and an assistant, along with 40 volunteers, provide Bible study and Sunday services. They need funds to buy Bible study material, especially the Touchpoint scripture series books ($3.50 each) for inmates. Sowatzka is also "praying for funds" to hire a part-time administrator for their Mentorship Program to work with 40 volunteers in aftercare for inmates.

"Aftercare is critical to keeping former inmates from falling very quickly back into old cultures, old friends and old habits," says Sowatzka. Call him at (920)832-4747.

Villa Phoenix, Appleton

This residential facility provides a home for men with mental illness, developmental disabilities or chemical dependency. Up to 17 residents can live there at a time. Director Steve Hinton says the low-income residents could use hygiene supplies -- toothpaste, disposable razors, combs, and such. "We truly believe that when the men look good, they feel better about themselves," says Hinton. "They are also viewed in a different light when out in the community." Call Hinton at (920)731-1316.

Bridge-Between Retreat Center, Denmark

This rural retreat ministry of the Sinsinawa Dominicans serves more than 5,000 people each year. People of all religious faiths are welcome to study, pray and share meals at this converted farm. The center helps fund its services through an organic farm and the sale of organic produce to local restaurants, as well as homemade goods such as jams and bread. They need a new refrigerator to store the produce, and oyster shells for their free-range chickens. They could also use someone to landscape the gardens and people to help in the summer/fall harvests. Call Diane Eparvier at (920)864-7230.

Marion House, Green Bay

This Christian Group Homes community project provides housing for pregnant teens and adolescent mothers with new babies. The girls attend high school full-time, and also learn the basic social skills needed to live independently as a single parent. The home's capacity is seven and it is full. They need two new, or nearly new, large-capacity washers and dryers (gas) to replace their current, unreliable appliances. To help, contact Monica Zindler, director, at (920)496-1478.

House of Hope, Green Bay

This cooperative project of the Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul Society provides housing for pregnant teens and single mothers, ages 18-21, and their children. While there, staff teaches the women basic social skills needed to live independently as a single parent. House of Hope recently moved to new facilities and can now serve up to 10 women.

Coordinator Rebecca Lesperance says they would like to start a video/book library. "It would be very rewarding to see the light of understanding in the eyes of a four-year-old and the look of pride in a young mother's face" as they used the library. The house also needs 15 toddler beds and 15 cribs, a dishwasher, a microwave and a glider rocker. To make a donation, or offer monetary support, contact Lesperance at 639-2405 or 884-6740.

Wellspring, Green Bay

This "place of peace for women" is a cooperative effort of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross at Bay Settlement, the Salvation Army and the Fort Howard/Jefferson Neighborhood Family Resource Center. This drop-in center in downtown Green Bay offers support to about 120 women a month. These women are often lonely and come from various faiths and ethnic backgrounds. Sr. Fran Bangert says they would like a TV/VCR combination to show education and self-help vidoes, and a computer/printer for compiling resumes and job applications. They could also use an electric pencil sharpener, a paper cutter, a six-foot ladder and a camera. Call Sr. Bangert at (920)433-9995.

Elizabeth Ministry, Kaukauna

Elizabeth Ministry, started at St. Bernard Parish in Appleton to help new parents, has spread worldwide with an array of information, activities and support networks. Local parish chapters provide volunteer mentors and resources to women and families in the joys, challenges and sorrows of bringing new life into the world, says founder Jeannie Hannemann.

They need financial support to mail a prayer booklet, "Mourning a Miscarriage," to grieving families. Also, Hannemann says, they could use the skills of a person who knows how to appley for grants to help get additional funding.

Finally, they need a computer-savvy person to help set up an e-mail newsletter. They have a small web site at and would like to expand it "to share information, resources and prayers," says Hannemann. Call her at (920)766-9380.

Holiday House, Manitowoc

For over 40 years, Holiday House has provided employment and housing for persons with disabilities. They also run two group homes, housing a total of 17 people with developmental disabilities. Director Thomas Keil says they need two vacuum cleaners, a CD player boombox and a coffeemaker. Keil says that the equipment is needed on a daily basis. Call him at (920)682-4663.

Mount Tabor Center, Menasha

Mt. Tabor offers retreats to everyone, but focuses especially on youth. More than 3,000 young people are served each year, through retreats, support groups and days of reflection. It is the only staffed youth retreat center in the diocese. It also provide community spiritual experiences such as the Janssen Forum.

Sr. Mary Jo Kirt, director, says they need towels and wash cloths -- white, if possible. "We have many overnight retreats and our towels are 1,000 years old."

They could also use a small snow blower, and Sr. Mary Jo says, they could always use prayers for the youth. To help, call Theresa Collier at (920)722-8918.

Community Clothes Closet, Menasha

The Clothes Closet provides clothing and household items to needy families in the Fox Valley. They provide free clothing to over 2,000 people each month.

Needy families, many of whom work at low-income jobs, are referred by service agencies. These include local clergy and domestic abuse shelters. Since its founding in 1980, the Clothes Closet has distributed over 2 million items. Executive director Diane Bishop says they most need large-size clothing and clothes for children, since, as all parents know, "kids always seem to wear them out."

Bishop says they also need blankets, bedding and towels. Most of all, though, they need donations of cash, which are their only source of income. Contact Bishop at (920)731-7834.

Menominee Community Center, Neopit

The community center is a joint venture of St. Anthony Parish and the Menominee Tribe. It serves as a site for religious education programs, wedding and funeral dinners and parish wake services, as well as community dinners and gatherings. The center is paid for, but funds ran out before a parking lot could be black-topped. They also have a Native American icon set that was donated last year, but needs to be framed. To donate funds for either project, contact Sr. Stephanie Spence at (715)756-2361

St. Anthony Parish, Neopit

This parish in the northwest corner of the Menominee reservation has about 320 members, most of whom are Native American. Sr. Stephanie Spence, pastoral associate, says the parish is in the most economically depressed area of the reservation. There has been increasing unemployment due to recent lay-offs. Sr. Spence says they need monetary donations to assist parishoners with rent payments, food, clothing and fuel bills. To make donations, call her at (715)756-2361.

Salvatorian Mission Warehouse, New Holstein

For nearly 40 years, Br. Regis Fust, SDS, and hundreds of volunteers have shipped tons of aid to missionaries around the globe. Items are donated by companies, but shipping costs run into the thousands of dollars. A container of supplies that arrived Jan. 22 in Nicaragua cost $4,000 to ship to the mission staffed by Capuchins and the Bay Settlement Sisters.

Br. Regis says the warehouse -- which ships an average of one container a day needs money for shipping costs. Besides shipments from New Holstein, packed by hand, other shipments go out from facilities across the country. For example, a 43,900-pound shipment to Paraguay. In November cost over $9,000 to send. The Sisters of Notre Dame received those food and sewing supplies on Jan. 19 and promptyly made up food bags for nearly 700 people and families, many of them sick and/or elderly.

Most supplies are food and medicine, but Br. Regis says they are determined by needs. For example, t-shirts, jeans and candy went to Honduras at Christmas. The country is still suffering from the effects of Hurricane Mitch, with nearly 70% of the population in poverty.

Call Br. Regis at (920)898-5898 or mail donations to Salvatorian Mission Warehouse, New Holstein, 53601.

(Br. Regis marks his 50 anniversary as a Salvatorian this year.)

Labor of Love, Oshkosh

This maternity home for women in crisis pregnancies opened six years ago. They have room for four residents at a time. Additionally, they serve about 100 women on an out-patient basis. Director Burdean Schultz says that they would like to turn the over-night staff bedroom into a day-time counseling room. To do that, they need a hide-a-bed -- "a couch by day that opens into a bed overnight." Call Schultz at (920)231-6006.

Fr. Carr's Place 2B, Oshkosh

For nearly 30 years, Fr. Marty Carr has built a web of services for the less fortunate throughout Oshkosh. The threads of that web include a soup kitchen, domestic violence shelters, Bethlehem Inn shelter (see story on page 20) and a free health clinic.

"We would love to have a van -- a Jesus mobile -- that would be daily on the road working with our shelters, clinic and soup kitchen," said Fr. Carr. The van would transport shelter residents to the bus, hospital, and appointments and to pick up food from stores and restaurants to be given to the poor.

Fr. Carr would also welcome volunteers at the inn, as well as "people praying for us."

Besides Bethlehem Inn, Fr. Carr runs the Place 2B, a youth center and gym, and St. Francis Free Walk-In Clinic for the uninsured and underinsured. Call him at (920)231-2378.

Chaplain, Oshkosh Correctional Institution

Sr. Susan Clark, SSND, is a chaplain at Oshkosh's medium security, 1,900-inmate prison. About 350 of the men participate in Catholic programs. She provides a variety of spiritual programs, including worship and study groups, so "their faith tradition can provide support, education and transformation in their lives." Sr. Clark could use several books -- including Butler's Lives of the Saints -- as well as musicians for Saturday evening prayer. She has a list of books on her wish list that explain the Catholic faith in comparision to Protestant Bible study groups many of the men attend. She says there is confusion about church teachings.

Especially needed, Sr. Clark says, is someone with training in Scripture to lead a study group. Contact her at (920)231-4010, ext. 2171.

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