St. Jude the Apostle
This edition is shining the Sanctuary Spirit Spotlight on St. Jude the Apostle Parish, Wauwatosa. Their Mission Statement tells us a great deal about this amazing parish:
We are an active, caring and engaged Catholic community of believers in Christ that promotes growth in faith through fellowship, ministry, education, and service to those in need.
And their Vision Statement continues…
Build more and better relationships with one another
Grow with our youth
Worship with deep faith and diversity
Serve hurting people and God’s creation in our parish, in Milwaukee County and beyond
Be mindful stewards of all of our parish’s gifts.
(Photo: St. Jude the Apostle entry)
The very first words of the Mission Statements say it all. This is one active, caring, and engaged Parish Family. It seems at every turn they are calling their parishioners to be disciples and involved.
The St. Jude connection to MBHS began when Fr. Charlie Conley was the parish pastor, and seeds were planted with the Human Concerns Committee and Pastoral Council. Volunteers participated in various events with their time and talent or supported MBHS with financial donations.
Fr. Mike Erwin was assigned to St Jude in June, 2021. Fr. Mike valued the mission and community being built at MBHS and spent many hours visiting with the guests as they waited for distributions of food and clothing. He would share some of his experiences at MBHS during his homilies. Under Fr. Mike’s leadership, St. Jude raised funds needed to complete the Welcome Center, and the parish has expanded involvement to include tutoring, nurses at the Welcome Center, gardeners, and the Friday meal program.
(Photo: Father Mike Erwin)
I had an opportunity to talk with three amazing women, members of the Parish who have been especially involved with supporting our Mission at MBHS. During our conversations, it became clear that the giving of the stewardship has been a mutual sharing of gifts.
JoAnn Maranan, co-chair of the Parish Outreach Committee, took time from an incredibly busy work schedule to share her experience with MBHS. JoAnn uses words like connector, charismatic, welcoming, and impressive as she describes what she has experienced first-hand during her own and the parish volunteers’ visits. Those visits and volunteer efforts have included financial support along with the delivery of hygiene goods, blankets, sleeping bags, toys, cookies, and food for the 4th of July celebrations and Summer Fun event. In fact, it was the St. Jude generosity that allowed for the closing of the fund raiser for the Welcome Center.
(Photo: SJA Parishioners prepare and serve a hot meal at Hephatha Lutheran Church as part of our Fantastic Fridays.)
And please meet Mary Jo Mance, a retired pediatric nurse who gives her time and talent to assist in MBHS’s important lead testing program for neighborhood children that takes place in the Welcome Center. Mary Jo is one of the original four-nurse team that has grown to a group of seven nurses from a variety of disciplines who provide nursing and medical services to the Sanctuary guests. Understanding the importance and trust that food can provide, Mary Jo suggested the team provide a ticket for food whenever a guest visits a nurse. This contributes to their health care by allowing guests to share their stories with a trained professional. Mary Jo also coordinates the brigade that prepares bag lunches for the crisis center on the 2nd Monday and Wednesday of the month. In addition, a group of four volunteers rotate picking up 80 sandwiches per week for the Sanctuary Guests. They even pick up sandwiches from a lovely couple in Elm Grove who have been making sandwiches for Sr. MacCanon for the last 25 years.
(Photo: A group from St. Jude visits our Welcome Center and Doorway Ministry.)
The conversation of the gift of food would not be complete without an introduction to Nettie Raue. Nettie volunteered her talent for coordinating food pantries in the past, so when Fr. Erwin asked if someone could coordinate the St. Jude Parishioners’ food service for the meals MBHS serves at Hephatha Church, Nettie volunteered. It started last December with a chili dump, salad, and of course desserts!
Nettie also understands the importance of introducing the youth of the parish to the ministry. She and her committee hope to bring several youths with them in the future.
Nettie is a descendant of an Italian immigrant Grandmother who always made extra for others. Nettie continues that tradition and truly believes that “food is love.” She demonstrates that through the ministry of food she and her fellow St. Jude Parishioners prepare for the Sanctuary. She sees the relationship between St. Jude’s parish and MBHS as “…A mutual transformation.” She said, “I saw everyone coming together to provide the meal. The response for volunteers to help was amazing…. I think for all of us we can hear Our Lord. ‘I was hungry and you fed me’.”
(Parishioners enjoy a meal after the guests have been served at our Fantastic Friday at Hephatha Lutheran Church.)
Focusing on MBHS as an outreach ministry has provided an avenue for parishioners to directly interact with the MBHS community and build relationships that are enriching to all involved.
Thank you St. Jude the Apostle Parish for sharing your light to brighten the lives of those who are served by the MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary!