Social Concerns

Seeking to support parish commitment to social ministry while defending human life and dignity.

Help the Suffering People of Haiti, Afghanistan and Louisiana


A powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti early Saturday morning, Aug. 14, and tropical depression Grace has brought further devastation. To help those afflicted, Bishop Callahan has asked the parishes of the Diocese of La Crosse to take up a special emergency collection at the Masses of the weekend of Aug. 21-22 or Aug. 28-29.  The monies from this collection will be forwarded to a special fund for Haiti relief set up by the U. S. Bishops.

Note: Contributions can also be made online to Catholic Relief Services, which is assisting in the relief efforts, by visiting


With the Taliban overthrow of the Afghan government, refugees are fleeing, with many coming to the United States.  On August 18, local media reported that some number of refugees would receive housing at Fort McCoy, located in Monroe County.  Governor Tony Evers stated, “We have been in contact with federal partners about resettlement efforts for Afghan people who are seeking refuge at Fort McCoy. As we learn more information, Wisconsin is ready to assist these efforts and help these individuals who served our country and are now seeking refuge.”

While waiting to hear from Fort McCoy as to what assistance may be most helpful, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of La Crosse has contacted other state and national organizations to learn what needs they have been addressing.  Catholic Charities’ Immigration and St. Lawrence Community Services Programs stand ready to help. If you would like to partner in this effort to assist the Afghan refugees, consider the following options: 

  • Your donation will be used to get needed supplies, provide service staff, and be used to help the refugees in their transition and long-term solutions
  • Sign up to help. We are anticipating that needs will grow and change on a regular basis. In an effort to respond to these needs as quickly as possible, we would like to invite you to sign up to offer your assistance.  By signing up, your information will not be shared with outside organizations, but it will allow us to contact you as soon as a need becomes identified.  We appreciate your help!


Provide swift assistance to those impacted by Hurricane Ida

Your gift directly supports Catholic Relief Services (CRS) teams on the frontlines who are working tirelessly for those who are impacted by Hurricane Ida. CRS teams are providing critical aid including food and water, emergency shelter, financial assistance, crisis counseling, and logistical support.


Wisconsin Bishops Address Vaccination
and Conscience Protection

Wisconsin’s bishops have issued a statement in which – while urging Catholics who are eligible to seek vaccination as a means to protect themselves and others – they address the ability of individuals to seek exemption from COVID-19 vaccination mandates based on conscience objection.

Gospel of Life White Mass & Banquet

“Seeing Human Dignity Through the Theology of the Body”

Monday, October 18, 2021 – Cathedral of St. Joseph the Workman, La Crosse, WI

Learn More & Register

Year of St. Joseph

May 1, 2020 – December 8, 2021

Year of St. Joseph Image used with permission of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M

Blessed Brother

James Miller, Martyr and
Witness to the Gospel
Feast Day Feb. 13

Wisconsin Bishops Speak Out
Against Equality Act

Wisconsin’s Catholic bishops join with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in opposing the Equality Act of 2021 (H.R. 5). While all people must be treated with dignity and respect, efforts to prevent discrimination cannot foster inequality and intolerance of religion and people of faith. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution specifically protects free speech and the free exercise of faith, as both are essential for a free and open society….


Catholic Life Articles

Here are a few Catholic Life articles. To read the full article, click on the blue colored title.

  • Giving Back with Humility – Tom Shares his Blessings with OthersGiving Back with Humility – Tom Shares his  Blessings with Others
    The desire to share our blessings with others can be traced back generations. Inspiration carried forward from our parents, grandparents and beyond motivates us to pass on the tradition taught by example. This sense of generational giving is alive at many Catholic parishes worldwide, including St. Paul Parish in Bloomer.… Read more »
  • Pop-up Food Pantry Tackles Food Insecurity CrisisPop-up Food Pantry Tackles  Food Insecurity Crisis
    WHEN THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC STRUCK LAST YEAR, Father Tim Oudenhoven, pastor of St. Bernard Parish in Abbotsford and St. Louis Parish in Dorchester, found himself with unexpected downtime on his hands. “COVID left me very much pondering what I was going to do to fill my time,” Father Tim remembers.… Read more »
  • Forging a Path of Service and EducationForging a Path of Service and Education
    Joseph Koch may be a bona fide world traveler—exploring 154 countries in the last 25 years—but his roots are solidly more local. “I grew up on a dairy farm in Ashford, Wis., about two hours south of Marathon,” Joseph says. “The farm has been in our family since 1858. My… Read more »
  • A Missionary Disciple Helps the Spiritually Hungry Encounter JesusA Missionary Disciple Helps the Spiritually Hungry Encounter Jesus
    There is much pain and unrest in our world today. Certainly, the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened it, but we have been observing the symptoms for some time: loneliness, anxiety, depression and feelings of being disconnected. These have reached epidemic proportions across society, especially among our youth, with tragic increases in… Read more »
  • A Missionary Disciple carries God’s love into the worldA Missionary Disciple carries  God’s love into the world
    Last month, we noted that a disciple is one who “sits at the feet” of Jesus, learning from Him and receiving His grace through prayer and the sacraments. The disciple is then able to “go out” as a missionary, bearing faithful witness to Christ and His Church. It would be… Read more »

Contact Information

Office for Ministries and Social Concerns
Phone: 608.791.0161
Fax: 608.791.2675

Christopher J. Ruff, S.T.L., Director

Jen Mickschl, Secretary