About Us | Catholic Charities Madison

About Catholic Charities

of the Diocese of Madison

Catholic Charities, guided by the principles of Catholic teaching, provides services to 19,000 individuals and families every year.

Catholic Charities serves as the charitable arm of the Catholic Church in Southern Wisconsin, providing a broad array of social services. We do this by delivering programs to those most in need across the 11-county footprint of the Diocese of Madison, including those experiencing the challenges of poverty, homelessness, disabilities, aging, addiction, health and wellbeing, and food insecurity.

Our Mission

To demonstrate Christ’s love and justice by caring in faith for the human family.

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Our Vision

We envision a community where individuals and families thrive, nurtured by our unwavering compassion rooted in faith.

Our Values

Following the faith tradition of the Catholic Church, we uphold the belief that all people are created in the image and likeness of God. In this light, our five core values are:


We accompany the people we serve with compassionate hearts.


We respectfully care for each other, our clients and our heritage as an extension of the Church.


We are here to selflessly serve the mission and the people under our care.


We are responsible for the prudent use of organizational resources and donor gifts in service of the mission.


We foster collaborative relationships to promote the common good within our organization and the communities we serve.

Our Programs

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Our aging services address the emotional, physical and social needs of older adults, serving them with dignity and compassion.

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Children & Families

Offering mental health support, access to food and other services for children and families.

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Developmental Disabilities

Programs for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

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The Beacon serves as a daytime resource center for those experiencing homelessness in Dane County.

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Substance Use Treatment

5 Door Recovery is a residential substance use treatment facility located in Madison.

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Principles of Catholic Social Teaching

The Church identifies key principles called “Catholic Social Teaching,” which, in addition to the Church’s moral teachings, guides our response to those in need. Our Mission, Vision, and Values are shaped by these vital teachings.

Life and Dignity of the Human Person

All people are sacred, made in the image and likeness of God. People do not lose dignity because of disability, poverty, age, lack of success, or race.

Call to Family, Community and Participation

The human person is both sacred and social. We believe people have a right and a duty to participate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable.

Rights and Responsibilities

People have a fundamental right to life and those things required for human decency – food, shelter, health care, education and employment.

Option for the Poor and Vulnerable

A basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring. Our tradition recalls the story of the Last Judgment (Mt 25:31-46) and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first.

The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers

Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation. People have a right to decent and productive work, fair wages, private property and economic initiative.


We are one human family. We are our brothers and sisters keepers, wherever they may be. Loving our neighbor has global dimensions in a shrinking world. 

Care for God's Creation

We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation. Care for the earth is not just an Earth Day slogan, it is a requirement of our faith. We are called to protect people and the planet, living our faith in relationship with all of God’s creation.

– Adapted from the United States Council of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) “Seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching”

“Exercising the ministry of charity is part of the Church’s deepest nature and major responsibility.” 

– Pope Benedict XVI

Board of Directors


Bishop Donald Hying
Msgr. James Bartylla
Michael Wick
Shawn Carney, Executive Director



Patrick Flesch, Chair
Megan McDermott, Vice Chair
John Feller, Secretary
MaryJo Steeber-Higgins, Treasurer


Tina Ahedo
Richard “Dick” Bennett
Fr. Thomas Kelley
Rosario “Rosie” Perez
Kyle Schwarm
Michele Trewitt
Paul Wrycha

Annual Reports