MADISON -- Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in Madison has begun coordinating efforts for the future reopening of the Catholic Multicultural Center (CMC).
The Diocese of Madison handed over keys to the center to Msgr. Kenneth Fiedler, pastor of the parish, on June 8. The diocese had closed the center on Madison's south side on May 29 as part of diocesan cutbacks due to economic difficulties.
Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish is researching and studying the use and programs of the Catholic Multicultural Center. "We have dialogued with former staff of the CMC, diocesan priests (all priests were invited to a meeting held at the parish on June 19), members representing civic organizations, Edgewood College, St. Mary's Hospital, St. Vincent de Paul, LaSup (Latino Support Network), the City of Madison, and the Dane County Executive's Office," reported the parish.
Some of the questions being researched include: Is the CMC being used to its potential and are the programs offered fitting well with the community they serve? Who is or are the best people to oversee the programs? Is there a way to financially sustain the building and programs with different partners and who might those partners be?
Creating new budget
"We have been going through the former budget and creating a new budget based on most immediate needs," said a report on the center project in the parish bulletin on June 21. "When we have a budget and a decision made on what programs are vital to restart, we will be able to publicize it and officially begin our fundraising.
"One of the things we have learned that is specific to the CMC is that it is faith based and in recent years has played a major role in the lives of the Latino community. This experience has been shared by many other cultures over the CMC's history. It is a place where our neighbors have come to feel safe and are given the opportunity to learn life skills that they need to be an active member of society."
Prior to the meeting of the priests on June 19, Bishop Robert C. Morlino issued a statement saying he "enthusiastically supports the Madison parishes under the leadership of Msgr. Ken Fiedler in their effort to revamp the Catholic Multicultural Center into a sustainable and vibrant ministry to the poor and marginalized in the City of Madison."
The bishop said he would give "every support to this effort, including forgoing any decision on the future of the building."
Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish has set up a restricted account for the CMC. Interested persons can make a check out to the Catholic Multicultural Center and send it to: Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, 401 S. Owen Dr., Madison, WI 53711. The parish extended thanks to all who have donated financially and offered volunteer help.
Meal program temporarily relocated
The free community meal program previously held at the CMC has been temporarily relocated to St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 605 Spruce St. The meal schedule will be the same as at the center: every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and the last Tuesday and Thursday of each month from 4 to 5 p.m. All are welcome to attend.