News 2017-03-20T14:45:54+00:00

African Hunger Crisis

There is a drought in East Africa affecting, in particular, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, and Uganda. They are in the early stages of famine.

In Somalia there are 6.2 million people in need which is 50% of the population. The last famine in Somalia in 2010-12 led to 260,000 deaths.  Overall, 23 million people presently across the horn of Africa are without enough to eat.

Catholic Relief Services(CRS) has feet on the ground. Here is what they are doing:

  1. Working on access to water by rehabilitating wells and bore holes, and finding underground resources that are undeveloped.
  2. Improving livestock health.
  3. Facilitating disease control.
  4. CRS is providing food in exchange for labor to help build community infrastructure.

CRS is already on the ground coordinating with UN to airlift supplies.  CRS aid workers are going directly to those in need hiking in with supplies to places where access is limited.

How can you Support CRS’ Work in East Africa?

  1. Advocacy: Contact politicians through Catholics Confront Global Poverty.
  2. Donate to the work of CRS.

Go to the link provided to learn more:

June 20th, 2017|Categories: News & Announcements|

Mail day: students, older adults pen pals meet

June 15th, 2017|Categories: News & Announcements|

Pregnancy, Parenting and Adoption Social Worker

Catholic Charities is seeking a full-time Bachelor level Licensed Social Worker. This position will work with new and expectant parents to provide pregnancy counseling, parenting education and planning or adoption planning and placement. The position also provides detailed paperwork and home studies for families who are applying to adopt a child. Knowledge of adoption and pregnancy & parenting counseling is preferred. Bilingual candidates encouraged to apply. Must be able to work independently, create strong networks in the community, and work flexible, on-call hours. The position is based out of Rochester MN, with some office hours in Winona and travel in a 9 county area.

Please email a cover letter, resume, and three work-related references to or mail to Catholic Charities, Attn: Sarah Vetter, 903 West Center Street, Suite 220 Rochester, MN 55902 by June 28, 2017.

June 7th, 2017|Categories: Employment|

Catholic Charities Wins When Work Works Award


Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Winona Recognized for Innovative and Effective Workplace Practices

Receives prestigious When Work Works Award

 WINONA, MN  – Catholic Charities has been honored with a 2017 When Work Works Award for exemplary workplace practices.

Bob Tereba, Executive Director, displays When Work Works Award

The prestigious When Work Works Award is part of the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM’s) When Work Works project, a national initiative that helps employers become more successful by transforming the way they view and adopt effective and flexible workplaces.

The award recognizes employers of all sizes across the country that are excelling at offering a variety of top-rated employee initiatives such as work-life fit policies, flexible scheduling and transition to parenthood programs. The award goes beyond work-life programs and includes initiatives that address the additional evidence-based aspects of effective workplaces, such as opportunities for learning, a culture of respect and trust, and job autonomy.

In applying for the award, Catholic Charities was evaluated on factors associated with employee health, well-being and engagement: opportunities for learning; a culture of trust; work-life fit; supervisor support for work success; autonomy; and satisfaction with earnings, benefits and opportunities for advancement.

“Considering that 78 percent of employers report difficulty recruiting employees for highly skilled jobs and 38 percent report difficulty recruiting for entry-level hourly jobs, When Work Works Award winners have leveraged this recognition opportunity to distinguish themselves as exemplary employers that offer new or enhanced options that help them attract and retain top talent,” said Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute, the original creator of this award, and senior research advisor at SHRM.

“These winners have reinvented their workplaces in ways that benefit business and employees alike and are reaping the benefits in terms of employee job satisfaction and retention,” said Cassidy Solis, senior advisor, workplace flexibility, at SHRM.

The award is earned after a rigorous assessment that emphasizes the real-life experiences of employees and incorporates national benchmarks of employer practices from the National Study of Employers and the employee experiences from the National Study of the Changing Workforce. Two-thirds of an organization’s winning score is based on a survey of its employees.

Catholic Charities was recognized as a When Work Works recipient at the May 23, 2017 Winona Area Chamber of Commerce Awards Luncheon.

About Catholic Charities

Catholic Charities is the social service arm of the Catholic diocese for the twenty southernmost counties of Minnesota. The counties include Winona, Wabasha, Olmsted, Dodge, Steele, Waseca, Blue Earth, Watonwan, Cottonwood, Murray, Pipestone, Rock, Nobles, Jackson, Faribault, Martin, Freeborn, Mower, Fillmore, and Houston. Catholic Charities employs community and social service professionals to help people throughout southern Minnesota.

About When Work Works

When Work Works is a national initiative led by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to help businesses of all sizes and types become more successful by transforming the way they view and adopt effective and flexible workplaces. When Work Works is one of the foremost providers of resources, rigorous research and best practices on workplace effectiveness and flexibility in the nation. The initiative administers the prestigious annual When Work Works Award, which recognizes exemplary employers for creating effective workplaces to increase business and employee success. Visit and follow us on Twitter @WhenWorkWorks.



May 30th, 2017|Categories: News & Announcements|

Beaten to bone building: local farmer uses lessons from accident to improve lifestyle

As blood soaked his eyes, Tony Wolfe began to crawl the eighth of a mile back to his home, feeling for the edge of a freshly cut grass path.
Tony had been cutting hay with a haybine on his 64-acre hobby farm in near Homer Ridge, Minn. in June 2011. After climbing off the tractor to adjust the haybine, he heard the parking brake snap loose.
He remembered jumping and feeling the backside of the tractor as he was hit and thrown, his face experiencing the brunt of the impact.“When I heard the click in the tractor, I knew what happened,” Tony recalled. He said if he had been able to jump two more inches, he would have walked home without injury. But reflecting on the accident later, he said he is thankful he made it as far as he did.“The dear Lord must’ve picked me up and helped me jump as far as I jumped,” Tony said. His wife, Lucy Wolfe, came outside to find her husband bloodied and badly hurt. She called 911 and a neighbor, and soon Tony was airlifted to Gundersen Health System in La Crosse. It’s been six years since Tony jumped from death, and the hobby farmer said he spends every day thankful he still gets to experience life and strives to be healthy.
Tony participates in Winona Catholic Charities’ Common Good Retired and Senior Volunteer Program Bone Builders class twice weekly, volunteers with SEMCAC as a driver and participates in water aerobics. These activities are what Tony credits as helping him maintain a healthy lifestyle after what could have been the end of his life.

Following the accident in June 2011, doctors described Anthony’s face as a bag potato chips with the amount of damage he had sustained. He had a broken nose and sustained facial fractures. In an email exchange updating loved ones of the Wolfes, Lucy explained that Tony had 11 plates and 40 screws in his face to piece parts of it back together. But he only spent four days in the hospital, Lucy said. When he came home, he was given exercises to help improve his strength. By December he was making the transition to eating solid foods again and gained back his full vision.


This allowed him to get back to helping SEMCAC, driving people to their appointments just months after a medical emergency of his own.
Tony credits his wife for helping him push through the recovery, by helping him set up doctors appointments and organizing his needs.
“She was such a big help,” Tony said. “She’s gone through a lot with me.”

To continue a healthy lifestyle and improvement, Tony also joined the Bone Builders class. The class provides strength and balance exercises geared toward older adults. Even before his accident, Tony said he was noticing signs of aging, including limited balance, but since joining the program, he said he has notice improvement in balance, strength and muscle abilities.
Tony said he would encourage other members of the community to participate, particularly men. He is one of the few currently participating.
He is often impressed with the capabilities of some of his classmates, particularly those he would not expect to see strides above him.
“Some of the older ladies can stand there and not use the chair,” Tony said, laughing about how he still needs the chair for most of the exercises. “I’m finding as I do it, I can let go of the chair momentarily.” Lucy said she too is hoping to someday join in on the class, excited for some improvement in her overall health as well.
As for the hobby farm, Tony said he still cuts hay in the same spot where the accident happened. He said it does not bother him to pass by where he once crawled toward home with a bloody face, but in reflecting on the tailspin his life was put into six years ago, he said appreciation and a sense of carpe diem are the lessons he has gleaned. “You were blessed, too,” Lucy said. “Sometimes when I get frustrated, I just get this picture out,” Tony said, pointing to a picture of his swollen, bloodied face. “Just appreciate what you have. I came so close to losing everything.”
“Sometimes when I get frustrated, I just get this picture out. Just appreciate what you have. I came so close to losing everything.” Tony Wolfe, pointing to a picture of his swollen, bloodied face.
May 15th, 2017|Categories: News & Announcements|