Start by doing what’s necessary, then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
ABOUT FRANCISCAN PEACEMAKERS
Franciscan Peacemakers Street Ministry started as the dream of two Franciscan Capuchin priests in 1995. Fr. Robert Wheelock, OFM Cap., and Fr. Michael Sullivan, OFM Cap., saw escalating violence in the city of Milwaukee. The words of St. Francis called them to start doing what was necessary and thus began the ministry of Franciscan Peacemakers.
Start by doing what’s necessary…
With no experience and boldly stepping out in faith, Fr. Bob and Fr. Mike took to the streets of the central city of Milwaukee. Their primary ministry was outreach to women who were engaging in prostitution and to provide an avenue off of the streets. Fr. Bob and Fr. Mike soon found that their first step would need to be more fundamental: developing an atmosphere of trust and demonstrating their genuine concern for the care and well-being of the women and their children.
…then do what’s possible…
The Gospels tell us that Jesus touched people many times while sharing a meal. The ministry evolved to incorporate this important part of our Catholic tradition by feeding the hungry. Five days a week year-round, with the help of urban and suburban parishes, Franciscan Peacemakers provides lunches to children, women and men, many of whom are homeless or living in severe poverty, in neighborhoods where the crime levels are very high and prostitution is prevalent. We do what is possible.
…and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
Today the ministry is again evolving and transforming under the leadership of Deacon Steve Przedpelski. In January 2013, Gifts for the Journey was introduced as a social enterprise providing employment and skills training for women in recovery. In January 2014 Clare Community was opened in response to the growing need for resident-based trauma care for women seeking a way out of engaging in prostitution due to trauma, human sex trafficking, or drug addiction. Led by the Holy Spirit, we continue to boldly go forward in faith to do what’s necessary. Deacon Steve has been the Executive Director of Franciscan Peacemakers Ministry since October 2001. He served as the Associate Director for Franciscan Peacemakers from 1999 – 2001. Prior to 1999 he served on the Franciscan Peacemakers Board of Directors and was has been involved as a volunteer helping on the streets since 1995.