Our Mission

The Catholic Multicultural Center is dedicated to helping our brothers and sisters in need by serving the whole person. We accomplish this mission by meeting immediate needs, providing opportunities for educational and professional growth, and offering community-based activities to recognize and respect the dignity of each person.

Our Motto

Making a Difference, One Person at a Time.

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Faith is in Our Name

The CMC serves people in need because that is what our Catholic faith calls us to do. “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me…” – Matthew 25:35
Being Catholic has to do with how we serve, but not who we serve. All who are in need of our support are truly welcome to use our services.

Values that guide our mission:

  • Catholic Social Teaching: Preference for the poor, solidarity with our human family, life and dignity of all people, Care for God’s Creation
  • Collaboration & Partnership: We are stronger when we serve together and recognize diverse viewpoints and life experiences
  • Serving People Holistically: Striving to meet both short and long term needs all under one roof
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Commitment to Racial Justice

We recognize the detrimental impact of systematic injustice on those marginalized by it, many of whom are among the clientele the CMC serves. We understand that because of systemic injustices which have existed since the founding of our country, everyone does not have equal rights and access to opportunities. To holistically serve our brothers and sisters who seek assistance through the CMC, we are doing our small part to rectify these injustices so that the people the CMC serves can thrive, feel welcome, feel safe, and have opportunities beyond needing help with basic needs.

What CMC is Doing to Uproot Racism:

  • Cultural Sensitivity Training: All staff and volunteers are asked to complete this engaging training video on cultural, racial, and economic sensitivity
  • Contributing to Cultural Awareness: CMC regularly focuses communications on learning about different cultures, social groups, and the disparities marginalized groups face
  • Key Policy Advocacy: CMC occasionally engages in policy advocacy on issues that directly affect the people we serve such as immigration policy, transportation, and hunger relief

Environmental Sustainability

“[St. Francis] shows us just how inseparable the bond is between concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society, and interior peace,” Pope Francis says in his Laudato Si encyclical. The CMC recognizes that low income people and people of color are often hit first and the hardest by the consequences of environmental degradation. We also strive to put into practice the Catholic Social Teaching of Care for Creation.

How CMC practices Care for Creation:

  • Ecological Landscaping: Native plants, community rain garden, stormwater retention
  • Energy Efficiency: LED lighting, demand-controlled HVAC system, solar panels
  • Community-Building: Inviting marginalized groups to participate in environmental stewardship, neighborhood trash pick-ups
  • Internal Actions: Composting food waste, reducing paper use and disposable products, choosing socially and environmentally responsible products

History

The CMC was founded in 1946 as the Blessed Martin House by a group of Catholics who wanted to address the lack of racial justice efforts by the Church in the Madison area at that time. Lay leaders including Margaret Straub, Arlene Miller, Elnora Scannell, and Emily Miller joined brothers Bishop Jerome Hastrich and Msgr. George Hastrich to create an interracial gathering space where all could feel welcome and find programming to meet their needs.

CMC Throughout the Decades:

  • St. Martin House Programming: Sewing classes, Golden Gloves boxing club, children’s activities, Mass, Bible Camp, and free community dinners
  • Centro Guadalupe: Founded in the 1970s to serve the growing Hispanic community in Dane County
  • Our Lady Queen of Peace: Now its parent agency, this Parish ensured that CMC’s doors remained open to serve those in need
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