This website was created as part of an initiative led by Catholics living near Rep. Paul Ryan's district in Southeastern Wisconsin. At the center of the effort are two Franciscans: Rhett Engelking, OFS (a Secular Franciscan) and Fr. Michael Crosby, OFM Cap.
Rhett Engelking OFS
Rhett is a Secular Franciscan who resides at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Milwaukee, WI. Rhett has a degree in Community Counseling and has worked at Rogers Memorial Hospital for 7 years. He is a former live-in volunteer at Casa Maria House of Hospitality, an emergency and transitional housing shelter in Milwaukee.
"I had always professed to be an orthodox Catholic, and I cherry picked the teachings of the Church to defend that identity right up till I found a true conversion. I was born again through service at Casa Maria, where I lived among hungry children, broken families, desperate addicts, and all of the "least of these" in Milwaukee. I experienced the "Catholic" identity as part of a greater whole, and this greater Body was anointed to bring "glad tidings to the poor." Mental illness is the cruelest poverty. I struggle to understand how $2.4 trillion cuts to Medicaid, $134 billion in cuts to food assistance programs, and increased taxes on single mothers will bring a Path to Prosperity to patients recovering from mental illness. When the nations support for the mentally ill disappears, tragic things happen. I pray our political leaders can see things from the perspective of the most vulnerable."
Fr. Michael Crosby OFM Cap
Michael is a Capuchin Franciscan Friar who resides at St. Benedict the Moor Parish in Milwaukee, WI. It serves 300-500 people a meal daily
(except Saturdays). He has degrees in economics and theology.
"With the U.S. Bishops, I believe that Representative Ryan's budget
proposal is immoral. However, a deeper examination of its consequences makes me
believe it is not just immoral but un-American. Why? Because it ensures liberty
for some--those already financially secure--at the expense of justice for all,
especially those who are elderly, the working poor who come to our Meal Program
in Milwaukee, and the jobless. For the good of the country, I am praying that
Representative change his heart in a way that he will promote a budget that is
fair to all in a way that 'brings good news to the poor' in a way that
eliminates the reality of poverty once and for all."