Outreach Ministries

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Outreach Ministries

The Open Door Cafe

It Began...

20 years ago a homeless man rang the Cathedral rectory door bell and asked for money so he could buy something to eat. Fr. Louis Koran, a retired priest living at the Cathedral, invited the hungry stranger to wait at the open door. He hastened to the rectory kitchen and made the man a sandwich.

Word of this kindness spread. Before long, the daily visitors in need of something to eat became too much for Fr. Koran to handle alone. He asked some parishioners to help.

Responding as the Cathedral always has, the "baloney brigade" was born and the Door Ministry―a program of distributing bag lunches at the rectory door to all who were hungry―began.


...in October 2002 the Door Ministry program moved indoors to the newly renovated Weakland Center's Open Door Cafe. Now in addition to the warm caring smile and greetings of those who served them, the hungry could sit down to a nourishing hot meal of meat or fish, fruit and vegetables.

Meals are presently served Sunday through Friday to a daily average of 180 men, women and children. It is the only regular mid-day meal available in the city for the poor and homeless.

Nearly 57,000 meals were served last year.

For detailed information on the daily activity of the Open Door Cafe, follow this link: ACTIVITY.

Through selfless caring...

...the Open Door Cafe is blessed to have a pool of 200 plus scheduled volunteers who come from the Cathedral family, businesses in the area and schools and churches throughout Milwaukee to prepare and serve the meals.

The Cathedral meal ministry continues to meet the basic needs of the poor and homeless of the downtown neighborhoods because of all these volunteers who give of their time. Talk to any one of them, though, and they will tell you they receive so much more in return.

Major Donors...

We are grateful to these major donors for their gifts to the Cathedral's Outreach Ministries, especially the Open Door Cafe, since January 2009.

  • We Energies
    through the Wisconsin Energy Corporation Foundation

  • Northwestern Mutual Foundation

  • Park Bank Foundation

  • Hunger Task Force

  • A.W. Asmuth Foundation

  • Helen Bader Foundation

  • The Catholic Community Foundation

  • Chiara Corporation (St. Louis)

If you would like to assist this ministry with a donation, please follow this link:




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