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Wisconsin Catholic Conference

The Public Policy Voice of the Catholic Church in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Catholic Conference (WCC) was founded in 1969 by the Bishops of Wisconsin. The Conference seeks to fulfill the vision of the Second Vatican Council, which called upon the Church to be more involved in the world.

With the message of the Gospel and the social teachings of the Church at its foundation, the WCC offers a specifically Catholic contribution to state and federal public policy debates. The Conference also offers a statewide response to issues common to its five dioceses.

Functions of the Wisconsin Catholic Conference

WCC Board of Directors

The Bishops of Wisconsin comprise the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Catholic Conference. The President of the Board is the Archbishop of Milwaukee. The Board meets three times a year to review issues and set the WCC’s legislative agenda.

  • Archdiocese of Milwaukee

    • The Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki, Archbishop of Milwaukee, WCC President
    • The Most Reverend Jeffrey R. Haines, Auxiliary Bishop of Milwaukee
    • The Most Reverend James T. Schuerman, Auxiliary Bishop of Milwaukee
    • The Most Reverend Rembert G. Weakland, Archbishop Emeritus of Milwaukee
    • The Most Reverend Richard J. Sklba, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Milwaukee
  • Diocese of Madison

    • Reverend Monsignor James R. Bartylla, Diocesan Administrator (interim member)
  • Diocese of Green Bay

    • The Most Reverend David L. Ricken, Bishop of Green Bay, WCC Secretary/Treasurer
    • The Most Reverend Robert J. Banks, Bishop Emeritus of Green Bay
  • Diocese of La Crosse

    • The Most Reverend William P. Callahan, Bishop of La Crosse
  • Diocese of Superior

    • The Most Reverend James P. Powers, Bishop of Superior

WCC Staff

At the WCC, Kim Vercauteren oversees issues relating to matters that affect the Church as an institution.

Prior to being named Executive Director, Vercauteren was the WCC’s Associate Director for Health Care and Education from 2007 to 2016. Vercauteren is a graduate of Marquette University and the University of Iowa College of Law.

Vercauteren is an attorney and has been a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin since 2003. Prior to joining the WCC, Vercauteren spent 2 years at the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups serving as an attorney in their Elder Law Center. She was a consultant to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Catholic Education (2017-2018) and is the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Church Unemployment Pay Program (CUPP).

Effective advocacy for any organization is grounded in informed positions supported by solid research. For the WCC, it is critical that this research builds on and reflects the rich tradition of Catholic social teaching. Sella, who has been with the WCC since 2002, brings such a research and teaching background to the mix.

From 1993 to 1999, Sella was an Assistant Professor of History in Virginia. She holds a B.A. from the University of Minnesota–Minneapolis and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from the University of Toronto.

Larry Haas brings extensive experience of the corporate world, with a focus on health care, to the WCC.

Prior to October 2016 when Haas joined WCC, he held positions with Minacs, USA, in Milwaukee and CUNA Mutual Group in Madison. The majority of Haas’s impressive career was spent with American Family Insurance.

Haas holds a B.B.A. from St. Norbert College and a Master of Science – Management from Cardinal Stritch University.

Pulling all of the work of the Conference together is Administrative Assistant Cathy Coyle-Kaufmann.

For over thirty years, Coyle-Kaufmann has managed the operations of the WCC office. From fielding incoming calls to designing publications, she maintains order and continuity in the office.

Join the Work of the WCC

“As far as possible citizens should take an active part in public life.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1915)

The WCC offers many resources and opportunities for Catholics to get involved. The WCC encourages you to prayerfully consider issues close to your heart and those important for your community.

Learn more about these issues using WCC resources and stay up-to-date on news and policy developments.

Finally, be moved to action. Contact your legislators, be an advocate in your community, and be an active citizen in your government.

The Capitol Report newsletter is released several times a year and examines current issues and policy news of interest to the WCC. Subscribe here

The WCC’s free electronic advocacy service is one of the best ways to stay up-to-date on notable issues and policy developments. As a part of the Catholic Advocacy Network, you will receive special legislative email alerts and the bi-weekly Capitol Update for information on upcoming hearings, newly introduced legislation, legislative activity, and WCC advocacy. Click here to Subscribe Today.

Convened in the spring of each new legislative session (odd-numbered years), Catholics at the Capitol allows you to learn more about the Church’s social teaching, unite in faith with other Catholics from around the state, and advocate together effectively on current issues.. All Catholics are encouraged to attend. Click here for information on the next Catholics at the Capitol event.

Need information on the Church Unemployment Pay Program? Click here…

Church Unemployment Pay