Leader Spotlight: Father David Preuss

Father David Preuss is a priest and Capuchin friar at St. Martin de Porres in Milwaukee, He got his Masters in Divinity from St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee.  Originally, from Detroit, Fr. David spent the majority of his ministry in Detroit, but has been back in Milwaukee the past 5 years.

How did you your work with Gamaliel begin?

When I came to the parish, it was already quite involved with MICAH and we have been working on a number of really critical issues for the neighborhood and for the country really. I’ve realized that Gamaliel is an underlying training process for our groups as well as for many other groups across the country.

What issues in your community have you been addressing and how have they aligned with the Fire of Faith campaign?

We’ve been working on a number of issues, the one that has impacted us most heavily is the 11×15 campaign and trying to do support for the families who family members in prison. Also we are working on issues related to trying to have a reduction of violence.

In your view, how do the issues that the Fire of Faith campaign addresses align with Catholic Social Teaching?

As Catholics we have received documents from Rome and from the Bishops about social justice issues, many of which are fine ideals, but the pastoral question is how do we implement them? How do we allow our faith and moral vision to get implemented within the context of our own society? This often isn’t easy and it takes organization and this is why Gamaliel is important.  We can’t address these very easily on an individual basis, we need to be organized and unified as a congregation and a wider church

How has your Catholic background influenced your work in social justice?

The church is interested in social justice because it reflects gospel values, so together, I first look to church leadership to give us some of those values and then I look towards us to figure out how to do this in a practical basis. That we as Catholics talk about preferential options for the poor, this gives us a methodology to accomplish what we talk about.

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