Shortly after coming to the United States, three of the Benedictine Monks began the task of fundraising by traveling to communities in various states. Brother Egbert, Brother Felix and Brother Placidus began their work in New York, among the German immigrant communities. They became known as the 'Traveling Brothers'.
Since World War II displaced many immigrants, several groups from Luxenburg and Germany settled in Wisconsin. A large group started their lives over in Port Washington, Sheboygan and Marathon City. These people were primarily farmers--many were dairy farmers. As the brothers reached out to them for support of the missions, relationships and friendships developed that have lasted to this day. Often during these visits the farmers would gift the brothers with the fruits of their labors – cheese.
Fast forward to 2017, our own Fr. Volker has carried on this traveling tradition for over 20 years. Every year, usually in late February or early March, he ventures out on a 2,500 mile journey. He visits approximately 150 households in a two week timeframe. Listening to him speak of his travels, it is easy to see that this is much more than fundraising. These people are his friends. A special family of contacts that have involved several generations. Many of the people he met 30 years ago are aging and some of his visits are in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. But the results are always the same. Friendship, fellowship, hospitality, donations and of course…cheese!
The Goldbach family has been a part of this tradition since 1955 when Brother Egbert first visited a young girl named Marie and her mother Elizabeth. At that time the family packed cheese in their small kitchen. Now they manage a corporation that includes 4 large cheese processing plants. Fr. Volker paid Marie a visit this past month. She is now 95 and is still living in her own home.
Another “Cheese Run” is in the books for Fr. Volker. Now he goes about the task of recording his travels and acknowledging the donations and the benefactors. Upon his return, he unloaded over 900 pounds of cheese to be used throughout the year by the monks of Christ the King Priory.
God Bless his efforts with this special ministry and all the generous people that have responded over the years.
All of the donations received during his visits go directly to the missions that Christ the King Priory support. To learn more or to donate, please check out our current appeal.