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The Casa Esther provides careful stewardship to our resources

and demonstrates integrity in all that we do.

We uphold our mission with the trust of our staff,

board, donors, volunteers, recipients and partners.

Sermons: About
Sermons: Video Player
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Father Joseph Mattern

President and Founder

Joseph Mattern is the founder the present Spiritual Director of Casa Esther, a Catholic Worker House located in downtown Omro, Wisconsin. He has served as a priest in the Green Bay Diocese for over 50 years. His passion is helping the poor as well as those in prison. He ministers on a weekly basis at the prison in Redgranite, WI. Joe is also an avid golfer, jazz musician and friend to all. Father Mattern is inspired by the prophets – modern and historical. Because of his ministry with Spanish-speaking immigrants, he is affectionately called “Padre Jose”. Learn more HERE.


Bob Warner

Vice President

“Service” has always been Bob’s path. Attaining his pilot’s license while still in high school was a major life-change, which set the course of his entire career.


For 37 years, Bob served in national and international aviation associations, attaining senior positions at the Experimental Aircraft Association, National Association of State Aviation Officials and Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.  This career provided opportunities of management responsibilities spanning the gamut of non-profit organization planning and operations, utilizing his aviation management degree from Auburn University, considerable professional education coursework and his continuous flying experiences.  He has led international delegations, flown in all 50 states and six foreign countries.  He has owned 7 airplanes and, with his wife, Noel, completed initial development of a residential airpark.


But in 2008, life really took a turn.  That year, Bob stepped away from the career-driven life and began embracing a more purpose-driven life.  Decades of accumulated “stuff” went to charities (including Casa Esther) and the dump.  A discovery of true life-purpose and simpler living emerged through spiritual growth and study.


By 2010, he and Noel have traded in their flying airplanes for a journey down the Consciously Evolving Road directed by Spirit in sacred service to humanity and the planet. Their world of sacred activism expanded through their deepening spiritual practice, their awaking up to the plight of humanity and Our Common Home, and their connection with others committed to a future that works for everyone.

Bob serves as a volunteer leader in a number of organizations committed to world peace, environmental and social justice and a true American democracy.

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David Mueller

Board Member

David has been working in healthcare administration for the past 30 years,  He has a bachelor's degree in Human Development from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and a master’s degree in Theology from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.  After spending a summer living and working at St. Joseph Catholic Worker House in New York City, where he came to know Dorothy Day he has been involved with social justice issues and projects.  He is co-founder of The Port Ministries which has been serving the needs of the under-served in the “Back of the Yards” neighborhood of Chicago for over 35 years.  He along with Fr. Joe founded The Dorothy Day Canonization Prayer Network in 2009, which is playing a major role in Day’s canonization process.  He has been serving on Casa Ester’s Board of Directors since 2017. Since April of 2019 he has turned his attention towards educating others in Gospel Nonviolence and Just Peace.


Along with his wife Arleen, they are proud to have raised three children, now young adults.  They enjoy family events, cultural events and travelling.

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John Seifert

Board Member

John Seifert retired as a Air Wisconsin Airlines Captain after flying for 35 years.  John and his wife Karen, both originally from southern Minnesota, have called Wisconsin home for the past 30 years.  The past nineteen years have been spent living in Oshkosh.


Since retirement, John has been involved in various volunteer efforts including hospice, Ascension Mercy, bringing Communion to the home-bound, providing car transportation and tutoring a student with autism.  For a number of years, John has served on the Casa Esther Board of Directors and has had the privilege of getting to know the work of Fr. Joe Mattern and his ministry to immigrants and the poor.   The goal of the Board of Casa Esther is to ensure the continuation of the mission of Casa Esther of being Christ to the poor.  


Karen and John enjoy spending time with their three adult children, son-in-law and three grandchildren.  Free time includes golfing, biking, running and playing bridge.

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Gail Hawley

Board Member

Gail is a Theology teacher at St. Mary Catholic High School where she has the privilege of journeying with teenagers on their spiritual path.  She has been in youth ministry and high school education since 1985 when she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Cardinal Stritch University.  Formed by the Franciscan sisters at Stritch, Gail has incorporated her commitment to care for the Earth and service to the poor in her work at Lourdes Academy, Marycrest Home for Girls, Notre Dame Cathedral Latin High School and St. Mary Catholic High School.  Gail considers her years as Campus Minister at Marycrest in Cleveland, the years where she worked hardest for the Kingdom of God as she ministered to and with inner city teens, pregnant or parenting, from abused homes and many incarcerated for drugs or gang violence.  Through her experiences, Gail has deepened her vision of the dignity of every human being from womb to tomb.

Gail is a host mother to five young Asian women whom she shared her home and her love with over a period of 8 years (one at a time!) As College students, her girls continue to reach out to her as their American mom and still visit from time to time.

Gail has served her faith communities as cantor and choir member, guitar player, communion minister, and driver for those who need rides to mass.  She has traveled the country and to Europe to expand her worldview and allows herself to be forever changed by each experience.  She is inspired by the lives of the saints, Dorothy Day being one of them who challenges her the most.  She feels that Dorothy Day, herself, is calling her to become more involved with Casa Esther.

Gail enjoys reading, embroidery, camping, communing with nature and long, deep talks about spirituality with fellow pilgrims - preferably around a campfire.

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Ashley Hesse

Board Member

Ashley Hesse is a forward thinking, creative, service-oriented individual with a breadth of experience working for private, non-profit, and government organizations. His career paths have focused on developing and implementing sustainable solutions to strengthen communities by addressing a wide variety of educational, social, vocational, health and long-term care needs of economically and ethnically diverse individuals.


As an American Indian descendent his life’s experiences have placed him on a life-long mission

advocating for the rights and needs of underrepresented persons; in particular those of American Indian and Alaskan Native youth, elders, and disabled individuals and their families.

He currently resides in the Oshkosh area and is the proud father of 4 wonderful children.

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Jeannie Lee

Board Member

Jeanne Lee joins the Board after recently retiring from St. Mary Catholic Schools as Director of Business Services for 12 years.    She brings real world expertise in finance, accounting, human resources and operations.  While her business experiences included health care, retail sales and insurance her university training and earliest career was as a Speech and English teacher.  She resides in New London.

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Mary Jones

Board Member

Mary, a southwestern Wisconsin native, is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, where she majored in English and journalism. Her career revolved around working as a “wordsmith,” with stints as an editor at a college textbook publisher, a machine tool manufacturing company, and for 30 years at the Experimental Aircraft Association as the editor of several aviation publications, which afforded her the opportunity to travel throughout the U.S. and Europe. In her semi-retirement she continues to do freelance writing and editing and is currently working on a series of children’s books with a close friend.


She is the mother of two adults – Doug and Chrissy -- and grandmother of four – Alexia, Owen, Mallory and Nathaniel -- who are all the delight of her life. Her significant other, Denny, adds joy to her life as well.


Raised as a Roman Catholic, Mary currently finds her home in the Ecumenical Catholic Community and the local Pax Christi group, also based at Casa Esther. She is long-time follower of St. Francis of Assisi, guided by his teachings to care for the poor, animals and the Earth. She also closely follows the teachings of Fr. Richard Rohr and his Center for Action and Contemplation and Matthew Fox and the Order of the Sacred Earth. Dorothy Day’s life and her service to the poor are also a major inspiration for how Mary chooses to live life.


Mary has served on two different parish councils, as a parish council president, and a lay educator for youth. She has previously been a volunteer for the Winnebago Area Literacy Council and active in Rotary International.


She is an avid gardener (vegetables and flowers), reader, Green Bay Packer fan and a lover of the outdoors.


Noel Marshall, PhD.

Board Member Emeritus

Noel Marshall was raised on a Maryland farm with her 14 siblings.  Learning and curiosity have been a life-long journey including formal education, life-learning and travel, and more recently, a strong commitment to spiritual growth.

Her formal education culminated in her Ph.D. in Communicative Disorders.  She published in scientific journals as well as non-scientific magazines.  Her calling was to the Creative, yet never knew how It would express.  She married her life-partner, Bob Warner, and they continued to follow the usual corporate “American Dream” (illusion)  as Noel spent her time in hospitals rehabilitating those with loss of language/aphasia. During this time, Noel served for nine years on the Board of Directors of the Valley VNA Senior Care.

Since meeting futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard, she has felt most comfortable as a “conscious evolutionary.”  Together with Bob, they established the identity of “LightPartners” with the mission of “partnering with Light to serve our ONE Sacred Life.” Their BEingness is dedicated to raising the vibration of the planet.

Starting in 2010, Noel and Bob began traveling and living full-time in their RV-home – the “Mobile Turtle Hut of Consciousness.” In 2012, they supported the Birth 2012 Movement by traveled 20,214 miles to 48 states and Canadian provinces, sharing the message of conscious evolution and the knowing that WE are the co-creators of the New Day in human existence. ONENESS is her understanding of all that is.


Noel serves as a volunteer leader in a number of organizations committed to world peace, environmental and social justice and a true American democracy.

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