Messmer’s ‘Damien’ to Highlight 1st ‘A Moveable Feast’ Fundraiser
Catholic Charities begins new event in Rockford, plans to take its story on the road in 2020.
September 5, 2019
ROCKFORD—Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rockford welcomes Wayne Messmer, the renowned “Mr. National Anthem” of major and minor league Chicago sports teams, to Rockford’s Nordloff Theater Oct. 24.
He will present one show only of “Damien,” a play about the life of St. Damien of the leper colony of Molokai in the Hawaiian Islands. 
The performance, on the 10th anniversary of Father Damien de Veuster’s sainthood, will highlight Catholic Charities’ first “A Movable Feast” fundraiser to support the works of Catholic Charities throughout the 11 counties of the Rockford Diocese. 
The play by Aldyth Morris tells the story of Father Damien who devoted his life and priesthood ministry to thousands of lepers. 
During his years on Molokai, Father Damien also contracted Hansen’s Disease, the medical term for leprosy. But he continued his work until his own death. He was canonized by Pope Benedict in October 2009.
Patrick J. Winn, the director of Catholic Charities for the Rockford Diocese, said Father Damien’s work was always about the inherent human dignity of people whom others ignored or neglected. 
“Our mission statement calls us to ‘assist people in achieving a degree of independence consonant with their human dignity,’” Winn said. “On this 10th anniversary of Father Damien’s canonization, we honor his determination to do the same and hope that our efforts can bring respect and dignity to those who are often forgotten or feared.”
A limited number of general tickets will go on sale Sept. 24. Sponsorships of various levels are still available and include a pre-show reception with Messmer, dinner and the performance and an auction of a new creation by local artist Roni.
Bishop David J. Malloy lauded St. Damien’s work and praised Messmer for using his talent to bring the sacrifice of Father Damien to the public’s attention. 
“Mr. Messmer has answered the call to spread the message of Damien to benefit the people served by Catholic Charities,” Bishop Malloy said. “For anyone looking for some extra inspiration, Mr. Messmer’s talent and St. Damien’s life will satisfy the appetite.”
For additional information about sponsorships, contact Patrick Winn at
Look for additional ticketing information soon.