Petawa Cultural Center
In 1957, the first Opus Dei women's center opened in Milwaukee in a small flat on Milwaukee's south side. The center quickly outgrew the flat and relocated into a house in Wauwatosa. By the late 1990s, the center was seeking a new, larger space to accommodate growing popularity of its programs. At the same time, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee was seeking to sell a building on Astor St. where they ran a secretarial school for women. In 1959, the women bought the building on Milwaukee's lower east side for just $1 and renamed it Petawa Residence. Petawa continued offering formative activities to women of all ages as well starting a residence for young women attending local colleges.

Today Petawa offers women a variety of activities that integrate all aspects of human development. It continues to offer women college students and young professional women a warm and nurturing place to live, develop friendships, and nurture their faith.

For more background on Petawa, click here.

Leadership Team

Board of Directors and Officers


Chair: Linda Pryor
Vice-Chair: Mary Magnor

Board Members

Lena Raffin
Sheila Hamill
Beth Griffin
Don Demet
Janet Smyczek
Giselle Castillo
Pila Racca
Jeanne Meier

Petawa is a registered 501c3 nonprofit organization. Its EIN number is 39-1987362.