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February 20, 2003 Edition

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This week:
Bishop Bullock names first lay chancellor
St. Dennis Parish: Receives Norm Wirtz award
News Briefs

News Briefs:
Open house at new maternity home

STOUGHTON -- An open house is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 23, from 1 to 5 p.m. at The Elizabeth House, a new maternity home located at 2861 Williams Dr. in Stoughton.

This home will be staffed by full-time house-parents. It will provide a structured "family" type setting for young women 18 and over who are facing a crisis pregnancy and have no where to turn. These services will be at no cost to the women who stay.

The Elizabeth House, run by Care Net, will serve as an interim home, as plans are underway for building a new facility in Madison on land donated to Care Net for this purpose.

Directions to the Elizabeth House from Madison: Hwy. 12 and 18 east to Cty. Hwy. N, right (south) on Hwy N, right (west) on Rinden Rd., left (south on Williams Dr. (just over bridge on right side).

The Elizabeth House is collecting welcome baskets for new residents. For more information go to Web site:; e-mail; or call 608-873-0624.

Mass for Fr. Mazzuchelli

BENTON -- The Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters and the Lancaster Wisconsin Knights of Columbus will host a commemorative Mass in honor of Fr. Samuel Mazzuchelli at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23, at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Benton. A program and reception will follow.

Mazzuchelli was instrumental in establishing churches in northeast Iowa, northwest Illinois, and southwest Wisconsin. Mazzuchelli built St. Augustine Church in New Diggings, Wis., in 1844. The structure still stands today. The Knights of Columbus are currently raising the funds needed to restore the structure.

The Catholic Church declared Mazzuchelli venerable in 1993 and he continues to be considered for sainthood. Two miracles need to be attributed to his intercession before he can be canonized.

The Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters, whom Mazzuchelli founded, have formed a committee to revitalize interest in this famous man. Prioress Sr. Toni Harris said, "Although he died 139 years ago, Fr. Samuel's life and example continue to have meaning for people today."

For more information on Mazzuchelli, contact Sr. Christiane Althaus, 608-748-4411.

Fish and Philosophy lenten series

MADISON -- The annual lenten Fish and Philosophy series at Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish here will feature three speakers and a fish dinner on Fridays, March 7, March 21, and April 4.

Dinner begins at 6 p.m. in the church gathering space and is followed by the presentation at 7 p.m. There is no fee to hear the speaker.

On March 7, Sinsinawa Dominican Sr. Clare Wagner will speak on "Personal preparation for Lent." Wagner is a spiritual director and retreat leader. On March 21, School Sister of Notre Dame Sr. Jan Gregorcich will speak on "Beatitudes today -- Bending your mind and touching your soul." She directs the School Sisters' Global Partners. On April 4, Dr. Patrick Gorman, director of the Diocese of Madison's Office of Worship, will speak on "The Lenten journey is nearly over: Are we at the end or the beginning?"

To make a dinner reservation, send a check for $9 per plate payable to Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, 401 S. Owen Dr., Madison, WI 53711, by Monday preceding each event. Include address, telephone number, and names of persons covered by check.

Diocesan Board of Education recruiting members

MADISON -- The Diocesan Board of Education is recruiting three new members from the Diocese of Madison.

Nine lay members and two priests meet monthly during the school year with the director of Catholic schools and director of religious education. Terms are three years and appointments are made by the bishop. Currently the board has six lay members and three more are needed.

The board is the policy-recommending body for all educational endeavors in the diocese. Most of the work deals with Catholic schools and religious education programs. In the past, much of the effort of the board has been to recommend updates on the Educational Policy Handbook of the diocese.

Anyone interested in applying for a position on the board may write the Board of Education, P.O. Box 44983, Madison, WI 53744-4983, or call the diocesan Office of Catholic Schools at 608-821-3180.

Catholic Scouts celebration March 22

MADISON -- A Catholic Boy Scout and Girl Scout celebration will take place on Saturday, March 22, at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center here.

The day begins with 1 p.m. registration, followed by an introduction and welcome at 1:30 p.m. Breakout sessions at 2 p.m. will focus on Catholic religious awards available to Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. Auxiliary Bishop George O. Wirz will celebrate Mass at 4 p.m. A 5 p.m. social will include swimming, open gym, and snacks. The day ends at 6 p.m.

Cost is $5 per family. Come as an individual family or with members of your troop.

Registration is due to the Diocese of Madison's Office of Religious Education by March 14. For more information, Boy Scouts may contact Mike Kleckner at 608-275-3344 or; Girl Scouts may contact Kathy Soukup at 608-244-8965 or

Nominees sought for Quality of Life Awards

MONROE -- The Monroe Clinic, in cooperation with the Green County Target Health Board, is sponsoring the Quality of Life Awards.

Residents of Green County may nominate an individual or an organization by describing briefly what that individual or organization has accomplished to improve or ensure the quality of life in Green County.

Nominations may be sent to Ellen Swan, director of community relations at The Monroe Clinic, 515 22nd Ave., Monroe, WI 53566. Nomination deadline is March 7.

Peer support groups

MADISON -- Peer support groups for those hurting from separation, divorce, or loss of a significant relationship are open to all ages/faiths at Madison parishes.

Friends on a Journey will meet from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, at Our Lady Queen of Peace nursery, 401 S. Owen Dr. For information, call 608-821-3170.

New Directions will meet from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, at St. Dennis Parish Center, 413 Dempsey Rd., top floor. For information, call 608-821-3170.

Bishop Bullock names first
lay chancellor

MADISON -- The Diocese of Madison will have its first lay chancellor effective March 1, 2003.

photo of Jay Conzemius

Jay Conzemius

Bishop William H. Bullock announced upon the resignation of the current chancellor, Msgr. Daniel Ganshert, that Mr. Jay Conzemius, J.C.L., will serve as chancellor.

Conzemius has served as director of stewardship and development for the Diocese of Madison since 2001 and as director of the Marriage Tribunal since December 2002. He will continue in both those positions.

Conzemius holds a master's degree in canon law from Ottawa University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and a licentiate in canon law from St. Paul University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He also has a bachelor's degree in canon law from Ottawa University and St. Paul University.

Before coming to the Diocese of Madison, in the Diocese of Sioux Falls, S.D., Conzemius served as defender of the Marriage Bond, vice chancellor, director of the Marriage Tribunal, judge of the Marriage Tribunal, and canonical consultant to the bishop.

"It's a great honor for Bishop Bullock to name me as the first lay chancellor for the diocese," said Conzemius. "I am very thankful for this new opportunity. As chancellor, I will be responsible for canonical oversight for all future and current diocesan decrees and policies."

This is an historic moment in diocesan history when once again Bullock calls forth a lay person to a key position and ministry.

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St. Dennis Parish: Receives Norm Wirtz award

MADISON -- Catholics with Disabilities, a group that meets monthly at St. Raphael Cathedral here, recently presented St. Dennis Parish with the first annual Norm Wirtz Award during the group's two-year birthday celebration.

The award, signed by co-founders Peggy Rakow and Dave Schaefer, recognizes St. Dennis Parish for its "tradition of welcoming hospitality to people with disabilities as experienced by Norm Wirtz and family."

Fr. Kent Schmitt, pastor, accepted the award on behalf of St. Dennis Parish, which installed power assist doors in the church last fall. The church and gathering space provide plenty of room for wheelchairs and walkers and the new parish center built in 1998 is completely accessible. A 9 a.m. Sunday Mass is now interpreted in sign language as well.

When Catholics with Disabilities members said St. Dennis Parish would be receiving the Norm Wirtz award, they said it had everything to do with attitude toward those with disabilities, said Adrienne Laravuso, parish nurse at St. Bernard Parish, Middleton.

The award is named after Norm Wirtz, a St. Dennis parishioner who died of a brain tumor last May. Confined to an electric wheelchair in 1999, he and his wife, Pat, often attended Catholics with Disabilities meetings.

Disabled people often feel so isolated, said Rakow. That's why a group such as Catholics with Disabilities is helpful. The group meets from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. the first Sunday of each month at St. Raphael Cathedral.

"It means so much," said Pat. "Norm was happy to find this group."

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Diocese of Madison, The Catholic Herald
Offices: Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, 702 S. High Point Road, Madison
Mailing address: P.O. Box 44985, Madison, WI 53744-4985
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