Schedule of Bishop William H. Bullock
Friday, March 7, 2003
12:00 p.m. -- Preside and Preach at Celebration of the Eucharist, Luncheon Guest Speaker, Serra Club of Madison, Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, Madison
Sunday, March 9, 2003
2:30 p.m. -- Preside and Preach at Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion, St. Albert the Great Parish, Sun Prairie
Wednesday, March 12, 2003
7:00 p.m. -- Preside at Evening Prayer, St. Thérèse of Lisieux Lecture Series, Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, Madison
Schedule of Bishop George O. Wirz
Tuesday, March 11, 2003
6:30 p.m. -- Preside at Communal Reconciliation Service, St. Maria Goretti Parish, Madison
Wednesday, March 12, 2003
7:00 p.m. -- Attend St. Thérèse of Lisieux Lecture Series, Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, Madison
Thursday, March 13, 2003
10:30 a.m. -- Chair Board Meeting for Office for Continuing Education of Priests, Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, Madison
Our priests and their new assignments
As you can readily see, this week's edition of The Catholic Herald features the assignments of our priests, effective June 11, 2003.
The Personnel Board and I work closely at how we can maximize the pastoral priestly care of our parishes and special ministries and yet we realize we have fewer priests than before by which to accomplish our task. I wish to thank the Personnel Board priests for their well thought through recommendations.
"I do not wish to stretch our priests by offering too many Masses on Sunday. It clearly affects their effectiveness as celebrants, their general health, as well as the quality of participation in the Mass by those participating, including the liturgists and musicians so essential to good celebration."
Somewhere between the needs for existing parishes and the preferences of the priests themselves do we dialogue on who goes where and on what parishes should be linked, clustered, or merged.
This is not done arbitrarily. Our Diocesan Strategic Plan has built into its recommendations and conclusions a broad spectrum of recommendations gathered four years ago from the parishes that would be affected by such linkages, clustering, or merges.
Priest retirements, new ordinations, deaths, or departures affect "when" parishes are linked, clustered, or merged.
I am grateful for these long-term studies of the Strategic Plan and while we have been able to boast over the past years that we are the last Diocese in Wisconsin to turn to lay men and women as Directors of Parish Life, the time is now. It is here.
Retirements and Ordinations
This year we have three retirements; three ordinations; one priest returning for Parish assignment from graduate study; and three priests from Nigeria who have completed their three-year sabbaticals in our Diocese and who will return home in June.
Parish Mass schedules to be studied
Connected with our on-going study and surveys is our October Count, a name given to a process of counting the regular numbers of people at scheduled Masses in the month of October each year. In some parishes the count is done weekly. The purpose is to assist parishes in providing times for Masses that best serve people as well as the needed number of celebrations of Mass.
'My' Mass time
There is nothing more Catholic in the life of the average parishioner than when he or she likes to go to Mass. It's established, it's firm and "my" Mass time is a well-engrained habit not easily changed. Now, however, the reality is otherwise. We cannot continue to offer the numbers of Masses as in the past due to fewer priests and a respect for them in how many Masses they can reasonably offer on a weekend.
I do not wish to stretch our priests by offering too many Masses on Sunday. It clearly affects their effectiveness as celebrants, their general health, as well as the quality of participation in the Mass by those participating, including the liturgists and musicians so essential to good celebration.
Thus at the urging of the priests themselves through their Presbyteral Council, I have asked the Deans of our 11 counties to discuss parish Masses, their number, the type of Mass celebration, the length of Mass, and the priest's ability to preside and preach effectively.
Quality of celebrations of Mass
I ask you, the parishioners in the Diocese, for your understanding and your willingness to make sacrifices as Mass times are changed and reduced in number. I also ask our pastors to consult with their parishioners in making the changes so that together Sunday Mass can truly be what it is intended to be - a gathering of God's people in worship of their God, a time to gain new strength and renewed purpose at each Mass by being fed with God's word and the sacrament of the Lord. Our Sunday Mass is a long established obligation, but we are called not to just observe the obligation: we are called to celebrate it fully as an act of worship of God. We need the Mass.
Help your priest
Please help your parish priests. Help by willingly sacrificing some of your favorite times for Masses for a time when more people can participate in Mass. Making do with fewer priests requires a sacrifice on the part of priests who are willing to do so but also requires sacrifices on the part of parishioners who are willing to do so. Let us work at a solid plan.
Together we can hear and receive God's word and the teaching of the Church, be nourished by the sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, and celebrate in a Catholic community of believers.
Catholic Charities and Catholic Identity
I am frequently asked these days about Catholic Charities regarding its Catholic identity. I am pleased to offer an update.
The questions come for the most part from Catholics who are concerned that Catholic Charities be truly guided by the principles of Catholic Social Teaching to respond to the priorities and plans of the Diocese as well as to clearly address the burning issues of our day that affect the moral fiber of people's lives in a secular, war torn, and terrorist world.
Especially are they concerned about assisting the poor, marginalized, and forgotten in society. Catholic Charities should be up-front advocates of pro-life issues in their consistent declaration of adoption as an alternative to abortion. They should also be providers and advocates for those who have little or no voice in human rights - to life, to food, to shelter, and to work. I wish to say at the outset that Catholic Charities offers some very good services. Many in the department are hard working and the track record marks some remarkable humanitarian accomplishments.
Much depends in the final analysis on the concept and direction given by the Director of Catholic Charities. Does he or she truly understand the mission of Church? Is he or she willing to work closely with the Bishop and the Diocese? For Catholic Charities is not only doing United Way projects with the label "Catholic" glued on them, but witnessing to the presence and power of God and the care of Christ to the persons who receive their help.
What specific training is being given to those persons employed by Catholic Charities that will enable them to understand more deeply what we are about as Church, as a Diocese? That's the question of the study committee.
I spoke with the study committee recently and outlined one practical method of understanding our mission as a Diocese and Catholic Charities as a vehicle to express that mission consistently, constantly, and clearly. As Catholics we believe that Jesus Christ is God-made-man, that the natures of God and of man unite in the person of Christ. That same Jesus founded a Church on the apostles and that Church in its members continues the presence of Christ on earth. We are the Body of Christ.
Catholic Charities' personnel may not always be Catholics and the people they serve may not always be Catholics, but the ever-present belief and understanding of the teachings of the Church we do have in common with all people on three different levels as revealed by God.
Let me outline them for you, the reader, as I have shared them with the identity committee. Catholics relate to all people in three different ways according to God's progressive revelation to us. God reveals himself first in the order of creation, that is our universe of stars and planets, matter and life; their order reveals the hand of God. We have this level of creation in common with all people regardless of their belief.
The second level of God's revelation is through his spoken word - the Old Testament Bible. It is the Old Testament we have in common with all who embrace Judaism. We also have the New Testament, a further revelation of God through Jesus Christ (Heb 1:1-2). This New Testament we hold in common with other Christians.
The third level of God's revelation to us is the Church, and while we have some sameness with other Christians, our sense of Church as Catholics is quite different from mainline Reformation churches.
As Catholics, we can relate to all people regardless of belief but, being truly imbued with our belief in Christ and his Church, we have something special to give them.
Therefore it is essential in any study to clearly understand the basic nature of the Church as given us by Christ himself.
We are studying ways in which to enhance the association and relationship of Catholic Charities with the Diocese. I am grateful to Monsignor Paul Swain who chairs the committee and its members made up of Catholic Charities Board members and one diocesan staff member.
One essential identifying mark of Catholic Identity is - what is the relationship of Catholic Charities to the Bishop and Diocese? How, in practical ways, can they communicate with each other and work to fulfill the mission of Christ within the Church?
This committee and its work will continue with my successor because the U.S. Bishops are carefully studying ways in which to enhance the work of Catholic Charities throughout the U.S. Some will claim there is nothing Catholic about mathematics in a Catholic school; I accept that, but the climate, the environment in which it is taught does make a difference.
There is nothing Catholic about teaching an elderly person how to send e-mails, but there is an environment in which it is carefully taught that can and will reveal Christ in all his love. It is to this purpose that we direct our study, praying that Christ may become ever more known.
Most Reverend William H. Bullock, Bishop of Madison, wishes to announce the following:
Reverend Nicholas Okere, from Administrator, Holy Redeemer Parish, Madison, to Administrator, St. Patrick Parish, Lodi, linked with St. Michael Parish, Dane, effective noon, March 7, 2003.
The following are effective noon, June 11, 2003:
Link St. Luke Parish, Plain, with St. John the Evangelist Parish, Spring Green, and St. Malachy Parish, Clyde.
Link St. Patrick Parish, Loreto, with St. Boniface Parish, Lime Ridge, and Holy Family Parish, LaValle.
Link St. Joseph Parish, Madison, with Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, Madison
Link St. Lawrence Parish, Jefferson, with St. John the Baptist Parish, Jefferson.
Reverend Henry N. Kalscheuer, from Pastor, St. Joseph Parish, Dodgeville, to retirement.
Reverend Delbert D. Klink, from Pastor, St. William Parish, Janesville, to retirement.
Reverend John L. Urban, from Pastor, Immaculate Conception Parish, Boscobel, linked with St. John Nepomucene Parish, Castle Rock, to retirement.
Reverend John R. Auby, from Pastor, St. John the Evangelist Parish, Spring Green, linked with St. Malachy Parish, Clyde, to Pastor, St. William Parish, Janesville.
Reverend Robert J. Butz, from Parochial Vicar, St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Madison, to Pastor, Immaculate Conception Parish, Boscobel, linked with St. John Nepomucene Parish, Castle Rock.
Reverend Donald J. Heiar, Jr., from Parochial Vicar, St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish, Portage, linked with St. Mary Help of Christians Parish, Briggsville; St. Mary of the Most Holy Rosary Parish, Pardeeville; and St. Andrew Parish, Buffalo, to Pastor, St. Rose of Lima Parish, Brodhead, linked with St. Patrick Parish, Albany.
Reverend Sanctus K. Ibe, from Parochial Vicar, St. Dennis Parish, Madison, to Pastor, St. Patrick Parish, Doylestown, linked with St. Joseph Parish, Rio.
Reverend Jason E. Hessling, from Parochial Vicar, St. John the Baptist Parish, Waunakee, to Parochial Vicar, St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish, Portage, linked with St. Mary Help of Christians Parish, Briggsville; St. Mary of the Most Holy Rosary Parish, Pardeeville; and St. Andrew Parish, Buffalo.
Reverend Michael E. Moon, from full-time Parochial Vicar, St. Bernard Parish, Middleton, to half-time Diocese of Madison Hispanic Ministry and half-time Parochial Vicar, St. Bernard Parish, Middleton.
Reverend Todd R. Van Natta, from Parochial Vicar, St. Raphael Cathedral, Madison, to Parochial Vicar, Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, Madison, linked with St. Joseph Parish, Madison.
Reverend Tait C. Schroeder, from Graduate Studies, Pontifical Antheneum Sant' Anselmo, Rome, to Parochial Vicar, St. Dennis Parish, Madison, effective noon, June 30, 2003.
Pastorates at St. Joseph Parish, Dodgeville; St. Patrick Parish, Hollandale, linked with Immaculate Conception Parish, Blanchardville; other parish linkages and Parochial Vicar appointments to be announced at a later date.
Msgr. Paul J. Swain