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October 2, 2003 Edition

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This week:
Educators: Spreading light of Christ
Assembly: Passes Born Alive Infant Protection Act
News Briefs

News Briefs:
Priests to attend assembly

MADISON -- Priests of the Diocese of Madison will gather at the Chula Vista Conference Center in Wisconsin Dells for their 23rd annual Presbyteral Assembly Oct. 5-8.

Bishop Robert C. Morlino, in his first extensive meeting with the entire presbyterate of the diocese, will focus on the most recent papal encyclical letter, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, as the theme of the gathering.

The documents of the Second Vatican Council emphasize the bonds of bishop and priest: "A bishop should regard his priests as sons and friends" (Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops). "On account of their communion in the same priesthood and ministry, the bishop should regard priests as his brothers and friends" (Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests). Bishop Morlino will incorporate the relationship of bishop and presbyterate in his presentations to the priests.

The annual priest assembly is coordinated by Auxiliary Bishop George O. Wirz and the diocesan Office for Continuing Education of Priests.

Marriage Encounter weekend

MADISON -- Worldwide Marriage Encounter is holding a Marriage Enrichment Weekend at the Madison Sheraton Oct. 17 to 19. These weekends are for couples of all ages who would like to further enrich their relationship.

During the weekend a series of presentations are made by three couples and a priest. At no time is the couple required to share with the others. The weekend is Catholic in orientation; however, couples of all faiths are welcome. The weekend begins at 8 p.m. Friday and is completed by 5 p.m. Sunday.

A $35 registration fee is requested to reserve space. The weekend includes two nights' lodging and five meals.

There is a request for a free will donation on Sunday afternoon. No one is ever refused access for lack of financial resources. For more information and to register, contact Worldwide Marriage Encounter at 888-574-5653.

Rosary March Oct. 5

MADISON -- People of the Diocese of Madison are invited to attend the 52nd semi-annual International Rosary March on Sunday, Oct. 5, at 2 p.m. at St. Raphael Cathedral. Msgr. George Hastrich will give the homily.

The theme for this Rosary March is "That the Year of the Rosary spread devotion to Our Lady through our meditation on all the mysteries of the rosary." There will be a special presentation of flowers to Our Blessed Mother by children and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

Participants will pray the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Luminous Mysteries of the rosary as they march in procession with the pilgrim virgin statue around the block at St. Raphael Church.

Rosary program

SINSINAWA -- Sinsinawa Mound will present "Mysteries of Light: The New Mysteries of the Rosary" program Monday, Oct. 20, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registration deadline is Oct. 6. The fee is $45.

The seminar will focus on five mysteries of the rosary: Jesus' baptism in the Jordan, Jesus' self-manifestation at the wedding feast of Cana, Jesus' proclamation of the Kingdom of God, the Transfiguration, and the institution of the Eucharist as the sacramental expression of the paschal mystery.

For information, call 608-748-4411 or visit

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 two Madison parishes. Friends on a Journey will meet from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2, 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, Oct. 9, at St. Dennis Parish Center, 413 Dempsey Rd., top floor. For information, call 608-821-3170.

Hispanic choir recruiting members

MADISON -- Estudiantina, the Diocese of Madison's Hispanic choir, invites Hispanics and anyone who can speak Spanish to join this musical group.

The group, now in its third year, includes members representing nine parishes in the Diocese of Madison. Not only does the choir depend on voices for its Spanish music but on numerous musical instruments such as violins, trumpets, and guitars as well.

For more information on joining the Hispanic choir, call Toni Kellor at 608-238-8529.

Choir performance

GREEN LAKE -- The Madison Diocesan Choir, directed by Dr. Patrick Gorman, will present a concert at Our Lady of the Lake Parish here on Saturday, Oct. 11, at 7 p.m.

Spreading light of Christ

MADISON -- "The light of Christ must radiate in how we live and work," Msgr. Paul J. Swain, vicar general, Diocese of Madison, told those involved in religious education and Catholic schools during Mass at the recent Central Education Institute at the Marriott Madison West Hotel and Conference Center.

There are three ways we can radiate the light of Christ to children: listening to them, being hopeful people in our own lives with humility and a sense of humor, and being sensitive to them and allowing them to reach out to us in our need, said Monsignor Swain.

"We are privileged to be working in the Catholic Church with young people," he said. "Amidst their noise and hyper activity, or their sullenness and reserve, they long for what you and I long for - to know they count, that someone cares, that they are loved. Let the light of Christ lift the spirits of those whose lives we touch - especially the children."

Keynote speaker Bob McCarty, executive director of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry in Washington, D.C., discussed current trends in the millennial generation and how educators can meet the challenges of those trends.

"The U.S. is experiencing a spiritual reawakening unparalleled in history," said McCarty.

The millennial generation, those who graduated high school in 2000 and younger, may be the most spiritual generation our country has seen, he said.

Young Catholics are hungry for a sense of God, he said.

He pointed out that in 2000-01: youth did 2.1 billion hours of service, violence is down 30 percent, pregnancy is the lowest it has been since 1960, and high school graduation rates are up.

Ministry is at a crossroads, he said, because over the past 30 years we've seen a major pendulum shift in content and process: before, our approach was cognitive and the assumption was that what the youth were hearing was reinforced at home.

"All that shifted in the 50s and 60s," he said.

"The key is how to teach in such a way that they awaken an appetite for more," he said, noting that we can do this with a holistic, pastoral approach.

A collaborative approach says we're all called to form disciples, he said. Our destination should be to generate happy, healthy, holy adults.

"Kids watch us," McCarty said.

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Passes Born Alive Infant Protection Act

MADISON -- Under the leadership of Representative Mark Gundrum (R-New Berlin), the State Assembly has unanimously passed the strongest state legislation in the nation that recognizes the legal rights of babies born alive after abortion.

Known as the Born Alive Infant Protection Act (AB 372), the Gundrum measure clarifies that every baby born after an abortion has the same legal status and legal rights under Wisconsin law as an infant born alive after a normal delivery resulting from a natural or induced labor or a cesarean section.

"What the Assembly did yesterday is to clearly spell out the legal status of babies who survive abortion so there can no longer be a blurring of the line between abortion and infanticide," said Susan Armacost, legislative director of Wisconsin Right to Life.

"The long accepted principle that all babies who are born alive are entitled to the full protection of the law has too often been ignored when it comes to babies born alive after abortion."

Dramatic testimony at the joint public hearing on the legislation detailed numerous atrocities inflicted on babies who had survived abortion.

"The Born Alive Infant Protection Act was supported by Assembly representatives on both sides of the abortion issue because they clearly saw that it does not deal with abortion, it deals with infanticide," said Armacost.

The legislation has been sent to the State Senate. Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) is the lead senate author. Armacost said Wisconsin Right to Life is hopeful that the State Senate will take action on the bill in a timely manner.

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