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The Catholic Herald: Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Madison

October 28, 2004 Edition   •   Volume 134, No. 40   •   Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A.

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The Catholic Herald is the official newspaper of the Diocese of Madison. Its purpose is to inform and educate people of the Diocese through communications that proclaim Gospel values, report the news, and comment on issues as they pertain to the mission of the Catholic Church, which is to bring all in Jesus Christ to the Father.
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photo of St. Francis Xavier Parish Cemetery, Cross Plains

CATHOLIC CEMETERIES -- In November, the month of the holy souls, Catholic Cemetery Sunday will be observed Nov. 7. "It is a time when the Catholic Church encourages us to pray for our beloved dead and to especially remember those faithful departed with no one to pray for them," says Mark Christian, president of the National Catholic Cemetery Conference. A Diocese of Madison All Souls Day Mass will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 2. Pictured here is a newly installed columbarium in the cemetery of St. Francis Xavier Parish, Cross Plains. For more, see Bishop Robert C. Morlino's column. (Catholic Herald photo by Julianne Nornberg)

Only in the print edition ...
News & Features:

War on terrorism:
Dominates foreign policy debate

Special section:
My Fellow Catholic Americans youth contest winners

Special section: Grief and Loss


• Question Corner
by Fr. John Dietzen --
Questions: Meaning of scrupulosity; priestless Sundays

• The Pope Speaks
by Pope John Paul II -- Psalm:
Poor and with God versus rich
and not with God

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Theology-On-Tap: Panel examines priest shortage, scandal, and celibacy

MADISON -- The priest shortage, scandal, and celibacy were the topics a panel of young clergy addressed at a recent Theology-On-Tap presentation at Club Majestic in Madison.

Theology-On-Tap is a four-week speaker series designed for people in their 20s and 30s. This year Theology-On-Tap was held in Janesville, Madison, Platteville, and Watertown.

The panel included Fr. Jim Bartylla, vocations director; Fr. Tait Schroeder, parochial vicar, St. Dennis Parish, Madison; and Rev. Mr. Eric Sternberg, seminarian for the Diocese of Madison.

Priest shortage

Addressing the priest shortage, Father Bartylla gave some U.S. statistics on Catholics and vocations. From 1965 to 2000, the Catholic population increased by 35 percent, but diocesan priests decreased 16 percent and religious orders decreased 33 percent. The number of those graduating from seminaries has decreased by 58 percent, but increased by 10 percent since 1995.

In the rest of the world, the total number of priests has decreased by six percent since 1970. A look at seminarians worldwide shows an increase of 73 percent since 1978 because of Pope John Paul II, he said.

The priest shortage seems to be a problem mainly in North America and Europe, he said.

The pope says the reason for the shortage is the secularization and de-Christianization of the western world, said Father Bartylla.

How do we increase vocations?

The Holy Father says because vocations flow from God, the first commitment for vocations cannot be anything but prayer," said Father Bartylla, pointing out that other dioceses have shown that Eucharistic Adoration plays a large part in increasing vocations.

As a result, Eucharistic Adoration has begun at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center in Madison during the week.

"In the end, what vocation is about is a personal encounter with the Lord," said Father Schroeder.   Full story ...

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