|The Catholic Herald
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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New spire crowns St. Raphael Cathedral
MADISON -- A new stainless steel and copper spire now sits atop the tower of St. Raphael Cathedral here.
According to Msgr. Paul J. Swain, cathedral rector, the replacement of the spire is part of the first phase of a Cathedral Restoration Project that will include both the inside and outside of the church.
Poor condition of the previous 90-foot spire necessitated replacing it with materials which will stand the test of time. The new steeple is a replica of the one it replaced, which was designed by Col. L.V. Shipman, an architect from Chicago who previously lived in Madison and donated his design.
The pieces of the new spire were fabricated at Heather & Little in Toronto, Canada, and Vulcan Supply in Burlington, Vt. The two companies started working on the parts in June of this year.
Beginning in October, the general contractor, JH Findorff & Son, Inc., of Madison, disassembled the old spire piece by piece, beginning by taking off the old cross. Meanwhile, the new spire was assembled in two large sections in the parking lot of the cathedral.
Fiber optic lighting was installed in the new spire and the face of the clock was replaced. Four windows were also replaced by Conrad Schmitt Studios, Inc., New Berlin.
Kelly Thompson of Facility Engineering, Inc., of Madison was the architect in charge of the project. Full story ...
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Diocesan Choir's Festival of Lessons and Carols
MADISON -- Continuing with tradition, the Madison Diocesan Choir will perform a Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols on Sunday, Dec. 19, beginning the final week before Christmas with a respite for all from the busy holiday season.
Under the direction of Dr. Patrick Gorman, the choir will begin the free Christmas concert at 4 p.m. in the chapel of the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, 702 S. High Point Rd.
Best kept secret
The chapel was filled to capacity four years ago when Madison Symphony Director John DeMain directed the symphony, the Madison Symphony Chorus, and the Diocesan Choir in a performance of the Bach Magnificat. At the time, DeMain delighted in the performance, as did all in attendance, and he declared the venue one of the best kept secrets in Madison.
The Magnificat performance in December 2000 was the only interruption in more than a decade of Lessons and Carols performances by the Diocesan Choir.
Like a mini retreat
With Glenn Schuster as accompanist, Gorman will direct the nearly 60 members of the choir,
representing parishes throughout the diocese. Liturgists from area parishes will read the lessons from Scripture. As Gorman described it, the event marking the final week of Advent is like a mini retreat.
"It's a nice way to start the last week of preparation for Christmas," he said. "It's quiet, it's peaceful, it's prayerful. It's not so much a concert as it is really a prayer service with Advent and Christmas Scriptures, and some very reflective music. So I think it's a nice way to prepare yourself and center yourself before Christmas in the midst of all the busyness." Full story ...