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February 17, 2005 Edition   •   Volume 135, No. 6   •   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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To new Catholics:
Bishop emphasizes priority of Sunday Eucharist

photo of Bishop Morlino greeting catechumen Joseph Knilas and his godparents, Nancy Heflin and Peter Tomlicki

Bishop Robert C. Morlino greets catechumen Joseph Knilas from St. William Parish, Janesville, and his godparents, Nancy Heflin and Peter Tomlicki. (Catholic Herald photo by Abigail Henderson)

SUN PRAIRIE -- In this Year of the Eucharist, Bishop Robert C. Morlino emphasized the importance of "full and active participation in the Sunday Eucharist" in his homily during the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion on Sunday, Feb. 13, at St. Albert the Great Church here.

He addressed catechumens and candidates and their godparents, sponsors, family members, pastors, and friends who gathered from parishes in the Diocese of Madison.

Catechumens are those seeking sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. Candidates have been baptized in other denominations and now seek to become members of the Catholic Church.

Sunday Mass a priority

In his homily, Bishop Morlino said to be a "Eucharisted" people is to be "someone for whom every Sunday Mass is a top priority."

He said, "the very sense of who we are depends on our presence, on our full and active participation at the Sunday Eucharist."

He told the catechumens and candidates, "I hope as you prepare in your parish, you won't take for granted the gift that is every Sunday, especially the Sunday Mass."

He said they can be "leaven for our brothers and sisters who don't go every Sunday. We want them to be with us on Sunday, because we love them," he emphasized.

Attending Mass every Sunday "expresses who we are and teaches us who we are," he said. "Otherwise we move to an identity crisis as 'sometimes' Catholics.

"We have to come onboard fully," he said. We can't be like the person who dips his toe in the water or wades in up to the waist only.   Full story ...

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• Question Corner
by Fr. John Dietzen --
Priest celibacy: When did it become a rule of the church?

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Conference: Hundreds gather to address life issues

The following is part one of two in a series.

MADISON -- More than 300 people from throughout Wisconsin gathered at a legislative conference Feb. 10 at the Inn on the Park here. The bi-annual conference was sponsored by Wisconsin Right to Life (WRTL) and Christian Life Resources.

Workshops, lunch with legislators, and a talk on stem cells by a nationally known researcher were part of the day-long conference. The day ended with a visit to the State Capitol to speak with legislators and to deliver 13,000 signatures on petitions urging Governor Jim Doyle to support the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act.

Unborn child's pain

The Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act would require that women who are pregnant 20 weeks or more and are considering an abortion receive information that their unborn children are capable of experiencing excruciating pain during abortion.   Full story ...

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