Given by the Vatican to the USCCB, the monstrance is traveling to different U.S. and Canadian dioceses at the request of local bishops.
The special honor of helping to handle the logistics of the tour schedule was given to members of the USA Council of Serra International.
The monstrance is one of six blessed by the pope in November of 2004 to promote Eucharistic Adoration during the 2004-2005 Year of the Eucharist.
"The goal is to send the monstrance to different diocese to promote prayer services centered around adoration of the consecrated host," said Fr. Edward J. Burns, executive director of the Secretariat for Vocations and Priestly Formation of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
"I think it's going to create great synergy in the country," commented Bishop Blase J. Cupich of Rapid City, S.D., chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Vocations. "It will be an opportunity to raise up in the minds of the faithful that the need is not only to pray, but also to create a culture of vocations.
"I've asked the Serra clubs, through their leadership, to accomplish this because I know that it will be done efficiently," said Bishop Cupich, who also serves as episcopal adviser to the USA Council of Serra International. "Serrans are organized and the program will highlight the mission of Serra as the lay vocation arm of the church, a title given the organization by the Holy Father."
In the Diocese of Madison, Fr. Jim Bartylla, vocation director, has been working with the Serra Clubs of Madison and Janesville to coordinate the monstrance's visit.
The monstrance will also be at the Schoenstatt Shrine in Madison; St. Patrick Church, Madison; the Diocesan Youth Rally; St. Paul's University Catholic Center, Madison; St. Augustine University Parish, Platteville; St. William Parish, Janesville; and the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, Madison.
Father Bartylla said the goal was to have the monstrance especially available to young people.
The concluding service on Wednesday, Nov. 23, will include prayer for vocations in special memory of Pope John Paul II. "Many of our seminarians personally attribute their vocational call to Pope John Paul II's great example," said Father Bartylla.
Catholic Multicultural Center: Hidden jewel in diocese
MADISON -- Simply put, the Diocese of Madison's Catholic Multicultural Center (CMC) is a place where the poor can come to get help.
But it, too, can be in need of help sometimes.
"Catholics are called to serve the poor," said Andy Russell, administrator of the CMC. "When you serve others, you gain something more in return."
The CMC, which will soon be entering its fourth year, is always looking for volunteers and has a variety of opportunities for people to devote time or resources toward helping others.
Help for all
Located on the south side of Madison just off Park St. at 1862 Beld St., the CMC offers services to anyone who is in need. "We help people from all walks of life: white, black, Latino, Asian, all people," said Russell.
The center houses two main programs: St. Martin House, which runs a meal program that serves people every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and the last Tuesday and Thursday of every month, and Centro Guadalupano, which offers services and resources, including religious education for children and adults, especially for Hispanic people.
The center also has a food pantry, which offers people a way to stretch their budget for other things than food, such as rent, gas to get to work, or heating in the winter, said Russell. "People starving isn't the issue," he said. "People going homeless is."
Most food pantries offer clients food for three or four days, and clients can only come one time in a month. But the food pantry at the CMC allows clients to choose what food they need for seven days and allows them to return more than once per month.
In addition to these services, the CMC also offers a range of classes for English as a second language, job-tailored computer training, and life improvement. The center has a social worker and a parish nurse to help serve those who use the programs. It also serves as a neighborhood center and meeting place for other organizations and groups.
Serving the poor
This variety of programs and services provides many ways to help out and get to know the people in the community who need assistance.
"Serving the poor, it affects me a lot more than anything else. They've helped me in my spiritual life, in my heart," said Russell, who worked at the CMC for years as a volunteer before becoming administrator.
"The Catholic Multicultural Center is a hidden jewel in the Catholic diocese; it's something all Catholics in the Madison Diocese should be proud of," said Russell. "Even people without finances or time to give right now should come see what the Diocese is doing because everyone can pray for the work being done here and we could use those prayers."
To schedule a tour of the CMC, to volunteer, or to donate, contact Andy Russell at 608-661-3512, ext. 106, or email@example.com
Diocese of Madison, The Catholic Herald
Offices: Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, 702 S. High Point Road, Madison
Mailing address: P.O. Box 44985, Madison, WI 53744-4985
Phone: 608-821-3070 Fax: 608-821-3071 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org