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The Catholic Herald: Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Madison

January 19, 2006 Edition   •   Volume 136, No. 2   •   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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Evangelization and Catechesis:
Changing the name of religious education office reflects on its mission

MADISON -- Following Bishop Robert C. Morlino's recent assumption of the role of director for the Diocese of Madison Office of Religious Education, the office has just undergone a name change.

The new Office of Evangelization and Catechesis joins many dioceses from across the country who have taken this step in an attempt to better reflect through its name the nature of its mission: to introduce people to the person of Jesus Christ and help them know, love, and serve him more deeply, said Eric Schiedermayer, executive secretary of the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis, explaining the name change.

Reflecting the mission

To evangelize is to proclaim Christ and his teaching, especially to people and cultures who have not yet effectively met him, he said. And catechesis, which derives from a word meaning "to echo," signifies how the Catholic Church does not advance her own creations and ideas, but echoes the teaching of Christ.

"It is hoped that changing the name of the office will help address a misunderstanding that is sometimes associated with the term 'religious education,'" Schiedermayer said. "In today's society, this term often connotes a strictly academic process involving only children.

"On the contrary, our work aims to help form people with an integrated faith, not simply an academic one. Catechesis is a life-long process of initial conversion, formation, education, and ongoing conversion."

Jack McBride, an associate director with nearly 20 years service in the diocesan office, said he is pleased with the name change.

McBride, who focuses on adult education efforts, worked with the U.S. Catholic Bishops on their 1999 statement, Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us, which stated that "Adult faith formation . . . must be the central task in the catechetical enterprise," becoming "the axis around which revolves the catechesis of childhood and adolescence as well as that of old age."

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News & Features:

Special section: Respect Life

Bishops in statement:
Say U.S. 'is at a crossroads in Iraq'

Swiss Guard:
Marks 500th anniversary with Masses, stamps, march

Forgiveness Tour: Catholic, Lutheran choirs visit Ireland


• Question Corner
by Fr. John Dietzen -- Questions:
Blessing of throats; Congregation
of Mary Immaculate Queen

• The Pope Speaks
by Pope Benedict XVI -- Psalm 144:
King's prayer for victory and peace

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Future special sections:

Catholic Schools Week issue:
Jan. 26, 2006

Retirement Living issue:
Feb. 9, 2006

Senior Focus: Feb. 16, 2006

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Vocation journey:
Priest shares story

MADISON -- Msgr. Mike Burke, pastor of St. Maria Goretti Parish in Madison, shared his vocation story during the recent Life Directions Weekend held at the Bishop O'Connor Center.

The weekend provided an opportunity for single Catholic women and men to reflect on their vocational call and learn about the priesthood and consecrated life.

A diocesan priest for 32 years, Monsignor Burke said, "It's amazing how God touches people. It's not one particular moment."

He advised the weekend participants to be patient. "God doesn't act real quickly," he said. "There's a process that goes on. Everything happens for a reason in our lives."

He said there are three things that are critically important in discerning a church vocation: a real hunger and thirst for God; reliance on the spirit of God working within oneself; and the ability to pray and communicate with God.

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