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March 9, 2006 Edition

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Cathedral future:
Will take patience, planning, and prayer

Next week marks the first anniversary of the fire that all but destroyed St. Raphael Cathedral in Madison. On March 14 there will be a prayer service at 4 p.m. at the cathedral site to commemorate this anniversary.

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St. Raphael Cathedral

In some ways it does not seem possible that a year has passed. Yet, especially for cathedral parishioners, it has been a long, challenging year. As some of the parishioners say, they feel "homeless." Although people from other churches have been generous in welcoming them, they still grieve the loss of their church.

Parishioners and many others have gone through the typical stages of grief: anger, denial, and sadness. Many parishioners have expressed appreciation for Msgr. Paul Swain, the cathedral rector and now pastor of the linked parishes of Holy Redeemer and St. Patrick, for his support and willingness to listen during the past year.

The parish staff, along with Dr. Patrick Gorman who directs the diocesan Office of Worship and the Diocesan and Cathedral Choirs, have helped in the healing process. It hasn't been easy, but time does bring healing. The downtown parishes are cooperating and working together.

Bishop Robert C. Morlino is urging parishioners and all people in the Diocese of Madison to be patient. The bishop wants to listen to people, gather information, and plan for the future of the cathedral. At the same time, the Diocese of Madison is involved in a strategic planning process. The shortage of priests is being felt now and will be even more critical in the future. We need to look at the entire picture across all 11 counties of the diocese.

So we must be patient as we plan. But above all, we should pray. We must be confident that God is with us every day, guiding our actions. I encourage all Catholics in the Diocese of Madison to pray for God to continue to give us wisdom.

The cathedral spire - still soaring above the buildings in downtown Madison - should be a sign that God is with us. Our faith will sustain us as we face whatever the future will bring.

Mary C. Uhler

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We reserve the right to edit or reject letters. Limit letters to 200 words or less. All letters must be signed. Please include your city or town of residence.

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The Catholic Herald
P.O. Box 44985
Madison, WI 53744-4985

Fax: 608-821-3071
E-mail: info@madisoncatholicherald.org

Stop killing in name of God

To the editor:

In this world of technology, psychology, and communications, why are we still killing in the name of God? Haven't we learned anything from past generations? When we bow our heads and thank God for our children, health, or blessings, aren't we all thanking God above?

Christians believe in the Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Could it be many other religions believe in God the Father? So we don't share all the same beliefs, is that a reason to kill?

Instead of concentrating on our differences and annihilating each other and destroying our earth, wouldn't it be wonderful if we could accept our differences and build on what we have in common. And instead of making fun of other religions or ideologies, wouldn't it be wonderful if we could show more tolerance and respect for other beliefs? Most people want food, shelter, education, health care, and a peaceful and healthy world, so why are we concentrating on our differences instead of real solutions?

With the beginning of Lent, I pray that Christians can start acting Christ-like and stop the killing, and lead the world in respect and tolerance for other faiths.

Kathy Williams, Monona

Include petitions for life

To the editor:

In recent years the U.S. Catholic Bishops have published some excellent, informative documents on the evils of the culture of death. One of them promoted positive, spiritual actions by the Catholic clergy and Catholic laity. That document was the "2001 Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities" which stated the following recommendation:

"Parishes should include in the petitions at every Mass a prayer that ours will become a nation that respects and protects all human life, born and unborn, reflecting a true culture of life."

For some reasons that document was not implemented in many of the dioceses of the United States. The recommended petition would have conditioned Catholic clergy and Catholic laity to be full supporters of the culture of life.

Charles Sippel, Waterloo

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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: info@madisoncatholicherald.org