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August 24, 2006 Edition

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This week:
Funeral for Fr. Meinholz's mother
Pro-life vigil: Praying for an end to abortion
Knights of Divine Mercy: Calling men to be 'spiritual warriors'
College students: Help in Gulf Coast recovery
• Front-page sidebar: Diocese of Madison parishioners contribute over $600,000
Nominate someone for "Profiles from the pew"
News Briefs

Articles on St. Raphael Cathedral

News Briefs:
Multicultural Center Lecture Series

MADISON -- The Catholic Multicultural Center will be holding a fall Social Justice Lecture Series. All lectures will be held at the Catholic Multicultural Center, 1862 Beld St., at 7 p.m. Call 608-661-3512 for more information.

• Thursday, Sept. 28 - "Katrina, King, and Catholic Social Teaching" - Presented by Fr. Bryan Massingale, an assistant professor at Marquette University who specializes in Roman Catholic moral theology with a focus on Catholic social thought and racial justice.

His recent work applies Catholic social thought to the issues of affirmative action, racial reconciliation, environmental justice, terrorism, and the challenge of peacemaking. He has authored over 30 articles, book chapters, and book reviews.

• Thursday, Oct. 5 - "The Death Penalty" - Presented by E. Michael McCann, the district attorney of Milwaukee who is currently the longest serving district attorney of any major city in the nation.

His most famous case was that of the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in 1991. He is opposed to the death penalty for reasons that include racial inequity when sentencing and that no amount of restitution will make the victims whole. He is known for being tough yet fair, and calls his Catholic faith the biggest joy in his life.

• Third lecture, to be announced

Women's Retreat

MADISON -- Women are invited to register now for the annual Diocesan Women's Retreat that will take place Friday, Sept. 15, and Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Bishop O'Connor Pastoral Center in Madison.

This year's theme is "God is Love." Join Bishop Robert C. Morlino and women of all ages from the Madison Diocese will reflect on love in its various dimensions, from the love between man and woman to the love that the Catholic Church has for others in its expression of charity.

More information and online registration is available at or call 608-821-3160.

Lafayette Deanery meeting on September 7

SOUTH WAYNE -- "Sing to the Lord a New Song" is the theme of the Lafayette Deanery fall meeting to be held Thursday, Sept. 7, at St. John Parish here.

Registration is at 5 p.m. followed by the business meeting at 5:15. A concelebrated Mass will be offered at 6 p.m. with Msgr. Duane Moellenberndt, Sun Prairie, diocesan moderator, as homilist.

A dinner will be served a 6:45 followed by the program at 7:45. The Foggy Bottom Boys from Lafayette County will entertain with Gospel songs.

The deanery project will be contributions for wheel chair reconstruction for those unable to purchase one.

Reservations are due August 31 to Lori Sawdey, 4861 Wayne Center Rd., South Wayne, WI 53587. The cost is $6.

Drumming retreat

SINSINAWA -- Bill Kehl is back at Sinsinawa Mound for his popular drumming retreat, "The Rhythms of Life," from 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9. Kehl, a former member of the folk/acoustic group Northern Lights, will provide a variety of drums to delve into the background of the human rhythmic experience.

Registration deadline is September 1. There is a fee. For more information, call 608-748-4411 or visit

Bishop Morlino to bless restored cemetery chapel in Janesville

JANESVILLE -- The restoration work for the "Little Chapel" at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Janesville has been completed.

A ceremony to bless the turn-of-the-century building is planned for Thursday, Sept. 7, at 3:30 p.m. with Bishop Robert C. Morlino presiding at the ceremony.

The restoration work was done in memory of the late Phil Reuter, a long time Janesville resident and member of Nativity of Mary Parish. Among Reuter's many activities in the church was his service to the Diocese of Madison. He served on the Corporate Board for the diocese as well as the Cemetery Board.

The use of the "Little Chapel" is encouraged for visitors to the cemetery. It is a sacred place for meditation, prayer, and remembrance of loved ones who have died. The building will be open daily. All are welcomed.

Two Bible studies offered at Madison parish

MADISON -- Blessed Sacrament Parish will be offering the 24- week Jeff Cavins' Great Adventure Bible Study as well as a 30-week Catholic Scripture Study by Scott Hahn on the Gospel of John.

The Great Adventure will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 27, from 7 to 9 p.m. The series will run through May 2 with a number of breaks for holidays. Home study questions, group discussion, and a video presentation are included. Beginners and experienced Bible students alike will revitalize their relationship with Christ through the study.

Study on the Gospel of John will begin Monday, Sept. 18, and conclude on May 21. There will be two sessions to choose from, either 9 to 10:30 a.m. or 7 to 8:30 p.m. This study will follow the same format as the Great Adventure.

Contact Tom Claridge, no later than Friday, Sept. 1, at 608-238-3979 for more information, to register, and to order course materials.

Day of remembrance
at church museum

PRAIRIE DU SAC -- A day of remembrance will be celebrated at the Our Lady of Loretto Church Museum on Sunday, Aug. 27, at 1:30 p.m. Deacon Ron Pickar of Sacred Heart Parish in Reedsburg will lead the prayer service. An open house will follow.

Our Lady of Loretto Church Museum is located on Co. Hwy. C between Denzer and Leland, one mile east of Natural Bridge State Park.

Encounter Weekend

MADISON -- Madison Marriage Encounter is sponsoring a retreat weekend Friday through Sunday, Sept. 15 through 17.

Have you ever thought of how to enhance your marriage or make a good marriage great? Try attending a retreat weekend, away from the daily distractions and tensions of life. Your focus will be on each other only.

The weekend will be held at the Bishop O'Connor Center in Madison. All faiths are welcome. To register, or for more information, call 608-821-3175 or visit www.marriageencounter

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Funeral for
Fr. Meinholz's mother

ASHTON -- A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 25, at St. Peter Parish, Ashton, 7121 Cty. Trk. K, Middleton, for Emma Mary Meinholz, 97, mother of Fr. John Meinholz, pastor at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Monona. Priests are invited to concelebrate.

Visitation will be Thursday, Aug. 24, at the Winn Funeral Home, 5785 County Trk. Q, Waunakee, with Rosary at 4:30 p.m., and Scriptural Service at 7 p.m., ending at 7:30 p.m.

Additional visitation will be at St. Peter Parish on Friday, Aug. 25, from 10 to 11 a.m. Lunch will be served following Mass at the School Hall. Burial will be at the parish cemetery.

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Pro-life vigil:
Praying for an end to abortion

MADISON -- It wasn't always a large group, but they prayed together for an end to abortion in front of the Planned Parenthood Clinic off Stoughton Rd.

People from local parishes, several high school students, and seminarians all joined together for a pro-life vigil August 10 and 11. Bishop Robert C. Morlino stopped by the Planned Parenthood Clinic to pray the rosary and talk briefly with the group.

The vigil took place both at the clinic as well as at St. Peter Church in Madison, where many spent time in Eucharistic Adoration, praying for an end to abortion.

The vigil was joined in the evening by a group that walked five miles between Holy Redeemer Church in Madison and the Planned Parenthood Clinic.

The walkers carried the Divino Nino, a crucifix, and an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, as well as a sign protesting abortion as they walked along E. Washington Ave. to bring further awareness to the cause.

"It's probably the most grievous crime that's going on in America," Bobby Marsland, a senior at St. Ambrose Academy said of abortion. "Defenseless human beings are being killed at such a rate.

Marsland and three other students had come to pray with the bishop during the afternoon. "I thought it would be a good thing to do," he said of coming to the vigil. "I've been thinking about how important it is."

Ralph Lang, a parishioner at St. John Parish, Marshfield, has come to pray in front of the Planned Parenthood many times on Mondays. He came this Thursday to join the seminarians for their vigil because of the importance of the task.

"Abortion is a very important subject now and for ever, and I'd like to see this place shut down," Lang said. "It's nice to be a part of a movement like this."

Seminarian Chad Droessler organized the event with help from fellow seminarians Luke Genthe and John Putzer. Genthe said that it was an important experience.

"Personally, for me, I was down there at 2, 3 in the morning and seeing people down there praying - it was pretty powerful," he said.

"It wasn't a protest; it was a prayer vigil," Genthe said. "And everyone knew that if we want to stop this evil, we have to start praying."

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Knights of Divine Mercy:
Calling men to be 'spiritual warriors'

MADISON -- Sound the trumpet! Rouse the warriors!

As C. S. Lewis said, the world is "enemy-occupied territory" and God is calling on men to be "conquering warriors" in a spiritual battle.

That is why Fr. Rick Heilman has established the Knights of Divine Mercy, a new movement that is sponsoring the first Madison-area conference for Catholic men.

Masculine spirituality

The Knights are "calling all Catholic men to explore the meaning of masculine spirituality, heroic virtues, and how to become spiritual warriors," said Father Heilman. He is pastor of St. Mary Parish, Pine Bluff, and St. Ignatius Parish, Mt. Horeb.

The inaugural event on Friday, Sept. 29 (the feast of St. Michael the Archangel), will be held at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center in Madison. It will feature Fr. Thomas Loya, often heard on Relevant Radio. It will begin with a Mass at 7 p.m. followed by a tailgate-style dinner and Father Loya's talk.

Father Loya is currently the pastor of Annunciation of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Church in Chicago, Ill., and an advisor to the Theology of the Body International Alliance. He has directed many retreats and has been a guest speaker at conventions and at World Youth Day.

'Spiritual warfare'

In explaining this new movement, Father Heilman emphasized something that Fr. John Coropi once said, that men and women are "equal in dignity" but they are not the same. He said men must accept responsibility for such evils as abortion, sexually transmitted disease, contraception, and pornography.

"The enemy (the devil) has taken so much ground, a little here, a little there. A foothold becomes a stronghold," said the priest. "God said, 'I want warriors to take it back, to take back the surrendered ground.'"

Father Heilman knows first-hand the power of spiritual warfare.

In the community of Pine Bluff, Father Heilman and other citizens were shocked when a "gentleman's club" was opened in 2005. "We had a strip club in our wholesome town," he said. "So we prayed. We planted 14 crosses and called it a Prayer Mile. We called on people to walk that mile and pray. We invoked God's power."

At the end of the Prayer Mile, Father Heilman invited people to tie white ribbons on a kneeler in front of the cross in the parish cemetery. Almost 700 ribbons were tied.

"Six months later, that strip club was gone," he said. "We reclaimed this surrendered ground for God."

Power of God

He encourages men to take that "warrior spirit" into other battles in society. He compares it to Joshua's battle against the Malachites as recorded in Scripture. In that battle, Moses held up a staff on the hill over the battle with the help of others. As long as he held up the staff, the Israelites won.

That battle ironically occurred at the foothills of Mt. Horeb, the place for which the city of Mt. Horeb is named.

Like the Israelites, noted Father Heilman, "We can do nothing on our own. We need the power of God. We must invoke the power of God."

In this battle, we do not need a sword, he said. "We can use such things as the Rosary and the miraculous medal. I invite all men to consecrate themselves to Our Lord through Our Lady and to be empowered. Step up as spiritual leaders. Draw upon the great power of the Eucharist through Mass and Eucharistic Adoration."

Father Heilman said if men become strong spiritual leaders, they will bring family and friends back to the faith.

Men's conference

The cost of the men's conference is $10. Registration deadline is September 22. For more information or to register, visit

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College students:
Help in Gulf Coast recovery

• Front-page sidebar:
Diocese of Madison parishioners contribute over $600,000

Some wanted to go to help people in need. Some wanted a different spring break experience than that of their peers. Others just wanted to see it for themselves.

The reasons were many, and the impact just as varied.

The devastation that Hurricane Katrina wrought on the Gulf Coast last August was in a word, overwhelming, for the Marquette University students participating in the Marquette Action Program (M.A.P.) from March 11 to 18.

Action Program

The Marquette Action Program (M.A.P.) has offered Marquette students the opportunity to work in cooperation with various service organizations across the country since 1977. These trips are facilitated by students and they travel to their host sites by van to live and work in these communities.

These M.A.P. trips allow students to work in teams and contribute to various communities; expose them to different social, cultural, and economic situations; learn the goals and operations of service organizations; and enjoy getting to know peers on a different level in reflection.

Approximately 200 students participated in M.A.P. this spring, with teams going down to New Orleans, La.; Ocean Springs, Miss.; Mobile, Ala.; and Detroit, Mich. among other sites.

Southern hospitality

Students utilized every minute of the 16-hour drive to get to know fellow team members and to nap when not driving.

A Catholic parish was kind enough to put up our two groups for our first night in New Orleans before we moved on to our lodging for the week.

Camp Premiere, a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-run camp, was a fenced-in and guarded community with rows of green barrack tents, a white mess-hall tent, a line-up of trailers with showers, and Port-a-Potties galore.

It resembled a scene straight out of the TV show MASH.

Marquette students were not the only ones staying at the camp. Students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Duke University, Howard University, and numerous other colleges and universities had also come to work.

It was there that we met our group coordinators, Ike and Mary-Jo Pankhurst, volunteers with Catholic Charities from St. Louis, Mich.

The Pankhursts volunteered a total of 10 weeks of their time as work coordinators for five weeks in January and five weeks in March. Fresh off retirement, the Pankhursts had always wanted to go somewhere warm for winter and also do humanitarian work. New Orleans fit the bill.

Severe storm damage

Early Monday morning, the Pankhursts led our groups to the homes we would be working in St. Bernard Parish (counties are commonly referred to as parishes in the South), one of Louisiana's most severely damaged areas by the storm.

The storm damage to St. Bernard Parish is believed to have come from not only direct effects of the storm, but also a massive storm surge funneled in by the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO). The storm affected virtually every structure in the area. Only two homes may have gone untouched by flood waters.

The eye of Katrina pushed a 25-foot storm surge into Lake Borgne and the MRGO, destroying the parish levees that were 14 to 17 feet high. The water rose at a sudden pace in a period of no more than 15 minutes. Nearly the entire parish was flooded, most areas getting between five and 12 feet of standing water.

The home of Roy and Marie, a couple whose home we gutted, was on a street where the storm surge broke the parish levees. The first four homes on their block had been completely flattened to no more than piles of rubble and debris.

Signs of destruction

It is difficult to put into words what it is like to see streets lined by garbage, only to find out it had not been picked up in over a month.

To see a child's Fisher Price wagon on a roof, only to find out it had been set there by the flood water.

To see a date, an X, and a number on nearly every home, only to find out it was the day the home was inspected, and the number was the body count in the home.

There were messages of anger, humor, gratitude, and farewell spray painted on homes, in hopes that maybe a neighbor or family member would see it when they returned.

As we rode through the St. Bernard neighborhoods, silence and disbelief filled the van as we took in our surroundings. We were all aware of the damage Katrina had wrought on the Gulf Coast, but none of us were prepared to see the sights and smells of the devastation first hand.

Gutting homes

Gutting a home is no easy task. Many of the houses we entered had been practically untouched since the August storm.

The pantries were still full of food, the refrigerators hadn't been opened in six months, clothes were still in the closet. Walking through, one tried to piece together the debris to imagine what the home might have looked like at one time.

Our first step was to empty the homes. That meant taking out every single thing in the house, more challenging when you remember everything had been in standing water for over a month. The kitchen sinks and bathtubs still contained flood water.

Once the house was getting cleared, we would begin tearing down the dry wall and insulation, sometimes exposing cockroaches or other rodents. Our final step was to remove the nails from the studs of the home, leaving the home empty and clean for residents to rebuild.

We were not allowed to enter the homes without ventilated gas masks to protect us from airborne pollutants and eye goggles, long sleeve shirts, and pants to protect us from exposure to black mold and other bacteria. Luckily everyone returned to Milwaukee healthy.

The two Marquette groups gutted four and half homes. Despite the hard work, it meant a great deal to the families and was just a small step in helping them rebuild their lives.

Meaningful trip

Our trip to New Orleans was overwhelming, eye opening, humbling, and challenging, but most of all, meaningful.

I know that I personally will never forget the sights, smells, and attitude of the city and people that only want to rebuild and continue living their lives. They don't concern themselves with politics, or point fingers of blame.

The things they want back are the things you and I also treasure: family, neighbors, community, and normalcy.

Since our return I have been asked the same question: "Would you do it again?" The answer is invariably the same, "Absolutely."

Sophia Minnaert will be a sophomore at Marquette University this fall. She is a graduate of Edgewood High School in Madison.

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Diocese of Madison, The Catholic Herald
Offices: Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, 702 S. High Point Road, Madison
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