Presbyteral Assembly to be held Sept. 24-27
WISCONSIN DELLS -- The Diocese of Madison will hold the 26th annual Presbyteral Assembly Sunday, Sept. 24, to Wednesday, Sept. 27, at Chula Vista Conference Center in Wisconsin Dells.
The assembly is a chance for the priests of the diocese to gather for prayer, fellowship, and continuing education. The theme is "Mysterium Fidei: Eucharist, Celebration, and Contemplation."
In addition to Masses, Adoration, and a jubilee program and presentations, the assembly will feature several sessions with Fr. Robert Tuzik, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago and author.
Father Tuzik has published articles and books, including upcoming title The Contribution of Msgr. Reynold Hillenbrand to the Liturgical Movement in the United States.
The annual priest assembly is coordinated by the diocesan Office for Continuing Education of Priests.
Liturgical Ministry Day scheduled in Portage
on September 30
PORTAGE -- The Diocesan Office of Worship and St. Mary Parish are co-sponsoring a Liturgical Ministry Day on Saturday, Sept. 30, at St. Mary Parish in Portage. The day is intended to provide liturgical ministers with some spiritual refreshment and to help brush up on the skills of the various ministries.
The day will begin with a social at 9 a.m. and morning prayer at 9:30 a.m. and will conclude around 2 p.m. with a blessing of liturgical ministers.
Patrick Gorman, director of the Diocesan Office of Worship, will present the keynote address. He will focus on how to root ministry in participation in Sunday Mass and in spiritual preparation for ministry.
The keynote will be followed by breakout sessions for extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, musicians, lectors, ushers and greeters, homebound ministers, and art and environment committee members. There will be two sessions and lunch will be provided between sessions.
St. Mary Parish is wheelchair accessible. Assistive-listening receivers and large-print material are available if requested on the registration form. If you need a sign-language interpreter, contact the Office of Worship at 608-821-3080 or email@example.com as soon as possible. Call the Office of Worship if there are other special needs.
A $10 fee covers all materials, morning social, and lunch.
For more information or to register, call St. Mary Parish at 608-742-6998 or visit the Office of Worship Web site at www.madisondiocese.org/worship To assist in planning register by September 26.
Bishop Morneau keynotes Stewardship Day
MADISON -- The Madison Diocesan Stewardship Council and the Office of Stewardship and Development have planned the First Annual Diocesan Stewardship Day on Wednesday, Oct. 11, at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, 702 S. High Point Rd.
Bishop Robert Morneau, auxiliary bishop from the Diocese of Green Bay, will share "A Theology of Stewardship." Bishop Morneau has served on the U.S. Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee on Stewardship and helped author, Stewardship: A Disciple's Response, a pastoral letter published in 1992. Bishop Morneau is recognized as one of the top stewardship experts in the United States and is the author of a variety of articles in publications, along with books on spirituality and poetry.
A continental breakfast begins at 9 a.m., with Bishop Morneau as keynote presenter at 10 a.m. A Mass will be offered at 11:30 a.m. in the chapel at the Bishop O'Connor Center by Diocese of Madison Bishop Robert C. Morlino.
A luncheon break at the center begins at 12:30 p.m., followed by a discussion panel of several diocesan priests and members of the Madison Diocesan Stewardship Council. All are invited to join the panel discussion between 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. This is an opportunity to provide some resource guidelines and an open discussion for stewardship within a parish.
Cost for this special event is $20 per person, which includes continental breakfast and lunch. Reservations are necessary and requested prior to September 30.
Make check payable to the Diocese of Madison and return to the Stewardship and Development Office, 702 S. High Point Rd., Madison, WI 53719. For further details, contact Jan Okas at 608-821-3039.
Celebrates 150th anniversary
OREGON -- Holy Mother of Consolation Parish is continuing its celebration of 150 years as a parish community with an alumni reception on Saturday, Sept. 23, and a sesquicentennial celebration Mass on Sunday, Sept. 24.
The events are part of a series held this year to mark the parish anniversary, which included a Lenten series on the history of the parish, diocese, and the Church in the United States; publication of a history of the parish; and a pageant on the history planned for November.
The Saturday event is an all-school reunion of students from Holy Mother of Consolation School. The school was open from 1954 to 1968, grades first through eighth, and was taught by Dominican nuns and non-church-affiliated teachers. About 350 children from Oregon, Fitchburg, and Brooklyn attended during its 14 years.
The reunion features a reception at 3:30 p.m. in the church lower level, followed by an alumni Mass at 5 p.m. Alumni will serve in the Mass; special guests are expected, including Sr. Elwyn McHale, who taught at the school from 1952 to 1962, and alumnus "St. Vince" from the Green Bay Packers.
Following the Mass is a dinner and party at 6:30 p.m. at Kopke's Fruit of the Bloom Nursery on Sandhill Rd. All events are open to anyone interested in attending. Reservations are not required. Proceeds from the events, after costs are paid, will be donated to the Catarina Mission in Guatemala.
The Sunday celebration will include Mass at 10:15 a.m. with Bishop Robert C. Morlino presiding, followed by a dinner for parishioners and invited guests. The Mass is open to the public.
For more information, call the parish office at 608-835-5763.The parish is located at 651 N. Main St.
plan deanery meetings
West Dane Deanery
ASHTON -- West Dane Deanery will meet at St. Peter Parish here, Tuesday, Oct. 3. Theme is "Respecting Life: Fragile Beginnings; Endings with Dignity." Registration is at 8:15 a.m. followed by business meeting. Speaker will be Sr. Georgeann Roudebush, administrative chaplain at HospiceCare Inc. A liturgy will be offered at 11 a.m. with Fr. Lorin Bowens as homilist followed by luncheon. Parishes have been collecting baby shower items for Elizabeth House and gifts for nursing home residents. These are to be brought to the meeting. Reservations are to be sent to Laurel Sauer, 5291 Scenic Ridge Tr., Middleton, WI 53562, by September 25. Cost is $8.
EDGERTON -- "Freedom With Christ" is the theme of the Rock Deanery fall meeting Wednesday, Oct. 4. St. Joseph Parish here will host the event. Registration is at 9:30 a.m., followed by business meeting. Liturgy will be at 11 a.m. with Msgr. Duane Moellenberndt as homilist. A noon luncheon will be served. Those attending are asked to bring a $15 mini-raffle gift. Reservations are to be sent to Meg Collins, 17 Highland Ave., Edgerton, WI 53534, by September 26. Cost is $7.
Marquette/Green Lake Deanery
BERLIN -- Thursday, Oct. 5, is the Marquette/Green Lake Deanery meeting at All Saints Parish here. Theme is "United in the Spirit." Registration is at 3:30 p.m. followed by business meeting. There will be a Mass at 5 p.m. with Fr. Lorin Bowens as homilist followed by dinner and musical presentation with the Seibel family: mother, father, and 10 children. Those attending are asked to bring food for county and Berlin food pantries and a $10 raffle gift. Make reservations with Bonnie Lundt, 269 E. Waushara St., Berlin, WI 54923, by September 22. Cost is $8.
CASSVILLE -- St. Charles Parish here will host the Grant Deanery meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 11. Theme is "If You (I) Don't; Who Will?" Registration is at 4 p.m., followed by business meeting and Mass with Fr. Lorin Bowens as homilist. After the 6:30 dinner, Jo Anne Russell, Madison, diocesan legislative chair, will be the guest speaker. Her topic is ""The Importance of Being an Informed Voter." All CCW parishes in the deanery have been asked to collect new hats, gloves, mittens, and socks. These are to be brought to the meeting. Reservations are due October 2 to Agnes Hughes, P.O. Box 600, Cassville, WI 53806. Cost is $7.50.
Series on immigration in Beloit
BELOIT -- In order to help U.S. citizens and others understand what is happening with immigration issues, a Tri-Parish Education Series is planned by the Hispanic Committee of the three Beloit parishes. The stated goal of the series is "to help all of us to better inform ourselves and become more sensitive to these vital issues."
Leading off the series, on Thursday, Sept. 21, 7 to 8:30 p.m. at St. Thomas Parish, is a personal perspective given by German Diaz of Milwaukee. His topic is: "An Immigrant's Experience - A Journey of Hope and Transformation." Diaz, 30, came to the U.S. from Colombia six years ago. As a teacher and missionary in Colombia, he learned much about the people, their struggles, and hopes. In the U. S., Diaz received his Master of Theology degree from St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee. He currently works as director of religious education for Prince of Peace Parish, Milwaukee.
On Thursday, Oct. 5, the second presentation will take place at St. Jude Parish from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Speaking from a legal perspective, Irene Wren, an immigration attorney from Madison, will discuss "Legal Issues Regarding Citizenship."
St. Thomas Pastoral Associate Ruth Kolpack said the planning committee hopes to "counteract negative feelings and information about immigration. We hope to bring understanding here so that people may be more compassionate and caring."
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Bishop Morlino: Names new vicar general, cathedral rector
MADISON -- The appointment of Msgr. Paul J. Swain as eighth bishop of Sioux Falls, S.D. necessitated that Bishop Robert C. Morlino fill two positions he held: vicar general and rector of St. Raphael Cathedral and pastor of Holy Redeemer and St. Patrick Parishes.
Bishop Morlino has appointed Fr. Donald J. Heiar, Jr., as vicar general of the Diocese of Madison and Fr. Kevin D. Holmes as rector of St. Raphael Cathedral and pastor of Holy Redeemer and St. Patrick Parishes in Madison.
Bishop Morlino commented, "I am very pleased to appoint Father Heiar and Father Holmes to their respective new assignments. Father Heiar will be my trusted collaborator in the day-to-day governance of the diocese, and Father Holmes will be my trusted collaborator in my preaching and teaching office at the Cathedral Church and a most able pastor of our parish communities at Holy Redeemer and St. Patrick's."
Father Heiar is a native of Viroqua. He attended UW-Platteville and did his seminary studies at Mundelein Seminary in Ill. Father Heiar was ordained to the priesthood in 2000.
He has served as parochial vicar of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Portage; St. Mary Help of Christians, Briggsville; St. Mary of the Most Holy Rosary, Pardeeville; and St. Andrew, Buffalo. He has served as administrator of St. Paul, Evansville; St. Augustine, Footville; and as pastor of St. Rose of Lima, Brodhead; St. Patrick, Albany; and is currently pastor of St. John Vianney Parish, Janesville.
Father Holmes is a native of Janesville. He did his undergraduate and philosophy studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He finished seminary studies and received his Juris Canonici Baccalaureatus (JCB) at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium.
Father Holmes was ordained in 1984. He has served as parochial vicar of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Sun Prairie, and Our Lady Queen of Peace, Madison. He has served as pastor of Holy Redeemer, Madison, previously; St. Michael, Dane; and most recently St. Aloysius Parish, Sauk City.
Father Heiar's new assignment as vicar general will require that he be transferred from St. John Vianney. His new parish assignment will be announced soon. Likewise, Father Holmes will take up residence at Holy Redeemer Parish (in the absence of a usable cathedral rectory) in the near future.
These appointments will also precipitate other priestly assignment changes in the diocese in the near future.
Garden of Innocence: Remembering babies who have died
BELOIT -- Three pink tulips were carefully placed on the large granite monument in the Garden of Innocence at Mt. Thabor Cemetery, following the blessing ceremony by Bishop Robert C. Morlino.
They seemed to reflect the love of the group of more than 150 persons who gathered in the serene setting on a recent sunny afternoon.
Those interested in remembering a recent or past death of a baby can call the cemetery office at
608-754-3472 for information.
The Garden of Innocence is dedicated exclusively for the burial and/or the memorialization of the unborn. "There is now a place to bury these babies, or to memorialize babies who have died years ago but were not buried or remembered with a memorial," explained Sandy Blevins, who is the driving force for the project.
The larger of the three monuments is presently inscribed with names of babies who died. Within the area, there are 400 small spaces for burial as well as three monuments for inscription of babies' names. There are also two granite benches and a bronze statue of an angel holding a baby.
Blevins, director of faith formation at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish, was inspired by the need to have a place to memorialize her babies after experiencing three early pregnancy losses and one early infant death. She said it is important for people to know there are options for those who have lost a baby prematurely.
Tears and prayers
As people gathered for the ceremony, there were tears and heads bowed in prayer.
As Natalie Durben walked to the serene area, she said, "Our granddaughter is memorialized here. It's a closure for us. It's almost like a burial." Durben, attending with her husband Larry, referred to their granddaughter as "our sweet baby girl." She was the only child of one of their daughters who lives in another state.
For Sharon Ribordy, Rockton, Ill., and her daughter Amy Reese, an OLA parishioner, the Garden of Innocence is significant. Ribordy said, "How nice it is to have this memorial. Our first child, Robert Paul, who was born in 1961, is buried in Morrison, Ill. Having this memorial brings him here with us."
The 'little people'
Bishop Morlino expressed his appreciation to Blevins for her dedication to the project and to all those in "bringing about this remembrance of little people who are very important people."
Acknowledging students from Our Lady of the Assumption Grade School (which adjoins Mt. Thabor) attending, Bishop Morlino stated, "The young people buried here are much smaller (than you), still they are human beings and have rights. Christ revealed God as the Light, the Transfiguration. Isn't it a mystery these very tiny people do not have to struggle in the world to find Jesus the Light, but we all have to struggle to find the Light?"
Morlino assured the crowd, "If we ask that question, we find the answer. Jesus is the Light."
Thanks for support
Blevins sincerely thanked all the people for their encouragement and assistance as the Garden of Innocence was made a reality. She especially thanked those who made donations, parishioners of OLA, St. Jude, and St. Thomas as well as pastors Fr. Gary Krahenbuhl and Fr. Steve Kortendick. "They allowed me to speak to the faithful of Beloit about the garden and its value and importance," she said.
It was Father Krahenbuhl who suggested she contact the Diocesan Department of Cemeteries with her idea for a Garden of Innocence. Tom Hanlon, director of cemeteries, worked with Blevins and several other persons to plan the project and design a section for the site within Mt. Thabor. The site for the Garden was donated by the diocese.
Blevins said, "It has been a blessing and a privilege for me to work on this project. Many of you know my story and the four babies that are named and inscribed on the memorial, who join the names of many others. These children softly tiptoed into our world, almost silently. And although they only stayed a moment, their brief lives have left enduring footprints on our hearts.
"It is with grateful and trusting hearts that we place them in God's loving hand. We give thanks for the gift of these children and this place of healing and comfort."
Also participating in the ceremony were: Randy Gracyalny, director of liturgy and music at OLA; Pat Wilson, OLA parishioner; and Hanlon.
'Just because we are'
LAKE DELTON -- The rain didn't bother most people as Mass soon got underway. They huddled under umbrellas and ponchos like Green Bay Packers fans in an ice storm, blizzard, or rain.
Mass went on and the rain quit after 10 minutes, returned for a few more minutes, finally leaving.
That was part of the scene, but not the mood, of the annual Mass for the Apostolate to the Handicapped August 25 on stage at the Tommy Bartlett Water Ski Shows in Lake Delton.
Msgr. Thomas F. Campion celebrated Mass, concelebrated by 13 priests.
"This Mass is one of the three most important programs of the year for the Apostolate," Monsignor Campion said while relaxing in the seats after Mass, seats normally used by people watching water ski wizards flying over ramps and other performers and their acrobatics.
"This is such a beautiful outdoor setting," Monsignor Campion said, "with a low-key, informal Mass, set in the beauty of the Wisconsin Dells. The other two programs are the Christmas Mass for the Apostolate in December and the Spring Day Mass in April."
Monsignor Campion explained the importance of the August event, "More people can come easily from central Wisconsin, like Wautoma, Sparta, Berlin, La Crosse, other northern communities and not just Madison."
Monsignor Campion also explained the importance of the Apostolate program, "This is an honest day, and by that I mean it's a day for the handicapped. They can sit anywhere, not just in a certain area. The whole Tommy Bartlett site is all theirs. Here they are not outsiders. That is unique and special."
Monsignor Campion started the Apostolate 40 years ago. The first five years of the summer Mass were held on one of the Wisconsin Dells' larger tour boats. That quickly became too small and in year six they moved to the Bartlett site.
"I knew Tommy Bartlett," Monsignor Campion said. "He was a great person and showman and had a lot of charisma and compassion. He always treated us as first class citizens. And I love it here."
Then Monsignor Campion emphasized, "The underlying principle and factor here is that everybody counts just because we are."
And that's exactly where he put it, "just because we are."
"It's all about respect. Everyone has value and worth and dignity. It's not about what they can or cannot do. And it's also fun," he continued with another big grin on his face.
Following Mass the people were provided with a bag lunch furnished by volunteers from Monsignor Campion's home parish at St. Victor Parish, Monroe. Monsignor Campion said he estimated there were about 400 volunteers involved in the day's program.
He also estimated there were about 1,200 people attending, down about 300 from 2005, but the threat of rain certainly held some back. "There must be at least 50 of the Bartlett staffers volunteering of their own free time today."
When asked if the Mass and lunch will be held in 2007, Monsignor Campion replied with a huge grin, "Yes, the good Lord willing. We sure hope to keep it going, even if the names change."