On Sunday, Oct. 1, people filled the pews at St. Patrick Parish, Madison, for the Diocesan Respect Life Mass and walked the streets for the 60th International Rosary March, to pray for an end to all violence on innocent life and to serve as a reminder of the dignity of all human beings.
At the beginning of his homily at the Respect Life Mass, Bishop Robert C. Morlino said he was praying for the healing of Rep. Mark Foley, a congressman from Florida who has recently resigned under allegations of sexual misconduct.
"I want to be very clear that I am not rejoicing at anyone's misfortune," he said. But in the Catholic Church, the bishops have taken every sort of step to ensure a safe environment for children.
"I think it's time for American people to tell the congress of the United States and to tell the public schools to take advantage of what the bishops have done and get with it in terms of providing a safe environment," he said. "Don't let the opportunity slip away."
Secondly, the bishop said that in this matter of pro-life, as Jesus said in the Gospel, "'Anybody who is not against us is with us.' . . . So we forge alliances because it's for the good of all," he said.
But some politicians, he said, are causing confusion about the natural law. "And no Catholic, or anyone else who claims to be with us, should cause confusion, because people of good will are caused by confusion to fall into sin," he said.
Sources of confusion
There are three major sources of confusion, he said.
First, that everyone has a "right" to marry. "I am tired of reading that in the local newspapers," he said. "People have a right to marry. No one has a right to redefine marriage." Full story ...
Planning: How did we get to where we are today?
MADISON -- The Diocese of Madison underwent a strategic planning process some years ago that sought to minimize the number of parish closures, maintaining a sacramental presence throughout all of the existing parishes.
This strategy, even with its limitations, was successfully applied to the extent that the diocese presently has 67 percent of its parishes linked with at least one other parish.
While this parish model is still valid and will likely be used in the future, it became clear at the start of 2005 that strategically this was no longer an effective method of conserving priestly resources.
Thus, in the spring of 2005, the diocese began a long term planning project by contracting with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University to create a comprehensive demographic report on the Diocese of Madison. This report provided a statistically valid demographic profile for the 11 counties of the Diocese of Madison.
The next step involved querying all priests and parishioners using surveys designed by CARA. The priest survey was taken first in the fall of 2005, with the results discussed with Bishop Robert C. Morlino in the winter of 2005-06.
One result of these discussions was the decision to implement a grassroots or bottoms-up strategy at the parish level in the development of the parish restructuring plan that was imminent for the diocese. The in-pew survey of parishioners followed in November 2005, with the results released back to the parishes for their self-evaluation in the spring of 2006. Full story ...