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October 19, 2006 Edition

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This week:
New Since the Print Edition (front page): Watch Bishop Swain installation on Internet (posted 10/24/2006)
New Since the Print Edition: Diocese gives facts regarding marriage amendment activities (posted 10/19/2006)
Monica Bischoff: Named new school assistant superintendent
Stewardship Day: Nurturing a 'stewardship way of life'
Guided by the Spirit: Criteria used in parish self-evaluation
Heritage from the past: A mission for the future at St. Jerome Parish
    Sidebar: Patron Saint: St. Jerome
News Briefs
Nominate someone for "Profiles from the pew"

Articles on St. Raphael Cathedral

News Briefs:
Farewell reception:
For Fr. Kevin Holmes

SAUK CITY -- St. Aloysius parishioners have planned a farewell reception to thank and honor their pastor, Fr. Kevin D. Holmes, who has been appointed by Bishop Robert C. Morlino as rector of St. Raphael Cathedral and pastor of Holy Redeemer and St. Patrick Parishes in Madison.

Festivities will be on Saturday, Oct. 21, beginning with a Mass at 4:30 p.m. A potluck supper will follow in the school gym at 608 Oak St.

Since ordination to the priesthood on June 15, 1984 at St. Raphael Cathedral in Madison, Father Holmes has served as parochial vicar of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Parish, Sun Prairie; Our Lady Queen of Peace, Madison; pastor of Holy Redeemer, Madison; St. Michael, Dane; and St. Aloysius since 2000, in addition to administrative duties at St. Mary Parish in Merrimac.

Individuals planning to enjoy the potluck festivities are requested to bring a dish to pass. Beverages, plates, and eating utensils will be provided.

"Please come enjoy a very special farewell celebration for Father Holmes on Saturday, Oct. 21," a spokesperson said. "This is a wonderful opportunity to express our thanks to Father Holmes for all he has done for our families, our parish, our community, and the Diocese of Madison."

St. Patrick Parish, Albany: Revives fall dinner tradition Nov. 5

ALBANY -- St. Patrick Parish is reviving a long tradition with its fall dinner, which will be hosted again this year on Sunday, Nov. 5.

With no pastor last year, the parish had not held a dinner, but with Fr. Mick Moon recently arriving as pastor for St. Patrick Parish, Albany, and St. Rose of Lima, Brodhead, the parishioners have decided to bring the dinner back.

"It has been a good way to bring the parish and the Albany community - and well beyond the St. Patrick community - together for tasty food and fellowship," said Father Moon.

He said it's been fun to be a part of the planning of the community-building event.

All are invited to the beef and ham dinner, to be held at St. Patrick, 410 E. State St., Albany. The dinner will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Children under 5 eat free.

For more information, contact the Brodhead parish office at 608-897-2666.

Workshop for RCIA sponsors Oct. 24

MADISON -- The diocesan Office of Worship and Office of Evangelization and Catechesis are co-hosting a workshop for RCIA sponsors at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, 702 S. High Point Rd., on Tuesday, Oct. 24, from 7 to 9 p.m.

The workshop is designed to assist RCIA sponsors in the understanding of their role as spiritual companions of those who will be initiated into the church. The workshop may also be of interest to pastors, RCIA directors, and others who work with the training and formation of sponsors.

The evening will be led by Debby Del Ciello, director of evangelization and catechesis for St. Maria Goretti Parish in Madison and a diocesan consultant on the RCIA. Each participant will receive a copy of Guidebook for Sponsors by Fr. Ron Lewinski, former director of the Office for Divine Worship of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Registration is $10 per person, $8 per person for three or more from the same parish. Register by October 20. Additional information is available at or by calling 608-821-3080 or 608-821-3160.

Annual Care Net banquet

MADISON -- Care Net Pregnancy Center will hold its annual banquet on Thursday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. at the Monona Terrace Convention Center.

"Showing the Most Excellent Way: Love" is the theme of the evening where recent clients will share their stories of receiving unconditional love through Care Net's free and confidential services. Featured speaker, Barb Wise, will also share her own "love story."

Barb Wise speaks on abstinence, HIV/AIDS, and marriage. Knowing the reality of living with HIV/AIDS, Wise's ministry, WiseChoices, promotes sex within the boundaries of marriage with the purpose of reducing the spread of STIs, unplanned pregnancy, and emotional pain. Wise's goal is to empower people to make wise choices.

The cost to sponsor a table of eight is $300. Individual tickets are also available for $40 each. For more information or to register, call 608-259-1606, e-mail, or visit

Care Net's free services include: a licensed medical facility offering free pregnancy testing and counseling, ultrasounds, STI testing and treatment, and breast and cervical cancer screening; a 24 hour phone line; abortion recovery services; abstinence education; men's ministry; residential care at The Elizabeth House; childbirth and parenting classes.

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New Since the Print Edition ...
-- Posted: 10/19/2006, 2:22 a.m. Central Time

Diocese gives facts regarding marriage amendment activities

(See also front-page update.)

MADISON -- The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a watchdog group, recently accused the Catholic Diocese of Madison of failing to disclose its attempts to influence the November 7 vote on the marriage amendment.

The group, which opposes the proposed marriage amendment, asked the state Elections Board to take action against the diocese for failing to register its activities in supporting the amendment. The complaint cited a flier prepared by the diocese and distributed outside a Catholic church in Madison.

Bishop Morlino's statement

Bishop Robert C. Morlino, in regard to the recent complaint, stated:

"Saint John the Baptist laid down his life to protect the marriage bond. Throughout the history of the Catholic Church the Popes, the successors of Saint Peter, have similarly defended the marriage bond specifically, even up to the present in the case of Pope Benedict XVI. It is my responsibility and obligation to maintain that communion. When, in parish settings or other Catholic contexts, I insist upon the truth of what reason and faith teach us about marriage, I am maintaining that communion. To claim that I must pay a fee and report to the state about my teaching activities in Catholic venues blatantly violates the rights of myself and my sister and brother Catholics to the free exercise of religion.

"To have my teaching about marriage in Catholic venues called 'electioneering,' so as to seek the imposition of penalties from the state, seems an attempt to intimidate the Catholic Church as we try to teach the truth in an admittedly volatile atmosphere. Such persecution would surely be inappropriate.

"I wish only to protect the truth about marriage and to proclaim that there is no right to redefine marriage. I stand against denying anyone's basic human rights, and as we move ahead in the future, I will do everything to support authentic human rights for all people. The right to redefine marriage is not one of those authentic human rights. I pray that the Lord will give our citizenry wisdom to act prudently and truthfully with regard to the marriage referendum."

Relevant facts

• The Church does not play partisan politics. The Church does not support individual candidates or parties. This does not mean that when important issues (often very emotional issues) arise, the Church will remain quiet while the truths of the dignity of the human person and of Christ are being threatened. The Church and her members have a moral responsibility to engage the culture and political world in which we live.

• The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign has complained to the Wisconsin Elections Board over the appropriateness of a brochure the Diocese of Madison created for and distributed directly to its parishioners.

• Relevant to this complaint, there are state reporting requirements.There is an important exception to these requirements. These requirements do not apply when the Church communicates only with her members. (In a Catholic setting, an item included in a diocesan or parish mailing that goes only to Catholics would be exempt, as should be materials distributed at Catholic activities in Catholic venues).

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Monica Bischoff:
Named new school
assistant superintendent

MADISON -- Monica Bischoff was recently named the new assistant superintendent of Catholic schools. She will help coordinate the services of the Office of Catholic Schools among the 46 schools in the diocese and will work closely with Superintendent Michael Lancaster in areas such as planning, curriculum, professional development, and administration.

Bischoff is a resident of Madison. She and her husband are members of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, where she serves on the pastoral council and has volunteered in various capacities for many years.

Bischoff brings with her extensive educational experience, having served as a teacher, principal, and personnel director in the McFarland, Wisconsin Heights, and Verona School Districts respectively. She received her doctorate in education from Edgewood College, where she served as an instructor and advisor for doctoral students. Most recently she served as an educational consultant for various school districts and educational agencies throughout the state.

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Stewardship Day: Nurturing a 'stewardship way of life'

MADISON -- Bishop Robert F. Morneau urged Catholic parishes to nurture a "stewardship way of life" in his keynote address at the first Diocesan Stewardship Day held on October 11 at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center.

The auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay kept the audience's attention with quotes from Scripture, authors, and poets. He also referred to a pastoral letter on stewardship issued by the U.S. bishops, one which he helped write.

Tending the garden

Bishop Morneau used the image of a garden to describe the many gifts we have received from God. He asked the audience, "What have you done with the garden entrusted to you? The stewardship question is a garden question," he said.

Fr. Robert Barron from Chicago led a retreat in August for bishops. Bishop Morneau said the priest reminded the bishops, "Everything we have comes from God. We are called to give it back to God. But God doesn't need it. So our gift comes back elevated, multiplied, and intensified" - a "loop of grace."

Bishop Morneau recommended the book All Saints by Robert Ellsberg. "If you buy this book, it will change your life," he insisted. The book tells about 365 people whom the author considers saints. "They are 365 people who named their gift, nurtured their gift, and gave it away. They are all saints, all stewards of God's gifts," noted the bishop.

Stewardship way of life

Bishop Morneau listed four infinitives and four adverbs describing a stewardship way of life:

• To receive God's gifts gratefully

• To nurture God's gifts responsibly

• To share God's gifts justly/charitably

• To return God's gifts abundantly

He said we either have an attitude of "radical gratitude" or "perpetual dissatisfaction." He encouraged people to be grateful for what they have received. "Stewardship begins by not taking things for granted," he said.

He also urged people to use their gifts. His worst nightmare would be to get to the gates of heaven and have God accuse him of being an eight-cylinder car and only using two cylinders.

God gives us a gift of 168 hours a week. "I challenge you and invite you to give back to the Lord one hour a week for Sunday Mass and 20 minutes for prayer."

He said we must be good stewards of all the "gardens" entrusted to us: our body, family-friends, the globe, decisions, emotions, politics, technology, history, the mind, the arts, money, and the soul.

Saying we are "big-time consumers" today, he advised people to "give away something every day. The more you give, the more will pour into your life."

Be grateful for life

Madison's Bishop Robert C. Morlino presided at a Mass for the Stewardship Day. He reminded them that Eucharist means "thanksgiving." He said we should be more grateful at Mass than anywhere else, because Jesus won salvation for us.

Bishop Morlino also said we should all be grateful for the mystery of human life, including the embryo and even the heinous criminal whose life deserves protection.

Parish stewardship

In the afternoon, a panel of pastors and members of the Madison Diocesan Stewardship Council answered questions about stewardship on the diocesan and parish levels.

Panelists included Fr. Kent Schmitt, St. Dennis, Madison; Fr. John Hedrick, St. Mary, Pardeeville, and St. Andrew, Buffalo; Tim Endres, St. Maria Goretti, Madison; Fr. Bill Connell, Holy Mother of Consolation, Oregon; Jamie Carlson, Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Sun Prairie; Kelly Sitkin, St. Albert the Great, Sun Prairie; and Tom Nelson, St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Madison.

Daun Maier, associate director of the diocesan Office of Stewardship and Development, moderated the discussion centered on the importance of time, talent, and treasure as components of stewardship. Getting people involved in the parish and building community were mentioned as ways to increase stewardship in parishes.

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Guided by the Spirit:
Criteria used in parish self-evaluation

MADISON -- It is a well understood fact that to improve a process, procedure, or system it is important to take into account a number of important items. Keeping the goals before you helps keep you focused and remembering the assumptions from which you work keeps you from straying off course.

Previous articles:

Both the goals and the assumptions of the Guided by the Spirit planning process were discussed in the last article. In this article we want to look at the criteria against which changes will be measured, thus allowing the Parish Core Committees to weigh one change against another. We also will look at the parish self-evaluation that will occur as Parish Core Committees begin to meet after attending their training this past week.

Planning process

With any improvement program, there have to be a set of ideals against which the improvement is measured. In Guided by the Spirit, the Planning Commission put together a set of thematic criteria to give structure and guidance to the parishes as they evaluate each and every ministry in their faith community. They are themes because they are necessarily general in scope so they add to the strategic direction given by the Bishop's goals.

As each core committee meets, they will be using one of two forms supplied by the Reid Group under the direction of the Diocesan Planning Coordinator. They are called the Short Form and the Long Form.

The Short Form is only nominally shorter with the primary difference being in the style of evaluation. The Short Form is somewhat quantitative, asking yes or no questions while the Long Form is more qualitative, asking for narrative answers to essentially the same questions.

The Reid Group has found that when given the choice, about two-thirds of the people choose the Short Form and about one-third choose the Long Form with the selection being one of personal taste, not function.

The key point to recognize is the connection between the Planning Commission criteria, the questions used by the forms, and the eventual evaluation done by each parish core committee, as there is a progression from the general to the specific.

Thematic criteria

The Planning Commission grouped the criteria into four major groups: 1) Spiritual Life, 2) Formation & Education, 3) Social Justice, Advocacy & Outreach, and 4) Parish Life, Leadership & Planning.

Referring back to the Bishop's main evangelistic goal, "that each person in the diocese will be invited to meet the Risen Christ and be changed," it can be seen that these groupings are all encompassing with regard to the totality of each and every parish's ministries.

Spiritual Life

The Spiritual Life of a parish will be evaluated by looking at three areas: Prayer and Liturgical Experiences, Evangelization, and Stewardship. The Spiritual Life criteria are:

• The parish has prayer and liturgical experiences which truly nurture the spiritual life of the community and are well attended.

• The parish values evangelization, reaches out to inactive Catholics and the community, and is open and welcoming.

• Stewardship of time, talent, and treasure is an accepted way of life in the parish.

Each of these three criteria are expanded upon in the Short/Long Form with questions that challenge the core committee to honestly assess their parish in these areas. For example, with reference to prayer and liturgical experiences: "The Eucharist is celebrated with prayerfulness and dignity" or "Various forms of devotional prayer are fostered" are two questions that probe into the parish's Spiritual Life.

Honest evaluation

These questions are not just to be superficially answered but should be used to open these areas up to further questioning and exploration. It cannot be overemphasized how important the evaluation depends upon the honesty and integrity of the core committee in addressing each of these areas for this process to work up to its potential.

Any failure to address those specific areas that are lacking in the parish could hamper the growth of the faith community because resources that are thought to be available may not actually exist as the parish works further into the planning process.

Similarly, the strengths of a parish need to be understood because there may be a parish neighbor that is in dire need of help in those areas, or it may mean that resources may be allocated where they are not needed.

Formation & Education

The Formation & Education criteria for evaluation are:

• The parish provides excellent spiritual and faith formation experiences for all ages.

• The parish or consolidated school is accredited, has a strong Catholic identity and excellent curricular experiences. The parish actively encourages and supports the school in its operation and mission.

• The parish is actively working to promote vocations.

These criteria are expanded upon in the Short/Long form with more specific questions, such as "Young adult ministry programs are provided and evaluated regularly."

Social Justice

The Social Justice, Advocacy, and Outreach criteria is: "Social justice, advocacy, and outreach programs are well integrated into parish life."

This criterion is broken up into four areas: Education, Public Life, Responding to Human Needs, and Ecumenical & Interfaith, each addressing situations that call out to us in charity for fellow human beings.

Parish Life

The Parish Life, Leadership, and Planning criteria contain those themes that people often associate with the overall physical health of a parish, such as finances and buildings. They are:

• The pastor, staff, and parish and finance councils exert effective leadership that points to the future.

• The parish is financially stable.

• Working with neighboring parishes and sharing resources is operational in the parish.

• The parish is working positively and creatively with the current shortage of priests.

• The parish is taking into account its geographic proximity to other parishes when it plans for the future.

• The parish has adequate staff to carry out its mission.

• The parish has adequate facilities to carry out its mission.

• The parish supports the programs and ministries of the diocese and the universal Church.

Each of the criteria approved by the Planning Commission addresses an area of the parish's ministry to its faith community. The parish evaluation done by the Core Committee using the Short/Long form should give an accurate picture of how well the parish is doing in each and every ministry.

This information will be essential when the parish begins working with its cluster members in assessing their cluster's ability to provide these ministries to the larger cluster faith community, continuing the process of Guided by the Spirit.

Next Article: The Parish Core Committee - Structure and Roles

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Heritage from the past:
A mission for the future at St. Jerome Parish

Patron Saint: St. Jerome

"To be ignorant of the Scriptures
is to be ignorant of Christ."

Born in 340 and baptized Catholic at age 18, St. Jerome was an avid student of theology. For many years he lived as a hermit in the Syrian deserts, but returned to Rome to be secretary to Pope Damasus I. During that time he produced the Vulgate translation of the Bible, still in use today. He later left Rome and lived his last 34 years in the Holy Land as a semi-recluse. St. Jerome is considered one of the greatest biblical scholars of the Catholic Church. He died September 30, 420.

COLUMBUS -- On the very feast of the patron saint of the parish, St. Jerome Parish in Columbus celebrated a Mass marking 150 years of faith.

Bishop Robert C. Morlino was present to celebrate the Mass, concelebrated by Fr. Bruce Hennington, pastor at St. Jerome. Deacon Timothy Byrnes was the deacon of the Mass and the St. Jerome Anniversary Choir provided the music.

After Mass, parishioners gathered to celebrate together with a pig roast.

Celebrating old, new

"You can remember some of the great forefathers and foremothers who were here at the beginning of this wonderful parish family at St. Jerome. And you can remember who some of the priests were who labored here at that time," said Bishop Morlino in his homily. "And when we celebrate the 150 years we're celebrating something that's basically good."

He reminded them of the Gospel reading that talked about the master bringing out from his storeroom the old and the new.

"You are the new," he said. "Even those of you who are over 70 are new - doesn't that make you feel good?"

The forefathers and foremothers of St. Jerome Parish are the old, he said. But the church treasures us that are new as well as the old - what has come before and is irreplaceable.

"One hundred fifty years is 150 years of continuity of life," he said. "The faith that was alive 150 years ago is the same faith that is alive today in all of us that are new. Jesus Christ is the same in what is 150 years old and in what is new in all of us. And we have to apply that Gospel truth to our own time."

Changes in church

St. Jerome is a perfect example of this continuity. His translation of the Bible from Greek for those who spoke Latin took something that was old and made it new.

"The church is always alive because the new is continuous with and builds on the old," the bishop said.

He mentioned the changes that may be happening in the next few years to the order of the Mass.

"All we can do is take the wisdom before Vatican II and bring it to life in a new way," he said. 'Some of the ancient wisdom got lost in the translation. And just as today we revere the forefathers and foremothers on whose faith this community was built, we don't in any way reject that; so too we cannot reject the faith of the church before Vatican II. We're the same church."

Wisdom made new

The ancient wisdom of the church has to be brought to life and made new in Wisconsin this year, Bishop Morlino said. He talked about the marriage amendment, how no one has a right to redefine marriage; about capital punishment, and how death is never a good solution to anything; and about embryonic stem cell research and its false hopes that have not solved anything.

"We've got a new challenge in Wisconsin," the bishop said. "But we've got ancient wisdom that responds."

"Our forefathers and foremothers were able to be the foundation of faith here because they put into practice the ancient wisdom," he said. "And as we celebrate 150 years tonight, we know that God will bless us abundantly into the future insofar as we practice the ancient wisdom."

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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
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