|The Catholic Herald
The Catholic Herald is the official newspaper of the Diocese of Madison. Its purpose is to inform and educate people of the Diocese through communications that proclaim Gospel values, report the news, and comment on issues as they pertain to the mission of the Catholic Church, which is to bring all in Jesus Christ to the Father.
St. Vincent de Paul:
Society honors its volunteers
MADISON -- The Society of St. Vincent de Paul recognized dedicated service on behalf of neighbors in need by four generous Dane County volunteers recently.
Eunice and Ray Devine, Phyliss Gibson, and Msgr. John H. Hebl were honored with Volunteer Service Awards by the society's District Council of Madison.
The awards were announced before a group of about 225 St. Vincent de Paul volunteers and guests gathered at Turner Hall on Madison's east side for the society's annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner.
District Council of Madison - Society of St. Vincent de Paul President Ed Emmenegger, Executive Director Ralph Middlecamp, and Business Manager Ruth Lalley made the awards presentation.
Eunice and Ray Devine
Eunice and Ray Devine were honored for decades of support for the St. Vincent de Paul Service Center in Madison - particularly for the center's prescription-assistance program - and for support on behalf of Port St. Vincent de Paul, Madison's longest-serving men's shelter.
Eunice Devine helped prepare and serve meals at "The Port" at least one day per week for many years.
Ray Devine, who resides in Middleton, accepted the award made both to him and to Eunice, who died in 2001.
Phyliss Gibson, a Madison resident and immediate past president of the St. Vincent de Paul
Conference at St. Dennis Parish, was recognized for her leadership among society members, known as "Vincentians." Full story ...
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Christmas Greetings/ Senior Focus: Dec. 21, 2006
Safe Driving: Dec. 28, 2006
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Art of perseverance: Young adults learn from the saints
MADISON -- The saints are there to teach us what it means to persevere, Barbara Sella, associate director of education and social concerns for the Wisconsin Catholic Conference, said to a group of young adults.
Sella was the speaker for the most recent Theology On Tap (TOT), a program for young adults in their 20s and 30s that blends a social atmosphere with a teaching one. The next Theology on Tap will be held Thursday, Dec. 7, at 7:30 p.m. The place is still to be determined.
This particular TOT was held at St. Dennis Parish rather than a noisy bar, but the quiet, candles, and wine (or soda) were perhaps a more fitting atmosphere to talk about extraordinary men and women who made loving God their lifelong ambition.
"'Saints Are the Sinners Who Keep on Going': The Art of Christian Perseverance" was the topic of the night. Sella, who has a doctorate in medieval history, delved into the lives of five different saints who, to her, model perseverance through trials.
When growing up, Sella didn't have a strong devotion to the saints. She said she had seen it as something childish, or as an affectation.
But in graduate school she came across letters written between St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane Frances de Chantal. In those letters, she found a vitality and greater insight into who they were - and in that way, she was brought back to the Catholic Church.
"We have a tendency to make those in the past more remote," she said. In reading the letters, you can get closer to them as people.
Sella held up three women as examples: Teresa of Avila, Thérèse of Lisieux, and Teresa of Calcutta. She went through their lives, highlighting their trials and how, through everything, they persevered.
St. Teresa of Avila, for instance, was suffering from poor health and yet still continued traveling by mule carts throughout Europe to spread the Word of God.
Or how St. Thérèse of Lisieux battled tuberculosis and went through her "dark night of the soul," doubting in the truth of God. She finally died at the age of 24, saying that she would rain roses from heaven. She was one of only three woman to become a doctor of the church.
And Teresa of Calcutta, or Mother Teresa, had faced obstacles when she was told by God to found an order of nuns. Her letters to the archbishop requesting permission, Sella said, are very moving. Full story ...