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December 7, 2006 Edition

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This week:
Bless Our Priests: New collection on December 16-17
Lessons and Carols: Tops extraordinary year for Diocesan Choir
Review Board on Sexual Abuse: Justice Day retires as chair, successor named
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (en Español)
Spanish Celebrations in Diocese of Madison
Guided by the Spirit: Information on cluster responses
News Briefs
Nominate someone for "Profiles from the pew"

Articles on St. Raphael Cathedral

News Briefs:
Speakers on Nicaragua
at St. Augustine Parish

PLATTEVILLE -- Nicaragua, Wisconsin's sister state, is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. On Wednesday, Dec. 13, two speakers from the Wisconsin Coordinating Council on Nicaragua (WCCN) will be at St. Augustine Parish, 135 S. Hickory St., Platteville.

From 6 to 7 p.m., Emily Alfred will show a short film and answer questions about the loan fund in Nicaragua. Ten years ago Platteville residents pooled money together to create this loan fund. With the use of micro-credit, borrowers in Nicaragua can create small businesses and become self-sufficient. At 7 p.m., Susan Frisbie will talk about life and issues in Nicaragua.

Everyone is invited to attend one or both of the programs. Refreshments and informal conversation will follow.

Adult Catholic Spirit Club meets in Janesville

JANESVILLE -- Adult Catholic Spirit Club will host "Knapton Musik Knotes" by Lauri Knapton following a potluck luncheon at 12 noon in St. John Vianney Parish's Marian Hall on Wednesday, Dec. 13.

As a Christmas project, paper products, toiletries, and other items will be accepted to donate to the House of Mercy. All area men and women are welcome. There are no dues, but free will offerings are accepted.

Support groups for separated, divorced, loss

MADISON -- Two parishes offer peer support groups for those hurting from separation, divorce, or loss of a significant relationship. The groups are open to all ages and faiths. For information, call 608-824-0014.

Friends on a Journey meets on the west side from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, Dec. 7 and 21, at Our Lady Queen of Peace, 401 S. Owen Dr. New Directions meets on the east side from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, Dec. 14 and 28, at St. Dennis Parish Center, 413 Dempsey Rd.

Nominate someone
for "Profiles
from the pew"

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Spanish Celebrations in Diocese of Madison

(See also: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe)

December 3:
• Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Sun Prairie: Mass, dinner, and music at 12:30 p.m.

December 9:
• Diocesan Celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Joseph Church, 1905 W. Beltline Hwy., Madison: confessions at 4:30, followed by procession and Mass at 5:15

December 10:
• St. John the Baptist, Jefferson: Bilingual Mass at 10:30 a.m

• St. Henry, Watertown: Mass, reception, and dance at 2 p.m.

• St. Thomas Aquinas, Madison: Procession and Mass at 10:30 a.m. Aztec dancers of Ballet Folklorico Mexico de los Hermanos Avila will offer their gift of dance; reception following.

December 11:
• Holy Redeemer, Madison: Las Mañanitas, 7:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; Mass at 11 p.m.

• St. Aloysius, Sauk City: Novena 6 to 7 p.m.; Mass at 7 p.m.; Las Mañanitas from 8 to 10 p.m.

December 12:
• St. Joseph, Madison: Las Mañanitas, 5 to 6 a.m.; Mass at 6 p.m.

• Catholic Multicultural Center, Madison: Las Mañanitas at 5 a.m.; Mass at 6 a.m.

• Holy Redeemer, Madison: Mass at 8 p.m.

• St. Aloysius, Sauk City: Novena 6 to 7 p.m.; Mass at 7 p.m. with reception following.

• St. Mary, Portage: Mass at 5:30 p.m. with potluck following

• Holy Rosary, Darlington: Mass at 8 p.m.

• St. Patrick, Albany: Mass at 7 p.m.

Bless Our Priests: New collection on December 16-17

MADISON -- The opportunity to give back to people who have served us with dedicated service is indeed a special gift. This year in the Diocese of Madison, just such an opportunity is available.

The Bless Our Priests collection for the retired priests of our diocese has been established and will continue as an annual collection for the benefit of all diocesan retired priests.

This special collection is requested by Bishop Robert C. Morlino to ensure a solid financial base capable of providing health care, long-term care, and a funding source for rising medical expenses for our retired priests who have served in the Diocese of Madison.

On the weekend of December 16 and 17, we invite our entire diocese to join in supporting this collection. Envelopes will be available in every parish.

Our support of the priests who have served within the Diocese of Madison reflects our gratitude for the countless hours of sacrifice they have provided and that many continue to provide in their retirement. Your participation is without a doubt a blessing for these faithful men.

How will my gift help?

The St. Raphael Fund is a restricted investment account for our retired priests' welfare. This account provides for the funding of their monthly retirement benefit, medical, and long-term care insurance.

This fund is supported by an annual parish assessment, direct donations, and bequests. The collection will be used to supplement these revenue sources and ensure adequate funds are available to meet the rising costs of medical insurance and future benefit increases.

Each dollar collected through Bless Our Priests will remain within the St. Raphael Fund for strictly retired priests of our diocese.

Collection for religious

The Bless Our Priests collection is not the same as the national collection for retired religious. The National Retirement Fund for Religious collection provides support to religious orders throughout the country, including those in our diocese.

This national collection will be taken in February and will continue to provide help to our various religious orders as in the past.

Supporting priests today and tomorrow

Through the Bless Our Priests envelope, you may indicate your interest in receiving more information on sharing with the Bless Our Priests endowment fund. This endowed fund serves as a long term funding account that accepts gifts meant for long-term support of retired priests now and those to come.

This endowment provides a disciplined distribution strategy that will meet the needs of future retiring priests by leaving the corpus of your gift intact and distributing only annual earnings directly to the St. Raphael Fund.

For more information on donating to this endowment, you may contact the Stewardship and Development Office or simply indicate your interest on the collection envelope. For every gift made to the endowment during this first year, a matching amount will be transferred from the St. Raphael Fund to this endowed fund doubling the effect of your gift of perpetuity.

It is through your generosity this Christmas season that we can serve these priests who have so faithfully served each of us. God bless you during this holy Advent Season!

For more information contact: The Office of Stewardship and Development, Diocese of Madison, 702 S. High Point Rd., Madison, WI 53719, 608-821-3046.

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Lessons and Carols:
Tops extraordinary year
for Diocesan Choir

First in a two-part series on the Madison Diocesan Choir

MADISON -- The Madison Diocesan Choir, under the direction of Dr. Patrick Gorman, caps an extraordinary year with its Christmas holiday concert, Lessons and Carols, Sunday, Dec. 17, at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center.

More than 20 choir members returned recently from a Carnegie Hall performance, the world premiere of Stephen Edwards' Requiem. The Midwest composer began writing the requiem upon the death of Pope John Paul II.

Nearly 300 children and adults from choirs across the country performed it and other works with the New England Symphonic Ensemble on November 20 in Isaac Stern Auditorium.

Newly released CD

Besides the Carnegie Hall performance by a third of its members, the Diocesan Choir highlights of the year include the choir's first professional, compact disk recording, Hail to the Lord's Anointed: Music for a Cathedral, released in time for Christmas holiday season.

Gorman directed the choir in several recording sessions at St. James Church in Madison late last spring with Glenn Schuster accompanying on organ and Mary Ann Harr as the featured artist on harp.

The recording is a compilation of music the choir has sung at liturgical services throughout the year. It includes the familiar as well as some unpublished compositions, such as the "Prayer of Saint Francis," one of Gorman's selections for Lessons and Carols.

Lessons and Carols

Bishop Robert C. Morlino will preside over Lessons and Carols, which Gorman has described as more prayer service than concert.

The lessons are nine Scripture readings, starting with Adam's temptation and ending with the birth of Christ. Following each reading, Gorman directs the choir in song and at times invites the congregation to join in singing.

The concert begins at 4 p.m. on December 17 in the chapel of the O'Connor Center, located at 702 S. High Point Rd. The event with reception to follow is free.

Each person attending is encouraged to bring a nonperishable food item to help stock the food pantry at the Catholic Multicultural Center. Donations to the choir are appreciated.

Copies of the CD will be available for purchase at the concert or through the Diocese of Madison Office of Worship Web site at At $15, the CD makes an ideal Christmas gift.

Repeat performance

The choir will have a repeat performance of Lessons and Carols at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 6, at Saint Peter Parish, 5001 N. Sherman Ave., Madison.

[Read part two of this two-part series.]

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Review Board on Sexual Abuse:
Justice Day retires as chair, successor named

MADISON -- Justice Roland B. Day has retired as chairman of the Diocese of Madison's Review Board on Sexual Abuse. Bishop Robert C. Morlino has named Madison attorney Daniel W. Hildebrand as the new chairman.

"Justice Day assisted us tremendously in establishing credibility, at a time in our local church's history when it was very much needed," commented Bishop Morlino.

"His kindness and generosity in this regard proved exceedingly invaluable, as few others could have supplied the credibility which Justice Day brought. He was there for us in our need, and for that we owe him a great debt of gratitude."

Appointed in 2002

Bishop William H. Bullock, now bishop emeritus, appointed Day to chair the newly created Review Board in 2002. The board was established in response to the U.S. Bishops' "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People."

Don Heaney, diocesan attorney with the firm Lathrop & Clark, recalled when Bishop Bullock was considering Day for the position. "I immediately recognized that Bishop Bullock had found the perfect candidate for the position," recalled Heaney.

"Chief Justice Day was a distinguished practitioner in Madison when I first began to practice law. He was appointed to the Supreme Court and subsequently elected and re-elected to that position. He distinguished himself in his written opinions in many areas of law, not the least of which was the relationship between church and state and the constitutional considerations that are always at play in that relationship."

Added credibility

Heaney added, "The fact that he was also a non-Catholic was in my judgment a plus because it was very apparent that a man with his distinguished background, who had no connection with the Catholic Church, could never be said to be under the thumb of a Roman Catholic bishop or anyone else."

Heaney observed, "In his operation as chairman, I observed first hand his ability to focus the board, offer invaluable insights, and add prestige to a body which could not succeed without credibility. He added greatly to that credibility."

Hildebrand, who was asked to serve on the Review Board shortly after it was established, said, "We've functioned very efficiently under Justice Day's leadership. Although we will miss Justice Day, we hope to continue being an effective board."

What board does

Under Justice Day's leadership, the board developed a methodology for implementing the U.S. bishops' charter and norms. "The bishops promulgated standards and norms," explained Hildebrand. "The board members make sure they're implemented in the Diocese of Madison."

The board reviews the Diocese of Madison's sexual abuse policies and recommends appropriate modifications to the bishop. The board also assesses allegations of sexual abuse of children or minors by any priest or other church personnel and advises the bishop as to whether the allegations appear to be credible.

Hildebrand observed that the Diocese of Madison has had few cases of sexual abuse to consider. This is due to the strict policies and leadership of the diocese, he said.

New chairman

Hildebrand, a Wisconsin native, graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School in 1964. He has practiced law for 42 years: four in New York and 38 in Madison. He is a member of the firm of DeWitt, Ross, & Stevens in Madison. Most of his work has been in commercial litigation and personal ethics and appeals.

He has been active in the state Bar Association, including serving as its president. He chaired two Supreme Court committees on ethics. He served on and chaired the Judicial Committee, which considers complaints against judges.

Hildebrand is a member of St. Maria Goretti Parish in Madison.

Heaney commented on the new chairman, "Dan Hildebrand will be a worthy successor. Dan is one of the most prominent lawyers in the State of Wisconsin. He is particularly well known for his knowledge of ethics which cannot help but be of assistance to him in this important function.

"When Justice Day indicated his desire to step down from his position as chairman, my first choice for his successor was Dan Hildebrand. Fortunately, Bishop Morlino agrees after observing Dan's performance as a member of the Advisory Board," said Heaney.

Other board members

Also serving on the board are Joseph Tisserand, Madison, retired vice-president of American Family Life Insurance; Colleen O'Brien, Ridgeway, program director and consultant for the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program in Madison; Dr. Peter Lake, Madison, medical director of Child and Adolescent Services at Rogers Memorial Hospital in Oconomowoc; and Msgr. James Gunn, pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish in Waunakee.

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Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

(en Español)

Related item:

MADISON -- The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of great celebration in many Spanish-speaking countries. As the Patroness of the Americas, Our Lady is held in special esteem by all nations.

Although the general story is familiar, the example of faith on the part of St. Juan Diego (feast day December 9) has much to teach us.

Try to imagine walking in the early morning and seeing "a beautiful lady" who tells you she is the "ever Virgin Mary, Mother of the True God, in whom we live, the Creator and Maker of heaven and earth."

Now, imagine going to tell your bishop what happened and that the bishop should build a new church. Not surprisingly, the bishop wanted to know this was an authentic apparition.

St. Juan Diego was visited by the beautiful lady again. She filled his tilma with roses, but more amazingly, the tilma had her image on it, which can be seen at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, Mexico. She told St. Juan Diego that she would "show and offer all my love, my compassion, my help, and protection to the people."

Our Lady of Guadalupe holds a special place in the hearts of many because of her compassionate message. This message was not just for one people or nation, but for each of us.

If you would like to share in the joy of this special celebration, there are many opportunities to celebrate in Spanish, English, or bilingually. For further information on welcoming people from all nations, call or e-mail the diocesan Office of Justice and Pastoral Outreach at 608-821-3086 or

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Guided by the Spirit:
Information on cluster responses

Previous articles:

MADISON -- There have been some questions about how parishes should best confirm the proposed cluster assignments that were recently released to the parish core committees.

It is important to note that, by and large, specific clusters were suggested based upon the core committees' general idea of what would make sense, based upon what they knew about their own and nearby parishes.

As all of the relevant information about all parishes is presently online ( under "Strategic Plan"), it is highly encouraged for core committees to familiarize themselves with their proposed cluster partners' information. As with any relationships, it is going to take some time to fully understand whether your cluster as proposed is "the right one."

As we must quickly move forward in this planning process, core committees are free to contact one another as they prepare their feedback on the cluster proposals.

It is important to keep in mind, however, that once all of the responses have been received and taken into account, the cluster assignments could change. Once the feedback has been received, it will be considered and final cluster partners will be determined, all of which must be completed by the January Cluster Training meetings.

If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail us at

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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
Phone: 608-821-3070     Fax: 608-821-3071     E-Mail: