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February 15, 2007 Edition

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This week:
Local efforts: Help to build worldwide bridges
    Sidebar: Banners for Ghana
Rachel's Vineyard retreats: A chance to find healing
    Sidebar: For help
Guided by the Spirit: Cultural questions and answers
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News Briefs

Articles on St. Raphael Cathedral

Lenten regulations

News Briefs:
Respect Life Dinner hosted by Bishop Morlino

MADISON -- Drawing pro-life people together is the theme of the First Annual Respect Life Dinner, hosted by Bishop Robert C. Morlino.

The dinner takes place on Tuesday, March 13, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Edgewater Hotel. Pro-life editorial cartoonist, Chuck Asay, is featured with his special brand of humor. He has a knack for poking holes in arguments against life, for calling attention to lapses in logic, and for giving pro-life people a reason to rejoice in choosing life.

Hailing from Colorado, Asay has spoken for many national audiences in the past few years. His syndicated cartoons express how to joyfully spread the good news of God's love for his people. His work serves to warn the idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, and encourage people to be patient with everyone.

As he shows his cartoons, people will naturally "Draw Together," the theme of the dinner. By gentle persuasion, kindly humor, and a few jabs, Asay will tickle your funnybone, but will also stretch your mind.

If you are interested in attending, send your check for $30 per person by March 1, made payable to The Diocese of Madison, to the Office of Justice and Pastoral Outreach, P.O. Box 44983, Madison, WI 53744-4983. No tickets will be sent. You will be welcomed at the door with your seating. If you have questions, contact the office at 608-821-3086 or

Retreat for women

SUN PRAIRIE -- Ministry of Mothers Sharing (MOMS) is hosting a "Women as Spiritual Friends and Companions Retreat" at St. Albert the Great Parish, 2420 St. Albert Dr., on Saturday, March 3, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

All mothers and women of all ages and stages of spiritual growth are invited to spend time with other faith-filled women, see the friendship of women as a source of grace and support during Lent, and experience Lenten prayer rituals.

The retreat will be facilitated by Sr. Paula Hagen, a member of the Sisters of St. Benedict of St. Paul's Monastery in St. Paul, Minn. She is the co-founder and national director of MOMS. Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. Reconciliation and Mass will follow the retreat.

Cost is $30 for single registration or $50 for two registering together. Send check and registration to St. Albert the Great, Attn: Paula Horn/Retreat, 2420 St. Albert Dr., Sun Prairie, WI 53590-9336. Registration deadline is February 17. For more information, call Carol at 608-825-7218. For more information on MOMS, call Ann Maastricht at 608-834-0652.

Mission program

MADISON -- Volunteers are invited to spend two weeks this summer in Mexico to teach religion, arts and crafts, English, cook for volunteers, or be a driver.

The second LAMP (Latin American Mission Program) class will be held Sunday, Feb. 18, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Multicultural Center, 1862 Beld St., Madison. The topic will be "Spiritual Preparation of the LAMP Volunteer" by Msgr. George Hastrich, LAMP president and spiritual director.

For further information, write LAMP, P.O. Box 85, Madison, WI 53701-0085, or call 608-845-7028, 608-255-5284, or 608-868-7816.

Lenten retreat

SINSINAWA -- A Lenten retreat based on the following question of Jesus to his disciples, "Can you drink the cup I drink from?" will be held at Sinsinawa Mound from 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 2, through 1 p.m. Sunday, March 4.

Leader Dominican Sister Theresa Byrne will address the question above in three movements. What does it mean to hold the Cup of Life? How do we lift up the Cup of Life? What does it mean for the disciple to drink the Cup? Participants are asked to bring a cup they use in their daily living.

The fee for the retreat, including meals, is $164 for overnight guests or $109 for commuters. The registration deadline is Friday, Feb. 23.

For more information, contact guest services at 608-748-4411 or visit

Cardiac tests

MONROE -- Monroe Clinic will be offering Cardiac Calcium Scoring, a revolutionary, pain-free, non-invasive procedure using its new 64-slice CT Scanner, on Tuesday, Feb. 20, and Thursday, Feb. 22, from 7:45 to 8:30 a.m. and Saturday, Feb. 24, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Cardiac Calcium Scoring measures participants' heart disease risk in less than 15 minutes.

Men, age 45 and older, and women, age 50 and older, who have the following risk factors for heart disease are eligible to receive Cardiac Calcium Scoring: family history of heart disease, high cholesterol, history of smoking, high blood pressure, high stress levels, sedentary lifestyle, or diabetes.

Cardiac Calcium Scoring will be held in the Medical Imaging Department, located on the first floor of Monroe Clinic-Hospital at 515 22nd Ave. in Monroe. Participants will receive their cardiac score via a personalized letter after their screening. Cost is $129, payable by cash, check, or credit only at the time of service. Appointments are required; call 608-324-1331.

WCCW board

MADISON -- Wisconsin Council of Catholic Women (WCCW) will hold its winter board meeting at the Bishop O'Connor Center, 702 S. High Point Rd., Monday, March 12, at 1:30 p.m.

That evening the organization will sponsor the Catholics at the Capitol pre-conference dinner here. There will be a social at 4:30 p.m. followed by a turkey dinner at 6 p.m. Entertainment will be furnished by the Citizens Line Dancing Club of Janesville. A prayer service will follow.

Reservations for the dinner must be made with the Catholics at the Capitol registration. The cost of the dinner is $17. Registration deadline is February 23.

Pregnancy Helpline

JANESVILLE -- Pregnancy Helpline of Janesville, Inc. invites the public to participate in a "Night of Laughter, a Night of Love, a Celebration of Life with Pregnancy Helpline." This fundraiser is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 24, at 6 p.m. at Rotary Gardens, 1455 Palmer Rd.

This event will feature silent and live auctions and an evening of hors d'oeuvres buffet, along with special guest comedian Paul Aldrich.

Tickets are $40/person, $75/couple, or $300/table of eight. Black tie is optional. To order tickets, make a donation, or for more information, contact Autumn Wheeler, development director for Pregnancy Helpline, at 608-206-4139.

This event is sponsored by Thrivent for Lutherans Rock County Chapter and the Janesville Knights of Columbus.

Mass remembers
Father Mazzuchelli

BENTON -- The annual Mass commemorating the death of Fr. Samuel Mazzuchelli, the Dominican missionary priest, will be held at St. Patrick Church, 237 E. Main St., in Benton on Sunday, Feb. 18, at 3 p.m. The public is invited.

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Local efforts:
Help to build worldwide bridges

Banners for Ghana

The Diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Individuals, groups, or parishes in the Diocese of Madison are invited to help create a total of 150 banners, so that each parish and "out station" (mission parish) in the Ghana diocese will receive one.

There is great latitude for creativity, but for general guidelines contact Global Solidarity team members Peg Miller at 608-249-6652 or or Jenny Ludtke at 920-674-5433 or Deadline for completion is March 16 for the banners to reach Ghana in time.

Related articles:

MADISON -- The Diocese of Madison and the Diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga, Ghana, have been in partnership for several years and many parishes in the diocese have connections with other "sister parishes" around the world.

Many parishes and youth groups participate in mission trips around the country and even to other countries to provide service to those in need.

But how can we, especially during Global Solidarity Week, February 10 to 18, continue to respond to the call to global solidarity?

Learn, pray

There are many ways to learn about global solidarity and Catholic social teaching. Several Web sites are good resources:

  • Catholic Relief Services (CRS),
  • Bread for the World,
  • Maryknoll,
  • United States Conference of Catholic Bishops,

And don't underestimate the power of prayer in building global solidarity. One way to understand other cultures is to learn a prayer or song from that culture or another language. Also, learn what affects other people in other countries so that you know what to pray for.

Other things to do may include praying the Partnership Prayer of the Dioceses of Madison and Navrongo-Bolgatanga or reading Pope Benedict XVI's message for the World Day of Peace.

Respond by action

One simple way to respond in action is to purchase fair trade goods. Many parishes participate in selling Divine Chocolate, a fair trade chocolate using cocoa grown in Ghana. The chocolates are an easy way to fundraise and build global solidarity at the same time.

Another common fair trade item is coffee. Some parishes sell fair trade coffee, and Office of Justice and Pastoral Outreach Director Susanna Herro said that many stores already stock fair trade coffee, and if not, it can't hurt to ask.

Another option is contributing to the Donkey Project, which is trying to introduce soybeans (which are very high in protein) not only into the agriculture in Ghana, but also into the diet. The dioceses will soon meet to look at how the project is working and to look at the next step in helping families become more self-sufficient.

"It's about building relationships," said Herro. "It's not about doing for them - it's about creating international relations."


Another way to build global solidarity is to participate in Operation Rice Bowl, a project of CRS, Herro said. Through the program, Catholics reach out to assist their brothers and sisters around the world through traditional Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and giving alms while learning about global issues affecting people.

Seventy-five percent of the money collected by Operation Rice Bowl goes to CRS development projects overseas and education activities in the U.S. Twenty-five percent remains in the local dioceses to fund local hunger and poverty alleviation programs.

Last year, the local Operation Rice Bowl funds were used in the Diocese of Madison by the Catholic Charities Mobile Food Pantry to purchase and distribute food to churches around the diocese, including Sacred Heart Parish, Reedsburg; St. Joseph Parish, Fort Atkinson; St. Mary Parish, Palmyra; and St. John Parish, Patch Grove, as well as St. Vincent de Paul in Portage.

Because sometimes building global solidarity starts at home.

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Rachel's Vineyard retreats: A chance to find healing

Note: Names have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved.

MADISON -- More than 30 million women in the United States have had one or more abortions in the years since its legalization.

For help

A Rachel's Vineyard retreat can be the beginning of the healing process. To find out more, go to

A retreat will be held March 16 to 18 in the Diocese of Madison, co-hosted by the Office of Justice and Pastoral Outreach. For more information, contact Mary Mead at 608-221-9593 or Emily Way at 608-821-3086.

But what happens to these women beyond the statistics?

Many women - and many of the men affected as well - have found that abortion is not as cut-and-dry a solution as it might seem at the time. Many are affected by what some call "post-abortion trauma," battling depression, anger, and feelings of regret and worthlessness.

For more than a decade, Rachel's Vineyard (RV) has offered a chance for these women and men who have been hurt by abortion to find healing.

In weekend retreats, participants use living Scripture, combining meditation, Scripture readings, facilitated exercises, and group discussions to find compassion, forgiveness, and acceptance.

Trudy, a nurse and volunteer for RV, said that the most effective part of the weekend is that it's centered on the Scriptures.

"It's all based on the mercy of God," she said. "It truly shows women who are in deep regret that God's forgiveness is there for them, and his mercy.

"It's a beautiful thing to see the Holy Spirit transform their lives," Trudy said. "Watching women who can't even make eye contact with you on that Friday night when they walk through the door . . . and on Sunday having them hold their heads up . . . they feel the overwhelming forgiveness. You can see it in their whole persons and hear it in their voices."

As Catholics, we need to reach out to women in crisis pregnancies, she said. "We need to help them make good decisions and not compound one bad decision on another."

Melissa's story

About 10 years ago, while in college, Melissa got pregnant. At the time, the father of her baby lived in another state and was not willing to support her and a baby.

Not wanting to drop out of college - or even tell her parents - she had an abortion.

Immediately after the abortion, she recalled, "I felt relieved that the pregnancy crisis was over."

But over the next eight years, Melissa said, she became a very angry and impatient person. She also became very promiscuous - "After the abortion, I didn't feel like I deserved better," she said.

Two years ago, though, Melissa saw an advertisement for RV in her church bulletin (she had just started to go back to church since her abortion) and decided to attend.

"My first thought was that it was exactly what I need to do," she said. "After so long of being away from the church, and stumbling through life - at least, spiritually - I needed to get my life under control, my anger under control."

She was nervous at first, she said, worried that she would see people who knew her. But, she said, she was definitely ready for the next step.

Several things stick out in her memory about the retreat: the living Scriptures, which helped to emphasize the message of sin and Christ's forgiveness, and the bereavement dolls, a physical symbol of the child that she had lost.

"For me, that was really important," she said. "It made me realize that my child was a person and he was a part of me. And by having something to hold on to, it really helped me to begin to grieve.

"The loss of my child - it had never really gotten through to me that I had aborted a child," she said. "I needed to forgive myself and accept God's forgiveness."

The RV retreat was the first step on her road to recovery - and it was a huge one, she said.

"I realized I wasn't alone," she said. "Every woman's story was a little or a lot different than your own, but there are common threads that every woman can identify with. . . . It was good to know I wasn't alone."

She said that having the other women there meant they were able to help each other to heal.

"The legacy of my abortion for me is the regret that I feel every day, knowing that I killed my child," she said. "I view my healing process as ongoing. It will continue until the day I die.

"But the hope for healing for me and for a lot of other women is through Jesus Christ," she said. "God's the ultimate healer."

Jane and Frederic

When Jane was 15 years old, she had her first abortion. She was given very little counseling - 10 minutes, she recalls - and had the choice, for the most part, made for her by the counselor and the father of the baby.

Even during the abortion, Jane already regretted the decision. Afterward, she went on a path of self-destruction, she said. She turned to drugs, alcohol, and other dangerous behavior. And at 19 she was pregnant again. She - and the man who would later become her husband - chose another abortion.

"The abortions have affected every aspect of my life," she said. "You can bury the memories deep down in the most hidden places and at times look functional, but the pain and shame surface in many ways."

Frederic, who was 21 at the time, said that he had been naïve, in shock and denial, and looking for an easy way out. "What I didn't realize was that by my silence and refusal to discuss any other options, I had instead chosen something I would think about and regret for each day of the rest of my life. There is nothing easy about that."

The event that spurred Jane and Frederic to find healing was Jane's miscarriage. The couple had several children already but wanted more, and when she lost her baby, all of the grief Jane had kept bottled inside came out. Her depression deepened, she said, to the point that she couldn't take care of her children or leave the house, despite medication and counseling.

Frederic contacted the Diocesan Office of Family Ministry, who referred him to a priest who had been part of the RV team. His guidance for both of them gave them the courage to attend the retreat.

"Initially I went to the weekend purely to make sure she stayed through the weekend and to provide support," Frederic said. "What I didn't realize was how much I had been in denial, how affected I had been by the abortions and the healing I would receive from the weekend for myself."

"Attending an RV retreat was my chance to heal, and it gave me my life back," Jane said. "Really, it gave me a much better life back because now I know forgiveness and love.

"It's hard to seek help because you feel so ashamed of having had an abortion; you don't want anyone to know," she said. "Plus, the pain becomes so much a part of you it feels like it is impossible to be healed and you just try to live with it. But God can heal you. He is loving and forgiving. You have to reach out for help."

"For the guys, stop and be honest with yourselves," Frederic said. "Realize that you do need healing as well. Stop punishing yourself. Seek help. Realize that you are not alone. Talk to your parish priest, if you feel comfortable with that."

There are many resources to help heal, he said. "The RV weekend is a must. Go as a couple if you can; if not, go alone."

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, he said.

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Guided by the Spirit:
Cultural questions and answers

Previous articles:

We continue our Guided by the Spirit Q & A column with answers to some common questions, each of which have a cultural bent to them.

These are those types of questions that refer to the mindset or concerns of the people of the parish community. These same questions have been posed by many regardless of the actual cultural background of the questioner. Again, to completely answer any one of these would be difficult, but it is hoped that the answers will spur some reflection about the reasons for any anxiety that is felt about this planning process.

We already do everything really well, why change anything?

The simplest response to this is: "to whom much is given, much will be expected" (Lk 12:48). All of us, both individually and as a community, are accountable for the knowledge, resources, and abilities that God has blessed us with. If your parish has been so blessed to have perfect worship, perfect catechesis, perfect education, and perfect administration, then doesn't it seem reasonable that those blessings should be shared with others, those less fortunate, say, a cluster partner?

Also, sharing is really only part of the story, as the Lord also asks us to multiply what he gives us. The Lord's response should be enough for us to work diligently and give our best thoughts to the planning process: "And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth" (Matt 25:14-30).

Of course, being a faithful steward because of our love for God is better, but either one will lead each of us to give our best solutions to this planning.

How can we maintain our distinct ethnic identity by going to the same church?

This is a difficult question to give a specific answer, because every parish community and every cluster community is unique, with their own unique set of issues and concerns.

What this does speak to is communication within the cluster of the cultural identity of the member parishes. Everyone must recognize and affirm those points of identity that set people apart.

This implies that someone brings these points of identity to light, in the open, so that they can become known. This kind of discussion gives dignity and honor to every group within the community and should facilitate the kind of thought that brings forth workable solutions.

A wonderful example of this is the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., where among the nationalities represented in the Shrine's chapels are African, Austrian, Chinese, Croatian, Cuban, Czech, Filipino, French, Indian, Irish, Latin American, Lithuanian, Polish, Slovak, and Slovenian.

Remember the marks of our Church: One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. Reading the Catechism on these points (CCC 811-870) gives some ideas as well.

What about the legacy of the people who built our church, what happens to that?

This is probably the most sensitive issue facing parishes today, but the answer is not much different than the one given for the previous question. People must be allowed to remain in touch with their past, their history, but this should not be used as a justification to avoid change.

The Guided by the Spirit planning process is set up to give everyone the opportunity to state their wishes and concerns. When people are made aware of the concerns and honestly discuss all of the possibilities, reasonable solutions come forth which will honor that legacy.

When people don't speak up, don't listen, or try to railroad their ideas through committee, people are going to be hurt and dismayed. This occurs to everybody's detriment, not just in the local community but throughout the diocese, as part of our common history may be lost forever.

If you have any questions, please contact us at or mail us at Guided by the Spirit, 702 S. High Point Rd., Madison, WI 53719.

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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: