To be held during Holy Week
MADISON -- This year a Tenebrae service will be held during Holy Week at St. Patrick Church on Wednesday, April 4, at 7:30 p.m. Bishop Robert C. Morlino will preside. Tenebrae services will also be held at some parishes in the Diocese of Madison.
Tenebrae is the name given to the service of Matins and Lauds (traditionally the midnight and daybreak portions of the Divine Office) belonging to the last three days of Holy Week: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the name comes from Latin meaning darkness, night, blindness, or obscurity. It is commonly held at 3 p.m. on Holy Wednesday, Holy Thursday, and Good Friday.
This service is treated as a sort of funeral service and the tone is noticeably mournful. The Gloria Patri, Te Deum, and blessings are omitted. The 15 candles in the hearse provide the only light in the church. These candles are gradually extinguished during the ceremony, save one.
At the end of the Tenebrae a great knocking is made against the floor and seats of the church to symbolically represent the convulsion of nature which followed the death of Jesus Christ.
Living Stations of Cross
SINSINAWA -- The Living Stations of the Cross will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 4, in Queen of the Rosary Chapel at Sinsinawa Mound.
These are prayerful, inspiring, and spiritually moving meditations on the passion and death of Jesus. The Living Stations are performed by the Young Christian Players. For more information, contact Diane Kieler, 608-748-441, ext. 804. A freewill offering will be taken.
Workshop on poverty
MADISON -- The Office of Justice and Pastoral Outreach will be offering a workshop about local poverty issues. "Break the Cycle of Poverty" through local and national grants will be held on Thursday, March 29, at 7 p.m. at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center. All diocesan parishioners are invited to attend. For more information, call the Office of Justice and Pastoral Outreach at 608-821-3087.
Labyrinth at church
MADISON -- During Holy Week, Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish will mark the seventh year of offering the labyrinth as a tool for walking prayer and meditation. Experiencing the prayer walk of the labyrinth is a way to slow down, release stress, clear the mind, touch a place of peace within, and walk with God during this holy season.
The labyrinth used is a replica of the one at Chartres Cathedral, built in the early 13th century in France. This labyrinth is one of many 13-circuit designs laid into the stone pavement of Gothic cathedrals. Individuals are invited to walk the labyrinth in the Queen of Peace auditorium on Thursday, April 5, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Friday, April 6, 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon and after the Good Friday Service until 7:15 p.m.; and Saturday, April 7, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Signed Mass April 1
MADISON -- The next signed Mass for the hearing impaired will be on Sunday, April 1, at 4 p.m. at St. Joseph Church, 1905 W. Beltline Hwy, Madison. There will be a potluck following Mass.
To speak in Madison
MADISON -- Rocco Palmo, author of the internationally known blog "Whispers in the Loggia," will speak at Theology on Tap Thursday, April 26, at the Essen Haus, located at the corner of John Nolen Dr. and E. Wilson St. His talk, "Catholic in America: Alive, Young, and Wide Awake," is sponsored by St. Paul's Knights of Columbus.
Called the "go-to guy for what's happening inside the Catholic Church" by Philadelphia Magazine and considered one of America's top experts on the Vatican, 24-year-old Palmo will discuss his experiences working with Catholic young adults throughout the country.
In addition to writing his blog, which garners thousands of hits per day, Palmo is a frequent correspondent for the Tablet (an international Catholic weekly published in London). He also authors the column "Almost Holy" for Busted Halo, an online magazine on spirituality and culture.
Palmo has appeared as a commentator in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Associated Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, BBC, National Public Radio, the Washington Post, and Religion News Service.
The event is open to young adults in their 20s and 30s.
Evangelical Catholic Institute
MADISON -- Cardinal Avery Dulles, the Laurence J. McGinley Professor of Religion and Society at Fordham University and an internationally known author and lecturer, will keynote for this year's Evangelical Catholic Institute, scheduled for April 13 to 15.
The institute, which will be held at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, will begin with a Mass at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 13. In addition, the institute will include general sessions, five workshop sessions, and praise and worship experiences.
The cost of the institute is $100 per person or a student fee of $50. For more information on the institute, or to register, visit www.evangelicalcatholic.org
Pre-registration is encouraged by April 1. For questions, contact Michael Havercamp at 608-821-3166 or email@example.com
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Student center: Marks 100 years of campus ministry
MADISON -- The birthplace of Catholic campus ministry in the United States is celebrating its centennial anniversary with a Mass and luncheon on Sunday, April 22.
Bishop Robert C. Morlino and St. Paul's University Catholic Center Pastor Fr. Eric H. Nielsen, as well as distinguished alumni Wisconsin Governor James E. Doyle and First Lady Jessica Doyle and Tommy and Sue Ann Thompson, former governor and first lady, are hosting the event to mark 100 years of the University of Wisconsin Roman Catholic Foundation's (UWRCF) ministry on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.
"It sounded like a good opportunity for us to speak about the direction we want to go, here at St. Paul's," said Father Nielsen. The celebration will be a good opportunity for those interested in Catholic evangelization, in the formation of young people, and bringing Catholic thought into the public arena, he said.
Birthplace of ministry
What is now St. Paul's began with a Thanksgiving dinner in 1883 at the University Ave. home of Mrs. John Melvin. There the group of young Catholic students decided to begin a Catholic society at the university, appropriately named "The Melvin Club."
Twenty years later, the group petitioned and obtained the pastoral assistance of Fr. Henry C. Hengall, who within several years began teaching classes in Bible and Christian doctrine to student crowds that overflowed their rented rooms.
In 1903 Father Hengall conducted a census and found 300 of the university's 2,632 students to be Catholic. He petitioned the archbishop of Milwaukee to authorize the organization of a student association and the building of a chapel. The chapel was built and in 1909 the first Mass was celebrated, becoming the first Catholic chapel at a secular university in the United States.
Today the chapel and student center - though a remodeled version of the old buildings - and the UWRCF serve the university's Catholic students, staff, and faculty, an estimated 10,000 to 14,000.
This 100th anniversary celebration is meant not only to look back on the history of the foundation, said Tim Kruse, director of development. "When we gather we'll talk not only about historical reflections and how St. Paul's started, but also the importance of campus
ministry for the next 100 years."
It is important to have the Catholic presence on the university "because when Christ said to go baptize all nations, he meant all nations," said Father Nielsen. "We are meant to be a part of the culture and transform the culture."
"The university has a disproportionate influence on the world, relative to its size," said Kruse. Many influential people, including several governors and congressmen, as well as thousands of other Catholics have gone through St. Paul's in its history. We absolutely have to have a presence here," he said.
At the celebration (though by no means the central focus, Kruse said), the vision for St. Paul's future with regard to a new chapel and pastoral center including housing for students, will be presented.
The celebration will take place at the Catholic Center, 723 State St., Madison, on April 22. It will begin with Mass at 11 a.m. A social will begin afterward at Lowell Hall, 610 Langdon St., followed by luncheon. Keynote speaker will be Fr. Richard John Neuhaus (more below) on "Daring to be Catholic at the Secular University." For more information on the celebration or to register, visit www.stpaulscc.org/anniversary or call 608-258-3140.
Catholics at Capitol:
Learning to dialogue
MADISON -- Catholics from around Wisconsin - more than 350 in number - gathered in the state capital for the Wisconsin Catholic Conference's (WCC) largest-ever legislative day, a biennial event addressing the need to bring Catholic social teaching into public policy.
The recent 2007 Catholics at the Capitol, sponsored by the WCC, the public policy voice of the state's bishops, featured workshops and general talks by individuals who are already affecting legislation to help those less fortunate.
Keynote speaker Dierdre McQuade, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat for Pro-life Activities, addressed attendees during lunch about a Scriptural model for public engagement, especially in the realm of the fight for life.
Two of the five state bishops also were in attendance - Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of the
Archdiocese of Milwaukee and Bishop Robert C. Morlino of the Diocese of Madison. Near the end of the day, they took part in a four-member panel discussion with former Lieutenant Governor Margaret Farrow and former Milwaukee County District Attorney E. Michael McCann.
Following the conference, held at the Monona Terrace Convention Center, attendees made their way up the few blocks to the Capitol building, where they talked with legislators about the topics that mattered most to Catholics.
Witness to the truth
In her midday talk, Dierdre McQuade examined the Scriptural story of the Samaritan woman at the well to help us dialogue with the culture.
"Often being a witness to the dignity of human life is a challenge in our culture," she said. "It's so hard at times to be able to articulate our beautiful Catholic vision effectively, and sometimes we don't even know what effect it's having on the world."
McQuade called the encounter of Jesus with the Samaritan woman in John's Gospel a "tremendous model" for us to have experiences with others in our culture. In the story, the Samaritan woman, who was steeped in sin, responded to Jesus' gentle admonitions and eventually returned to her village to share the good news of her encounter with him.
"Even the most ardent advocates of the culture of death are not beyond hope," she said.
"They too are able to convert like the woman at the well and commit to protect the dignity of all human persons from conception to natural death."
"As we're called to engage others in the culture of life, each of us are on our journey; each of us are fulfilling our God-given vocation," she said. "And along the way God calls us to go into foreign territory. We find ourselves in situations where we're not necessarily so comfortable. It's not 'mutual admiration society.'"
Through the sacraments, God has given us the gifts we need to fulfill our mission, she said. "Along the way we, too, like Jesus, need to pause and be sustained in our work; we need to be refreshed. . . . And so the sacramental life feeds us."
Talk with them
"Meet them where they live, not where we want or need them to already be, which requires a kind of creativity and a respect on our part, and a tremendous capacity for empathy," she said.
In conversations on hard topics, such as abortion, "let's talk about it," she said. "There's nothing to fear; we don't have to worry. Catholic teaching is wise and deep, and it applies - everywhere, in every situation. And finally, offer something better."
"Inspire those around you to embrace a more beautiful and rich vision of Catholic social teaching," McQuade said. "For so many people these non-accusatory encounters that are knowledgeable (and) loving can offer even our worst 'enemies' the chance to convert their heart and embrace the culture of life.
"If we ourselves are grounded in the truth, if we are living the sacramental life . . . if our hope is in him and not in the effect of our own efforts," she said, "then we can joyfully share the Gospel of Life; we can joyfully share this Catholic social teaching in a way that is joyful, is a true witness, and can truly bring about a transformation of hearts and minds and through that a transformation of the whole culture."
Talk religion and politics
MADISON -- A panel discussion at Catholics at the Capitol brought together two bishops and two individuals involved in politics to discuss the interaction of religion and politics, especially with regard to recent highly publicized and divisive issues.
Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of Milwaukee, Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison, former Lieutenant Governor Margaret Farrow, and former Milwaukee County District Attorney E. Michael McCann took turns discussing politicians, the sexual abuse scandals, and even what they would say during a Super Bowl advertisement.
"From a Catholic point of view, politics is a very noble calling," said Archbishop Dolan during his opening comments. "Secondly, it's part of Catholic teaching that religion has a public dimension."
Bringing our religious convictions and values to the public square of politics is not just good Catholicism, it is genuinely American, he said. "To say that the first amendment prohibits bringing religion into politics is not only un-Catholic, it's also un-American."
Many times people feel you shouldn't be involved in politics, McCann said. "Don't disdain politics - don't walk away. If you're a Catholic living out your commitments, you are active on the ground in your church, you're active in your parish, but you're also up at the Capitol, playing out your role."
Not forcing faith
Responding to a question on what he might say if given a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl halftime, Bishop Morlino quipped that it would depend on what the advertisements before and after were going to be.
"The thing that's really most on my mind . . . is that people, and especially that kind of an audience - the widest possible - come to understand what we mean by natural law," he said. "There are certain things we don't teach, in the first place, because they're Catholic - we teach them, in the first place, because they're human, because they're reasonable.
"I think there's a grave misunderstanding in our society that Catholics and other Christians are trying to force our faith on people, especially with regard to the life issues, and we're not at all. We believe that those issues are the conclusion of human reason," Bishop Morlino said.
Farrow, in addressing the priest abuse issue, said, "The church is made up of human beings with free will who fail, who falter - including popes, historically."
But don't use the scandal as an excuse to turn your back on your own faith, she said.
On the issue of what growth has come from the discussions on religion and politics, panelists discussed the refusal of the Eucharist to politicians because of their stand on issues.
Farrow said anyone running for office now would think about religion's impact.
"It's front-burner," Archbishop Dolan agreed. "And no matter what you might think of those bishops that took the rather hard-line stand, I think in the long run you can agree that they made it a front-burner issue. Any politician these days can't avoid the issue.
"We (bishops) owe it to Catholic politicians who take their faith seriously - and most that I've met do - to enter into dialogue with them," he said.
"As a bishop I would feel strange singling out Catholic politicians and saying 'you don't have the right to approach Communion,'" Bishop Morlino said, especially knowing there are others who shouldn't receive Communion, too.
But it calls for all of us to examine our conscience on whether to approach Communion, he said.
Offers preliminary recommendations
MADISON -- Since last summer the Diocese of Madison has been undergoing its Guided by the Spirit strategic planning process.
The Guided by the Spirit process seeks to serve the people and witness to the presence of
Christ and the Church in the Diocese of Madison, while being good stewards of the diocese's priestly, monetary, and temporal resources well into the future.
March 22, 2007 edition:
Guided by the Spirit: Planning Commission and work ahead
March 1, 2007 edition:
Guided by the Spirit: Living into parish mergers
Sidebar: What is The Reid Group?
February 22, 2007 edition:
Guided by the Spirit: Planning process questions/answers
February 15, 2007 edition:
Guided by the Spirit: Cultural questions and answers
February 8, 2007 edition:
Guided by the Spirit: Questions and answers
February 1, 2007 edition:
Guided by the Spirit: Cluster planning and parish models
January 25, 2007 edition:
Guided by the Spirit: Cluster core committee structure and roles
December 7, 2006 edition:
Guided by the Spirit: Information on cluster responses
November 30, 2006 edition:
Guided by the Spirit: Cluster assignments sent
October 26, 2006 edition:
Guided by the Spirit: Parish Core Committee structure, roles
October 19, 2006 edition:
Guided by the Spirit: Criteria used in parish self-evaluation
October 12, 2006 edition:
Planning: Understanding the 'assumptions and goals'
October 5, 2006 edition:
Planning: How did we get to where we are today?
This past week the Diocese of Madison's Planning Commission, made up of eight lay members from around the diocese and eight representative members of the clergy, took the next step in the process.
The commission spent most of the week reviewing the suggestions offered by the diocese's 41 parish clusters, as to what can be done in the way of planning their organizational structure for the future.
All 133 parishes, organized into the 41 clusters, were represented by nearly 700 representative people from every parish in the Diocese of Madison. These representatives gathered together from October through early March and submitted the suggestions to the Planning Commission.
After compiling the suggestions submitted by the cluster groups, the Planning Commission spent three days in retreat generating preliminary recommendations which have been sent back to the parishes for their consideration, conversation, and response.
At the conclusion of the three-day retreat commission member Msgr. Jim Uppena, pastor of St. Mary Parish in Milton, stated, "I continue to be inspired and amazed at how the Spirit is alive and working through this process which is so open and inviting of all perspective ideas, suggestions, and recommendations."
Likewise, Paul Hahn, a parishioner of St. Patrick Parish in Albany, remarked, "There has
been a strong spirit of collaboration and cooperation through the process to cover the needs of each parish, the diocese, and the church. There is recognition of the good work being done and that with help for the priests more could be achieved by the parishes."
These preliminary recommendations in no way constitute final recommendations, let alone decisions by the bishop, who, by design, is not part of the recommendation process. Likewise, these preliminary recommendations should not and cannot be interpreted as plans to be implemented until final decisions are made.
Late this spring the Planning Commission will make their final recommendations to the bishop, after getting feedback from the 41 clusters on these preliminary recommendations.
Bishop Robert C. Morlino will then spend the summer evaluating recommendations, discussing options with his Diocesan Pastoral Council, Presbyteral Council, his staff, and, as he has stated, listening to the questions and concerns of any parishes with "severe hardship" as a result of the final recommendations.
The bishop will make final his decision regarding the future organizational structure of the diocese in the early fall. Only then will any parts of the plan begin to be implemented. The implementation process will likely take a number of years to complete.
For more information regarding the Guided by the Spirit strategic planning process visit www.madisondiocese.org