Elizabeth Ministry workshop
MADISON -- Internationally recognized speaker, Jeannie Hannemann, founder of Elizabeth Ministry, will present a workshop on Saturday, May 5, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, 702 S. High Point Rd.
Through her dynamic presentation she will show parish members how to minister to peers. This includes answering questions about pre-natal testing, infertility, grieving a miscarriage, multiple births, caring for a disabled child, and other issues.
Focused on training peers to minister to peers, the workshop is open to men and women who want to help others.
There is no cost and lunch is included. Contact the Diocese of Madison's Office of Justice and Pastoral Outreach to reserve a place by April 30 by calling 608-821-3087 or e-mailing email@example.com
Diocese sponsors summer internship program
MADISON -- Summer internship opportunities are available for college-age people from parishes or educational institutions.
The Social Ministry Internship Program provides interns experience working with or on behalf of the poor and vulnerable in southcentral and southwest Wisconsin. It combines practical work in a church agency setting as well as the opportunity to learn more about Catholic social teaching.
Working through the Diocese of Madison's Office of Justice and Pastoral Outreach, the Social Ministry Internship Program offers the following:
Each intern spends 10 weeks (30 hours per week) during the summer months working with a participating social action or service organization in the diocese.
Interns receive a stipend of $2,600 for the work performed.
Participants are provided with opportunities for education about Catholic social teaching and reflection upon their internship work in gatherings with other interns.
Participants might gain college credit for their participation if their educational institution provides the means to do so.
For more information, contact the Office of Justice and Pastoral Outreach at 608-821-3086 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Clare hosts juvenile diabetes support group
BARABOO -- St. Clare Hospital is hosting a support group for parents of children with diabetes on Thursday, April 19, at 6:30 p.m. in the Ringling Conference Room.
The program speaker is Miles Gerson, an insulin-dependent, Type 1 diabetic, diagnosed at age 23. Gerson has embraced athleticism and communication between other diabetics as his means of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and encourages others to do the same.
Support group meetings are free and no registration is required. Support group members, people with diabetes and their families, and others interested in the topic are welcome to attend.
For information on diabetes management, contact Melanie Mielke, 608-356-1510 or email@example.com
Catholic women schedule meetings
JEFFERSON -- St. Lawrence Parish here will host the Jefferson Deanery meeting Tuesday, April 17. Theme is "Growing Spiritually." Registration is at 4:45 p.m. followed by Rosary, Mass, dinner, and program with Sr. Mary Ann Ennis, chaplain at St. Mary's Hospital, Madison, on "Finding God in our Life."
Collection will be for the Diocesan Seminary Fund. Reservations are due Friday, April 13, to Theresa Rueth. N4684 Hwy. Y, Jefferson, WI 53549. Cost is $10.
East Dane Deanery
MCFARLAND -- "Reaching Out" is the theme of the East Dane Deanery meeting Thursday, April 19, at Christ the King Parish here. Registration is at 5:10 p.m. followed by Rosary, Mass, dinner, and speaker Kristi Ann Wendler on "Working with AIDS Orphans in South Africa through Kidlinks World" with monetary donations collected.
Reservations are due Friday, April 13, to Gail Schwab, 5212 Card Ave., McFarland, WI 53558. The cost is $7.
KINGSTON -- Marquette-Green Lake Deanery will meet Thursday, April 19, at St. Mary Parish here. Theme is "Obedient to the Holy Spirit." Registration is at 3:30 p.m. followed by business meeting, Mass, dinner, and entertainment by a musical quartet. The charity will be the Shoe Box Project for Women in Crisis. Each attendee is asked to bring a shoe box filled with personal items. Each parish is asked to bring a $10 raffle gift.
Reservations are due Friday, April 13, to Marlene Kohn, 505 Sherman Ave., Markesan, WI 53946. Cost is $9.
from the pew"
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Finding hope, Eucharistic wonder
MADISON -- St. Maria Goretti Church was once again filled for the Chrism Mass April 3, traditionally held early in Holy Week to bless the oils used during the sacramental life of parishes during the Easter triduum and in sacraments throughout the coming year.
The Chrism Mass is not only an opportunity to bless and consecrate the different oils - the oil of catechumens, the oil of the sick, and the oil of Chrism - which at the end of the Mass are distributed to representatives of the 135 parishes in the diocese. It is also an opportunity to recognize the ministry of priests, for them to renew their bond to service, and receive the prayers and support of the people of the diocese.
Bishop Robert C. Morlino, bishop of the Diocese of Madison, was the principal celebrant of the Mass, joined by Bishop William H. Bullock, bishop emeritus; Bishop George O. Wirz, retired auxiliary bishop; and priests from around the diocese as concelebrants.
Seminarians and candidates for the seminary acted as servers, and the Diocesan Choir provided the music. Julia Johnson of St. Raphael Cathedral, Madison, and Thomas Carey, of St. Ambrose Academy, Madison, were readers.
The Oil of Chrism was brought forward by Deacon Todd Martin, of St. Peter Parish, Madison, and confirmandi, catechists, and sponsors from St. Joseph Parish, Dodgeville. The Oil of the Sick was brought forward by Deacon Jerome Buhman of St. Maria Goretti Parish, Madison, and parish nurses from around the diocese. The Oil of Catechumens was brought forward by Deacon Ronald Pickar of Sacred Heart Parish, Reedsburg, and RCIA elect, candidates, sponsors, and team members from St. Peter Parish, Madison.
The gifts were brought forward by Jeanie Dunphy-Schoenenberger, Barbara Glaeser, and Zach Lightly, of St. Rose of Lima Parish, Brodhead.
During his homily, Bishop Morlino led ovations for the priests, seminarians, permanent deacons, and those in religious life at the beginning of his homily. The Chrism Mass, he said, is always a special night for priests.
He dwelt on the passage about Jesus and the disciples on the road to Emmaus, and how "their hearts were burning within them" as he opened the Scriptures to them.
"How much more could you and I be caught up in Eucharistic wonder than when through us in the person of Christ he performs the greatest miracle that could ever be performed on the face of the earth?" he said.
"We are called to be caught up every day in the most intimate way in Eucharistic wonder," he said. "The greatest miracle that could ever occur on the face of the earth occurs every day through your hands and mine."
Eucharistic wonder should be a way of life for priests, he said. "But I know myself - and you do, too - that, especially at a time when we have to celebrate many Masses, we could get 'used' to Eucharistic wonder. And when we get used to Eucharistic wonder, it's not Eucharistic wonder any more.
"We have to beg for the grace not to get used to the wonder of the Eucharist," he said. "I think we just have to open our hearts and let Jesus teach us at every Mass Eucharistic wonder."
Only when the people in the pews see us at the altar, in conversation with God, he said, will they themselves be caught up in it too.
"We lead the people at the altar," he emphasized.
Bishop Morlino also read several passages of Pope Benedict XVI's recent exhortation on the Eucharist, Sacramentum Caritatis. He talked of Eucharistic consistency, which means consistency with regard to the truth, he said. When a person comes forward to receive the Eucharist, that means that he or she accepts all of the truth that the church teaches.
"The bishop has to reaffirm it constantly, with the help, which is absolutely necessary, of his brother priests," he said.
All of us have human hopes, he said. "We have all kinds of hopes within the church, and because there are so many different hopes, a lot of those hopes have to be disappointed," the bishop said in his final point.
"Eucharistic consistency means hope in the risen Lord, Jesus Christ, present in the Eucharist, and nowhere else, really," he said. "Once we're committed to hope in him and really nothing else in this world . . . the only hope that will never disappoint is hope in Jesus Christ, risen from the dead. And Eucharist wonder, Eucharistic consistency is the source and summit of that hope, and in that hope there is joy."
'It's great to be alive at age 80'
MADISON -- Bishop William H. Bullock has a smile on his face and a spring in his step.
As he prepares to celebrate his 80th birthday on April 13, he says, "It's great to be alive, mentally alert and well at age 80. I praise God for the gift of life, of priesthood, and the opportunity to live out my days and be buried here in Madison."
The bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Madison adds, "The next big thing I will do in my life is die and I want to do that well. As the Irish say, 'Eternity is too long and life is too short to risk losing everything you've worked toward.'"
Simple farm boy
He was born April 13, 1927, in Maple Lake, Minn. He was ordained a priest almost 55 years ago on June 7, 1952, and ordained a bishop on August 12, 1980.
He recalls mentioning his rural background in his first one-on-one meeting with Pope John Paul II. He said, "'Holy Father, I am quite nervous here today - I am a simple farm boy from Minnesota and here I am in the presence of the successor of Saint Peter.'
"At that moment the Holy Father took my hand and said, 'and I am a simple peasant pope from Poland, but God wanted to use us both.' With those kind words, I was then at ease in our visit," said Bishop Bullock.
(By the way, Bishop Bullock's birthday is just three days before the 80th birthday of Pope Benedict XVI on April 16.)
Fifty-five year priest
In the past 55 years, this "simple farm boy" has been a parish priest; teacher and headmaster of St. Thomas Academy in St. Paul, Minn.; auxiliary bishop in St. Paul and Minneapolis; bishop of Des Moines in Iowa; and bishop of Madison from 1993 to 2003. He is now in his fourth year of retirement as bishop emeritus.
"In all these years I have enjoyed good health, a sense of purpose, and have been blessed by positions of leadership within the church," said Bishop Bullock. "How well I did them I shall remit to the judgment and forgiveness of God."
He accomplished much in his 10 years as bishop of Madison, moving the Diocese of Madison into the Third Millennium.
In an interview, Bishop Bullock discussed some highlights of those 10 years. Foremost was the conversion of Holy Name Seminary to the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center in Madison.
He brought all the diocesan offices from many sites to one location. "It gave visibility to the church that we were all together. We were unified in our efforts," he said.
The renovation of the center's chapel included installation of new stained glass windows. One of them is dedicated to Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, believed to be the first such window in North America. "She has brought us many, many blessings," said Bishop Bullock, noting that the window shows the connection between service and the Eucharist.
Bishop Bullock also spearheaded the building of the new Catholic Multicultural Center on Beld St. It replaced the former St. Martin House. The center provides outreach to people of various ethnic backgrounds and to the poor.
Bishop Bullock's participation as a board member of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) sensitized him to what is happening in Third World countries, especially Africa, which he has visited. He encouraged diocesan participation in the CRS Global Solidarity Partnership, which has brought about a sister-diocese relationship with the Diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga in Ghana.
Other accomplishments during his tenure included bringing the post-abortion Project Rachel program to the diocese; distributing the new Catechism of the Catholic Church to all parishes in the diocese; and celebrating the diocese's golden jubilee in 1996 with a pilgrimage to Rome and other events.
Bishop Bullock also put an emphasis on liturgical prayer, or as he calls it, "joyful celebrations of the Lord." He often sings parts of the Mass and began implementing the General Instruction on the Roman Missal (GIRM) and other liturgical directives in the diocese.
Working with priests
Working with priests, "affirming them in their faith and supporting them in times of difficulty," has always been a "deep joy" for Bishop Bullock.
"Priests are on the front lines in the parishes and work diligently to bring the Good News of Jesus to every household," he said.
"It is not easy, not just because there is a shortage of priests, but also because we live in difficult times. Family life is invaded daily by forces beyond our comprehension and young people need the church, their priests, and staff of laity in the parishes."
Bishop Bullock said one of his prayers as a bishop was to receive a charism to teach young people. With 17 years as a teacher and headmaster, he has always enjoyed working with youth.
One of his favorite parts of being a bishop is presiding at Confirmations. He says he tries to be realistic with young people. "I describe the world in which they live graphically and truthfully," he said.
"I've had kids come up to me after Confirmation and say, 'I like you. You understand our world. You lay it on the line but you don't preach at us.'"
Bishop Bullock explains, "I'm conscious of pressures on young people from their peers. One is the philosophy, 'If it feels good, do it.' This means unbridled appetites for sex, booze, and fun. But I tell them if they buy into that, you become so addicted to it that you lose your freedom."
He often includes popular references in his homilies, such as to Harry Potter.
Life in retirement
What has he been doing since he retired? He still presides at Confirmations and special parish and diocesan events, especially when Bishop Morlino is not available.
He celebrates Mass every day in his private chapel and spends time in meditation and praying the Liturgy of the Hours. He usually celebrates Mass at 12 noon on Mondays in the chapel at the Bishop O'Connor Center. "I am especially interested in praying for vocations to the priesthood and religious life and reinforcing people's hope and trust," he said.
He participates in state and national meetings of Catholic bishops. In the winter, he spends time in warmer climates in his "winter residence," keeping in touch by e-mail and through the Catholic Herald.
He emphasized, "The Catholic press and our Catholic Herald is reaching lots of people. I enjoyed writing my column when I was bishop and believe coverage of the work of the church is so important. And it comes right into people's homes every week."
As bishop, he encouraged priests to be "widely and wisely read," saying that is even more important today. "Change is a given in our day," he said. "Nothing stands still. We must not just tread water but move forward to address the many needs of our day."
Bishop Morlino has asked Bishop Bullock to be present for dinner at the diocesan priests' gathering on April 26, where he will be toasted in celebration of his 80th birthday. Other informal observances with family and friends are also planned.
Bishop Bullock also has his own Web page at www.madisondiocese.org/bishop/bullock with information and samples of his writing. "I enjoy the e-mails and opportunity to share," he says.
Tom Nelson: Named associate director
of Office of Justice and Pastoral Outreach
MADISON -- Tom Nelson has been named associate director of the Diocese of Madison's Office of Justice and Pastoral Outreach.
Susanna Herro, office director, commented, "Tom's strong background in working with respect life, social justice, and peace issues at the parish level will bring great practical experience to the diocese."
She added, "Tom's experience in rural life, international outreach, and issues of poverty will strengthen our Pastoral Outreach programs. We will be working together to tap his talents for the varied programs within this office.
"I'm looking forward to Tom's infusion of energy and prayerful spirit," said Herro. "With his knowledge, commitment, and friendly style, I'm sure he will be a great asset to all of our work."
Nelson has worked at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Madison, since 2002. He has served as
outreach staff liaison to the parish's Human Concerns Council and Justice and Peace Committee. He has been involved in outreach to Mgolole Orphanage in Tanzania, Wexford Neighborhood in Madison, and the Waspam, Nicaragua, Committee.
He has also served as a liaison to Middleton Outreach Ministry, the St. Vincent de Paul Conference, as well as with a variety of short term outreach efforts at the parish level.
He coordinated the formation of the parish's Respect Life Prayer Group and the formation of a parish Vocations Committee.
He has also been parish stewardship director and coordinator of time and talent of parish stewards. He assisted the pastor in development of the parish Stewardship of Treasure Campaign and assisted and developed the Diocesan Services Appeal campaign for the parish.
He has coordinated parish outreach to individuals and organizations; led lay liturgical ministry training and liturgical ministry scheduling; coordinated parish life hospitality events; and assisted in development of parish print communications.
On the diocesan level he has served on the planning and consultation committee for Catholic Multicultural Center youth education; served on the formation committee of the Madison Diocesan Stewardship Council and currently serves on the council; and was a guest speaker at "Catholics at the Capitol" 2007 on forming Social Justice Committees in Parishes.
Previously Nelson worked at the Edina Art Center, Edina, Minn., as an art instructor and
was a freelance artist/designer. He has been a youth instructor for summer and after-school art programs. He teamed with troubled teenage boys to mentor and develop art skills.
He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Minneapolis School of Art & Design
and an associate degree from Madison Area Technical College in commercial art and photograph.
He is a graduate of Madison East High School. He has been a member of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish since 2001. He has been a member of the Madison Serra Club since 2002 and is currently the club's president. He is also a Schoenstatt Family Member and a member of the Knights of Divine Mercy.
Nelson describes himself as a "faithful Catholic with full love and respect for the Magisterium of the Church."
He is married to Barbara Esther, with one daughter, Faith.
Guided by the Spirit:
Understanding Preliminary Recommendation
As planned, many, if not all, of the core committees recently met with members of the Planning Commission, at six different locations around the diocese, to ask them questions after receiving their Preliminary Recommendations.
March 29, 2007 edition:
Planning Commission: Offers preliminary recommendations
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?
I was encouraged by the willingness of many to understand the Preliminary Recommendation and to work with one another toward the common diocesan good. As the Diocesan Planning Coordinator and not being a part of the Planning Commission, my main role is to see that the process is being followed and that any concerns or issues are addressed. Some items stuck out as I listened to people voice their concerns and questions.
The first point is that terminology is very important. We have to be continually working at communicating with one another and, with so much at stake, ignorance of terms is not really acceptable. So let's review some of the terms.
A parish is a community of the faithful surrounding a pastor with the aim of giving Glory to God through worship and service. (Notice no mention of a building, even though the building is very important for our worship.)
Partnership parishes have different pastors but the parishes are working together in at least one significant way to give Glory to God. Linked parishes share a common pastor. This implies that they should be working together as much as they can for the greatest economy of resources, in and with whatever makes the most sense to give Glory to God.
Merged parishes are two or more parishes that come together into one parish, that is, multiple communities coming together into one community surrounding a pastor to give Glory to God. Since there is only one community (not "us" and "them" or "ours" and "theirs"),
the entire new community has to take responsibility for all of their resources, be it buildings, people, equipment, whatever, and figure out what is the best way to use their resources to give Glory to God. This will take sensitivity and cooperation for all parties to come to the best overall solution.
The second point is that the Planning Commission is not giving specific action but is giving specific direction. There has been an incredible amount of work done by each and every core committee, in each parish and in each cluster. The Planning Commission
is not going to have the detailed understanding to map out a course of action for the individual cluster. That will be begun later in the summer by each cluster beginning with the forming of Implementation Committees and when the Bishop makes his final decision.
Many implementation issues are gated by retirement of priests, which to some degree is unknown outside of one to three years.
Church building status
The third point is that, this being the beginning of a long process, there is plenty of room for improvement by everyone. A good example brought to my attention is that the Guided by the Spirit manual, on the "Parish Models" page under the definition of "Merged Parish" there is the comment ". . . and some churches will be closing." This is just plain incorrect and if I had noticed it, I would have changed it to "may" and added something to the effect of what I wrote above.
The Planning Commission did not tell any cluster that they need to sell or close a building, not one. They did recommend that usage of many buildings be evaluated and a decision be made in the near future, often one to four years.
So each cluster now goes back to study the Preliminary Recommendation with their Cluster Response due back to the Planning Commission by May 11. The Planning Commission will meet again to consider the responses and formulate their final recommendations to be presented to Bishop Morlino at the end of May.
Pray for all involved that the Holy Spirit will assist all of us to build a stronger and more vibrant Diocesan Church, one that will . . . give Glory to God. If you have any questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail us at Guided by the Spirit, 702 S. High Point Rd., Madison, WI 53719.