This work was challenging and, at times, seemingly impossible. But, as a result, we have arrived at a plan of action, guided, we pray, by the Spirit. This plan will call for a sacrificial attitude on the part of everyone in the diocese.
Over the past few weeks I have visited with some of the parishes who may face additional hardship with this new plan. I've listened, and spoken with the people of these parishes, and taken seriously their deep and valid concerns.
CLUSTER (20): St. Bridget, Ridgeway; Immaculate Conception, Barneveld
After many months of hard work on the part of hundreds of the faithful throughout the Diocese, Bishop Morlino has issued his Directives for all of the parishes in the Diocese of Madison.
These Directives set the "direction" for each cluster of parishes as the number of priests decline and the distribution of priests change in the Diocese. The Directives come from a "bottom-up" approach to addressing this problem in a comprehensive manner. It is inevitable that there are changes; the key is that we acknowledge change and that we are pro-active instead of reactive in coming up with solutions.
So we start off this time of renewal with the Diocesan - Parish Leadership Conference that is going on this week at the Bishop O'Connor Pastoral Center. The theme of the conference is "Trusting in the Spirit: Our Comforter, Our Counselor, Our Advocate." The Conference has many different talks, presentations, and panels (nearly 50 all told) having to do with both common and not-so-common topics related to parish management and change as part of Guided by the Spirit. Full story ...
MADISON -- Catholic parishes in recent years have been strongly emphasizing the concept of stewardship and developing "time, talent, and treasure." But for most parishes, the latter of that trio - treasure - remains a challenge.
Parishes around the Diocese of Madison are addressing the topic on the spiritual level, starting a new parish offertory program designed to move parishioners away from the idea of "giving to need" and instill in its stead the philosophy of "needing to give."
The In Pew Parish Offertory program brings the issue, as its name suggests, into the sacred space. It combines homilies from the pastor examining the spirituality of financial stewardship, a step-by-step walk through of the process, and materials to help parishioners reflect on whether they are giving not enough, just the right amount, or even, in some cases, too much of their treasure. Full story ...
-- Updated: 11/08/2007, 5:20 p.m. Central Time, to list both Point Cinema and Eastgate Cinemas as the Madison theaters where Bella will be opening on Nov. 9.
Related item this week:
Bishop Morlino -- Respect Life Month: Ways people stand up for life
MADISON -- Bella is a movie that has already changed lives. The story is heartwarming, life-affirming, and intertwines the stories of a waitress in New York who discovers she's pregnant with the life of a man who looks like he lost everything. A story of regaining faith and trusting the goodness of others, the movie showcases the talents of Eduardo Verastegui, a "sultry heartthrob" from Mexico who found his true calling in Bella, a movie with a purpose. Verastegui has learned of women who have chosen life for their child after seeing this movie.
Bella opens in Madison on November 9 at Point Cinema and Eastgate Cinemas (see list of showtimes) following the nationwide opening October 26. The Diocese of Madison and Relevant Radio are promoting this movie with Relevant Radio offering free tickets to those listening to 1240 AM or by going to their Web site, www.relevantradio.com The diocese is also opening the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center in Madison to religious education, Confirmation, and youth groups for after-the-movie discussion. Popcorn and soda will be provided. Contact Susanna Herro at the Office of Justice and Pastoral Outreach, 608-821-3087 or Susanna.Herro@straphael.org to make arrangements.
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