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January 31, 2008 Edition   •   Volume 138, No. 4   •   Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A.

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The Catholic Herald is the official newspaper of the Diocese of Madison. Its purpose is to inform and educate people of the Diocese through communications that proclaim Gospel values, report the news, and comment on issues as they pertain to the mission of the Catholic Church, which is to bring all in Jesus Christ to the Father.
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Web edition:
• Catholic Press Association Best Web Site: Third Place, 2005

Award of Distinction, The Communicator Awards 2002 Print Media competition

Print edition: Award winner, Catholic Press Association, 2007 awards competition:

• First place for best single ad (black and white)

• Third place for best single ad (color);

2006 awards competition:

• First place for best editorial on a local issue

• First place for best news writing on a local/regional event

• First place for best general news photo

Catholic Conference opposes assisted suicide bill

MADISON -- Arguing that physician assisted suicide involves the taking of human life and weakens rather than strengthens the bonds of human solidarity, the Wisconsin Catholic Conference (WCC) testified in opposition to a proposal to permit physician assisted suicide in Wisconsin.

Related article:

Senate Bill 151 would require that an attending physician satisfy a patient's request for medication to end his or her life so long as that patient meets certain statutory requirements and submits a written request for the medication.

Associate Director for Respect Life and Social Concerns, Barbara Sella, presented the WCC's testimony at a January 23 hearing before the Senate Committee on Public Health, Senior Issues, Long Term Care, and Privacy.

"Assisted suicide raises questions that are profoundly personal and heart wrenching. Yet, it is in these very moments that we are most in need of principles to guide our choices and to define the limits of our actions," Sella testified.   Full story ...

Respect Life Events

Marchers' comments

San Francisco

We joined over 25,000 others along the walk through the beautiful seaside of downtown San Francisco. Accompanied by hundreds of police . . . there were not any problems as in previous years. Of course the media, as usual, focused on the few handfuls of very loud protesters; probably because the pro-life multitude was boringly peaceful, while the pro-abortion protesters were loud and angry.

-- Thomas Lang, Toronto, Canada

Lang and fiancée Amy Hying of Madison were hosted by the Little Sisters of the Poor, along with three Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word (of EWTN fame) and several Sisters of Life from New York, while attending the Walk for Life in San Francisco.

Washington, D.C.

In one sense, there was a certain measure of pride - pride to be Catholic. It made me so proud so many Catholics were speaking up for this. . . . It led me to be so excited so many people were there with us. . . . And it made me feel more convicted, as I spoke to some of the students, that we have to find out how can we take this experience and not just leave it there in Washington, but take it home and live it out every day of our lives.

-- Bridget Gill, Madison

Gill was one of the chaperones for the St. Ambrose Academy, Madison, trip to Washington, D.C., for the March for Life.

Only in the print edition ...
News & Features:

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: Marks 100 years of re-establishing Christian unity

Junior Saints: A special celebration of Our Lady of Lourdes

Catholic presidential candidates: The incredible shrinking field

St. Mary's Hospital employees: Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity


• Faith and Precedent
by Douglas Kmiec --
Making democracy work
in uncertain times

• Question Corner
by Fr. John Dietzen --
An undisclosed Fatima secret?

• The Pope Speaks
by Pope Benedict XVI --
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

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Future special sections:

Retirement Living, Lenten Fish Fries: Feb. 14, 2008

Senior Focus: Feb. 21, 2008

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Madison vigil-goers brave bitter cold

MADISON -- It was the 35th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade at 5:30 p.m.

Outside the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Madison, the temperature read five degrees and the windchill was 15 below. Yet 45 prayer warriors, both young and old - from five to 80 years old - met to pray for an end to abortion.

With the prayerful leadership of Fr. Eric Nielsen, pastor of St. Paul's University Catholic Center in Madison, and Fr. Eric Sternberg, parochial vicar of St. John the Baptist Parish, Waunakee, the group also prayed for greater unity of pro-life efforts here in the Diocese of Madison.

Vigil-goer Curtis Jacobsen, Madison, shared an observation he had made: "Something I found interesting while praying there on Tuesday was that while most of the candles could not remain lit in the wind; there was one group near me that was able to keep their candle going. The glow on their faces from the gleaming candle light seemed to give the false appearance of warmth and comfort to them.   Full story ...

Pro-life movement strong for youth

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The March for Life has long been the most visible event within the pro-life movement, with a wide range of people from around the nation traveling each year to register their vocal support of the defenseless and unborn.

But for a group of young men studying for the priesthood, the Vigil Mass held the night before in D.C.'s Basilica of the Immaculate Conception left the greatest impression.

"Attending the Vigil Mass showed me that the pro-life movement is deeply rooted in our Catholic belief," said seminarian Chris Barkhausen, studying at St. Andrew College Seminary for the Diocese of Paterson, N.J. "It made our work in Washington into a religious experience."

The Vigil Mass for Life, held each year on the night preceding the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in the United States, has become the largest Mass in the United States. Six cardinals, with more than 30 bishops and over 800 priests and seminarians, participated in the Mass. Over 8,000 people, mainly youth, filled every available pew, aisle, and side chapel, with many more finding space in the crypt church and in the halls.   Full story ...

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