Priests of diocese gather for annual assembly Print
Around the Diocese
Written by Mary C. Uhler, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Sep. 13, 2018 -- 12:00 AM

WISCONSIN DELLS — Priests of the Diocese of Madison will be gathering Sunday through Wednesday, Sept. 16 through 19, at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells for their 38th annual Presbyteral Assembly.

The theme of this year’s assembly is “Christian Witnesses to a Post-Christian World.”

New director of continuing formation of priests

Fr. Scott Jablonski has been busy planning the assembly, one of his duties as the recently appointed director of continuing formation of priests in the Diocese of Madison.

He succeeds Msgr. Charles Schluter, who served in the position for almost four years. Priests of the diocese will thank Monsignor Schluter for his service at the assembly.

Father Jablonski commented, “I am grateful to Bishop Morlino for his confidence in my ability to take on this noble responsibility. And I am also grateful to Msgr. Charles Schluter, who so generously directed this office previously.

“I hope and pray to continue his legacy by being of service to my brother priests, so that together we will continue to grow in our Christian and priestly formation for God’s glory and for the good of His people.

“And, if I may, I would also like to ask for prayers — please pray that the Holy Spirit will equip me to serve God and the diocese well in this new capacity and help me to follow His lead.”

Monsignor Schluter, who was ordained to the priesthood on May 26, 1978, has been a parish priest during his time as director of continuing formation for priests.

He was pastor at St. Mary Parish and St. Augustine Parishes in Platteville prior to becoming pastor of St. Peter Parish in Madison in 2010.

Father Jablonski was ordained to the priesthood on June 27, 2014. He has been pastor at Blessed Trinity Parish in Lodi and Dane since 2016. Prior to that, he was a parochial vicar at St. Bernard and St. Henry Parishes in Watertown.

He has also been a member of the Presbyteral Council and Priest Personnel Board of the diocese.

Besides planning the annual Presbyteral Assembly, the director of continuing formation of priests is also responsible for overseeing the St. John Paul II Priest Training Program for the newly ordained and newly arriving extern priests.

“And, in time, I also hope to provide other continuing formation opportunities such as retreats and study/fellowship days,” said Father Jablonski.

Presbyteral Assembly

The Presbyteral Assembly provides opportunities for prayer, education, and socializing for the priests.


They will check in at Chula Vista on Sunday beginning at 3 p.m. At 6:15 p.m., there will be a sunset cruise and dinner.


On Monday, there will be morning prayer, followed by welcome and introduction.

Four presentations will be given throughout the day by two keynote speakers on the theme of the assembly, “Christian Witnesses to a Post-Christian World”:

• Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D., is the William E. Simon senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation and the founder and editor of Public Discourse, the online journal of the Witherspoon Institute of Princeton, N.J.

He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude, and he received a doctoral degree in political philosophy from the University of Notre Dame. His dissertation was titled: “Neither Liberal Nor Libertarian: A Natural Law Approach to Social Justice and Economic Rights.”

• Matt Meeks is the chief digital and marketing officer for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He leads a digital media communication team for the archdiocese whose mission, he says, “is to be an agency at the service of the Church in the Archdiocese of L.A. free of charge (underwritten by the archdiocese), serving the parishes, schools, and ministries of the archdiocese.”

On Monday, there will also be a concelebrated Mass with recently ordained diocesan priest, Fr. Drew Olson, as presider. There will also be evening prayer and a memorial service remembering diocesan priests who have died.

A social and dinner with diocesan staff is also scheduled.


Tuesday begins with morning prayer and a keynote presentation by Anderson.

There will be a holy hour with recently ordained diocesan priest, Fr. Grant Thies, as presider. Confessions will be available with Frs. Andy McAlpin, OP, and Samuel Hakeem, OP, both from Blessed Sacrament Parish in Madison.

There will be a Mass at 5 p.m. with Bishop Robert C. Morlino presiding along with priest jubilarians, who will be honored at a dinner following the Mass.


Wednesday opens with Mass at 8:30 a.m. with Msgr. Dan Ganshert, pastor of St. Stephen Parish in Clinton, presiding.

There will be diocesan presentations on such topics as Legatus, a priest survey, Annual Catholic Appeal update, Tribunal update, and remarks by Bishop Morlino.

The assembly ends at 12 noon with box lunches available.


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