Seminar ‘Now and at the Hour of Our Death’ offered Print
Around the Diocese
Thursday, Mar. 12, 2020 -- 12:00 AM

MADISON -- The Diocese of Madison will offer a free seminar on the Catholic approach to funerals, burial, and estate planning on Tuesday, March 31, at 1 p.m. at Holy Name Heights. The Office of Worship led similar seminars periodically over the last five years. This time, personnel from the Office of Stewardship and Development and the Department of Cemeteries will present and answer questions as well.

"These seminars have always been popular," said Dr. Pat Gorman, director of the Office of Worship. When the seminar was held last November, about 60 people from all over the diocese attended. "I especially focus on the liturgical rites -- vigil, funeral, and committal, and what can be done now to plan them. With this new format, we have a chance to address a broader range of topics," said Gorman.

Damian Lenshek, director of cemeteries, is looking forward to the opportunity to provide information. "For those who haven't made their cemetery plans, there are a lot of unknowns, and that can cause hesitation," he said. "I'll give a brief theological reflection on why Catholics bury their dead, and then talk about some of the practical aspects of planning and address the most common questions." The goal, he said, is to demystify the process so that people can make informed decisions.

Stewardship -- the wise use of the goods we have been blessed with -- does not end with death, but it is changed. Jill McNally, director of stewardship and development, will discuss options for putting finances in order for those that will survive us.

"The truth is, 'You can't take it with you'. But we can direct how our earthly goods will help others once we have gone to our reward," said McNally. "It is important for us to reflect on our priorities. Once we know what we want to achieve, there are various ways of going about it, depending on our particular circumstances."

A light lunch will be provided after the optional noon Mass. A free will offering will be accepted to help cover the cost of lunch and materials. The seminar is free, but registration is requested to help with ordering lunch. To register, visit

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