Directors of Religious Education Federation
CABLE -- "New Dawns . . . New Depths" is the theme for the 12th biennial convention sponsored by the Wisconsin Directors of Religious Education Federation (WDREF) on Thursday, Nov. 7, and Friday, Nov. 8, at the Telemark Resort in Cable, Wis.
Fr. Jan Michael Joncas, composer and associate professor of theology and Catholic studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., is the keynote speaker for Nov. 7. His presentations are entitled "From the table to the cross: The spirituality of Holy Thursday and Good Friday" and "From the tomb to the mountain: The spirituality of Holy Thursday and Easter Sunday."
On Nov. 8, Jean Marie Weber, religion textbook author and presenter of brain-based learning, will give a two-part presentation titled, "A new dawning: Catechesis and neurons - A look at brain-friendly teaching/learning and religious education." Participants will explore how this high energy, fun-filled approach to education can help change the ways we work with children, youth, and adults in our catechetical and Catholic school programs.
Exhibits, Mass, a banquet, and door prizes will also be a part of the convention.
On Nov. 6, the evening preceding the convention, will be a two-hour workshop given by Joncas. Titled "Liturgical music: More than meets the ear," this workshop includes a presentation and demonstration of how music can support the mission of the church: evangelizing, catechizing, fostering community, engendering, healing, and sustaining worship.
Those interested in attending the convention may contact Jenny Thorn at 920-235-4266 or visit www.wdref.org.
Diocesan high school rally
MADISON -- "What are your talents? Watch 'em grow" is the theme of the Diocese of Madison's High School Youth Rally on Sunday, Nov. 17.
The rally, which typically draws between 400 and 500 participants, will be held at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center here. It is sponsored by the Diocese of Madison's Office of Religious Education and Camp Gray.
Keynote speaker is Dick Bennett, former head coach of the men's basketball team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who led the team during one of the most successful periods in school history. He and his wife, Anne, attend St. Peter Parish, Madison.
Registration begins at 12:30 p.m., followed by the 1 p.m. General Session 1 with Bennett as keynote speaker. A 2:15 p.m. break will be followed by the 3 p.m. General Session 2, with a skit by St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Madison, and speakers Tiffany Doan of St. Mary Parish, Fennimore, and Kirsten Wohlers of St. Patrick Parish, Cottage Grove.
Bishop William H. Bullock will preside at a 4:30 p.m. Mass. A supper and dance will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Registration deadline is Tuesday, Nov. 5. For more information or a registration form, visit www.madisonfaithandfamily.org or call the Office of Religious Education at 608-821-3060.
to celebrate Oct. 20
MADISON -- Catholic Daughters of the Americas, Court Madison, 1164 will be celebrating National CDA Day by attending Mass at St. Raphael Cathedral on Sunday, Oct 20. The Madison court was organized on Oct. 26, 1930, and is one of 20 courts in Wisconsin.
The Catholic Daughters of the Americas (CDA) is the oldest and largest Catholic women's organization in the U.S.A. and the world with 1,384 courts and a membership of 103,137 in 45 states, Puerto Rico, Panama Canal Zone, Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, and Mexico.
The CDA, which will celebrate its centennial year in 2003, was founded by the Knights of Columbus in June of 1903 as the National Order of the Daughters of Isabella. In 1921 the name was changed to Catholic Daughters of the Americas, and in 1928, the Knights of Columbus, believing that the organization was strong enough to function on its own, severed its ties with the CDA.
The goals of the organization are to preserve and propagate the holy Catholic faith, to elevate Catholic womanhood, to develop true American citizens, and to promote and dispense charity.
The CDA, Court Madison, holds its meetings on the third Thursday of the month at various Madison churches beginning at 11:15 a.m. and includes the Rosary, Mass, catered luncheon, program, and business meeting. The court is an affiliate of the Wisconsin Council of Catholic Women.
Anyone desiring additional information may call membership chairman, Ruth Tormey, at 608-233-4606 or court regent, Charlotte Carey, at 608-257-2795.
MONROE -- The Monroe Clinic's Best Practices Showcase is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 23. The general public is invited to attend this event to learn more about the services offered by the clinic. According to Jan Sanders, director of mission and services, "This forum provides an opportunity to showcase some of the great work being done by the staff of The Monroe Clinic, consistent with our mission and sponsorship by the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes."
There will be over 40 areas of interest represented, including community disaster preparedness, athletic performance testing, the parish nurse program, and the perinatal grief program. The showcase will be held Wednesday, Oct. 23, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Founders Hall on the lower level of the clinic building. Parking is available in the lot on the northeast side of the clinic in the area marked for meetings.
Session on ethics, elections
MADISON -- "Faithful Citizenship: Ethics and Elections" will be the focus of a discussion on Thursday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. in St. Bernard Parish Center, 2438 Atwood Ave.
This session will feature Kathy Markeland, associate director of the Wisconsin Catholic Conference, and Mike McCabe, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.
Topics to be addressed include reasons the church encourages Catholics to engage in the political process, key issues the conference has identified for the 2002 election, and polling that indicates voters are more concerned about ethics and honesty in government than other traditional "hot-button" issues.
For more information, call Rich Bogovich at 608-244-6903.
Seminar on financing
long term care
MADISON -- St. Marys Hospital and Care Center Foundation will sponsor the free seminar "What You Should Know About Financing Long Term Care" on Tuesday, Oct. 22. The program will be from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at St. Marys Hospital, Assembly Hall, 707 S. Mills St. To register call 608-259-5560. Parking is free in the hospital ramp.
The seminar will be presented by Attorney John C. Frank, Lathrop and Clark; Bill Bender, administrator, St. Marys Care Center; Sarah Kaatz, resident and family service director, St. Marys Care Center; John Grande, vice president, U.S. Bancorp Insurance Services; and Maureen Quinn, trust officer, U.S. Bank.
Blood drive donors, volunteers sought
SINSINAWA -- Sinsinawa Mound will host a blood drive on Thursday, Oct. 24. The American Red Cross will be accepting blood donations from 2 to 6 p.m. on the Heritage level at the Mound. If you are unable to donate blood but would like to be involved, consider assisting as a volunteer during the blood drive.
For additional information, to volunteer, or to schedule an appointment, contact Sheila Heim at 608-748-4411, ext. 869. The Mound is located in southwest Wisconsin on County Road Z, off Highway 11.
Bible study for women
WAUNAKEE -- Women of all ages and faiths are invited to attend an ecumenical women's bible study fellowship sponsored by St. John the Baptist Parish. Childcare is available. The study is held Thursdays from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Arboretum Center, 1004 Quinn Dr., Waunakee. For directions or information, call Cori at 608-831-9364 or the parish nurse at the rectory at 608-849-5121.
Attended Second Vatican Council 40 years ago
MADISON -- Bishop George O. Wirz says one of his "heroes" continues to be Blessed John XXIII.
As Pope John XXIII, he called Catholic bishops of the world to attend the historic Second Vatican Council. It opened on Oct. 11, 1962.
Wirz was privileged to attend the council's first session, accompanying the late Bishop William P. O'Connor of Madison. (Wirz believes he is one of only three American bishops in active ministry who participated in the council; the others are Cardinal William Keeler of Baltimore and Bishop John Cummins of Oakland, Calif.)
"I'm inspired always by his (the Holy Father's) three opening words at the very beginning of the Second Vatican Council, 'Gaudet mater ecclesia' or 'Mother Church rejoices,'" recalled Wirz. "As we go through the following decades and centuries, I believe his words will prove more than prophetic."
Wirz believes that Mother Church rejoices "remains the tone of renewal envisioned by the council Fathers."
Movement of Spirit
The Second Vatican Council had a tremendous influence on the Catholic Church and how it related with the world. "Pope John Paul II says the council was the greatest movement of the Spirit in the 20th Century," said Wirz.
He said the first session was pivotal, since it formulated the agenda for the entire council. "There was great tension," Wirz said of the council opening. "A preparatory commission had prepared documents ahead of time, but the bishops of the world were not satisfied."
Their choices were to try to amend the documents or start over. "They started over," said Wirz, noting again the "enormous" influence of the Holy Spirit.
The council went on to issue 15 key documents on all aspects of church life, including liturgy, education, social justice, the nature of the church, ecumenism, religious freedom, and social communications.
"The first document was promulgated on liturgy, which reached the grassroots when we celebrated Mass in the vernacular," Wirz observed. "No longer was the Mass only in Latin but in our own language. Also the priest turned to face the people; participation was the primary goal."
While in Rome, O'Connor and Wirz lived at Salvator Mundi Hospital conducted by the Salvatorians. "It was like a mini council there," said Wirz, noting that bishops from Austria, Africa, Germany, the United States, and other countries lived together. The Melkite patriarch from Antioch was one of the 30 residents.
O'Connor attended three of the four sessions of the council. Wirz was not able to return after the first session, because he was named rector of the new Holy Name Seminary in Madison, which opened in 1963.
Following O'Connor as Bishop of Madison was Cletus Fr. O'Donnell, who had attended all four sessions of the council. "His stated mission as Bishop of Madison was to implement the Second Vatican Council, to bring the documents alive," said Wirz.
O'Donnell invited many theologians to come to Madison to educate priests and people about the council documents. He started putting the council teachings into effect in many areas.
Wirz noted that Bishop William H. Bullock, Bishop of Madison since 1993, has "exemplified the ongoing renewal of innumerable initiatives rooted in the council."
Among them, Wirz noted, are the establishment of the permanent diaconate; the establishment of the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, bringing diocesan agencies into a collegial (collaborative) model based on the council; a five-year program to implement the Catechism of the Catholic Church, mandated by the council; and numerous phases of the renewal of the Sacred Liturgy, to name a few.
Wirz admits that some "polarization has come about regarding the interpretation of what the council documents say." However, he is "convinced the Holy Spirit continues to bring about the renewal of the church through the council.
"So many things we experience have their roots in the Second Vatican Council. The spirit of new life, hope, and joy will prevail," he insists.
Deacon candidates: Receive ministry of reader
MADISON -- At a Mass at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center on Oct. 13, Bishop William H. Bullock conferred the ministry of reader on 21 men who are candidates in the Diocese of Madison's permanent diaconate program.
The conferral of the ministry of reader is a required step toward becoming a deacon. The next steps are ministry of accolyte and then order of deacon.
After the Gospel reading, the 21 deacon candidates were called forward and made a sign of reverence to the bishop.
As part of his homily, Bullock read the church's instruction on the celebration of the ministry of reader. (See Bullock's column on Bishop Speaks page.)
Bullock said he was filled with enormous pride for the deacon candidates and their families.
As you proclaim God's word, you will be reverent, meditate, know, study, and proclaim in great faith, said the bishop. "I know you are well prepared," he said.
He thanked Auxiliary Bishop George O. Wirz and the pastors who have been very instrumental in encouraging the deacon candidates. He also thanked the family members who have bolstered the decisions of the deacon candidates.
"Read God's word, proclaim it, and understand your ministry is to the total church, not just service to the immediate congregation," Bullock said.
"I know the sacrifices you make to pursue education and formation," he said. "You're a loving and beautiful sign of being faithful and not turning a deaf ear to be His servant."
After the homily, the candidates gathered in the sanctuary, where the bishop blessed them, praying, "Bless our brothers who have been chosen for the ministry of reader. Grant that as they meditate constantly on your word they may grow in its wisdom and faithfully proclaim it to your people."
The bishop presented each candidate with a Bible, saying, "Take this book of Holy Scripture and be faithful in handing on the word of God, so that it may grow strong in the hearts of his people."
The bishop also thanked the faculty and staff of the Diocese of Madison's Office of Pastoral Services for their faciliation and formation of the permanent deacon candidates.
Wirz and 12 other priests of the Diocese of Madison concelebrated. Deacon William Stack was also a part of the celebration.
|Sixth in a voter education series produced by the Wisconsin Catholic Conference.
Faithful Citizenship in 2002:
Criminal justice, corrections
Corrections policy and the management of Wisconsin's criminal justice system is an important issue in this election year.
The growth of Wisconsin's prison system over the past two decades has resulted in significant growth in the budget of the Department of Corrections.
The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau reports that correctional operations are now the fifth largest single item in our state budget. Only school aids, Medical Assistance, the University of Wisconsin, and the shared revenue program consume more general purpose revenues (GPR) than does our corrections system.
"Nearly all prisoners sentenced for crimes will return to the community some day. Policies must be assessed in terms of their capacity to assure that offenders will live a productive and peaceful life in the community to which they return."
-- Public Safety, the Common Good, and the Church: A Statement on Crime and Punishment in Wisconsin, Wisconsin Catholic Conference, 1999
At the same time, people of color account for a disproportionate share of Wisconsin's inmate population. Though less than 10 percent of Wisconsin's overall population, members of minority groups represent over half of those imprisoned in our state.
Since those who are released often have difficulty finding and holding a steady job, the incarceration rate of minorities affects an already high rate of unemployment among African-American and Latino youths.
In the years ahead, the course of prison policy will impact not only our state spending priorities but also efforts to achieve full participation by people of color in our society.
Church and corrections policy
The Catechism tells us that our freedom makes us responsible for our actions to the extent they are voluntary (#1734). The Catechism also identifies peace and security as one of the three essential elements of the common good (#1924). Thus the state, in its role as defender and promoter of the common good, must hold those who break society's rules accountable for their actions.
But the church embraces mercy and calls on us to foster a restoration of broken relationships. In their 1999 statement, "Public Safety, the Common Good and the Church: A Statement on Crime and Punishment in Wisconsin," the bishops of our state urge citizens and policy makers to pursue policies that foster restoration of all who are damaged by crime, victims and offenders alike, to full participation in society.
"Speak Out!" writing contest for students
MADISON -- The Catholic Herald is sponsoring a fall "Speak Out!" writing contest for students in grades five through 12 in the Diocese of Madison.
Beginning with the Sept. 12, 2002 issue, The Catholic Herald will include voter education issues based on "Faithful Citizenship." Students are encouraged to write editorials in response to these articles.
Topics include: 1) Faithful Citizenship in Election Year 2002 (introduction and overview); 2) Human Life and Dignity; 3) Help for Families; 4) Health Care; 5) Budget Shortfalls and Taxation; 6) Criminal Justice and Corrections; 7) Environment and Agriculture.
Deadline is Nov. 8. For more information, interested students may contact their Catholic school teachers or principal, call The Catholic Herald at 608-821-3070, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
In that statement, the bishops offered five "guiding principles" to direct personal and public policy responses to crime:
1. Corrections policies must convey respect for the human person. Policies must be fashioned in ways that restore dignity to offenders who feel they have lost self-respect and dignity, and heal the victims and loved ones betrayed by the crime.
2. Policies must serve the common good. The common good is measured in terms of the welfare of all persons. The needs of no single group - offenders, law enforcement, victims, or taxpayers - should trump the needs of all others. Policies must be evaluated in light of their capacity to reflect the interests of all.
3. Corrections policies must exercise an option for the poor and marginalized. Criminal justice policies and pastoral responses to crime must take special care to address and serve those with little or no money. Policies must ensure that justice is as accessible to victims and offenders who are poor as it is to those who are more affluent. Policies must also be assessed in light of their impact on racial minorities, who are disproportionately represented in the corrections system.
4. Policies, even those that enforce strict punishment, must serve the end of restoration. Nearly all prisoners sentenced for crimes will return to the community some day. Policies must be assessed in terms of their capacity to assure that offenders will live a productive and peaceful life in the community to which they return.
5. Policies must foster the principle of solidarity among all in the community. Policies should serve to reunite the offender with the community and supportive institutions of family, church, and neighborhood. Policies should also foster healing of crime victims so that they too can be restored to the community and feel free to move about in it.
Corrections policy in Wisconsin
Research cited by the bishops' statement in 1999 reported that 50 percent of those who are paroled will end up back in prison and one-third of all Wisconsin violent criminals who were tracked in the 1980s committed a new crime and were sent back to prison. This would seem to indicate that prisoners are not developing the skills they needed in order to live lawfully once they are released on parole.
The ineffectiveness of prison rehabilitation, and a lack of adequate funding for proper supervision of people on probation and parole, creates a vicious circle of failure. As unrepentant inmates are paroled to ease overcrowding, they commit more crimes and are sent back to prison, fueling public sentiment against probation and parole and a distrust of the criminal justice system.
Questions for candidates
1. How can we make our corrections system more effective at rehabilitating offenders so that they do not "re-offend" upon release?
2. Where do you stand on proposals to divert more nonviolent offenders from incarceration to treatment?
3. Will you support improved education and treatment for prisoners who lack basic skills or who suffer from mental illness and addiction?
4. What is your position on protecting the rights of prisoners to practice their religion while they are in prison?
As the bishops wrote in 1999, "The question for the public and for lawmakers alike is this: is a policy of allocating so many resources to locking up people without reforming them good stewardship which furthers the common good?
"We think the answer is no. Neither public safety nor the common good are achieved when so many people who are sentenced to prison are released without being rehabilitated. Nor is public safety served by prison overcrowding which threatens the well-being of correctional officers and prisoners alike."
This is also an appropriate time to be more affirming of religion in the lives of prisoners. Research cited by a Legislative Council study on corrections policy indicates that one of the three best predictors that an inmate will not "re-offend" upon release is whether he or she returns to a supportive faith community.
Unfortunately, religious programming for prisoners is too often not available. Prisons lack an adequate number of chaplains. Because many prisons are built in remote rural locations, it has become more difficult for volunteers and members of faith communities to visit and sustain relationships with those who are in prison. Addressing these deficiencies must be a priority.
Prepared by the Wisconsin Catholic Conference, September 2002. Phone: 608-257-0004. Web site: www.wisconsincatholic.com