for health program
PORTAGE -- Divine Savior Healthcare will not be conducting its usual free weekly blood pressure measurement program on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1 in observance of the holidays.
The program will resume Wednesday, Jan. 8, from 2 to 6 p.m. in the Community Health Education Suite #100 at the Medical Center, 128 Eastridge Dr., Portage.
Appointments are not necessary. People are asked not to smoke, drink caffeine, or exercise for at least 30 minutes before having their blood pressure measured.
For more information, call the Community Education Department at 608-745-6407.
for world peace
MADISON -- Parishioners at St. Maria Goretti Parish gathered on Wednesday, Dec. 4, to pray for world peace during Advent evening prayer.
The parish has designated the Wednesdays of Advent as a time to gather to pray for the prevention of further war in the world.
On Wednesday, Dec. 11, the communal reconciliation service focused on praying for reconciliation and peace in all relationships, both personal and international.
Evening prayer for peace is scheduled again for Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 6:30 p.m.
Interfaith Awareness Week
MADISON -- For the fifth consecutive year, Dec. 8 to 14 is being proclaimed Interfaith Awareness Week by the governor of Wisconsin. It will also be proclaimed by the Dane County executive and Madison's mayor.
In the Capitol, there will be a kiosk/table display of world religions through the week of Dec. 9 to 13. Displays will focus on Jewish, Muslim, Baha'i, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, and Unitarian-Universalist faiths.
On Dec. 10 (Human Rights Day), a noon program was held in the Capitol on interfaith awareness with people of various faiths speaking and/or performing.
For information, contact Rev. John-Brian Paprock, 608-236-9622, or www.danenet.org/mainlink.
School to host
MADISON -- Blessed Sacrament School will be hosting its third annual silent auction with the theme, "Blue Hawaii," on Saturday, Jan. 18, from 5:30 p.m. to midnight at the Blackhawk Country Club.
The evening will include live and silent auctions, a raffle, entertainment, tropical dinner selections, and dancing. Raffle prizes include vacation trips, $1000 cash, and other prizes. Raffle tickets are available for $5 each or six for $25.
All proceeds benefit the general school operating budget. Tickets for the auction are $50 and include hors d'oeuvres, wine, choice of dinner entrees, and one raffle ticket. Auction and raffle tickets may be purchased through the school office, 608-238-6155.
for young adults
MADISON -- Catholic young adults (ages 21-39) are invited to attend an evening that will include a talk about Christmas/Advent traditions given by Msgr. Dan Ganshert, rector of St. Raphael Cathedral in Madison. There will also be an opportunity to socialize with other Catholic young adults.
This Advent event will take place on Thursday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m. at St. Raphael Cathedral, 222 W. Main St. For more information, contact Jeff Mesch at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jillene Summers at email@example.com.
Let Us Go Rejoicing:
Disabled, elderly, volunteers enjoy Christmas celebration
MONROE -- There are always plenty of smiles and hugs shared at the annual Christmas celebration sponsored by the Apostolate to the Handicapped.
That's why the theme of this year's 36th annual celebration was so appropriate: "Let Us Go Rejoicing - Celebrating 35 Years!"
Joy fills the Monroe High School gymnasium as over 1,200 guests and volunteers assemble for the special Mass, dinner, and entertainment. Guests hug people they haven't seen for a year. Volunteers greet the guests and other volunteers with a smile.
And everyone tries to say "hello" to Msgr. Tom Campion, director of the apostolate, and Bishop William H. Bullock, as they walk among the crowd.
Respected and loved
Mitch Quade gave a formal greeting at the beginning of the Mass. He thanked the bishop and concelebrating priests, as well as the large number of volunteers, including many high school and college-age youth.
"You are all respected and loved," he told the disabled and elderly guests, who sat at brightly decorated tables surrounded by red, green, and white balloons.
In his homily (see complete text on Bishop Speaks page), the bishop, too, emphasized the theme of joy. "In these days, Jesus abundantly provides us with deep joy and genuine hope. We as God's people rejoice in the Lord with grateful and humble hearts," said Bullock.
He especially thanked Campion for his leadership in the Apostolate to the Handicapped for 35 years. "He has led us carefully, constantly, and with deep joy," said Bullock. "He has taught us to love them and receive from them."
Thanks to Fr. Klarer
In remarks after Communion, the bishop also thanked Fr. Mike Klarer, pastor of St. Victor Parish in Monroe. The bishop noted that Klarer always came back to help with the Apostolate to the Handicapped celebrations, even while serving for many years as a Navy chaplain.
"We thank him for his continuing cooperation with the apostolate," said the bishop.
Klarer's parents, Marcella and Emil Klarer, served as apostolate volunteers for many years, observed the bishop. At this year's celebration, they were guests.
Disabled teach us
In his remarks, Campion noted that it's often more difficult to be served than to serve others. Mentioning the Klarers - who made coffee for the apostolate dinners for so many years - Campion said, "It's often easier to make the coffee than have someone do it for you. Accepting a disability is not easy."
He told the disabled, "You are my greatest gift. You are the joy, the hope."
Campion said the handicapped take up their cross and follow Jesus every day of their lives. "It took gumption for you to get up, get dressed, to get here.
"You bring out the best in all of us. I salute you."
Thanks to all
Campion thanked all the volunteers who make the day possible: drivers, cooks, servers, nurses, set-up and clean-up crews, even the people who made each table favor by hand. "We are all touched by human hands," he said. "We need that!"
He presented a gift to Bullock: a three-handed icon of the Blessed Virgin. "This is our gift to you to remember us who are handicapped. We have appreciated your presence among us."
Both guests and volunteers had high praise for the day. Marilyn Voelali of Monroe was attending her first Apostolate to the Handicapped Christmas party as a guest. "It's really awesome," she said.
"The Mass was beautiful. This is the first time I've ever seen the bishop, so it was wonderful for me."
Also attending their first Apostolate celebration were a group of six Evans Scholars from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Scholars have been donating proceeds of their annual basketball-a-thon to the Apostolate for several years.
"We wanted to actually participate instead of just donating money," said Holly Rusch, a junior from Manitowoc. "It's amazing how organized this is!"
She and Teresa Rusch, a sophomore from Slinger, said they drove guests to the celebration and would also help serve the dinner.
Bill Cross of the University Catholic Center Knights of Columbus came with 36 Knights to the event. Fr. Randy Timmerman, pastor at St. Paul's University Catholic Center, Madison, said the young people are eager to give help when they understand the need. "Some of these same guys were baking cookies for the homeless last night at St. Paul's and left early this morning to get to Monroe," he noted.
Plans to restore St. Augustine, New Diggings
NEW DIGGINGS -- The Father Mazzuchelli Assembly Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus in Lancaster has announced plans to complete the restoration and preservation of St. Augustine Church, located in New Diggings in Lafayette County.
The Library of Congress in 1935 designated the church as a building of historic value and worthy of preservation. The structure is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Structures.
Built by Fr. Mazzuchelli
This Greco-Gothic architecture incorporates most of the typical features of the designs used by Fr. Samuel Mazzuchelli in building more than 24 churches and public buildings in the tri-state area of Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois during the 1830s and 1840s.
St. Augustine is the only church built by Mazzuchelli that stands today without alterations. It is exactly as he built it in 1844.
Mazzuchelli was attracted to the New Diggings, Benton, and Shullsburg area in 1835 primarily because of the great migration of miners looking for work in the lead mines. The miners were prospecting for lead and Mazzuchelli was prospecting for souls. The 1850 census of Lafayette County shows nearly 60 percent of the county population was located in this area.
The Mazzuchelli Assembly started this project some 43 years ago and has been unable to generate sufficient funds to keep up with the restoration process.
In phase I of the new endeavor, the Mazzuchelli Assembly through the support of a grant from the Jeffris Family Foundation of Janesville, will complete a Historic Structure Report. This is necessary to evaluate what has to be done and estimate costs of a phase II that will restore and preserve this historic structure.
History of church
Mazzuchelli served as pastor of St. Augustine from 1844 until 1849. In 1849 he became pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Benton. Until his death in 1864 he served St. Augustine as a mission of St. Patrick Parish.
Regular Sunday services were held at St. Augustine until about 1900. In January 1925 Bishop McGavick of the LaCrosse Diocese discontinued services at New Diggings and incorporated the congregation into St. Patrick's.
St. Augustine stands as a masterpiece of Mazzuchelli. It is recognized as a monument to its founder and to the faith of the pioneer settlers in the area.
Mazzuchelli died on Feb. 23, 1864 and is buried in St. Patrick Cemetery in Benton.
Phase I of project
The Mazzuchelli Assembly acknowledges the support of the Jeffris Family Foundation for their matching grant in the amount of $12,850 to conduct phase I of this project.
The Historic Structure Report will be conducted by Art Chadek Architectural Services LLC of Wauwatosa. Chadek was the project manager for the recent restoration of the Wisconsin State Capitol building.
He will be assisted by Gail Caskey Wenkler, senior partner of LCA Associates, Philadelphia, Pa. She is a national authority in church restoration services. Also assisting is Ronald Koenig, Lansing, Mich. He is an architectural conservator with expertise in paint analysis and treatment, plaster conservation, and cleaning of historic materials.