Parish Staff Day Feb. 27
MADISON -- "Collaboration across Parish Lines" is the theme of the Parish Staff Day sponsored by the Diocese of Madison's Office of Pastoral Services.
The event takes place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 27, at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center. The day, which is open to all clergy, religious, and lay staff members, begins at 8 a.m. with a gathering and social time, followed by 9 a.m. morning prayer led by Bishop William H. Bullock. The day's schedule includes: Part I, 10 a.m.; lunch beginning at noon; and Part II at 1 p.m.
One co-facilitator of the day is Sinsinawa Dominican Sr. Mary Montgomery, director of pastoral planning for the Archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa. She is well-known in the Diocese of Madison from her years of service in the Office of Catholic Schools. The other co-facilitator is Kate Wiskus, director of pastoral services for the Diocese of Madison.
Cost for the day is $15 per person, which includes continental breakfast and lunch. Registration is due Feb. 17 to the Office of Pastoral Services, P.O. Box 44983, Madison, WI 53744-4983. For more information, call 608-821-3083.
Retreat for women
MADISON -- The Catholic Daughters of the Americas, Court Madison #1164, invites women of the Madison Diocese to attend their second annual retreat to be held at Schoenstatt Heights, 5901 Cottage Grove Rd., the weekend of Feb. 14 to 16.
The retreat begins on Friday, Feb. 14, at 5:30 p.m. and ends on Sunday, Feb. 16, at 1:30 p.m. Fr. Gerold Langsch, superior of the Schoenstatt Fathers, will conduct the conferences. He will cover the following topics: everyday sanctity, the Mass, Rosary, Confession, and Lent.
Cost of the retreat, which includes up to six meals, is: for those who stay for two nights - single rooms are $115 (two available), double rooms are $105 (10 beds available); for those attending all three days but not overnight - $65; for two days - $45; and one day - $35.
Reservations should be made as soon as possible by sending a check for the correct amount by Feb. 10 to Cynthia Aronson, 6028 Overlook Dr., McFarland, WI 53558. Make checks payable to Catholic Daughters, Court Madison. For more information, call Cynthia Aronson: 608-838-0758 or Charlotte Carey: 608-257-2795.
Catholics with Disabilities celebration
MADISON -- All Catholics with a disability, their families, and friends are invited to join the festivities as Catholics with Disabilities celebrates its second birthday.
The party will be held Sunday, Feb. 2, at 2:30 p.m. in the undercroft at St. Raphael Cathedral, 222 W. Main St. There will be door prizes and refreshments.
As part of the celebration the first Norm Wirtz Award will be presented to St. Dennis Parish, Madison. Fr. Kent Schmitt will accept the award on behalf of the parish. The award will be given annually in recognition of a parish and/or parish staff who strive to ensure that parishioners with disabilities enjoy the fullest possible participation in parish life and worship.
The party will adjourn for the 5 p.m. Mass in the cathedral. The undercroft is accessible by elevator at the parking lot entrance. Those who require support personnel and/or special equipment should provide their own.
For further information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or write: 422 Presidential Ln., Madison, WI 53711.
Middle school youth rally
MADISON -- Make the most of the life God has given you.
This is one of the messages of APeX Ministries, who will give a presentation at the Diocese of Madison's Middle School Youth Rally on Sunday, Feb. 23, at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center.
"Have you ever seen anything like this?" is the theme of the rally, which is sponsored by the diocesan Office of Religious Education and Camp Gray.
APeX Ministries consists of two young men, Brad Farmer and Gene Monterastelli, who love God and enjoy making the most of the life God has given them. This team strives to bring the love and joy of God through "Christian Vaudeville," which testifies to God's love through stories, personal testimony, death defying juggling, humor, skits, story-telling, and audience participation.
The day begins with registration at 10 a.m. Lunch, activity sessions, Mass, and a dance/social will be a part of the rally. Registration is due Feb. 11.
For more information, visit www.madisonfaithandfamily.org or call the Office of Religious Education at 608-821-3160.
New Web site for families
MADISON -- Family ministers from the five Catholic dioceses in the state of Wisconsin have collaborated to create a new Catholic family life Web site: www.familyandchurch.org.
"We have two target audiences: parish personnel and families," said Mike Nachman, director of the Diocese of Madison's Office of Family Ministry and Office of Religious Education.
"The goal of the site is to provide information that will support, challenge, and nurture families," said Randy Nohl, adult and family ministry director for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
Some of the materials include family activities, prayers, resources, reading recommendations, and Web site links. The Web site will be updated monthly in order to provide a wide variety of materials.
Parish hosts day
of prayer, reflection
MADISON -- A day of prayer and reflection entitled "Spirituality: Do I Have One? What Is It Anyway?" will be held at Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, 401 S. Owen Dr., on Saturday, Feb. 1.
Kate Wiskus, director of the Office of Pastoral Services for the Diocese of Madison, will lead the event which begins at 9 a.m. with registration and refreshments. Lunch will be provided. The day concludes at 3 p.m.
All are welcome to attend. The cost is $10. Call the parish office at 608-231-4600 to register.
Peer support groups
MADISON -- Peer support groups for those hurting from separation, divorce, or loss of a significant relationship are open to all ages/faiths at two Madison parishes.
Friends on a Journey will meet from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, at Our Lady Queen of Peace nursery, 401 S. Owen Dr. For information, call 608-821-3170.
New Directions will meet from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, at St. Dennis Parish Center, 413 Dempsey Rd., top floor. For information, call 608-821-3170.
Sexual abuse lawsuit filed against priest, diocese
MADISON -- A sexual abuse lawsuit was filed Jan. 16 against the Diocese of Madison and Fr. Kenneth Klubertanz, who is currently under investigation by the diocesan Review Board on Sexual Abuse.
MADISON -- Bishop William H. Bullock sent a letter Jan. 18 to parishioners of St. Patrick Parish in Lodi and St. Michael Parish in Dane regarding the recent allegation.
"As many of you already know through the press and media, an additional allegation has been made against Fr. Kenneth Klubertanz," he said.
"I have asked Fr. Michael Richel to continue as administrator of St. Patrick's and St. Michael's parishes and that Fr. Elmer Dietzel continue to provide daily and Sunday Mass, as well as on-going sacramental needs in the parishes.
"I offer you my prayer and ask that you join in deep prayer for all concerned."
Bishop William H. Bullock placed Klubertanz, pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Lodi, on administrative leave June 9, following an allegation of an inappropriate incident with a 13-year-old in Janesville 27 years ago.
A second allegation in August accused Klubertanz of an inappropriate incident with a 16-year-old boy in 1968 when Klubertanz was an associate pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Reedsburg. Klubertanz denied both allegations.
In the lawsuit filed by attorney Jeffrey Anderson of St. Paul, Minn., the plaintiff who now lives in North Dakota alleges Klubertanz assaulted him as a 12- or 13-year-old altar boy in 1969-70 when Klubertanz worked at Sacred Heart Parish in Reedsburg.
Although the plaintiff did not report the alleged abuse to officials, the lawsuit charges the diocese with "fiduciary fraud" in that it did not take preventative measures.
According to Donald Heaney, diocesan attorney, "there is no such thing as fiduciary fraud. No such doctrine exists."
The charge is that facts were hidden, but that has never been true in the diocese, he said. "As soon as any diocesan official knew of an allegation, action was immediate. Any allegations are without foundation."
The diocese must respond in court by March 3.
The diocesan policy states that upon receiving word of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by a priest, the diocese should and will:
1) Remove the priest from his assignment upon learning of the allegation of sexual abuse of a minor and investigate thoroughly;
2) Identify the personal needs of the victim and victim's family in order to get them assistance, counseling, and other services that they need;
3) Find ways to heal the community where each scandal has hurt, alienated, or angered people.
Youth rally: High schoolers urged to 'Go against the grain'
WISCONSIN DELLS -- When high school sophomore Chris Yoakum of St. Peter Parish in Madison was asked what he learned at Resurrection 2003, a high school youth rally, "Going against the grain!" was his enthusiastic reply.
Indeed, that was the theme in terms of justice and service at this rally hosted Jan. 17-19 by parishes of the Eastern Dane region of the Diocese of Madison.
Yoakum was one of about 250 people attending the rally, which took place at Chula Vista Southwest Resort here.
Helping the homeless
As the youth breakfasted on the morning of Jan. 18, some of them noticed two apparently homeless people who came into the hotel and slept on couches and the floor.
During a morning prayer service, Fr. Felix Oehrlein, pastor of St. Cecilia Parish in Wisconsin Dells, asked the youth participants: "How many of you welcomed them in from the cold?"
The "homeless" people were actually Mike Showalter and Ania Momot, parishioners at St. Cecilia Parish.
Oehrlein asked Showalter and Momot what the youth did and how it made them feel.
"I felt alone," said Momot.
"Nobody talked to me," said Showalter. "I felt disappointed. There's a whole group of people here because they have great faith in Jesus Christ. If you say you have faith and it's empty, then it's not much of a faith at all."
"Jesus will say, when you saw people hungry and you fed them, naked and gave them clothes, thirsty and you gave them a drink, in prison and you comforted them," that is when you did these things for me, said Oehrlein.
"Poverty is the cause of so much unhappiness. We have to reach out to the poor," he said.
Caring for others
Keynote speaker Colette Kennett, director of youth ministry in the Diocese of Belleville, Ill., focused on humanizing Catholic social teaching. She shared a story of an inmate she visited in prison and how he began to change over time; a story of how she and a friend took a homeless woman to a shelter; and a story of a young man who shared food with the hungry in Guatemala.
"Everyone has the right to be cared for," said Kennett. "I believe going against the grain is possible. God will not forsake us."
Various workshops were offered, including one that helped students identify with what it is like to be a teen in Sudan, the Holy Land, Zimbabwe, Haiti, or India.
All one body
Keynote speaker Lee Nagel, director of total Catholic education for the Diocese of Green Bay, emphasized that we are all one body.
If this room was the whole world, two people would have 95 percent of the wealth. The rest has five percent, he said.
"We know what's right, but sometimes we're not strong enough to speak up," he said. "When you stop to look at how you deny human dignity, it's time to cease your silence."
Good role models
Auxiliary Bishop George O. Wirz presided at a Mass Jan. 19.
Wirz said amid a dysfunctional society, the need for good role models is great.
"We've got to go against the grain," he said, using as an example Erika Harold, Miss America 2003, who was told by pageant officials not to talk about chastity to teens. "She wouldn't back down and she won."
As the youth take on their mission as the "founders" of the third millennium, their role in promoting justice and fighting injustice is critical, said Wirz.
Vandalism: At Beloit school
BELOIT -- Due to extensive vandalism and burglary, there were no classes held on the first day of Catholic Schools Week at Our Lady of the Assumption School here.
Beloit police were called to the building Monday morning, Jan. 27, when a break-in was discovered by school staff. Principal Arlene McMorran said the break-in occurred either Sunday evening, Jan. 26, or early Jan. 27.
Vandalized were the school building, several classrooms, and offices. Classroom furniture, files, and science laboratory supplies were damaged; items were scattered and thrown about. Due to the chemicals involved, an environmental clean-up company was contacted to ensure the building is environmentally safe.
"Our building was determined to be environmentally safe. There are no hazards for students or staff," said McMorran.
The school building is attached to OLA Church, but no damage was reported to the church proper.
Damage and loss
As of late afternoon Jan. 27, McMorran said any estimate of damage and loss would have to wait until the police investigation was completed. She said school officials would strive to open the school for classes on Tuesday, Jan. 28. Special events for CSW were planned for each day this week.
Capt. William Tyler, superintendent of the Special Operations Bureau for the Beloit Police Department, said the crime investigation unit was on the scene all day Monday and any evaluation of damage would be determined when their work was completed.
Tyler said the investigation included vandalism and burglary. "Damage to the school is extensive," he said. He added that there are no immediate suspects.
Tyler complimented OLA school staff "for their cooperation, information, and assistance."