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March 27, 2003 Edition

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This week:
Global Solidarity Partnership Program: Diocese of Madison ~ Diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga
Diocese: Reduces work force
Archbishop Dolan: In address to legislators emphasizes civility
News Briefs

L e n t

 • Lenten regulations

 • Lenten Reflection by Bishop Bullock

 • This week's column by Bishop Bullock

 • "Ambassadors for Christ" contest

News Briefs:
Clergy Day
of Sanctification

MADISON -- A Clergy Day of Sanctification for priests in the Diocese of Madison takes place from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 8, at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center here.

The theme of the day is "The Strangest Way: Walking the Christian Path." The presenter is Fr. Robert E. Barron, professor of systematic theology at University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, Ill.

Registration is due April 1 with the Office for Continuing Education of Priests, 608-821-3000.

Spring deanery meetings

The spring deanery meetings for the Madison Diocesan Council of Catholic Women are:

• April 3, p.m., Jefferson at St. John the Baptist Parish, Jefferson

• April 10, p.m., Columbia at St. Joseph Parish, Rio

• April 22, p.m., Lafayette at St. Philomena Parish, Belmont

• April 22, p.m., Grant at Immaculate Conception, Kieler

• April 24, a.m., West Dane at St. Barnabas, Mazomanie

• April 24, p.m., East Dane at St. Albert the Great, Sun Prairie

• April 30, a.m., Sauk at Sacred Heart Parish, Reedsburg

• May 1, p.m., Marquette-Green Lake at St. Mary Parish, Kingston

• May 8, p.m., Rock at St. Thomas Parish, Beloit

• May 13, p.m., Iowa at St. Thomas Parish, Montfort

• May 15, p.m., Madison at St. Raphael Parish, Madison

Jefferson Deanery
meeting April 3

JEFFERSON -- The spring meeting of the Jefferson Deanery Council of Catholic Women will be held Thursday, April 3, at St. John the Baptist Parish here. The theme is "Year of the Rosary - Mysteries of Light."

Registration is at 4:45 p.m. The rosary will be recited at 5:10 followed by a concelebrated Mass at 5:30. Fr. Lorin Bowens, Lime Ridge, diocesan moderator, will be the homilist. A dinner will be served at 6:30. Sr. Marcia Vinje, a Schoenstatt sister, will speak at 7:15.

Those attending are asked to donate change for the Jefferson County "Ready Kids for School" program as well as to bring new books for the Head Start/preschool program.

Send reservations to Marion Popp, 423 S. Fisher Ave., Jefferson 53549, by March 27. The cost is $8.

Lenten mission

MADISON -- St. Maria Goretti Parish will hold a lenten spiritual renewal/mission Saturday, April 5, to Wednesday, April 9. The talks will be led by Fr. Marty Pable, a Capuchin. Pable will preach at weekend liturgies and at the 12:15 p.m. Mass on April 9. He will lead presentations on Sunday through Tuesday nights starting at 6:30 p.m. Social time will follow the services each evening. Childcare is available. For more information, call 608-271-7421.

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. New Directions will meet from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, March 27, at St. Dennis Parish Center, 413 Dempsey Rd., top floor. For information, call 608-821-3170. Friends on a Journey will meet from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 3, at Our Lady Queen of Peace nursery, 401 S. Owen Dr. For information, call 608-821-3170.

Global Solidarity Partnership Program: Diocese of Madison ~
Diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga

MADISON -- The Diocese of Madison is exploring developing a partnership with the Diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga in Ghana through the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Global Solidarity Partnership Program.

The program seeks to build direct and meaningful relationships between groups of parishes and people in the United States with parishes and people outside of U.S. borders.

"In these relationships opportunities are created to work for justice, build solidarity, and provide mutual understanding as well as faith sharing and learning," said J. Mark Brinkmoeller, director of the Diocese of Madison's Office for Justice and Peace.

The Office for Justice and Peace spearheaded the program here along with the Justice and Peace Committee of the diocesan Presbyteral Council. "The mechanism or bridge for the link is the CRS program in place in specific countries."

CRS staff in the partner country provide lines of communication through which U.S. parishioners and their partners abroad get to know one another, pray together, create a common agenda, and advance local development projects. Meeting face-to-face creates a depth of mutual understanding. CRS helps diocese-to-diocese relationships get started and then assists as needed.

CRS has been working in Ghana since 1958. During the first 10 years, the program focused on general relief, but since 1968 it has focused on children's health and education levels and improving food security. It also works in the following areas: agriculture, health, small enterprise development, justice, peace, HIV/AIDS, and emergency relief. CRS currently has over 160 staff working in Ghana.

For more information on the Global Solidarity Partnership Program, contact the Office for Justice and Peace, phone 608-821-3086 or e-mail:

See special report in the print edition of The Catholic Herald for more details.

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Diocese: Reduces work force

MADISON -- The Diocese of Madison recently reduced its work force by five full-time positions and two part-time positions, representing approximately 10 percent of its work force.

The reductions occurred in the diocesan central offices located at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center and the Department of Cemeteries.

Investment income shortfalls were the primary reasons for the reductions in our work force, said Greg Keller, director of the Diocese of Madison's Office of Finance.

"We cut everything we could from other items while increasing this year's Diocesan Services Appeal by 11 percent but it got to the point where we had no other recourse. There was just no other way to close the gap," said Keller. "Last year we did not raise the Diocesan Services Appeal at all, knowing that times were hard and everyone was feeling the effects of a down economy. Unfortunately 12 months later, the picture got worse instead of better. Seventy-five percent of our expenses are salary/benefit related."

The decisions were made by members of the Diocese of Madison's Corporate Board acting as the finance council of the diocese.

"Reductions like these are never easy. People's lives and families are affected," said Keller. "We tried to focus on administrative areas where services to parishes won't be greatly impacted. Hopefully these changes will make our organization more efficient by making us work more closely together, help each other out more, and make us stronger as we go forward."

The remaining employees will experience reductions in their life, health, and retirement benefits as well.

The diocese is not immune to the difficult economic environment everyone is facing, said Keller. "We must realize our responsibility to be good stewards of the funds and assets given to us to manage."

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Archbishop Dolan:
In address to legislators emphasizes civility

photo of Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan addressing State Legislature

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee addresses the State Legislature at the State Capitol in Madison. (Catholic Herald photo by Julianne Nornberg)

MADISON -- It was with resounding applause and standing ovations that Archbishop Timothy Dolan was received when he addressed the State Legislature as a guest speaker at the Capitol March 18.

With a powerful message emphasizing civility - something "we all agree that our society desperately needs" - Dolan brought together Republicans and Democrats alike on a common issue.

"Your welcome to me this morning proves that, while we all defend the constitutional principle of separation of church and state, we reaffirm as well the American heritage that religion and morality have a cherished place in the public square."

We also reaffirm that "religion, morality, and the churches have had a defining role to play in all the great dramas of our nation's history, from independence itself, to abolition, civil rights, respect for life, and, so timely this morning, to war and peace," said Dolan.

Civility is 'cement'

Stressing that civility is "the cement that keeps a respectful, trusting, productive society and community focused and fruitful," Dolan noted the three foundations of civility: self respect, respect for others, and a common sense conclusion that society "can only survive, prosper, and fulfill its purpose if it is well-ordered by virtue and responsibility."

He pointed out that "a civil person is deferential and sensitive to those in need, especially the weak, the sick, the elderly, the poor, the handicapped, the young, the defenseless."

A civil person is also hospitable, temperate, and honest, he said.

"Religious leaders and lawmakers have something in common with each other and with the people we serve," said Dolan. "We are all made of clay. Some days we are saints, some days sinners."

Civility also means gratitude, he noted.

"Gratitude is the insurance for civility in this era of entitlement, where we are told to watch out only for number one, where we are led to believe that we have everything coming to us, where we are tempted to ask what others can do for us instead of what we can do for them; that God, country, society, church owe us something but can expect nothing from us in return; where privacy, pleasure, and convenience seem the only inalienable rights," he said.

All built on civility

"Of all the things I could have spoken about to such a prominent group of leaders . . . and here I speak on something as simple as civility? You bet I do," said Dolan, who had to pause momentarily as legislators stood and applauded.

"I speak with much conviction, because if we lose this - and we're in danger of doing so - we'll lose our noble battles on all those other towering challenges. Sometimes we can't do much about all those other issues, but we can always do something about courtesy and civility. Sometimes more important than what we do is how we do it."

Legislators stood and applauded at the conclusion of Dolan's address. The archbishop was well received afterward, with many legislators standing in line to greet him and have their photos taken with him.

Positive reaction

The reaction of the legislators indicated that Dolan's address was uplifting and set the right tone for those making difficult decisions, said John Huebscher, executive director of the Wisconsin Catholic Conference.

"The archbishop forcefully affirmed values Catholics have that non-Catholics find encouraging, and he was sensitive to the fact that not everyone is Catholic. The legislators' response went beyond polite applause," he said.

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