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June 26, 2003 Edition

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This week:
Clergy sexual abuse bill: Introduced in Wisconsin
Events in the Diocese of Madison
Catholic Herald summer publication schedule
News Briefs

News Briefs:
Fr. Horath celebrates
40th jubilee

FENNIMORE -- Fr. George B. Horath, pastor of St. Mary Parish in Fennimore and St. Lawrence O'Toole Parish in Mt. Hope, celebrated his 40th jubilee of his ordination on May 25, at the 8 and 10:30 a.m. Masses at St. Mary Church in Fennimore.

His reception will be held Sunday, June 29, after the 10:30 a.m. Mass in the St. Mary Church hall.

Born Oct. 4, 1935 to Mary and William Horath in Chicago, Ill., he attended Little Flower Elementary School and Christ the King School. He went to St. Ignatius Jesuit High School.

He has a sister, Mary Jo Boyle, and two brothers, Fr. Jim Horath, pastor at St. Francis Xavier, Merrill, and Fr. Bill Horath, pastor at St. Theresa, Three Lakes, both in the Superior Diocese with whom he will be concelebrating Mass on June 29.

After completing his seminary studies at St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee, he was ordained May 25, 1963 by Bishop William P. O'Connor in Madison. He celebrated his first Mass at Christ the King Church in Chicago on May 25.

Father Horath served at St. John the Baptist in Princeton for two years, five years at St. John the Baptist in Jefferson, and four years at St. Dennis in Madison.

In late November of 1974 he came to St. Mary in Fennimore and the mission of St. Lawrence O'Toole, Mt. Hope.

Adult retreat
weekend opportunity

MADISON -- All adults in the Diocese of Madison are invited to an Adult Retreat Weekend Opportunity sponsored by the diocesan Office of Pastoral Services.

The weekend will be held from 8 a.m. on Saturday, July 12, through 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 13, at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, 702 S. High Point Rd., Madison.

The theme of the retreat is "Praying with Scripture."

The facilitator of the retreat is Fr. Robert L. Schoenstene, assistant professor of the Department of Biblical Exegesis and Proclamation, University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein Seminary, Mundelein, Ill.

Cost for the weekend includes three options:

• $130 for one night's lodging, all meals, and retreat fees;

• $85 for retreat fees and meals only;

• $50 for retreat fees only.

To register for the Adult Retreat Weekend, contact the Office of Pastoral Services, 702 S. High Point Rd., P.O. Box 44983, Madison, WI 53744-4983; phone: 608-821-3083; e-mail: Registration deadline is July 7.

St. Clare Hospital dedicates healing garden

BARABOO -- After over two years of planning and construction and more than $150,000 received in contributions from nearly 500 supporters, the new St. Clare Healing Garden is formally opened and celebrated.

The garden was dedicated on June 24 at St. Clare Hospital and Health Services. The evening included a brief program and blessing of the garden, enhanced by the music of the waterfall and of harp, flute, and guitar.

"Our goal in developing the Healing Garden was to provide a serene and lovely location for patients, visitors, staff, and community to retreat for the revitalization of mind, body, and spirit - a place for healing in all its manifestations," explained Dr. Brad Schnee, who spearheaded this first major St. Clare Heath Care Foundation project. "We hope that many will benefit from the healing properties of nature found in the garden."

For more information about the St. Clare Healing Garden, contact St. Clare Health Care Foundation Director Keri Olson at 608-356-1449.

Support groups
for divorced, separated

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, June 26, 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, July 3, at Our Lady Queen of Peace nursery, 401 S. Owen Dr. For information, call 608-821-3170.

File of Life can save lives

MIDDLETON -- Every second counts when emergency services personnel need to know a person's medical history. The File of Life is one way to get EMTs this information, even if a person is unconscious.

The File of Life is a quick medical history that is kept on the refrigerator. The card is kept in a red plastic pocket and lists pertinent information about the patient, family contacts, drug allergies, medical history, and insurance information. The entire pocket is then kept on the refrigerator with a magnet.

The Middleton Senior Center, 7448 Hubbard Ave., the Middleton VFW, and the Middleton Triad Group are distributing the File of Life free to seniors.

For further information, contact Laura Lauger at the Middleton Senior Center, 608-831-2373.

Clergy sexual abuse bill: Introduced in Wisconsin

MADISON -- In response to the scandals involving the sexual abuse of children by clergy, bipartisan legislation has been introduced to require members of Wisconsin's clergy to become mandatory reporters, according to state Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and state Representative Peggy Krusick (D-Milwaukee), the authors of the bill.

"After over a year's worth of discussion with victim's groups, religious organizations, and Wisconsin law enforcement, we are introducing a bill that will substantially improve upon Wisconsin's current law," said Darling.

"This bill will hold clergy and churches legally accountable for their actions and helps keep children out of harm's way," said Krusick.

Bill's provisions

The bill's provisions include:

• Putting clergy on the list of mandatory reporters of sexual abuse of a child. This means clergy will be required, by law, to report any suspected case of sexual abuse. Under current law, they are not required to make these reports.

• Increasing the statutes of limitation for civil and criminal prosecution of clergy abuse incidents. This will allow the victims of abuse more time to come forward with their claims against clergy.

• Creating a civil cause of action against religious organizations. This will clarify current law to clearly hold churches legally responsible for any unreported abuse.

After seeking cosponsors, Darling and Krusick believe the bill will receive public hearings later this summer and then will be up for final passage in both houses this fall.

Wisconsin Catholic Conference

John Huebscher, executive director of the Wisconsin Catholic Conference, commented on the legislation:

"Nine years ago, the Catholic Conference endorsed adding clergy to the list of mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect. We reaffirm that commitment. Indeed, our diocesan policies have directed clergy to report for some time.

"The provisions of the bill pertaining to a civil cause of action for sexual misconduct by clergy offer helpful clarity to victims and others regarding action or inaction that constitutes negligent supervision.

"The extension of the statute of limitations in the draft is reasonable. Victims whose claims are still actionable will have more time to seek justice in criminal and civil courts. But the extension is limited so that claims are not brought so long after the fact that finding the truth is not feasible. The bill reflects constitutional law regarding past actions.

"It is important to emphasize that legal requirements do not exhaust moral obligations. Where our pastoral practice is concerned, the civil law is a floor not a ceiling. The bishops are committed to the vision and ethic of the Charter on the Protection of Children and Young People adopted last year. The Charter commits us to reach out in efforts to heal those wounded by clergy misconduct and to restore trust in the Catholic Church's will and capacity to face up to the problems of clergy and others who abuse children and youth.

"Senator Darling and Representative Krusick are to be commended for their thorough efforts to craft a bill that improves Wisconsin law in this sensitive area."

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Events in the Diocese of Madison

Schoenstatt Shrine, Madison

MADISON -- Members of the Schoenstatt Movement are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Schoenstatt Shrine with a celebration on Sunday, June 29. Everyone is invited.

Bishop Emeritus William H. Bullock will preside at a 2 p.m. outdoor Mass at Schoenstatt Heights, 5901 Cottage Grove Rd. The procession for Mass will include the Knights of Columbus and banners of different Schoenstatt groups from Madison.

A reception will follow Mass allowing those attending time to eat, pray in the shrine, and look at displays on the history of the shrine and the work of the Schoenstatt members. A 4:30 p.m. program will include testimonies of people who will share what the shrine means to them. A PowerPoint presentation will examine the history and activity of the shrine today.

Bishop Bullock will give the blessing at a 5:30 p.m. crowning of the picture of Mary in the shrine, assisted by the diocesan leader couple, Barbara and Jeff Brochtrup.

St. Joseph Parish, Rio

RIO -- St. Joseph Parish, 514 Lincoln Ave., will celebrate 100 years as a faith community on Sunday, June 29.

The celebration will begin with a 10 a.m. Mass at which Auxiliary Bishop George O. Wirz will preside.

A meal will follow in the church basement and pictures and historical information will be on display. Commemorative Christmas ornaments and a 100th anniversary booklet will be on sale.

St. Joseph Parish, Baraboo

BARABOO -- A groundbreaking ceremony for a church expansion project recently took place at St. Joseph Parish here.

Bishop Emeritus William H. Bullock presided at the Mass preceding the groundbreaking ceremony.

The church expansion project will provide additional seating, bathrooms in the church itself, a Blessed Sacrament chapel large enough for daily Mass, and a basement with an elevator to facilitate large gatherings for youth activities, funeral lunches, and other events. A cry room and reconciliation room will be created in the current gathering space as well.

The cost of the project is approximately $1.9 million. The architect is Plunkett Raysich of Madison. The general contractor is Kraemer Brothers of Plain. Excavation began June 23. The project is expected to be completed by Easter of 2004.

St. Thomas Parish, Poynette

POYNETTE -- Bishop William H. Bullock recently consecrated the new altar in St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Poynette. God's creations of wood and stone have now replaced the laminated altar that has been central to the St. Thomas sanctuary since 1969.

The altar, made from the wood of a cherry tree in Columbia County, was constructed to complement the tones of the church's interior. The new altar and sanctuary furnishings are the result of the four-way collaboration of Fr. Raymond J. Dischler, pastor; parishioners Franceen Heeren, a designer; Bill See, a craftsman; and Fr. Kent A. Schmitt, representing Dr. Patrick Gorman, diocesan director of worship.

The sanctuary now includes the coordinated presider's chair, acolyte benches, kneelers, candle holders, offertory table, banners, and altar cloths. The whole process from inception to completion took almost two years and hundreds of hours of work for both Heeren and See.

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Diocese of Madison, The Catholic Herald
Offices: Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, 702 S. High Point Road, Madison
Mailing address: P.O. Box 44985, Madison, WI 53744-4985
Phone: 608-821-3070     Fax: 608-821-3071     E-Mail:

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