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July 31, 2003 Edition

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This week:
Camp Gray: Celebrates 50 years
Welcome to Madison, Bishop Robert Morlino
Camp Gray then and now
Catholic Herald summer publication schedule
News Briefs
New Since the Print Edition: Installation of Bishop Morlino

News Briefs:
Young adult
leadership training

MADISON -- Young adults of the Diocese of Madison have been attending Wednesday summer leadership training sessions from 7:15 to 8:15 a.m. at Blessed Sacrament Parish Center, 2116 Hollister Ave. The last sessions will be held July 30 and Aug. 6.

Presenter is Brad Klingele, director of adult evangelization, St. Aloysius Parish, Sauk City. The topic is "How to evangelize in non-threatening ways." Part I will be held July 30. Part II will be held Aug. 6.

For more information, contact Ben Weisse at Advanced sign-up is preferred but not required.

Support 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.

Friends on a Journey will meet from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7, 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, Aug. 14, at St. Dennis Parish Center, 413 Dempsey Rd., top floor. For information, call 608-821-3170.

commission training

MADISON -- The Diocese of Madison's Office of Pastoral Services is sponsoring training sessions for pastoral and finance council members, commission members, staff, and clergy.

All sessions will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.: Thursday, Aug. 7, at St. Clement Church, Lancaster; Wednesday, Aug. 13, at St. John Vianney Church, Janesville; Monday, Sept. 8, at St. John the Baptist Church, Montello; Tuesday, Sept. 9, at St. John the Baptist Church, Jefferson.

For more information, call 608-821-3083.

Camp Gray:
Celebrates 50 years

BARABOO -- "Camp Gray is always a place one can return to and call home."

Laura Sowinski's sentiments echo in the hearts of many who have attended Camp Gray, a Diocese of Madison-run Catholic camp located on 225 acres in the Baraboo area.

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This year Camp Gray celebrated its 50-year anniversary during its annual Founders' Day July 12.

'Warm spot in my heart'

Sowinski, a member of St. Albert the Great Parish in Sun Prairie, was one of the 75 people who attended the celebration.

She attended Camp Gray for the first time in 1979 when she was eight years old. After being a camper until she was 16, she then served as a counselor for three years. Her cousin is Fr. Larry Bakke, a former director of Camp Gray.

"Camp Gray has always had a warm spot in my heart," Sowinski said, noting how Camp Gray has grown and changed over the years. She plans for her own daughter, Sara, now only a few weeks old, to attend Camp Gray when she is old enough.

For Sowinski and so many others, the tradition of Camp Gray continues across the generations.

One Founders' Day attendee was Sandra Dunn, director of religious education at St. Patrick Parish, Cottage Grove, who has been involved with Camp Gray since her son, now 40, was eight. She remembers when the swimming pool was the pond, she said.

Other attendees included people such as Gwen and Jeff Kingston and their son, Thad, who has been coming to Camp Gray for 14 years and has been a counselor for the past three years. Gwen's parents, Pat and Ed Tourdot, were founders of Camp Gray.

Message of simplicity

Living simply is part of what children learn at Camp Gray.

Bishop Emeritus William H. Bullock emphasized this in his homily during the Founders' Day 50th anniversary Mass.

"As Jesus sent out his disciples and apostles, he said 'Bring a walking stick, no change of clothing.' It sounds like preparation for Camp Gray," the bishop said, remarking on the unique and powerful message in the values we learn from Camp Gray.

"When we come to Camp Gray we leave behind our designer clothes," he said, pointing out the sandals he wore as a "visual aid."

As a symbol of the kind of life we should live in a simple way, Bishop Bullock presented a wooden walking stick to John Karsten, chair of the Camp Gray Board of Directors, one who has shown his dedication and love for Camp Gray.

The bishop said in his move to his new apartment, he has discovered he has many "things," which he will donate to Camp Gray for a garage sale. The proceeds will go toward a capital campaign that is currently underway for Camp Gray. This was met with applause.

"What Camp Gray stands for is that we should live more simply than we do," he said. "We get encumbered and go beyond what we need. We need a walking stick and Camp Gray to show how beautifully you can live in healthy abandon."

Bishop Bullock asked those present to pick out things at their homes that they don't use, then donate them to Camp Gray for the annual garage sale.

He quoted Mother Teresa: "Live simply, that others may simply live."

"Let's carry our walking sticks, be simpler in our lifestyle, and give the world a better example of how to live more generously," he said.

Volunteer, founders

After Mass, participants gathered for a meal honoring the Luke 22:26 Volunteer of the Year Chad Bauer, youth minister at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Cross Plains, who has volunteered in various capacities for Camp Gray.

The Camp Gray Alumni Association also presented the camp with 11 photos in honor of Camp Gray founders, past directors, and staff members. Displayed in handmade wooden frames, the photos featured different eras of Camp Gray.

The photos were dedicated to: Msgr. Francis Xavier Gray, founder; Fr. Vincent Browne, director, 1954-58; Fr. Francis Schmidt, director, 1959-61; Fr. Kevin Cassidy, director, 1963-70; Fr. Bud Hollfelder, director, 1971-79; Fr. Larry Bakke, director, 1979-93; Jake Czarnik-Neimeyer, director, 1994-97; Phil DeLong, director, 1997-present; Ed and Pat Tourdot, founders; Helen Paquin, camp administrator, 1971-93; and Susan Wright, food service director, 1994-2002.

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Camp Gray then and now

BARABOO -- Camp Gray was founded in 1953 by Msgr. Francis Xavier Gray, pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Baraboo. He had a dream of a creating a camp where Boy Scouts "could enjoy nature and become acquainted with it firsthand."

Camp Gray began as a boys' camp, owned by St. Joseph Parish in Baraboo and directed by the parish priest. Four weeks of summer camp were offered and the counselors were diocesan seminarians.

In 1963 the Diocese of Madison purchased 125 more acres to add to the original 100-acre wooded tract of land. The diocese incorporated the camp in 1968. Gradually, several structures were added to the camp, such as the Chapel of St. Joseph, pool, pond, gym, open-air pavilion/ampitheatre, St. Vincent Retreat Center, outdoor chapel, and health center.

Camp Gray held the first summer session for girls in 1980 and its first co-ed session in 1984.

Accredited by the American Camping Association, Camp Gray now offers nine weeks of summer camp. Children from all over the Diocese of Madison and beyond come to have fun, build new skills, and learn more about their faith.

Staying at the camp for one-week or two-week sessions, campers range in ages from those going into first grade to those going into 12th grade.

After morning praise and prayer each day, campers work on different skill-building areas such as archery, arts and crafts, canoeing, swimming, fishing, field sports, nature, horseback riding, outdoor living skills, performance, and mountain biking.

Older campers may experience rustic camping in the Explorer Program; hiking, canoeing, or biking trips in the Voyageur Program; and working with horses in the Ranch Program. A Counselor-In-Training Program is offered to 12th graders.

Today, Camp Gray also serves as a retreat center year-round.

For more information on Camp Gray, visit or call 800-711-4729.

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