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MADISON -- A four-week "Moving Through Grief" series will be offered on Wednesdays, April 14 and 21 and May 5 and 12, with a group reunion on June 9. Each session will be from 7 to 9 p.m. in St. Dennis Chapel, 505 Dempsey Rd.
Sessions, facilitated by members of the St. Dennis Bereavement Ministry Team, include team presentations, prayer, small group discussion, handouts, and refreshments. There is no fee but attendance is limited.
To register, contact the St. Dennis office at 608-246-5124 by April 7. For more information
on the series, contact Kathy Saunders at 608-222-9558 or Darlene or Duane Woldt at 608-222-2125.
MONROE -- The Volunteen program is an opportunity for middle school, high school, and college students, ages 12 and up, to gain experience by volunteering four-plus hours per week. Orientation will take place Monday, April 5, from 8:30 until 10 a.m. in the New Glarus Rooms at the Monroe Clinic-Hospital.
To register, call Rosemary Simonson, 608-324-1569, or e-mail: rosemary.simonson@themonroe
clinic.org with name, address, and phone number so the clinic can mail out parental consent immunization forms. Signed forms should be brought to the orientation.
Infant/child CPR course
MADISON -- A Family and Friends: Infant and Child CPR Course will be held on the following dates from 6 to 8:30 p.m.: Monday, April 5; Wednesday, April 14; Monday, April 19; and Wednesday, April 28, at St. Marys Hospital, 707 S. Mills St., Madison. Pre-registration is required by calling 608-824-4400 or 1-800-368-5596.
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, April 1, at Our Lady Queen of Peace nursery, 401 S. Owen Dr. For information, call Paul at 608-862-3613.
New Directions will not meet on April 8, Holy Thursday, but will meet from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 22, at St. Dennis Parish Center, 413 Dempsey Rd., top floor. For information, call 608-821-3170.
MADISON -- Interested in adoption? Catholic Charities staff will hold a free orientation on their infant and international services on Monday, April 19, from 5 to 6 p.m. at Catholic Charities, 426 S. Yellowstone Dr., Suite 100.
Register by April 15 by calling 608-833-4800 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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Parish Staff Day: 'Mass is best thing we can do to save world'
MADISON -- Mass is the best thing we can do to save the world, Bishop Robert C. Morlino told nearly 225 participants at Parish Staff Day.
Sponsored by the Diocese of Madison's Office of Pastoral Services, the special day was
held March 18 at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center.
It began with morning prayer at which Bishop Morlino presided. During the service, the bishop asked participants to pause in remembrance of Joe Zaiman, a science teacher from Edgewood High School in Madison who was killed in a car accident the day before.
Response to God
During his keynote address entitled "How Does the Church Serve and Save the World?", Bishop Morlino said, "The Mass is the work of the people in response to God. The Liturgy is not magic. It is a reaching out by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, to which we respond."
The bishop described the importance of the parts of the Mass. For example, when we sign ourselves in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we must be mindful of what an important action that is.
"Do we allow that to call forth the contemplative in us or do we miss it every time?" he asked, noting how we often can get distracted during Mass. To decrease these distractions and enter Mass with contemplative openness, we should get to Mass early.
"We have to be ready to hear the Word," he said.
When listening to the Word, we must keep in mind that although the words of the readings are the same, "we're not the same," he said. "This is God reaching out to us and we're different every time we hear that Word."
Then, during the Creed, God pulls us back to Himself as we proclaim words that are true and mystical.
In the Eucharistic prayer, God brings us to heaven, said the bishop, noting that the angels, saints, and souls in purgatory are there with us at Mass.
'Christ is among us'
The second time God reaches out to us is during Holy Communion.
Bishop Morlino emphasized that the Sign of Peace is meant as a symbolic prayerful reminder that Christ is among us.
"Its whole purpose is to prepare us with reverence to receive the Body of Christ," so it is important to help each other be more reverent, he said.
God pulls us back to himself for the final time at the end of Mass, when the priest says, "Mass is ended. Go in peace." In this way, God is saying, "Go out there now and lead the world to heaven," said the bishop.
Ensuring safe environment
MADISON -- Parish Staff Day workshops offered information regarding the Diocese of Madison's Policy Regarding Abuse of Minors, Sexual Misconduct, and Sexual Harassment as well as VIRTUSTM and the Protecting God's Children Program.
Keep goal in mind
Msgr. Paul J. Swain, vicar general, said, "We need to keep in mind our goal and purpose: to ensure a safe environment for all."
He said the Policy Regarding Abuse of Minors, Sexual Misconduct, and Sexual Harassment will be distributed in booklet form to parishes in the near future. Anyone who has access to children at the parish will have to sign a form indicating he or she has read and will follow the policy booklet. Pastors will then keep these forms on file.
"If a person refuses to do that, they are saying they can't be employed by or volunteer for the church," said Monsignor Swain.
Those covered by the policy include: all individuals paid by the diocese, parish, school, agency, or institution; volunteers who assume the responsibilities of employees; and volunteers with regular or significant or unsupervised contact with or access to children.
The last category will require some judgment calls, said Monsignor Swain, but if we err, we should err on the side of people covered by this policy.
Regarding background checks, Monsignor Swain said the U.S. Bishops' national Office of
Child and Youth Protection will come up with guidelines.
"Background screening is a tool and not an end in itself," he said, noting that anyone
employed by the church will need to have a new background check.
Planning for future
Kate Wiskus, diocesan VIRTUSTM coordinator, said the diocese will ask parishes to send in their plan for the next year on how they will implement training in the Protecting God's Children Program.
In the future there will be a follow-up program designed for families and children to become more sensitized to abuse.