Most recent issue Past issues Local/State News National/World News
The Catholic Herald: Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Madison

May 13, 2004 Edition   •   Volume 134, No. 19   •   Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A.

 Search this site:

Bishop Speaks
About Us

Artículos en Español:

The Catholic Herald
Mission Statement:

The Catholic Herald is the official newspaper of the Diocese of Madison. Its purpose is to inform and educate people of the Diocese through communications that proclaim Gospel values, report the news, and comment on issues as they pertain to the mission of the Catholic Church, which is to bring all in Jesus Christ to the Father.
map showing Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin in gold-orange

The Catholic Herald awards:

• Web edition: Catholic Press Association Best Web Site: Honorable Mention.

Award of Distinction, The Communicator Awards 2002 Print Media competition.

• Print edition: Award winner, Catholic Press Association 2003 awards competition.

Clergy changes: New assignments of priests in parishes throughout the Diocese of Madison effective June 30, 2004 are announced this week.

Priest Council:
Updated on sexual abuse prevention program

MADISON -- Priests were updated on implementation of the diocesan sexual abuse prevention program at the recent meeting of the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Madison.

Providing the update were Kate Wiskus, diocesan coordinator; John Miller, human resources director for the diocese; and Kevin Phelan, new chancellor for the diocese.

Bishop Robert C. Morlino introduced Phelan, noting his background in business and conflict management. The bishop said Phelan had experience in the Diocese of Helena in implementing the U.S. Bishops' Charter and Norms dealing with sexual abuse.

VIRTUS program

Wiskus said the Diocese of Madison contracted with the VIRTUS program to "provide awareness of child abuse and help parishes create and maintain safe environments."

So far, she said over 2,000 individuals have gone through awareness training and about 300 persons have been trained as facilitators. The facilitators can help put on training sessions for staff members and volunteers.

"We've encouraged all parish staff to be trained," said Wiskus.

Priests expressed support for the program. "People have been very complimentary and feel it's very, very good," said Msgr. Jim Gunn, Waunakee.

Background checks

Miller discussed the background check procedure. Background checks will be done at the diocesan office, but he said there should be someone who coordinates the checks at the parish level.

Only in the print edition ...
News & Features:

Retirement Living:
Special Section

Synod of Bishops:
Will focus on Eucharist

Iraqi prisoners: Vatican paper, bishops, others criticize abuse

Prison volunteer: Teaches inmates how to pray the rosary


• Making a Difference
by Tony Magliano --
Creation: Smelling the flowers

• Question Corner
by Fr. John Dietzen -- Questions:
What is the Holy See; status
of Blessed Kateri's sainthood

• The Pope Speaks
by Pope John Paul II -- Canticle:
Christ is at the center of the world

Subscribe to print edition

Miller said there has been some concern about old incidents surfacing in background checks. "I will look at all of them in terms of relevancy and approval will come back to the parish," he said, noting that the background checks themselves will not be seen by people at the parish.

Phelan said that background checks must be done on any paid employee of the diocese or parishes in active ministry as well as any volunteer who works regularly with children.

He said pastors will have the discretion and the responsibility to give the diocese the names for the checks. "Please be thorough," said Phelan. "We want to be focused on protecting every kid in the diocese."

Phelan said he will ensure that clear communication on background checks will be sent to priests. Bishop Morlino observed that the Diocese of Madison has a very good record. "But it shouldn't lead us to be less careful. You're doing something right. Let's keep it up."

Priestly life

Fr. Gary Krahenbuhl, Beloit, reported that a draft statement on the rights and responsibilities of priests accused of sexual misconduct has been prepared by the council's Priestly Life Committee.  Full story ...

Most recent issue           Past issues

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:

Web site created by Leemark Communications.