VERONA -- George Stein of Verona, a local photographer who was active in parish and diocesan activities, died July 10.
Visitation was held at Joyce-Ryan Verona Funeral Home on Monday, July 12, and at St. Andrew Church, Verona, on Tuesday, July 13. A Mass of Christian Burial followed at 11 a.m. July 13. Concelebrants included Father Timmerman; Fr. Lawrence Kieffer, chaplain of Knights of Columbus Council 531; and Fr. Jay Poster, longtime friend of the family.
Stein served on the first board of directors for Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Madison and he was the photographer for the Catholic Herald from its inception through the mid-1950s. He was a past Grand Knight of Madison Council 531 in the Knights of Columbus, past Faithful Navigator of the Bishop O'Connor 4th Degree General Assembly, and a former district deputy. He was the first non-veteran to be honored by the Wisconsin War Veterans as their Catholic Man of the Year, and by the Wisconsin State Council Knights of Columbus with the Dr. C.W. Henney Memorial Award.
He was a member of the choirs of Holy Redeemer Parish in Madison and St. Andrew Parish in Verona. He also served as the volunteer choir director at St. Andrew Parish for more than 20 years. He and his wife, Bernadine, were members of the Madison Diocesan Choir for 20 years.
Apostolate to Handicapped outing
WISCONSIN DELLS -- The Apostolate to the Handicapped announces its 37th annual summer day for the handicapped at Wisconsin Dells will be held on Friday, Aug. 20.
As in the past 30 years, the invitation includes admission to the Tommy Bartlett Water Show. Tom Diehl, president of the show, and the entire staff of entertainers and workers go "all out" to make the apostolate welcome and comfortable.
The day will begin with an 11 a.m. Mass offered on the water show stage. Msgr. Thomas Campion, apostolate director, and about 20 other priests will concelebrate this Mass in God's beautiful "cathedral" of the great outdoors of the Lake Delton area at the Dells.
A box lunch will be served after the Mass. Then guests will watch the world famous Tommy Bartlett Water Show.
All handicapped and elderly persons are invited to come to this day, held rain or shine. Reservations may be made by writing Monsignor Campion at Box 443, Monroe, WI 53556. Transportation will be furnished when possible.
There is no cost to any handicapped persons as expenses are paid by the "Friends of the Apostolate." Hundreds of volunteers work to make the day possible: drivers, nurses, lunch providers, wheel chair assistants, all helpers join with the people of the Tommy Bartlett Water Show to assure the safety and comfort of every guest.
SUN PRAIRIE -- The Office of Worship is hosting a Choral Music Reading Session on Tuesday, Aug. 3, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at St. Albert the Great Parish in Sun Prairie.
The session is designed for choir directors, organists, liturgists, pastors, and all who work
to plan music for the parish musical ensembles. Choir members also are welcome to come and sing.
The music has been selected to help planners find music that they can use in the upcoming
liturgical year. Music for Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, Ordinary Time, the Liturgy of the Hours, and other occasions and rituals has been selected.
There is no registration fee, but pre-registration by July 27 is required. Each participant
will receive a free packet of music. There is a limit of four free packets per parish. More than four singers may come from a parish, but they may need to share music.
St. Albert the Great Parish is air conditioned and wheelchair accessible. For information about the session or to register, call the Office of Worship at 608-821-3080 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteers plan benefit for family
CLINTON -- With cooperation and sharing of their time and talents, a large number of volunteers are working together to make possible the Dick Boudreau Family Benefit Saturday, July 17, at St. Stephen Family Center.
The public is invited to the event that promises activities, fun, and friendship for everyone.
The benefit begins with a golf tournament taking place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Turtle Greens Golf Course. From 3 p.m. until 10 p.m., the Parish Family Center provides the setting for silent and live auctions, cash raffle, music, Kid's Corner, bake sale, food, and refreshments.
Dick Boudreau and his family are members of St. Stephen's parish family. Dick has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that has spread to his liver. He has been without work and his wife, Jean, and family need support and financial help, according to organizers of the event.
General chairs for the benefit are Janet and Chuck Statton. They may be contacted for information at 608-363-8390.
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St. Mary Parish, Pine Bluff: Celebrates 150 years of faith
PINE BLUFF -- "It looks to me like the faith is alive and well here," Bishop Robert C. Morlino told the people of St. Mary Parish in Pine Bluff.
He visited the parish on Sunday, June 27, for the celebration of its 150th anniversary. "I
want to congratulate you from the bottom of my heart on 150 years, symbolized by this beautiful church. You and your forefathers are the living stones," said Bishop Morlino.
Making people free
In his homily, the bishop said 150 years of faith means "150 years of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit at work in this lovely community of Pine Bluff making people free."
The bishop explained that freedom in our culture is "reduced to something pretty trivial." He cited a television commercial for a Humvee vehicle, which has a voice saying, "We'll make you free."
But Bishop Morlino said real freedom is not the freedom to do anything we want. It's not the freedom to "do wrong and violate the right order of things."
It is Jesus who really makes us free instead of being slaves to sin.
The bishop discussed the Sunday readings, including the stories of Abraham and Isaac and
Elijah and Elisha. These stories show the freedom that comes from Jesus Christ: "the freedom to sacrifice a son; to sever family ties; the freedom to be a hero, not ordinary; the freedom to be a saint, not mediocre.
"Jesus will not allow anything to happen to us, as he didn't allow Abraham to kill Isaac."
Bishop Morlino said this is not "trivial freedom. It's certainly not the freedom to do wrong. It's the freedom to be a saint.
"That's what Jesus has been doing here for 150 years, building saints, little by little.
"What's really joyful and hopefully is that he'll be building saints for 25, 50, and 100 years. He'll meet people at St. Mary of Pine Bluff and make them saints.
"For all the grace and saints who've been, thanks. For all the grace and saints that there
will be, yes, amen. Let's not be afraid to be truly free. Let's never be afraid to be saints," urged the bishop.
German, Irish ancestors
Fr. Jim Bartylla, outgoing pastor, welcomed the bishop along with parishioners and guests who filled the church, built in 1888.
He noted that the sanctuary includes statues of both St. Patrick and St. Boniface. They are representative of the Irish and German heritage of the founders of the parish.
Instead of building two churches as many other communities were doing 150 years ago, the
people of Pine Bluff built one. "They used to sit on each side," quipped Father Bartylla. "Now they sit together. It's a wonderful parish."
He welcomed Fr. Rick Heilman, who would become the new pastor on June 30. Also concelebrating was Fr. Tom Coyle, pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish, Jefferson, a priest-son of the parish.
Others involved in the 150th anniversary Mass included:
Larry Smith and Mary Lou Riphahn - readers
Audrey Zander - general intercessions
Rita and Joe Haack and Betty and Harold Krantz - gift bearers
Jim Connors, Mary Ann Connors, and Tom Mescher - extraordinary ministers
Dan Bennett, Ken Esser, and Kevin Latzke - acolytes
St. Mary's Choir under the direction of Dave Zoromski and Greg Burnard - music
Bev and Bill Herriges - greeters
Parish dates to 1854
The history of the parish dates back to 1854. The first log church was built for a cost of $200 and was dedicated on the Feast of the Assumption, Aug. 15, 1854.
The first pastor of St. Mary's was Fr. Maximillian Gaertner. It took him four hours to get from St. Raphael Cathedral in Madison to Pine Bluff by horse.
When the first St. Mary Church was dedicated 150 years ago, the marriage of Maria Kalscheur and John Birrenkott took place on the same day. Marriages - as well as baptisms, First Communions, Confirmations, and funerals - continue to be important community-wide events.
The parish's first building commission included three Germans and three Irish. St. Mary
Parish continues to be a mixture of Irish and German descendants, along with many others.
The annual parish picnic - started early in the parish's history - remains the chief fund-raising activity. All members of the parish cooperate to prepare the dinner and operate games and booths. (This year's festival will be the weekend of Aug. 7 and 8.)
Education has always been an important part of the parish. A teacher held classes in the
church basement as early as 1861. By 1868, the School Sisters of St. Francis from Milwaukee conducted classes and staffed the first school, built in 1882.
The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity from Manitowoc and the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi from Milwaukee also staffed the school for several years. The School Sisters of St. Francis took over the staffing in 1924 until the school closed in 1969.
Religious education at St. Mary is now planned to give everyone from children through adults an opportunity to increase their knowledge of the faith.
Many priests have served the people of St. Mary's, beginning with the missionary, Fr. Adalbert Inama, who offered the first Mass in Pine Bluff in 1852 at the home of John Kalscheur.
One of the more colorful pastors was Fr. Joseph Braig, who served from 1959 to 1964. An accomplished mountain climber, Father Braig once celebrated Mass at the top of Mt. McKinley. He put his climbing skills to use by painting the St. Mary's church steeple and trimming the large trees around the rectory. He also piloted a plane, managed the Home Talent league team, and joined the Cross Plains fire department.
St. Mary's has grown from the 40-some parishioners who gathered at its founding celebration 150 years ago. It continues to be a close-knit group of people, diversified from being a farming community to a mixture of farmers, business people, and others, some of whom work in Madison and commute to the pleasant town of Pine Bluff.
St. Mary Parish is now linked with St. Ignatius Parish in Mt. Horeb.
St. Joseph, Baraboo:
Celebrates church renovation/expansion
BARABOO -- A new electronic organ at St. Joseph Church here entoned the songs of the day on Sunday, July 4, as the sun flickered through the new stained glass portrait of the Holy Family and dozens of other Christian images in colored glass.
Bishop George O. Wirz, bishop emeritus, sprinkled holy water on the crowd and the old and new portions of the building, adding several prayers and a homily.
Pastor Fr. Larry Bakke extended his praise for the renovated facility along with thanks to the many people involved in the construction project completed in time for the Easter Saturday services.
There was a significant need for more seating in the church. The renovation and expansion project is taking care of that. St. Joe's, as it is better known, added 200 seats to the former facility's 350.
The dedication ceremonies coincided with the 100th anniversary of the original dedication of the church building in 1904, to the exact day of the year. A century earlier the pastor, Fr. John Durward, said, "This holiday has now become a holy day."
Bishop Wirz reiterated that quote, saying, "Your faith verifies that you are building a new foundation in a new millennium for future generations. Today's celebration of the renovation and expansion shows the monumental genius of Father Durward and the hundreds of you. God reward you all."
St. Joe's was regularly full with the 4 p.m. Saturday Mass and three Masses on Sunday. Diocesan directives recommend only two Masses for priests on Sunday, and St. Joe's complied in the past several months.
With the shortage and aging of priests nationwide, the need for more seating was made very evident to the parish. Plans had been in progress for almost three years, with one option to extend the sanctuary 27 feet eastward. Huge dollar signs thwarted that plan.
The new plan called for a 4,426-square-foot addition to the south side of the church; that is what has materialized.
The expansion includes a gathering space (lobby) for better pedestrian flow, new restrooms that had previously been in the rectory next door, a new kitchenette, and moving the Eucharistic chapel, sacristy, and reconciliation room from the present church to the new addition. This all helped increase the seating from 300 to 500.
Part of this renovation included removing the former pipe organ from the choir loft and donating it to a local arts group. A new electronic organ was installed in the new choir area where the former chapel was located.
The basement of the new addition will remain unfinished, as a fellowship hall will eventually be constructed when funds become available. The present renovation and expansion cost $2.1 million.
"It makes visible the goals of our lives," Bishop Wirz said. "St. Joseph's is one of the most beautiful churches in the diocese because of the artistic design of the building. It has stood as an exceptional beacon in the community for 100 years. I'm certain the renovation and expansion assures its purpose for future generations."
Father Bakke noted, "St. Joe's continues to be an expression of the ever expanding faith and growth of God's people in this area. The parish is a symbol of the rock solid church that provides such grace for all of us. The old and new church is practical and functional and is aesthetically beautiful as the art of the beauty of God's creation."
Pray for vocations
Today the world is wont to highlight for the Church the shortage of priests and a crisis of vocations.
We can turn at most any time to Dateline, 60 Minutes, the BBC, The New York Times, Newsweek, etc., and see any number of talking heads, both within the Church and without, either speaking with various levels of hyperbole or spewing outright nonsense regarding what the Church ought to do.
It is a veritable storm that has always surrounded the Church of God. Thus we find a great lesson in the story of Peter walking on water (Matt. 14:28-33). For when Peter looks upon the Lord Jesus, he walks upon the stormy sea; only when he looks down at the water does Peter begin to sink and must cry out, "Lord, save me!"
The lesson and the experience is as real for us today as it was for Peter then because Jesus is present to us now as He was then. And for all of the symbolic and analogous ways we can speak of the presence of Jesus Christ, we must ultimately refer back to His personal presence in the Eucharist, which He has left for us until the end of time.
Source and summit
One of the most repeated teachings of the Second Vatican Council is that the Eucharist is the "source and summit of the Christian life." In this teaching we see the obvious and intimate connection between the Eucharist and vocations.
As the source of the Christian life, the Eucharist is where and in whom the Christian finds the way in which he or she is to live out the baptismal call. As the summit of the Christian life, the Eucharist is the moment, the place, and the person where Christians deepen their faith, hope, and charity. Therefore, we should always seek to go to the Eucharist whenever possible, wherever possible.
Gift of the Eucharist
The Eucharist, the Blessed Sacrament, is the person of Jesus Christ, who suffered, who died, and who is risen. The Blessed Sacrament, at every Mass, in every tabernacle, exposed in
every monstrance, is the one Jesus Christ, present to us. What an amazing gift, what a personal gift!
Because the Eucharist is such a personal gift, because it is the person of Jesus, who is with us until the end the age (Matt. 28:20), the way in which He leaves us the Eucharist makes a lot of sense.
There is no Eucharist without the sacramental priesthood. To leave the Church the gift of the Eucharist, Jesus Christ called men, and still calls men today, by name to be priests. The Lord calls men to be priests and makes them into icons of Himself; thus they are called to unite themselves to the suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ in a particular way.
This is seen most clearly in the primary functions of a priest: zealous preaching, continuous prayer for his people, and offering the sacrifice of the Mass, all of which are deeply personal acts. But, to see this great call, to see this great mystery, a person must look to Christ - we must look to the Eucharist.
Every vocation - priestly, religious, married, single - is written on the very heart of Jesus Christ, in whom dwells the fullness of the divine life. When we say, "God has a plan for you," this is not some schmaltzy Hallmark one-liner. It is the truth! To find your vocation is to embrace the Cross, which is our joy, our hope, that in which we boast (Gal. 6:14).
Every Christian must form their life to the Cross, but the way a married man does that is different from the way a religious woman does it. Since Jesus Christ is the key to a person's
vocation, to one's joy and happiness in life, everyone must go to the Lord and say to Him, "Speak, Lord, your servant is listening" (1 Samuel 3:10).
Here we see the great importance of Eucharistic Adoration. Christ Jesus has a word to speak to each one of us; for those who have not yet discovered our vocation, He will reveal it to us; for those of us who have found our vocation, He will deepen our zeal and strengthen our weakness.
Likewise, it is most definitely an act of true charity to take the time to come before the presence of the Lord and pray that others will find their vocation in life and ask God to raise up zealous and holy priests and religious to serve the Church. We can see this
bear practical fruit, for it is seen all over the country, wherever there is adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, especially Perpetual Adoration, there is an increase in the number of religious vocations and strong marriages.
It is in this spirit that the seminarians are sponsoring an hour of Adoration before the noon Mass at the Bishop O'Connor Center on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, to pray for a deepening of holiness in our own lives and in the life of the Diocese of Madison.
Now is an important moment in the life of our diocese and in the whole Church to foster prayer and devotion before the Blessed Sacrament and to pray for vocations.
Pope John Paul II has declared a "Eucharistic Year" beginning in October, which signals a great opportunity to strengthen - in our personal lives, our families, our parishes, and our diocese - adoration of the Eucharist.
There is nothing but joy, strength, consolation, mercy, and zeal waiting for us when we go to meet Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Keeping our eyes on the Lord is the only way, and from Him we can do all things.
Eric Sternberg is a seminarian studying for the Diocese of Madison. He is from St.
Aloysius Parish, Sauk City.