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September 30, 2004 Edition

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This week:
New spire: To crown St. Raphael Cathedral in Madison
Catechists: Commissioned at Centro Guadalupano
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News Briefs

News Briefs:
Archbishop Dolan
to give lecture

MADISON -- Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of Milwaukee, will give the next lecture in the St. Thérèse of Lisieux Lecture Series on Thursday, Nov. 11, at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center in Madison.

The event begins with evening prayer at 7 p.m. His lecture is entitled "Duc In Altum" ("Cast Out To The Deep"), which comes from the Greek text of Luke 5:4 and was the cornerstone of Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte in 2000. In his address, the archbishop will identify how Jesus calls his Church to sanctity, perfection, and heroic virtue.

Admission to the lecture is by ticket only. To reserve a free ticket contact the Office of Pastoral Services at 608-821-3083 or e-mail

Library Association conference

MILWAUKEE -- The Wisconsin Chapter of the Catholic Library Association (WCLA) presents its Annual Fall Conference on Thursday, Oct. 7.

The conference will take place at the Midwest Airlines Center in downtown Milwaukee from 7 a.m. registration through 3:30 p.m. closing. To meet the needs of school and academic librarians, plus administrators and aides, a total of five library related topics will be presented in four sessions.

Presentation topics will include: Web page design, book talks, fundraising how-tos, and book selection information. A special paperback book repair workshop will also be offered in two separate sessions. Vendor exhibits are also available.

Cost of the conference is $45 for non-members ($35 for members) who register by Oct. 1. Lunch and continental breakfast are included. At the door registrants will pay $50.

The book repair workshop will cost an additional fee of $6 to cover a Demco repair kit. A fee of $10 will be charged for those wishing to attend only the book repair workshop.

Fellowship and networking opportunities will occur throughout the day and a post-conference social activity is scheduled for Thursday evening at Marquette University Archives, with a potluck picnic to follow. For a registration form, go to WCLA's Web site at , call 920-725-2949, or e-mail

Mini-course on rosary

MAZOMANIE -- A five-week mini-course will consider all of the first 15 mysteries of the rosary in the light of what we know from Scripture, archaeology and historical studies, medical knowledge, and the teachings of the Catholic Church.

It will meet Tuesdays, Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26 and Nov. 2, at 7 p.m. at St. Barnabas Parish in Mazomanie. The course will aim to deepen understanding of this prayer and to offer fresh insights and reflections for daily praying of the rosary.

James L. Carney, course presenter, is a former assistant professor of law at the University of Oregon, religious education teacher, lecturer, author, and member of St. Maria Goretti Parish, Madison. His book on the rosary, Mystery Stories: A Journey through the Rosary, will be the basic text for the course (available for purchase for those interested at a reduced cost).

Program on Mary

MADISON -- A program on "Mary Immaculate: A Celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception" will be held Sunday, Oct. 17, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Schoenstatt Heights, 5901 Cottage Grove Rd.

The program includes a lecture on the history and scriptural basis of the Dogma and its application by Sr. M. Danielle Peters, Schoenstatt Sister of Mary and doctoral candidate at the International Marian Research Institute. There will be prayer in the Marian Shrine and refreshments.

A children's program will be offered during the lecture; space is limited. Call Sr. Elizabeth at 608-222-7208 or Barb at 608-221-4105 to register children by Wednesday, Oct. 13.

Bereavement sessions

MADISON -- St. Dennis Parish will host a video series, "No One Cries the Wrong Way," at St. Dennis Parish Oct. 6, 13, 20, and 27, followed by reunion on Nov. 17.

The series will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. in the St. Dennis Chapel, 505 Dempsey Rd., facilitated by members of St. Dennis Bereavement Ministry Team. The series includes videos narrated by Fr. Joe Kempf, prayer service, group discussion, and refreshments. There is no fee but attendance is limited.

To register, call the St. Dennis office at 608-246-5124 by Oct. 4. For information, call Kathy Saunders, 608-222-9558, or Darlene or Duane Woldt at 608-222-2125.

Cancer series offered

MADISON -- St. Marys Hospital Medical Center is offering the cancer support series,"I Can Cope," beginning Monday, Oct. 4, and running for eight consecutive Mondays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. through Nov. 22.

An American Cancer Society program, it will be held in Assembly Hall at St. Marys Hospital Medical Center, 707 S. Mills St. The class is free and open to the public. To sign up, call 608-258-5065.

Peer support groups

MADISON -- Peer support groups for those hurting from separation, divorce, or loss of a significant relationship include: Friends on a Journey, 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, at Our Lady Queen of Peace nursery, 401 S. Owen Dr., call Paul at 608-862-3613; New Directions, 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, at St. Dennis Parish Center, 413 Dempsey Rd., top floor, call 608-821-3170.

Young adult small groups

MADISON -- After the completion of the four-week Theology-On-Tap series, young adults are invited to join small groups in Madison.

Small groups examining various topics will be held at St. Paul's University Catholic Center, Holy Redeemer Parish, and St. Thomas Aquinas Parish.

Participants in Janesville, Platteville, and Watertown are exploring follow-up activities for young adults as well.

For more information, contact Ben Weisse at or 608-821-3164.

Quilt exhibit

SINSINAWA -- The 14th annual quilt exhibit, "Treasures of Warmth," will be featured in the Sinsinawa Mound Art Gallery Oct. 3 through Nov. 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For information call 608-748-4411, ext. 849.

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New spire: To crown St. Raphael Cathedral in Madison

MADISON -- The 90-foot spire on the top of St. Raphael Cathedral will be taken down and replaced with a new one.

"The new spire will be closer to the original design," said Msgr. Paul J. Swain, cathedral rector. "It will be well-lighted and stand out in downtown Madison."

Related articles:

Sept. 30, 2004 edition:
Spire illustration -- a detailed PDF (Portable Document Format) file of Cathedral spire and its parts (233 KB file size)
• Front-page sidebar: First phase of Cathedral Restoration Project

Sept. 23, 2004 edition:
Stone by stone: Mason restores stones on cathedral facade

Sept. 16, 2004 edition:
Cathedral: Marks 150th anniversary of laying of cornerstone

The poor condition of the spire necessitated replacing it with materials which will stand the test of time. A new cross will be placed on the top of the spire. A new bell will also be added to the two existing bells. Fiber optic lighting will also be installed.

Four windows are being replaced by Conrad Schmitt Studios, Inc., New Berlin. The art glass windows will include a trefoil design representing the Trinity with a circle in the middle. Portal windows and stained glass windows will also be rehabilitated, said Kelly Thompson of Facility Engineering, Inc., of Madison. He is the architect in charge of the project.

The St. Raphael cornerstone was laid in 1854; the steeple was added in 1882. "It was a common practice to put the spire on top of the original tower later to complete the entire steeple," said Thompson.

Selecting materials

Longevity and maintenance were two main factors in selecting materials for the new spire. "We wanted material that would last as long as possible without maintenance, even up to 100 years," he said.

That excluded metal siding and asphalt shingles, which don't last that long. "We decided that stainless steel and copper were the two best selections," said Thompson.

The original spire was a silver color. It rusted and then was painted. The original shingles were crafted from unfinished cedar wood in a "dog-eared" pattern.

"We will mimic the original ornamental silver galvanized steel of the spire with stainless steel," explained Thompson. "The stamped copper will give a warm feeling and will be made in the shape of the original wood shingles with the same texture and color. The contrast in materials will accentuate the ornamentation and feeling of vertical movement."

The core and structure will be steel and fire-treated woods.

New cross on top

The new budded cross will be 10 feet tall, matching that of the existing Latin cross. It will sit on a globe which is three feet in diameter. There will be a sleeve -- like a thimble -- below the globe which will cap the spire. Collectively, the ornament is about 17 feet tall.

The cross and sleeve are being made of gold-plated copper, much like the material used to create Miss Forward on the state Capitol building, noted Thompson. The sleeve will be unfinished copper.

The cross will have three trefoils on each arm. The trefoil pattern is being used on other elements in the spire design.

The budded cross design placed upon a globe or orb is a common design seen in classical Christian architecture and most likely was the design of the original cross ornament. This was corroborated with historic photos of the cathedral.

Clock restoration

The face of the clock on the steeple is being replaced and clock numbers fixed. "We're powder-coating the clock faces, a painting process similar to that of long-lasting vehicle finishes," said Thompson.

Stainless steel hands will replace the old wooden ones; stainless steel raised Roman numerals will be installed in lieu of the existing hand-painted numerals.

"The current ornamentation is in bad shape," observed Thompson. "It's falling apart." However, the existing black cast-iron finials located at the upper dormers are being salvaged and used on the new spire. They will be cleaned and gold-plated.

The original spire was built off-site and then applied on the cathedral, Thompson noted. "Some of the metals didn't fit well. These ill-fitting metals leaked and caused long-term deterioration." This time ornamental components should fit well, given that the manufacturing process will take into account the existing field conditions, unlike the original fabrication.

Construction plans

The spire components are being fabricated at Heather & Little in Toronto, Canada, and Vulcan Supply in Burlington, Vt. The pieces will be put on trucks and shipped to Madison during the first couple weeks of October.

The two companies started working on the parts in June of this year. "I visited both shops in July and September. Their progress and craftsmanship are impressive," said Thompson.

On Sept. 22, Monsignor Swain and Thompson went to Vermont to review progress and see the new cross and ornamental. They were pleased with the work.

The general contractor, JH Findorff & Son, Inc., of Madison, will be taking the old spire down piece by piece starting the week of Oct. 4. "While the existing spire is being disassembled, the contractor will be assembling the new spire in two parts in the cathedral parking lot," said Thompson.

The entire process is expected to take four to six weeks. With the assistance of cranes, the assembled spire will be placed on the existing tower in two large sections. The cross will be put on last.

The new fiber optic lighting features 128 tiny light fixtures made of stainless steel and mounted on the spire. The lamping or bulbs are located inside the spire for easy access, noted Thompson. "The spire has a series of ladders inside to use in maintaining the lamping."

Will have three bells

A new bell will join the two existing bells in the belfry. "The contractor will take the old bells down and rehabilitate them," said Thompson. Supporting equipment such as the clockworks, hammers, and controls will be rehabilitated and modernized.

The bells will be visible through an open belfry, unlike before. "People will see the bells and hear them more clearly," noted Thompson.

Thompson is excited about the project. "I've never had the opportunity to design such a significant spire replacement. It's a unique opportunity for the manufacturers, too. Although they've done work all over the American and European Continents, neither one has done this scale of complete replacement."

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Catechists: Commissioned at Centro Guadalupano

photo of Fr. Abdón Ortiz presenting catechist Jorge Miramontes with certificate, cross, and pin

Fr. Abdón Ortiz presents catechist Jorge Miramontes with a certificate, cross, and pin. (Catholic Herald photo by Sarah Baldwin)

MADISON -- A Catechetical Sunday Mass was held at the Catholic Multicultural Center recently. During the Mass, Spanish-speaking women and men were commissioned in their role as catechists at Centro Guadalupano.

The Office for Hispanic Ministry started the religious education program at Centro Guadalupano 26 years ago to meet the demand for classes in Spanish. Two catechists teach in each grade level from kindergarten to seventh, as well as in Confirmation classes and adult classes.

Classes are held Saturday afternoons and average 20 participants. Sessions start in September and end with a First Communion Mass in May.

Using gifts

Fr. Abdón Ortiz from Bolivia celebrated the Catechetical Sunday Mass with approximately 150 people attending. During the homily, Father Ortiz explained how each person has a special gift and how important it is to share that gift with others. The catechists will share their gifts with their students and with great courage, he said.

During the presentation of the gifts, a student from each grade level brought the new catechism materials to the altar to be blessed.


Surrounded by parents and religious education students, catechists were given a special blessing and were thanked for their commitment for sharing the Good News with others.

Each catechist came to the front and was presented with a crucifix for all the sacrifices they make, a Holy Spirit pin to signify wisdom, and a certificate commissioning them.

A mini-fair followed in the basement of the center where families could purchase religious education materials. Catechist Maria Cristina Vergara said they were excellent bilingual materials.

Getting started

The Diocese of Madison Office of Religious Education worked with Centro Guadalupano catechists to help them better understand the diocesan standards and competencies for grade levels K-8 and invited them as teachers to be able to work with those competencies in order to build curriculum around them.

"We helped them befriend the competencies so that they were working with what we think in the diocese are the basics that young people should know and understand regarding their faith," said Jack McBride, associate director of the Office of Religious Education.

"The catechists did some lesson planning using the competencies as an example of how helpful they are and then we got their opinion back and unanimously they thought they were a good guide and a good foundation for teachers to first look at and then to build curriculum around.

"We also talked to them about handing them to parents so the parents knew what was expected at that grade level and could work with those kids at home," McBride said.

McBride trained the religious education teachers with the help of Romilia Schlueter, director of Centro Guadalupano, who translated the diocesan religious education standards into Spanish for the catechists through the use of headphone equipment.

Goals for program

Schlueter explained that while the religious education program at Centro is a diocesan program, the hope is that it will spread to individual parishes in the diocese.

"We want to let parishes know the demand there is for Catholics in Spanish," said Schlueter.

There are currently programs at Holy Redeemer and St. Joseph Parishes in Madison and in Watertown, Schlueter noted. "The hope is we don't need to do it at the center but parishes will have resources to provide religious education for children who speak Spanish. The long term goal is to have a program at every parish with Hispanics families."

Anyone interested in teaching at Centro Guadalupano is invited to participate. The program is bilingual and people from all parishes are needed to help. Contact Romilia Schlueter at 608-255-8471; the Office of Religious Education at 821-3160; or the Office of Hispanic Ministry at 608-821-3092.

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Diocese of Madison, The Catholic Herald
Offices: Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, 702 S. High Point Road, Madison
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