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St. John Vianney
JANESVILLE -- St. John Vianney Parish in Janesville is hosting a Dominican Parish Mission on Monday and Tuesday evenings, Feb. 7 and 8, at 7 p.m. in the church. Fr. James Marchionda and Sr. Ann Willits, both Dominicans, will usher in the season of Lent with preaching and song on these two special evenings.
Father Marchionda is a priest, composer, conductor, singer, and instrumentalist who offers missions, workshops, and concerts throughout the U.S. and abroad. He is a member of the Chicago Province of the Dominicans. Sister Ann, a member of the Sinsinawa Congregation of the Dominicans, is an author, poet, and storyteller.
They will speak at the weekend liturgies on Saturday, Feb. 5, at 5 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 6, at 8:15 and 9:45 a.m. They will also spend time with the school children Monday and Tuesday and lead the mission on Monday and Tuesday evenings.
Everyone is invited to attend and prepare their hearts for the season of Lent. A free will offering will be accepted. St. John Vianney Church is located at 1245 Clark St., Janesville.
Lenten reflection series
SINSINAWA -- Sinsinawa Mound will host a reflection series Monday evenings during Lent.
"Sharing Lenten Graces" will feature various facilitators presenting on a variety of topics at 8 p.m. followed by shared conversation. Free-will offerings will be accepted.
Fr. Bart Timmerman of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in Sun Prairie will speak on Monday, Feb. 14. A "Heart-to-Heart" dinner will be offered at 5:45 p.m. for $8 per person or $15 per couple. Contact Janice DeMuth at 608-748-4411, ext. 811, by Feb. 7 to register for the dinner.
On Feb. 21, Ann Wertz of St. Mary Parish in Dubuque, Iowa, will speak on "Gifts." She ministers in adult and children faith formation as a director of religious education.
Cookie Bannon will share her singing and songwriting talents on Feb. 28. She entertains hospitalized children and their families at Children's Hospital of Illinois in Peoria.
On March 7, Mary Ann Shultz, a massage therapist from Platteville, will share her knowledge on "Empowerment through Body Movements."
On March 14, a representative from the Catholic Worker House in Dubuque will talk about the work being done there.
For more information contact Janice DeMuth at 608-748-4411, ext. 811.
Evening for couples
MONONA -- An evening for couples of all ages is being sponsored by East Madison Catholic Adults of St. Bernard, St. Dennis, Immaculate Heart, St. Peter, and St. Patrick Parishes. It will be held on Sunday, Feb. 20, at Immaculate Heart of Mary School, 4913 Schofield St., Monona.
The evening begins at 5:30 p.m. with a social and wine and cheese. From 6 to 8 p.m. there will be a buffet dinner followed by a presentation by Terry Nelson Johnson, director of adult faith formation at Old St. Patrick Parish, Chicago. He will discuss "Intimacy (In-To-Me-You-See) in Marriage."
Registrations are due by Feb. 11. Cost is $25 per couple. Mail to: Eileen Hribar, IHM Parish, 4913 Schofield St., Monona, WI 53716.
For more information, call Eileen at 608-221-1777. Checks made to E.M.C.A. must accompany the registration. Sorry - no refunds. Child care will not be provided.
Fish and Philosophy
MADISON -- Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish will sponsor its Fish and Philosophy series during Lent. A fish dinner at 6 p.m. is followed by the presentation at 7 p.m.
On Friday, Feb. 11, Fr. Benjamin Russell will speak on "Fine-tune Your Attitude." On Friday, March 11, Sr. Regina McKillip will address "Who Is Our Neighbor? Loving Beyond Borders."
Those coming to the dinner should send a check for $10 per person payable to Our Lady Queen of Peace and mail to 401 S. Owen Dr., Madison 53711, by the Monday before the event. Indicate names of persons covered by the check for each date. All are welcome to attend the talks.
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, Feb. 3, at Our Lady Queen of Peace nursery, 401 S. Owen Dr. For information, call Paul at 608-862-3613.
New Directions will meet from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10, at St. Dennis Parish Center, 413 Dempsey Rd., top floor. For information, call 608-821-3170.
Retreat at Schoenstatt
MADISON -- A retreat on the Eucharist will be held at Schoenstatt Heights, 5901 Cottage Grove Rd., on Saturday, Feb. 12, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 13, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Retreat master will be Fr. Gerold M. Langsch speaking on the topic, "From the Altar into the Arena." The cost for both days is $25 (includes meals). Overnight accommodations are available if desired.
Call Irene at 608-222-4655 for reservations.
Adult Catholic Spirit Club
JANESVILLE -- The Adult Catholic Spirit Club will have a soup and bread luncheon, in respect of Lent, on Wednesday, Feb. 9, at 12 noon at St. John Vianney Parish's Marian Hall. Those attending are asked to bring utensils, a bowl, and a vegetarian soup to pass.
At 1 p.m., Ron Del Ciello, director of the House of Mercy, will speak on "The Homeless in Janesville."
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Bereavement group: For parents of lost babies
MADISON -- For parents whose babies have died, a part of them will always be missing.
Especially around holidays or the baby's birthday, the pain of that baby's death - though dulled over time - will never leave them.
That's why a bereavement group at St. Marys Hospital in Madison offers a safe place for parents to grieve.
The group was "a lifeline" for Sue Tjugum, a member of St. Albert the Great Parish in Sun Prairie, who now runs the meetings.
She and her husband, Steve, lost their firstborn son, Jacob, in August of 2000. Part of the placenta around the umbilical cord died two weeks before he was due. When Jacob was born, he had no heart beat and was not breathing. Internally he'd had massive organ failure and there was no brain activity.
He died when he was 21 hours and 33 minutes old.
The first question that parents ask when they go through this is: "Why?" said Tjugum. The reality is it doesn't matter why - and that makes you angry, she said.
At first, after Jacob's death, the worst thing was being present at other babies' baptisms, she said.
But although you may be angry at God at first, spiritually it eventually brings you closer, she said.
"The raw pain goes away over time," said Tjugum. The first year is especially difficult and all holidays are tough because "most holidays are family-oriented and a piece is missing," she said. "You'll always be sad when they're not here. When it happens your world stops and the rest of the world goes on."
But the bereavement group offers a place for people to help each other through similar pain.
Help each other
People who attend the bereavement group meetings have either had miscarriages, stillborn babies, or babies who died right after birth or within the first year.
Typically eight to 10 people participate in the group and sometimes there are as many as 25 who attend.
"We talk about our experiences: where we're at and what we're going through," said Tjugum. "It's a safe place to cry. You can talk about it because you do not have to explain how you feel. Everyone understands that."
To find out about those who might benefit from the group, Tjugum keeps in contact with people from St. Marys Hospital and Meriter Hospital in Madison and Mercy Hospital in Janesville and checks on obituaries in the paper.
"We encourage people to bring pictures (of their babies) to the meetings, or anything they want to share," said Tjugum, explaining that it's normal to hang onto anything that reminds you of the baby. "We encourage that and people have developed scrapbooks. Sharing that kind of stuff is important."
The need to talk about their lost children is really strong, said Tjugum.
The group also addresses how to deal with other siblings of the baby and ways to remember the baby.
"It was important to keep Jake alive in our family," said Tjugum, who now has two other children.
She also noted that there is an annual holiday service at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center in Madison. Parents remember their babies with readings, songs, and saying their babies' names.
The bereavement group meets at St. Marys Hospital, 707 S. Mills St. in Madison, at 7:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month. For more information, call Sue Tjugum at 608-837-3706.
Rural Life Gathering: Has new format
SINSINAWA -- Farmers will connect with consumers and producers to find support at the tri-state ecumenical Rural Life Gathering to be held at the Sinsinawa Mound on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 10 and 11.
Theme is "People God's Been Waiting For: Faith Communities Taking Action of Food & Farming Issues." It will be held Thursday from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Developing markets, apprentice farmer training, and consumer education - through the church - will gear this event to action. Together, participants will seek answers to troubling questions about food and farming in America.
"Everybody loves to eat. Yet anybody who reads, listens to the radio, thinks about the facts flowing out of the heartland regarding American food and farming can't help but feel troubled," said Tony Ends, who directs the Churches' Center for Land and People, which is sponsoring the Rural Life Gathering.
"From modern farming's heavy reliance on fossil fuels and nonrenewable resources to terrorist and food security threats to our concentrated, specialized, mass produced food system - we all know a crisis awaits us," he said.
Churches' Center for Land and People will host this program, which has a number of new features. It's the first time the 17-year-old, non-profit center will hold its gathering in the winter rather than the fall. Sessions are added on Thursday evening and the format will be streamlined. There will be fewer speakers and new models.
Speakers include Shannon Jung, author of Food for Life, a theology of eating. He is a professor of rural ministry at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, and Tanya Marcovna Barnett, program director with Earth Ministry, based in Seattle, Wash., and publisher with Living the Good News Press of Food and Faith. Founded in 1992, Earth Ministry strives ecumenically to connect Christian faith with care for the Earth.
The Rural Life Gathering is sponsored by a variety of church and rural life organizations, including the Diocese of Madison. Individuals, families, churches, and rural and urban organizations are welcome to attend.
For more information, call 608-748-4411 or 608-897-4288; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; or write P.O. Box 40, Sinsinawa, WI 53824.