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Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish mission
MADISON -- Fr. Jim Marchionda and Sr. Ann Willits, both Dominicans, will lead a parish mission focused on spiritual renewal at Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish beginning at the weekend Masses on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 26 and 27.
The mission's theme is "Prayer, Music, Poetry, Storytelling and Laughter burst forth from Gospel preaching." The mission continues on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, Feb. 28, March 1 and 2, both at morning sessions beginning after 8:15 a.m. Mass and at evening gatherings starting at 7 p.m.
Monday evening's mission will be "Family Night." Children are invited to accompany their parents. Tuesday evening's offering will be done in the context of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
At the concluding event on Wednesday evening, there will be a concert given by Father Marchionda. It will also feature all of the Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish choirs, the choir from St. Joseph Parish in Madison, and other singers and songleaders from both parishes.
Father Marcionda is a preacher, composer, conductor, singer, musician, and speaker. He has composed over 100 sacred music compositions and has offered parish missions, workshops, lectures, and concerts throughout the U.S. and abroad. Sister Ann has served for 23 years as the co-director of the PARABLE Conference for Dominican Life and Mission. An author, poet, and storyteller, she has also been a high school principal and teacher.
All parishioners and any other interested persons are welcome to attend. Rides and babysitting are also available by calling 608-231-4609.
St. Barnabas Parish mission
MAZOMANIE -- St. Barnabas Parish will hold a parish mission led by Fr. John Meoska of the Spiritual Life Institute entitled "Our Hunger and Thirst for Christ," Sunday, Feb. 27, through Wednesday, March 2.
Topics and times include:
Sunday, Feb. 27, at the 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Masses - "Our Hunger and Thirst for Christ"; at 6 p.m. - "Eucharist: Source of the Christian Life."
Monday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. - "Eucharist and Adoration: Summit of the Christian Life," followed by Benediction and communal Adoration.
Tuesday, March 1, at 7 p.m. - "The Ecstasy of Confession," followed by communal penance.
Wednesday, March 2, at 7 p.m., - "The Mass on Earth" with a Mass followed by a reception in Holy Family Hall.
St. Barnabas Parish is located at the corner of Hwy. 14 and Cramer St.
St. John the Baptist
WAUNAKEE -- Msgr. James Gunn, pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish in Waunakee, announces a unique opportunity for people to grow spiritually in preparation for Easter. It is the "Lent: The Road Less Traveled" Parish Mission.
This mission will be offered at St. John Parish beginning Monday evening, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. and concluding on Wednesday evening, March 2.
St. John Eudes Center staff member Dennis Mahaney will be the speaker. He has spoken and facilitated parish missions around the United States. St. John Eudes Center is located in West Seneca, N.Y.
Those attending will be treated to stimulating talks, have the opportunity to talk and share with one another, and participate in prayer services.
Each evening has a particular theme: Monday, "The Prayers that God Hears"; Tuesday, "The Acceptable Fast"; Wednesday, "The Secret of the Cheerful Giver." Each theme will look at how Christians find greater vitality in Easter through an appreciation of "Lent: The Road Less Traveled." People attending will listen, share, pray, and sing together.
Anyone interested in this mission is welcome to attend. It is open to anyone who wishes to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ.
For more information call Ann Siriani at 608-849-5121. If transportation is needed, call and a ride will be made available.
in Barneveld and Ridgeway
BARNEVELD/RIDGEWAY -- During Lent, Eucharistic Adoration will be offered on Saturdays from 3 to 4:40 p.m. at St. Bridget Church, Ridgeway.
On Wednesday, March 2, 6 p.m. Mass at Immaculate Conception, Barneveld, will be followed by youth Stations of the Cross. Wednesday, March 9, 6:30 p.m. Mass at Immaculate Conception will be followed by a talk by Jim Carney on the Luminous Mysteries of the rosary.
Wednesday, March 16, 6 p.m. Mass will be followed by a presentation by Larry Murphy and religious education students. On Wednesday, March 23, there will be a 6 p.m. Mass.
PALMYRA -- Lenten ecumenical worship services are being sponsored by the Palmyra Area Ministerial Association with the theme, "Valleys of Lent." The ecumenical services are being held on Wednesdays at 7 p.m.
Remaining services will be held: March 9 - Palmyra United Methodist Church with community band concert; March 16 - St. Matthew Lutheran Church, healing service and ecumenical choir. On Good Friday, March 25, there will be a community Bible Way of the Cross beginning at Palmyra United Methodist Church at 12 noon. This will be completed by 2 p.m. so Catholics can attend Good Friday services at St. Mary Church.
A soup and bread meal will be held on Wednesdays during Lent from 4:30 to 6:15 p.m. at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, Palmyra.
Lent Taizé Prayer service
DE FOREST -- St. Olaf Parish, 623 Jefferson St., will hold a Lent Taizé Prayer Service on Sunday, Feb. 27, at 6 p.m. Lent Taizé Prayer is a peaceful service of candlelight, Scripture, and songs, led by the St. Olaf Adult Choir, cantors, and instrumentalists. Call 608-846-5726, ext. 11, for more information.
Retreat for those affected
MADISON -- Rachel's Vineyard weekend retreats offer a healing opportunity for any person affected by the emotional loss or spiritual pain of abortion. A retreat will be held at the Bishop O'Connor Center March 4 to 6.
Download a brochure and registration form at www.madisonfaithandfamily.org (click on "forms" then "Rachel's Vineyard"); visit www.rachelsvineyard.org; or call toll-free hotline at 1-877-HOPE-4-ME.
MADISON -- Retrouvaille has helped thousands of couples at all stages of disillusionment or misery in their marriage. For confidential information or to register for the March program beginning with a weekend at the Bishop O'Connor Center March 11-13, call 608-249-2377; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit www.HelpOurMarriage.com
for divorced, separated
MADISON -- A peer support group for those hurting from separation, divorce, or loss of a significant relationship is open to all ages/faiths. New Directions meets 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, at St. Dennis Parish Center, 413 Dempsey Rd., top floor. For information, call 608-821-3170.
from the pew"
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'Shine!': Youth encouraged to 'Live the Light!'
WISCONSIN DELLS -- High school youth from throughout the Diocese of Madison were encouraged to "Shine! Live the Light!" at a recent Resurrection 2005 youth rally at Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells.
They participated in Mass, song, prayer, talks, a concert, a dance, and other activities. Modules they attended ranged in topics from dealing with stress to relationships to studying the Word of God.
Living out our faith
Speaker and musician Dave Puente of St. Paul, Minn., spoke to the youth about making a connection between their lives and the Scriptures.
"It's not only about expanding in faith, but living it out," he said.
Keynote speaker was Steve Angrisano, an internationally recognized Catholic musician and speaker who has performed at conferences and rallies across the U.S., Canada, and Europe.
Mixing stories with songs that made the audience laugh and cry, Angrisano taught the youth about faith.
"I think there are no words to express how much we have a God who loves us and cares for us," said Angrisano.
When he was 16, he received a Bible and a bookmark that read "You have a God-shaped vacuum in your heart that only God can fill."
He said most of the things that hurt us are due to our efforts to fill that space with something other than God. "Let God be a part of who we are," he said.
"One of the greatest sins we commit is we destroy each other with the things we say and do," he said. "We actively work to destroy the Body of Christ. That's just wrong. The challenge is to live life in a way that shines."
Witness to God's love
Angrisano told the youth about how he and his wife were hoping and praying for a third baby. Eventually they met a social worker and within a week they were going to adopt a newborn boy.
Some people in Angrisano's family weren't very supportive of the biracial adoption, however, and Steve and his wife prayed for a sign of roses - through the intercession of St. Thérèse of Lisieux - that everything would work out for the best.
The next day, they opened a letter from a monastery where Sisters had been praying for them - and out fell rose petals from roses with which the Sisters adorned relics of St. Thérèse.
"Miracles happened from that moment and hearts were changed," said Angrisano. "I want people to know we have a God who loves us. I came to tell you it's true. I've seen miracles of God in my midst.
"God does not want us to be unchanged. He wants us to live in the world with passion. It's your energy and enthusiasm that can make a difference," he told the youth. "We need you to shine. You can only do that if you live it with all your heart."
Light of the world
During his homily at the Sunday Mass, Bishop Robert C. Morlino said the Gospel tells us to "Go shine."
"In St. John's Gospel, Jesus says, 'As long as I'm in the world, I am the light of the world, but when I go to the Father, you are the light of the world,'" said the bishop. "We become the heart, hands, feet, and mind of Christ in the world."
The sign of peace at Mass is not just to greet people around you, said the bishop. It is meant as a time for you to look each other in the eye and say, "Christ is the light of the world" and remind each other that we are the light of the world and should not hide that light.
Adult stem cells: Ethical alternative
Second in a two-part series.
MADISON -- There is evidence that some adult stem cells show pluripotent capacity, which researchers used to think characteristic only of embryonic stem cells.
That's what Dr. David Prentice, a nationally known researcher, told more than 300 people who gathered from throughout Wisconsin for a recent legislative conference sponsored by Wisconsin Right to Life (WRTL) and Christian Life Resources.
Prentice is a professor of life sciences at Indiana State University and adjunct professor of medical and molecular genetics at Indiana University School of Medicine. He is a founding member of Do No Harm: The Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics.
Stem cells are used in regenerative medicine, in which they are injected into damaged tissue to repair it. The ethical problem with embryonic stem cells is that you have to kill the embryo to get the cells, said Prentice.
Using embryonic stem cells is actually inefficient, said Prentice. "If I had a heart attack and wanted to try to repair the damage, I just want heart cells. Researchers have yet to get embryonic stem cells of just one type in a dish."
Embryonic stem cells also have the potential for tumor formation and rejection by the recipient.
"Some scientists theorize that they might eliminate the embryonic stem cell rejection factor by creating human clones and destroying them to create stem cell lines for a specific individual," said WRTL. This is known as "therapeutic cloning."
Therapeutic cloning puts women's health at risk, said Prentice. To treat 17 million diabetes patients, for example, you would need 850 million to 1.7 billion human eggs, he said, pointing out that you would then get into the issue of women putting themselves at risk for money by harvesting their eggs.
The theory behind therapeutic cloning is that there would be no transplant rejection problems, yet in mice, it still failed, he said.
Adult stem cell research offers an ethical alternative. Plus, because they come from an individual's own body, there is no rejection factor.
Research is now showing that some adult stem cells show pluripotent capacity, which means that they can differentiate into other types of cells. Researchers used to think only embryonic stem cells had pluripotent capacity. Adult stem cells from human cord blood, bone marrow, brain, skeletal muscle, peripheral blood, hair follicle, and fat are some examples of adult stem cells that can indeed change.
"Thousands of patients have already been treated with adult stem cells," said Prentice. Cancer, multiple sclerosis, lupus, Crohn's disease, and immune deficiencies are all areas in which patients have been treated with adult stem cells, he said. More areas include: growing new corneas to restore sight to blind patients, new blood vessels in legs of patients, new skin, healing wounds using bone marrow adult stem cells, and treating spinal cord injury.
There are 56 diseases which have been treated with adult stem cells - and zero for embryonic stem cells, he said.
In the case of diabetes, proponents of embryonic stem cell research say they can treat it, but embryonic stem cells are not making insulin, said Prentice. "Now, adult stem cells from bone marrow and others can make insulin."
Bone marrow and muscle adult stem cells can repair heart muscle. Patients with heart attacks had their own adult stem cells placed into their hearts to repair damage, for example.
Using adult stem cells to treat Parkinson's disease works in animals, Prentice said. He also mentioned Dennis Turner, a man whose Parkinson's disease symptoms disappeared after he was treated with his own adult stem cells.
In South Korea, a patient with spinal cord injury was treated with umbilical cord adult stem cells. In the United Kingdom, a man lost a jaw and grew a new one using his own adult stem cells. In Germany, a girl could not grow the bone on top of her head; with adult stem cells from fat, new bone grew there.
"The bottom line is: adult stem cells are a source for treatment," said Prentice. "They work not just in a lab dish, but they're already used in patients. They hone in on damage without transplant rejection and not killing some humans for the benefit of others."
Adult stem cells work
Prentice told the story of Jim Kelly, a friend of his who had a spinal cord injury. In 2001 before President Bush decided no federal funding would be used for embryonic stem cell research, all Jim knew about embryonic stem cell research was from the media. He urged Bush in a letter to support federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Then he read further, talked to scientists about the issue, and nine months later he testified against embryonic stem cell research.
"He said, 'Adult stem cell research is working and embryonic stem cell research doesn't. You'll delay my cure'" by spending money on embryonic stem cell research and not putting it toward something that already works, Prentice said.
"My plea is learn these basic facts: what's working, what's not, what's human and what's not," said Prentice. "Talk to legislators and the press and speak up for those who have no voice."
WRTL is currently engaged in a statewide campaign to stop taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research and human cloning.
For more information, visit www.wrtl.org or call 877-855-5007 or 414-778-5780. Other Web site resources recommended by Prentice include www.stemcellresearch.org and www.frc.org