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April 21, 2005 Edition

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This week:
St. Marys Hospital: Breaks ground on expansion project
Cathedral case: Alleged arsonist suffers from mental illness
Strategic plan: Demographic report, survey will provide foundation
• Front page: Tsunami relief effort update
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News Briefs

News Briefs:
Elizabeth House to break ground May 1

MADISON -- A groundbreaking celebration for The Elizabeth House maternity home on Madison's east side is scheduled for Sunday, May 1, at 2 p.m.

Related articles:

Elizabeth House: Campaign passes half-way mark

Other past coverage

The public is invited to this family event that will feature a special stone stacking ceremony. It will signify the uniting of multi-denominational, faith-based organizations along with community foundations, individuals, and businesses to support the $2.2 million capital campaign.

Bishop Robert C. Morlino of the Diocese of Madison is scheduled to attend, as well as other area church pastors.

The "Offering Hope" campaign has raised over $1.1 million, which does not include a recent $500,000 matching grant from the Gerry Family.

The 10-bedroom home, to be located at 1350 Macarthur Rd., is operated by Care Net Pregnancy Center of Dane County, a non-profit center that assists women with unplanned pregnancies.

To make a donation to The Elizabeth House Capital Campaign, call Care Net at 608-259-1606.

Fr. Norris talks
on stem-cell research

MADISON -- A presentation entitled "Because We Can Do Something, Should We? The Ethics of Stem-Cell Research" will be given in the gathering space at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, 401 S. Owen Dr., at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27.

The presentation will examine the ethics of stem-cell research - both adult and embryonic - through a consideration of the philosophical, theological, legal, scientific, political, and economic dimensions of the issue.

The presenter is Fr. Patrick Norris, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Madison and diocesan coordinator of health care. He is also a member of the ethics committee at St. Marys Hospital in Madison. For many years, Father Norris taught health care ethics at St. Louis University Medical School, where he served as the associate director of the Center for Health Care Ethics.

There will be time for questions after the hour-long presentation, sponsored by the parish's Respect Life Committee.

Infant, child CPR course offered

MADISON -- Heartsaver-Infant and Child CPR Course for individuals needing/wanting certification for job or personal reasons will be offered by Dean/St. Marys Health Works.

The course will be offered Saturday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at Dean Clinic West, 752 N. High Point Rd.; Tuesday, May 3, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Dean Clinic West; and Friday, May 20, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, at Dean East Clinic, lower level Health Works, 1821 S. Stoughton Rd.

This is an American Heart Association course that teaches lifesaving skills in infant and child CPR, use of barrier devices, and relief of an obstructed airway (choking). The course includes information on pediatric emergencies and injury prevention.

No prior CPR experience is required. A two-year certification card is issued upon successful completion. The course meets new requirements for daycare providers.

Course fee is $36. Pre-registration is required by calling 608-824-4400 or 1-800-368-5596.

Durable Power
of Attorney sessions

MADISON -- A free, one-hour program on completing a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care is held every Monday from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at St. Marys Hospital Medical Center.

Assistance is provided in completing this legal document, which allows a person to name someone to make medical decisions for himself or herself if unable to make those decisions.

Interested persons may stop by the Information Desk in the lobby to check on the program location. Call St. Marys Patient and Family Services at 608-258-6561 with questions. Participants must be 18 years or older to attend. No reservation is necessary.

Support group
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 at a Madison parish.

New Directions will meet from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 28, at St. Dennis Parish Center, 413 Dempsey Rd., top floor. For information, call 608-821-3170.

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St. Marys Hospital:
Breaks ground
on expansion project

MADISON -- St. Marys Hospital here broke ground for its $174 million expansion project with a "bang" April 12 when Bishop Robert C. Morlino joined hospital and city representatives in setting off several dirt explosions.

St. Marys Hospital inpatient discharges have increased by 15 percent over the past three years. Approximately 7,000 additional inpatients are expected by 2014. To meet the needs of the community, the expansion project will add 78 patient beds, double the size of the Emergency Services Department, and add a 180,000 square foot hospital inpatient building and an outpatient services building.

The project involves 2.7 acres of land east of the hospital between Brooks and Park Streets. The main entrance of the hospital will be relocated from Mills St. to Brooks St.

The expansion plan also includes storefronts on Park St. consistent with redevelopment initiatives currently underway. All construction is expected to be completed by 2009.

Strength is people

Bernie Clousing, Madison, former St. Marys patient, served as the groundbreaking ceremony emcee. He introduced those in attendance, including representatives of the Franciscan Sisters of Mary, who operate St. Marys Hospital; SSM Health Care, the parent organization of St. Marys Hospital; representatives of the city; and St. Marys board members, employees, volunteers, and contributors.

"St. Marys has given me and my family so much," Clousing said, noting that the groundbreaking marks the fact that St. Marys will be serving more patients.

"The strength of St. Marys is its people," said Dr. Frank Byrne, president of St. Marys Hospital. "It's so wonderful to meet people who have been here 10, 20, 30, 40 years. We are building on a vibrant legacy."

Special blessing

"We rejoice in this facility that upholds values important to us as followers of Christ," said Bishop Morlino, who asked God to bless the site and the construction and to protect the workers from injury.

"Bless this work which we begin this day," he prayed. "Grant this undertaking may progress to its successful completion."

Faith has led us to our decisions and that's how our healing ministry continues, said Sr. Jacqueline Motzel, president of SSM Health Care, based in St. Louis, Mo. "It's the same faith here at St. Marys. It's what people rely on. We have faith and are able to reveal the healing presence of God."

Sr. Mary Jane Ryan, chief executive officer of SSM, said, "We're building something that will raise health care in Wisconsin to a new level."

We're pleased it will combine elements from the past, she said, noting that stones from the old entrance will be part of the new entrance and some of the wood from trees cut down will be used in the new gardens. About 30,000 pounds of materials from nine houses that were removed for the expansion were given to Habitat for Humanity.

"Our journey to this point started five years ago. The community was growing and we were experiencing changing needs," said Mary Starmann-Harrison, chief executive officer of SSM Health Care of Wisconsin. "Here we are watching our planning discussions become a reality."

Mayor Dave Cieslewicz praised St. Marys Hospital for the way it worked with the city. "This is a great project for the city. We're proud of St. Marys," he said.

For more information on the expansion project, visit

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Cathedral case: Alleged arsonist suffers from mental illness

MADISON -- William J. Connell, the transient man accused of setting the March 14 fire that left only the walls and steeple standing at St. Raphael Cathedral here, will stand trial after appearing at an April 15 preliminary hearing in Dane County Court.

Connell faces charges of arson and burglary felonies, plus a bail-jumping misdemeanor from a previous case.

A competency evaluation, ordered by Commissioner Todd Meurer and completed by Wisconsin Forensic Unit psychologist Dr. Patricia Coffey, indicated that Connell is competent to proceed in the legal process, but he has a history of symptoms of mental illness, including paranoia, bipolar disorder, depression, and schizoaffective disorder.

The competency evaluation determines whether the defendant lacks substantial mental capacity to understand the legal proceedings and assist his attorney in his defense. Dane County Circuit Judge Moria Krueger ruled April 7 that Connell is competent to proceed. The competency evaluation report was released to the public at the preliminary hearing.

In the past, Connell periodically came to the Mental Health Center of Dane County for medication but did not return for follow-up appointments, according to the evaluation report, which said his last contact with the medical center was on Feb. 16, 2005.

"Mr. Connell has a long history of major mental illness that was evident during the time period of his offenses and continues to be evident in the jail," Coffey said in the evaluation report. There are not concerns regarding his intellectual functioning and he understands the details of the current allegations, she said.

Articles on Cathedral fire:
Past articles on Cathedral:

Dec. 9, 2004 edition:
New spire crowns St. Raphael Cathedral

Oct. 7, 2004 edition:
St. Raphael Cathedral: Marks 150th anniversary of cornerstone

Sept. 30, 2004 edition:
New spire: To crown St. Raphael Cathedral ...
• Sidebar: First phase of Cathedral Restoration ...
Spire illustration -- a detailed PDF (Portable Document Format) file of Cathedral spire and its parts (233 KB file size)

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

Diocese of Madison site:

Although Connell is delusional, the delusions are not affecting his ability to participate in the legal process in a rational manner at this point, she said. "While it is this evaluator's opinion that he is competent to proceed, Mr. Connell is suffering from schizoaffective disorder."

Madison Police Officer Mindy Winter testified during the preliminary hearing that Connell was the man she met at the eastside Woodman's grocery store around 4:30 a.m. March 15 in response to his alleged phone call that he had information about the fire at the cathedral.

"He said, 'It was me,'" she said in testimony. "He said, 'I may have been the one who started the fire.'"

She testified that he also said, "I broke into the church with a crowbar, stole a bottle of wine, and messed around with some stuff."

Connell's attorney, Assistant State Public Defender Rhoda Ricciardi, said the burglary charge should fall because she didn't believe the state issued probable cause for burglary since there must be intent to steal prior to entry. The arson charge should fall as well since no evidence was presented at the hearing to prove that the fire was arson, she said.

Assistant District Attorney Jac Heitz argued that probable cause was established because it's clear the defendant called the police, admitted he damaged the doors to get in, stole a bottle of wine, and said, "It was me" when asked about the fire. Heitz said the purpose of the preliminary hearing is to prove a felony was committed.

The basis of probable cause "rests on the words of the defendant," who places himself at the scene, said Krueger. "I find probable cause that a felony was committed."

On Connell's behalf, Ricciardi pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.

Krueger bound the case for arraignment. From April 15, the attorneys have 20 days to file motions in the case, which was sent to Branch IV Circuit Judge Steven Ebert for further proceedings.

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Strategic plan:
Demographic report, survey will provide foundation

MADISON -- A comprehensive demographic report on the Diocese of Madison is being prepared by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

Kevin Phelan, chancellor of the diocese, discussed the report with diocesan priests at the recent Presbyteral Council meeting.

Demographic profile

CARA's report will assist the Diocese of Madison in more accurately determining the composition and dynamics of its Catholic population.

"They will look at the past 50 years, give us a snapshot of today, and provide a statistically valid projection," said Phelan. "It is a good baseline for a strategic plan."

The demographic profile will include details on ethnic and racial groups, school-age population, and trend data on the Catholic population. "We wanted objective data," said Phelan. "This is the starting point of the discussion as we develop a diocesan strategic plan."

In-pew survey

Besides the demographic report, the diocese is also planning to get input from parishioners through an in-pew survey. All Catholics 18 years of age and older will be asked to complete the survey in churches on a future Sunday. People will be asked to "weigh in" on parish life and ministries at the parish and diocesan levels, said Phelan.

Bishop Robert C. Morlino said CARA assisted the Diocese of Helena, Mont., with a similar demographic report and in-pew survey. There was a very high rate of return on the survey, he said.

Phelan said the report and survey will provide the basis for the strategic planning process. Both he and Bishop Morlino emphasized that there will be dialogue with priests and parishes as the plan is developed.

Establishing councils

Bishop Morlino also told the priests he intends to move toward establishing a Diocesan Pastoral Council (DPC) and a Deacons Council.

He asked priests to give written suggestions on the structure and composition of the DPC. He would consider representation of religious women, priests, deacons, youth, Hispanics, and others in the diocese.

Year of the Eucharist

Bishop Morlino also said he is planning on a diocesan-wide finale to the Year of the Eucharist. He envisions a large diocesan celebration involving delegations from every parish as well as representatives of diocesan organizations. "It will have a real diocesan flavor," he said.

State gathering

Fr. Stephen Umhoefer, Janesville, council chair, asked for input on a possible state-wide gathering of priests councils to discuss issues of common concern. "There would be no end product of the gathering, just an occasion for a thoughtful conversation with other priests," he said.

Some council members said they found it valuable to meet with other priests, but the council decided to wait for input from other dioceses before making a recommendation.

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