National/World News
The Catholic Herald: Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Madison Front page Most recent issue Past issues
Local / State News
June 30, 2005 Edition

 Search this site:

You are here: Local/State News
Bishop Speaks
About Us

How to submit photos/ads to the Catholic Herald
Catholic Herald Youth page
This week:
Madison Diocese answers global justice, solidarity, and peace call
Gail Nichols: Named assistant superintendent
St. Raphael Cathedral: Restoration project awards
• Front page: Catholic Herald summer publication schedule
Nominate someone for "Profiles from the pew"
News Briefs

News Briefs:
24-hour pro-life vigil
July 14

MADISON -- The Diocese of Madison's Office of Vocations is hosting a 24-hour pro-life vigil on Thursday, July 14.

Beginning with 9 a.m. Mass at St. Peter Church, 5001 N. Sherman Ave., the vigil will begin at 10 a.m. July 14, and continue until 10 a.m. July 15. During the vigil, seminarians and participants will recite the rosary and readings outside an abortion clinic on Stoughton Rd.

At the same time, 24-hour Eucharistic Adoration will be held at St. Peter Church. Those with questions or those wishing to commit to a certain amount of time for Eucharistic Adoration should contact Mitch Knutson at 608-821-3135 or

St. Joseph Church open house, dinners, tours

FORT ATKINSON -- Although the dedication ceremony for the new St. Joseph Church has been postponed until Sept. 11, an open house consisting of tours and dinners is scheduled for the weekend of July 29, 30, and 31.

The public is invited to all events as follows:

• Friday, July 29 - 4 to 7 p.m. fish fry; 5 to 7:30 p.m. tours of church and school.

• Saturday, July 30 - 2 to 4 p.m. St. Joseph School open house to meet students, staff, and parents, and see the new school. Children of prospective families who tour the school receive free spaghetti dinner coupons; 4 to 7 p.m., KC spaghetti dinner and tours of the full facility.

• Sunday, July 31 - 8 and 10 a.m.; Sunday Mass followed by full tours. PowerPoint presentation to run all day in church hall.

Private College Week

MADISON -- Wisconsin Private College Week, will be held Monday, July 11, through Saturday, July 16.

Wisconsin's 20 private colleges and universities will hold "open house" throughout the week, offer guided campus tours, give students and their families a chance to meet with staff and visit classrooms, residence halls, and other facilities.

During this week the application fee at each campus is waived.

To arrange campus visits, contact any private college or university. To learn more about Wisconsin Private College Week, contact the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities at 1-800-4-DEGREE. Or check out for access to individual college home pages and online applications.

Nominate someone for "Profiles
from the pew"

To nominate someone to be featured in "Profiles from the pew," download a nomination form (PDF file).

"Profiles from the pew" runs in the Catholic Herald print edition

NOTE: The nomination form is 269 KB in size and may take a long time to download on a dial-up Internet connection. It is a Portable Document Format file, also called a PDF, which can be viewed using the freely available Adobe® Reader® software. Many computers already have this software and will automatically open the document when you click the nomination form link, above.

Adobe Reader is a registered trademark of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.

Madison Diocese answers global justice, solidarity, and peace call

A parish's 'catholicity' is illustrated in its willingness to go beyond its own boundaries and extend the Gospel, serve those in need, and work for global justice and peace.

-- U.S. Bishops, Called to Global Solidarity (1997)

Solidarity is not a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far. On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good . . .

-- John Paul II, On Social Concern

In response to the teachings of the Church, and to the promptings of the Spirit within individuals and parishes, the call to global solidarity is being answered in the Madison Diocese.

The groundwork for a Global Solidarity Partnership (GSP) between the Diocese of Madison and the Diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga (N-B) in Ghana, Africa has been developing for the past two years. This effort is overseen by Catholic Relief Services (CRS).

Two delegations have traveled from the Madison Diocese to Ghana, and the Madison Diocese hosted Ghana's Bishop Lucas Abadamloora and Thomas Awiapo, a resident of Ghana who works with CRS. In September, a delegation of priests, religious, teachers, and professionals from the diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga will visit the Madison Diocese. Through these visits, a strong foundation has been laid for an experience of mutual sharing and growth.

Why a diocesan partnership?

Many parishes in the Diocese of Madison already have one-to-one relationships with parishes in developing nations.

Participating in a diocesan-wide partnership offers some additional benefits: the experience, knowledge, and security of working through CRS; a mutual and reciprocal model of partnership; and a way for parishes of all sizes to be in a relationship with a developing country.

Through the program, Catholics can become engaged more directly with communities in need through financial support for projects that address food security, clean water, good health, economic security, and education. GSP works through a team of volunteers from both the U.S. partner and the partner overseas. This team, comprised of lay people and religious, work together to implement the program within their communities.

Invitation to diocesan parishes

Bishop Robert C. Morlino has invited parishes in the Madison Diocese to become part of this partnership and to walk in solidarity with the brothers and sisters in Ghana. Parishes also received information on how the partnership developed, how to promote the partnership in a parish, the benefits of program participation, and specifics about the financial aspect of the project.

Participating parishes are encouraged to personalize their level of involvement through prayer, raising awareness, education, and advocacy.

"The decision to become part of this program is not one to be made lightly. It will require time, effort, and commitment. However, the rewards it offers are truly without measure," Bishop Morlino said.

The Donkey Project

Financial support, perhaps the most concrete expression of partnership involvement, will go to "The Donkey Project." The main goal of this project is to promote soybean production in Ghana.

Through The Donkey Project, women throughout the diocese of N-B will receive a donkey, a plow, a cart, a harness, and seed. They will be taught how to cultivate, process, and incorporate soybean into their diet. The benefits from this effort will ripple out to family, extended family, and village members.

"If a project starts with money, it will remain about money," Bishop Abadamloora said. While financial support will certainly be part of the effort, it is only one component. The Ghanaian people have a great deal to teach others about faith, hospitality, and the universal church.

People from both dioceses bring practical skills, a desire to learn, and themselves. A special commitment has been made by both dioceses to make this Global Solidarity Partnership an experience of long-term, mutual giving, and relationship.

Delegation to visit Madison Diocese

From Sept. 22 through Oct. 5, a delegation of 12 people from the Diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga will visit Madison.

They are depending upon the generosity of Madison diocesan parishes to make this coming together financially possible.

If any parish is interested in hosting members of this delegation, or would be interested in having them visit their parish or school, contact Ben Weisse, coordinator of the Global Solidarity Project, 608-821-3164, e-mail: for details.

This is an opportunity for parishes to form a personal relationship with representatives from Ghana.

Jump to:   Top of page

Gail Nichols: Named assistant superintendent

MADISON -- Gail Nichols has been named assistant superintendent in the Diocese of Madison's Office of Catholic Schools. Her new position becomes effective July 1.

Nichols has a master's degree in educational administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She served as principal of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Cross Plains for nine years and as executive director of the Wisconsin Nonpublic School Association (presently known as Wisconsin Religious and Independent Schools Accreditation) for seven years.

"She'll be a very effective assistant superintendent," said Dr. Jim Silver, superintendent of Catholic schools. "She has a lot of gifts and brings a lot of enthusiasm. She will be a big asset."

Silver noted Nichols' knowledge of working with school accreditation. She will be a good resource when it comes to the school self-study process, he said.

"It is exciting to be a part of something so wonderful as supporting our Catholic schools," said Nichols. "I think that having strong Catholic schools helps make all of our schools in Wisconsin stronger.

"As a principal, when touring potential parents through our school I was always mindful that we had something to offer that other schools couldn't - a real 'faith-based' connection, where our faith is a part of each and every subject. Our schools have the opportunity to embody the teaching mission of Jesus."

Nichols and her husband Dan have three daughters and one son. "All of my children have benefited from the opportunity to have a strong Catholic education here in our diocese, both at St. Francis Xavier and at Edgewood High School," she said.

Since Jan. 3 Nichols has been working as a consultant to the Office of Catholic Schools, when former assistant superintendent Judy Peppard moved on to work with school improvement in the state Department of Public Instruction.

"I have seen how Dr. Jim Silver, Rachel, our administrative assistant, and Judy before me really have the goal of assisting our schools in every way," Nichols said, noting Silver's broad knowledge of the workings of Catholic education and Peppard's efforts to promote the adoption of the diocesan curriculum standards.

Currently Nichols is working on the development of a standards-based report card and the finalization of a religious education assessment.

"Both projects will really have an impact on student learning and it has been such a pleasure working with teachers and principals in the development of both projects and working cooperatively with Jack McBride from the Office of Religious Education on our religious education assessment," she said.

Jump to:   Top of page

St. Raphael Cathedral:
Restoration project awards

MADISON -- The spirit and beauty of St. Raphael Cathedral has garnered various accolades, even after the devastating March fire.

The Cathedral Steeple project featured a thorough study of the history and features of the unique building, and yielded the replacement of the cathedral's wood frame steeple. The new steeple was the first step in an immense refurbishment of the historic cathedral.

Articles on Cathedral fire:

This 2004 restoration received three awards recently from the Madison Trust for Historic Preservation, the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and Wisconsin Builder Magazine.

The Madison Trust for Historic Preservation presented the award for church restoration on May 5 at their 2005 Preservation Awards Ceremony.

Joe Lusson, Trust president, commented, "This project represents a tremendous effort to restore a historic building in a time when many church buildings are lost because of neglect and deterioration. The Madison Trust for Historic Preservation wishes to recognize the laudable efforts to preserve the historic architectural character of downtown Madison."

The Wisconsin Chapter of the American Institute of Architects also recognized the cathedral's restoration efforts. Kelly Thompson, lead architect for Facility Engineering, Inc., contracted to carry out the project, said, "The Diocese of Madison and Facility Engineering, Inc. agreed that the defining objectives for the rehabilitation of St. Raphael Cathedral were to retain the Christian symbolism, historic authenticity, scale, and architectural quality of the structure."

At the 2005 Design Awards Celebration, the American Institute of Architects recognized the project "for the detailed investigation involved in the steeple's restoration."

The third award the project received was from Wisconsin Builder Magazine for a Top Project in 2004. The magazine cited the safety challenges the project had to overcome, along with the usage of more modern materials in the restoration.

While the cathedral suffered substantial damage from the March fire, the new steeple was minimally affected and it continues to grace the Madison skyline. Kelly Thompson said of the surviving steeple, "It is a testament to superior construction, is a symbol of our mortality, and exemplifies the power of Christ."

Jump to:   Top of page

Front page           Most recent issue           Past issues

Diocese of Madison, The Catholic Herald
Offices: Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, 702 S. High Point Road, Madison
Mailing address: P.O. Box 44985, Madison, WI 53744-4985
Phone: 608-821-3070     Fax: 608-821-3071     E-Mail: