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August 25, 2005 Edition

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This week:
Planning for the future: Diocese undertakes new process
Our Lady of the Assumption: Grade school marks 50th anniversary
News Briefs
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News Briefs:
All Saints marks
first anniversary

MADISON -- All Saints Neighborhood will hold a first anniversary celebration on Wednesday, Sept. 7 (rain date September 8), at 6 p.m. at All Saints Neighborhood Retirement Center, 8202 Highview Dr. (Commerce Dr. south off Watts Rd.)

The celebration will be highlighted with a solo performance by singer American Rose, who has shared her vocal talents with President Reagan. Cake and beverages will be served. Tours of the All Saints Neighborhood including the Cottages and Retirement Center will be available. For reservations, call Katie Roellig at 608-827-2222.

All Saints Neighborhood is sponsored by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Madison. It is owned by All Saints Cottages and Condos, Inc., and developed, built, and managed by Horizon.

Competency hearing

MADISON -- A trial originally scheduled for August 22 for William Connell, the man accused of setting the March 14 fire that left only the walls and steeple standing at St. Raphael Cathedral in Madison, has been delayed.

Instead, another competency hearing has been set for him for Friday, Aug. 26. "Competency" determines whether the defendant lacks substantial mental capacity to understand the legal proceedings and assist his attorney in his defense.

A competency examination in March determined that Connell is competent to proceed in the legal process, but he has a history of symptoms of mental illness.

Regarding charges of burglary and arson, Connell entered pleas of not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. According to his attorney, assistant public defender Rhoda Ricciardi, Connell refused to discuss his case with her. On August 10 Dane County Circuit Judge Steven Ebert ordered an evaluation of Connell and for the findings to be reported in 15 days.

Benefit golf outing

COTTAGE GROVE -- The Catholic Order of Foresters will be hosting a golf outing on September 24 at The Oaks Golf Course, Cottage Grove. Eighteen holes of golf will be played while raising funds for a scholarship fund for seminarians.

Participants may sign up for golf, golf and dinner, or dinner only. All funds raised will be matched by the Catholic Order of Foresters. Contact Greg Cass at 608-846-7119 or at by September 3.

recovery program

MADISON -- Hope is available for those who struggle from the emotional and spiritual turmoil that follows an abortion.

Whole Heart, a post-abortion ministry of Care Net Pregnancy Center, will offer a 14-week Bible study and support group for women beginning Tuesday, Sept. 6. Facilitators have been there and understand the pain and anguish. A compassionate, safe, and confidential setting is offered.

Register by August 29 by calling Cassie at 608-259-1605 or e-mail

Day of Remembrance

HONEY CREEK -- A Day of Remembrance will be celebrated at the Our Lady of Loretto Church Museum on Sunday, Aug. 28, at 1:30 p.m.

Deacon Ron Pickar of Sacred Heart Parish in Reedsburg will lead the prayer service. An open house will follow.

Our Lady of Loretto Church Museum is located on Hwy. C between Denzer and Leland, one mile from the Natural Bridge State Park. Everyone is welcome.

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from the pew"

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

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Planning for the future: Diocese undertakes
new process

MADISON -- Under the leadership of Bishop Robert C. Morlino, the Diocese of Madison is undertaking a new and intensive planning process.

Commenting on the need for planning, Bishop Morlino stated in the June 9, 2005 issue of the Catholic Herald:

"We must insure that we will use the generous resources provided us by the faithful to our best advantage. Planning for our future is a critical responsibility of the Bishop's. I must insure that the truth of our faith is passed on from generation to generation."

Demographic report

The first step in the process has been completed, a comprehensive demographic report on the Diocese of Madison by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University.

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The report provides a statistically valid demographic profile for the 11 counties of the Diocese of Madison. Using information from the diocese provided by the parishes, the report further provides a candid "snapshot" of the diocese and its 134 parishes. Both are a starting point for the diocesan strategic planning process.

In-pew survey

The next major component of the planning process is the in-pew survey being prepared for parishioners. All Catholics 18 years of age or older will be asked to complete the survey in their parishes in conjunction with weekend liturgies the weekend of November 4-5, 2005.

These surveys - along with surveys completed by the priests of the diocese - will provide key information on a variety of issues concerning the future direction of the Diocese of Madison and the parishes.

The Offices of the Chancellor, Communications, and Planning will be directing the comprehensive planning process. The process will provide an opportunity for both the laity and the clergy of the diocese to participate. Besides the surveys, there will be opportunities for both the priests and laity of the diocese to review options and register suggestions.

Strategic Plan

The ultimate outcome of this process will be the development of a two part Diocesan Strategic Plan. The first part will address the issue of the declining number of priests available to serve the local church.

In 1960, there were 245 priests serving the Diocese of Madison. Presently there are fewer than 100. Today, 84 pastors along with six parochial vicars serve the 134 parishes of the diocese. In addition, four priests serve in diocesan posts (hospital chaplain, vocations director, apostolate to the handicapped director, and Hispanic ministry).

There are no ordinations scheduled for 2006 or 2007. It is estimated that within 10 years (2015), there will be 53 diocesan priests.

Obviously, the distribution of those priests will be key to the future of the diocese and to the parishes in which the faithful proclaim the Word of God, celebrate the sacramental life, and engage in the work of the church and building up of the community.

The second part of the Diocesan Strategic Plan will focus on the living out of the Catholic faith in the parishes, schools, institutions, programs, and offices of the Diocese of Madison. Plans will be set in place for furthering the mission of Christ in the local church.

Building on the strengths identified through the surveys, a plan will be developed for addressing the challenges we face so that we might live the faith fully in today's world.

Time to begin planning

What should parishes do now?

It has been said that if we don't plan for our future, we may not have one. Now is the time to begin the planning.

The parish pastors, staffs, and members must be engaged in the process in order for it to be credible and effective. The extent to which the strategic plan will lead to a renewal of the local church is dependent upon God's grace and our level of personal commitment. We are certain of the one. We must work to assure the other.

Pastors and staffs can begin preparing the members of the parish for the process.

• Write about it in the bulletin.

• Speak of it from the ambo.

• Encourage members to read the Catholic Herald for updates on the process.

• Begin identifying key individuals to assist at the parish level with the in-pew surveys.

• Discuss as councils and as staffs the areas of possible collaboration with neighboring parishes, schools, and programs.

• Add the process to the Prayers of the Faithful at weekend liturgies.

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Our Lady of the Assumption:
Grade school marks 50th anniversary

BELOIT -- Fifty years of quality Catholic education will be celebrated on Labor Day weekend at Our Lady of the Assumption (OLA) School.

Central to the importance and meaning of the school is the commitment to Catholic education by Our Lady of the Assumption Parish since it was founded 52 years ago.

Weekend events

A variety of events are planned for OLA School alumni, students, parents, parish, and friends.

Weekend activities include: a fish fry in OLA Assumption Hall, an alumni reunion gathering, golf outing, and buffet dinner dance. The celebration culminates with a special anniversary Mass at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 4, followed by a family tailgate picnic and games.

On Friday evening, Sept. 2, the fish fry is served from 5 to 7 p.m. in Assumption Hall. OLA adult alumni are encouraged to renew acquaintances and reminisce at Reunion Nite from 7 p.m. until midnight at Suds O'Hanahan's Irish Pub in downtown Beloit.

Beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday morning, a golf outing, featuring an 18-hole scramble, takes place at Krueger-Haskell Golf Course. Reservations are required for the outing, costing $35 per person with golf cart included.

Everyone is invited to the buffet dinner and dance Saturday evening from 6 p.m. until midnight in OLA Assumption Hall. The cost is $20 per person and reservations are required.

OLA School children will participate in the liturgy at the anniversary Mass. Following the Mass, entertainment and food are featured until 3:30 p.m. Food will be provided for the Family Tailgate Party sponsored by the OLA Parish and Home and School Association. Those attending are asked to bring lawn chairs, their own table service, and beverages.

Fun for entire family

"Then we'll have fun for the entire family with a variety of games for younger children as well as softball and kickball for older children and adults," said OLA Principal Arlene McMorran. An alumni/student softball tournament will take place.

Information and reservations can be obtained by calling OLA School, 608-365-4014, by August 27.

McMorran leads the planning committee assisted by: Patti Cherri, Dennis Ezdon, Kelly Ezdon, Jean Voss, Sean Murphy, Pat Ballou, Brian Denu, Arlene Summers, Dan Kruse, Ann Jordan, and David Sowl. McMorran said all committee members are OLA alumni.

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