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September 1, 2005 Edition

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This week:
Breaking News: Bishop authorizes special collection for hurricane victims (9/1/05)
New church and school: To be dedicated in Fort Atkinson
Holy Communion: Sisters in Prairie du Sac make altar breads for many parishes
News Briefs
Nominate someone for "Profiles from the pew"

News Briefs:
Alleged arsonist
deemed incompetent

MADISON -- At a competency hearing August 26 at the Dane County Courthouse, 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, was deemed incompetent to stand trial at this time.

"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 spring determined 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.

Regarding charges of burglary and arson, Connell entered pleas of not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.

Connell will undergo further evaluation until he can be deemed competent.

According to an article in the Capital Times, Connell was ordered back to Mendota Mental Health Institute for treatment that could put him in a condition in which he would be competent to stand trial. The article stated that in 90 days another competency report is due.

Women's Awareness Day

SINSINAWA -- The 22nd annual Women's Awareness Day will be held at Sinsinawa Mound from 3 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22.

The event will include three 50-minute breakout sessions, dinner, and the keynote, "The Life of the Party," by Shannon Zetterland from Keokuk, Iowa. Over 20 breakout sessions include topics from heart disease to herb gardening to humor in the workplace.

To register, contact Krista Weitz at 563-557-8271, ext. 247, or e-mail Registration fee is $25 on or before September 15 or $35 after September 15.

Support groups

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. Thursdays, Sept. 1 and 15, at Our Lady Queen of Peace, 401 S. Owen Dr.

New Directions will meet from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, Sept. 8 and 22, at St. Dennis Parish Center, 413 Dempsey Rd., top floor. For information, call 608-821-3170.

Parish offers Great Adventures Bible Study

MADISON -- Blessed Sacrament Parish, on the west side of Madison, will be offering the 24-week Jeff Cavins' Great Adventure Bible Study series, beginning on Monday, Sept. 26, from 7:15 to 9:15 p.m.

The series will run through May 1 with a number of breaks for holidays. Home study, questions, group discussion, and a video presentation by Jeff Cavins on the 14 historical books of the Bible will help participants understand the "big picture" of salvation history, connecting the Old and New Testaments.

Beginners and experienced Bible students alike will have the opportunity to revitalize their relationship with Christ through the study.

Contact Tom Claridge no later than Monday, Sept. 19, at 608-238-3979 for more information, to register, and to order course materials.

Exercise for people
with arthritis

MADISON -- PACE Exercise Program - "People with Arthritis Can Exercise" - begins on Tuesday, Sept. 13, from 11 to 11:30 a.m. through Dec. 13 at Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish Center, 401 S. Owen Dr.

Participants will experience a series of gentle movements and activities designed to increase mobility and range of motion. Diane Fronek, certified instructor, will teach the class.

Pre-registration is necessary and a physician information form is required. Cost is $42 for the 14 weeks. Call Heather Crade, parish nurse, at 608-663-2996 to register.

for young adults

MADISON -- Theology-On-Tap (TOT) is a four-week speaker series for those in their 20s and 30s.

Held in a relaxed setting, the series offers young adults the opportunity to learn more about their faith through speakers and the chance to discuss faith topics with other young adults.

In the fall of 2005, the Diocese of Madison will have four sites for TOT: Madison, Beloit, Cambridge, and Platteville.

A finale celebration with Bishop Morlino will be held on Friday evening, Oct. 7, at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center in Madison.

For more information on Theology on Tap and other young adult activities, visit
or call the Diocese of Madison at 608-821-3164.

Natural Family
Planning classes

BLOOMINGTON/MADISON -- Couple to Couple League will offer Natural Family Planning classes in Bloomington and Monona/East Madison this fall.

The Bloomington class will be offered at St. Mary Church beginning on Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m. To register, call Doug and Rita White at 608-994-2948 or by e-mail at

The Monona/East Madison class will be held at Immaculate Heart of Mary School beginning Saturday, Sept. 17, at 9:30 a.m. To register, call Mary and Howie Mead at 608-221-9593 or e-mail at

Marriage Encounter Weekend

MADISON -- Madison Marriage Encounter is hosting a Marriage Encounter Weekend September 16 to 18. A Marriage Encounter Weekend is a weekend away from the daily distractions and tensions of life. It will be held at the Bishop O'Connor Center in Madison.

All faiths are welcome. To register or for more information, call 608-821-3175 or visit the Web site at

School marks 50 years

REEDSBURG -- On September 7, Sacred Heart School is continuing its 50th anniversary celebration with a commemorative Mass at 10:30 a.m. Bishop George O. Wirz will preside.

Luncheon will follow in the school gym. For information, call the school office, 608-524-3611.

Services for disabled

MADISON -- The Catholic Charismatic Renewal's Spiritual Feast on Saturday, Sept. 10, at the Bishop O'Connor Center will have a sign-language interpreter present. The O'Connor Center is wheelchair accessible and assistive-listening devices are available. For a registration brochure, contact Jane Krzos at 608-833-6560 or e-mail

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from the pew"

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New church and school: To be dedicated
in Fort Atkinson

FORT ATKINSON -- Parishioners and visitors alike will be on hand to "Rejoice and Be Glad" at the celebration of the dedication of the new $8.5 million St. Joseph Church and School.

Bishop Robert C. Morlino will perform the dedication ceremony Sunday, Sept. 11, at the 10 a.m. Mass. Master of Ceremonies will be Fr. James Bartylla.

Concelebrating the Mass will be Pastor Fr. Bill Nolan and other visiting priests. Deacon Dr. Greg Gehred will assist. Parish Council Chairperson Gene Bohn will give the welcome. Readers will be Vicki Keogh, Audrey Fixmer, and Bethann Handzlik. Three choirs will sing.

Dedication activities

The same zeal that drove parishioners to volunteer more than 50,000 hours to help in the building process now has them planning the dedication ceremony. Under the leadership of Betty Schubert, vice chairperson of the Pastoral Council, committees have been working for the past six months to make this a memorable and sacred day.

Related articles:

July 14, 2005 edition:
Fort Atkinson parishioners: Move into new church, plan open house weekend

Mar. 17, 2005 edition:
• Grand Mom column: Building for the love of God: Priest inspires parish

Feb. 10, 2005 edition:
• Fort Atkinson parishioners: Bid farewell to old church [print edition only]

Jan. 13, 2005 edition:
Farewell ceremony in Fort Atkinson

May 6, 2004 edition:
Fort Atkinson: Plans for new church move ahead

Tours through the entire facility will be organized by School Principal Leonard Bannon following the Dedication Mass. Special features of interest include the St. Joseph Mosaic weighing more than 15 tons, which was safely removed from the old church and installed into the Gathering Space of the new church on Endl Blvd., and the unique stained glass window that spanned the front of the old church and now adorns the daily chapel as five smaller windows. The gymnasium and locker rooms and expansive play areas are also noted as desirable and necessary parts of modern education.

An Order of Worship Booklet was prepared by Religious Education Director Pam Cook and Music Teacher Heidi Head. They, along with Confirmation director Lois Fritz have also directed a youth choir and a new teen choir for this special occasion. Organist Shirley Chiochios and music director Wayne Crook are working with the adult choirs and brass ensemble.

Mary Sykes and Terri Borchardt are leading the Council of Catholic Women in preparing a reception to follow the Dedication Mass. They plan to provide enough finger foods and refreshments for 750 people. Mary Ann Steppke is working with florists to coordinate colors of flowers and plants being donated by parishioners.

Betty Meier was in charge of the special invitations and Jim Gross is working with the ushers.

Souvenir book

A souvenir Dedication Book will be distributed to each family and visitors of the parish. The book will feature cover art by local artist Mark Dziewior, letters from Bishop Morlino and Father Nolan, a listing of all of the donors of special gifts and memorials, and all benefactors.

Many volunteers wrote their comments on what their volunteer efforts did for them. Jim Lewicki supplied countless colored photos of the building process from the groundbreaking to the final finished work. Gary Romens donated his professional expertise by laying out the entire book. Bob Mansavage made it all possible by selling ads to finance the book. Audrey Mettel Fixmer served as editor.

Visitors welcome

Lois Fritz has collected many items to be placed in the time capsule. Buzz Janes, a mason, is completing the cornerstone and church sign for the entrance on Endl Blvd.

Visitors are welcome to attend the special day and to tour the new facility.

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Holy Communion: Sisters in Prairie du Sac make altar breads for many parishes

PRAIRIE DU SAC -- The cloistered Cistercian Nuns at Valley of Our Lady Monastery near Prairie du Sac, live a hidden life of sacrifice and prayer.

They support themselves by making altar breads that will become the body of Christ - Corpus Christi - on altars throughout the Diocese of Madison and the nation.

Every year they prepare over 12 million altar breads.

All nuns involved

The baking, packing, and shipping of the breads requires the participation of all the nuns in some capacity.

Three Sisters work together on a shift to bake the altar breads. One Sister mixes the batter, another operates the baker, and another catches and stacks the breads.

Other nuns work at the cutter and operate the packaging machine. The packing area grows larger every year as the business increases.

Nuns' history

When six German-speaking Cisterican nuns came to the Diocese of Madison from Frauenthal in Switzerland in 1957, they at first made their living by farming. But their cattle herd was large and the acreage was insufficient to profitably support such farming.

In the early 1960s the nuns began making altar breads. With the help of their chaplain, they began selling their breads to priests throughout the area.

Soon, they had a regular clientele of parishes. The community continued to grow, as did the orders for altar breads.

Buildings too crowded

The Sisters' two original buildings - an 1850 stone house and a 1917 summer home of Wisconsin Governor Emanuel Phillip - were becoming too crowded to serve the nuns. (The buildings were never intended to become a permanent home for the nuns.)

The growing numbers of women joining the Cistercian community required an addition in 1964. Insufficient funds at that time did not allow the nuns to build in a lasting Cistercian manner as they had planned.

Related articles:

July 14, 2005 edition:
• Photo: New Monastery

Oct. 14, 2004 edition:
Cistercian Sisters: 'Fulfilling the Mission; Meeting the Need'

June 24, 2004 edition:
New monastery 'kick off' meeting

Feb. 26, 2004 edition:
• Bishop's Letter: Raising funds for Cistercian sisters

Dec. 25, 2003 edition:
Capital campaign: To build new monastery

Oct. 17, 2002 print edition:
• Highland couple: Donates land for Cistercian sisters' new monastery

Jan. 17, 2002 print edition:
• Cloistered order of Cistercian sisters: Is growing at the Valley of Our Lady Monastery

In 1994, another addition was added to accommodate the baking of the altar breads.

Today, in addition to not having adequate room for new candidates, the altar bread business has taken over the special sick rooms, workrooms, and some cells to bake the altar breads.

Mold in the walls of the 1964 building, aging, inadequate heating systems in the older buildings, water in the cellar after rain falls, and a noisy Highway 12 nearby all required bold action.

Capital campaign

To solve the problem, the nuns have embarked on a capital campaign to build a new monastery to last hundreds of years. The new monastery will accommodate generations of cloistered contemplative nuns and supply the long-term space needed for baking the breads for the Holy Eucharist.

The Cistercian nuns also spend time in prayer every day. They pray for all Catholics, for all humanity, and without ceasing.

Catholics throughout the Diocese of Madison are being asked to give generously to the "Fulfilling the Mission; Meeting the Need" capital campaign. For more information on the campaign, contact Darryl Hanson, campaign director, 800-966-6266.

For more information about the Cisterican nuns, visit their Web site at

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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: