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The Catholic Herald: Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Madison

January 12, 2006 Edition   •   Volume 136, No. 1   •   Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A.

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The Catholic Herald is the official newspaper of the Diocese of Madison. Its purpose is to inform and educate people of the Diocese through communications that proclaim Gospel values, report the news, and comment on issues as they pertain to the mission of the Catholic Church, which is to bring all in Jesus Christ to the Father.
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Diocesan Pastoral Council: Bishop Morlino meets with new body

MADISON -- Bishop Robert C. Morlino held a get-acquainted dinner with the newly formed Diocesan Pastoral Council (DPC) on Wednesday, Jan. 4, at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center.

Bishop Morlino explained that he is renewing the DPC in the Diocese of Madison. He asked Kevin Kelly of Sacred Hearts Parish in Sun Prairie to chair the council for the time-being. A constitution and by-laws will be developed, said the bishop.

He said the DPC will meet two or three times a year. Saturday seemed to be the preference for a meeting day among the new members.   Full story ...

Holy Mother of Consolation:
Celebrates 150 years

OREGON -- Beginning with a Mass to celebrate parishioner Anna Fox's 102nd birthday, Holy Mother of Consolation (HMC) in Oregon will begin a year of celebrating 150 years as a parish.

The sesquicentennial kick-off Mass will be held Sunday, Jan. 15, at 10:15 a.m.

Sesquicentennial events

OREGON -- Holy Mother of Consolation's 150th year celebration includes a special series on Tuesday evenings during Lent, which will cover the history of the parish; from those early days in 1844, to the formation of the Madison Diocese in 1946, through Vatican II, to the present.

The history will cover much of the history of the Catholic Church in the state of Wisconsin, as it became a state in 1848.

HMC's Lenten Series schedule (open to the public) includes:

• March 7, 6:30 p.m. - Msgr. Charles Schluter, formation of the Milwaukee Archdiocese, 1843-1900

• March 14, 6:30 p.m. - parishioner Joan Gefke, history of HMC - the early years, 1844-1899

• March 21, 6:30 p.m. - Sr. Mary Frost, HMC pastoral minister, Catholic social teaching, 1900 to 1946

• March 28, 6:30 p.m. - parishioner Kathleen Harty, history of HMC, 1900 to 1950

• April 4, 6:30 p.m. - Bishop George O. Wirz, Diocese of Madison, 1946 to present

• April 11, 6:30 p.m. - Joan Gefke, history of HMC, 1950 to present

Other sesquicentennial events include:

• Spring - HMC Cookbook and "The Taste of HMC"

• September - Alumni reception of students who attended HMC's Elementary School, Mass with the bishop, and a parish picnic

• Fall - Parish pageant performed by HMC's religious education program and publication of the History of Holy Mother of Consolation, "The HMC Chronicle"

History of the parish

It was at the Fox Family cabin that Masses were first celebrated, dating back to 1844. Twelve years later, in 1856, the first parish to serve the Oregon, Fitchburg, Dunn, and Rutland townships was founded, on two acres of land, which today lie in the City of Fitchburg. Fr. Hugh McMahon was appointed HMC's first pastor.

The parish grounds in Fitchburg included the church made of wood, the original parish cemetery (named St. Mary's), a house for the pastor, and a barn for the pastor's horse and buggy.

In the early 1880's the area's first post office came to Oregon, and Fr. Patrick B. Knox, pastor at HMC, made a controversial decision at the time to move the parish to Oregon. Five acres of land were purchased north of the village and a new church was built at a cost of $12,000. The yellow brick building with cross-topped tower was dedicated by Archbishop M. Heiss of Milwaukee on September 26, 1886.

In 1898, the parish purchased four acres of land for a new cemetery on the north end of the Village of Oregon and also named it St. Mary's. HMC remains proprietor of the original parish cemetery site in Fitchburg, which today is cleared of buildings. All that remains on the site are graves and grave markers from the first cemetery.   Full story ...

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