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The Catholic Herald: Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Madison

January 26, 2006 Edition   •   Volume 136, No. 3   •   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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Catholic schools:
'Character. Compassion. Values.'

Catholic Schools Week 2006 logo

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Catholic schools:
Student numbers increase

The total enrollment for the Catholic schools in the Diocese of Madison has increased by about two percent for the 2005-06 school year.

There are now 7,976 students enrolled in 47 schools.

No schools reported the permanent closure of grades or programs this year, and four pre-school or four-year-old kindergarten programs and one five-year-old kindergarten program began operating.

All enrollments rise

Increases were seen in every enrollment category between 2004-05 and 2005-06.

Pre-kindergarten/kindergarten increased from 1,487 to 1,565 students; grades one to six enrollment rose from 4,590 students to 4,606; grades seven to eight went from 1,154 to 1,167 students; and high school student numbers increased from 599 to 638.

With an increase of 146 students overall, enrollment is at a five-year high.

Excellent for children

This enrollment increase is excellent for the children enrolled, said Jim Silver, superintendent of Catholic schools.

"It's the only place where they can be taught church teachings and moral values. It's something you can't get in public schools," he said.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- "Catholic Schools: Character. Compassion. Values." is the theme of Catholic Schools Week 2006.

The week runs from January 29 to February 4 in Catholic schools throughout the nation. The observance begins on the last Sunday in January every year.

National Appreciation Day For Catholic Schools will be observed Wednesday, Feb. 1.

Two other highlights of the week are Vocation Appreciation Day on February 2 and National Appreciation Day for Catholic School Teachers, a tribute to the 163,000 Catholic educators, observed February 3.

A longtime tradition in Catholic education, now in its 32nd year, Catholic Schools Week became part of the National Marketing Campaign for Catholic Schools in 1991. This year-round program is a collaborative undertaking by the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Celebrating schools

Dr. Karen M. Ristau, who became NCEA's president in July, said, "Catholic Schools Week is an especially good time to celebrate character, compassion, and values. Many of our schools in the Gulf suffered serious damage in the hurricanes. True to their character, most of them have reopened. Other students across the nation contributed more than $1 million in a Child to Child relief effort, demonstrating that their compassion and values are enduring."   Full story ...

Diocese audited financial statements on Web page

MADISON -- The latest audited Madison Diocese financial statements are available on the diocesan Web site.

They can be viewed at under the "other featured content" section located on the main page.

Only in the print edition ...
News & Features:

Special section:
Catholic Schools Week

Pope's first encyclical: Explores dimensions of love, charity


• Question Corner
by Fr. John Dietzen --
Tower of Babel: Mythic story shows result in disobeying God

• The Pope Speaks
by Pope Benedict XVI -- Christian Unity: Pray 'that all might be one'

• Making a Difference
by Tony Magliano --
Gospel of peace: Pope Benedict makes peacemaking a priority

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Future special sections:

Retirement Living issue:
Feb. 9, 2006

Senior Focus: Feb. 16, 2006

Lent: March 2, 2006

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St. Elizabeth Ann Seton House: Opens new doors

MADISON -- The Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Madison (SVDP) has just opened its fourth St. Elizabeth Ann Seton House, renovating an old, worn-down house in the Marquette Neighborhood here into what will soon become a warm place for women and children.

The new St. Elizabeth Ann Seton House (Seton IV), a newly remodeled two-unit building directly next door to the first Seton House, will serve as temporary housing for women and children coming out of homelessness.

The program, named in honor of the first American-born Catholic saint, has served hundreds of women and children since it was first started in 1990. In 2005 alone, it provided a welcome roof to 70 individuals in 51 households, including three newborns.

Making things new

According to Ernie Stetenfeld, communications director for SVDP here, the previous owner, when selling her house, wanted very much to sell to SVDP because they had "been good neighbors," often helping to mow her lawn and shovel her sidewalk.

And when taking a tour of the new Seton IV, he said, she was very much surprised by - and pleased with - how different the house looked after all the remodeling was done.

Full story ...

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