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The Catholic Herald: Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Madison
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October 5, 2006 Edition   •   Volume 136, No. 36   •   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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Web edition:
• Catholic Press Association Best Web Site: Third Place, 2005

Award of Distinction, The Communicator Awards 2002 Print Media competition

Print edition: Award winner, Catholic Press Association, 2006 awards competition:

• First place for best editorial on a local issue

• First place for best news writing on a local/regional event

• First place for best general news photo

• Third place for best editorial page or editorial section

• Honorable mention for best single ad - black and white

Respect Life Sunday:
Massgoers, marchers pray for life

MADISON -- It was the beginning of Respect Life Month, and also the beginning of the month of the Rosary. Both fell on a day when the sky was blue and the weather perfect for marching.

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On Sunday, Oct. 1, people filled the pews at St. Patrick Parish, Madison, for the Diocesan Respect Life Mass and walked the streets for the 60th International Rosary March, to pray for an end to all violence on innocent life and to serve as a reminder of the dignity of all human beings.

At the beginning of his homily at the Respect Life Mass, Bishop Robert C. Morlino said he was praying for the healing of Rep. Mark Foley, a congressman from Florida who has recently resigned under allegations of sexual misconduct.

"I want to be very clear that I am not rejoicing at anyone's misfortune," he said. But in the Catholic Church, the bishops have taken every sort of step to ensure a safe environment for children.

"I think it's time for American people to tell the congress of the United States and to tell the public schools to take advantage of what the bishops have done and get with it in terms of providing a safe environment," he said. "Don't let the opportunity slip away."

Secondly, the bishop said that in this matter of pro-life, as Jesus said in the Gospel, "'Anybody who is not against us is with us.' . . . So we forge alliances because it's for the good of all," he said.

But some politicians, he said, are causing confusion about the natural law. "And no Catholic, or anyone else who claims to be with us, should cause confusion, because people of good will are caused by confusion to fall into sin," he said.

Sources of confusion

There are three major sources of confusion, he said.

First, that everyone has a "right" to marry. "I am tired of reading that in the local newspapers," he said. "People have a right to marry. No one has a right to redefine marriage."   Full story ...

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

Bishops, priests gather:
For 26th annual assembly

Supreme Court: Faces partial-birth abortion, environment cases


• The Pope Speaks
by Pope Benedict XVI --
Thomas: Doubting led him
to spiritual growth with the Lord

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Future special sections:

Retirement Living #3: Oct. 12, 2006

Senior Focus/ World Mission Sunday: Oct. 19, 2006

All Souls Day - Grief and Hospice: Oct. 26, 2006

Holiday Gift Guide: Nov. 2, 2006

Directory: Nov. 9, 2006

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Planning: How did we get to where we are today?

MADISON -- The Diocese of Madison underwent a strategic planning process some years ago that sought to minimize the number of parish closures, maintaining a sacramental presence throughout all of the existing parishes.

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Core committee training sessions

This strategy, even with its limitations, was successfully applied to the extent that the diocese presently has 67 percent of its parishes linked with at least one other parish.

While this parish model is still valid and will likely be used in the future, it became clear at the start of 2005 that strategically this was no longer an effective method of conserving priestly resources.

Thus, in the spring of 2005, the diocese began a long term planning project by contracting with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University to create a comprehensive demographic report on the Diocese of Madison. This report provided a statistically valid demographic profile for the 11 counties of the Diocese of Madison.

The next step involved querying all priests and parishioners using surveys designed by CARA. The priest survey was taken first in the fall of 2005, with the results discussed with Bishop Robert C. Morlino in the winter of 2005-06.

One result of these discussions was the decision to implement a grassroots or bottoms-up strategy at the parish level in the development of the parish restructuring plan that was imminent for the diocese. The in-pew survey of parishioners followed in November 2005, with the results released back to the parishes for their self-evaluation in the spring of 2006.   Full story ...

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