Retreat for Catholic single men
MADISON -- This January the five Wisconsin (arch)dioceses are co-sponsoring a Catholic Men's Retreat at beautiful St. Francis Seminary on the shores of Lake Michigan in the Milwaukee area. The retreat is from Friday evening, Jan. 12, through Sunday morning, Jan. 14, 2007, and is for Catholic single men, aged 18 to 29, and focuses on "Catholic Identity, Mission, and Life Discernment."
This past summer, the Wisconsin dioceses decided to co-sponsor this winter retreat, which is conveniently timed between academic semesters for college men, but also draws young men throughout their 20s. The quiet, picturesque grounds of St. Francis Seminary overlooking Lake Michigan make a natural, contemplative setting.
The retreat will include Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, Reconciliation, Rosary, socializing, panel discussions, and quiet prayer time. The presentations will include "Catholic Identity" by Fr. Kevin Holmes of the Diocese of Madison, "Catholic Mission" by Fr. Mark Vander Steeg of the Diocese of Green Bay, and "Catholic Life Discernment" by Fr. Joe Hirsch of the Diocese of La Crosse. There will also be a visit to the famous Basilica of St. Josaphat in Milwaukee.
For more information, contact Fr. Jim Bartylla of the Diocese of Madison at 608-821-3095 or firstname.lastname@example.org The deadline for registration is Friday, Dec. 22. There is no cost for the retreat for those attending from the Diocese of Madison.
Blood drive in Baraboo
BARABOO -- St. Clare Hospital will hold a blood drive on Friday, Dec. 15, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For an appointment, call Peggy Gargano at 608-356-1419.
Amid all the hustle and bustle, it's important to remember the patients who rely on blood transfusions to survive."The greatest gift you could ever give is the gift of life," said Tony Procaccio, CEO of Red Cross Blood Services in this region.
Alternative New Year's celebration
SINSINAWA -- Those looking for an alternative way to bring in the New Year are invited to join leader Dominican Sister Mary Ellen O'Dea for a New Year's celebration from 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31, to 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 1, at the Sinsinawa Mound.
"Of Salt, Cinnamon, Turtledoves, and Mascara . . . All that Is Needed for Life" will be a celebration of turning to the One who companions us through tasteless times as well as times of savory goodness.
The registration deadline is December 22. The retreat fee for a private, overnight room is $92 or for a commuter is $65. Attendees are asked to bring their Bibles.
For more information on this and other activities at the Mound, contact guest services at 608-748-4411 or visit www.sinsinawa.org
Sinsinawa Mound, the Motherhouse for the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters, is located in southwest Wisconsin on Co. Rd. Z, off Hwy. 11, about five miles northeast of Dubuque.
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A time to care for all
MONROE -- The Apostolate to the Handicapped Christmas party is always a joyous event. The gymnasium at Monroe High School is filled with red and green decorations, poinsettias, friends and family, and, of course, the baby Jesus. People laugh and clap and sing with the Diocesan Choir during Mass and with Hugo and Heidi when Santa's arrives.
But most of all, the Christmas party is an occasion to gather together in a spirit of love and celebrate the season. This year the party was held December 2, and the theme, "Jesus saw the crowd, and cared for them," illustrated the love of all who came - guests, volunteers, and caretakers.
"Every one of us today are like Jesus," said Msgr. Thomas F. Campion, director of the Apostolate. "We see the crowd and care for them. Not just a lot of people - we see individuals and we care for them."
Bishop Robert C. Morlino celebrated the Mass, joined by 13 other priests. He was greeted with smiles and handshakes and even, from one person, a hug.
"I'm just like you," the bishop said at the beginning of his homily. "I like to get Christmas presents. And today, I get my first Christmas present from the Lord - I get to be here with you."
Loved by the Father
In his homily, Bishop Morlino talked about the Gospel reading, which was about Jesus seeing the crowd and curing the lame and sick. But not everyone who needed to be cured was, he said.
And when Jesus was crucified, God could have saved him, but he didn't - and certainly his love for his only son was the greatest love, the bishop said.
"Through the weakness of Jesus on the cross, the power of God was made manifest and the world was saved," he said. "That's why all of us, no matter what our limitations, are precious and loved by the Father.
"He doesn't take away our disabilities or limitations, necessarily, but through that weakness God unveils the presence of Christ and saves the world."
God with us
"It isn't even Advent and we're having a Christmas party," Monsignor Campion joked when he took the time to deliver his post-Mass address. "But what is it all about? It's about the incarnation: Christ is with us. God is with us."
Monsignor Campion thanked all of the people who came to the event: first, those with disabilities, and then also the priests and volunteers.
"At the end of 40 years," he said, "we don't want to lose the focus. It's about the handicapped, not one individual or group.
"You are beautiful people. You are truly my friends, and I love and appreciate every one of you."
God has been good
The crowd was full of familiar faces, as well as many who were at the event for the first time.
"I love to come to it," said Dorothy Spani, of Dodgeville, who sat with her daughter Judy Granberg, of Blue Mounds, and Alma Flanagan, of Monroe. This was Granberg's first glimpse of the Apostolate's parties.
"Since I lost my husband, I don't drive - I always watch the (Apostolate to the Handicapped) Mass on TV," said Spani
"You feel good to do what you're able," said Granberg.
"I'm here every time," said Flanagan. She said it's a reminder of how lucky she is that she can be there. "My God has been good to me."
For many of the volunteers, the feeling is the same.
Tim Miller, of Monroe, has served at the Mass for several years. He said he does it because "TC" (Monsignor Campion) asked and it shows support for the handicapped. "I feel good doing the right thing," he said.
Peggy Miller, a nurse with Monroe Clinic, is continuing a tradition in her family of helping out at the Apostolate parties.
"I just wanted to be a part of this special day," she said. "If I can help them enjoy this day in any way . . . this is their day. If I can help them that's what I want to do, because that's what God wanted me to do."
Scott Peters, from the Chicago area and a longtime attendee and supporter of the Apostolate, is already looking forward to the next events - the Spring Day, the golf outing, the pig roast, and the next Christmas party. He said he enjoys coming to the Mass and the party and helping out, especially, he said, because "TC has stuck with me."
Diocesan Choir: Busy year includes new CD, Carnegie Hall, and holiday concert
Second in a two-part series on the Madison Diocesan Choir [read part one]
MADISON -- The Madison Diocesan Choir, under the direction of Dr. Patrick Gorman, caps an extraordinary year with its Christmas holiday concert, "Lessons and Carols," on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 4 p.m. in the chapel at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center.
The event with reception to follow is free. Each person attending is encouraged to bring a nonperishable food item to help stock the food pantry at the Catholic Multicultural Center. Donations to the choir are appreciated.
At Carnegie Hall
More than 20 choir members returned recently from a Carnegie Hall performance, the world premiere of Stephen Edwards' Requiem. The Midwest composer began writing the requiem upon the death of Pope John Paul II.
Nearly 300 children and adults from choirs across the country performed it and other works
with the New England Symphonic Ensemble on November 20 in Isaac Stern Auditorium.
In an interview, Gorman talked about the choir's remarkably successful year. While he and many members could not make the Carnegie Hall trip, he was pleased the choir had the opportunity and that it was well represented. He compared it to the choir's performance of the Bach Magnificat with the Madison Symphony Orchestra and Chorus six years ago.
"It exposes singers to music making at a completely different level - different conductors, musicians, but also a pretty high caliber performance, "Gorman said.
"Coming together with other amateur musicians from other parts of the country, as well as from other choirs in our dioceses, there's a real sense of the universality of music. And going to Carnegie Hall, an icon of American music, that's pretty special. It speaks well of the Diocesan Choir and other choirs from our diocese that were invited."
Other groups joining in the Requiem performance included St. Bernard Parish Choir, Middleton, and the Bel Canto Singers of Wisconsin, Waunakee. Members of the Monroe High School Choir were part of a combined choir performing other works that evening at Carnegie Hall.
"Singing in Carnegie Hall was an incredible experience," said Diocesan Choir bass Mike Flottmeyer of Madison. On his first trip to New York, he got to sing on the very stage where great musicians have performed for over 100 years. He was well prepared, as Gorman had been working with the group in rehearsals since early this year.
"Performing the numbers in Latin with the new music was quite a thrill," Flottmeyer said. "It was challenging music, a lot of dissonance, but with some very dramatic points, a big reward for those of us to sing it."
Soprano Lynda Fourrier of Waterloo delighted in singing with the children and meeting the
composer, Edwards, a Michigan native and graduate of Lawrence University in Appleton. Edwards featured the children's chorus in key segments of the requiem.
"Carnegie Hall was grand, and the performance was dramatic with 300 singers," she said. "The children were magnificent!"
Bishop Swain Mass
What made the Carnegie Hall weekend all the more remarkable is that choir members who did not make the trip were able to sing for a major diocesan liturgical event in Madison. Joined by the St. Raphael Cathedral Choir, they sang at a Mass of Thanksgiving and farewell for Bishop Paul J. Swain, the new bishop of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
"To be able to put together a really fine choir for a major diocesan Mass and have a third
of the choir off singing in Carnegie Hall for a major production, I think everybody should be proud of that, that we were able to step up and do that, and prepare for the liturgy on relatively short notice," Gorman said.
'Lessons and Carols'
Gorman and the choir have been focusing their energy on preparing for "Lessons and Carols." For the first time, they will open with the traditional Anglican hymn, "Once in royal David's city," and invite all to sing as the choir, liturgists, and Bishop Robert C. Morlino enter the chapel.
Besides that and other familiar carols, the selections include "E'en so, Lord Jesus, quickly come," by Paul Manz; "Before the Marvel of this Night," by Carl Schalk; and the unpublished piece, "Prayer of Saint Francis," by William Beckstrand. Bass Tom Eichman of Madison will sing the "Prayer of Saint Francis" solo, as he does on the newly released CD.
Another Gorman favorite is "Dixit Marie," by Austrian composer Hans Leo Hassler. He plans to include that in the choir's repertoire for a trip to Germany next summer that will include a visit to the birthplace of Pope Benedict.
Gorman and the choir will repeat "Lessons and Carols" at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 6, at Saint Peter Church, 5001 N. Sherman Ave., Madison.
New diocesan coordinator of youth ministry
MADISON -- Gary Gaudreau (pronounced Goodrow) has been named the new diocesan coordinator of youth ministry.
He will be working in the Diocese of Madison's Office of Evangelization and Catechesis on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. On Tuesdays and Fridays, Gaudreau will be serving as director of resources for the National Office of the Dead Theologians Society (DTS) located in Black Earth.
Gaudreau has served in church ministry for over 20 years as a parish youth minister, high
school religion teacher, and most recently, as director of religious education and youth ministry for over four years in the Diocese of Baker, Ore.
He has a bachelor's degree in history and teaching credentials from Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Mont., and two bachelor's degrees in theology and religious education from Carroll College in Helena, Mont.
He has been married to his wife, Toni (former director of the Pro-Life Office for the Diocese of Baker) for over 19 years and together they have six children ranging in age from three to 17.
He and his wife are also Cistercian Oblates. They were formally attached to the Trappist monastery in Ogden, Utah, in 1995. "We got to know the monks well and found their way of life very inspiring," said Gaudreau. "We try to integrate the rule of St. Benedict into our lives and our home."
Gaudreau would like to be of service to people working in youth ministry in parishes. "I would love to come to your youth groups or provide your staff with any sort of retreat or spiritual support that I can. In short, I want to be of service to you as you serve on the front line of ministry.
"I am looking forward to meeting all of you as soon as I can and to continue the wonderful work, well under way, of ministering to the youth of the Diocese of Madison."
He may be reached at the Bishop O'Connor Center at 608-821-3164 or the DTS office at 608-767-4063 or by e-mail at email@example.com