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March 15, 2007 Edition

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This week:
• Front-page article: Three new monsignors named
Great cathedrals: They are 'catechism in stone'
    Sidebar: Options for St. Raphael Cathedral site
Master's students: Find program worth its challenges
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News Briefs

Articles on St. Raphael Cathedral

Lenten regulations
    (from 2/15/2007 edition)

News Briefs:
Mission program

MADISON -- Volunteers are being sought to spend two weeks this summer in Mexico to teach religion, arts and crafts, English, cook for volunteers, be a driver, and do other work with the Latin American Mission Program (LAMP). The third LAMP training class will be held Sunday, March 18, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Multicultural Center, 1862 Beld St., Madison. The topic will be "Religion in Mexico and the History of Mexico" by Fr. George Fox, LAMP executive vice-president. For further information, write LAMP, P.O. Box 85, Madison, WI 53701-0085 or call 608-845-7028, 608-255-5284, or 608-868-7816.

Speaker rescheduled

CAMBRIDGE -- The Lenten program by national speaker and cartoonist Jason Kotecki, "Living and Loving with a Childlike Faith," which was postponed because of inclement weather, has been rescheduled and will take place on Sunday, March 18, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at St. Pius X Parish, 701 W. Water St., Cambridge. For questions about the event, call 608-423-3015.

Parishioners talk
about trip to Nigeria

EDGERTON -- St. Joseph Parish is hosting a presentation on the trip 13 parishioners from the parish made to their sister parish in Nigeria to attend the dedication of the church they helped to build with their support. The presentation is Sunday, March 18, at 1 p.m., in the parish hall, 590 S. Saint Joseph Cir., Edgerton.

St. Joseph Parish has been a sister parish with the small parish in Ngwoma, Nigeria, for several years, with the help of Msgr. Kevin Akagha, a Nigerian priest who worked in the Diocese of Madison and was administrator for a time at St. Joseph Parish, and Fr. Bill Hower, current pastor.

The group spent five days in Nigeria, attending the dedication ceremony for the new church. They came back with pictures and stories of the people with whom they have built not only a church but also a relationship. Frank Vogl, one of the travelers and a speaker at the presentation, said it is a way to share the work and experience the whole community has had in building the relationship.

Eucharistic Day
at Sacred Hearts

SUN PRAIRIE -- Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Parish, 221 Columbus St., Sun Prairie, will celebrate its annual Eucharistic Day on Sunday, March 18. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will begin at the conclusion of the 11 a.m. Mass. There will be opportunity for private prayer before the Blessed Sacrament until 3 p.m. when Evening Prayer will be celebrated, followed by a reflection by Fr. Bart Timmerman and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

Theme of the reflection is "The Eucharist: God Is With Us!" Father Timmerman formerly served as parochial vicar of Sacred Hearts Parish and is currently pastor of St. Mary Parish, Bloomington, and St. John Parish, Patch Grove. A social will be held in the Gathering Room in the church lower level after Benediction. The church is handicapped accessible; all are welcome to attend. For more information, call Naomi Matthees at 608-837-2488.

Peer support groups

MADISON -- Two local parishes offer peer support groups that provide support to those hurting from separation, divorce, or loss of a significant relationship. The groups are open to all ages and faiths. People do not need to be a member of the parishes. For information, call 608-824-0014.

Friends on a Journey meets from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, March 15, at Our Lady Queen of Peace, 401 S. Owen Dr. New Directions meets from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, March 22, at St. Dennis Parish Center, 413 Dempsey Rd.

Estate planning

HIGHLAND -- A free Estate Planning Workshop will be held on Monday, March 26, at 6 p.m. at SS. Anthony and Philip Parish Center meeting room. The presenter will be Allen Trapp, an estate planning specialist with the University of Wisconsin. Parishioners and friends are invited. A light evening meal will be served after the presentation. Call the parish office at 608-929-7490 no later than Thursday, March 22, so plans for food and hand-out materials can be made.

Living Stations of Cross

DARLINGTON -- Holy Rosary Parish will present the Living Stations of the Cross on Wednesday, March 21, at 5:30 p.m. Nancy Winslow and Becky Taylor are working with high school students to prepare this prayer experience.

Men's Health Night: At Divine Savior Hospital

PORTAGE -- Let's face it - guys often leave their health up to fate. Divine Savior Healthcare encourages men of all ages to avoid gambling with their health and attend the upcoming Men's Health Night: What's in the Cards for You? on Thursday, March 15.

Men's Health Night will also feature informational booths, games, snacks and beverages, and giveaways for each attendee. Booths are open from 6 to 8 p.m. and the panel will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The event will be located in the Café Classroom (on lower level), Divine Savior Healthcare, 2817 New Pinery Rd. Cost is free, though pre-registration is requested by calling 608-745-6405.

Theater Bus trips: Planned to the Fireside and Spring Gala

MADISON -- Theater Bus for people over 60 has two trips planned in April. Call 608-257-0003 for information and reservations.

The Fireside Theater in Fort Atkinson is the destination to see Fiddler on the Roof, the Tony Award winning musical, on Thursday, April 12. The customary Fireside luncheon will be served prior to the show. Total cost is $80.

The Theater Bus' Spring Gala will be held Sunday, April 29, at Blackhawk Country Club. A quartet from Madison Savoyards will entertain. Luncheon will include a special cake. Cost is $48.

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Great cathedrals:
They are 'catechism in stone'

MADISON -- Cathedrals aren't normal churches. They should be a "catechism in stone that represents the whole diocese," architect Duncan Stroik told a Madison audience on March 8.

More articles on
St. Raphael Cathedral

The associate professor of architecture at the University of Notre Dame spoke at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center as part of the St. Thérèse of Lisieux Lecture Series.

Stroik described great cathedrals around the world and in the United States. He called them "transcendent and beautiful." From Chartes in France to St. Peter's in Rome to St. Patrick's in New York, cathedrals are "symbols of their cities," he said. "The identity of cities is derived from cathedrals."

In small cities, too

He said great cathedrals aren't limited to big cities. Many small cities have outstanding cathedrals. He pointed to Chartres. "In 12th Century France, Chartres - about one 50th the size of Madison - undertook the construction of a great cathedral," he said. "It is one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture. In a little town, they built a magnificent temple out of stone."

The Chartres cathedral spires are 25 stories high. The cathedral is 427 feet long - for you "cheeseheads," Stroik said that's one and a half football fields. After two major fires, each time the faithful of Chartres built a larger cathedral. More than 1,000 penitents dragged carts filled with stone to erect the structure.

Cathedrals in U.S.

Stroik pointed to great American cathedrals in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City, which are located in the heart of these cities. In Baltimore, a bishop in the 1950s built another cathedral away from the downtown. But the church realized it needed a presence in the city and recently completed the restoration of the cathedral downtown.

He also pointed to great cathedrals in smaller cities, including those in Helena, Mont. (Bishop Robert C. Morlino's former diocese), Omaha, Neb., Notre Dame, Ind., and Covington, Ken.

Scourge of fire

Fires have scourged other cathedrals besides St. Raphael in Madison, he said. For example, St. Paul Outside the Wall in Rome burned down in the 1800s. It was rebuilt "bigger and better," with some elements reminiscent of the previous church but also an "evolution in design."

Likewise St. Peter's Basilica in Rome was rebuilt after a fire. It was recognized that the "site was sacred," so a new church was totally rebuilt centered on the tomb of the apostle Peter.

Options for St. Raphael Cathedral site

Near the end of his lecture, architect Duncan Stroik gave three options for the site of St. Raphael Cathedral in Madison:

1. Rebuild the cathedral on the present site using the existing walls and foundations. This suggestion is limited by the size of the cathedral, which should be enlarged to seat more than the 600 people it could accommodate before the fire. It would also limit adding a parish center, rectory, piazza, or cloister garden.

2. Build an entirely new cathedral in a more modern style of architecture. Stroik wondered how soon this kind of building would go out of style.

3. Rebuild on the site, but start from scratch. Some of the existing elements could be used, such as the stone, mosaics, and spire. The cathedral could be re-oriented on the site, going horizontal across the property. The altar could be oriented in the east, facing the rising sun. With the current rectory torn down, the site would allow for the building of a three to five story cathedral, said Stroik.

Sacred site

Stroik said the "sacredness of the site" must be taken into account in the location of a cathedral. St. Raphael Cathedral in Madison, destroyed by fire in March of 2005, was a sacred site. The cornerstone was laid in 1854. It became the cathedral church of the newly established Diocese of Madison in 1946.

He noted that St. Raphael was the tallest building in Madison until 1917, when the current state Capitol was built. A beautiful metal spire replaced the cathedral spire - erected in the 1880s - in 2004, just a year before the fire.

"St. Raphael can rise again," said Stroik. "There's a strong argument for rebuilding on the same site."

Temples stand out

He emphasized that temples are usually the greatest work of architecture in a city. "Historically it's been the temple, not the office building, apartments, or condos. Temples are bigger and grander than other buildings."

Stroik pointed out that according to St. Augustine, there are two cities: the City of God and the City of Man. The two must "talk" with each other, he said.

"The cathedral in the city should be salt and light. We look for architecture that can preach, be seen from the streets. Its placement and size has a conversation with the city architecture. The goal is to bring us all to the City of God."

Stroik prefers cathedrals to be in the city, rather than in the suburbs. Then the cathedral can be in "dialogue" with the buildings of state and academia, providing a "living room" in the public square.

That's why Stroik is a great advocate of providing a piazza, a garden or atrium with the cathedral open to the public, a place for people to gather.

Elements in cathedral

Other elements of a great cathedral he mentioned include a dome, towers or spires, a more private cloister garden, a baptistery (which used to be a separate building in earlier times), a prominent tabernacle, and smaller chapels.

Stroik explained that the cathedral is the home of the "cathedra," the bishop's chair. This represents the teaching authority of the bishop.

He said the cathedral needs a generous sized sanctuary for large liturgical events, including the Rite of Election, Chrism Mass, and ordinations.

It also needs space for offices, meeting rooms, and a rectory, as well as for the mission of charity. Stroik admitted that people may question spending money on "bricks and mortar" when the church needs to serve the needy. But he said it is important to have a cathedral with the mission of charity to the poor. "Among the poorest must be counted those without faith or hope," he said.

Stroik's PowerPoint presentation included photos and architectural sketches of many churches he has designed. These ranged from a simple church built in a farming community in Kentucky to the $30 million Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis.

Stroik's designs reflect his commitment to the principles of classical architecture. His involvement in the new renaissance of sacred architecture has led to the formation of the Society for Catholic Liturgy and the Sacred Architecture Journal, of which he is editor.

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Master's students: Find program worth its challenges

MADISON -- Last fall, Ave Maria University's Institute for Pastoral Theology (IPT) began offering a Master of Theological Studies degree program in Janesville.

And so far, the program has been successful, with nearly 20 students currently pursuing the degree.

But although the program has been called "challenging," several students interviewed said it is well worth the commitment.

Challenging classes

Chris Schmelzer, a student in the program and a parishioner at St. Maria Goretti Parish in Madison, is involved with religious education at his parish, as well as Confirmation retreats, and has thought about the permanent diaconate. But a lot of his desire to take the program is for his own personal growth.

When the IPT program was announced here, he said, "I thought, that's something I'd really like to do. I really do enjoy studying and researching out faith."

He was expecting the courses to be very orthodox, very centered on what the church teaches, and he said the program has met his expectations.

But first semester was a "challenge, right off the bat," he said. But now that he's settled into the routine this semester, it's gotten a bit easier.

Student Kit O'Brien, who works for the Institute of Religious Life in Chicago but is taking the course mostly to learn more about her faith, said that the challenge also depends on the course. "Some subjects areas are tougher than others," she said. "But honestly, the program is so fantastic and the material is so rich, that once I sit down with the books, it's easy to get immersed in studying for a few hours at a time."

Time commitment

Another challenge for some is the distance to come to class. Janesville can be a far drive from the other end of the diocese - or further. Two students have even come from Indonesia specifically to take the program.

O'Brien travels every month the distance from where she lives near Chicago to get to class. She had heard about the course from an IPT graduate who is a Catholic high school teacher, who had thought it was going to be offered in Kenosha.

"But God works in funny ways," she said. "If I'd known it was that much farther than Kenosha, I might not have applied! What a huge mistake that would have been."

In addition to the drive some of those students have to make, though, the program can be time-consuming. One weekend per month is taken up with hours of lectures, and, in addition, the course work can mean several hours more studying and writing papers for each hour in class.

But O'Brien pointed out that it's only one weekend per month, so that time commitment gets spread out.

"It definitely takes a commitment, but it's manageable," said O'Brien. She said she admires the students who can balance school as well as working full-time and having young families. "For me, it's just a matter of resetting priorities."

With only one weekend per month in class, the classes seem more intense. And the material is demanding.

"This is truly a master's program," said Schmelzer. "You're really challenged with in-depth things. They really give us a depth of the history of our church and how we got to our faith today."

Ideal program

But the professors - whom Schmelzer and O'Brien said were "terrific," "inspiring" and well prepared - are very accessible and receptive to questions from their students.

The program is an ideal one for anyone working in a formal way for the church, O'Brien said. But it can also be a great tool for anyone who has a desire to know more about the Catholic faith.

"Doesn't it speak volumes that students will drive such distances to be in the IPT program?" O'Brien said. "That tells you that they see the value of it. In the Diocese of Madison you have a great opportunity."

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Offices: Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, 702 S. High Point Road, Madison
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