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May 10, 2007 Edition

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This week:
• Front page: Diocese to fight vote on busing
Theology of the Body: From Pope John Paul II
  Sidebar: Theology of the Body events
Catholic blogger: Relates to young adults at Theology on Tap
Catholic Daughters: State convention in Madison
William Yallaly: To work with bishop and communications office
Poignant story: A birthmother's view of open adoption
Nominate someone for "Profiles from the pew"
News Briefs

Articles on St. Raphael Cathedral

News Briefs:
Respect Life Mass May 24

MADISON -- On behalf of Bishop Robert C. Morlino, the diocesan Office of Justice and Pastoral Outreach extends an invitation to a Respect Life Mass on Thursday, May 24, at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, 702 S. High Point Rd. The liturgy will begin at 6:30 p.m. and is a prayerful opportunity to gather as a diocesan community to "Celebrate Family and the Sanctity of all Human Life." For details, call Tom Nelson, 608-821-3093.

Presentation on nasal, sinus congestion

MONROE -- On Thursday, May 17, Monroe Clinic and Otorhinolaryngologists Tony Kille and Tony Rogerson are hosting "Understanding Nasal and Sinus Congestion," a community presentation to help attendees sort through differences between nasal and sinus congestion, diagnostic tests available, and medical and surgical options.

It will be held at 6 p.m. in Founders Hall on the lower level of the Clinic Building in Monroe. Refreshments will be served at this free event. To register, call 1-877-865-1462 or visit and click on "Classes & Events."

Fun Run/Walk will benefit IHM School

MONONA -- Immaculate Heart of Mary School (IHM), 4013 Schofield St., is having its third annual 5K Fun Run/Walk on Friday, May 25, starting at 6:30 p.m. For a registration form or more information, go to or contact Kelley O'Brien at 608-219-9690. The cost for those who pre-register by May 18 is $15. All proceeds benefit IHM School.

Two Catholic hospitals ranked among
nation's best

MADISON/MONROE -- Monroe Clinic and St. Mary's Hospital were each named one of the nation's 100 Top Hospitals® by Solucient®, part of Thomson Healthcare, a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of health care.

The award recognizes hospitals that have achieved excellence in clinical outcomes, patient safety, financial performance, efficiency, and growth in patient volume. Only five hospitals in the state of Wisconsin received this award. This is the first time Monroe Clinic has been recognized with this honor.

The 2006 Solucient 100 Top Hospitals: National Benchmarks for Success study appears in the March 12 edition of Modern Healthcare magazine.

More than half of the winning hospitals in the 2006 study are from the Midwest, and 30 of the 100 Top Hospitals facilities are in two states - Michigan and Ohio.

More information on this study and other 100 Top Hospitals research is available at

Local Eucharistic Adoration updates

MCFARLAND -- Christ the King Parish in McFarland has begun a regular period of Eucharistic Adoration on Saturday mornings from 9 to 10 a.m. Adoration began during Lent and was popularly received and has been extended indefinitely. A map and directions to the parish may be found on the parish Web site

MT. HOREB -- Adoration held at St. Ignatius Parish Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for one hour after 7:30 a.m. Mass (concludes with Benediction). Confession available during Adoration.

PINE BLUFF -- Adoration at St. Mary Parish held for one hour Tuesdays after 5:15 p.m. Mass, Thursdays after 7:30 a.m. Mass, and Saturdays after 8:30 a.m. Mass (concludes with Benediction). Confession available during Adoration.

Free skin cancer screenings: Offered
at Monroe Clinic

MONROE -- Skin cancer, the most common form of cancer, accounts for approximately half of all cancers. The best defense is prevention and early detection.

Monroe Clinic is offering free skin cancer screenings in the Dermatology Department of Monroe Clinic (first floor) on: Friday, May 11, from 8 a.m. to 12 noon; Tuesday, June 5, from 8 a.m. to 12 noon; Thursday, June 21, from 1 to 5 p.m.; and Tuesday, July 17, from 8 a.m. to 12 noon.

Space is limited. Appointments are required. Call 608-324-2357. For more information, go to

Birth Parent
Support Group

MADISON -- A Birth Parent Support Group will meet Tuesday, June 12, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at 5 Odana Ct. Sponsors are Catholic Charities and Lutheran Social Services.

This ongoing support group for people who have placed their child/ren for adoption is free, safe, and confidential. It is held on the second Tuesday of every month.

For registration, contact Alice at 608-270-6635 or e-mail or Trish at 608-833-4800, ext. 109, or e-mail

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for "Profiles
from the pew"

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Theology of the Body:
From Pope John Paul II

Are you curious about what life is really about? Do you wonder what your ultimate destiny is and how you attain it? Would you be surprised if I told you that sex is at the center of it all? Would you be even more surprised if the Catholic Church told you this?

Theology of the Body events

Presentation by
Damon Owens

Damon Owens is founder of Joy-Filled Marriage NJ and a national speaker at marriage seminars, high schools, seminaries, and youth groups on the Theology of the Body and family and marriage issues.

DATE: Saturday, June 2, 2007
TIME: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
LOCATION: Bishop O'Connor Center, Madison, Wis.
COST: Suggested donation of $30

For more information and registration, go to

Training for couples, individuals

The Diocese of Madison, in collaboration with Ascension Press, is sponsoring an extensive training weekend for couples and individuals interested in working with engaged couples preparing for marriage. The training will take place Friday through Sunday, June 22 through 24, at the Bishop O'Connor Center in Madison.

Anyone interested should contact Andy Galvin at 608-821-4517 or or go to
for more information.

Theology of the Body
for Teens

Youth Ministers! Catechists! Religious educators! Come learn how to present the Theology of the Body to your teens. On Saturday, June 23, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., a national training team will provide in-depth training on Ascension Press's new "Theology of the Body for Teens" curriculum. Recently debuted, this program is rapidly spreading throughout the country. The seminar will be presented by Todd Lemieux, youth minister, writer, and presenter for young adults on the issues of chastity and Theology of the Body.

Contact Andy Galvin at 608-821-4517 or or go to
for more information. Register online. Suggested donation of $35.

Pope John Paul II devoted the first major teaching project of his pontificate -129 talks between 1979 and 1984 - to a biblical reflection on the meaning of the body, sex, and marital love. Termed "theology of the body," the pope's teaching provided a profoundly beautiful vision of human sexuality and what it means to be a man and woman.

Theology of the Body clarifies the profound interconnection between sex and the Christian mystery and paves the way not only for lasting renewal of marriage and the family, but enables everyone to rediscover "the meaning of the whole of existence, the meaning of life" (John Paul II).

Today, our world struggles with marital and sexual dilemmas: divorce, contraception, cohabitation, pornography, abortion, in vitro fertilization. The marriage amendment debate of the past year shows the level of misunderstanding regarding God's plan for sexuality.

How do we confront these very real problems? How is the dignity of each individual person affected by the continued slide of sexual morale in our country? How are we called to be the light in the darkness?

George Weigel, autobiographer of John Paul II, recently wrote, "John Paul's portrait of sexual love as an icon of the interior life of God is one of the boldest reconfiguration of Catholic theology in centuries." It "has barely begun to shape the Church's theology, preaching, and religious education. When it does, it will compel a dramatic development of thinking about virtually every major theme in the Creed."

Others have likened it to the major epochs of Catholic theology - St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas - new ways of looking at the gospel message that are relevant to the world at that time. In our generation, the Holy Spirit has given us John Paul II and his incredible teachings on the body, sexuality, and greatest mysteries of life . . . the Theology of the Body.

Seminar in Madison

Over the next few months, a number of opportunities will be provided by the Diocese of Madison to explore and come to understand the Theology of the Body. It is hoped that these events will represent a watershed moment for the diocese, for within the content of the Theology of the Body is the very message of the Good News of Jesus Christ.

I invite you to attend a seminar titled "An Introduction to the Theology of the Body" presented by national speaker Damon Owens on Saturday, June 2 (see box at right for details). The seminar provides an overview of the topic and prepares the way for more in-depth study in the future.

This program is perfect for anyone that would like an introduction to the topic. It covers: what is the Theology of the Body and why it is important; creation and redemption of man and woman; the resurrection of the body and the heavenly marriage; the sacrament of marriage and the language of sexual love.

Marriage Preparation

Young engaged couples preparing to enter a lifelong commitment to one another are in the greatest need of this wonderful new theology. "Marriage Preparation is one of the hardest ministries in the Church today because the culture has dominated so much of our perspectives on marriage and sexuality," explains theologian Christopher West. "As a result, the couples who come to us are very often in great need of formation."

It is clear the Diocese of Madison is facing this very dilemma. The diocese is proposing to renew its marriage preparation program with the Theology of the Body. God's Plan for Joy-Filled Marriage is a supplemental marriage preparation program prepared by West and a team of marriage preparation professions. The program is being embraced by dioceses and is having a profound effect on couples.

The diocese, in collaboration with Ascension Press, is sponsoring an extensive training weekend for couples and individuals interested in working with engaged couples preparing for marriage. The training will take place Friday through Sunday, June 22 through 24, at the Bishop O'Connor Center (see box, above right, for details).

Teen program

People who work with youth are invited to learn how to present the Theology of the Body to teens on Saturday, June 23 (see box, above right, for details).

Next week: God's Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage.

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Catholic blogger:
Relates to young adults
at Theology on Tap

MADISON -- It was the typical bar scene: a bunch of 20- and 30-somethings sitting around, sharing beer, sodas, and other drinks, laughing and talking over the sound of music filtering through the dim scene.

The only difference was they talked religion.

It was another Theology on Tap, held at the Essen Haus in downtown Madison. And it was so well attended that extra chairs were pulled in to the moderately sized side room and set against a wall to accommodate the large crowd that came from around the diocese.

The draw for the young adults was to hear Rocco Palmo, a 24-year-old writer of the Web log, or blog, Whispers in the Loggia, talk about his vision of the church in America as "Alive, Young, and Wide Awake." For many of them, it was a chance to hear a person like themselves who was making a difference in the church.

The event was sponsored by the Knights of Columbus Council from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It was a chance, said member Sean Zuckerman (who had a chance to personally chat with Palmo when he drove him from the airport), to serve young adults of the diocese - "an underserved minority."

Palmo, a Philidelphia native, came to town on an invitation from Msgr. Kevin Holmes, rector of St. Raphael Cathedral and pastor of Holy Redeemer and St. Patrick Parishes in downtown Madison, to speak at the young adult event held monthly at the Essen Haus. He also spent some time with priests of the diocese as well as an evening of Wisconsin fun with young adults.

Church in the world

The blogger's talk for Theology on Tap explored his own experience with the church and the importance for young Catholics to be involved. He followed it up with a few questions and answers from the many young adults gathered - as well as one from Bishop Robert C. Morlino, who stopped by to hear the talk.

Being alive and young, Palmo said, "takes many forms, just living out our vocations," he said. "But whatever it takes to be alive and young, that's what we're called to be, not just as human beings, but as Catholics, as followers of the Lord as members of the community of the church."

"Churchiness" is not something we're supposed to do within our own walls, he said. "It's not genuine churchiness - it's something which exists, and which is at its best in the world."

He mentioned St. Patrick Cathedral in New York City, whose doors are open all the time, making those who pass it feel welcomed. "Just by existing and making itself available - and that's what each of us are called to do," he said.

The blueprint of the church, like a good wine, has been refined and formed over the past 2000 years, making it better and better, he said.

"But we can never get good enough, when it comes to standing up and keeping ourselves light," even with some of the tendencies in the secular world to bring the church into a negative light, Palmo said. He says he always tries to keep his writing light and fun.

The church has to have a presence on the internet, as a universal communication, he said. But as good as the internet is, nothing can match flesh and blood in being a witness.

"We always need to reach out and touch one another, emotionally and in a human way," Palmo said. "That's how we live our faith."

'Rocco is a star'

"I think Rocco is a star," said Monsignor Holmes after the talk. Even he had gotten into the Q-and-A part of Palmo's talk with a question on what the blogger's "big break" was. (It came when he broke the story that the former Archbishop William J. Levada of San Francisco would become Cardinal Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Vatican, Palmo said.)

"I think he's very bright, clever, engaging, and a great model of being a young Catholic in our culture today," Monsignor Holmes said.

Several of the young adults mentioned it was surprising that he was so young.

"I knew he was younger," said Zuckerman, "but I was blown away when I found out he was 24."

Asked why Palmo had been such a draw for young adults in the diocese, Marcella Colbert, the director of young adult ministry in the downtown parishes, said "because he's young, Catholic, and fully alive. He's in the world, not of the world, and a great example of a 20-something who's making a difference as a faithful Catholic.

"I think Rocco's very apparent love for the church was very inspiring and important for people to see," she said.

Theology on Tap is held each month for young adults in their 20s and 30s. Upcoming programs include: on Thursday, May 24, Joe Waters of the Duke School of Divinity on "The New Orthodoxy: Catholicism Beyond Left and Right"; and, on Thursday, June 28, "The Voice of Madison's Poor" with Ralph Middlecamp, executive director of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Madison.

"We are making a very serious effort to reach out to the young adults in the downtown parishes," said Monsignor Holmes. "We intend to put a lot of energy into promoting Theology on Tap and we are going to work hard to provide really excellent programs."

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Catholic Daughters:
State convention in Madison

MADISON -- The Catholic Daughters of the Americas (CDA) of Wisconsin held their biennial state convention at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center April 13 to 15.

Theme of the convention was "Be Not Afraid."

Living waters

The Friday afternoon meeting opened with a prayer service entitled "CDA Living Waters." A member of each court present brought up a container of Easter Holy Water from their parish community and poured the water into a large bowl.

Susan Hicks, state second vice regent, Darlington, chairman of the convention, stated that "with the mixing of these waters we come together as one body of water: flowing together in prayer, goals, and sharing together life's experiences, ideas, and prayer."

A brief business meeting followed with State Regent Mary Robeck from Court Superior presiding. A slate of officers was accepted unanimously.

Memorial Mass

A memorial Mass for deceased members was held Friday evening with four court chaplains concelebrating. They included Fr. Lawrence Kieffer, Madison court; Fr. Randy Budnar, Darlington court; Fr. David Flanagan, Cuba City court; and Fr. Tom Coyle, Jefferson court.

As the name of each court was read, the regent or another court member approached the lectern and read the names of those members who had died during the past two years. They then lit a memorial candle for deceased members.

At the end of Mass, Ruth Busch, state secretary, Cuba City, asked the four court chaplains to come to the lectern. She then read to them a special poem by an unknown author entitled "The Beautiful Hands of a Priest."

Bishop Fliss

Saturday began with a Mass celebrated by Bishop Raphael Fliss of the Diocese of Superior. Bishop Fliss is the CDA Wisconsin state chaplain.

Referring to the convention theme, Bishop Fliss advised the women to go ahead and volunteer to serve in the community and the church. He said it is a privilege to serve God and that He will always be there for each person.

Getting new members

The Saturday morning meeting began with a message from National CDA Secretary-Treasurer, Shirley Seyfried.

She emphasized the importance of obtaining new members by using the popular children's story, The Little Engine That Could, to illustrate that the Wisconsin courts can obtain new members if they keep trying and think positively.

Dignity of women

Saturday afternoon Marcella Colbert addressed the convention. She spoke of "Dignity in Vocations of Women." Colbert is a young adult minister in the downtown Madison parishes.

She said that women should not deny their femininity. Men and women are created equal, yet they are different and compliment each other in many ways.

Colbert said there is a need to commit to evangelize young adults to become an integral part of the church. She encouraged the CDA members to get to know young people and pray for them. "It means a lot to know someone is praying for you," she said.

Pro-life message

Speaker for the Saturday evening banquet was Marc Tuttle, communications director for Pro-Life Wisconsin. He suggested the need to keep focused and reach out to people in the media continuously. He also urged CDA members to speak to others and share their views about pro-life issues.

Bishop Morlino

Sunday included recitation of a Living Rosary. Bishop Robert C. Morlino of the Diocese of Madison celebrated Mass at which the new state officers were installed.

Since it was Divine Mercy Sunday, Bishop Morlino talked about the fact that Christ won mercy and peace for us with his death and resurrection.

The bishop also lamented the "culture of cruelty and meanness" as exemplified by the recent remarks made by talk show host Don Imus. Bishop Morlino said he hopes this has been a "wake-up call" not only on the culture of cruelty, but also the culture of death, which he said is "far more harmful to womanhood and to motherhood than Don Imus' comments could ever be - as bad as they are."

Mary Robek, outgoing state regent from Superior, presented Bishop Morlino with a check for $2,000 for the seminarian education fund. All five Wisconsin dioceses raise money for this fund.

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William Yallaly:
To work with bishop and communications office

MADISON -- Bishop Robert C. Morlino has appointed William D. Yallaly as Assistant to the Bishop and Associate Director of Communications for the Diocese of Madison.

Yallaly will work with Brent King, director of communications, in those communications areas which touch more directly on the bishop's ministry. King will also continue as executive assistant to the bishop focusing on those areas of the bishop's ministry which require him to be away from the office at times.

"William's knowledge of the church and his experience both in communications and as an assistant will no doubt prove very valuable to the Diocese of Madison," commented Bishop Morlino.

Most recently Yallaly served as editor of the Catholic News Agency (CNA), the English-language news service whose parent is ACI Prensa. He worked in the Denver, Colo., office of CNA.

Yallaly managed the daily flow of news; conducted interviews and researched stories for publication; communicated with leadership in various dioceses, Catholic conferences, and other news agencies; and guided CNA through a redesign of its Web site and updating of advertising capabilities.

In an interview, Yallaly noted that "ACI Prensa has surpassed the Vatican Web site as the most visited Catholic Web site in the world." It is available in Spanish and Portuguese.

Yallaly has also written articles for Our Sunday Visitor newspaper.

A native of Illinois (and an avid Illini fan), Yallaly grew up in the small town of Villa Grove located near Champaign. Yallaly is the oldest of four children with two brothers and a sister. "I have a new little godson," he noted. "It's good to be closer to home."

Prior to the CNA position, Yallaly served as a staff assistant to the president's office at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he became active in the Newman Center. He was a resident advisor and renovation supervisor at Newman Hall. "I learned a great deal about my faith at the Newman Center and decided to enter the seminary," said Yallaly.

Yallaly studied for two years as a seminarian at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he earned a Bachelor of Philosophy degree. He then studied for one year at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome before leaving the seminary.

"I am extremely excited to be here in the Diocese of Madison," he said. "Having known Bishop Morlino for a few years and other people in the diocese, I'm filled with a lot of joy to be working for the church in such a direct way, doing my small part to spread the Gospel."

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Poignant story:
A birthmother's view of open adoption

Get some Kleenex ready! That's my advice to those reading Patricia Dischler's book, Because I Loved You: A Birthmother's View of Open Adoption. Dischler's book definitely tugs at the heartstrings, but it is tears of joy that the reader will mostly experience in reading her poignant story.

The author now lives in Prairie du Sac with her husband, Steve, and their two daughters, Rachel and Amanda. She has operated a nationally accredited family child care business called Patty Cake Preschool for over 16 years.

Open adoption process

Her book, however, tells the story of why she chose an open adoption arrangement for her son Joe in 1985. He is now an adult and is involved with both his adoptive parents' and birth mother's lives.

Dischler started writing her story as part of a Human Issues study at Edgewood College in Madison. She gives thanks to David Young, whose "praise gave me the confidence to take it further.

Kathleen Silber, a social worker and co-author of Dear Birthmother and Children of Open Adoption, also offered her support to Dischler in the early stages of her book.

Silber writes in the foreward to Dischler's book, "The veil of secrecy has been lifted from adoption. The result is an adoption experience that is healthier and more positive for all parties.

"In place of adoption, which was surrounded by secrecy and shame, there is openness, honesty, and communication. Today the vast majority of domestic infant adoptions are open ones."

Positive story

Silber says Because I Loved You "provides an opportunity for a birthmother's positive story of adoption to be shared and for birthparents and others to gain understanding and hope from this experience."

Because I Loved You certainly lives up to the foreward. What I liked about the book is how the chapters are organized on two levels: the first part gives information and facts about the adoption process; the second part of each chapter tells Patricia Dischler's personal story.

Both parts are equally worthwhile. There is plenty of information on adoption for birthmothers, adoptive parents, and adoptees. I would say this is also excellent reading for any prospective parents of any kind.

But what grabbed me was Patricia Dischler's story. She became pregnant at 20 years of age after just one experience of sexual intercourse. Fortunately she grew up in a loving Catholic family. While her parents were shocked and disappointed by her pregnancy at first, they supported her throughout her experience.

Dischler also had a very positive experience with a Catholic Charities counselor, who helped her explore options, including adoption. Dischler selected the adoptive parents for her son, Joe. She kept in touch with them annually, getting pictures of her son.

Meeting her son

When he was 12, Joe said he wanted to meet his "other mother." It was a joyful reunion. When Dischler asked why he wanted to meet her now, he said, "I just wanted to get to know you better." He added, "I told my dad that I could tell by your letters you loved me."

"I most certainly do, Joseph, with all my heart," said his mother.

Since that time, Joe has met his grandparents and other family members. Dischler attended his high school graduation and continues to keep in touch with her son and his adoptive parents.

Happy ending

For them, it has been a happy ending. Dischler believes open adoption has helped make the process much better.

"Adoptees are assured of their birthmother's love their entire lives, and the model of respect and understanding that the adoptive parents provide the child through their open arrangement with the birthmother lays a foundation of peace for the child regarding her status as an adoptee," she said. "My son has this sense of peace. I credit his adoptive parents for this."

For more information on the author and Because I loved You, visit, which includes information on ordering her book.

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Diocese of Madison, The Catholic Herald
Offices and mailing address: Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, 702 S. High Point Rd., Madison, WI 53719
Phone: 608-821-3070     Fax: 608-821-3071     E-Mail: