MADISON -- The first dinner held in the new parish hall at St. Maria Goretti Parish, held two weeks after the building was completed, was a prime illustration of the reason it was built in the first place.
It wasn't a self-congratulating dinner or a party for the parishioners, but rather a dinner to thank all of the people who had worked on the building.
"Hospitality in a parish is an incredibly important aspect," said Msgr. Michael L. Burke, pastor at St. Maria Goretti Parish. "We try to be very welcoming, especially at our liturgies," he said. "The people here encourage themselves to take care of each other." Full story ...
Belmont parish: Celebrates 50th anniversary
BELMONT -- The town of Belmont is one of the oldest in the state, and in fact was its first capitol. But its Catholic church is, compared with some of the other parishes in the diocese celebrating their 100th and even 150th anniversaries, relatively new.
That youth did not prevent the parish from celebrating its 50-year milestone with plenty of enthusiasm, though. The small church was filled to overflowing for the Mass, celebrated by Bishop William H. Bullock. And for the reception afterward, the line extended all the way up the stairs and back into the church lobby, filling the space with the chatter of friends.
St. Philomena Parish, established in 1957, has more than doubled its size since its inception to nearly 400 parishioners in 164 families, according to 2005 statistics. This growth mirrors the expansion of the town itself, which estimates show has grown in population by four percent in the past seven years.
"Belmont has always stuck together - it's a great community," remarked Marjorie Rehmstedt, one of the parish's charter members. Full story ...
Great joy: Training to propose 'God's Plan' to engaged couples
MADISON -- "This presentation is the most thorough and sensitive explanation of the Church's teachings on sexual morality. Because of Pope John Paul's vision of marriage as presented in this presentation, I have great hope for my marriage, for all those who have been hurt (in) sexual relationships, and for our culture that is obsessed about degrading God's amazing plan of marriage," remarked Brad Stuczynski, of St. Joseph Parish, Baraboo.
He and over 20 other individuals and married couples came together at the Bishop O'Connor Center during a recent weekend to hear that presentation, "God's Plan for a Joy Filled Marriage," with the goal of presenting it in turn to engaged couples during diocesan marriage preparation days. Full story ...
New coordinator: Brings fresh voice to NFP
MADISON -- Just in time for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop's (USCCB) Natural Family Planning Awareness Week, July 22 to 28, the Diocese of Madison's Office of Evangelization and Catechesis has hired a new full-time coordinator for Natural Family Planning (NFP).
Jessica Smith, formerly the director of stewardship and development at St. John the Baptist Parish, Waunakee, started as the Family Planning coordinator on July 2, which she said felt significant as the Feast of the Visitation on the church's pre-Vatican II calendar.
Smith fills a long-vacant position that will focus on bringing about a greater awareness of NFP, which she calls "super natural planning" because of its inherent naturalness. NFP relies on abstinence and an understanding of fertility to avoid or assist in conception. Full story ...