Living with chronic illness support group
MADISON/MIDDLETON -- Living with Chronic Illness is a group that meets monthly and is an opportunity for people to come together to share experiences about living with and coping with long-standing health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, or Parkinson's Disease.
The group is an occasion to discuss both challenges and blessings and is a safe and accepting place in which to share. Meetings alternate between Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish and St. Bernard Parish in Middleton. The parish nurses from each parish facilitate the meetings. Shared Christian faith provides an anchor for the group - each gathering opens and closes with prayer and participants seek to be mindful of Christ's presence while walking together.
The next meeting is Thursday, Sept. 13, from 1 to 2:15 p.m. at Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, 401 S. Owen Dr. Call Heather at 608-663-2996 for more information.
at Blessed Sacrament
MADISON -- Blessed Sacrament Parish, located on the 2100 block of Rowley Ave. in Madison, will be offering two Bible studies produced by Jeff Cavins. The 24-week Great Adventure Series as well as the 10-week Adventures in Revelation Series.
The Great Adventure will begin the week of September 24. The course will be offered in the morning or in the evening depending upon interest. It will end the first week in May with a number of breaks for holidays. Home study questions, group discussion, and a video presentation by Jeff Cavins on the 14 historical books of the Bible will help participants understand the "big picture" of salvation history, connecting the Old and New Testaments. Beginners and experienced Bible students alike are welcome.
Adventures in Revelation will begin on Monday, Sept. 24, and conclude on Monday, Dec. 3. There will be two sessions to choose from, either 9 to 11 a.m. or 7 to 9 p.m. This study will follow the same format as the Great Adventure.
Contact Tom Claridge no later than Friday, Sept. 14, at 608-238-3979 for more information, to register, and to order course materials.
at St. Thomas Aquinas
MADISON -- St. Thomas Aquinas Remarkable Seniors (STARS) is sponsoring a laughter seminar at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, 602 Everglade Dr. On Tuesday, Sept. 18, from 4 to 6 p.m., learn how to laugh for no reason.
Betsy Haimson is a certified laughter leader and will lead participants in an hour of laughter. The cost of $20 includes the speaker's fee and supper. Build-a-sandwich catered by Crandall's will follow the presentation.
Those interested in attending should contact Holly at 608-833-2606 or email@example.com by September 11.
Day of Remembrance
at Our Lady of Loretto
HONEY CREEK TOWNSHIP -- The annual Day of Remembrance will be celebrated at the Our Lady of Loretto Church Museum Sunday, Sept. 9, from 1 to 4 p.m. Mass will be celebrated at 2:30 p.m. with Fr. Eric Sternberg, parochial vicar at St. John the Baptist Parish, Waunakee, officiating. Our Lady of Loretto is located on Hwy. C between Denzer and Leland, one mile from the Natural Bridge State Park in southern Sauk County.
Author to speak at Adult Catholic Spirit Club potluck, memorial service
MARSHALL/JANESVILLE -- On September 27, 1927, Johnny Pirkl of Marshall and Hazel Ferguson of Cottage Grove were married at St. Mary Catholic Church in Marshall. By nightfall, they were dead.
At 8:15 a.m. this September 27, exactly 80 years after that terrible honeymoon tragedy in Portage, relatives and friends will gather to reflect, reminisce, and remember during a memorial service at St. Mary Parish in Marshall.
Janesville author Greg Peck, a former St. Mary parishioner, will speak about the tragic story after a 12 noon potluck Wednesday, Sept. 12, for the Adult Catholic Spirit Club at St. William Church Narthex, 456 N. Arch St. in Janesville. The club involves all four Catholic parishes in Janesville.
Peck will explain the clash of religions that divided the families, and the startling twists of faith he discovered while researching the story for his book, Death Beyond the Willows.
Peck also will narrate a third bus tour of key sites in the story in Marshall, Cottage Grove, and Portage on Sunday, Sept. 16, for the Marshall Area Historical Society. The tour starts at St. Mary Parish. Cost is $20.
Also, a tree will be planted in the couple's memory in the Portage park where they died. Call Romona Walker at 608-655-3240 for details.
Catholic women plan fall deanery meetings
Following are fall deanery meetings for the Madison Diocesan Council of Catholic Women:
Tuesday, Sept. 11, p.m. - Columbia Deanery, at St. Mary Parish, Pardeeville
Thursday, Sept. 13, a.m. - West Dane Deanery, at St. Francis Xavier Parish, Cross Plains
Thursday, Sept. 27, a.m. - Rock Deanery, at St. Stephen Parish, Clinton
Thursday, Oct. 4, a.m. - Sauk Deanery, at St. John Parish, Spring Green
Thursday, Oct. 4, p.m. - East Dane Deanery, at St. Joseph Parish, East Bristol
Sunday, Oct. 7, p.m. - Marquette/Green Lake Deanery, at St. John the Baptist Parish,
Thursday, Oct. 18, p.m. - Jefferson Deanery, at St. Bernard Parish, Watertown
Thursday, Oct. 25, p.m. - Lafayette Deanery, at Immaculate Conception Parish, Truman
Tuesday, Oct. 30, p.m. - Grant Deanery, at St. Clement Parish, Lancaster
PARDEEVILLE -- The Columbia Deanery will meet at St. Mary Parish here on Tuesday, Sept. 11. Registration is at 4 p.m. followed by business meeting at 4:30, concelebrated Mass at 5:15 with Fr. Larry Bowens as homilist, and dinner at 6. At 7 Fr. John Hedrick, host pastor, will speak on "Parish Clustering."
Reservations are due September 6 to Patricia Huggett, P.O. Box 141, Pardeeville, WI 53954. Cost is $10. Checks are to be made out to St. Mary's Altar Society.
West Dane Deanery
CROSS PLAINS -- St. Francis Xavier Parish here will host the West Dane Deanery meeting Thursday, Sept. 13. Theme is "Follow the Challenge of Change: In our Communities and in our Parishes." Registration is at 8:15 a.m. followed by business meeting at 9. At 10 speaker will be Tom Nelson, who works in the development of rural life, bereavement, and jail/prison visitation ministries. A concelebrated Mass will be offered at 11 with Msgr. Duane Moellenberndt as homilist. Luncheon will be served at noon.
Reservations are due September 8 to Mary Barman, 1806 Saeman St., Cross Plains, WI 53562. Cost is $8. Those attending are asked to bring non-perishable as well as paper items to be given to the Catholic Multicultural Center.
After 50 years, their work
is not finished
MADISON -- It doesn't look like World Youth Day, but it feels like World Youth Day.
That's what Bishop Robert C. Morlino told couples celebrating their golden wedding anniversaries at a Mass of Thanksgiving held on Sunday, Aug. 26, at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center chapel.
In welcoming the couples, Bishop Morlino thanked them for the "service and witness you have given to the Church as married couples for so many years."
About 120 couples from parishes throughout the Diocese of Madison attended the anniversary Mass, along with family members and friends. A reception with wedding cake followed the Mass.
In his homily, Bishop Morlino talked about Matthew's Gospel (13: 22-30) which warns that the entrance way to heaven is narrow. The bishop discussed Pope Benedict XI's explanation of this passage.
The Holy Father said it wasn't that only a few were invited to be saved. "It was not a few elite. Everybody is invited to the Kingdom," the bishop quoted Pope Benedict as saying. "But the entrance way is narrow. So we've got to choose whether or not to enter by the narrow gate."
Lord strengthens you
In order to enter that gate, Bishop Morlino said, "We've got to be strong."
He told the married couples, "What a beautiful celebration we have today of 50 years of marriage. Talk about being strong!"
The married couples have experienced good times and tough times, the bishop noted, including sicknesses, sadness, and failure. Despite the "weak hands and drooping knees," he said, "the Lord has so beautifully strengthened you and has been your strength. You then, become an inspiration and strength to young people."
Importance of forgiveness
Each couple has also forgiven one another many times. "Day in and day out, the major job is to forgive. Some of you look more tired from that forgiveness than others, more often the wives," he quipped.
Forgiveness is "an incredible gift" to strengthen marriages. "How many marriages break up because there's limited forgiveness? That's a tragedy," said the bishop.
The Scriptures say that the Lord disciplines those he loves. "He allows suffering and trouble to come your way, but strengthens you to see it through."
Witness of Mother Teresa
A prime example of this is the life of Mother Teresa. Her letters published recently reveal that she experienced the absence of God in the second half of her life.
Bishop Morlino borrowed some ideas from Msgr. Kevin Holmes' homily on Mother Teresa. "She felt very far from God. And yet, what did she do? She went and served and cared for and loved those sick, homeless people with a smile.
"Everybody probably thought she was the happiest person in the world," said the bishop. "The strength of the Lord and the joy of the Lord were with her without question. And the strength and the joy of the Lord have been with you," he told the married couples.
Not finished yet
Bishop Morlino emphasized that their work is not yet finished. "You are on your way to heaven and you are taking as many people along as possible," he said. "When young people see you and how faithful you are, they will look at you and say, 'That's what I want.'"
He encouraged the couples to attend Mass every day if possible. At Mass, they receive Jesus Christ in Communion. "At the end of Mass you leave here to lead the world to heaven behind you," he said.
Bishop Morlino blessed all the couples and asked that God renew their marriage covenant. Each couple also received a certificate from the bishop.
The golden wedding anniversary celebration was planned by the diocesan Office of Evangelization and Catechesis.
Not just for Hispanics: Diocesan Hispanic Choir welcomes new singers and instrumentalists
MADISON -- The Diocesan Hispanic Choir directed by Toni Kellor (María Antonia Alaniz) is beginning its seventh year with its first rehearsal scheduled for Monday, Sept. 10, at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center. Rehearsals are held Mondays from 7 to 9 p.m. in the center's choir room.
"We welcome new singers," said Kellor. "They don't have to know how to speak Spanish, just how to pronounce it. We have bi-lingual rehearsals."
Instrumentalists are also very welcome to join the choir. The choir presently has two guitars, mandolin, violin, and percussion instruments. The group especially needs a bass/bass
guitar this year.
Currently the choir consists of about 20 members from Colombia, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Ecuador, Honduras, and the United States. "Because of the diversity, our repertory consists of favorite hymns or liturgical music in Spanish from many Hispanic countries," said Kellor. "Mariachi" and other styles of accompaniment are used.
Begun in 2001, the choir has sung at about 15 parishes in the diocese including the annual Mass for Our Lady of Guadalupe; with the Madison Diocesan Choir; at Songfest in Watertown with 12 other groups; at First Communion for Centro Guadalupano; and at Fiesta Hispana. It has also sung bilingual or Spanish Masses at St. Peter, St. Joseph, Holy Redeemer, St. Raphael, and Our Lady Queen of Peace in Madison and has sung in Jefferson, Sauk City, Oregon, McFarland, Watertown, Janesville, Markesan, and Monroe.
"Our fourth annual Christmas Concert of favorite Spanish carols will be presented this year," says Kellor. It usually includes special songs Hispanics remember from their own country and this year will invite Hispanics from the community to be part of the evening.
The Diocesan Hispanic Choir would welcome invitations to sing in more parishes throughout the Diocese of Madison. Kellor encourages parishes to call now to book the choir. It would be nice to have parish visits scheduled early in the year. Summer visit requests will also be considered.
Those interested in joining the choir or parishes wishing to book the choir are asked to phone Toni Kellor at 608-203-5529 or e-mail her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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