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The Catholic Herald: Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Madison

October 11, 2007 Edition   •   Volume 137, No. 37   •   Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A.

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The Catholic Herald is the official newspaper of the Diocese of Madison. Its purpose is to inform and educate people of the Diocese through communications that proclaim Gospel values, report the news, and comment on issues as they pertain to the mission of the Catholic Church, which is to bring all in Jesus Christ to the Father.
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Award of Distinction, The Communicator Awards 2002 Print Media competition

Print edition: Award winner, Catholic Press Association, 2007 awards competition:

• First place for best single ad (black and white)

• Third place for best single ad (color);

2006 awards competition:

• First place for best editorial on a local issue

• First place for best news writing on a local/regional event

• First place for best general news photo

Seeing God in creation:
Finding the importance of rural life

photo of Bishop Robert C. Morlino blessing Mizzy, a registered holstein, after the Rural Life Mass at Holy Rosary Church in Darlington

Bishop Robert C. Morlino blesses Mizzy, a registered holstein, brought by Barb Meyer of St. Boniface Parish, Lime Ridge, and her brother Dennis Rott to the Rural Life Mass at Holy Rosary Church, Darlington. (Catholic Herald photo by Kat Wagner)

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For more on rural life, as well as links to information on Catholic Social Teaching and food issues, see the column on "The right to food."

DARLINGTON -- "When we're removed from the beauty of animal life, plant life, the beauty of the seasons, the beauty of rural life . . . it's harder to see the face of God," Bishop Robert C. Morlino said during the diocesan Mass for rural life.

"And that's why rural life is so important, especially in a place like the Diocese of Madison," he said.

The bishop highlighted that importance through his presence at the Mass and his blessing of the animals at the rural parish of Holy Rosary in Darlington October 4.

Seven priests concelebrated at the Mass: Frs. Randy J. Budnar, James H. Murphy, Monte E. Robinson, Bernard E. Rott, Francis J. Steffen, Bart D. Timmerman, and David A. Wanish, all from rural parishes in Columbia, Grant, and Lafayette Counties.

This was the first rural life Mass held in a decade, and its revival, some said, is a reflection of the growing concern for the disappearing farming community.

Father Rott, the director of Rural Life for the diocese, said that the Mass helped to highlight the diocese's connection with rural life. It helps to make you stop and think about the need to look upon all life as sacred, and ask how we treat the land, he said.

"The whole sacredness of God's creation . . . that needs to be there," Father Rott said. "If we lose that connection to the earth, to all other life, that diminishes the responsibility for human life.

"Rural life does give you that connection," he said.

Close to the land

The Mass was held on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, and Bishop Morlino talked at the beginning of his homily about St. Francis' connection to animals and the earth.

The saint, most famous for his love of animals, was so at peace with God that he was at peace with all creatures, with all of the beautiful things in the universe, and with himself, Bishop Morlino said.   Full story ...

Only in the print edition ...
News & Features:

Special section: Retirement Living

New fall TV programs:
CW, FOX networks reviewed

Weisse family:
Breaks world record in marathon


• Question Corner
by Fr. John Dietzen --
Are all souls: Created spiritually equal by God at birth?

• The Pope Speaks
by Pope Benedict XVI --
St. Cyril of Alexandria: 'Pillar of faith' and defender of the faith

• Faith and Precedent
by Douglas W. Kmiec --
Political candidates:
Should be honest, compassionate

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Future special sections:

Senior Focus / World Mission Sunday: Oct. 18, 2007

All Souls Day -- Grief and Hospice:
Oct. 25, 2007

Holiday Gift Guide: Nov. 1, 2007

Diocesan Directory: Nov. 8, 2007

Senior Focus: Nov. 15, 2007

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Pro-life Sunday:
Respecting life at all stages

MADISON -- In his homily at the Respect Life Mass, Bishop Robert C. Morlino ran the gamut of pro-life issues: from abortion and emergency contraception, to embryonic stem cells, to the environment, to praying the Rosary.

But it was Pro-Life Sunday, he said - we deserve more than the usual three points.

Related items
this week:

The congregation at the Mass, which was concelebrated by Msgr. George M. Hastrich, pastor emeritus, and Msgr. Kevin D. Holmes, pastor of St. Patrick Parish, where the Mass was held, was a mixture of those pregnant, families, the elderly, and the physically disabled.

But they had all gathered to pray for the respect of the dignity of the human person.

Voting, praying

As Catholics, that prayer is the first step to a just society, Bishop Morlino said at the beginning of his homily - voting for life is the second.

He spoke about abortion, and its impact on society, starting in the 1970s with Roe vs. Wade. Legalized abortion made it seem as if human life were expendable, he said.

"If human life can be expendable, then democracy could be undermined, because democracy rests on the dignity of every person," he said.

His also reiterated the arguments against embryonic stem cell research.

"You and I have to stand up as we pray and as we vote, to promote the truth of embryonic stem cell research, which offers no promise," he said.   Full story ...

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