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November 8, 2007 Edition

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This week:
Breaking News (front page) -- Update on Bella: Movie times and locations (11/8)
Feasibility study: Parishioners give input on diocesan priorities
St. Thérèse of Lisieux lecture: On nature, dignity of women
Project Rachel: Healing for all who have experienced abortion
• Front-page -- Apostolate to the Handicapped: Christmas party to be held Dec. 1
News Briefs
Nominate someone for "Profiles from the pew"

Articles on St. Raphael Cathedral

News Briefs:
Safe Environment Week: Lessons for children offered

MADISON -- Bishop Robert C. Morlino has designated November 4 to 11 as Safe Environment Week for Children in the Diocese of Madison.

Children will participate in lessons for Safe Environment Week in Catholic schools and religious education programs. The lessons are age-appropriate and are designed to help the students develop the vocabulary and boundary distinctions necessary to ensure their health and safety.

All Catholic schools and parishes in the diocese have received the curriculum for this program. Training workshops for staff were held in August and September.

Parents interested in previewing the lessons their children will be taught can see the curriculum posted on the diocesan Web site at Under the Diocese of Madison tab on the home page, click on Safe Environment. On the Safe Environment page, look for "Children's Program" on the left side.

Day of fasting and prayer: Catholic women
to observe Nov. 15

ARLINGTON, Va. -- National Council of Catholic Women council members across the country will join in observing a nationwide day of fasting and prayer on Thursday, Nov. 15, the Thursday before Thanksgiving, asking God to give them the grace to work toward eliminating hunger from the world.

All are encouraged to fast in whatever way is right for them. This would include everything from eliminating between meal snacks to a water-only fast. This would be productive as long as it stimulates prayerful consideration to the needs of the poor.

Members are asked to reflect on how they might simplify their lives to make a larger share of resources available to others. (The United States holds about five percent of the world's population but consumes approximately 25 percent of its resources.)

Members are asked to visit the Catholic Charities USA Web site (
) for prayers and readings that can be used as part of their council's observances. Members should consider contributing money that is saved by fasting to local food banks or a fish and loaves project. Parishes are asked to join in the fast and to pray for those who hunger for food each day.

Feast of St. Albert:
Health care presentation

MADISON -- On Thursday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. at Blessed Sacrament Church, 2116 Hollister Ave., the Dominican Friars invite people to celebrate the feast of the Dominican theologian and scientist of the 13th century, St. Albert the Great.

Evening prayer will be followed by a presentation entitled "Access to Health Care: The Myths, the Truths, and our Christian Responsibility."

John Huebscher, executive director of the Wisconsin Catholic Conference, will present the political concerns associated with health care access and insurance in light of Catholic social teaching. Dr. David Vanness, who received his doctorate in economics from the University of Wisconsin and is a health care economist at the university, will unscramble some of the financial complexities associated with the issue. There will be time for questions along with a reception.

Hesburgh Lecture:
On the Beatitudes

MADISON -- The Notre Dame Club of South Central Wisconsin presents the 2007-2008 Hesburgh Lecture. Kathleen Sullivan will speak on "Servant Leadership: The Intersection of the Beatitudes and the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" on Thursday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. at the Bishop O'Connor Center, 702 S. High Point Rd.

The speaker will focus on each Beatitude, mindful of the challenge and promise of these sacred words. An overview of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People in light of the Beatitudes will enlighten efforts to lead with the spirit of the servant leader. After receiving a doctorate in English from Notre Dame, Sullivan joined the Notre Dame Alumni Association. She is currently senior director of spirituality and service for alumni.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided.

Mothers of Preschoolers

WAUNAKEE -- Moms with preschoolers, age birth through kindergarten, are invited to experience support, friendship, and fun at the Tuesday, Nov. 13, Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) meeting at St. John the Baptist School, 114 E. Third St. Dinner starts at 6:45 p.m. Topic is "The Kitchen: Meal Planning Made Easy."

For more information, call St. John the Baptist Parish at 608-849-5121 or Jane at 608-849-5424 or visit and click "Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS)."

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Feasibility study: Parishioners give input
on diocesan priorities

MADISON -- Some 70,000 households throughout the Diocese of Madison will be asked to give their input on determining potential funding for various diocesan projects, including the building of a cathedral.

Members of parishes will receive a Feasibility Study packet this weekend, November 10 and 11. The packet contains a letter from Bishop Robert C. Morlino and a survey form, which will be distributed after Masses at all parishes.

In his letter, Bishop Morlino points out that the Diocese of Madison has engaged the services of Phoenix Fundraising Counsel, Ltd., of Madison to conduct the Feasibility Study "to help us determine the ways and means of funding various diocesan projects, including the building of a Cathedral."

Phoenix, headed by John Richert, has previously worked on fund-raising campaigns in a number of parishes in the diocese.

"The purpose of the survey is to allow the entire diocesan family to be part of the process toward helping identify the needs and establishing support for a variety of diocesan projects," said Chad McEachern, director of the diocesan Office of Stewardship and Development."

"The importance of everyone's involvement in shaping the future of our Diocese through participation in this survey cannot be overstated. This is a natural extension of the good work done in the Guided by the Spirit planning process recently concluded," said McEachern.

In addition to rebuilding St. Raphael Cathedral, destroyed by an arson fire in March of 2005, some of the programs or services which could be funded by a capital campaign mentioned in the survey include: Hispanic ministry, Catholic education endowment, retired priest endowment, Catholic communications, Catholic Charities, Catholic cemeteries, youth and young adult programs, and St. Paul University Catholic Center at the University of Wisconsin and campus ministry.

Besides the survey, Phoenix has invited all priests of the diocese to be interviewed. Approximately 500 people were also identified throughout the diocese for personal interviews.

Phoenix will enter all the responses into a database and conduct an analysis of the responses. This analysis will provide the basis for Phoenix to make recommendations to the diocese on an estimate of how much can be raised in a capital campaign as well as operational and marketing strategies for a campaign.

McEachern said it is expected that a report will be presented to Bishop Morlino by the end of the year. "This will allow the bishop to assess what is feasible for the diocese to do and then decide how to proceed," he said.

Bishop Morlino concludes his letter by saying, "We appreciate your support and prayers as we prepare the Diocese of Madison for the next generation of families."

Parishioners will be asked to return the survey forms, which include 16 questions, no later than November 18. They may return the completed form at their parish office, deposit it in the weekend collection basket, or mail it to Phoenix Fundraising by folding the self-addressed survey.

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St. Thérèse
of Lisieux lecture:
On nature, dignity of women

MADISON -- On Thursday, Nov. 29, at 7 p.m. the St. Thérèse of Lisieux Lecture Series will present Sr. Mary Prudence Allen on "The Nature and Dignity of Women" at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, 702 S. High Point Rd.

Sister Mary Prudence received her Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from the University of Rochester, N.Y., and her doctorate in philosophy in 1967 from Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, Calif.

A member of the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Mich., she taught philosophy at Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and was named Distinguished Professor Emeritus in 1996.

Her areas of specialization are: The Concept of Person in the History of Philosophy, Philosophy of Woman, Existentialism, and Personalism.

From 1998 to 2003 she served as chair, and is presently professor, at the department of philosophy, St. John Vianney Theological Seminary, Denver, Colo. From 2003 to 2006 she taught seminars for ENDOW on various aspects of Pope John Paul II's writings on the dignity and vocation of woman; and in 2006 to 2007 she taught the seminar on the theme of 'Women, Friendship, and Love' according to Pope Benedict's Deus Caritas Est.

Sister Mary Prudence has published a two-volume work on The Concept of Woman (Grand Rapids, Mi.: Eerdmans, 1997, 2003) and over 40 articles in professional journals. She is presently working on the third volume in this series.

She has also presented over 140 professional lectures across the United States and Canada and in England, Israel, and Poland at such organizations as the Canadian Philosophical Association, American Philosophical Association, World Congress of Philosophy, World Congress of Christian Philosophy, American Catholic Philosophical Association, Society for Women in Philosophy, Catholic Fellowship of Scholars, American Academy of Religion, Maritain Association, Lonergan Workshop; at universities such as McGill, University of Toronto, University of St. Paul, Ottawa, Catholic University of America, Fordham University, Notre Dame, University of Dallas, the Catholic University of Lublin, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the University of Bar-Ilan, Tel Aviv; and for conferences and seminaries in various dioceses and institutes of women religious in the United States and Canada.

A sign language interpreter will be available for her lecture. Register online at (go to Ministry, Events, St. Thérèse Lecture) or contact the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis 608-821-3160 or

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Project Rachel:
Healing for all who have experienced abortion

MADISON -- Project Rachel is the abortion-healing outreach of the Catholic Church, started in Milwaukee in 1984 and since spread across the nation and the world.

At training sessions men and women called to the mission learn to recognize signs of abortion wounds and find a way to help those who have experienced abortion find healing.

'Vital ministry' in diocese

MADISON -- The recent Project Rachel training session in the Diocese of Madison continued training for both laypersons and priests to help those with experience of abortion to heal.

"It's a vital ministry to change lives," one priest attendee said.

"Very informative and emotionally dynamic," said another. The training "stirred thinking in me about how many people that God might be able to help through me."

"Vicky Thorn (executive director of Project Rachel) has presented Project Rachel around the world," said Susanna Herro, director of the diocesan Office of Justice and Pastoral Outreach, which sponsored the training. "She said that when a diocese has at least 10 percent of its priests trained, that is a benchmark. With the priests who have trained in the past and those who attended recently, we now have 40 priests with increased background to reach men and women who are in pain from past abortions.

"Women and men who call our confidential hotline (608-821-3177) will be referred to priests who are especially well prepared to listen to them and help them heal," said Herro.

For more information on Project Rachel, go to

At a recent session at the Bishop O'Connor Center (one for laypersons and another for priests), Vicky Thorn, the national executive director of Project Rachel (an organization based in Milwaukee), delved into the effects of abortion - biochemical, psychological, and spiritual.

Thorn has been to Madison to help train before, but newer this year, alongside the training for helping newly aborted women and a look at Generation Y and abortion, was a glimpse into what to expect when a man seeks support - a less common occurrence than with their counterparts.

"We've always talked about men; we've always heard from men," Thorn said, but more often it's a hidden grief.

In the article "The Effects of Abortion on Men," Dr. Vincent M. Rue writes that men do grieve after abortion, but they deny or internalize that grief. If they do express it, they use anger, aggressiveness, or control - more seemingly "masculine" ways.

"Because of this," Rue wrote, "men's requests for help may often go unrecognized and unheeded by those around them."

Thorn related several instances in which a man called, sometimes under the pretense of seeking help for a girlfriend, but in actuality asking for help to heal.

"When he calls, make him own who he is," she said.

Men's abortion roles

There are many roles men take in the abortions- a spectrum ranging from the opposed to the forcer to the completely unaware - and the role he takes (or is given) often leads to a particular pattern of behavior afterward. Even for the men who were uninvolved and uninformed and now wonder if perhaps there had been an abortion, there can be an impact.

For many of them, there is a great deal of anger, whether directed at someone else or at themselves. Thorn said it is important to release that anger before looking to deal with the other aspects. If the priest needs the patio broken up, now's the time to invite him over, she said.

Many men work out their grief in harmful ways, such as risk-taking; sexual addictions, many times to try to impregnate again; over-protectiveness; spousal battery; or drug or alcohol abuse.

But those are just the symptoms of the deeper wound of abortion, Thorn said. "But if you don't ask the questions, you don't know it . . . they hide in those wounds and they don't get treated."

Healing for men

Often times, in helping men heal, "men do better with men," Thorn said. They are not as apt as women are to come to a retreat geared for abortion healing, but may be more receptive if the topic is broached at a men's retreat, or even at marriage preparation, where the issue is important for both men and women.

"It's the secret that's the problem," Thorn said. "If there's a previous abortion, they have to talk about it, because it's going into the bedroom with them.

"If we want to help marriages, if we want to save marriage, we have to talk about this," she said.

But the key is listening, Thorn said.

When speaking with those hurt by abortion, "You've gotta pray to the Holy Spirit," Thorn said. "You'd be surprised by how smart you can get."

And it's important, too, to remember that "we're just companions," she said. "We don't have all the answers."

In fact, there's still so much about men and abortion that is unknown. A conference to be held November 28 and 29 in San Francisco, Calif., aims to help examine the issue and bring the topic out into the light. "Reclaiming Fatherhood," which is organized by the National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing and co-sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and the Archdiocese of San Francisco, will feature talks by experts in the field and covers such topics as current research, forgiveness therapy, the sociology of fatherhood and abortion, and more.

More information on the men's conference Reclaiming Fatherhood can be found at

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