Thanksgiving meal, ecumenical service
HIGHLAND -- The seventh annual Highland community Thanksgiving Day meal will be served at 12 noon on Thursday, Nov. 22, at First Presbyterian Church, 342 Grand St., Highland.
The meal is sponsored by the Highland area churches. There is no cost and rides are available. Meals will be delivered to the homebound in the immediate area by calling 608-929-7490. Reservations are appreciated; call 608-929-7490 by Sunday, Nov. 18. All are welcome.
On Wednesday evening, Nov. 21, the First Presbyterian Church will host an ecumenical Thanksgiving service at 7:30 p.m. Participants are asked to bring a non-perishable food item or cash donation for the Iowa County Food Pantry.
Free holiday meal
MADISON -- On Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 22, First United Methodist Church, 203 Wisconsin Ave., expects to welcome over 300 guests for its traditional free holiday meal served in Fellowship Hall from 12 noon to 2 p.m. The church launched its holiday meal hospitality almost 25 years ago to benefit anyone alone or in need.
Homebound persons may request home-delivered holiday dinners. They are asked to phone only on Wednesday, Nov. 21, between 3 and 5 p.m. to 608-256-4357. A volunteer will respond, asking essential questions to pinpoint the number of meals needed and accurate instructions for delivering meals at approximately 12 noon on Thanksgiving Day.
Volunteers and families enjoy volunteering to donate homemade pies or cakes or their time to help prepare and serve the dinner. Delivery and clean-up volunteers are especially needed. Call Judy Metz at 608-249-0540 to volunteer.
MADISON -- Focolare is a worldwide lay movement of the Catholic Church whose charism is unity. They work to this end by living out Jesus' words "that all may be one" (John 17:21) through love of neighbor.
To learn more about this practice of spirituality, people are invited to come to Jennifer's for lunch and an "intro session" at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18, in Madison. Members of the Focolare community in Chicago will be attending to discuss the movement.
Contact Jennifer at email@example.com or 608-215-0245 for directions and to RSVP or for more information. For more information on Focolare, visit www.rc.net/focolare/
Sinsinawa Mound events
SINSINAWA -- People are invited to step back from the commercial hoopla and discover why the Advent season is so special by attending the "Advent Retreat: The Advent of My Life" from 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, to 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, at Sinsinawa Mound.
Leader Sr. Theresa Byrne will explore how the teachings/values of the Gospel are being born at a deeper level in our lives each year and how we are being called this Advent to witness to Jesus' values of peace, hope, love, and mercy.
Those attending are asked to bring a Bible if possible. Registration deadline is November 23. The fee, which includes meals, is $179 for an overnight guest or $109 for a commuter. Call at 608-748-4411, ext. 811, to register or visit www.sinsinawa.org
SINSINAWA -- Sinsinawa Mound is offering two events for people who have experienced a loss in their lives and need support getting through the holidays.
"Grief Retreat: Journey toward Wholeness" will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. Participants will spend time reflecting on their loss and discover how loss can lead to greater wholeness and holiness.
Sr. Mary Hopkins, a certified grief specialist and advanced grief counselor, will direct the retreat. The fee is $40 for single or family, plus a lunch fee. Registration deadline is November 21. Participants have the option of reserving a room for overnight for an additional fee if they plan to attend the Remembering Service on Sunday.
On Sunday, Dec. 2, at 1:30 p.m. is the "Remembering Service: Remembering Our Loved Ones at Holiday Time." This ecumenical service will be held to honor family and friends who have died.
Deceased loved ones will be honored by displaying a personalized ornament on a tree in the Queen of the Rosary Chapel. People interested in remembering their loved one(s) with an ornament should contact guest services at 608-748-4411, ext. 811, by November 21. After the service, individuals will be able to take their personalized ornaments and place it in their homes during the holiday season.
Flu shots available
LAKE DELTON -- Influenza vaccination for individuals age nine and over is now available at St. Clare Urgent Care in Lake Delton without an appointment. St. Clare Urgent Care is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Unlike many other viral respiratory infections, such as the common cold, the flu causes severe illness and life-threatening complications in many people.
Studies show that immunization for influenza is effective when the percentage of those immunized approaches 80 percent, a level at which "herd immunity" is achieved. This means that when enough people in a community are immunized, it is more difficult for the infection to be passed to people who are not immunized.
The peak of flu season can occur anywhere from late December through March.
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All Saints: Starts work
on assisted living center
MADISON -- Despite the chilling wind, a crowd gathered November 6 to witness Bishop Robert C. Morlino bless the site where the new All Saints Assisted Living Center, the final step in the All Saints Neighborhood plan, will be built. Afterward, he and several other leaders in the project broke ground in a symbolic ceremony.
Before venturing outside for the groundbreaking, Brian Cain, president of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Madison; Joe Tisserand, a Catholic Charities board member; and Bishop Morlino made comments thanking many of the people who have contributed to this project and reflecting on the reasons behind the building of this community.
Catholic Charities began working with Horizon Development Group in 1996 on this senior housing community, which offers different levels of independence and need. The project began with the 144-unit All Saints Retirement center apartments, completed in 2004, followed by the Hillside Estates (multi-family condominiums) and Cottages (duplex-style homes).
The All Saints Assisted Living Center, expected to open in the summer of 2008, will provide 24-hour nurse access and direct care, medication assistance, life-enrichment activities, food service, housekeeping, and transportation services. It will be operated by ElderSpan Management, which Cain said will offer another level of "quality control."
The 43,000 square-foot building will include 40 units of assisted living and 18 units of memory care, which will have trained staff to address the needs of seniors with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia. The assisted living center is not a nursing home, but rather combines the need for independence with the need for assistance in a "home-like atmosphere."
The two-story building adds to the All Saints Neighborhood's concept of "aging in place" and the Catholic Charities' commitment to seniors and their families.
"All of us will be seniors some day," said Cain in his remarks before the groundbreaking on why Catholic Charities has created this community. "Seniors have done so much for us and the community, we should give something back to them."
"Human service is the strength" of the diocese, Bishop Morlino said in his comments. When we do human service, it gives credibility to our talk about the objective truth.
"Catholic Charities is one of the main vehicles by which we do the work of human service and do the work of love that gives credibility to what we say about truth," he said. "And that's why Catholic Charities . . . and especially a project like this is so important."
Bishop Morlino talked about his grandmother, whom he called "a witness of the love of Christ." She had gone to assisted living with the Sisters of Charity.
"The older she got, the more precious she was," he said. "The more fun she was to be with, until the very end, and the more wisdom she had to share.
"And if we cannot, as a society, share the utter respect and love that we have for our seniors . . . then we are very poor in a very important way," the bishop said.
"You're a treasure," he said to the seniors present. "And we're doing everything we can to treat you as the treasure you are, but also to proclaim to the world . . . what a treasure you are."
The Truth Booth:
Provides a way to take the Word to the marketplace
When I think of the disciples, I am awed. With just the clothes on their backs they were to go forth and teach all nations.
Imagine them walking into a new village or town and heading for the market place. It would be natural. That's where people congregate. And then they began to speak the Word of God, teaching about God's mercy, love, forgiveness, and a new way of living.
And they were convincing! One reason they were convincing is that some were eyewitnesses to Jesus. Others were taught by eyewitnesses and so people wanted to hear their story.
Throughout the month of November, the Diocesan Office of Justice and Pastoral Outreach has its own eyewitness in the marketplace.
The witness is the incredible technology of 4-D ultrasound. The marketplace is a "Truth Booth" kiosk at West Towne Mall, near the Sears end. Taking the Truth and the Word into the marketplace is simply following in the footsteps of the early disciples.
The Truth Booth draws attention to the wonders of 4-D ultrasound. Many young families, who carried ultrasound pictures of their own pre-born children, have stopped to explain the images to their children.
With brochures and signs asking, "Ever wonder what's really going on in there?" people are invited to learn more about the developing child. In addition, woven throughout the brochure are the ways that the diocese and others are ready to assist women and their children.
The health and well-being of a mother and her child is greatly enhanced by knowing that maternity clothes, cribs, baby clothes, even emergency housing and ultrasounds (if medically indicated) are available.
The telephone help line and e-mail address are posted and inquiries are coming in. The brochures have been popular and the comments received are positive. Diocesan staff members and volunteers are taking turns opening the booth and re-stocking brochures.
And thanks goes out to the many generous donors who supported this effort. Special thanks goes to diocesan staffer, Cheryl Splinter, for seeing the idea, believing in it, and helping organize the many aspects of making it happen.
The Office of Justice and Pastoral Outreach invites you to stop by the Truth Booth and send us your thoughts, comments, and suggestions. Share the good news that the Catholic Church and other organizations stand ready and willing to show compassion.
If you would like to know how to set up a Truth Booth in your area, or if you have questions or comments, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-821-3087.