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March 6, 2008 Edition

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This week:
Breaking News (front page) -- Fr. Arthur W. Heindl dies (posted 3/7/2008)
Packed hearing on abortion law
Celebrating Sisters: Heart of the Church
News Briefs
Nominate someone for a profile

Articles on St. Raphael Cathedral

News Briefs:
Mission for Fort Atkinson and Palmyra parishes features two Redemptorist priests

FORT ATKINSON -- A special "preaching event" will highlight the Lenten season this year when the combined parishes of St. Joseph, Fort Atkinson, and St. Mary, Palmyra, will host a parish mission from March 9 through 12 at St. Joseph Church, 1660 Endl Blvd. It will be an exercise in spirituality suitable for Christians of all denominations.

Two Redemptorist priests, Fr. Joseph Nolen and Fr. Richard Boever, both popular in the mission circuit, will be the presenters. They will be introduced to the parish at each of the Masses on the weekend of March 8 and 9.

This will be followed with a series of sermons for the next four evenings from 7 to 8 p.m. The themes are: Sunday, March 9, "Salvation: God Loves Us"; Monday, March 10, "Jesus: We Believe"; Tuesday, March 11, "Healing: Accept the Lord" (Reconciliation); Wednesday, March 12, "Mission: Go Forth."

Confirmation students under the leadership of St. Joseph School Principal Dave Podmolik will provide childcare for the evening services for children ages three to eight. Advance reservations must be made by phoning Podmolik at the school office, 920-563-3029, ext. 2, or e-mailing

For rides to and from the church, contact a member of either parish.

Catholic Spirit Club
plans events

JANESVILLE -- The Adult Catholic Spirit Club's potluck luncheon to be held on Wednesday, March 12, at 12 noon in St. John Vianney's Marian Hall will feature Veronica Smith's Unique Trip, guided by First Lutheran Church's Pastor Jim Melvin, entitled "Slide Presentation of Jerusalem." All area men and women are invited to share the fun, food, and fellowship. There are no dues.

The club is also planning a trip to Holy Hill on Wednesday, May 14, for Mass, tour of the shrine, and lunch at the Holy Hill Café. Cost of the trip is $42. Call Rose Sterk at 608-754-9307 for reservations or more information about this outing.

Faculty lecture
at Edgewood College

MADISON -- A faculty lecture on "Preservation, Resource Production, and Recreation on Public Lands: A View From the States" by Professor Steven Davis will be presented Wednesday, March 12, at 12 noon in the Anderson Auditorium, at Edgewood College, 1000 Edgewood College Dr.

This research attempts to offer a comprehensive profile of state public land holdings and draw some conclusions about how each state's public land is oriented towards preservation, resource extraction, and recreation. The public is invited and there is no charge.

Living Stations
at Sinsinawa

SINSINAWA -- The Living Stations of the Cross will be presented at Sinsinawa Mound at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 19, in Queen of the Rosary Chapel.

Area high school youth in simple costumes present prayerful, inspiring, and spiritual meditations on the passion and death of Jesus. Meditations from Jesus' point of view and music reflective of the scene will challenge and inspire the viewer. A freewill offering will be accepted.

For information, contact Diane Kieler at 608-748-4411, ext. 804, or visit

Calling all laity who pray the Liturgy of the Hours

MADISON -- In an effort to recognize laity who pray the Divine Office in the Madison Diocese, as well as to facilitate a deeper devotion to this wonderful prayer of the Church, an association has formed: D.O.M.E. (Divine Office Madison Extension). D.O.M.E. simply hopes to draw further instruction, fellowship, and edification in service to the Madison Diocese and all who pray the Divine Office.

The first initiative of D.O.M.E is to gather the names and locations of all those praying the Liturgy of the Hours. If you or anyone else you know prays or would like to begin praying the Divine Office, contact John Smith for more details at or 608-886-5355.

Nominate someone
for a profile

Do you know a person to nominate for a profile? This could be someone in a paid or volunteer position in the Catholic Church. It could be someone working outside the Church who lives his or her faith in ordinary or extraordinary ways in daily life.

Send nominations with information about the nominee to: Catholic Herald, 702 S. High Point Rd., Madison, WI 53719, or e-mail

Packed hearing
on abortion law

MADISON -- Booing and hissing occasionally interrupted the public hearing at the state Capitol on February 27 for a contentious Wisconsin State Senate bill that would repeal a 150-year-old anti-abortion statute.

Related article:

• Eye on the Capitol column --
Women better served by just wages, not abortion

The hearing filled two overflow rooms as well as packed the room where the Senate Committee on Health, Human Services, Insurance, and Job Creation met to listen to testimony regarding, among other bills, SB 398.

The bill, also called the "Women's Health and Safety Act," would repeal statute 940.04, which provides a penalty for those who perform abortions. The law would only come into effect if Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, were overturned.

Many of those present at the hearing wore stickers reading "Save 940.04," distributed by Wisconsin Right to Life. The non-profit pro-life group had bused groups in from Milwaukee, Green Bay, and Wausau for the hearing, adding to many who came from around the Diocese of Madison and groups, including some school groups, from the Diocese of La Crosse.

Susan Armacost, legislative director of WRTL, told the Catholic Herald a half hour into the hearing that nearly all of their 500 stickers had been distributed.

Outside the hearing room, a group of Catholics led by Fr. Rick Heilman, pastor of Mt. Horeb and Pine Bluff parishes, prayed the rosary.

But despite the sea of "Save 940.04" stickers, not all of those present were against SB 398. Testimony, which occasionally lashed out at those on other sides of the issue, lasted for more than five hours despite the five-minute cap on speakers and alternated between those speaking for and against the bill.

Much of the testimony debated abortion itself. Some spoke on their own experiences with abortion, and others shared the Catholic teaching of the sanctity of all life and explained the importance of keeping a law that bans abortion.

"Laws do more than prohibit certain behaviors," Barbara Sella, the associate director for respect life and social concerns at the Wisconsin Catholic Conference (WCC), said in her testimony at the hearing. The WCC is the state bishops' voice for public policy.

"The law is also our teacher, helping a community attain its highest aspirations," said Sella. "Wisconsin's abortion ban reflects our state's progressive and humanitarian tradition that all human beings - whether born or unborn - deserve to be treated with equal respect."

Statute 940.04 makes doctors and others who intentionally destroy the life of an unborn child or cause the death of the mother by an act done to abort the child guilty of a felony. A 1985 statute, however, makes an exception for any woman who obtains an abortion.

Assembly Representative Terese Berceau (D-Madison), who co-sponsored the bill, and Senator Mark Miller (D-Monona) spoke in favor of the bill at the hearing. "The only way to ensure women cannot be prosecuted in Wisconsin for obtaining an abortion is to take statute 940.04 off the books," said Berceau.

Women not prosecuted

However, supporters of the abortion ban argued that women would be in no danger of being prosecuted, due to the later statute, 940.13. The statute was supported by WRTL and WCC.

Sella said that the Legislative Reference Bureau, which offers nonpartisan legal, research, and library services to the legislature, issued a statement indicating that 940.13 would be enforced over 940.04.

"On the day that Roe vs. Wade is overturned, Wisconsin will once again be at the forefront of states that protect the most vulnerable of all - the unborn," Sella said in her testimony at the hearing.

"Let me be equally clear as to what will not happen when 'Roe' is overturned," she said. "Women who have abortions will not be put in jail. The enforcement of statute 940.04 will not repeal statute 940.13, which protects women who abort from prosecution."

Sella added: "The WCC fully supports statute 940.13. The aborted child is not the only victim of an abortion. Women are also victims and they deserve compassion, not incarceration."

No action was taken on the bill after the hearing.

Other legislative action

Other bills in the state legislature that saw action last week include the "Compassionate Care" bill mandating the availability of emergency contraception for rape victims as well as the state ban on partial-birth abortion.

The emergency contraception bill, AB 377, passed the state Senate in a 25-6 vote. Governor Jim Doyle is expected to sign it into law. The Wisconsin bishops originally took a stand of neutrality on the bill but wrote two letters to legislators reaffirming and clarifying their stance on emergency contraception. The letters are available on the WCC Web site,

A partial-birth abortion ban, AB 710, passed the Republican-controlled Assembly in a 59-38 vote on February 28. It has not been voted on in the Senate. The WCC supports the bill, which re-aligns state statutes with federal statutes. An earlier state partial-birth abortion ban was struck down in 1998, before the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a federal ban on the procedure in 2007.

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Celebrating Sisters: Heart of the Church
We need consecrated life more than ever, says Bishop Morlino at dinner

MADISON -- The world needs consecrated life more than ever, Bishop Robert C. Morlino told those gathered for a recent Valentine's Sisters' Appreciation Dinner with the theme "Heart of the Church" sponsored by the Serra Club of Madison and hosted by Edgewood College.

Religious communities serving in the Diocese of Madison were invited to send representatives to this first event. Members of the Serra Club were joined by about 30 representatives of 11 religious orders for a Mass celebrated by Bishop Morlino in the Edgewood chapel, followed by a social and dinner. The diocesan Office of Vocations also assisted in planning the event to honor those in consecrated life.

In his talk at the dinner, Bishop Morlino noted that his own vocation to the priesthood was influenced by an aunt who was a Felician Sister. "She was very much a part of my life when I was growing up," he said. "My aunt had everything to do with my vocation."

Major impact on faith in U.S.

Bishop Morlino said that consecrated women have had a major impact on the Catholic Church in this country. "The Catholic faith in the United States was not built by bishops and priests. It was built by religious Sisters in the schools," he said.

He added, "We need more Sisters and more (Catholic) schools. Government schools promote and enforce secularism. We need Catholic schools to promote and enforce the faith."

The bishop said that nothing would have an impact on increasing the faith more than Sisters would. "They did it before and they'll do it again, by God's grace. Times change and circumstances change, and yet it's going to be consecrated religious women who will rebuild the faith in the United States," he stressed.

He told the Sisters gathered, "Thank God for you. We need you."

What matters most is holiness

Bishop Morlino said consecrated women remind us that "what matters most is holiness." Consecrated women imitate the holiness of the Blessed Mother, he said. "The main focus of their witness is holiness. That's what consecrated life is all about."

Bishop Morlino said everyone should encourage vocations to the consecrated life. "All of us should invite women to embrace the consecrated life," he said. "Let's pray and work for more vocations to the consecrated life."

Edgewood founded by Dominicans

Daniel Carey, president of Edgewood College, welcomed those attending the dinner. He noted that the college was founded by a community of women, the Sinsinawa Dominicans, who also sponsor a number of other Catholic schools. Their founder, Fr. Samuel Mazzuchelli, "was hardly any older than our current college students when he began his work in this country."

Carey talked about three programs at Edgewood College that reflect its values as a Catholic, Dominican liberal arts college: its Human Issues Program that provides students with the opportunity to engage in study, reflection, and action; the college's commitment to diversity in the recruitment of students and hiring of employees, including its new Community Scholars program; and the college's ministry programs, which engage students in experiences that promote personal, spiritual, moral, and faith development.

Brian Kelly, Serra district governor, also welcomed everyone to what he hopes will be an annual event honoring Sisters.

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