New organ will highlight this year’s Festival of Lessons & Carols Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by By Dick Jones, For the Catholic Herald   
Thursday, Dec. 07, 2017 -- 12:00 AM
diocesan choir gorman
At the Advent/Christmas party sponsored by the Apostolate for Persons with Disabilities are, from left: Katie Gorman, one of the newest members of the Madison Diocesan Choir; her father, Dr. Patrick Gorman, director of the choir for over 25 years; and Pat Paska, a member of the choir since its beginning nearly 45 years ago. (Catholic Herald photo/Kevin Wondrash)

MADISON -- Much as O Come All Ye Faithful is a favorite known by all since childhood, the opening hymn of Lessons & Carols will become a glorious new sound Sunday, Dec. 17.

That’s when Dr. Patrick Gorman directs the Madison Diocesan Choir and all present, accompanied by a classic pipe organ described as magical, restored, and installed in the Holy Name Heights chapel.

Seeking an organ

“I have literally been working on this since I arrived in Madison,” said Gorman, now in his 26th year as director. “We put together so many different proposals, and it’s always been, ‘We can’t afford it! We can’t afford it.’

“New pipe organs are extraordinarily expensive. Then we started to look at organs that have come out of churches.”

With the help of Bruce Case of Case Pipe Organ Company in Verona, an exceptional pipe organ was found in Kenosha at the First Congregational Church that closed in 2013.

Though silent for years, the organ was in surprisingly good condition. The new owners, an evangelical congregation, had no use for it and agreed to sell it.

Rolls Royce of organs

Thanks to a generous gift from the estate of the late Msgr. Delbert Schmelzer, the Diocese of Madison was able to buy and restore the pipe organ, built by the Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company in Boston nearly 70 years ago.

According to Case, it rivals the commanding Klais organ in the Madison Overture Center, and in some respects is superior.

Lessons and Carols in Montello Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Thursday, Dec. 07, 2017 -- 12:00 AM

MONTELLO -- St. John the Baptist Parish in Montello and Good Shepherd Parish in Westfield will present an evening of Lessons and Carols on Wednesday, Dec. 13, at 6:30 p.m. at St. John the Baptist Church in Montello.

The St. John the Baptist and Good Shepherd Choirs will unite to provide the musical presentations. Students from the religious education program at both parishes will also participate.

Multicultural Center, radio station hold fundraiser Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Thursday, Dec. 07, 2017 -- 12:00 AM

MADISON -- Each year La Movida Spanish Radio and leaders in the Latino community partner with the Catholic Multicultural Center (CMC) to generate support for the Center's many social services and programs.

The CMC invites the public to the sixth annual Radiothon fundraiser and community celebration on Tuesday, Dec. 12, from 12 noon to 6 p.m. La Movida will broadcast live from the CMC in conjunction with festivities, including dance performances, live music, Latin American food, and an Our Lady of Guadalupe Mass at 12 noon (in Spanish).

Priest is UW football team chaplain for 40 years Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Mary C. Uhler, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017 -- 12:00 AM
Msgr. Mike Burke with football team
Wisconsin Badger football Head Coach Paul Chryst and the team captains gather around Msgr. Michael Burke, better known as Father Mike, at a recent practice at Camp Randall Field in Madison. Father Mike has been the team chaplain for 40 years. Players from left are: tight end Troy Fumagalli, defensive end Alec James, defensive end Conor Sheehy, and safety D’Cota Dixon. The Badgers will play in the Big Ten Championship Game on December 2 in Indianapolis.
(Catholic Herald photo/Mary C. Uhler)

MADISON -- When the Wisconsin Badger football team travels to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship Game on December 2, they will take with them a perfect 12-0 record.

Accompanying them will be Msgr. Michael Burke -- better known as Father Mike to the coaches and players. He has been the team’s chaplain for 40 years.

Dates back to seminary training camp

He began working with the team when he was on the faculty of Madison’s Holy Name Seminary. The Badgers used the seminary fields and facilities for their summer training camp for many years.

Father Mike was a faculty member, rector, and vocation director during the years from 1977 until the closing of the seminary in 1995.

He remembers the training camps well. “The team was usually at the seminary for over three weeks,” he recalled. “They were locked in and had to stay there the entire time. They certainly got focused, since there were no distractions.”

Team chaplain role

Father Mike believes he was the first team chaplain in the Big Ten Conference. Now, all but three of the schools’ teams have chaplains.

Throughout his years as team chaplain, Father Mike has offered encouragement and support to the coaches and players of all faiths.

He has performed 104 weddings of players and coaches and countless Baptisms. “They still stay connected with me,” he said. “They send lots of pictures.”

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