Get educated on the Catholic faith Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Thursday, Sep. 02, 2010 -- 12:00 AM

MADISON -- Following an excellent first year of educational service in the Diocese of Madison, the Seat of Wisdom Diocesan Institute will kick off its second year beginning Tuesday, Sept. 7, at the Cathedral Parish of St. Raphael.

The Seat of Wisdom Diocesan Institute is a project of the Diocesan Office of Evangelization and Catechesis (OEC).

Over the first year, the institute sponsored 43 courses (each consisting of a series generally six to 12 hours in length) at 18 different locations throughout the diocese. It served almost 500 students — principals, teachers, DREs, catechists, and others — interested in knowing more about the faith they profess.

“In regional locations (Montello, Fennimore, Jefferson, Janesville, and Footville), there will be a continuance of what we call the ‘Sequential Courses,’” said Patrick Delaney, associate director of the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis. “As the Church tells us, proper catechesis should be systematic, meaning, like mathematics or learning a second language, instruction in the faith ‘builds from the ground up,’ from the more basic to the more complex. We begin with the story of salvation, how it leads to what we believe, how we enter that mystery, and how it impacts our lives.”

Building ‘from the ground up’

To “build from the ground up” with the Seat of Wisdom Basic curriculum, participants take four courses sequentially: 1) Introduction to Sacred Scripture, 2) The Creed, 3) Celebration of the Christian Mystery (Sacraments), and 4) Life in Christ (Moral Life).

All adults are invited to begin this sequential curriculum at the following locations (starting dates in parenthesis):

  • Madison, Bishop O’Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, (10/9/10)
  • Madison, Cathedral Parish of St. Raphael, St. Patrick Church (9/7/10)
  • Belleville, St. Francis Church (9/8/10)
  • Beloit, Our Lady of Assumption Church (10/3/10)
  • Verona, St. Andrew Church (11/8/10)
Continued education

As mentioned, these sequential courses will be continued “mid-stream” in five regional locations as listed below:

  • Montello, St. John the Baptist Church (Life in Christ; 9/13/10)
  • Fennimore, St. Mary Church (Life in Christ; 10/5/10)
  • Jefferson, St. John the Baptist Church (Sacraments, Life in Christ; 10/26/10)
  • Janesville, St. John Vianney Church (Life in Christ; 10/26/10)
  • Footville, St. Augustine Church, (The Creed; 10/26/10)
‘Anytime’ courses

Three other courses from the basic curriculum can be taken at any time: 1) Prayer, 2) Evangelization, and 3) Catechesis.

“We call these the ‘Non-Sequential’ Basic courses,” Delaney said. “These non-sequential courses, open to all at any time, will be available at most of the locations mentioned, as well.”

Again at the Bishop O’Connor Center in Madison, the entire Basic Curriculum will be offered for eight consecutive second Saturdays of the month, beginning October 9.

In addition, the institute will be offering “Advanced” courses, open to any and all interested adults on (generally) the third Saturday of each month beginning October 16. Instructors for these courses include Bishop Robert C. Morlino, Sr. Marcia Vinje, Dr. Pat Gorman, Fr. Randy Timmerman, Msgr. Kevin Holmes, Msgr. James Bartylla, and more. More details will be available at the Seat of Wisdom Web site soon.

Positive response

Hundreds of comments by participants in last year’s Seat of Wisdom courses are also available on the Web site.

“I so enjoyed the Seat of Wisdom Diocesan Institute courses,” said Susan Burns, a parishioner at St. Ann Parish in Stoughton. “Those attending were blessed to be in the presence of some of the very best Catholic educators I have ever been around. Not only has this program given me the ability to better explain many teachings of my Catholic faith, but I now also have a stronger love for Jesus Christ and His Church and feel inspired to evangelize.”

“Though I’ve been a parish DRE for 18 years and earned a religious education degree, attending the Seat of Wisdom course in Sacred Scripture made me realize there was much more to learn,” said Tina Schoebel, director of religious education at St. John the Baptist Parish, Montello. “Our catechists and I not only learned more but were spiritually fed. We look forward to the course on the Creed!”

“As a participant I was amazed and thankful for the high level of teaching shared within the days of the institute,” said Mary Lou Haas, a “person in the pew” at St. Raphael Cathedral Parish, Madison. “The teachings were taught with enthusiasm and truth. I learned so much.”

For more information on how to get involved in the Seat of Wisdom Diocesan Institute or to learn more about course offerings, visit or call the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis at 608-821-3160.

Please support our advertisers: