||The Madison Catholic Woman’s Club presented its Achievement Award to Msgr. Ken Fiedler. From left are: Mary Handel and Pat Breunig of the club’s award committee; Monsignor Fiedler; Rita Endres and Barb Kutchmarek, club co-presidents. (Catholic Herald photo/Mary Uhler)
MADISON -- The Madison Catholic Woman’s Club presented its Christian Achievement Award to Msgr. Ken Fiedler at the club’s 96th annual spring celebration held at the Blackhawk Country Club recently.
Pat Breunig, chairman of the award committee, said the club honored Monsignor Fielder, pastor of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in Madison, for his efforts to reopen the Catholic Multicultural Center (CMC) after it was closed by the diocese in 2009.
Reopening the CMC
“He spoke to his parishioners two weeks after the closing of the CMC,” said Breunig. “His call to reopen the center was warmly received by his parishioners. Less than two months later, the center reopened.”
She noted that the efforts of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish have allowed the CMC to expand its free meals from three to seven days a week. The center also offers English as a Second Language classes, computer classes, and nursing services.
Breunig said that Monsignor Fiedler grew up two houses away from St. Mary Church in Janesville. “Faith was an essential part of his life,” she said.
He is celebrating his 40th anniversary as a priest this year.
Sharing the award
In accepting the award, Monsignor Fiedler said he was sharing the award with “all who stood up” to help the CMC reopen.
He pointed out that the center was established almost 65 years ago to reach out to minorities and the poor. Bishop William H. Bullock built a new center in 2002.
“All of us were concerned when the CMC was closed,” he said. “On Pentecost Sunday, I got a message from the Holy Spirit, ‘Stop stewing about it and do something!’ I always listen to the Holy Spirit.”
After consulting with parishioners and staff, he called the diocese and volunteered to facilitate reopening the CMC. “I was doing it to help the poor,” he said.”
He received the keys to the CMC from the diocese and thought, “What have we done, God? I have keys but no money and no staff. You have to have trust. The response has been tremendous,” said Monsignor Fiedler.
Donations have come from throughout the diocese, from Catholics and others, including the City of Madison.
The CMC has received grants from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and several foundations. “We will continue to grow,” said the priest.
He encouraged the Catholic women to pray for the CMC and come and visit. He urged people to volunteer at the center and sponsor food collections in parishes.
“My vision is that the CMC would be under all the parishes of greater Dane County, not just one parish,” he said.
“We are living out evangelization and Christ’s mandate to do for the least of our brothers what you do to me.”
The keynote speaker at the event was Fr. Francis (Father Rocky) Hoffman, an Opus Dei priest who is executive director of Relevant Radio.
His topic was “Finding God in Everyday Life,” which he said is part of the mission of Relevant Radio.
Father Hoffman said that Relevant Radio is reaching up to 25 million people on its stations and on the Internet. “It takes time, prayer, and good programming” to build up an audience, he said.
Thanks to Relevant Radio, he said “people are coming back to the faith.”
He observed that when Our Lord evangelized, he did so one on one, in small groups, and with masses of people.
Father Hoffman said that we need to evangelize in all of these ways today, too. One way to evangelize on a larger scale is through the radio. “Everyone has a radio,” said said. “It’s a great medium to reach people and it’s personal, too. People feel they know you when you’re on the radio.”
Father Hoffman explained that Relevant Radio shares human stories about people. The network also has talk shows every day, such as Go Ask Your Father (which he hosts regularly). People can call with their questions, problems, and comments.
Relevant Radio also has 60,000 prayer requests each year.
He encouraged the women to pray for Relevant Radio, listen, and donate to the pledge drive.
The Catholic Woman’s Club announced that the club had 20 new members in the 2010 to 2011 year.
The club also gave over $12,000 in educational and charitable contributions, including to such organizations as the Apostolate to the Handicapped, Pregnancy Helpline, Catholic Charities, Catholic Multicultural Center, Elizabeth Seton House, Luke House, Our Lady of Hope Clinic, St. Mary’s Hospital, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and the Triangle Parish Nurse Program.