Last summer, Pope Benedict XVI announced a year of celebration in honor of St. Paul the Apostle to run from June 28, 2008 (feast day of the Conversion of St. Paul) to June 28, 2009. The Vatican has encouraged Catholics around the world to study St. Paul in Scripture to “revitalize our faith in the light of his teachings and life.”
In order to facilitate this study, four area parishes have joined forces to create a lecture series about St. Paul, one of our great saints and an early founder of the Church. St. Patrick Parish in Cottage Grove, St. Ann Parish in Stoughton, Holy Mother of Consolation Parish in Oregon, and Christ the King Parish in McFarland will each host a guest lecturer for this series to run January through March. Each program will be approximately 1.5 hours in length and will include time for discussion.
Parishioners throughout the diocese are invited to attend any or all of these presentations. Call the church office(s) for directions.
■ Thursday, Jan. 8, 7 p.m. at St. Patrick Parish in Cottage Grove (608-251-7857): “Paul’s Journey through the Acts of the Apostles”
Fr. Robert Beck of the Archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa, will discuss St. Paul’s travels, the Christian communities he founded, and the letters he wrote. Father Beck will talk about the letters as responses to particular events and the theology that St. Paul shared in these communities.
A priest of the Archdiocese of Dubuque and professor of religious studies at Loras College in Dubuque, Father Beck studied at the Aquinas Institute of Theology, The Catholic University of America, and the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem. An author, his works reflect many years of involvement in peace and justice issues.
Dynamics of Faith
■ Monday, Feb. 2, 7 p.m. at St. Ann Parish in Stoughton (608-873-7633): “Dynamics of Faith: Paul on Faith”
Fr. Ron Rank, retired priest of the Diocese of Madison, will use key passages, primarily from St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, to explore the dynamics of faith, grace, and justification.
Father Rank has ministered as a pastor, teacher, family counselor for alcoholics, spiritual director, and retreat director. His studies include master’s degrees in Latin (UW-Madison), Sacred Scripture (SLU), and Holistic Living (UNRI).
Discipleship by Paul
■ Thursday, March 5, 7 p.m. at Holy Mother of Consolation Parish in Oregon (608-835-5763): “Discipleship According to Paul: It’s All About Relationships”
Dr. Kate Wiskus, former diocesan director in Madison, will discuss how St. Paul’s experience of conversion impressed upon him the centrality of relationship to discipleship. Wiskus will explore the relationships inherent in discipleship according to St. Paul and discipleship in the modern world using the theology of St. Paul.
Wiskus currently serves as faculty and associate dean of formation at Mundelein Seminary/University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Ill. Her studies include a B.A. in Religious Studies, an M.A. in Biblical Hebrew and Semitic Studies, and a Ph.D. in Ministry. She directed and taught in the lay and diaconate formation programs in Madison.
Church of the 21st Century
■ Monday, March 23, 7 p.m. at Christ the King Parish in McFarland (608-838-9797): “St. Paul speaks to the Catholic Church of the 21st Century”
Dr. John F. Craghan, professor emeritus of Religious Studies at St. Norbert College in DePere, will review St. Paul’s impact on the history of Christianity; his life, birth, and upbringing; and the radical change on the Damascus road.
Author and lecturer, Creghan holds graduate degrees from the University of Munich, the Pontifical Biblical Institute (Rome/Jerusalem), and Columbia University. He is an associate editor of Biblical Theology Bulletin and North American editor for Scripture in Church.
For more on the lectures, contact Kathie Fritz at Christ the King Parish, 608-838-9797.