Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Marquette Wire: Archbishop Listecki discusses bankruptcy, Catholic education

The Most Rev. Jerome Listecki, Archbishop of Milwaukee, talked about his archdiocese’s bankruptcy and the future of Catholic education while appearing as a guest Monday for Marquette Law School’s “On the Issues with Mike Gousha.”

Listecki, successor to Archbishop Timothy Dolan, recently celebrated his fifth anniversary leading the archdiocese. He spent an hour discussing his faith, his time in Milwaukee and the future of the church.

One major issue Listecki discussed was his decision to file for bankruptcy amid the clergy sex-abuse scandal back in 2011. The archdiocese filed for bankruptcies after spending at least $33 million in settlements, legal fees and other costs related to the scandal.

“The interesting thing about the Milwaukee bankruptcy is its complexity,” Listecki said. “It’s not like other bankruptcies that have been experienced by dioceses or archdioceses in the country. This bankruptcy was not generated by, what is referred to as, a look-back statute of limitations. This was a bankruptcy that was clarified by myself and I did so because I knew that we had limited resources and we needed to do something to address and bring some closure.”

In terms of Catholic education, Listecki said the future lies in how schools uses their resources to strengthen the presence of Catholic education in the city of Milwaukee.
continue at Marquette Wire

No McAdams talk so pretty pedestrian.

Karate Nuns

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

HTR profiles parish merger and sale in Manitowoc

MANITOWOC – St. Francis of Assisi Parish and Hope House officials believe if St. Boniface were alive on Earth today he would approve of what's happening to the church bearing his name.

They know they have the required blessing of Catholic Diocese of Green Bay Bishop David Ricken.

A recently signed agreement opens the way toward possible sale of the historic church, which opened in 1853, to the organization providing shelter to homeless women and couples, with or without children in the adjacent rectory.

St. Boniface Catholic Church has not been the site of regular worship services for nearly 10 years since the July 1 "birth" of the consolidated St. Francis of Assisi Parish. The last two years' Christmas and Easter liturgies that had been at the church were moved to Roncalli High School.

"Our merger into one parish really brought the Catholic community together," said the Rev. Dave Pleier, who on Thursday signed a new lease with option to buy agreement with Sister Camilla Wolfgram, Hope House's current board chairwoman.
continue at HTR News

Esto Vir Men's Conference featuring Steve Ray - Appleton - March 7th


So Green Bay and Madison this weekend and Milwaukee next weekend.

Beloit priest's mother rescued from abductors in Nigeria

A Beloit priest's mother was rescued from abductors in Nigeria Saturday, according to the Diocese of Madison.

On Monday, spokesman for the diocese Brent M. King said Father Paul Arinze's mother Virginia was rescued from kidnappers this weekend overseas in Nigeria and was recovering at a Nigerian hospital Sunday. Paul Arinze is a Catholic priest at Our Lady of the Assumption on Shopiere Road in Beloit.

King said Virginia Arinze was taken from her home in Nigeria at gunpoint on Feb. 21, and the kidnappers had left a note implying there would be a demand for ransom later.

King said Virginia Arinze was rescued Saturday night and two of her abductors were captured. Arinze was in intensive care recovering from the ordeal. Paul Arinze left Sunday for Nigeria to be with his family, King said.

Paul Arinze is scheduled to return to Beloit later this week.

The vicar general of the Diocese of Madison, Monsignor James Bartylla, said in a statement that the diocese was relieved with the news of Virginia Arinze's safe return.
continue at Channel 3000

I saw that WisSJ posted something related to this story, and Father Z a week or so ago and then both removed their posts without explanation.   Perhaps there were still concerns about alerting the abductors.

This is the same priest I believe that officiates at the US Open.

Scott Walker: How Pro-Life is He?

Did you remember to mark Ronald Reagan’s birthday? I did, by taking another look at his landmark Abortion and the Conscience of a Nation — the first time a sitting president published a book on such a crucial moral issue. The book was a brave and principled assertion of the rights of unborn children, by the president who brought pro-lifers in from the cold.

I also remembered, ruefully, how Reagan wasted a “gimme” open Supreme Court appointment on the pro-choice mediocrity Sandra Day O’Connor — a slot which came up in 1981, while Republicans still ran the U.S. Senate and could easily have confirmed a brilliant constitutional purist such as Robert Bork. That decision, few now remember, was the result of a hasty campaign promise Reagan had made to appoint a woman to the Supreme Court.

Pro-Life President, Pro-Choice Staffers

Who was it that, behind the scenes, convinced Ronald Reagan to make such a politically useless promise? Who conned him into picking O’Connor, instead of a solidly pro-life woman jurist?

We will never know which suited shark from K Street whispered in Reagan’s ear, but we do know one thing: O’Connor was and remained a deciding vote in favor of keeping the killing of unborn children legal. And she made it to the court because someone convinced Ronald Reagan that she was pro-life, when she wasn’t.

I had started volunteering for candidate Reagan in 1976, when I was just 12 years old, and he was still just a California governor. I had already been ringing doorbells for New York’s once vibrant Right to Life Party, and it filled me with hope that a serious contender for the Republican nomination was challenging the party’s dominant pro-choice establishment.
continue at The Stream


The "Little French Church" on the river in downtown Minneapolis is in danger

This lovely, historic, little church is once again threatened - by developers.

I saw it on local news. Developers want to build a huge apartment tower and the corner, adjacent to this lovely jewel of a church. It was originally built by Univeralists in 1857 - a year before the Blessed Virgin Mary even appeared to the little St. Bernadette at Lourdes. French Canadian Catholics purchased the church twenty years later in 1877.

The redevelopment of the riverfront area was initially opening up the area to commercial and residential use in the late 1970's, and historic buildings were subsequently reinforced, especially after the construction of apartment towers and condos overlooking the Mississippis and downtown Minneapolis which altered the stability of existing structures. It's a beautiful area of the city, adjacent to downtown. It is my understanding that the structural integrity of church was threatened by excessive shaking and had to be reinforced during the construction of new buildings and underground parking. Before that, the church was also threatened with closure by the archdiocese. To avoid confusion and misstatement about that history by me, let me reprint an excerpt from Our Lady of Lourdes website on the history and what is happening.
continue at Abbey Roads

Monday, March 2, 2015

Cardinal Burke grants interview to traditionalist blog Rorate Caeli

Last week, Rorate Caeli interviewed Raymond Cardinal Burke via telephone on numerous topics. Nothing was off the table for this interview and His Eminence was incredibly generous with his time. He showed himself to be brilliant and yet filled with humility. And his care and concern for traditional Catholics must be acknowledged and appreciated.

In this wide-ranging interview, His Eminence talked about issues ripped from the news such as: Vatican officials threatening to sue bloggers; more priests coming under his authority; the dismantling of the Franciscans of the Immaculate; how traditional Catholics can save their souls in this modern world -- and get their children the sacraments in the traditional rite in the face of dissenting bishops; priestly celibacy; daily confusion from Pope Francis; and much, much more.

All may reprint/repost this interview -- but you must credit Rorate Caeli.
continue at Rorate Caeli
Cdl Burke: [I wish] to encourage everyone to be devoted to the Sacred Liturgy, which is the highest expression of our Catholic faith, the highest expression of our life in God, and to be very devoted to the study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and to the teaching of the faith in our homes and in our local communities. The Church has suffered terribly from decades of poor catechesis, such that the faithful, children and young people, even adults, don't know their faith, and we need to address that because the two things go together. When we know our faith well, then we have a strong desire to worship in accordance with our faith, and at the same time our worship makes us desire more to know our faith. And then, obviously, all of that gets expressed in action by the charity of our lives, especially on behalf of those who are in most need.

HTR Manitowoc: Ugandan Sister excited to take classes at Silver Lake College

So I go on a bit of a rant, but then find another fine piece in a secular paper on a Catholic topic. 
MANITOWOC – The first thing Sister Maddy Takyala of Uganda wanted to do when her plane landed in Milwaukee earlier this winter was to touch the snow.

With daytime temperatures in her native country reaching the 80s and 90s all year long, she had never seen — except in the movies — the fluffy white stuff that now surrounded her.

“It was too cold,” Takyala said, shaking her head as she recalled her first real-life contact.

She was on her way to Manitowoc to study at Silver Lake College, with plans to earn her education degree so she could return home to teach.

After an arduous journey that included delays, canceled flights and lost luggage, she finally arrived at what would become her second home for the next several years.

Sister Maddy, 25, is among eight international Sister students being sponsored this year by the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, founders of the college.

The youngest of 11 children, she was the first in her family to leave her country.

HT Mark

WisSJ: The Making of a Priest: Parts One and Two

HT to Father Z who scooped me again!  Read his comments over there.
Midway through the Sunday Mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Dodgeville, the service took a sharp turn toward fundraising.

Monsignor Daniel Ganshert, the parish priest, told parishioners that for years, people in the Madison Catholic Diocese had been praying for more men to be called by God to the priesthood. The Holy Spirit has responded, Ganshert announced jubilantly.

There are now 33 seminarians, or priests-in-training, up from six in 2003 when Bishop Robert Morlino arrived. But that increase comes with responsibility, Ganshert said.

The diocese needs $30 million to educate current and future seminarians — “a serious chunk of money,” he acknowledged.

Ushers distributed pledge cards. The assembled were asked to dig deep.

The same scene is playing out across all 134 worship sites in the 11-county diocese. The effort, which began last fall and will continue through the end of this year, is the first diocesan-wide capital campaign in more than 50 years.
Read more:

ST. PAUL — Alone in his seminary dorm room on a recent afternoon, Chris Gernetzke imagined he was standing before a flock of the Catholic faithful.

He cleared off his computer desk, the one with the mini-fridge underneath, and placed a wine chalice on the makeshift altar.

For the next hour, he rehearsed the prayers, blessings and rites that constitute the Roman Catholic Mass, something he does every day.

“There’s a spiritual aspect to it, of course,” said Gernetzke, 26, who is in his final semester at The St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity in St. Paul, Minnesota. “But there’s also just the mechanics of it that you have to get down.”

Gernetzke is one of 33 men studying to be priests in the Madison Catholic Diocese and one of five who will graduate this spring and return to the diocese for a parish assignment. They are part of a wave of new recruits since Bishop Robert Morlino arrived in 2003 and made vocations — or discerning a call to the priesthood — a priority.
Read more:

I think another great piece by Doug Erickson(I really enjoyed when he profiled Bp. Morlino). Yes, he invokes Call to Action and Jim Green/Holy Wisdom but they make themselves sound so laughable it should be required.  I can almost visualize Green squirming in his seat.  Erickson has really developed a knack(and probably because he has gotten hopefully constructive comments when he treats a topic unfairly).  For the record, Doug Erickson is probably the best secular news writer to cover Catholic topics in the state of Wisconsin.  I dig through tons of newspapers, and if you think articles like this aren't a fair shake, you should take a look at some of the rest of the coverage.  It's either verbatim from a press release(scared to offend), or wholly hostile(scared to defend).  A few others in the state make an effort, but coverage sorely lacks.

In Part 2, here's an example:
When he consecrates communion bread and wine, it will become, as Catholicism teaches, the very body and blood of Jesus Christ.
He doesn't mock the teaching (or belittle it by putting quotation marks around words).  And he does report the numbers, doesn't gloss over details, but still conveys a respectful report.  Sure he's human and we've seen mistakes.  We may not like it when he does a whole spread on Call to Action or Nuns on the Bus but at least when it comes time cover our stuff, he's getting it right.  

Franciscan Sisters Self-Help Discernment Questions

From a reader:
Hello Matt. As I conduct research for religious orders, it’s apparent to me many young adults don’t all have a clear understanding of religious and consecrated life. I mean some of those who have attended Catholic Grade School, High School and are involved with Newman Centers. But yet, in some cases, they have very little direct interaction with any religious. So, some of those who be beginning to to discern their vocation don’t know where to start. A good and simple resource for beginning to discern, developed by two sensitive and insightful Franciscan Sisters.
Very true, when I taught Confirmation prep, kids literally had a hard time comprehending the concept.
Here are some questions Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Sister Anne Marie Lom and Sister Carmen Marie Diaz prepared as a self-help jump start to personal discernment before their recent presentation at Roncalli High School, Manitowoc, WI. They may prove to also be a helpful to you.

Questions to ask yourself if you think you might have a religious vocation
  1. Have you found yourself thinking a lot about religious life lately?
  2. Do you have a caring heart, compassion for helping those in need?
  3. Is your relationship with God just as important as your relationship with your friends?
  4. Are you level-headed, a critical thinker, adventurous, flexible, and willing to learn from failures as well as successes?
  5. Are you attracted to spiritual things (service to others, spending time in prayer, reading about the Saints or reading the Bible, talking to others about God, etc.)
  6. Level of commitment-one year; two year or a lifetime?
  7. Serving God necessitates a joyful and humble spirit. Are you both?
  8. Over 18, healthy spiritually, physically and psychologically?
continue at FSCC

Friday, February 27, 2015

Milwaukee Archdiocese Survey on the Family

From a reader
You should encourage blog readers from Milwaukee Archdiocese to fill out the questionnaire on the survey on the family. I recommend posting the simplified questionnaire

A simplified version of the questionnaire is also available by clicking here

but here is the whole link. It has to be filled out by March 1st.