Fr Pat Umberger passed away this morning

I got word that Fr. Pat Umberger has passed away this morning. His death was a result of his advanced cancer illness.

The Diocese press office has not yet replied to me.

A sad end to a sad tale. Fr. Umberger's charges were still being negotiated with the DA. His next hearing was in January. You can check back on the history by clicking here. I'll pass on details as they are coming. The Diocese has not issued a statement yet.

Fr. Umberger has suffered from cancer for many years and almost died last year to the same illness.

How to celebrate a red hat

His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith arrives in Sri Lanka.  Thousands of people flock to welcome and greet His Eminence.

 Archdiocese of Colombo(a ton of great photos, check it out)

Probably not the way His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke will be greeted here in Wisconsin....


Sri Lanka has 1.4 million Catholics, about 8% of the total population.  The country is a socialist republic and predominantly Buddhist.  Wisconsin has 1.6 million Catholics or around 30% of the state population.

How not to prepare for Advent

Darkness of our inner depth

Do my fears and anxieties take over my decisions?
Do I allow others to help me in the darkness?

Do I look for the beauty and freedom of the darkness?

As seen at the entrance of Maria Angelorum chapel, by Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in La Crosse.

Um, no thanks, I prefer the Light to the Darkness.  Another unfortunate consequence of their marriage to Reiki. 

Hand-coloured version of the anonymous wood engraving
known as the Flammarion woodcut (1888).

Bp Morlino one of ten US bishops skipping CCHD campaign

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 26, 2010 ( - Despite a recent “review and renewal” of the U.S. Bishops’ Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), designed in part to “woo back” bishops upset over their distribution of funds to groups advocating abortion and same-sex “marriage,” at least 10 bishops opted not to contribute to the national collection this year.

The U.S. Bishops’ domestic social justice arm launched a large-scale renewal this fall with a commitment to strengthen their Catholic identity and funding protocols after widespread criticism from numerous bishops, as well as a coalition of Catholic and pro-life groups.

Nevertheless, many of the bishops who had discontinued contributing to the national pot maintained their position this year, and at least two more were added to their ranks.

U.S. bishops not contributing to CCHD’s national collection:
1. Bishop Joseph Adamec (Altoona-Johnstown, PA)
2. Bishop John Barres (Allentown, PA)
3. Bishop Lawrence Brandt (Greensburg, PA)
4. Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz (Lincoln, NE)
5. Bishop Victor Galeone (St. Augustine, FL)
6. Bishop James Johnston (Springfield, MO)
7. Bishop Salvatore R. Matano (Burlington, VT)
8. Bishop Joseph McFadden (Harrisburg, PA)
9. Bishop Robert Morlino (Madison, WI)
10. Bishop Robert Vasa (Baker, OR)

St Andrew's Novena

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment
in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary,
at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold.
In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God!
to hear my prayer and grant my desires,
through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ,
and of His Blessed Mother.

Fish Eaters

Christmas with Cantus in Twin Cities

From traditional favorites to new arrangements of popular classics, Cantus celebrates the sounds that fill the airwaves each year with “Christmas on the Radio.”

Friday, December 17, 2010, 10:30am - Sold Out!
Westminster Presbyterian Church. 1200 Marquette Ave, Minneapolis, MN view map

Tuesday, December 21, 2010, 7:30pm
St. Bartholomew's Catholic Church, 630 Wayzata Blvd. E., Wayzata, MN view map

Wednesday, December 22, 2010, 7:30pm
Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul view map

Tickets - $25.00 / $10.00 Students and Children
For tickets call 612.435.0055
They also are presenting "All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914" this year again.  Check their website for dates and times.  Haven't heard of Cantus?  Well, may I educate you.  Below is Cantus singing the traditional French Christmas Carol; Noël Nouvelet.

“Black Babies Are In Danger” billboards go up in Milwaukee

Thirteen billboards placed throughout the city of Milwaukee, beginning today and running for a month, are highlighting the high numbers of black babies aborted every year.

“Wisconsin is the eighth lowest state nationally in the number of abortions, but the racial disparity in its numbers far exceeds the national trends,” said Virginia Zignego, communications director of Pro-Life Wisconsin. “In Wisconsin, 6.2% of the population is black, yet 24% of all state abortions are on African-Americans, which is four times the representation.”

The billboards aim to raise awareness about abortion, Planned Parenthood’s history of racism and the continuing eugenics movement in Wisconsin. The campaign directs the public to and was created by Ryan Bomberger, an African-American who is the Chief Creative Officer of The Radiance Foundation.

“We are exposing the myth of the ‘unwanted’ child and the destruction of hope and possibility that abortion brings to the black community,” explained Bomberger. “There are better, life-affirming alternatives, especially adoption. In this day and age, with the most advanced technology, information access, and resources ever available in human history, abortion should never be the solution we resort to.”

This campaign is championed by national African-American civil rights leaders, including the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Alveda King.

Two billboards are running. The first states “Black Children Are in Danger;” click here to view. The second states “Black and Beautiful;” click here to view. Both share the same message: Exponentially, black children are more endangered by death by abortion than any other demographic in America.

“In 2010, Planned Parenthood celebrated 75 years of existence in Wisconsin. Those 75 years have been financed by taxpayer dollars and the brutal killing of innocent unborn children,” said Zignego. “Despite its massive failure to reduce pregnancy rates, unplanned pregnancies, and exponentially high STD rates, Planned Parenthood is rewarded with lavish amounts of government funding and unconditional support from a community most ravaged by its mission – to reduce ‘unwanted’ populations.”

To see a map of the billboard locations, click here. The billboards are a collaborative effort between Pro-Life Wisconsin and the national organization The Radiance Foundation.
 Pro-Life Wisconsin

Bishop George Wirz obituary

MADISON -- Bishop George O. Wirz, retired auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Madison and native of Monroe, died Tuesday, Nov. 23, at his residence at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, Nov. 30, at 11 a.m. at St. Maria Goretti Church, 5313 Flad Ave., Madison. Bishop Robert C. Morlino, bishop of Madison, will be the principal celebrant with Bishop William H. Bullock, bishop emeritus of Madison, concelebrating and Bishop Richard Sklba, retired auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, as homilist.

Visitation will be held Monday, Nov. 29, from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. in the Bishop O’Donnell Holy Name Memorial Chapel at the Bishop O’Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, 702 S. High Point Rd., Madison, with a Vigil Prayer Service at 7:30 p.m. Visitation will also be on Tuesday morning from 9 a.m. until the start of the Funeral Mass.

Interment will be in Resurrection Catholic Cemetery, 2705 Regent St., Madison, following Mass. A funeral luncheon will be served following the Mass at Madison Marriott West, 1313 John Q Hammons Dr, Middleton.

Bishop George Otto Wirz, 81, was born in Monroe, Wis., on January 17, 1929, the son of Otto and Ida (Huber) Wirz. 

He attended Monroe and Argyle Public Grade School and Argyle High School. He studied at St. Francis Seminary, Milwaukee, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1948. He studied at the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., and earned a licentiate in sacred theology in 1952. Later, he studied at Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wis., and earned a Master of Arts in Education Administration in 1964.

He was ordained by Bishop William P. O’Connor on May 31, 1952, at St. Raphael Cathedral, Madison. He was named Monsignor and Papal Chamberlain to Pope John XXIII in 1960 and was given the title Prelate of Honor by Pope Paul VI in 1967. Bishop Wirz was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Madison on December 20, 1977, and ordained Auxiliary Bishop on March 9, 1978.

Bishop Wirz served the diocese as assistant pastor at St. Bernard Parish, Madison, from 1952-1954; chaplain of the Catholic Information Center and bishop's secretary and chancellor from 1954-1963 (vice chancellor from 1956-1958; chancellor from 1958-1963); and founding rector of Holy Name Seminary, Madison, from 1963-1973. He took a sabbatical year of study at Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass., from 1973-74. He served as pastor of St. Bernard Parish, Madison, from 1974-1984; pastor of St. Patrick Parish, Madison, from 1984-1989; diocesan administrator from 1992-1993; and continued as auxiliary bishop until retiring from active ministry in 2004.

During his years of service in the Diocese of Madison, Bishop Wirz also served as assistant diocesan director of CCD from 1953-1963; charter member, Governor’s Commission on Migrant Labor from 1955-1961; secretary, First Synod, Diocese of Madison, in 1956; instructor, Queen of Apostles Seminary, Madison, from 1954-1963; attended Opening and First Session, Second Vatican Council, in 1962; Presbyteral Council from 1966-2002; Priest Personnel Board from 1967-1988; Diocesan Pastoral Council from 1970-1980; co-chair, Lutheran/Methodist/Roman Catholic Dialogue from 1975-1986; Diocesan Consultor from 1977-1980 and 1998-2003; Bishops' Committee for Priestly Formation from 1979-1987; Papal Visitation of Seminaries Committee from 1981-1987; Bishops' Committee of the North American College, Rome, from 1990-1993; Censor Librorum from 1993-1999; and diocesan director, Implementation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church from 1994-1999. Bishop Wirz served as a member of the following boards in various capacities throughout his tenure in the diocese: St. Raphael Retirement Fund, Diocesan Corporate Board, Catholic Charities, and Office for Continuing Education of Priests.

He is survived by his sister, Sr. Joan Wirz, CSA, of Fond du Lac; his step-brother, Fr. Robert Buholzer of Stoughton; his step-nephews Ron (Sue) Buholzer of Monroe, David (Glenda) Buholzer of Monroe, Steve (Thea) Buholzer of Monroe; two step-grandnephews, one step-grandniece; and several cousins both in the United States and Switzerland.

According to a press release sent by the Diocese of Madison November 23 (PDF), Bishop Robert C. Morlino, current Bishop of Madison, was notified immediately of Bishop Wirz's passing. He reflected, "Bishop Wirz was a tremendous support and resource and a faithful brother to me, to Bishop William Bullock, our Bishop Emeritus, and, I know, to Bishops O'Connor and O'Donnell, our predecessors. He was certainly one of the most-beloved priests in our diocese and with his death we lose not only a man who lived the history of our diocese, but one who embodied the Gospel."

The Diocese of Madison asks that the faithful pray for the repose of the soul of Bishop Wirz. "He was a happy and holy priest for almost 59 years and it is our great hope that today he has seen the Risen Face of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in Heaven," the press release said.
Madison Catholic Herald

The Remnant gridiron retreat for the Catholic man

A Dynamic new retreat for High School Football Players is coming to the Archbishop Cousins Catholic Center.

Catholic education and athletics can be a powerful means of not only developing great minds and solid athletes, but forming genuinely good people who can really impact the world around them. In cooperation with these ideals, we invite all members of the area football teams to an exciting event coming to the Milwaukee area. The Remnant: Gridiron Spirituality for the Catholic Man, Dec. 10-12, is a weekend focused on spirituality and sports for Catholic high school football players. The Remnant is co-hosted by seminarians from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee as well as the Diocese of Green Bay.

Among some of the hard-hitting topics we’ll be covering are living authentic Christianity and masculinity, virtue and character development, and realizing the player’s responsibility as both a public person and role model.

We’re bringing in some great guest speakers including the chaplain of the Green Bay Packers, Fr. Jim Baraniak, who is the weekend’s feature opener. Additionally, two local sportscasters expressed interest and enthusiasm in speaking for this program. Team chaplains from the schools are invited, and seminarians from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and Diocese of Green Bay, will be present and offering reflections.

Throughout the weekend, we will be challenging players physically with workouts as well as a morning run, daily. The subject matter covered in the talks will challenge the players intellectually as well as spiritually, bolstered by celebrating Mass, Eucharistic Adoration and opportunities for Confession.

The event kicks off Friday, December 10th and runs through Sunday, December 12th, taking place at the Archbishop Cousins Catholic Center in St. Francis, WI. Arrival time is from 5-5:45pm, Friday.

The Remnant is open to all Catholic high school football players, freshmen through seniors, who participated in the 2010 season. To keep this affordable for them, the cost is only $10 per student. Registration for this event is on a first come, first serve basis. Coaches, coaching staff and team chaplains are encouraged to attend as well. Overnight accommodations are included for players, and can be made for all coaches, staff members and chaplains as needed.
Think Priest

Cardinal Burke, Archbishop Nienstedt to speak to KCs in Stillwater, MN

Cardinal Raymond Burke, former archbishop of St. Louis now assigned to the Vatican, will celebrate Mass and speak at the second Stillwater Knights of Columbus - Solanus Casey Council No. 1632 "Light Their Way" dinner January 3.

The dinner is a fundraiser for the tuition assistance funds of St. Croix Catholic School and St. Croix Catholic Foundation. The tuition fund provides financial assistance to St. Croix Valley families regardless of income who want their children to receive a Catholic education.

Dinner chairman Dan Eder said Burke celebrates Mass at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 3 at the Church of St. Michael, 611 S. 3rd St. The Mass is followed by a 6:30 p.m. dinner in the Social Hall at St. Michael where Burke will speak on the importance of a Catholic education. The Mass and dinner are open to the public.

"The Mass is open to the public as seating is available," Eder said.

Joining Burke at the Mass and dinner will be the Most Rev. John Nienstedt, archbishop of St. Paul-Minneapolis and officials from other area dioceses, Eder said.

Eder said Burke's appearance at the dinner was the result of work by several people, including Stillwater businessman and St. Michael's lay theologian, Dr. Thomas Loome, owner of Loome's Theological Books, and the Rev. Michael Miller.

Order forms are available at the parish offices or on-line at
Stillwater Gazette

Accused priest agrees to pay diocese $65K

A Catholic priest accused of embezzling money from two Crawford County parishes has agreed to pay the Diocese of La Crosse $65,000.

The Rev. Robert Chukwu has until March 7 to make the restitution payment, according to a document filed last week in Crawford County Circuit Court.

Chukwu, 60, was charged with felony theft after the diocese accused him of taking more than $180,000 from St. Mary and St. Philip parishes. He later pleaded no contest to three misdemeanor theft charges, two of which will be dismissed if he completes a diversion agreement.

Chukwu denies stealing and says he invested a much smaller amount of church funds in household items he planned to ship to parishes in his native Nigeria, which would pay a premium for goods not available there. 
La Crosse Tribune

Man builds shrine in Dodgeville, WI

DODGEVILLE, Wis. -- Gracing a wooded hillside and nestled in a hidden valley in southwest Wisconsin are artful expressions of one man's religious fervor.

In the past 20 years, Paul Kramer has created a spiritual shrine to promote prayer on scenic land he owns near Dodgeville. Now nearing 80 and looking to the future, Kramer, a lifelong Catholic, wants to ensure the site is well taken care of and shared with the public. He is considering donating the shrine to one of several Catholic organizations, including the Wisconsin State Council of the Knights of Columbus.

Kramer admits he made a lot of money years ago as a top administrator with Land's End, based in Dodgeville. He bought a picturesque tract of land east of town 30 years ago primarily for personal hunting. Although he and his wife, Barbara, live in Madison, they built a chalet-style house on the land and spent many weekends there. In 1990, a spiritual pilgrimage changed his life.

"I went to Medjugorje (a popular Herzegovian Catholic pilgrimage site famous for reports of apparitions of the Virgin Mary) and saw rosaries everywhere. I was inspired to design one and saw where it could go on my land," said Kramer,who grew up in Harper's Ferry, Iowa. Kramer chose a flat valley between steep ridges, visible from his house, and outlined a huge circle. He had 80 tons of white onyx and red granite stones hauled in and, shovelful by shovelful, formed the beads and cross of a complete rosary with the words "Ave Maria" in the center.

Three years later, Kramer was inspired to build the Stations of the Cross, a series of 14 images commemorating the events of the passion of Jesus with prayers at each stop. He had the intricate scenes created by an Italian mosaicist and installed by a local craftsman on wooden frames along a wooded path below his house.

In 1997, Kramer had a small chapel built from hickory, cherry, red oak and red elm cut in his woods. The walnut pews of Our Lady of Grace Chapel seat about 50. Rich artwork lines the walls of the softly-lit interior. Outside the chapel, stand two prominent stone tablets inscribed with the 10 Commandments.

"Hardly anyone knows them any more, and I wanted to remind people of what the commandments are," Kramer said. Nearby the chapel is a collection of finely detailed, nearly full-sized bronze statues depicting Jesus, Mary and Saints Joseph and Michael, the Archangel.

Gordon Kremer visited the shrine for the first time this year, as the state warden of the Wisconsin Knights of Columbus.

"I was just awestruck. What a beautiful place. It's a natural testament to the Catholic faith," said Kremer, of Cassville. His organization would like to become stewards of the site, using it as a retreat center and encouraging more public visitation. Kremer would organize a pilgrimage loop including the site, St. Augustine Church in New Diggings (built in 1844 by Father Samuel Mazzuchelli) and the Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine near La Crosse.

At present, Kramer is content to have the faithful visit his shrine at their leisure. He provides full-color booklets, including devotions to follow the Stations of the Cross, in a water-tight wooden case along the prayer trail.

"I'm hoping it will be used more. I want to promote more prayer for the good of the world," he said.
Dubuque Telegraph Herald 

Update: Steve Kuhl passed this info on, very cool.
You can see the rosary from Google Earth quite nicely.

Check it out on Google Maps

Court: Milwaukee Archdiocese Can't Pay Abuse Victims With Insurance Money

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WTAQ) - A Wisconsin Appeals Court says the Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese can't use insurance money to pay off clergy abuse victims.

The ruling comes as the church is in mediation with about a dozen people who have filed lawsuits over past alleged abuse.

The Appeals Court has upheld circuit court rulings that said the Archdiocese's insurance policy covers accidents. The Appellate court says any misrepresentations made by the church or priests in abuse cases were intentional.

Peter Isely, Midwest director of the victims group SNAP, says about a dozen abuse victims who are in mediation started by Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki have just had their cases strengthened. He says he hopes Archbishop Listecki becomes more interested in settling the cases, if it's clear insurance money won't bailout the church.

But the Milwaukee Archdiocese says it's likely to ask the state Supreme Court to review the appellate court ruling. Archdiocese spokeswoman Julie Wolf says the hope was that insurance money could help the victims and church move forward.

Milwaukee Archbishop to hold vigil for unborn

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki is honoring a request from Pope Benedict to hold a vigil for human life.

The Milwaukee archdiocese says the request is unprecedented and was asked of bishops and parishes around the world.

Listecki will hold a "Vigil for all Nascent Human Life," or a vigil for the unborn, at St. Anthony Parish in Milwaukee next Saturday.


Happy Thanksgiving!

I found this interesting for those of us who abstain from meat on Fridays.

The Friday after Thanksgiving Day indult ..

A few consistory photos


I noticed...

...something weird.  A ton of people have been viewing an article I posted on Julie Lassa and Sean Duffy(written by The Catholic Times).  The views have not been linked so I suspect some newsletter linked to it and people are accessing from their inboxes.  There is an anonymous commenter who supports abortion that has followed all my posts on Julie Lassa(always defending her position).  Commenter has been persistent to claim that making abortion illegal will increase the number of abortions, ergo, one has a moral obligation to support legalized abortion.  This faulty logic is known as Proportionalism, which is condemned by the Church.  My suspicion is some "community organization" (taxpayer funded?) has taken an interest in it.  I'm not sure why.  There's not much to it and I was much more critical of Lassa in other posts.  If anyone hears, I'd love to know the source.

Milwaukee priest advocates for married clergy

Father Alan Jurkus is back at it.
Time to consider married priests

As a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, I welcome Deacon Russ Arnett and his family and look forward to working with him after his ordination to the Catholic priesthood. He previously served as an Episcopal priest (Page 5B, Nov. 7).
I believe he will bring a special gift to our church as he is allowed to combine the two sacramental vocations of marriage and holy orders. This combination should be of great value to the work of the gospel.
At the same time, I regret that married baptized Catholics who wish to serve as priests are not afforded the same opportunity.
At a time when our church is in serious need of priests, it is my hope and prayer that the Holy Spirit will inspire a change in the current law and permit baptized married Catholics to serve as priests.
The Rev. A.F. Jurkus
JSOnline  This was from back on Nov 10th(see what happens when I get busy at work!).

Mr. Berres(a parishioner) had this to say: 
The reference to law presumably is meant to eliminate any potential ambiguity that might otherwise leave the impression he's advocating women's ordination while avoiding saying so explicitly.
Manufactured.Vocations.Crisis.  These are the same people that rejected orthodox candidates because they were not pastoral enough.  Read Good Bye, Good Men.  They wanted low numbers to "force" the Church to allow for women "priests."

I never get this line of thinking anyway.  If you want married clergy, there's plenty of Eastern Rite Catholic Churches around(especially in Milwaukee).  Oh, but then he'd have to suffer through a beautiful liturgy.  If you remember, he's not a fan.

Laser Monks featured in NCRegister

What does a young Methodist majoring in astrophysics at the Georgia Institute of Technology do for a profession? He could become a Catholic priest, move to a Cistercian abbey and sell inkjet cartridges at a discount. Too far-fetched even to consider? Don’t tell that to Father Bernard McCoy.
In 1984, when Father McCoy was known as Joseph McCoy, he was not content with the anonymous, mechanical...
Alright, I've been meaning to renew my subscription for a while and a really must do it now.  The Register has been getting better and better.  My problem was always that I'd get the print edition at home and there it would sit under the laptop while I'm out on the blogosphere getting my news.  Great articles, just not enough time.  The one and only paper subscription that I do keep up with is This Rock magazine.  I am definitely a Catholic Answers baby.  Not getting adequate catechesis growing up, this fantastic group nurtured this malnourished heathen giving him a healthy mind and soul. 

Back to the Register, they have a great model in place.  Their blog content is free on the web but their print articles are by subscription only.  It makes a lot of sense as the old media model has crumbled under the weight of technology.  The disadvantage of the subscription model, is that it's probably illegal for me to post those articles here for us Badger Catholics.

Cardinal Burke on Pope Condom remarks

What is the Pope saying here? Is he saying that in some cases condoms can be permitted? 

No, he’s not. I don’t see any change in the Church’s teaching. What he’s commenting on — in fact, he makes the statement very clearly that the Church does not regard the use of condoms as a real or a moral solution — but what he’s talking about in the point he makes about the male prostitute is about a certain conversion process taking place in an individual’s life. He’s simply making the comment that if a person who is given to prostitution at least considers using a condom to prevent giving the disease to another person — even though the effectiveness of this is very questionable — this could be a sign of someone who is having a certain moral awakening. But in no way does it mean that prostitution is morally acceptable, nor does it mean that the use of condoms is morally acceptable. The point the Pope is making is about a certain growth in freedom, an overcoming of an enslavement to a sexual activity that is morally repugnant [unacceptable] so that this concern to use a condom in order not to infect a sexual partner could at least be a sign of some moral awakening in the individual, which one hopes would lead the individual to understand that his activity is a trivialization of human sexuality and needs to be changed.
Read the whole interview at NC Register

Lesbian Activist/Administrator To “Consult” With Marquette on Gay Issues

 Dr. Ronni Sanlo, a college administrator and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) activist will be coming to campus on Thursday, October 28th to meet with various members of the Marquette community.

Who is Dr. Ronni Sanlo?

Her own web page describes her thus:
Dr. Ronni Sanlo is a Senior Associate Dean of Students and Professor and Director of the UCLA Masters of Education in Student Affairs. Formerly, Ronni was the director of the UCLA Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Center, the University of Michigan LGBT Center, and an HIV epidemiologist in Florida. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida, and a masters and doctorate in education from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, FL. Ronni has presented many workshops and seminars about LGBT issues in companies, campuses, and organizations.
Her biography tells how she knew she was a lesbian at age 11 when she was “in love with” Annette Funicello, but stayed in the closet and even got married, “coming out” only in 1979. According to the blurb:
Sanlo teaches a required course, ED 405, which focuses on identity and culture in education. And through her work at the LGBT center, she conducts sensitivity training sessions for faculty, staff and — indirectly — students.
Before going to UCLA, she was at the University of Michigan, where her signal “contribution” was apparently a “lavender graduation ceremony.”
Read all the sad details at Marquette Warrior

HT Verso, Newman Society

Cardinal Burke speaks to Vatican Radio

In this, the first of a two part interview, Tracey McClure spoke to him about his life and career.

Cardinal-designate Burke says he didn’t have a “light bulb” moment or a flash of recognition when he realized he was destined for the priesthood.

“from the time I was small I was quite attracted to the priesthood. I came from a good Catholic family where the practice of the faith was very important and my parents were very close to the parish priest… a native of Ireland.”

At the age of 14, Burke entered the minor seminary in his hometown of La Crosse, Wisconsin and describes it as “a very positive experience.”

He describes his later years, during the “late 1960’s and early Seventies” as ones with “a lot of turmoil in the seminary, which naturally raised questions.”

“1968 was the symbolic year of the Paris student riots… but that whole rebellion against authority entered into the seminary too and in an unfortunate coincidence, coincided with the implementation of the reforms of the Second Vatican Council.” 

“What happened in my judgement was more of this rebellion (against) authority… than the actual reading and studying of the documents of the Council and following them.”

When asked what childhood incident may have changed the course of his life, Cardinal-designate Burke recounts “when I was seven, my father became very ill… with a brain tumour… the priest would come (to administer the sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion)… and I saw this was sustaining my father very much; it also gave me so much comfort.”
Listen on Vatican Radio

Retired Madison auxiliary, Bishop George Wirz passed away

Let's pray for the soul of Bishop George Wirz who passed away this morning.  He was auxiliary in Madison from 1978-2004.  He was staying at the Bishop O'Connor Center in Madison.

Requiescat in pacem.

Funeral for Madison Former Auxiliary Bishop George O. Wirz is Tuesday, November 30, Feast of St Andrew, 11a.m., St. Maria Goretti Parish Church, Madison.


Update NBC15:
Statement from the Diocese of Madison:

(Madison) The Diocese of Madison, with sadness but a tremendous sense of hope, announces the death of Bishop George O. Wirz, Former Auxiliary of the Diocese of Madison. His passing occurred sometime earlier today, November 23, 2010.

Information of Note:
- Bishop Wirz was born on January 17, 1929 and was ordained a priest for the six-year-old Diocese of Madison in 1952.
- Father Wirz attended the First Session of the Second Vatican Council with Bishop William O’Connor.
- In 1963 was named Rector of the newly-opened Holy Name Seminary, in Madison.
- In March of 1978, Father Wirz was consecrated as Auxiliary Bishop of Madison by the Second Bishop of Madison, Cletus O’Donnell.
- He took as his episcopal motto the words of the Lord’s Prayer “Adveniat regnum tuum” or “Thy Kingdom Come.” He served the Church, Her people and everyone he encountered with this prayer in his heart.
- He served as Auxiliary Bishop until his retirement in 2004.
- After his retirement Bishop Wirz continued in selfless service and prayer for the Diocese of Madison, offering Mass for groups around the diocese even in the last weeks of his life.

Bishop Robert C. Morlino, current Bishop of Madison, was notified immediately of Bishop Wirz’s passing and reflected that, “Bishop Wirz was a tremendous support and resource and a faithful brother to me, to Bishop William Bullock our Bishop Emeritus and, I know, to Bishops O’Connor and O’Donnell, our predecessors. He was certainly one of the most-beloved priests in our diocese and with his death we loose not only a man who lived the history of our diocese, but one who embodied the Gospel.”

Funeral arrangements are pending, and will most likely take place early next week. We ask all to pray for the repose of his soul. He was a happy and holy priest for almost 59 years and it is our great hope that today he has seen the Risen Face of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in Heaven. Eternal Rest Grant unto him, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon him.

Arcadia church aquired by historical society

Closing its doors in May of 2000, the question of what would happen to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, remained up in the air for over 10 years.  Recently, however, it was announced that the Arcadia Area Historical Society had purchased the edifice and had planned on relocating its museum to the building.  With the signature of Bishop Callahan of the Diocese of La Crosse, the Arcadia Area Historical Society took possession of the former OLPH Church complex, said Carol Berklund, who serves as the treasurer of the Historical Society Board and curator of the museum.  A new location with more space will allow the historical society to display much more artifacts and memorabilia than at the downtown location

Our immediate focus is to expand our historical society museum, which will include an art center and community hall, said Arcadia Area Historical Society Board director Darlene Boberg.  Elaborating, Berklund said the main floor of the former church will serve multiple purposes.  The main floor will house the museum, the genealogical research library and will have a large open area that will serve as an arts center, Berklund said.

In an effort to maintain order, several committees have been formed to focus on refurbishing different areas and aspects of the building.  One committee is working on renovating the clock tower and chimes, Berklund said.  The clock, which was installed in 1903, was once relied on to deliver the official time for the City of Arcadia.  There are three bells, one which came from St, Josephs Catholic Church in Glencoe.  All were cast in St. Louis, Mo., and have a Westminster chime, Berklund said.  Another committee has been tasked with refurbishing the downstairs, where many a fish fry has been held.  One committee is renovating the kitchen, Berklund noted, explaining that it will remain a kitchen once renovation is complete.  Berklund said updating the heating and cooling systems was also a necessity.

Like most buildings, the utilities were outdated, she explained. So, new furnaces and air conditioning are being installed in the hall.  St. Anns Hall, which was named after St. Anns Society, which originally contributed the funding to build the hall, will be completely refurbished, as well.  Our goal is to not change the structure, Berklund said.

And while Catholic parishioners now attend services at the Holy Family Catholic Parish, a part of their legacy will remain attached to the former church.  There will be a fitting memorial to the present and former Catholic faith community, said Historical Society Board director Bob Gamoke, explaining that it will be located in the front by the sanctuary.  While this process will take time, Berklund said that some items have already been moved to the former OLPH church.  Though it is anticipated that the main hall will be open this winter, the rest of the transition may take a while.  More developments will be made as time and money permits, Gamoke said.

According to research conducted by the Historical Society, the St. Aloysius school was the first parochial school in Arcadia and the OLPH Church was the first church within the city limits.  Services began on Jan. 1, 1885, at that particular church. However, in 1902, another church was built to replace it and that place of worship would soon became a landmark site in the City of Arcadia.  Its always been a hub of community gatherings, Berklund said.  Thus, when items from the church were auctioned off, it made perfect sense that the Historical Society would secure some of that history and have it on display at the museum.  Fittingly, that museum will now be located in one of the most historical buildings in the city.  We would love to invite new members to join us and help us in the quest for the future of the museum, Gamoke said.

To learn more about the Arcadia Area Historical Society or to find out how to become a member of the society, visit its website,
 Arcadia News Leader

I think this is the best option possible for a church in disuse.  Clearly those involved made sure this building found a good home.

Blessed Miguel Pro, SJ, ora pro nobis!

Long Live Christ the King!
For more, check out Br Stephen's post

Local priest's take on Cardinal Burke

I have several times told people that it was easy, in some ways, to be a pastor under Cardinal Burke. There was no question about where he was and where he wanted you to be. Even when it seemed that everything was crashing down around me, I could follow his lead in confidence because not only did I know where he wanted me to be, but also why. Not just that, but it was always clear that what we are about is proclaiming the Gospel.

Cardinal Burke's humility is the gold standard. It is obvious to anyone who really knows him that he is a man of humility. He is not afraid to be critiqued. He does not need to be recognized nor has he ever been the kind of man who is looking for the next promotion. His moves were in response to obedience, not self promotion. His gaze is always on The Other, and others - not on himself.
Fr Michael Klos - Holy Family Blog

Read the whole thing, it's quite good

St. Cecilia of Rome, ora pro nobis!

S. Cecilia with her Guardian Angel and SS. Tiburtius and Valerian.
Ink on Vellum. March 2010.
Private Collection, Washington, D.C.

Bp Callahan elected to nat'l Catholic Relief Services board

the bishops also elected four bishops to the [Catholic Relief Services] board: Bishop William Callahan, OFM Conv., of La Crosse, Wisconsin, Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Florida, Archbishop Michael Sheehan of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City. Archbishop Sheehan and Bishop Wester were reelected to a second term.

He of course will be working with his former Archbishop. 

Replay of the 2010 Consistory of Cardinals on Catholic TV

I don't think EWTN made this available for replay but Catholic TV (of whom I'm becoming a bigger fan) does.  This appears to be the Saturday event where they get the biretta. 


I have all 5 hours of EWTN coverage recorded at home but I haven't had a chance to go through it yet.  

Reminder: The Cardinal events, EWTN coverage

This week many from my area will be on pilgrimage to Rome for the Consistory where one Raymond Leo Burke will be elevated to the College of Cardinals. The ceremony is broken into two parts.  The Papal Consistory Ceremony is Saturday Nov 20th at 3:30 AM CST.  EWTN will broadcast it live for 2 1/2 hours.  It will be rebroadcast at 11 AM CST on EWTN the same day.  This is the ceremony that the appointees receive the Biretta (small, square, red silk hat).  Then on Sunday Nov 21st there is a Solemn Consistory Mass during which the Holy Father will confer the cardinalitial ring to the cardinals.  This will be at 2:30 AM on Sunday live on EWTN.  It will again be rebroadcast at 11 AM CST the same day.

Archbishop ..... er wait, gotta break that habit, Cardinal Burke will then be coming to town(La Crosse that is) the week of the Immaculate Conception, the patroness of the United States.

Bl John Duns Scotus championed
the privilege of Mary's Immaculate Conception
Dec 8th: Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

The Shrine is celebrating Our Lady’s Solemnity in a big way. Bishop Callahan will celebrate the 11:00 AM Mass in the Shrine Church. At 4:00 PM Cardinal Burke will be meeting pilgrims in the Pilgrim Center, with opportunities for photographs. At 5:30 PM the Shrine will host a celebratory dinner. (Reservations required.) The proceeds from the dinner will support future Shrine projects.

Dec 9th: Feast of Saint Juan Diego

Cardinal Burke is the main celebrant of the 11:00 Mass at the Shrine, which will include the St. Juan Diego Guild Induction.  

At the invitation of Bishop William Patrick Callahan, His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke will celebrate Mass at St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral at 3:00 PM. A public reception will follow at Holy Cross Diocesan Center. This will offer the faithful of Cardinal Burke's home diocese an opportunity to celebrate his elevation to the College of Cardinals and to congratulate him personally.

Dec 11th: Solemnity of Our Lady of Guadalupe

As December 12th falls on the Third Sunday of Advent, Bishop Callahan has permitted the Solemnity of Our Lady of Guadalupe transferred to December 11th. Cardinal Burke will celebrate the 11:00 AM Mass at the Shrine with the Knights of the Altar Induction.

Coexist bumper sticker explained

Gotta admit, pretty funny!

Man With Black Hat

Pope holds extraordinary consistory today with Cardinals and soon to bes

Not a big follower of Fr. Thomas Reese, SJ but he had a nice explanation of the "extraordinary consistory"
There are two kinds of consistories. Ordinary consistories are normally for certain solemn ceremonies such as canonizations, the conferral of the pallium to archbishops, or the creation of new cardinals. For an extraordinary consistory, the pope calls all the College of Cardinals to Rome to advise him on issues facing the church. The discussions in extraordinary consistories are not open to the public or media. 

An ordinary consistory to create cardinals will be held on November 20; the extraordinary consistory will be held the day before. This is the same pattern Pope Benedict followed in 2007, when the cardinal designates were allowed to participate in the extraordinary consistory before they were made cardinals the following day. At a Mass on the day after they became cardinals, the pope gave each a gold ring. Scheduling an extraordinary consistory before an ordinary consistory is simply a matter of convenience since so many cardinals will be in Rome anyway for the creation of the new cardinals.
America Magazine

When I heard extraordinary, I was thinking some traditional liturgy or ceremony.  Although, I'm sure traditional liturgies might just be one of the subjects being discussed.

Stanek: About that couple taking votes whether to abort…

You may have heard of the Minnesota couple whom are putting up to a vote if they abort their child.  Jill Stanek thinks it is a publicity stunt.
I got a heads up about the blog about a month ago.

A pregnant married couple is taking votes whether to abort their baby boy or carry him to term.

The last day of the pregnancy they say they can  legally abort in their home state of Minnesota is December 9, a day before the baby is 20 weeks old. And, they say, they will go however the final vote tally goes.

Although the posts appeared plausible when I perused them, the concept had “scam” written all over it. So I didn’t buy in. My thought was the couple was trying to punk pro-lifers.
Read the details at her website

Bp Callahan: USCCB audit show "clean bill of health" in abuse scandals this year

You remember, I’m sure, that I was installed as your bishop with some fairly serious allegations and accusations about reported priestly misconduct. I, like you, sure wish we didn’t have to live through these sad reminders of our weaknesses, especially the weaknesses of a few of our clergy.

Nevertheless, we remember, too, that God’s love and grace are strong enough to get us through. Much of my time during these first 100 days has been spent working to assure you, and especially our victim-survivors, that we take our obligation and responsibility to protect children and everyone in the Church from anyone who would violate them or hurt them in any way very seriously.

You know we can never apologize enough for the hurt that has been inflicted on so many individuals and on the Church as a whole because of the scandal of abuse. Reviews of policies are taking place along with discussions and procedures for settling past grievances and reports. With charity and love we move forward.

It is also important to note that, during these first 100 days, we received our report from the Gavin Group. They are the people charged by the USCCB to audit the dioceses of the country to maintain our levels of compliance and adherence to “The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” and the essential norms that were set by the bishops in 2002. Once again, as we have every year that we have been audited by the Gavin Group, the Diocese of La Crosse received a “clean bill of health.” We continue to maintain high levels of expectations for Safeguarding God’s Children. We will continue to make steady progress in this area.
The rest at The Catholic Times - La Crosse

Well, conspiracy theorists will also have to debunk the third party Gavin Group who does these audits.  Essentially this is saying that the diocese handled Fr. Pat Umberger's situation correctly and made proper decisions with the information they had in hand.

No update yet from Rome Pilgrims

Members of the Guadalupe Shrine were going to blog while on pilgrimage to Rome for the consistory, but there haven't been any updates yet.  I hope all is well.

Fixed link.

Fr. Fehlner interview on Mary's Maternal Mediation

It was in a difficult format so I cleaned up the whole thing and posted it here.  I was going to only post a portion but I thought others might want to read the whole thing.   This is an interview done for the Robinsonville Shrine newsletter.
Father Peter Damian Fehlner, a member of the Franciscans of the Immaculate and Rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, gave the Fall Marian retreat at the Shrine on Saturday, October 2nd. Shortly after the retreat, I had the opportunity to speak with Father Peter regarding the topic of his retreat: “Mary's Maternal Mediation, the Spiritual Crisis of our time and the Month of the Holy Rosary”. The transcript of the interview will appear in the Shrine's Newsletter in a series of articles.

JJM: The first segment of your talk was entitled “Mary's Maternal Mediation” and you defined Our Lady's role as Mediatrix through her giving birth to Jesus who is the fountain of all grace. Are there other aspects of Mary's life that help to further define her role as Mediatrix?

Fr. Peter: Yes there are, but I mention this one in particular because it is especially helpful in grasping what we mean when we say Christ is the one Mediator of all, yet associates others with Him in carrying out His work of mediation, above all His Mother. In the natural order the most perfect example of mediation we know is that of our mothers. I am human because I am the child of my father. But I become a human being only through the mediation of my mother. Christ became man, not by an act of the Blessed Trinity alone, but through the maternal-mediatory action of His Mother, the Virgin Mary. You cannot divorce the mother from the son; Mary as Mother and Mediatrix cannot be divorced from Christ. By God's choice Mary remains “Mediatrix in the Mediator”, our link with Christ in all the mysteries of His life, death and resurrection. He came to us through her, and we go to Him through her. Just as there is no better way to become a human being than through a mother, so there is no better way to become a child of God the Father than through Mary. This of course implies in Mary a peculiar relationship to the Father and Holy Spirit as well. St. Francis expresses it by calling her the first-born daughter of the Father, Mother of His only begotten Son, and Spouse of the Holy Spirit. This indicates the Trinitarian dimensions of our belief about our lady.

You can take every single one of the great mysteries of her life, the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious mysteries, and you will discover each one is exemplified by some aspect of her role as Mediatrix with the Mediator, or in the Mediator. She is the Mediatrix between Jesus and us in the same way as my mother is Mediatrix between my father and myself. She doesn't get in the way; it is just that without her, I would not be around. That being the case, everything else that follows that moment when she is mediating Jesus' virginal conception and birth, every further advance of Christ towards the consummation of his mission on the Cross and in the Resurrection, involves a maternal mediatory participation of Our Lady. We see this at the presentation of Jesus in the Temple by Mary and Joseph, the flight into Egypt, the return to Nazareth, the finding of Jesus in the Temple after three days, the introduction of our Lord to his public life, especially at the marriage feast in Cana, her quiet presence in His ministry, the praise the good woman showered on her when the wicked were accusing Jesus of having cut a deal with Satan, and more importantly the praise Our Lord bestowed on Mary on that occasion: More blessed is she who heard the word of God and kept it, as did Mary at the Annunciation. Here, we see what St. Luke means when twice he says: Mary kept all these things in her heart pondering them. Mary in hearing and doing the word of God above all did the one thing that is most difficult; she became the Mother of the Redeemer and therefore shared in his suffering.

Gloriously assumed into heaven Mary continues to exercise this same mediatory role in our behalf. All of these are aspects of the unique mediation on which is founded our participation and cooperation in this tremendous work of Jesus. This is the whole point of her presence at the foot of the cross.

What is she doing there? She is there because she is sharing in the sorrows of our Lord that she might function, as He wished, as our Mother to sustain our faith and our hope.

Especially our hope, because that is where the apostles and even St. John fell short, the model of hope at the foot of the cross was Our Lady. They didn't loose their faith, but it seems obvious from the testimony in the Gospels, that after the resurrection they were very slow to believe because they really did not expect Him to rise. However, it was our Lady who never blinked an eyelash because she expected Him to rise on the third day, and He did. St. Ambrose says she stood there like the courageous women of Proverbs 31.

JJM: We see this in Lumen Gentium. The Second Vatican Council called Mary our Mother in the order of grace through her suffering with Christ as He died on the Cross. They spoke of this as cooperation in the work of the Savior.  What did they mean by the “order of grace and does this aspect of Mary define her role in redemption?

Fr. Peter: Yes, that is the highest order of existence of a creature. St. Bonaventure puts it very nicely, although he is not original in this, “Whom she brought forth without pain at Bethlehem despite the circumstances, the Incarnate Word, she brought forth with great pain and suffering on Calvary: His mystical members.” Her Spiritual Motherhood cost her dearly. The cost was the sacrifice of her Son and her participation in His sorrows. She is unique in this. She is the only Mother of God. In view of this Christ has entrusted her with the mediation or distribution of all graces or blessings of salvation, precisely because in sharing the victory of Christ as His Mother, she is able to associate us with Christ forever. JJM: This seems to define a more proactive role in the redemption of mankind.

Fr. Peter: That's right. She is pre-redeemed you might say, or preserved in the most perfect way from all stain of original sin precisely to be able to cooperate with Our Lord, subordinate to him yet still in cooperation with him in our liberative redemption, our being delivered or freed from sin. We can't do that precisely because we are conceived in the state of original sin, but she can because she is preserved from contracting original sin at conception. There is still but one Mediator, Christ, who can do whatever he wants himself. But he chooses as it were, to save us with the cooperation of His Mother. He could merely have descended to earth alone. But divine generosity is such that He did not want to be alone.

And so, as St. Thomas tells us, He chose the best way by coming as he did through a mother. That is why it is possible for us not only to receive the gift of redemption, but to also cooperate actively with Christ in the realization of its full implications in the Church and gain eternal life also as a reward for our good works. JJM: In Luke's Gospel, the Angel called Mary, Full of Grace. I always saw this as a title, much like the Immaculate Conception. Fr. Peter: It is equivalent to the Immaculate Conception. She is full of grace because she was immaculately conceived.

JJM: Then can we assume that if she is full of Grace, or as the Greek implies bursting forth or enriched with Grace, she is also the Mediatrix of all graces rather than only some or certain graces?

Fr. Peter: Right. Not that she is the one who is the authoress of the graces but all of them as it were, identical as they are in Christ, pass through her to come to us, precisely because He only comes on earth through His Mother.

JJM: You made the statement: “there is no Grace that passes to us from the Cross except through the mediation of Mary.” Yet, St. Thomas argued that only Christ can be the perfect mediator between God and man. How do we balance this understanding of Mary as Mediatrix of all Graces with the teachings of St. Thomas?

Fr. Peter: Mary's maternal mediation is part of the perfection of Christ's one mediation. We are saying in a general statement that Christ is the one Mediator, but that does not exclude cooperation. He can involve anyone He wants, anyway He wants. He still is the one Mediator, but His Mother is part of this in a very unique way as the only Mother of God. The statement I quoted in my talk is from Pope Benedict XVI three years ago in Brazil. He was reminding the Bishops that in practice our only contact with Christ, especially for the Blessings of redemption, is through Our Lady. He comes to us through her; His Blessings come to us through her. We can't begin to describe this wonder. We are simply stating a very simple fact: If you are alive, you are alive because your mother was generous enough to conceive you and give birth to you. Such generosity is stupendous, because this is the indispensible basis of all else in your life. In the same way, in a higher order of Grace, we are born again of water and the Holy Spirit precisely through the intervention of Our Lady, Spouse of the Holy Spirit.

JJM: What I am hearing from you is that as Mediatrix of all Graces, Mary's mediation is more than intercessory prayer as some would believe.

Fr. Peter: Yes. Her intercession is unique, because her mediation is unique. The saints have a certain mediatory role by prayer, but Mary is unique because she can play a role that no other saint can. This is the tradition; her perfection at her Immaculate Conception was greater than all of the saints put together. We on the other hand intercede and pray for each other. But we cannot intervene in the lives of others to help them as Our Lady can because she really is their mother. She has an immediacy to each of us because she is our spiritual mother. She does truly give us supernatural life. She is not its origin; Christ is the origin of supernatural life. But that we have it comes through her intervention as well as her intercession. That intervention is truly a maternal act.

JJM: Father, in your talk you said, “to be a mother is to be a mediator” and you spoke of the “nobility and role of every woman.” Please explain what you mean by the nobility and role of every woman.

Fr. Peter: “Woman” is a title, whereas “female” is not. Female is simply a word describing a sexual difference. “Woman” instead describes the dignity of the person who enjoys certain powers that men do not have. Men also enjoy powers that women do not have. In this case the power of the woman to conceive, give birth, nourish and educate, is the noblest natural power that anyone can enjoy short of being a divine person. It is a natural power not only biological, but above all personal and spiritual. This is what is so horrible about the modern feminist movement. It denies that the noblest aspect of the title Woman is precisely the power to procreate and educate. That is the heart of mediation exercised by a created person. All other aspects of mediation depend upon the mystery of the woman and her relation to the divine Savior and one Mediator of all. Here we see why to become man the Son of God chose to be born of a Woman, why he made our becoming children of God depend spiritually on being born again of Mary. “Woman” is the title with which Our Lord twice addressed His mother: at the beginning of His public ministry at the wedding feast in Cana and again on Calvary as He was dying. This is why Mary is found at the very center of the Apostles on Pentecost, just as at the Annunciation she is the center of attention of God, of the Angels and of us. When Mary agreed to the redemptive Incarnation: Be it done to me according to thy word, she spoke, St. Thomas says, for us also. In coming to believe and obey God as does Mary, we make her acceptance of the Savior and salvation our own.

JJM: Then what you are saying is that somehow the aspect of woman identifies with Mary's role as Mediatrix of all Graces?

Fr. Peter: That is because the role of a woman to be a mother is essentially mediatory. The reason that I am human is because I am a child of Adam, but I cannot be a child of Adam except through the mediation of my mother. The same thing is true if I am to be a child of GOD born again of water and the Holy Spirit, adopted as His child. This must be through the mediation of a mother, for the same reason Jesus was born of Mary by the working of the Holy Spirit. The Second Vatican Council tells us that the motherhood of the Church is simply an extension of the motherhood of the preeminent member of the Church, namely the Virgin Mother of GOD. She is the preeminent member of the Church precisely because she is the victorious Co-Redemptrix. She is the victorious woman. The woman in Genesis who crushes the head of the serpent is going to guarantee us life and immortality.

JJM: You mentioned Father that “all things should be considered through Our Lady as our loving Mediatrix.” In the Wisconsin apparitions, unlike other Marian apparitions, Adele received a unique commission from Our Lady to teach the children. How does this request of Mary fit into the role of mediator?

Fr. Peter: What we are saying here is that the role of maternal Mediatrix is not only to give life, but it is also to refine life. Not only to give birth and procreate, but also to educate.

JJM: The formation of the corporal, spiritual and intellectual as you presented during the retreat.

Fr. Peter: Yes, and therefore teaching is one of the essential aspects of mediation. We learn to the extent that we truly trust, believe and confide in our teachers. Here we say that teaching in the first instance is the prerogative of the mother. Once you have learned everything you can from your mother, you are sent off to school. But if you do not learn the essential truths from your mother, you probably are never going to learn them. Whatever the relative merits of our mothers as professional teachers, with the support of the New Eve, Mary, they are indeed capable of communicating the basics of wisdom. Indeed, more than once Mary has intervened to secure the teaching of essentials as she did with Sister Adele. This is the case of the great theologian, John Duns Scotus. He was slow when he was a little child, but Our Lady intervened and brought him stupendous intellectual gifts. We can trust so good, so pure a teacher as the Mother of God who calls herself at Lourdes the “Immaculate Conception.” She, who exalts in her God and Savior because as His Mother He is her Jesus, is also our best teacher about Jesus. Here we see the link between Lourdes and Champion.

JJM: Can we not see this same mediation of Our Lady with Sister Adele who only had a third or fourth grade education?

Fr. Peter: Absolutely. Not having attained a higher level of education, she nonetheless became a very successful teacher of essentials when most needed. This is what is so significant about this particular apparition, its great coming on the wake of Lourdes and not many years after the apparitions of La Salette and Rue du Bac in Paris concerning the miraculous medal. We still need this miracle of sound education.
Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help

Bishop Ricken appointed to USCCB post

Somewhat forgotten in the Dolan excitement was the news that Bishop Ricken of Green Bay was elected chairman of the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis for the USCCB.
The election outcome also marked the first time since the bishops' conference was reorganized in 1966 following the Second Vatican Council reforms that a sitting vice president who sought the presidency did not win election. In two elections, in 1974 and in 1977, circumstances dictated that the vice president did not rise to lead the conference.

The bishops also elected chairmen-elect for six committees. They will take office in November 2011.

They are: Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services, Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance; Bishop Joseph P. McFadden of Harrisburg, Pa., Committee on Catholic Education; Auxiliary Bishop Denis J. Madden of Baltimore, Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs; Bishop David L. Ricken of Green Bay, Wis., Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis; Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien of Baltimore, the Committee on International Justice and Peace; Bishop R. Daniel Conlon of Steubenville, Ohio, Committee on Child and Youth Protection.
 The rest of the article at The Compass 


St. Louis Review expands coverage of Consistory

The Archdiocese of St. Louis, and it's official publication, the St. Louis Review, have begun their comprehensive coverage of this year's Consistory of Cardinals, during which Cardinal-designates Burke and Wuerl (Archbishop-emeritus of St. Louis and Archbishop of Washington, respectively) will become Cardinals.
Check out the St. Louis Review's coverage of the Consistory, which also includes a ton of background information, such as the following articles, slideshows, and galleries:
HT Saint Louis Catholic

Nice work Jeff!

Shrine hosting Celebration Feast with Cardinal Burke

Celebration Feast
December 8, 2010
Cocktails: 5:30 PM
Dinner: 6:00 PM
Cardinal’s Table: $100.00 per person (12 seats available)
Standard Seating: $50.00 per person (79 seats available)

Call 608-782-5440 and state that you are interested in the Cardinal’s Dinner.
You are asked to pay with credit card to reserve a place.


Visit the Shrine website,, for further details on the Cardinal’s visit!

Robinsonville's miraculous church

ROBINSONVILLE, Wis. (WFRV) -- A church in Robinsonville attracts thousands of people who are seeking miracles every year.

For over 150 years, tales of miracles have brought people to Our Lady of Good Help Chapel. The Chapel brings people like George Kaczmarek, who started making an annual trip with his wife 25 years ago.

"This is my favorite spot," Kaczmarek said. While his wife passed away five years ago, Kaczmarek still makes the two hour trip for her, and for the indescribable feeling he gets while he's there.

"From a spiritual stand point, miracles have happened. People who have lost their way, I'm sure some of them have rediscovered their faith," said Kaczmarek.

The tales of miracles dates back to 1859, first with the apparition of the Virgin Mary to a young Belgian woman named Adele Brisse.

Brisse then took on the mission of founding the Chapel and a school. It was said that once Brisse got the Chapel started miracle cures began to occur in the Chapel.

There are tales of blind visitors regaining sight, of desperately sick being cured and of cripples restored to health. There are also stories of people leaving crutches behind, crutches that can still be seen in the crypt today.

"From that time the place has been regarded as a holy place, an initial chapel had been constructed and it's been a place of prayer and pilgrimage ever since that time," said Rev. John Doerfler of the Diocese of Green Bay.

Just last week a Green Bay woman says she brought her 3-year-old grandson who had been diagnosed with leukemia to the shrine.

"They were going to be doing some tests the next day in preparation for a possible bone marrow transplant," Rev. Doerfler said.

She told Rev. Doerfler that a day later the doctors said they found no trace of leukemia in the boy.

There has been no formal declaration by the Catholic Church of the apparition of Mary at the shrine. An official investigation was opened in Jan. of last year, but is still underway.
There is also a video at WFRV-TV 5

My guess would be the confirmation happens on the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception(Dec 8th) this year.

Cardinal-designate Raymond Burke's friends are not surprised by elevation

MADISON -- His friends in the Diocese of Madison were not surprised to hear that Pope Benedict XVI is elevating Archbishop Raymond L. Burke to the status of cardinal on November 20.

They knew he was destined for great things in the Church.

He stood out

Father Smith recalls that Cardinal-designate Burke stood out even as a freshman in high school in 1962. He said, “Seminarian Raymond Burke had the audacity to stand up before an entire house meeting and complain about the Riki Tiki Laundry — the student-run laundry at Holy Cross Seminary in La Crosse. Even then I should have known that he would never be afraid and never be deterred from speaking his mind about issues.”

Even as a grade school student, Cardinal-designate Burke knew that he wanted to be a priest. But Father Smith said he never aspired to the hierarchy.

“He once told me that his happiest days were when he was the associate pastor at the Cathedral Parish in La Crosse and teaching at Aquinas High School. And he also told me that anyone who wanted to be a bishop was stupid!”

Devotion to Mary

Monsignor Oehrlein is very impressed with the wide range of reading the cardinal-designate does, as well as his devotion to Mary, the mother of God.

When he was bishop of La Crosse, Bishop Burke drove Monsignor Oehrlein up to a peak in the La Crosse bluffs. “He said he would build a church dedicated to Mary.”
That was a foreshadowing of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which Bishop Burke built there.

Catholic education

Monsignor Oehrlein is also impressed by Cardinal-designate Burke’s great concern for Catholic education.

Archbishop Burke is proud of his own Catholic education. He was born in 1948 in Richland Center, Wis. After his father died, 11-year-old Raymond moved with his mother and five siblings to Stratford, Wis., a village of about 1,600 people located 11 miles northeast of Marshfield.

The Burkes became members of St. Joseph Parish in Stratford and the children attended St. Joseph School.

“It’s astonishing that of all the bishops around the world, someone, a student from St. Joe’s School and from the Diocese of La Crosse, is a designate to be a cardinal,” St. Joseph School’s current principal, Debbie Johnston, told the Catholic Times, newspaper of the Diocese of La Crosse.

“It is kind of heart-warming to think that he still refers to Stratford as his home base,” she said.

There have been signs on the Stratford city limits saying, “Home of Archbishop Raymond Burke.” Those signs will soon be changed to “Home of Cardinal Raymond Burke.”
Read the whole thing at Madison Catholic Herald