Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Across ArchMil - weeks of December 14th and 21st 2014

(Don't think of this post as delayed because I was on a brief vacation, think of it as a Special Holiday Double Issue.)

From the Chancery

Video of Bishop Hying's Homily from his Farewell Mass on Sunday, December 21, 2014 at Milwaukee's Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist is at YouTube.

His farewell Herald of Hope column in the Milwaukee Catholic Herald is In Christ's birth, heavenly glory kisses human poverty.

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee reports 2014 Christmas Giving a Success! "Thanks to the unbelievable generosity of 17 parishes and their parishioners, 10 different businesses and organizations, over 100 individual donors and 50 volunteers, we were able to distribute Christmas gifts to 1,750 of our clients in need."

Archbishop Listecki tells us in a Herald of Hope column in the Herald that ASIC is next phase of Synod (Archdiocesan Synod Implementation Commission). "The most significant action taken by the archdiocese in the last five years was the 2014 Synod, which gathered us together and articulated a vision that will affect us for the next 10 to 15 years." (Shouldn't planning include deciding on the specific time period?)

The latest Catholic ID videos are on Feeding Hunger, "Feeling empty? Fill up on Jesus and you will be satisfied." and Faithful Focus, "Focusing on Christ when life's waves rock our boats, gives us support to stay afloat."

The most recently posted episodes of Living Our Faith Radio, with Archbishop Listecki and Bob Benes, featured "world-renowned author, speaker and defender of the Catholic faith" Matthew Kelly, "the great life-saving programs available through" the Society of St. Vincent dePaul-Waukesha, and a " telephone interview of Father Tim Oudenhoven ..." on Our Lady of Guadalupe.

At the Our Faith blog, Archbishop Listecki posted on the death of Father Ted Schmitt. "I was asked to preach the funeral homily. ... Just two short weeks earlier, Father Ted read the Gospel of the first Sunday in Advent, 'Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come.'" He next posted on Making New Memories. "Each Christmas, we create new memories as we sing more carols, make more cookies and share more kisses, thanks to a child whose love embraced the world."

The Prayer & Worship blog posts Pope Francis' prayer intentions for January.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (E.D. Wis.)

Annysa Johnson reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Insurers agree to pay archdiocese additional $2.3 million. "The settlement brings the amount available to those survivors [of sexual abuse by priests] to $5.15 million, from $4 million in the archdiocese's original plan of reorganization."

On the court docket is the Motion for Order Approving Settlement Agreements and Policy Buy-Back Agreements which says, on page 7, "For years, the Archdiocese vigorously contested the insurers’ coverage positions, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to do so." (That amount seems less impressive in the context of bankruptcy expenses headed toward $20 million.)

Regarding that motion, Brian T. Olszewski reported in the Herald that the Archdiocese asks court to OK $10.3M insurance settlement. "In summarizing the settlements, the motion noted that of the 'settlement proceeds,' 50 percent would be paid as a 'buy-back payment' and would be paid to the Insurance Litigation Trust for the benefit of abuse survivor claims.
"The remaining 50 percent of the proceeds would be paid as a 'plan payment' and used to defray the administrative expenses of the Chapter 11 case. As of Dec. 22, administrative expenses and professional fees totaled more than $16 million." (The Journal Sentinel reported criticism of this proposed settlement from attorneys for abuse claimants, but there's no mention of criticism in the Herald.)

In the Milwaukee Catholic Herald

Bishop Hying's tenure in Milwaukee is commemorated in a special section, Love never fails: With gratitude to Bishop Donald J. Hying.

Ricardo Torres reported on remarks by Fr. Bryan Massingale, Stop being timid on racial issues, priest tells leaders. "...by timid I mean the default of the archdiocese is to say nothing." (In the following issue, a letter to the editor from Sr. Adele Thibaudeau, his seventh grade teacher, recommends his 2010 book Racial Justice and the Catholic Church.)

Around the Parishes and Schools

Karen Herzog reported in the Journal Sentinel on Teaching assistant leaving Marquette amid McAdams controversy. "Teaching assistant Cheryl Abbate will transfer next month to the philosophy PhD program at the University of Colorado, Boulder, after being accepted through an expedited admissions process"

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