More than 200,000 expected for Des Plaines Guadalupe Shrine, largest OLOG gathering in world outside Mexico City

Marquette University to install a new grotto to the Blessed Virgin Mary

On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Marquette University President Michael R. Lovell announced that the university will install a grotto of the Blessed Virgin just west of St. Joan of Arc Chapel. The grotto will be in place by the beginning of the 2018-19 academic year.

President Lovell recently completed an intensive 18-month Ignatian Colleagues Program (ICP) based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, integrating university mission into the way leaders lead, teach and live. Lovell said his vision for the grotto was connected to his final project for the ICP program.

The project, titled Sacred Spaces, catalogued the numerous religious spaces and artifacts on campus that signify Marquette’s Catholic and Jesuit identity. Through the project, a website was created that allows individuals to take a physical or virtual pilgrimage of the Sacred Spaces on campus that highlight the ways the Marquette community lives its Jesuit and Catholic identity. Lovell said the installation of the grotto of the Blessed Virgin Mary will add another important sacred space to campus.
continue at Marquette

Wonderful news!

We're told that Marquette is raising money for the grotto. They need $150,000. To make a donation, the contact person is Ms. Molly Eldridge at (414)288-4497 or

Priest is University of Wisconsin football team chaplain for 40 years

Wisconsin Badger football Head Coach Paul Chryst and the team captains gather around Msgr. Michael Burke, better known as Father Mike, at a recent practice at Camp Randall Field in Madison. Father Mike has been the team chaplain for 40 years. Players from left are: tight end Troy Fumagalli, defensive end Alec James, defensive end Conor Sheehy, and safety D’Cota Dixon.  (Catholic Herald photo/Mary C. Uhler)
MADISON -- When the Wisconsin Badger football team travels to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship Game on December 2, they will take with them a perfect 12-0 record.

Accompanying them will be Msgr. Michael Burke -- better known as Father Mike to the coaches and players. He has been the team’s chaplain for 40 years.

Dates back to seminary training camp

He began working with the team when he was on the faculty of Madison’s Holy Name Seminary. The Badgers used the seminary fields and facilities for their summer training camp for many years.

Father Mike was a faculty member, rector, and vocation director during the years from 1977 until the closing of the seminary in 1995.

He remembers the training camps well. “The team was usually at the seminary for over three weeks,” he recalled. “They were locked in and had to stay there the entire time. They certainly got focused, since there were no distractions.”
continue at MadCatHerald


Singing Ice

Cardinal Burke interview with The Catholic Herald

Cardinal Raymond Burke has been much in the news this past year. In November 2016, he and three other cardinals presented Pope Francis with the famous dubia – five questions regarding Francis’s apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia.

Then the American cardinal became embroiled in a power struggle within the Order of Malta, of which he is patron. This was followed by his surprise appointment as a member of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the Church’s highest court. He had been prefect of the Apostolic Signatura from 2008 to 2014, when he was removed by Pope Francis. Cardinal Burke has spoken out frequently against what he sees as the growing confusion within the Church about the liturgy, Catholic identity and even the faith itself.

I met him shortly before the first anniversary of the dubia at a celebration in the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe in Ravenna, organised by the Coordinamento Nazionale del Summorum Pontificum and the St Michael the Archangel cultural association.

BTW, did you see this: Good news for readers: the Catholic Herald is launching in America

I've been meaning to subscribe for some time, very interested to see how the American adventure pans out.

Photos: Traditional Confirmations in Madison

On Tuesday 28 November in Madison, the Extraordinary Ordinary confirmed using the traditional Roman Rite. There were quite a few confirmands. We had people from Kansas, Minnesota, Maryland and North Carolina along with folks from area.
more at Father Z

Top Ten Wine Saints

Advent is upon us and so Christmas and the new year will soon be here. In the spirit of the seasons, or spirits of the season, here's Rupert Millar at The Drinks Business.

Court of Appeals affirms denial of tax exemption to Madison Cathedral site

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals today affirmed the earlier decision of the Circuit Court in Dane County which upheld the denial of a religious exemption from real estate taxes for the site of St. Raphael Cathedral. (see Matt's October 4, 2016 post.)

In today's opinion, the appellate court agreed with the court below that the applicable statute, Section 70.11(4)(a), had a requirement for exemption that the land be "necessary for location and convenience of buildings" and this did not apply because the property had no buildings.

That lack of buildings resulted from the Cathedral's destruction by an arson fire in 2005 and the clearing of the site in 2012. (See this report on the original court decision in The Isthmus.) I notice that the statute has since been amended to add a subsection 2, apparently to restore the exemption for the St. Raphael property and in any future similar situations.


The Disqus comments widget never completely supported Blogger (the existing comments could not be imported).  So I switched back to Blogger comments.

Yes, for some strange reason I continue to blog.  I have five competing major side project which continue to brutalize my spare time.

Abp. Hebda "happy" to have met "helpful" Jeff Anderson, SNAP apologizes for false charges against St Louis priest

KSTP: When I mention the name Jeff Anderson … Is he a nemesis? Or is this someone who has helped the truth come to light?

HEBDA: I'm happy I've had the opportunity to meet him on a number of occasions to work with him. I think he was helpful with the archdiocese, helping us to figure out what's the best way to move forward. So there is certainly a sense of gratitude that's there for that.

The archdiocese has set aside $155 million for settlements with about 400 victims. About $120 million is insurance money. The rest of the money is from the sale of local church properties. The archdiocese has legal bills of about $15 million, which also will be paid out of that pool.
full interview at KSTP

SNAP certainly did have a positive role to play in the abuse scandal, but this is the same Jeff Anderson who wanted to raid parishes for cash and falsified accusations against a St. Louis priest.

Interestingly enough, I see SNAP apologised today(a little late for that but ok) for its hit job on a St Louis priest:
An American support group for victims of clergy abuse has apologized to a Catholic priest who sued them after child molestation charges against him were dropped.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis, Missouri, disclosed on November 27 the apology from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), the Associated Press reported.

"SNAP acknowledges that false claims of clergy sexual abuse injure those clerics falsely accused and the Roman Catholic Church," the group said. The group added that it apologized for "any false or inaccurate statements" related to the accusations against Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang that "in any way disparaged" him, the archbishop and other archdiocese officials.
Is SNAP making an effort to move beyond just being ambulance chasers?  Let's look at the fine print:
SNAP confirmed on November 27 that the apology was included in the settlement of the lawsuit. Court records show the case was dismissed on November 21 but gave no details about the settlement.
So maybe not.  I've said many times, there needs to be something like SNAP out there, but an organization that takes a more ethical approach to litigation.

FT: Like every dad who tries to be cool, Blase Cardinal Cupich does not quite succeed

Blase Cupich wants Catholics to grow up. Cardinal archbishop of a city famous for the husky, brawling laughter of youth, he preaches the virtues of “mature, well-integrated adult spirituality.” Witness to a man who said “Let the little children come unto me,” he endeavors “to renew the life of the Church by getting people to act like adults.”

No matter what problem Cupich encounters, his solution is to tell people to be more mature. How can we fix immigration? “We all have to act like adults.” What about ending abortion? It must be done “in a constructive way and as adults who respect each other.” And what was Amoris Laetitia about, anyway? Ah, yes: “moving out of an adolescent spirituality into an adult spirituality.”

Common to all these remarks is a refusal of responsibility. Some people have a quaint idea that a bishop should say what is right and wrong, in season and out, but Cupich has evolved beyond this. Cupich wants to liberate Catholic consciences from clerical control. “If people come to a decision in good conscience,” he says, “our job is to help them move forward and to respect that.” If you’re okay, so is he.
continue at First Things

That reminds me, I need to renew my subscription!

Former Winona and La Crosse Diocese employee stole more than $83K

This is apparently becoming a trend
WINONA — A former employee of the Catholic Diocese of Winona faces multiple felony charges after authorities say she stole more than $80,000 from the organization.

Rose Anne Hammes, 55, now of Kansas City, Mo., made her first appearance earlier this month in Winona County District Court, where she's been charged with four counts of theft by swindle.

Hammes was released on her own recognizance and is due back in court Jan. 10.

The investigation began in March 2016, when officials with the diocese contacted Winona police.

Hammes worked for the diocese from April 2004 to August 2010, when she moved to Kansas, then Missouri. She came to the attention of the church officials when they learned she'd been charged with theft from her Kansas employer — the Archdiocese of Kansas City.
 And then it gets weird.
Hammes started her career in the Diocese of La Crosse as a writer and advertising saleswoman for the diocesan newspaper in 1985 — the same year her father was murdered in a Wisconsin church.

William Hammes, a custodian at St. Patrick's Church in Onalaska, Wis., was killed Feb. 7, 1985, when Bryan Stanley walked into the church and opened fire with a shotgun. Also killed that day were Ferdinand Roth Sr., a parish lay minister, and the Rev. John Rossiter, the parish priest.
full article Roch Post-Bulletin

I don't know her but I suspect some of the locals do.

Newly Ordained Priest of Madison Diocese Profiled In MadisonMag

Andrew Showers was studying at a Catholic seminary in Rome in October 2014 when his grandmother died in Wisconsin.

Showers, a 2006 Madison La Follette High School graduate, was scheduled to help serve Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican the next day. It’s a big deal—the pope makes a point of meeting all those helping.

“The guys are kind of like 14-year-old girls at a Bieber concert,” Showers says.

When Showers had his moment, he said in the Italian language he was still learning, “Holy Father, my grandmother died yesterday. Will you pray for her?”

“Well, what is her name?” Pope Francis replied.

“It’s Ruth.”

“I will pray for her by name at Mass today,” the pope said.
In the Madison Diocese, according to the Rev. Greg Ihm, vocation director, 25 men are at varying stages of formation as of fall 2017. When Ihm entered in 2002, he was one of just six.

“We’ve made a major improvement,” Ihm says, while noting that the large number of priests from earlier generations now retiring means their efforts need to continue.

The total number of priests in the U.S., however, has been declining. According to the Georgetown University Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, there were 58,632 U.S. priests in 1965, and in 2016 that number was 37,192. The research center also noted that the number of U.S. parishes without a priest in 2016 was 3,499.
continue at Channel3000

St. Cecilia, ora pro nobis!

From the Sisters St. Mary Chapel at Holy Family Convent in Manitowoc (which you might consider adding to your list of places to visits)

University of Wisconsin Lets Student Government Deny Status and Funding to Pro-Life Group

Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter Monday to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point on behalf of a student organization that had been unconstitutionally denied official recognition by the school’s student government before an administrator intervened. The letter requests that the school modify its unconstitutional policies that authorized the student government to discriminate against the conservative group.

Earlier this fall, Emily Strangfeld along with other students organized a Turning Point USA chapter at UW-Stevens Point. TPUSA is a national organization whose mission is to promote the principles of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government. Although the fledgling chapter satisfied the six application requirements for recognition, the school’s student senate voted to deny recognition without explanation. Although an administrator rightly reversed the student senate’s decision, the school’s underlying policies give the campus senate and the administrator unlimited authority to deny recognition, and thereby funding, to any group opposed by the student government.
continue at LifeSite

La Crosse FSPA Sisters remove Catholic status from Franciscan Healthcare, transfers Viterbo University to lay leadership

The Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration will transfer its control of two health systems and Viterbo University to lay leadership while the La Crosse-based order focuses on other ministries, FSPA President Sister Karen Lueck announced Tuesday.

The move, subject to Vatican approval and scheduled to take effect July 1, ends the FSPAs’ oversight and sponsorship of Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare in La Crosse, St. Anthony Regional Hospital and Nursing Home in Carroll, Iowa, and Viterbo University, Lueck said at a press conference at FSPA headquarters.

Viterbo and St. Anthony will maintain their Catholic identities with the development of Viterbo Ministries and St. Anthony Ministries, while Mayo-Franciscan will be shifted to Mayo Clinic Health System in Rochester, Minn., as a faith-based but non-Catholic organization, Lueck said.

The amount of money the order will receive from Mayo remains to be determined, but details are being worked out under the pact the sisters and Mayo signed when they became partners in 1995 [under then Bishop John Paul and shortly after Bishop Raymond Burke], said Lueck and Dr. Tim Johnson, Mayo Clinic’s regional vice president in southwest Wisconsin.
continue at La Crosse Tribune

I'll comment more later, but it's not clear if this now gives Mayo the ability to perform abortions on campus.  Originally Mayo planned to open a surgery center in nearby Onalaska for abortions.  There's been a lot of coverage in the Tribune on the topic so I'm surprised Tighe didn't touch on it, although they have never written anything that might shine a bad light on the FSPA.  Update; after posting this the article was updated with a longer version with more details.

Prior to this move, it's my understanding that the hospital had three equal controlling partners, Franciscan Skemp, the FSPA and Mayo (correct me if I'm wrong).  It looks like eventually this will just simply be Mayo controlled, in which case it would have no ethical oversight from the diocese and would just simply become de facto secular, which practically speaking has mostly become anyway.  There is a chapel on campus, which I guess would be removed unless some formal arrangement would be made with the diocese.

This perhaps also gives Viterbo University the ability to formally remove their Catholic status as well, although the article seems to indicate they are not removing them at this time.