It was a year of celebrations and goodbyes, new beginnings and final endings, laughter and tears. In 2012 we saw two men with ties to the Milwaukee Archdiocese elevated to the rank of cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI: former Archbishop of Milwaukee Timothy M. Dolan and Milwaukee-native Archbishop James M. Harvey.04-28-12-Cardinal-Dolan--Holy-Hill-001Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan walks to a press conference at the Basilica of Holy Hill in Hubertus, on March 28, his first return to Wisconsin and Holy Hill to celebrate a Mass of thanksgiving after being elevated to the rank of cardinal in February. (Catholic Herald photo by Allen Fredrickson)

The southeastern Wisconsin community was rocked by a tragic shooting at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek. Members of the Catholic community extended their prayers and support to the Sikhs.

Among the many charitable donations made in the archdiocese was an anonymous $100,000 to the TYME OUT Center on the condition that the money be matched by the organization through fundraising.

One archdiocesan convent closed after 160 years of service, while one longtime college announced it will become a university in fall 2013.

On the intenational scene, Pope Benedict XVI was introduced to a new form of “follower” on Twitter.

Following is a month by month look at the major stories of the year, as reported by your Catholic Herald.


Pope Benedict XVI announced that former Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan will become a cardinal at a February consistory. Current Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki said Cardinal Dolan will be a “great face and voice for the church.”

Wisconsin resident Laura Kaeppeler, a graduate of St. Therese Elementary School and St. Joseph High School, both in Kenosha, became Miss America. Susan, her mother, a teacher at St. Joseph Academy, told your Catholic Herald it was a “surreal moment and it seems unbelievable.”


Feb. 1 was the bar date for victims of sexual abuse by clergy to file claims as part of the archdiocese’s Chapter 11 reorganization being heard in U.S Bankruptcy Court of Eastern Wisconsin. Claims were filed by about 550 victims.

Making his ad limina visit to Rome, Archbishop Listecki met with Pope Benedict XVI and attended the consistory in which Archbishop Dolan became Cardinal Dolan.

Marquette University women’s basketball coach Terri Mitchell, raised awareness of those without shoes by coaching a game while not wearing shoes. The team beat the University of Pittsburgh and more than 400 pairs of shoes were donated to the Souls for Jesus charity in the process.


Mount Mary College announced it will become Mount Mary University in fall 2013. The school, with an enrollment of 1,900 students, offers more than 30 undergraduate programs for women, and eight graduate programs for men and women.

Kim and Krickitt Carpenter, whose book “The Vow: The Kim and Krickitt Carpenter Story,” inspired the film adaptation “The Vow,” staring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum, spoke to your Catholic Herald about how their faith kept them together after a car crash took Krickitt’s memory of her husband. 

St. George Publishing, a major producer of bulletins and print media in Wisconsin, ceases operation. The company said in an open letter to parishes that economic conditions and decline in advertising forced the company to close.HARVEYU.S. Cardinal James M. Harvey, former prefect of the papal household, is pictured after being made a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI during a consistory in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Nov. 24. Cardinal Harvey, a native of Milwaukee who has spent 30 years at the Vatican, was among six new cardinals created by the pope. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Catholic Herald reporter Tracy Rusch took the “Food Stamp Challenge” and lived on a $31.50 per week budget. She found it possible, but discovered how difficult it can be to make the money stretch and to forgo edible temptations in grocery stores.


An anonymous donor gave $100,000 to the Tyme Out Center with the stipulation the center raise at least that much by May. Fundraising efforts were successful as the center finished the year with $522,504 in fundraising, a 27 percent increase over the previous year.

The Basilica of St. Josaphat, Milwaukee, received a financial gift from the Fotsch family, the single largest financial gift given to the basilica in his history, in order to purchase and install air conditioning in the architectural landmark.

Cardinal Dolan returned to Wisconsin for the first time since being elevated to the rank of cardinal. He celebrated Mass at Holy Hill. Among the nearly 1,200 in attendance were Gov. Scott Walker and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan.


The SHARE program, a non-profit food buying club run by mostly volunteers, closed after 27 years of service.

Rich Harter, pastoral associate at St. Dominic Parish, Brookfield, was tapped to be the head of the archdiocesan office of evangelization. He will coordinate what he termed “the ongoing vision and direction” of the archdiocese’s evangelization efforts.

Bishop David Malloy, Wisconsin native, was ordained bishop of Rockford, Ill. He served as associate pastor of St. John Nepomuk, Racine, and pastor of St. Francis de Sales, Lake Geneva. He had only returned to the archdiocese in August 2011 after serving a five-year term as general secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Our Lady of Mount Carmel Convent in Mount Calvary, in recent years home to retired School Sisters of Notre Dame, closed after 160 years. The order said a decrease in the number of sisters living there and the aging buildings needing repairs led to the decision to sell the facility.

The 10-year anniversary for the U.S. bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People is observed in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. The charter established protocols such as reporting allegations of child sexual abuse to the district attorney, relieving the alleged offender of duties, providing counseling and therapy to victims and “safe environment” training to employees of the archdiocese.

Sisters from “Nuns on the Bus,” which highlight the work Catholic sisters do for people at the economic margins, came to Wisconsin to protest U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget proposal, which asked for cuts to several programs that benefit the poor. The Nuns on the Bus traveled the country to express their opposition to the budget proposal.ARCHBISHOPINDR1Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki visits a classroom in the Dominican Republic during his Oct. 18-22 visit to the country and the Milwaukee Archdiocese’s sister parish, La Sagrada Familia in the Town of Sabana Yegua. (Submitted photo courtesy Jerry Topczewski)


Catholic Charities In-Home Support Services Program received a $7,000 grant from the Racine Community Foundation/Wendler Family Fund to help the agency expand in-home services.

Colleen Crane, who works in the public relations office for the Capuchin Province of St. Joseph, visited her stepson in the hospital in Colorado. He was shot in the leg at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., at the premiere of the movie “The Dark Knight Rises.” Fifty-eight other people were wounded and 12 were killed.

Wisconsin bishops wrote in “Upholding the Dignity of Human Life,” a warning against POLST, Physician (or Provider) Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment and the use of living wills. “As a church we are concerned about the dignity of the human person at every stage of life – from conception to natural death,” Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki said.


St. Mary Parish, Belgium/Lake Church, and Holy Rosary Parish, Fredonia, merged to become Divine Savior Parish.

The killing of six members of the Sikh community during Sunday morning worship services at their temple in Oak Creek, brought an outpouring of spiritual support from Catholic leaders. Archbishop Listecki said, “We pray for God’s consoling and healing to be there for the Sikh community.”

St. Vincent Pallotti Retreat Center, operated by the Pallottine Fathers, celebrated 50 years of retreats.

Mitt Romney, Republican nominee for president, chose U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, a Catholic, and member of St. John Vianney Parish, Janesville, in the Madison Diocese, as his vice presidential running mate.

Archbishop Listecki underwent a heart procedure at Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital after experiencing chest pains. Five days later, he celebrated Mass on the Feast of the Assumption at Holy Assumption Parish, West Allis.

Msgr. Ross Shecterle was installed as president-rector at Sacred Heart School of Theology. It marked the first time the seminary is headed by a non-Sacred Heart priest.


St. Anthony High School opened new campus at 4807 S. Second St., Milwaukee. The entire St. Anthony School is comprised of four campuses with an enrollment of 1,668 students, of which 339 attend the high school.

Eleven deacons were ordained for ministry in the archdiocese.

Catholic Charities announced Salvatorian Fr. David J. Bergner as the new executive director. Fr. Berger replaced James Brennan who retired.

Fr. Victor Capriolo, Fond du Lac priest, was killed in a cycling accident. Parishioners remember him as being kind-hearted and caring.

Fr. Robert Barron, author of the “Catholicism” series, presented the 2012 Pallium Lecture at the Cousins Center.


Your Catholic Herald unveiled its new design and reported results from a survey conducted at the end of 2010. Of those Catholics surveyed in the area, 40 percent read the Catholic Herald, however only 27 percent subscribe to it.auctionrackAuctioneer John O’Brien displays items for sale during the July 14 auction in Mount Calvary where items from the School Sisters of Notre Dame, Our Lady of Mount Carmel convent were sold. (Catholic Herald photo by Steve Wideman)

Fifteen individuals from the archdiocese received Vatican II awards for distinguished service for outstanding contributions to church and society.

Observance of a Year of Faith, called for by Pope Benedict XVI, began. It will be observed through Nov. 24, 2013.

Pius XI High School opened its new theater with an inaugural performance of “Standing on Holy Ground” dedicated to the school’s founding religious orders, the Pallottine Fathers and the School Sisters of St. Francis.

Liz and Al Kuhn with their daughter Kateri traveled to Vatican City to witness the canonization of St. Kateri Tekakwitha – the church’s first Native American saint. They are members of the Congregation of the Great Spirit, Milwaukee. Sister of St. Agnes Josephine Goebel, a Fond du Lac native, also attended the ceremony.


An online version of the 2012 Wisconsin Pastoral Handbook was available for the first time.

U.S. Archbishop James M. Harvey, a Milwaukee native, was elevated to cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI. He became the third native Milwaukeean to serve in the College of Cardinals.

Archbishop Listecki visited the Dominican Republic and the archdiocesan mission parish, La Sagrada Familia.

The Beaver Dam community celebrated 150 years of Catholic education at St. Katharine Drexel, formerly St. Peter School.

Messmer Catholic Schools president, principal and CEO, Capuchin Br. Bob Smith, resigned his positions due to complications from a serious neck/spine surgery three years ago.


Catholic Charities kicked off “Make a Ripple” campaign by plugging parking meters in downtown Milwaukee. Catholic Herald reporter Ricardo Torres got a parking ticket while covering the event.

The 75th anniversary of publication of J. R. R. Tolkien’s book “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and the opening of the film based on the book was a hot topic around Marquette University and drew increased interest in Marquette University’s archives as the university is the proud owner of the Tolkien Collection, more than 10,000 pages of Tolkien’s book manuscripts, typescripts and drawings.

Pope Benedict XVI gets a Twitter account, @Pontifex, and tweets out to more than 2 million “followers.”

Judge Susan V. Kelley ruled that $35 million in investment funds, returned to the parishes and other Catholic entities, were never assets of the archdiocese and therefore not involved in the Chapter 11 reorganization.