On the economic front, the Milwaukee Archdiocese is back to square one regarding the sale of the Cousins Center after Cardinal Stritch University decided not to purchase the 44-acre property.

On the bright side, $91.2 million was pledged to the Faith In Our Future Capital Campaign representing 87 percent of the campaign’s $105 million goal, and the 2008 Catholic Stewardship Appeal had a goal-breaking year exceeding its goal of $7.65 million due to a large number of gifts.

Here’s a detailed look at some of the more notable happenings in the Milwaukee Archdiocese as reported in your Catholic Herald during 2009.


  • The Cardinal Stritch University Jan. 5 public hearing regarding a change in St. Francis zoning – from mixed use to educational – for the Cousins Center property had to be postponed until Feb. 2, and moved from the council chambers at city hall to St. Francis High School to accommodate all who wished to attend. The change would allow Cardinal Stritch to purchase the 44-acre property to develop as its south campus.
  • Diane Knight, former executive director of Catholic Charities for the archdiocese, would take over Judge Michael Merz’s role as chair of the National Review Board following the June 2009 meeting.
  • Missionary Sisters of the Holy Family set forth to create the Holy Family Child Care Center in their Burlington convent, where they can care for 37 youngsters, to solve the gaping need for child care for those too young to attend school.
  • Nearly 2,600 men gathered for the third Men of Christ Conference at the Washington County Fair Grounds on Jan. 10.
  • Seven-year-old quadruplet Jared Salazar-Balleza, son of Hector and Rosa Salazar-Balleza, Beaver Dam, died in a car accident on Jan. 3, when the family’s vehicle rolled several times after the driver lost control in the icy conditions. St. Katharine Drexel Parish, Beaver Dam, where the family belongs, aided the Salazar-Ballezas when they became pregnant with the quadruplets in 2001 after they were told Rosa would never have children.
  • Fr. Daniel Pakenham, pastor of St. Mary, Elm Grove, died Jan. 15 at age 69 at St. Luke Hospital following complications from a study to determine if he was a heart transplant candidate.
  • Pro-lifers gathered outside the Madison Surgery Center Jan. 8 for a peaceful prayer rally to protest the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics’ newly revealed plans to begin performing late-second trimester abortions at its jointly operated clinic in Madison.
  • Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan was upbeat in his Jan. 19 “annual state of the archdiocese” address stating the status, plans and progress of church initiatives, as well as announcing that six men would be ordained to the priesthood in the spring.
  • The Year of St. Paul, designated by Pope Benedict XVI to commemorate the 2,000th anniversary of the conversion of St. Paul, would be celebrated through June 29.
  • Archbishop Dolan issued a pastoral letter as a reflection on “Living Our Faith in the 21st Century,” and on implementing Vision 21.
  • Archbishop Dolan and Catholic Memorial High School president Fr. Paul Hartmann, joined 34 CMH students in the Pro-life Club in Washington, D.C., Jan. 22, for the 36th annual March for Life.


  • The eighth grade class at St. James School, Mukwonago, was one of 16 teams nationwide to win $10,000 for its entry in the “Protecting the Land” Lexus Eco Challenge.
  • St. Anthony School, the largest Catholic elementary school in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and one of the largest in the nation, boasting 1,036 students across two campuses, would open a high school in the fall after Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan gave permission Jan. 30, making it the first high school to open in the archdiocese since Thomas More in 1972.
  • The Madison Surgery Center board of directors unanimously voted 6-0 on Dec. 6 to perform second-trimester abortions for women 19 to 22 weeks pregnant at the clinic’s Park Street location. An estimated 120-130 abortions would be performed per year according to Dr. Laurel Rice, chair of obstetrics and gynecology at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.
  • St. Francis City Council voted 6-0 Feb. 2, to accept the city’s planning commission recommendation to rezone the 44 acres of the Archbishop Cousins Center property from mixed use to educational use. Stritch had been negotiating with WE Energies to purchase the 87 acres it owns south of the archdiocesan property and expected to close both deals by May 1.
  • The Catholic Stewardship Appeal had another goal-breaking year in 2008, exceeding its goal of $7.65 million.
  • Archbishop Dolan, leader of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee since 2002, was named archbishop of New York on the morning of Feb. 23. He succeeds Cardinal Edward M. Egan.


  • About 2,400 women gathered at the Washington County Fair Grounds, Feb. 28, for the first Women of Christ Conference, scheduled in response to women asking for the female version of the Men of Christ Conference.
  • Catholic Family Life Insurance, America’s oldest Catholic fraternal benefit society, celebrated 140 years of service.
  • Terry Schiavo’s brother Bobby Schindler, Jr., was invited by Wisconsin Right to Life to speak April 2 at its annual education fund dinner and auction gala at the Midwest Airlines Center in Milwaukee.
  • Nearly 1,400 people gathered at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians at Holy Hill, Hubertus, March 22 to celebrate the first of two farewell Masses for Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan.
  • President Barack Obama asked the Department of Health and Human Services to rescind a regulation that gives federal protection to the conscience rights of health care providers and institutions, which would affect local physicians like Dr. Eric Nelson, an anesthesiologist at St. Luke’s Hospital in Milwaukee, a husband and father of five children.


  • The fourth annual Wisconsin Catholic Youth Rally held March 28 at Mount Mary College brought together more than 800 teens, parish youth ministers and volunteers to praise God through song and spirit.
  • The downturn in the economy was responsible for Cardinal Stritch University’s decision to turn down purchase of the 87 acres of WE Energies property south of the archdiocesan Cousins Center, which they planned to use for athletic fields. Purchase of the WE Energies land was a contingency in the purchase agreement for the Cousins Center property.
  • The goodbyes continued as Archbishop Dolan celebrated his second and final farewell Mass on March 29 at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.
  • The Archdiocese of Milwaukee jumped on the technological bandwagon and joined Facebook and Twitter this month in time to offer more coverage of Archbishop Dolan’s installation as archbishop of New York, allow readers to post farewell messages and keep tabs on him by receiving news and updates.
  • Pro-lifers in southeastern Wisconsin prayed the rosary outside Affiliated Medical Services, a Milwaukee abortion clinic, on Palm Sunday, April 5, for the annual spring nationwide 40 Days for Life effort when 40-day vigils were held at abortion clinics in 175 cities in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Northern Ireland.
  • Kenosha Catholic Youth Organization band traveled to Italy from Dec. 26, 2008, to Jan. 5, 2009, and played for Pope Benedict XVI during the New Year’s Day parade in St. Peter’s Square, Rome, where they performed before the annual New Year’s papal blessing.
  • Though Hurricane Katrina Fund, “Rebuilding Lives, Restoring Hope,” was liquidated in 2008, the Milwaukee Archdiocesan effort to rebuild parishes in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, has had lasting effects and continues to help build homes for people who were left without housing after the hurricane hit in August 2005.
  • Josefina Castillo Baltodano resigned as Marian University’s 12th president.
  • The archdiocesan consultors elected Bishop William P. Callahan archdiocesan administrator April 20 after Archbishop Dolan was installed as archbishop of New York on April 15.


  • Parishes emphasized common sense during the spread of the H1N1 virus that caused a stir in southeastern Wisconsin since the first three cases were confirmed in Milwaukee and Adams counties May 2.
  • Norbertine Fr. Robert John Cornell, 89, former U.S. Congressman and lover of history and the political process, died May 10. as only the third Catholic priest to be elected to the U.S. Congress. The other two are Fr. Gabriel Richard and Jesuit Fr. Robert Drinan.
  • Archbishop Emeritus Rembert G. Weakland wrote a book, “A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church: Memoirs of a Catholic Archbishop,” published May 29 by Eerdman’s Publishing, detailing his pilgrimage from birth to retirement.
  • The Year of St. Paul draws to a close with the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s only Pallium lecture of the year, “What does St. Paul, the Church’s First Theologian Mean by the ‘Church?’” presented by nationally renowned author and lecturer, Norbertine Fr. Alfred McBride. Two Masses were celebrated to specifically mark the closing of the year.
  • President Obama received an honorary degree and spoke at the University of Notre Dame on May 17, addressing the divisions existing between people against abortion and other issues, asking them to adopt an approach of mutual respect and dialogue. Bishop John M. D’Arcy of Fort Wayne-South Bend said he would not attend the commencement, but still supported Notre Dame.
  • Notre Dame’s invitation to Obama drew criticism from Catholic bishops throughout the country, including Bishop Listecki.
  • Two confirmed cases of H1N1 at St. Lawrence Seminary High School, Mount Calvary before graduation and the more than 50 students with flu-like symptoms forced family and friends to view the ceremony in an online live stream or on the DVD sent home with each senior before he left campus. The outbreak also caused cancellation of the traditional end-of-the-year off-campus senior picnic, which was held on-campus; the conference track meet; and the public awards ceremony, which was held privately.
  • Wisconsin’s first lady, Jessica Doyle, surprised Blessed Sacrament second grade students with a visit to the Milwaukee school May 1 to return to them the cutout of Flat Stanley, based on the book, “Flat Stanley,” that they sent to her, and shared a photo album of their travels together.
  • Six men, Angel Anaya, Mark Brandl, Aaron J. Esch, Daniel R. Janasik, Sean T. O’Connell and Luke Strand were ordained on May 23, as the largest ordination class since 1992.
  • Oblate Fr. Lawrence “Lorenzo” Rosebaugh, a U.S. priest with a long history of taking risks to aid the poor and marginalized, was killed at age 74 in a highway robbery in Guatemala May 18.