- Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki, bishop of the La Crosse Diocese, was installed as 11th archbishop of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, the first of Polish descent, Jan. 4 at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. Almost 1,000 people, and an estimated 40 bishops and four cardinals, joined in the two-hour celebration despite the frigid, near single-digit temperatures.
- David Lodes, superintendent of archdiocesan schools, resigned Jan. 18, because of health concerns and personal reasons after serving the archdiocese since October 2007.
- Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki, president of the Wisconsin Catholic Conference, voiced opposition Jan. 12 to the “window legislation” at the State Capitol against a bill that would, if passed, repeal the statute of limitations for all civil suits filed by childhood sexual abuse victims.
- A magnitude 7 earthquake rocked Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 12, lining the streets with bodies, leaving hospitals understaffed and overflowing with those injured and dying, destroying homes and churches and killing Archbishop of Port-au-Prince Joseph Serge Miot.
- St. Mark School and the current St. Joseph High School and Interparish Junior High School, Kenosha, announced they would operate under the umbrella of one reorganized administration, St. Joseph Academy, slashing operating costs by utilizing a single principal and administrative board between the schools to enable more affordable tuition. Also, Racine’s St. Catherine High School would add sixth through eighth grades to its unique new programming the following year.
- St. James School, Mukwonago, announced that it would close at the end of the 2009-10 school year because of declining enrollment.
- Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki named Susan Nelson interim superintendent of Catholic Schools.
- St. Mary Springs Academy, Fond du Lac, – the merger of St. Mary Springs High School and FACES elementary school – almost in its second year as one system, is the only system of its kind in the archdiocese to offer complete pre-K-12th grade education.
- The Archdiocese of Milwaukee observes Lent as a “Season of Mercy,” an initiative inviting people to participate in the sacrament of reconciliation, in services set in each of the 15 districts, and to reflect on the need for forgiveness and mercy in their lives.
- Leaders of the Racine Dominicans and Lincoln Lutheran, a social ministry organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, plan to collaborate to construct a single, faith-based campus on the Siena Center grounds.
- Archbishop Listecki responds to news media stories about reporting policies regarding sexual abuse of children in the Milwaukee Archdiocese and his former Diocese of La Crosse.
- St. Elizabeth Ann Seton dental clinic began as a collaborative program – among groups like the Greater Milwaukee Dental Association and local and national foundations – sponsored by Columbia St. Mary’s to provide dental care to impoverished people without access to care.
- More than 700 people were killed in the three-minute, 8.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked Chile’s central coast Feb. 27, but the seven Marquette University study-abroad students studying in Santiago, were safe.
- Jesuit Fr. Robert A. Wild, who became the 22nd president of Marquette University in 1996, announced he would retire, effective June 30, 2011, or until a successor took office – whichever came later.
- The 2009 Catholic Stewardship Appeal missed its $7.65 million goal by $43,000 because of the severe economic recession in 2008-09. The appeal was originally $800,000 behind, but raised more than $700,000 within the final two months of the year.
- St. Peter Parish, Kenosha, began offering a monthly Tridentine Mass, becoming one of three parishes in the Milwaukee Archdiocese to do so, including the daily offering of the Tridentine or Extraordinary Rite at St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee, and monthly at Holy Name of Jesus Church, Sheboygan.
- Colleen Brady was selected as Whitefish Bay Dominican High School’s new Head of School, effective July 1, to provide leadership and establish accountability for all aspects of the school’s mission, academic program and support systems by overseeing the spiritual and professional development of faculty, staff and students.
- Archbishop Listecki announced opposition to the health care bill in his weekly “Love One Another” communiqué to people involved in parish and diocesan ministries, because he wasn’t convinced that there were sufficient provisions to protect federal funds from use in supporting abortions and said that the price tag would cripple the economy more, placing terrible financial debt on future generations.
- Four-year-old Torian Thompson-Carter, who attended Blessed Sacrament School, Milwaukee, was a victim in the Feb. 26 triple murder of his mother and brother.
- Milwaukee will welcome 663 new members into the church at Easter: 541 adults and 122 children.
- Jesuit Fr. John Belmonte, principal of Milwaukee’s Marquette University High School since 2004, announced his resignation effective July 1 to accept the position of superintendent of Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Joliet, Ill.
- Fr. Thomas T. Brundage, a priest of the archdiocese serving in the Archdiocese of Anchorage who was judicial vicar for the Milwaukee Archdiocese from 1995-2003 and presided over four canonical criminal cases – one involving Fr. Lawrence Murphy who was accused of abusing deaf children, called the news media’s reporting of the Fr. Murphy case “inaccurate and poor in terms of facts.” After being reminded of a letter he drafted in which Archbishop Weakland advised the Vatican that he had instructed Fr. Brundage “to formally abate the case,” Fr. Brundage issued a clarification that he was aware of an order to halt the trial against the abusive Fr. Murphy.
- The TYME OUT (Total Youth Ministry Experience Openness Understanding Trust) eliminated and suspended indefinitely some summer programs as a financial move, but to also focus on ministry efforts.
- Catholic Knights and Catholic Family Life Insurance merged, becoming Catholic Financial Life.
- Six hundred volunteers gathered from the cluster parishes of St. Peter of Alcantara and St. Mary, Port Washington, Immaculate Conception, Saukville and others from Ozaukee County April 8-10 at Portal Industries in Grafton and as a MobilePack site for the Minnesota-based “Feed My Starving Children” gathered, measured and packaged 127,744 meals to distribute to starving children in more than 60 countries throughout the world. They raised more than $21,000 in fundraising and hours of prayer to package the meals made of rice, soy, vegetables, vegetarian-based chicken flavoring and vitamin and mineral mix that cost just 17 cents.
- Archbishop Listecki prayed for Polish President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others who were top government and military officials and religious leaders who died in a crash in heavy fog April 10 while attempting to land at the Russian airport of Smolensk.
- Fr. Leonard Van Vlaenderen, 51, former pastor of St. John Vianney Parish, Brookfield, was charged April 2 with the theft of $9,300 in church funds and set to appear in court April 21.
- The final conference for the Season of Mercy “Rediscovery of the Sacrament of Reconciliation” at St. Jerome Parish, Oconomowoc, sold out a month before with 844 participants.
- St. Lawrence Seminary High School, Mt. Calvary, celebrated 150 years.
- Pope Benedict XVI named Bishop-elect Mark Seitz, a Hartland native, an auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Dallas March 11. He was ordained April 27 at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
- Archbishop Listecki placed Fr. David Verhasselt, 62, pastor of St. Catherine Parish in Mapleton for 10 years, on administrative leave April 19 after an allegation surfaced in November 2009 that he had violated the seal of confession. Fr. John Schmitz, a senior priest for the archdiocese, served as a weekend replacement.
- The Vatican’s U.S. lawyer said the federal lawsuit filed April 22 in the U.S. District Court in Milwaukee by an unnamed Illinois man who claimed he was molested by Fr. Lawrence Murphy as a student at St. John’s School for the Deaf, and that Pope Benedict XVI covered up the sexual abuse, had no merit.
- Marquette University closed its search for the dean of the Klinger College of Arts and Sciences May 6 after rescinding its offer to Jodi O’Brien, chair and professor of the Seattle University Department of Anthropology, Sociology and Social Work. Some university faculty and students were upset, suggesting the university pulled the offer because O’Brien was openly gay and questioned some of her published works and their relationship to the Catholic Church’s mission.
- The Madison Surgery Center dropped plans to begin offering late-term abortions, but questions remained after a statement from UW Health May 5 said the organization was still committed to including late-term abortions among its reproductive health services.
- The Milwaukee Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women, MACCW, celebrated its 90th anniversary.
- Archbishop Listecki ordained four transitional deacons to the priesthood at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist May 15: Antony Primal Thomas, 35, a native of Kerala, India, and a member of the Missionary Community of St. Paul the Apostle (April 29, pg.3); Chuck Wrobel, 44; Erich Weiss, 31, West Bend-native; Matthew Widder, 27, Sheboygan Falls-native.
- The Lux Center for Catholic-Jewish studies at Sacred Heart School of Theology, Hales Corners was inaugurated May 11 as the first such center ever to be established at a Catholic seminary in North America. Rabbi Ronald M. Shapiro, senior rabbi at Congregation Shalom, is co-chairing the center’s advisory board with Milwaukee Archdiocese Auxiliary Bishop Richard J. Sklba.
- Archbishop Listecki announced that the Faith In Our Future capital campaign reached 90 percent of its goal and received more than $94.3 million in pledges.
- The Conventional Franciscan Friars celebrated 100 years of service at the Basilica of St. Josaphat with a “Come Home to the Dome” celebration June 27.
- Jeff Monday, a 1984 graduate of Marquette University High School, was named fourth lay principal to serve MUHS in its 153-year history, succeeding Jesuit Fr. John Belmonte.
- Blessed Sacrament Parish, Milwaukee, which offers the only ongoing devotion to St. Peregrine, “the cancer saint,” celebrated 10 years of healing Masses.
- Sean Lansing became the executive director of “Tomorrow’s Present,” a youth leadership development program that works in collaboration with the House of Peace and Cardinal Stritch University’s Leadership Center, succeeding founder Lisa Calderone-Stewart who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in June 2009 and was unable to continue her ministry.
- Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop William P. Callahan, 60, an auxiliary for the Milwaukee Archdiocese since 2007, as the 10th bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse.
- Kathleen A. Cepelka became the new superintendent of Catholic Schools for the archdiocese July 1.
- The parishes of Holy Cross, Mount Calvary, St. Cloud, St. Cloud, and St. Joseph, St. Joseph, merged July 1 to form St. Isidore the Farmer Parish, the first to be named after the patron of farmers.
- Parishioners aid victims of an EF2 tornado that tore through the village of Eagle in Waukesha County June 21. It spared the St. Theresa Church, but created extensive damage in the cemetery.
- Archbishop Listecki was one of 38 archbishops from around the world to receive his pallium from Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican June 29.
- Johnny Burns, 29, was ordained a priest July 17 at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.
- Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, Milwaukee native and bishop of the Diocese of Lincoln, Neb., celebrated his 50th anniversary as a priest July 17.
- Bishop William P. Callahan was installed Aug. 11 as the 10th bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse. Your Catholic Herald published a special section Aug. 5.
- Mary Queen of Saints Academy in West Allis, a two-campus K-8 school open for six years, closed the doors of its St. Rita site at the end of the 2010 school year, leaving open the St. Aloysius site, because of a decrease in enrollment.
- The school was the result of eight parishes merging their five parochial schools in West Allis and West Milwaukee.
- SET (Service, Empowerment, Transformation) Ministry, marks 25 years of service to help Milwaukee families find long-term housing, financial and medical assistance and emotional support.
- Fr. Luke Strand, associate pastor at Holy Family Parish, Fond du Lac, received a letter from Best Buy, the Minnesota-based consumer electronics company, requesting he “cease-and-desist” the “God Squad” logo on his black Volkswagen Beetle, due to copyright infringement – it was too close to the “Geek Squad” trademark.
- Four people were held in custody in connection with the Aug. 13 armed robbery of five people that took place at St. Rafael, Milwaukee, Aug. 13, when about 200 people were playing bingo.
- A new Kenosha Catholic school, St. Joseph Catholic Academy, a PreK-12 school with locations at two campuses, opened for its first day Aug. 24.
- Jesuit Fr. Scott R. Pilarz, president of the University of Scranton, teacher and scholar, was named 23rd president of Marquette University Aug. 31, succeeding INSERT Jesuit Fr. Robert A Wild, effective in summer of 2011.
- Dismas Ministry, an organization that provides Catholic material to inmates and chaplains, celebrated 10 years.
- A candle light vigil service was held at Three Holy Women Church, Milwaukee, Sunday, Aug. 22 for people who have been sexually abused by priests or affected by priest sexual abuse – the fourth similar vigil held in the archdiocese.
- Marquette University dedicated Eckstein Hall Sept. 8, the $85 million building that was the first new law school in 86 years, named after donors Ray and Kay Eckstein. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia addressed nearly 1,600 people that day, including Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, and Archbishop Listecki.
- St. Joan Antida High School, Milwaukee, an all-girls Catholic school with an enrollment of about 300, was under scrutiny for revamping its curriculum for the 2010-11 school year, resulting in a “reduction in force.”
- Archbishop Listecki withdrew financial support from nine abusive priests after the requirements of canon law regarding financial support for priests were fulfilled, saving the archdiocese $90K.
- St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Milwaukee, celebrated 50 years.
- St. John Vianney Parish, Brookfield, was the victim of cybercrime when criminals stole $121,000 electronically. Some $84,000 of the funds were recovered, and the remaining $37,000 less the $1,000 insurance deductible, was expected to be recovered.
- Dismas Becker, 74, former Carmelite priest and state Assembly speaker who always had social justice at the heart of his work, died Sept. 19 of cancer.
- Steven R. DiSalvo was inaugurated Oct. 23 as the 14th president of Marian University, Fond du Lac.
- The School Sisters of Notre Dame announced they will form a new province in June 2011, “School Sisters of Notre Dame of the Central Pacific Province,” uniting sisters in the provinces of Milwaukee: Mankato, Minn.; Dallas, Texas; and St. Louis, Mo.
- The Archdiocese of Milwaukee entered mediation in Chicago Oct. 18 with 15 victims/survivors of clergy sexual abuse with lawsuits pending against the archdiocese.
- Slinger’s first 5K Run for the Unborn Oct. 10 drew more than 200 runners and raised more than $2,000 to support local pregnancy help centers.
- Capuchin Fr. Walter “Fr. Wally” Kasuboski, 63, received a Litterarum Humaniorum Doctor Degree, a doctor of humane letters degree, from Ripon College May 16.
- James M. Brennan, 61, was named executive director of Catholic Charities after filling the void as interim executive director when former executive director, Hannah C. Dugan, abruptly resigned Dec. 10, 2009.
- Pope Benedict XVI accepted Bishop Richard J. Sklba’s resignation as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Oct. 18. Bishop Sklba, who is also a vicar general, turned 75 Sept. 11, and has been an auxiliary since 1979.
- The first Youth and Young Adult Ministry Summit was held at the Cousin’s Center Oct. 19, bringing together 150 people for a day of prayer, networking and idea sharing on the best ways to evangelize the demographic.
- The Catholic Woman’s Club of Kenosha celebrated 100 years – Archbishop Listecki celebrated Mass Oct. 3.
- Linda Santo, Massachusetts resident and mother of “Little Audrey,” visited Milwaukee in October to discuss the life of her daughter, who died in 2007, 20 years after nearly drowning in a swimming pool, hoping her daughter’s legacy will be remembered in the Catholic community through the canonization process.
- St. Jerome Parish, 995 S. Silver Lake St., Oconomowoc, celebrated 150 years.
- Legatus, a Catholic organization for CEOs, celebrated its 10th anniversary Nov. 11.
- Archbishop Listecki and diocesan bishops worldwide responded to Pope Benedict XVI’s request to “preside in analogous celebrations involving the faithful in their respective parishes, religious communities, associations and movements,” with a vigil for the unborn, “Vigil for All Nascent Human Life,” attended by more than 600 people, held Nov. 27 at St. Anthony Parish, Milwaukee.
- St. Mary Visitation Parish, Elm Grove, celebrated 25 years of offering perpetual adoration Oct. 6.
- St. Charles Borromeo Parish, 441 Conkey St., Burlington, celebrated 100 years.
- Jesuit Fr. John J. Halligan, founder of the Working Boys’ Center in Quito, Ecuador, was named a co-recipient of the $1.1 million Opus Prize, with a Malawian nun ministering in the northern part of her country, in a Nov. 11 ceremony at Fordham University’s campus in the Bronx, N.Y.
- Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan was elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Nov. 16, succeeding Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago.
- Bishop George O. Wirz, 81, retired auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Madison, died Nov. 23.
- Pope Benedict XVI created 24 new cardinals, including two from the U.S. Nov. 20: Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, prefect of the Vatican’s supreme court, native of Richland Center and a priest of the Diocese of La Crosse; and Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, Washington. The College of Cardinals grew to record 203: with 18 members from the U.S., 13 of whom are eligible to vote for the next pope.
- Bishop David L. Ricken of Green Bay, chair of the board of bishops of the American College of the Immaculate Conception in Louvain, Belgium, announced Nov. 22 the college that has served the church 154 years will close at the end of the 2010 academic year because of the small number of seminarians and difficulties in obtaining qualified priests for its faculty.
- The Archdiocese of Milwaukee planned to appeal the Nov. 23 ruling by the state’s Court of Appeals that said the archdiocese’s general liability insurance wouldn’t cover claims by some victims of clergy sex abuse.
- Bishop Sklba responded to a request to unseal his future deposition sealed under a court order by explaining that it should remained sealed because a definition is owned and controlled by the group which requests it, including no background or context allowed from the respondent which means the “resulting end product will always be one sided, and therefore, by definition, simply cannot present the truth in all its fullness.”
- More than three-dozen Catholic Democrats were voted out of office or chose not to run in the November election, but 33 new Catholic Republicans prepared to take office when the 112th Congress convened Jan. 3, 2011; Catholics are 28 percent of Congress.
- The Vatican downplayed the WikiLeaks crisis – the Nov. 28 release of classified U.S. government documents – where 850 documents of the quarter of a million alleged diplomatic cables that WikiLeaks said it would release, concerned communications between the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Embassy to the Vatican. Cables released Dec. 10-12 portrayed the Vatican as “horrified over clerical sex abuse in Ireland but also deeply concerned that the procedures used by Irish investigators of the scandal were ‘an affront to Vatican sovereignty.’” The Vatican issued a disclaimer Dec. 11 saying the reliability of the cables must be evaluated carefully because they offered a rare glimpse at Vatican diplomacy in action, but were authored through the lens of U.S. policy experts.
- James P. Loftus, an Iowa native, was named the eighth president of Cardinal Stritch University, effective July 2011, replacing interim president Kent Bergemann.
- The University of Wisconsin confirmed Dec. 14 that the Madison Surgery Center, a joint partnership between Meriter Hospital, the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics and the University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation, will not be involved in late-term abortions and that it is not currently pursuing those plans at any location.
- Bishop David L. Ricken of Green Bay approved the Marian apparitions seen by Adele Brise in 1859, making the apparitions of Mary that occurred some 18 miles northeast of Green Bay the first in the U.S. to receive approval of a diocesan bishop.
- Your Catholic Herald published a special tribute with the Dec. 16 issue to Bishop Sklba who retired after 31 years as an auxiliary in the Milwaukee Archdiocese.
- Attorneys for 16 victims/survivors of sexual abuse of minors by priests rejected the $4.6 million settlement offered in mediation by the Milwaukee Archdiocese, after meeting with lawyers for victims/survivors and an independent mediator on Oct. 18 and Nov. 11. Since the beginning of the process, the attorney representing victims/survivors told the archdiocese of eight more people who intended to file lawsuits.
- Two Wauwatosa K-8 schools, St. Bernard Parish School and St. Pius X Parish School will combine to become Wauwatosa Catholic for the 2011-12 school year. The new school will be located at St. Bernard Parish.
- Jesuit Fr. Thomas Lawler, vocations director for the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus since 2006, was appointed the new provincial of the Wisconsin Province, effective June 2011.