Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient,
ever new Late have I loved you.
You were within me, but I was outside It was there that I searched for you
In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created
You were with me but I was not with you, created things kept me from you;
yet if they had not been in you then they would not have been at all.
You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness.
You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness.
You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you.
I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more.
You touched me, and I burned for your peace. My name is Msgr. Jim Bartylla. I’m the Vicar
General for the Diocese of Madison. These beautiful words from Saint Augustine
evidence how God uses beauty, aided by the gift of our reason
to draw each of us back to Him, who is the source of all beauty, all truth,
and ultimately of salvation. If we are sincere in our search of truth,
beauty, and goodness, we will find God Himself. However, as Christians, our journey does not
end there. Much like Saint Augustine, once we accept
the gift of faith, we become part of God’s beautiful plan called
to live a beautiful life, but we also have the responsibility to share
that beauty with others; to evangelize the world around us.
As faithful Catholics with our Bishop, we love God and serve Him
through our worship and prayer in our families and in our parish Churches,
But we also do so as a diocesan Church, as we unite ourselves to the Church universal
Together we love and serve God and our neighbor as Christ commands us.
In addition to our formal prayer and worship, our acts, our spiritual and corporal works
of mercy are beautiful prayers offered to God.
Here in the Diocese of Madison, the Annual Catholic Appeal
is the primary way we, as a diocese, fund these diocesan works of mercy.
When we think of works of mercy, many of us think first of the Corporal Works of Mercy,
and this is natural and good. There are many people in need of these works
right here in our communities, and your support of the Annual Catholic Appeal
assists them. In 2009, Bishop Morlino affirmed Catholic
Charities as the official outreach arm of the Diocese of Madison.Responsible for
carrying out the corporal works of mercy on behalf of the church.
And I have to say, we are humbled by the trust placed in us.
At every level, from our board to our many wonderful volunteers
we promise to value each person, respect their dignity
and stay true to our core values of compassion, competence, stewardship, and
faith. Our promise is and will remain to continue
to provide help and create hope in the eleven counties in south central Wisconsin
that make up our great diocese. We nurture children, strengthen families,
value seniors, empower individuals with disabilities, and restore the lives of those with alcohol
and other drug addictions. We are grateful for the support of Bishop
Morlino and thanks this entire Catholic Community. While the Spiritual Works of Mercy are sometimes
more challenging and take more courage, they are in no way less important.
In our day and age, with a culture which is often at odds with Christ and his Church,
they are the all more important. Real Catholic evangelization, catechises,
and authentic instruction in the faith have arguably never been needed as much as
they are now. The truth of what we believe and why we believe
it is being offered to thousands throughout our
diocese in schools,religious education programs, at retreats and camps,
and through numerous adult faith formation opportunities
made possible thanks to your support of the Annual Catholic Appeal.
As Catholic educators, our primary goal in working closely with parents
is to reinforce that wonder and awe of a child’s study of their faith.
And we really are able to do that looking at the whole child
because we believe in all those facets of the child.
Reinforcing not only strong academic here at Catholic schools,
but the social, emotional, intellectual, and again most importantly,
the moral and spiritual development of each and every child.
Our daily prayers should be ‘Lord, help us to act like Saints today,’
and our primary concern should be the salvation of souls.
We desire to whet each child’s appetite for love and beauty of our faith.
And really encourage them to apply that in the world and to be witnesses in all
that we think and do and say. It’s really the responsibility of all of us
as Catholics to continue our own journey in knowledge and
understanding and practice of our faith
and to go out and share that with others. After all, we are called to make disciples
of all people.But individuals cannot sustain their faith
and live out beautiful lives in Christ, all on their own.
We need the Church and her sacraments. In establishing the Church, Christ chose twelve
apostles to minister to, pray for, and lead the faithful in both their
works and worship. For 10 years now, the Diocese of Madison has
made an overt attempt to sustain the future of our diocese
through increasing vocations to the ordained priesthood.
In the past 10 and a half years, we have seen 23 men ordained to the priesthood
and we presently have 35 men in the seminary. Having worked with these men
over these past 10 years, I can personally testify to their faithfulness,
their love for the Church, as well as their many human talents.
They are eager to serve you in your parishes, and I know they will do a great job,
because they will do so with God’s grace. My name is Matthew Schumacher. I was born
and raised in Mesa Arizona, Hartford, Zimbabwae, Madison,
WI, and was in the computer industry for 20 years.
My grandmother, she always said, “Bill you’re going to be a priest someday.”
Worked my way through the major world religions just trying to seek goodness, you know seek the
truth that was behind this joy my parents gave me.
I also had a lot of questions about my faith that really came up in residency.
I began to, without really knowing it myself, become disposed for hearing God’s call.
When I finally started saying, “Okay Lord, you know, if you’re calling me to the priesthood”
“I’ll go to the priesthood.” Because I know if you are calling me there,
that’s where I will be happy and you’ll provide for me.”
The more you let go of yourself, the more God
comes into your place he fills up that emptiness. God just kept nagging me and it’s like,
“Okay, fine, I’ll say yes.” And from that moment on, just the joy, the love, and the
peace that comes through.
There is just this overwhelming feeling of peace.
It’s like you’re there, you can feel the angels, and heaven opens up.
I’m willing to dedicate my whole life to it and it
brings me a great deal of joy. Each of us has a vocation in Christ’s Church.
Some of us have been called to be ordained priests and deacons.
Most of you, however, whether married or single, parents or not,
have been called to live beautiful lives as faithful lay Catholics.Every one of us is
called toward God, the source of all beauty, truth,
and every good thing. Each one of us is called look upon The face
of Christ, risen from the dead, and be changed by Him.
Please consider the beauty that God has fashioned to lift hearts, minds
and souls toward Him. and please join me once again in support of
this year’s Annual Catholic Appeal, as we offer both spiritual and corporal works
of mercy to many here in the Diocese of Madison
and well beyond our diocesan borders. Thank you so much for playing your part in
our diocesan mission, in support of this beautiful work of art
which is the Lord’s special gift to us. None of this is possible without your help.
Please make a pledge to this year’s Annual Catholic Appeal.
Thank you for your participation and may God bless you.
Please join your priest as he leads you through the in-pew pledging process. Please visit the diocesan website at madisondiocese.org and make your pledge today