Fr. Bob was ordained June 29, 1991, by Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen at St. James Cathedral in Seattle, Wash. He was named to the one-year position of Parochial Administrator/Pastor at SMG beginning July 15, 2017.
Holy Days: 5:15 p.m. the evening prior
6:30 and 8 a.m.; 12:15 p.m.
St. Maria Goretti Parish Weekly Bulletin
Thursdays at 4:30 p.m. and by appointment
Weekdays at 6:15 a.m.
Saturdays at 8 a.m.
Thursdays, 8:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Gatherings is the quarterly newsletter of St. Maria Goretti Parish.
The Parish Pastoral Council is a consultative body that works in unity with the parish and pastoral staff. The council assists the pastor in identifying parish needs and helps to plan and implement parish programs and services. Participants at council meetings include the parish priest(s) and pastoral staff, the school principal, the religious education director, nine members elected at large, committee chairpersons and representatives from other parish organizations.
|Our Parish Family is called to grow in faith and love. We desire to be in union with Jesus Christ and one another. We will accomplish this mission through worship and prayer, education and evangelization in our community and world. With St. Maria Goretti as our patron, we strive to follow her life of forgiveness and holiness. May we pursue this mission faithfully, encouraging others to join us in discipleship for the Lord.|
Fr. Robert Evenson
Fr. Tafadzwa Kushamba
Fr. Tafadzwa was ordained here at St. Maria Goretti on June 26, 2015, by Bishop Robert Morlino, and became our parochial vicar. Fr. Tafadzwa is from Zimbabwe; he moved to the United States in 2010. He studied at St. Mary's Seminary in Detroit.
Email Fr. Tafadzwa
St. Maria Goretti parish was founded by Bishop William P. O’Connor, the first bishop of the Diocese of Madison. On June 12, 1959, Father Wilfred J. Schuster was named as founding pastor. At that time, the parish served approximately 200 families, and Masses were held in the Edgewood High School auditorium. When school began in the fall, the early Mass was moved to the basement of the rectory at 1613 Gilbert Road. The later morning Mass was celebrated in the Edgewood College chapel.
In 1961, the St. Maria Goretti Parish Center (the original school hall) was built on the corner of Gilbert Road and Flad Avenue. Chicago artist Carl Merschel created the glazed ceramic cross above the altar. Madison artist Fritz Carpenter of Stefan Mittler monuments fashioned a stone plaque of St. Maria Goretti inside the main entrance. The dining hall was available for meetings and dinners. The first Mass was celebrated in the new Parish Center on April 30, 1961. Formal dedication ceremonies were held on June 18, 1961.
In 1964, the library and office areas of the Parish Center were divided into classrooms and the building was remodeled with new offices, a lounge and a library. Four sisters from the order of Oblates to Divine Love (now known as Sister Oblates to the Blessed Trinity) came from New York and were the school’s first teachers. St. Maria Goretti School opened in 1964 with 87 students in grades 3 through 5. Eight classrooms were added in 1965, serving grades 3 through 6. Grade 7 was added in 1966, grade 8 in 1967, grades 1 and 2 in 1968 and finally kindergarten in 1980. A new rectory was built on Maria Place in 1986 to house the priests and the parish offices.
On July 12, 1992, ground was broken for the new hilltop church building, with construction beginning later that month. The church was completed approximately one year later. Dedication ceremonies were held on June 27, 1993. The church had a seating capacity of 850. The cross in the sanctuary was constructed by the Conrad Schmitt Studio of Milwaukee. The figure of Christ was hand carved in Italy and then transported to Milwaukee where the crucifix was completed. The church exterior features a 93.5-foot tall bell tower.
In July, 1996, Father Michael Burke was named pastor of St. Maria Goretti Parish. He has developed a professional staff, both paid and volunteer, to assist with the daily operation of the parish. This includes two sisters from the Congregation of St. Agnes, and one sister from Sisters of St. Joseph, Third Order Franciscan.
Stained glass windows depicting the Stations of the Cross were installed in February, 1999, also by Conrad Schmitt Studios. A new outdoor parish sign was installed in December, 1999.
In January 2000, a five-year strategic planning process was initiated to study needed expansion of the church and school. A capital campaign began and ground was broken for Phase I expansion of the church gathering area, increased seating, an eight classroom addition to the school and the construction of a new gym in April 2003.
In the Fall of 2005, Phase II of construction began. This included conversion of Marian Hall into more church seating and meeting rooms; the construction of the parish hall and offices; and construction of administrative offices in the school along with rooms for the pre-school and religious education programs. Construction was completed in December 2006. The church now seats 1,225. Blessing of the new and renovated facilities was held on July 8, 2007, with Bishop Robert C. Morlino.
On October 15-16, 2015, the relics of St. Maria Goretti were in our church as part of the "Pilgrimage of Mercy: Tour of the Major Relics of St. Maria Goretti." More than 13,500 people traveled from around the country to venerate her remains; it was transforming 24-hour period in our parish. Read more and see a video about the visit of Maria's relics here.
Rev. Msgr. Michael Burke retired July 15, 2017, and Rev. Robert Evenson was assigned as our parochial administrator/pastor for a period of one year.
The bronze statue of our patron saint, Maria Goretti, which stands in our Commemorative Garden, was made in Ortisei, Italy, located in the Bolzano province of northern Italy in the Dolomite Mountains. The statue of Maria stands as tall as she actually was at the time of her death in 1902 - 4'7" - and it weighs more than 300 pounds.
When the relics of St. Maria Goretti visited our parish in October of 2015, the reliquary was touched to our statue, making it a third-class relic.
See photos of the statue and Commemorative Garden.
The Commemorative Garden is a wonderful way to recognize individuals or special events such as Baptism, First Communion, Confirmation, wedding, birth, death, graduation, etc.
The Commemorative Garden includes several engraved 4"x8" and 6"x12" bricks. Please take a walk through the Commemorative Garden and observe all of the names and messages on the bricks and enjoy the beautiful landscaping. Also visit the statue of St. Maria Goretti
St. Maria Goretti is unique in that she is the youngest canonized saint in the Church. She died tragically on July 6, 1902, at the age of 11 after forgiving her attacker. Maria is known as The Little Saint of Great Mercy.
Timeline of Maria's life, death and sainthood
October 16, 1890: Maria Goretti is born in Corinaldo, Italy, to Luigi Goretti and Assunta Carlini.
October 17, 1890: She is baptized in the Church of San Francesco in Corinaldo with the names, Maria Teresa.
October 4, 1896: She receives the Sacrament of Confirmation by Bishop Giulio Boschi, the Bishop of Senigallia.
December 12, 1896: The Goretti family leaves Corinaldo and emigrates to Colle Gianturco, near Paliano, in the Latium region south of Rome in central Italy.
February, 1899: The family moves again, this time to Le Ferriere di Conca.
May 6, 1900: After being bit by a mosquito infected with malaria, Maria’s father Luigi dies of the disease.
June 16, 1901: Maria receives her First Communion in the church of Conca (today known as Borgo Montello).
July 5, 1902: At 3:30 pm she is stabbed by Alessandro Serenelli after resisting his violent attempt to rape her.
July 6, 1902: Maria dies in Nettuno at the age of 11 years, 8 months and 21 days, after mercifully forgiving her murderer.
July 8, 1902: She is buried in the cemetery of Nettuno.
May 31, 1935: The information-gathering process for her canonization begins in the diocese of Albano Laziale.
March 25, 1945: Pope Pius XII recognizes the authenticity of the martyrdom of Maria Goretti.
April 27, 1947: Maria is beatified.
June 24, 1950: Maria is declared a saint by Pope Pius XII in St. Peter’s Square. Having died at the age of 11, she is the youngest canonized saint in the Catholic Church’s long and storied history. The attendance at her canonization exceeded one half million souls, the largest of any canonization up to that point and time. It was a crowd so large that for the first time in its history, St. Peter’s Basilica—the largest church in the world—could not be used for a canonization Mass, because it was too small to hold the faithful who desired to witness the event. Thus, St. Maria’s canonization was moved to St. Peter’s Square, being the first open air canonization in history.
- Please notify the Parish Office if you or a family member is admitted to the hospital; we do not always receive this information from the hospitals.
- Please do not bring food that contains peanuts or peanut products into school or inside the church; someone sitting near you may have a serious allergy.
- Please do not park along the yellow curbs straight in from Flad Avenue. Emergency vehicles need that clearance to turn into our parking lot and into the circular drive in case of emergency.
- For Thursday Adoration: Please enter through the Parish Office doors; the front doors of the church will be locked. This is for the safety of those who come to pray as well as the security of the property.
Handicapped parking and elevator access to the main floor.