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October 24, 2005

Contact Fr. Bernard McGarty at 608-796-3788


LACROSSE, Wis. – Father Bernard McGarty will present “Understanding the Amish” at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14 in the Viterbo University Fine Arts Center Main Theatre.

The event is free and open to the public. Fr. McGarty is the Visiting Scholar in Ecumenical Studies at Viterbo. He has given numerous lectures on Catholic relations with other faith traditions.

“People from the area have an exterior understanding of the Amish way,” Fr. McGarty said. “We see them as craftsmen of furniture, or driving buggies, or shopping in the mall identified by their clothing. But there is so much more to this unique lifestyle and religious way and the presentation will cover these items in detail.”

The event will follow the life of a fictitious Amish couple through 40 years of their lives, examining their traditions and cultures.

The Amish emigrated from Switzerland, Germany, and the Netherlands. In 1900, there were 5,000 Amish people in the U.S. Today, there are 200,000, making it one of the fastest growing religious groups in America. There are an estimated 5,000 Amish people living between Tomah and Westby.

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