December 12, 2008

Obituary for Fr. Charles L. Ganley

SAGINAW - Father Charles L. Ganley, 82, a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw, died Thursday, December 11, 2008 at the St. Francis Home in Shields.

Father Ganley was born on February 6. 1926 in Harbor Beach, son of Abigail E. (Wagner) and Charley H. Ganley. He was baptized at St. Patrick Parish in Croswell and attended Lexington public schools.

He studied for the priesthood at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore, Md., and St. John Provincial Seminary in Plymouth. He was ordained on June 7, 1952 by Bishop Stephen S. Woznicki at St. Denis Parish in Lexington.

During his priesthood, Father Ganley served as assistant pastor at St. Mary Parish in Alpena and St. Mary Parish in Alma; and as pastor at St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Ithaca, St. Martin de Porres Parish in Perrinton, Holy Family Parish in Saginaw, Sacred Heart Parish in Merrill, St. Patrick Parish in Ryan, and St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Bay City. He was granted senior priest status (retired) in 1996.

He is survived by two brothers and a sister: James Ganley, Thomas (Annie) Ganley, and Abbie (Mike) Newhouse; and many nieces and nephews. Also surviving are four very dear friends: Father Max Frego, Father William Rutkowski and Mike and Helen Woods. He preceded in death by three brothers and one sister: Gene Ganley, Frank Ganley, Bob Ganley, and Julie Suda.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated Tuesday December 16, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Bay City with a private burial to follow at St. Denis Cemetery in Lexington.

Visitation will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. on Sunday at the Squires Funeral Home, 211 N. Henry St., in Bay City and from 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church. A vigil liturgy will take place at 7 p.m. on Monday at the church.

Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider St. Vincent de Paul Society – St. Mary.

Campbell named as All Saints interim-principal

BAY CITY – Bay Area Catholic Schools Administrator Michael J. Knoff on Thursday named Brian Campbell as interim-principal for All Saints Central High School for the remainder of the 2008-2009 school year.

Campbell succeeds J. B. Watters, who resigned his position November 30 to become principal at St. Michael the Archangel High School in Fredericksburg, Va.

"It is a pleasure to be able to appoint Brian Campbell as interim principal at All Saints," Knoff said. "Brian exemplifies the qualities that we seek in a Catholic leader. Being a product of our schools has helped him to develop a great understanding of our charge to educate students in a Catholic faith based environment. His strong commitment to quality education will help All Saints to continue on its path of being the best. I look forward to working closely with him.”

Campbell is an All Saints alumnus, a 2003 graduate of the Univeristy of Michigan and a 2005 graduate of Saginaw Valley State University. Since 2005, he has served as a social studies teacher at All Saints, teaching such courses as U. S. history, global studies, world history, current events, government, and economics.

In addition to his classroom work, Campbell chaperoned and managed a All Saints student volunteers who spent their 2006 Christmas break in New Orleans, laboring for Hurricane Katrina recovery, and has been assistant varsity baseball coach for since 2004.

"Brian Campbell will provide strong leadership for All Saints,” said the Most Rev. Robert J. Carlson, Bishop of Saginaw. “His commitment to the mission of Catholic schools is outstanding. Brian’s stepping forward at this time of transition will provide the school with great stability as it moves forward in its quest to become an exceptional Catholic school.”

To learn more about Bay Area Catholic Schools, visit

December 5, 2008

Our New Father:Tipton Ordained to the Priesthood

SAGINAW - Bishop Robert J. Carlson ordained Prentice A. Tipton Jr. to the priesthood on Dec. 5 at St. Mary Cathedral in Saginaw. Father Prentice, 55, has been assigned as assistant pastor at St. Hyacinth Parish in Bay City, where he previously served out is deacon internship. He is the eighth priest ordained for the Diocese of Saginaw by Bishop Carlson during the past two years.

November 11, 2008

Two diocesan schools earn mention on National Catholic High School Honor Roll

GRAND RAPIDS - The National Catholic High School Honor Roll has announced its fifth selection of the best 50 Catholic secondary schools in the United States. The purpose of the Honor Roll is to recognize and encourage excellence in Catholic secondary education. It is a critical resource for parents and educators that distinguishes those schools that excel in three categories: academic excellence, Catholic Identity, and civic education.

Both Nouvel Catholic Central High School in Saginaw and All Saints Central High School in Bay City earned honorable mention in the area of civic education. Nouvel made the list of the Nation's Top 50 Catholic High Schools in 2007.

To see a list of the top 50 schools for 2008, as well as lists of the 10 honorable mention schools in each category, visit

The Honor Roll is an independent project of the Acton Institute, an international research and educational organization. It is produced in consultation with an advisory board comprised of Catholic college presidents and scholars. Advisory board member Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, President of Catholic University of America, said the Honor Roll's evaluation method is indispensable. "Catholic schools must examine themselves on a regular basis using a well-rounded approach that assesses adherence to the Church's educational calling," he said. "The Honor Roll strengthens schools by encouraging high standards and vibrant Catholicism."

In its five years, the Honor Roll has seen more than 50 percent of America's nearly 1,300 Catholic high schools participate at least once. This year nearly 300 schools completed the three detailed surveys that measure a school's adherence to the Church's educational mission. Each school also receives an evaluation to see how it compares to other schools nationwide.

The best schools demonstrate a balanced excellence, which includes an active Catholic culture, sound college preparation and integration of Church teaching in all departments. These schools also display sound moral, catechetical and civic formation that prepares students for vocations in the world as political, religious, scientific, and business leaders.

About The National Catholic High School Honor Roll

The National Catholic High School Honor Roll is a list of the top 50 Catholic high schools in the United States, where schools are examined on the criteria of academic excellence, Catholic identity, and civic education. The purpose of the Honor Roll is to recognize and encourage excellence in Catholic secondary education, and is a resource for parents, schools, donors, and colleges.

The Honor Roll is an independent project of the Acton Institute, an international research and educational organization. The Honor Roll was produced in consultation with a national advisory board comprised of Catholic college presidents and Catholic scholars. For more on Acton, please go to

November 5, 2008

Bishop Carlson: 'Our witness must grow stronger'

SAGINAW – Bishop Robert J. Carlson today released the following statement upon the historic election of Barack Obama and the passage of Proposal 2 in Michigan:

“First, I congratulate Senator Barack Obama on his historic achievement. I urge all Americans of good will to pray for our next president and others who govern our great nation so they may lead with wisdom and courage in diffi cult times. Today we should make a commitment to pray for our civic leaders every day.”

“Sadly, however, this moment in American history also comes with many setbacks in the continuing struggle to protect the rights and dignity of all people, especially the unborn.”

“Here in Michigan, voters chose to pass Proposal 2, a direct attack on human life. The fact that other states failed to pass initiatives that would have led to the greater defense of the right to life shows the great task that still lies ahead of us as people of faith.”

“The culture has chosen to reject the matters that are nearest and dearest to the Catholic heart. Therefore, our witness must grow stronger.”

“This election has shown that any child who is born in America has the opportunity to ascend to the highest political offi ce in the land. We must continue to work and pray tirelessly for the day when every child who is conceived will have the right to live.”

“May God continue to bless the United States of America.”

October 28, 2008

Bishop Robert J. Carlson has released a statement for Catholic voters preparing for the November 4 General Election. Read it here.

October 17, 2008

Saginaw's St. Helen is a 'Cool School'

SAGINAW - WNEM TV 5 featured St. Helen School in Saginaw as a "Cool School" on its Friday morning broadcast.

October 6, 2008

Rest in peace: Obituary for Fr. Robert G. Navarre

SAGINAW – Father Robert G. Navarre, 89, a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw, died Thursday, October 2, 2008 at the Toni and Trish House in Fisherville.

Father Navarre was born on March 2, 1919 in Essexville, son of Leo and Mary Navarre. He attended St. John the Evangelist Parish and School in Essexville before studying for the priesthood at St. Joseph Seminary in Grand Rapids, Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit and St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore. He was ordained on February, 24, 1945 by Bishop William F. Murphy at St. Mary Cathedral in Saginaw.

During his priesthood, Father Navarre served as an assistant pastor at St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, Bay City, and St. Andrew Parish, Saginaw. He served as pastor at St. Felix Parish, Pinnebog; St. Roch Parish, Caseville; St. Denis Parish, Lexington; Sacred Heart Parish, Bad Axe; St. Helen Parish, Saginaw; St. Cecilia Parish, Clare; St. Michael Parish, Maple Grove; and St. Mary Parish, Albee. He was granted senior priest (retired) status in 1989.

Father Navarre is survived by three sisiters: Rosemary Pope, Margaret Miller, and Maureen Poirer; sister-in-law, Betty Navarre; and many nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he also was preceeded in death by a sister and two brothers, Katharine Bergevin, John Navarre Sr., and Joseph Navarre.

The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. today, Monday, October 6, 2008, at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Essexville with Bishop Robert J. Carlson presiding. Burial will follow at St. Partrick Cemetery in Bay City.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Toni and Trish House or St. John the Evangelist Parish. Arrangements were entrusted to the care of W. A. Trahan Funeral Chapel.

September 24, 2008

3-for-3:Third annual charity golf event may provide year’s tuition for three seminarians; $70K invested in fund for diocese's future priests

SAGINAW – Event organizers are scoring up another success in the wake of the third annual Bishop’s Charity Golf Classic to benefit seminarian education held September 17 and 18 at the Bay City Country Club and Swan Valley Golf Club in Saginaw.

“Although we cannot give a final figure yet, initial estimates indicate we have raised enough to pay the educational costs for at least two and possibly three seminarians this academic year,” said Colleen Rabine, diocesan director of community affairs. “We are immensely grateful to the many generous benefactors who recognize the importance of investing in the formation of our diocese’s future priests.”

The 2008 Golf Classic goal was to raise $94,000 to provide three one-year academic scholarships for the fall class of 23 diocesan seminarians, which includes five transitional deacons who are on track to be ordained as priests during the next year. Bishop Robert J. Carlson has ordained seven priests in the past two years.

“Our diocese is blessed to have many men with the courage to discern the Lord’s call to the vocation to the priesthood,” Bishop Carlson said. “We are also blessed to have many people from across the diocese willing to invest in our future priests through their generous prayers and financial contributions. Thank you to all those who take the time to raise up our future priests.”

In addition to the immediate tuition dollars raised through the annual Golf Classic’s banquet, silent auction and golf scramble, a special Ordinary Club luncheon was added to the 2008 events to provide for future investments. The Ordinary Club raised $70,000 for the diocese’s Seminarian Education Endowment Fund, which is invested through the Catholic Community Foundation of Mid-Michigan to benefit future seminarian education efforts.

The 2008 Golf Classic champions were the team of Jim Fabiano, Mike McGee, Dave Shooltz and Mark Serra, who returned to the clubhouse with a score of 13 under par. Individual contest winners included Jim Hammis and Vicki White with the men and women’s longest drive and Bishop Carlson and Margaret Lynch with the men and women’s longest putt.

Four lucky folks also were randomly selected to take a swing at the $1 million dollar hole-in-one prize. Peter Govorchin, Randy Groom, Fr. Pat O'Connor and Tom Rezier each drove four well placed shots, but no one aced the $1 million chance.

The fourth annual Golf Classic is set for September 16 and 17, 2009.

The diocese will continue to collect donations made to the 2008 Golf Classic through December. For more information on how to support seminarian education, contact Colleen Rabine at (989) 797-6684.

September 12, 2008

Bishop Carlson marks 40th anniversary of Humanae Vitae with reflections on marriage, contraception

SAGINAW – Calling the faithful of his diocese into a deeper understanding of God’s love as it is revealed through marriage, Bishop Robert J. Carlson has released “Body and Soul: A reflection for couples called to the vocation of marriage on the 40th Anniversary of Humanae Vitae.”

“I believe that many people, including people who have every intention of living as good and faithful Catholics, are acting in a way that is contrary to the faith, and at odds with what is humanly good, by using contraception,” Bishop Carlson wrote.

“Whether knowingly or unknowingly, they are using their bodies in a way that contradicts God’s love for them as well as their love for each other. I believe that the consequences of this contradiction are gravely harmful to marriages and to society.”

Bishop Carlson’s reflection is now available for download at the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw website ( and will soon be released in print as a resource booklet for couples preparing for the sacrament of marriage.

“Many couples have never heard this teaching, or never heard it explained in a way that made sense to them,” he wrote.” Therefore, I want to mark the 40th anniversary of Humanae Vitae by re-stating the Church’s teaching, and explaining why contraception is contrary to God’s plan for married life, and contrary to the true meaning of married love.”

Released on July 25, 1968, Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life), subtitled “On the Regulation of Birth,” was the eighth and final encyclical published by Pope Paul VI (1963-1978). It is regarded as a pivotal document in the continued re-affirmation the Church’s teachings regarding contraception, abortion, and other issues pertaining to human life.

Pope John Paul II (1978-2005) later expanded on the themes of Humanae Vitae is his book Theology of the Body (1997), which is a compilation of weekly lectures from 1979 to 1984 to married couples about the deep meaning of human love and sexuality.

Earlier this year, Pope Benedict told participants in the International Congress on the 40th Anniversary of Humanae Vitae, “What was true yesterday is true also today. The truth expressed in Humanae Vitae does not change; on the contrary, precisely in the light of the new scientific discoveries, its teaching becomes more timely and elicits reflection on the intrinsic value it possesses.”

In his reflection, Bishop Carlson calls the faithful to consider the difference between what is true and what is false.

“The broader problem, of course, is that the falsehood of contraception has become part of the native language of our culture,” he wrote. “It is one of many ways that we have learned to speak a language that degrades the true meaning of the body. The consequences of this degradation are evident in how the body is treated in newspapers, on television, and all over the Internet. Our culture is in serious crisis when it comes to the meaning of the body!

That meaning, Bishop Carlson wrote, is revealed in some of the earliest chapters of the Bible: “God created man in his image, in the divine image he created him, male and female he created them” (Genesis. 1:27). It is a truth that witnessed in the Gospels and proclaimed in the teachings of the Church.

“We need to return to the true meaning and dignity of the body as revealed by Jesus,” he wrote. “If we do that, we can distinguish between speaking the truth and speaking falsehood with our bodies. Then we can build our marriages — and our culture — on a sure foundation.”

Bishop Carlson wrote that it is imperative that one’s faith is expressed in both beliefs and actions.

“Our faith (or lack of faith) is not only expressed in what we believe and don’t believe with our minds, it is also expressed in what we do and don’t do with our bodies,” he wrote. “What we believe in our faith and what we do with our bodies should be consistent with each other. This is a simple matter of integrity: just as we should speak in a way that is consistent with our faith, so also we should act in a way that is consistent with our faith.”

The text of Humanae Vitae can be found online in the Papal Archives section of the Vatican website ( or in most Catholic bookstores.

The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw includes 106 parish communities across Arenac, Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Huron, Isabella, Midland, Saginaw, Sanilac and Tuscola counties.

September 11, 2008

Meet the 2008-2009 NET team for the Diocese of Saginaw

SAGINAW - A team from NET Ministries will find our diocese to be a home away from home during the coming months as its members work to proclaim the Gospel to local teens.

These trained young men and women will be in the diocese to facilitate retreats, talks and assist at diocesan youth functions from September through May.

The Great Lakes NET Team includes (pictured above): [back row, left to right] Maria Cherniawski, 18, of Mason, Mich.; Eric Shields, 19, of Turlock, Calif.; Ali Hoffman, 18, of Carrollton, Texas; Brad Norleen, 19, of Modesto, Calif; Megan Scardina, 22, of Denham Spring, La.; Andy Troiano, 19, of Marion, Ohio; and Rita West, 18, of Ponchatoula, La.; and [front row, left to right] Jeanette Shields, 19, of Carneys Point, N.J.; Steven Richardson, 25, of La Puente, Calif.; Katie Dretsch, 23, of Frazee, Minn.; and Derek Ellen, 19, of Chico, Calif.

NET Ministries is is an international youth ministry organization based in the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, Minn. Its mission is to challenge young Catholics to love Christ and embrace the life of the Church. To learn more about NET, visit

For more information about NET retreats and other activities in the Diocese of Saginaw, contact your local youth minister or Mark Graveline, diocesan director of youth ministry.

September 3, 2008

New resources shows how Church teaching regarding abortion has remained constant through centuries

WASHINGTON (USCCB) — To help end confusion caused by recent misrepresentations of Catholic Church teaching on abortion, the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities has issued a two-page fact sheet called "Respect for Unborn Human Life: The Church’s Constant Teaching."

Public debate on the topic was prompted by misleading remarks by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, August 24 in an interview on Meet the Press. On August 26, Cardinal Justin Rigali, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop William Lori, chairman of their Committee on Doctrine, issued a statement to correct her remarks. Other Catholic bishops released similar statements.

"This well documented fact sheet will help Catholics and others form their consciences in accordance with the Church’s unchanging teaching in defense of unborn human life," said Deirdre McQuade, Assistant Director for Policy and Communications at the USCCB’s Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities.

Among other points, the fact sheet states that "modern science has not changed the Church’s constant teaching against abortion, but has underscored how important and reasonable it is, by confirming that the life of each individual of the human species begins with the earliest embryo."

The full text of "Respect for Unborn Human Life: The Church’s Constant Teaching" is available online at

The August 26 statement by Cardinal Rigali and Bishop Lori may be found at

Annual Respect Life program packets now available from USCCB

WASHINGTON (USCCB) — The 2008-09 Respect Life Program is now available in preparation for Respect Life Sunday, October 5. This year’s theme —"Hope and Trust in Life!"— comes from Pope Benedict XVI’s homily last December 31, in which he described a lack of hope and trust in life as "the ‘obscure’ evil of modern Western society."

The theme complements key messages of the Holy Father during his historic visit to the United States in April. The Respect Life flyer emphasizes Pope Benedict’s call to U.S. Catholics "to proclaim the gift of life, to serve life, and to promote a culture of life. … the message of hope we are called to proclaim and embody …" that is at the heart of the new evangelization.

Topics addressed in this year’s Respect Life Program reflect the diversity of pro-life concerns:
• the role of conscience in voting
• advances in stem cell research: where the real hope for cures lies
• pornography
• the African American community and the culture of life
• "living wills" and persons with disabilities
• male grief and trauma following abortion

Condensed versions of the articles are available in both printed pamphlet format and full-length electronic versions on an accompanying CD and on the Secretariat’s Website. The CD, included in each packet, contains all these materials, a liturgy guide, program models, memorable pro-life quotations and more, in both English and Spanish.

In addition to materials for Respect Life Sunday, this year’s liturgy guide offers Intercessions for Life, suggested preaching reflections for Respect Life Sunday and January 22, Stations of the Cross for Life and various Blessings and Prayers for vulnerable human beings–unborn children, those with disabilities, the elderly, the dying, and those condemned to die.

Begun in 1972, the Respect Life Program brings Church teaching on the value and dignity of human life to the Catholic community and the wider public. The program combines education, prayer, service and advocacy. Respect Life Sunday is observed in virtually all of the 195 Catholic dioceses in the United States.

NOTE: The Respect Life packets may be ordered from the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities by calling toll-free (866) 582-0943, or by faxing orders to (301) 779-8596. Downloadable copies of Respect Life materials from 1996 onward are posted in English and Spanish on the Secretariat’s Website at

U.S. dioceses gear up for November election by promoting conscience formation, political participation

WASHINGTON (USCCB) — As the November election approaches, Catholic dioceses around the country are stepping up efforts to help Catholics understand Church social teaching and get them out to vote with a well-formed conscience.

Efforts revolve around Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, the bishops’ document approved last November, and related materials that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has made available.

Pope Benedict's prayer intentions for September

VATICAN CITY, (VIS) - Pope Benedict XVI's general prayer intention for September is: "That those who, because of wars or oppressive regimes, are forced to leave their homes and country may be supported by Christians in the defence and protection of their rights."

His mission intention is: "That, faithful to the sacrament of matrimony, every Christian family may cultivate the values of love and communion in order to be a small evangelising community, sensitive and open to the material and spiritual needs of its brothers."

Monthly diocesan newsletter available online

The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw Monthly Newsletter for September 2008 is available online.
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August 15, 2008

Two seminarians ordained as trasitional deacons

SAGINAW - Bishop Robert J. Carlson ordained two men as transitional deacons today during Mass for the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Transitional deacons are men who are in the final stages of their formation for the priesthood. They usually are ordained as a priest in the year following their diaconate ordination.

Those ordained today were Deacons David J. Jenuwine (pictured left) and Thai Hung Nguyen (pictured right).

Of the Diocese of Saginaw's 23 seminarians who will be enrolled this fall, five are transitional deacons. Others are Deacons José G. Parra, Christian Tabares, and Prentice A. Tipton. Parra and Tipton were ordained by Bishop Carlson in May.

Ten men also participated in the Rite of Candidacy today, publicly proclaiming their intentions to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders and publicly being accepted to their respective formation programs from their bishop.

Candidates for the priesthood included Gabriel Barrera, Thomas R. Held, Fabian F. Moncada, Robert T. Schikora, and Juan Ignacio Velasquez.

Candidates for the permanent diaconate included Daryll K. Atkinson, James W. Damitio, Stanislaw Kuczynski, Gary E. Patelski, and Michael C. Smith. The Diocese of Saginaw currently has six men enrolled in its permanent diaconate formation program.

August 11, 2008

Decades of Cathedral School alumni gathered in Saginaw during the weekend

SAGINAW - Close to 600 St. Mary Cathedral School Alumni gathered Saturday for an All-Class Reunion. Check out the the alumni blog at to see their fun and share their memories.

August 7, 2008

Second book of Pope's 'Spiritual Thoughts' series to honor St. Paul

WASHINGTON (USCCB) Saint Paul, a new book featuring quotes and reflections of the Holy Father on the Apostle Paul will be published on August 29.

The publishing office of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has reached an agreement with the Vatican’s publishing office to launch a series of books by Pope Benedict XVI called Spiritual Thoughts.

Paul Henderson, USCCB publishing director, views the release of the Pope’s book on St. Paul as "a timely opportunity for Catholics to join the Pope and return to the Bible as the source of parish and personal renewal." He added that the book series can also "help Catholics become better acquainted with their universal leader."

Benedict XVI opened the Jubilee Year of St. Paul on June 29, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. The Year of St. Paul includes a church-wide campaign to promote biblical literacy among Catholics.

"Americans experienced the Holy Father’s warm and humble demeanor for the first time last April," said Father David Toups of the Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, recalling the Pope’s visit to the United States.

"The book series is an opportunity for U.S. Catholics to gain access to the Pope’s personal thoughts and deep spiritual insights," said Father Toups. The books contain excerpts from a variety of Benedict XVI’s speeches and homilies.

Msgr. David Malloy, USCCB General Secretary, said the series "exemplifies our excellent relationship with the Vatican publishing office," noting that Libreria Editrice Vaticana frequently grants to the USCCB the rights to publish and distribute in the United States new and well-known titles already available in Italian.

The first book of the series featured reflections from the Holy Father during his first year as pope. After the work on Paul, the Spiritual Thoughts series will continue with other books on Mary, the Saints, and excerpts from the Pope’s second year of pontificate.

The Spiritual Thoughts book on Saint Paul will be available on August 29, and can be ordered online at

July 30, 2008

August newsletter now online

The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw Monthly Newsletter for August 2008 is now available online.

Click here to sign up to have a newsletter message sent each month to your e-mail.

July 29, 2008

USCCB launches new cultural diversity website

WASHINGTON (USCCB) — The Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church (SCDC) of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is launching a new website.

The Secretariat wants to build a strong online presence through the use of innovative and effective communication resources to support the overall evangelization efforts of the Church.

The new website features links to the five ethnic offices in which the secretariat is organized. In the site information can be found about the Bishops’ Committee on Cultural Diversity and its subcommittees.

Features include resources such as articles, PowerPoint presentations, demographics, videos and more, which will be periodically updated.

"It is our hope that the site will be a place where anyone can go to learn about the various Catholic ethnic communities, the wonderful diversity present in our Church and the many resources the Secretariat has to offer," said Jesuit Father Allan Figueroa Deck, Executive Director of the Secretariat.

The Secretariat of Cultural Diversity was created in January of this year. It works in a collaborative spirit to promote the pastoral efforts and priorities of the Committee on Cultural Diversity and its subcommittees.

Its focus is to minister to culturally diverse Catholic communities including Hispanic, African American, Asian and Pacific Islanders, and Native American. The Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees and Travelers also serves numerous other communities of Catholics.

The Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church new website address is

July 28, 2008

BXVI: World Youth Day a New Pentecost

VATICAN CITY (VIS) - On Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI appeared at the balcony overlooking the inner courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo, to pray the Angelus with the faithful and pilgrims gathered there.

The Pope spoke of his recent trip to Australia to preside at the 23rd World Youth Day where, he said, he had had the opportunity "to encounter the youthful face of the Church."

He also recalled how people - using "a beautiful expression that encapsulates the essence of these international days established by John Paul II" - had described the participants as "young pilgrims of the world."

"These meetings," the Holy Father explained, "represent stages of a great pilgrimage across the planet to show how faith in Christ makes us all children of the one Father Who is in heaven, and builders of a civilisation of love."

What characterised the meeting in Sydney, he went on, "was an awareness of the central role of the Holy Spirit, a leading player in the life of the Church and of Christians."

The Pope went on to recall how, during the days leading up to the closing Mass, bishops from all over the world had presented catecheses in the churches of Sydney, "moments of reflection and of prayer, indispensable in order to ensure the event left not only outward traces but a profound interior impression on people's consciences.

"The evening vigil in the heart of the city, under the Southern Cross," the Pope added, "was a choral invocation of the Holy Spirit," while during the Eucharistic celebration of Sunday, July20 , he had "invited everyone present to renew their baptismal promises.

"Thus," he went on, "this World Day became a new Pentecost, from which the mission of young people started out afresh, called to be apostles of their peers like so many saints and blesseds" such as "Blessed Piergiorgio Frassati whose relics, placed in Sydney cathedral, were venerated by a constant pilgrimage of young people.

All young men and woman are called to follow their example and share the personal experience of Jesus which changes the lives of His 'friends' with the power of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God's love."

July 25, 2008

Registration now open for 2008 Charity Golf Classic

SAGINAW - Down-loadable registration and sponsorship information for the 2008 Bishop's Charity Golf Classic is now available at

This year's third annual event to benefit seminarian education will take place Sept. 17 and 18.

The Banquet & Silent Action is set for Sept. 17 at the Bay City Country Club, 7244 3 Mile Rd. in Bay City. The Golf Outing will tee off Sept. 18 on two courses: Swan Valley Golf Club, 9521 Highland Green Dr., and Crooked Creek Golf Course, 9387 Gratiot Rd., both in Saginaw.

The event's goal is to raise funds for three seminarian scholarships and provide a gift to local Catholic radio, which supports vocations daily through programs such as the Rosary for Vocations.

It is anticipated that he Catholic Diocese of Saginaw is anticipated to have as many as 25 seminarians enrolled this fall, according to Bishop Robert J. Carlson.

For more information about the event, registration information or sponsorship opportunities, contact Colleen Rabine, director of community relations.

Vatican approves new English translation for the Order of Mass

WASHINGTON (USCCB) — The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has received approval (recognitio) from the Holy See’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments for the new English-language translation of the Order of Mass (Ordo Missae).

This is the first section of the translation of the third edition of the Roman Missal. It includes most of the texts used in every celebration of the Mass, including the responses that will be said by the people.

In its letter, the Congregation pointed out that while the texts are binding, the approval "does not intend that these texts are to be put into use immediately."

Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation, explained the reasons for providing the text at this time. The purpose is to provide "time for the pastoral preparation of priests, deacons and for appropriate catechesis of the lay faithful. It will likewise facilitate the devising of musical settings for parts of the Mass."

The text is covered by copyright law and the Statutes of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.

The more significant changes of the people’s parts are:
  1. et cum spiritu tuo is rendered as "And with your spirit"
  2. In the Confiteor, the text "through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault" has been added
  3. The Gloria has been translated differently and the structure is different from the present text
  4. In the Preface dialogue the translation of "Dignum et justum est" is "It is right and just"
  5. The first line of the Sanctus now reads "Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts"
  6. The response of the people at the Ecce Agnus Dei is "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed."
At this time, no date is available as to when the entire translation of the Roman Missal will be released.

July 21, 2008

WYD 2011: See you in Madrid!

SYDNEY - Pope Benedict XVI says farewell and see you again, to the world's youth: "The time has come for me to say good-bye - or rather, to say arrivederci! I thank you all for your participation in World Youth Day 2008, here in Sydney, and I look forward to seeing you again in three years' time. World Youth Day 2011 will take place in Madrid, Spain. Until then, let us continue to pray for one another, and let us joyfully bear witness to Christ before the world."

Discover more about WYD-Sydney:

Dear Young Friends: 'Build a future of hope for all humanity'

SYDNEY, (VIS) - On Sunday morning the Holy Father was taken by helicopter from the heliport of Victoria Barracks to Centennial Park, a public park in Sydney founded in the year 1888.

From the park he travelled by popemobile to Randwick Racecourse, making a circuit of the area as he greeted and blessed the 350,000 young people from all over the world who were gathered there to attend the closing Mass of 23rd World Youth Day.

During the Eucharistic celebration, the Holy Father administered the Sacrament of Confirmation to 24 catechumens.

Referring in his homily to the theme of this World Youth Day - "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses" - the Holy Father affirmed that "as the source of our new life in Christ, the Holy Spirit is also, in a very real way, the soul of the Church, the love which binds us to the Lord and one another, and the light which opens our eyes to see all around us the wonders of God's grace."

Benedict XVI indicated that "the power of the Spirit never ceases to fill the Church with life," explaining that "this power, the grace of the Spirit, is not something we can merit or achieve, but only receive as pure gift."

"God's love can only unleash its power when it is allowed to change us from within. We have to let it break through the hard crust of our indifference, our spiritual weariness, our blind conformity to the spirit of this age. Only then can we let it ignite our imagination and shape our deepest desires. That is why prayer is so important: daily prayer, private prayer in the quiet of our hearts and before the Blessed Sacrament, and liturgical prayer in the heart of the Church."

The Pope gave thanks to the Lord for the gift of faith, "which has come down to us like a treasure passed on from generation to generation," and especially for "all those heroic missionaries, dedicated priests and religious, Christian parents and grandparents, teachers and catechists who built up the Church in these lands."

In this context he mentioned the names of Blessed Mary MacKillop, St. Peter Chanel and Blessed Peter To Rot.

"Dear young people, let me now ask you a question. What will you leave to the next generation? Are you building your lives on firm foundations, building something that will endure? Are you living your lives in a way that opens up space for the Spirit in the midst of a world that wants to forget God, or even rejects Him in the name of a falsely-conceived freedom? How are you using the gifts you have been given, the 'power' which the Holy Spirit is even now prepared to release within you?"

"Empowered by the Spirit, and drawing upon faith's rich vision, a new generation of Christians is being called to help build a world in which God's gift of life is welcomed, respected and cherished - not rejected, feared as a threat and destroyed. A new age in which love is not greedy or self-seeking, but pure, faithful and genuinely free, open to others, respectful of their dignity, seeking their good, radiating joy and beauty. A new age in which hope liberates us from the shallowness, apathy and self-absorption which deaden our souls and poison our relationships. Dear young friends, the Lord is asking you to be prophets of this new age, messengers of His love, drawing people to the Father and building a future of hope for all humanity."

"The world," he added, "needs this renewal! In so many of our societies, side by side with material prosperity, a spiritual desert is spreading: an interior emptiness, an unnamed fear, a quiet sense of despair. How many of our contemporaries have built broken and empty cisterns in a desperate search for meaning, the ultimate meaning that only love can give?"

"The Church also needs this renewal!" the Holy Father exclaimed. "She needs your faith, your idealism and your generosity, so that she can always be young in the Spirit!"

Pope Benedict encouraged the young people to open their hearts to the power of the Holy Spirit.

"I address this plea in a special way," he said, "to those of you whom the Lord is calling to the priesthood and the consecrated life. Do not be afraid to say 'yes' to Jesus, to find your joy in doing His will, giving yourself completely to the pursuit of holiness, and using all your talents in the service of others!"

Referring then to the Sacrament of Confirmation which he was about to impart upon a number of young people, he asked those present to reflect upon the significance of receiving the "seal" of the Holy Spirit. "

"It means." he explained, "being indelibly marked, inalterably changed, a new creation". It means "not being afraid to stand up for Christ, letting the truth of the Gospel permeate the way we see, think and act, as we work for the triumph of the civilisation of love."

July 14, 2008

Saginaw pilgrims covered in Austrailian press

The South Coast Register out of Nowra, New South Wales, Australia, today featured two World Youth Day pilgrims from the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw.


June 27, 2008

Saginaw Pilgrims Blog will keep tabs on area travelers to World Youth Day

Keep up-to-date with 70 pilgrims from the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw on the Web at They are traveling to the 2008 World Youth Day celebration in Syndey, Austrailia

The youth and young adults will update the site live from Down Under to share their experiences of faith as they ecounter the global community of the worldwide Church.

The group will leave Michigan on July 7 to participate in two weeks of WYD events that will culminate July 20 with Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI.

To learn more about WYD 2008 in Sydney, log onto

U.S. Bishop's launch Pauline Year Website

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In time for the Year of St. Paul, beginning June 28, the Secretariat of Divine Worship of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has launched a website dedicated to the Pauline year honoring the 2000th anniversary of the birth of St. Paul.

The site is designed to provide resources and related materials to those interested in participating in and learning more about the year-long celebration.

The website contains links to dates and events for liturgical observances that will mark celebrations throughout the year. Several links connect directly to the Vatican website to provide access to documents, for example, which explain related plenary indulgences granted by Pope Benedict XVI and homilies he has delivered in anticipation of the Year of St. Paul; others explain guidelines for Votive Masses and provide readings and prayers for participants’ use in Holy Hour observances honoring St. Paul.

Monsignor Anthony Sherman, executive director of the USCCB’s Secretariat of Divine Worship explained that growing interest among Catholics since Pope Benedict announced the Pauline Year a year ago has spurred the need for the website and greater access to information about the observance.

"Many dioceses have asked for resources for the Pauline Year and, through this website, we hope to provide practical and easy-to-use resources," Monsignor Sherman said. This includes a Spanish language version of the site, according to Monsignor Sherman, that should be ready over the next couple of weeks.

Pope Benedict announced the special observance in honor of St. Paul on June 28, 2007 at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls while celebrating First Vespers of the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul.

The Secretariat’s Pauline Year website resources are available at

July newsletter now available online

The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw Monthly Newsletter for July 2008 is now available online.. Click here to sign up to have the newsletter sent each month to your e-mail.

June 23, 2008

Dublin is site of 50th International Eucharistic Congress in 2012

VATICAN CITY, (VIS) - Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday announced that the next International Eucharistic Congress will take place in 2012 in Dublin, capital of Ireland.

The Pope made the announcement during his homily, transmitted by satellite from the Vatican to thousands of faithful gathered on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec, for the closing Mass of the 49th International Eucharistic Congress, held in that Canadian city from 15 to 22 June. The Eucharistic celebration was presided by Cardinal Jozef Tomko, pontifical legate and president emeritus of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses.

Commenting on the theme of the congress - "The Eucharist: gift of God for the life of the world" - the Holy Father said: "The Eucharist is our most precious treasure. ... It is the Sacrament par excellence ... It contains all the mystery of our salvation, it is the source and the summit of the
activity and the life of the Church."

"It is, then," he continued, "particularly important that pastors and faithful should always seek a more profound understanding of this great Sacrament. Each will thus be able to strengthen his faith and better achieve his mission in the Church and in the world, recalling the fecundity of the Eucharist for his personal life, and for the life of the Church and the world."

"Participation in the Eucharist", said Pope Benedict, "does not distance us from our fellow man; quite the contrary, being the most exalted expression of God's love, it calls us to commit ourselves alongside our brothers and sisters to facing the challenges of the present and to making the planet a pleasant place to live. To this end, we must struggle tirelessly so that all people may be respected from conception to natural death, that our rich societies may welcome the poorest and restore their dignity, that everyone may feed themselves and their family, and that peace and justice may shine out on all continents."

The Pope, who had been speaking French, then pronounced a few words in English: "I sincerely hope that this Congress will serve as an appeal to all the faithful to make a similar commitment to a renewal of Eucharistic catechesis, so that they themselves will gain a genuine Eucharistic awareness and will in turn teach children and young people to recognise the central mystery of faith and build their lives around it."

Read the entire Vatican Information Service story here.

Who fears God is never afraid

VATICAN CITY, (VIS) - On Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.

"In today's Gospel," he said, "we find two invitations from Jesus: on the one hand, 'to have no fear' of men, and on the other 'to fear' God. Thus we are stimulated to reflect on the difference that exists between human fears and fear of God. Fear is a natural aspect of life. From childhood we experience forms of fear that then reveal themselves as imaginary and disappear; later other fears emerge which have specific roots in reality, these must be faced and overcome with human commitment and trust in God.

"But," the Pope added, "there exists - and above all today - a deeper form of fear, an existential fear, which sometimes spills over into anguish. It is born of a sense of emptiness, associated with a certain culture that is permeated with widespread theoretical and practical nihilism. Faced with the broad ... panorama of human fears, the Word of God is clear: those who 'fear' God 'are not afraid.' Fear of God, which Scripture defines as 'the beginning of true hope,' means to have faith in Him, and sacred respect for His authority over life and over the world."

"Those who fear God are serene even amidst the storms because God, as Jesus revealed to us, is a Father full of mercy and goodness. Those who love Him are not afraid. ... Believers, then, are afraid of nothing, because they know they are in the hands of God, they know that evil and the irrational will not have the last word, but that the one Lord of the world and of life is Christ, the Word of God incarnate."

Finally, the Pope turned his attention to St. Paul who, "strong in the presence of Christ and comforted by His love, did not even fear martyrdom."

Then, recalling that on June 28 he will inaugurate a Jubilee Year commemorating the 2,000th anniversary of the birth of the Apostle of the Gentiles, the Holy Father concluded: "May this great spiritual and pastoral event also arouse in us a renewed faith in Jesus Christ Who calls us to announce and bear witness to His Gospel, without fear."

June 19, 2008

SAGINAW -- A crew from the Midland-based Bierlein Construction works to bring down the final corner of the former St. Mary Cathedral School building on Wednesday afternoon. The school, which was raised in 1920, closed its doors to students in 1984 when it merged with Saginaw's SS. Peter & Paul and St. Stephen high schools to form Nouvel Catholic Central High School on Wieneke Road in Saginaw Township. It was later sold to a tri-city jobs program in 1988, but has sat abandoned since 1990. The demolition is part of the on-going St. Mary Cathedral campus renewal effort, the Restoration & Design Project for the Cathedral Campus.

June 17, 2008

5 priests to celebrate jubilees on June 23

SAGINAW – Five Catholic Diocese of Saginaw priests will be honored during a special Mass to mark significant jubilee anniversaries of their ordination at 4 p.m. on June 23 at St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in Bay City.

This year’s jubilarians include:

  • Father Michael L. Maher, 60 years

  • Father Joseph W. Roach, 60 years

  • Father Richard C. Ratajczak, 50 years

  • Father Joseph D. Ryan, 50 years

  • Father Peter J. Gaspeny, 25 years

2 new pastoral assignments announced

SAGINAW – Bishop Robert J. Carlson has announced the following pastoral assignments for the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw, each effective July 1:

Carol Hale from staff at St. John the Evangelist Parish, Essexville, to pastoral administrator for St. Paul the Apostle Parish, Ithaca, and St. Martin de Porres Parish, Perrinton.

Father Robert Howe from pastor for St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Shepherd, St. Leo Parish, Winn, and St. Patrick Parish, Irishtown, to pastor for Sacred Heart Parish, Bad Axe, St. Joseph Parish, Rapson, and Most Holy Trinity Parish, Smith Corners.

Nineteen other pastoral assignments were previously announced May 20.

The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw includes 106 parishes and 26 schools located across 11 mid-Michigan counties.

Events marking the 50th anniversary of the death of Pius XII, the World War II pope

VATICAN CITY, (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office, a press conference was held to present two initiatives to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Servant of God Pope Pius XII: a congress on his Magisterium and a photographic exhibition.

Participating in the conference were bishop Salvatore Fisichella, rector of Rome's Pontifical Lateran University; Fr. Gianfranco Ghirlanda S.J., rector of Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University; Msgr. Walter Brandmuller, president of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences; Giovanni Maria Vian, director of the "Osservatore Romano" newspaper, and Giovanni Morello, president of the Foundation for the Artistic Patrimony and Activity of the Church.

Referring to Pius XII and the years of his pontificate (1939-1958), Bishop Fisichella highlighted the Pontiff's "great stature, especially in spiritual terms, but also intellectually and diplomatically."

"Various different historical situations of great significance came together in the life of Pius XII," he said: "the genocide of the Jews, the communist occupation of various Christian nations, the Cold War, new advances of science, and the innovations of certain schools of theology."

Bishop Fisichella pointed out that, although many aspects of the pontificate have already been studied, "what remains largely unknown is Pius XII's influence on Vatican Council II." In this context, he mentioned the 43 Encyclicals "which marked his pontificate, and the many discourses in which he examined the most controversial questions of his time.

"In this Magisterium,",Bishop Fisichella added, "it is easy to identify certain particular traits which we may summarise in three points: firstly the promotion of doctrine, the definition of the dogma of the Assumption in 1950 being particularly memorable; ... secondly defending doctrine and indicating errors," such as in the Encyclical Humani Generis of 1950 where Pope Pius examines "the serious problem of theological relativism. ... Finally," said Bishop Fischella, "Pius XII never failed to make his voice heard clearly and explicitly when circumstances required it."

June 13, 2008

All Saints freshmen rank top MEAP scores among Catholic schools in state

Forty-four ninth-grade students at All Saints Central High School have proven they have the right stuff when it comes to history, geography and civics.

That's because 97.7 percent of them met or exceeded state standards on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program social studies test - more than any other Catholic school in Michigan, making them No. 1 in the state.

Read all of Patti Brandt's story in The Bay City Times.

June 11, 2008

Demolition of former St. Mary Cathedral School will begin Monday

Bierlein construction workers remove a “St. Mary’s” name stone from its perch over an entrance to the former St. Mary Cathedral School in Saginaw. Bierlein crews will begin demolition of the building on Monday, June 16. The school, which was built in 1920, closed its doors to students in 1984 when the city’s three Catholic high schools merged to form Nouvel Catholic Central. It was later sold to a tri-city’s jobs program in 1988, which abandoned the property in 1990. The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw repurchased the property in September 2007 with the help of Neighborhood Renewal Services. An extensive renovation feasibility study determined the building was beyond repair and would have to be demolished. The school’s corner stone, “St. Mary’s” name stones and concrete crosses that overlooked the building’s entrances are being saved. The diocese also will put aside a limited number of bricks from the demolition to make available to St. Mary Cathedral School alumni. The razing of the former school is part of an ongoing Cathedral Campus Renewal Project.

Obituary for Fr. Francis Welsmiller

Father Francis F. Welsmiller, 91, a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw and founding director of the Casa San José de los Huerfanos orphanage in Colima, Mexico, died Thursday, June 5, 2008 at home in Bradenton, Fla.

Father Welsmiller was born on March 5, 1917 in Saginaw, son of Frances (Lengst) and Frederick Welsmiller. He was baptized at Sacred Heart Parish in Saginaw and attended Sacred Heart and St. Mary Cathedral schools in Saginaw.

He studied for the priesthood at St. Joseph Seminary in Grand Rapids, St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore, Md., and Our Lady of Angels Seminary (Niagara University) in New York. He was ordained on June 3, 1944 by Bishop William F. Murphy at St. Mary Cathedral.

Within the Diocese of Saginaw, Father Welsmiller served as chaplain of St. Mary’s Hospital in Saginaw and as assistant pastor at SS. Peter & Paul Parish in Saginaw, St. Bernard Parish in Alpena and SS. Peter & Paul Parish in Ruth.

In 1951, he left Michigan to take residence in a warmer and dryer climate due to health reasons and ministered in California and Florida.

In 1973, he founded the Casa San José home for orphans and homeless, abused, and disadvantaged children ages 2 to 17. He served as the home’s director for more than 25 years.

Father Welsmiller’s funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 12, 2008 at St. Bernard Parish in Holmes Beach, Fla. He will be buried near his parents at the Skyway Memorial Gardens in Palmetto, Fla.

Memorial donations may be made to the St. Joseph Family Foundation, 2412 Clark Ave., Bradenton, FL 34207, to benefit Casa San José.

(In the photo: Father Welsmiller is seen with a group of children at the Casa San José de los Huerfanos orphanage in Colima, Mexico, in 1994.)

May 23, 2008

June 2008 newsletter is now online

The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw Monthly Newsletter for June2008 is now available online.. Click here to sign up to have the newsletter sent each month to your e-mail.

May 21, 2008

Bishop urges prayer for China earthquake victims

SAGINAW – Bishop Robert J. Carlson today urged all people of faith to continue to pray for the victims of the devastating earthquake in China.

“May God comfort those who have lost loved ones, and in a special way, the grieving parents who have lost their children,” he said. “We also pray for the emergency aid workers. May they be strengthened and comforted by the Lord’s grace as they continue the difficult work that is still ahead of them.”

At this time, the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw is unable to accept any monetary donations for relief efforts in China. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has offered its assistance to the Chinese government. However, Chinese officials have declined emergency relief from CRS and several other organizations.

CRS is the official international relief and development agency of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

International press organizations report more than 40,000 people have died as a result last week’s 7.9-magnitude earthquake that rocked China. More than 245,000 have been reported injured and hundreds of communities were destroyed.

Charity Ball earns $300K for Catholic education

SAGINAW – Bishop Robert J. Carlson announced Tuesday that the 2008 Bishop’s Charity Ball raised more than $300,000 for Catholic schools and parish religious education programs.

“Final figures are still being calculated as the last bills roll in, but we have every reason to believe that this year’s event was very successful,” the bishop said during a special “Winner’s Circle” reception Tuesday evening at the Center for Ministry in Saginaw.

During the winner’s event, raffle ticket proceeds and prizes were awarded, including the grand prize $10,000 to All Saints Central High School in Bay City; the second prize trip for two to Rome to Randy and Cathy Schafer of Mt. Pleasant; and the third prize $5,000 home improvement project to Jim Schlicker of Saginaw.

All Saints Principal J.B. Watters said the winnings will be used as down payment for needed repairs and upgrades to the school’s boiler heating system.

Eighty-seven parishes and schools received checks totaling nearly $208,500 from their portions of the raffle ticket sales. Remaining event proceeds will be invested into school endowment funds of the Catholic Community Foundation of Mid-Michigan to support the future of Catholic schools in the diocese.

The Bishop’s Charity Ball, which took place April 25, is a fundraising event designed to celebrate Catholic education and benefit Catholic schools and parish religious education programs.

The inaugural Bishop’s Charity Ball raised more than $500,000 in 2007. Those proceeds included a $250,000 anonymous matching gift.

The 2009 Bishop’s Charity Ball will take place April 24 at the Horizons Conference Center in Saginaw. Its premier fundraising feature will be a new endowment fund created to benefit Catholic school teachers’ salaries.

The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw includes 106 parishes and 26 schools.

May 20, 2008

19 new pastoral assignments announced

SAGINAW – Bishop Robert J. Carlson has announced the following changes in pastoral assignments for the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw, each effective July 1:

Father Craig Albrecht from pastor for Sacred Heart Parish, Merrill; sacramental minister to St. Mary Parish, Hemlock, and St. Patrick Parish, Ryan; and chaplain for Nouvel Catholic Central High School, Saginaw, to pastor for St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, Bay City.

Father Andrew Booms from associate pastor for St. James Parish, Bay City, to pastor for St. Michael Parish, Port Austin.

Father Robert Byrne from pastor for Sacred Heart Parish, Mt. Pleasant, to pastor for Blessed Trinity Parish, Frankenmuth.

Father James Carlson from pastor for Sacred Heart Parish, Bad Axe; St. Joseph Parish, Rapson; and Most Holy Trinity Parish, Smith Corners, to pastor for St. John Vianney Parish, Saginaw.

Father Nicholas Coffaro, ordained May 16, to associate pastor for St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Saginaw.

Father Christopher Coman, ordained May 16, to associate pastor for Stanislaus Kostka Parish, Bay City.

Father Jerzy Dobosz from administrator for St. Mary Parish, Parisville, and St. Anthony Parish, Helena, to administrator for St. Anne Parish, Linwood; Sacred Heart Parish, Kawkawlin; and St. Valentine Parish, Beaver.

Father Steven Gavit from pastor for St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, Bay City, to pastor for St. Mary Parish, Hemlock and continue as chaplain for the Saginaw Valley State University Newman Apostolate (Catholic Campus Ministry).

Father T.J. Fleming from pastor for St. Brigid of Kildare Parish, Midland, to pastor for St. Michael Parish, Maple Grove.

Father Paul Grala SOLT from temporary administrator for St. Michael Parish, Port Austin, to chaplain for St. Francis Home, Shields.

Father Denis Heames, ordained May 16, to associate pastor for Sacred Heart Parish, Mt. Pleasant.

Father Loren Kalinowski from pastor for St. John Vianney Parish, Saginaw, to pastor for Sacred Heart Parish, Mt. Pleasant.

Father Frederick Kawka from pastor for Blessed Trinity Parish, Frankenmuth, to senior priest status (retired).

Father Randy Kelly from pastor for St. Michael Parish, Maple Grove, to pastor for St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Saginaw.

Father Thomas Kowalczyk from pastor for St. Anne Parish, Linwood, to senior priest status (retired).

Father Paul O’Donnell MCCJ
to spiritual director for St. John Vianney Formation House, Saginaw, in addition to his assignment as chaplain for the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma.

Deacon Roger Pasionek from staff at Holy Family Parish, Saginaw to pastoral administrator for Holy Family Parish, Saginaw.

Father Daniel Roa, ordained May 16, to chaplain for St. Mary’s of Michigan hospital in Saginaw, and in-residence at St. Mary Cathedral, Saginaw.

Father Ronald Wagner from pastor for Holy Family Parish, Saginaw, to pastor of St. Andrew Parish, Saginaw and sacramental minister to Holy Family Parish, Saginaw.

The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw includes 106 parishes and 26 schools located across 11 mid-Michigan counties.

May 12, 2008

Bishop will ordain 4 priests on Friday

SAGINAW – Bishop Robert J. Carlson will ordain four priests for the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw during a special Mass at 1 p.m. on Friday at Holy Spirit Parish in Shields.

The men to be ordained to the priesthood include:

- Deacon Nicholas F. Coffaro, 27, of Garfield Heights, Ohio. His preparation for the priesthood has included studies at SS. Cyril & Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake, the Catholic University of Lublin in Poland, and Borromeo College Seminary in Cleveland. As a transitional deacon, Coffaro has served the faith community of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in Bay City.

- Deacon Christopher M. Coman, 34, of Saginaw. His preparation for the priesthood has included studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. He also holds degrees from Northwood University in Midland and the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio. Before discerning the path to priesthood, Comen was employed for about five year in the secular business world as a salesman and operations manager for an automotive company, working both in the Detroit Area and Portland, Ore. As a transitional deacon, he has served the faith community of St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Beal City.

- Deacon Denis M. Heames, 35, of Chula Vista, Calif. His preparation for the priesthood has included studies at St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver, Colo., and Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. Before discerning the path to priesthood, Heames found success as a Hollywood actor. As a transitional deacon, he has served the faith community of St. Mary University Parish in Mount Pleasant.

- Deacon Daniel E. Roa, 28, of Caracas, Venezuela. His preparation for the priesthood has included studies at St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Ill., and Conception Seminary College in Conception, Mo. Roa began his studies for the priesthood as a teenager and immigrated to the United States in 1999 at the encouragement of his pastor. As a transitional deacon, he has served the faith community of the St. Mary Cathedral in Saginaw.

This is the first time since 1982 that at least four priest have been ordained for the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw. Four men were ordained that year by Bishop Kenneth E. Untener, however, those ordinations did not take place on the same day. June 7, 1969 was the last day in which at least four priests were ordained for Saginaw on the same day by Bishop Francis F. Reh at St. Mary Cathedral in Saginaw.

With the addition of these four new priests, the Diocese of Saginaw currently has a total of 62 active priests in its ranks. Many of the diocese’s 36 senior (retired) priests, and 17 priests from other dioceses or religious orders also serve to celebrate the sacraments for the people of 106 parishes across the 11-county region of the Roman Catholic Church.

Bishop Carlson also is set to ordain two transitional deacons during a 10 a.m. Mass on Saturday at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Midland.

Transitional deacons include seminarians in their final stages of priestly formation. They will most likely be ordained to the priesthood in the next year.

Those men to be ordained to the transitional diaconate include:

- Prentice A. Tipton, 54, of Detroit. He is enrolled at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. He holds a bachelor’s degree for education from the University of Michigan and is a convert to the Catholic faith tradition.

- José G. Parra, 31, of Colombia. He is enrolled at Saginaw Valley State University and comes to the Diocese of Saginaw following priestly formation with the Messengers of Peace religious institute at the Pacem in Terris Mission, established by Bishop Carlson in Villa de Leyva, Colombia, in 2005.

The Diocese of Saginaw was established in 1938 and includes an estimated 132,000 faithful worshiping in 106 parishes across Arenac, Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Huron, Isabella, Midland, Saginaw, Sanilac and Tuscola counties.

McKune becomes diocesan development director

SAGINAW – Bishop Robert J. Carlson announced today that Development Director Daniel P. McKune has joined the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw staff.

As diocesan development director, McKune also will serve as executive director of the Catholic Community Foundation of Mid-Michigan (CCFMM) and lead major gift initiatives for the diocese.

McKune comes to the diocese from Chemical Bank in Midland, where he was a vice president and trust business development officer for more than 10 years.

Prior to that, he held trust officer positions with NBD Bank (now Chase bank) in Saginaw, Old Kent Bank (now Fifth Third Bank) in Grand Rapids and Citizen’s Trust (now KeyCorp) in Ann Arbor. He also served as a linguist in the United States Air Force National Security Agency in Fort Meade, Md.

He holds a bachelor’s degree for sociology from the University of the State of New York (now Excelsior University); an associate’s degree for human resource management from the University of Maryland and an associate’s degree for linguistics from the Community College of the Air Force.

Dan has been and currently is involved with parish and diocesan ministry. He has been chairman of the diocesan Inter-Parish Deposit and Loan Committee, a member of the Planned Giving Council, and participated in the CSA Review Board.

His involvement with his parish, SS. Peter & Paul, Saginaw, includes being an RCIA team member and sponsor; jail ministry and men’s service leader; SS. Peter & Paul School Endowment Trustee (from inception to present); and more.

The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw includes 106 parishes and 26 schools across 11 counties in mid-Michigan.

May 8, 2008

Diocese will assist relief efforts in Myanmar

SAGINAW – The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw will assist Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in supporting the emergency relief and response efforts in the wake of last week’s deadly cyclone that ravaged the Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar, Terri Grierson, director of the Office of Christian Service, announced today.

According to latest CRS reports, there are around 60,000 dead or missing and 1 million people have been left homeless due to the devestation of Cyclone Nargis. The storm tore through the nation’s densly populated rice-farming Irrawaddy Delta region late Friday and into Saturday.

CRS officials say the tragic numbers demonstrate dire conditions in which basic food, shelter
and water are urgently needed. Assessment of the devastation is still underway as communication remains difficult and news trickles out of Myanmar. reported today that U.S. diplomats estimate the death toll will exceed 100,000.

“It could not have happened in a worse stretch of land. With the tidal surge at 12 to 15 feet, presumably thousands of people living along the [Irrawaddy] Delta were simply washed away,” said Pat Johns, director of the CRS emergency response team.

CRS is assisting the Caritas Internationalis network to offer relied support the most heavily affected areas of Myranmar, which also is know as Burma.

For more than 60 years, CRS has supported long-term development programs and emergency relief efforts — including responses to cyclones and other natural disasters — in the regions of Southeast Asia and the Pacific. CRS is the official international relief and development agency of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw will collect funds on behalf of CRS for disaster relief in Myanmar. Contributions can be made to the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw, 5800 Weiss St., Saginaw, MI 48603-2799, Attn: Cyclone Relief. Donations also can be made directly to CRS online at

For more information, contact Terri Grierson at (989) 797-6650.

May 7, 2008

FAITH now available online

Check out highlights from the Spring 2008 issue of FAITH Saginaw magazine now online at

The Church is alwasys in a state of Pentecost

VATICAN CITY (VIS) - In the general audience, held this mornings in St. Peter’s Square in the presence of 20,000 faithful, the Holy Father used the occasion of the visit to Rome of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians, to focus his remarks on ecumenical dialogue. The Patriarch, who was present at the audience, also made a brief address in which he reflected on the same theme, also dwelling upon the history of the Armenian people.

Greeting the Patriarch in English, Benedict XVI referred to the statue of St. Gregory the Illuminator, founder of the Armenian Church, which is located in a niche of the Vatican Basilica and "serves to remind us of the severe persecutions suffered by Armenian Christians, especially during the last century. Armenia's many martyrs are a sign of the power of the Holy Spirit working in times of darkness, and a pledge of hope for Christians everywhere."

The Patriarch's presence, said the Pope, "revives our hope for the full unity of all Christians," and he noted the well-known "commitment of the Armenian Apostolic Church to ecumenical dialogue."

"These days of preparation that immediately precede the Solemnity of
Pentecost stimulate us to renew our hope in the help of the Holy Spirit to advance along the path of ecumenism. We have the certainty that the Lord Jesus never abandons us in our search for unity, because His Spirit is tirelessly at work to support the efforts we make to overcome all forms of division."

Benedict XVI went on: The Holy Spirit is "a power for the forgiveness of sins, for the renewal of our hearts and our lives. It renews the earth and creates unity where before there was division". When it descended upon the Apostles they spoke in tongues, a sign that "the Babylonian dispersion, fruit of the pride which divides mankind, was overcome in the Spirit, which is charity and gives us unity in diversity."

"Since the first moment of her existence the Church, thanks to the power of the Holy Spirit, has spoken in all tongues and lived in all cultures. She destroys nothing of their history and gifts, but assumes them all in a great and new unity, which reconciles unity with the multiplicity of forms. With its power, the Holy Spirit ... unites divided man in divine charity and thus creates ... the great community which is the Church in all the world."

Pope Benedict then went on to highlight how "the Church is always, so to say, in a state of Pentecost. Gathered in the Cenacle, she prays incessantly to obtain ever new effusions of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, ... and is not afraid to announce the Gospel to the furthest confines of the earth. This is why, faced with difficulties and divisions, Christians cannot resign themselves or give way to discouragement.

"This is what Christ asks of Christians: to persevere in prayer in order to keep alive the flame of faith, hope and charity, and the longing for full unity,” the Pope added. He then went on to mention his recent apostolic trip to the United States during which he had made reference "to the centrality of prayer in the ecumenical movement. In this period of globalisation and, at the same time, of fragmentation, 'without prayer ecumenical structures, institutions and programs would be deprived of their heart and soul'," he said.

Finally, the Holy Father quoted St. Paul's Letter to the Galatians where it is written that "the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Today," he concluded, "we too invoke these gifts of the Spirit for all Christians, so that in the joint and generous service of the Gospel they may be a sign in the world of God's love for humanity."

Migrant Food Pantry in urgent need

BAY CITY – The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw’s Migrant Food Pantry is in dire need of food for the coming migrant season.

Donations are down and the food pantry shelves are critically under stocked, said Maria Cepeda, Office of Hispanic Ministry director and pastoral administrator at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Bay City.

Items that are needed include pinto beans (dry or in jar), rice, spaghetti, corn, green beans, pancake mix, syrup, white flour, shortening, cooking oil, dish detergent, wash detergent, baking powder, salt, black pepper; baby food and formula, diapers, baby clothes, and personal hygiene items.

Monetary Donations may be forwarded to: Catholic Diocese of Saginaw, Office of Hispanic Ministry, 5800 Weiss St., Saginaw, MI 48603-2799

Food and other items may be dropped off at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, 1619 Broadway St., in Bay City. Please call ahead (989) 894-0661 for drop-off times.

May 5, 2008

MCC praises state medical society’s ‘neutral’ position on embryo destructive research

Lansing – Michigan Catholic Conference President and Chief Executive Officer Sister Monica Kostielney, R.S.M., released the following statement regarding Michigan State Medical Society's decision of May 4 to move its position on embryo destructive research from support to neutral:

"The 'neutral' position adopted by the state's most prominent and trusted medical society on embryo destructive research further illustrates how divisive and controversial the proposed constitutional amendment truly is. Michigan Catholic Conference welcomes the medical society's decision to abandon its support for embryo destructive research, and enthusiastically greets MSMS' efforts to educate its members on the possible ballot proposal.

"Stem Cell Research BQC, the organization promoting embryo destructive research in Michigan, has suffered a significant blow in its campaign to further mislead and deceive Michigan voters. Every moment spent discussing the destruction of human embryos is a moment lost promoting the dozens of therapies and cures continually realized by adult stem cell research."

The MCC is the official public policy voice of the Catholic church in this Michigan.

May 2, 2008

Diocesan newsletter for May 2008 now available online

The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw Monthly Newsletter for May 2008 is now available online.. Click here to sign up to have the newsletter sent each month to your e-mail.