April 28, 2008

More than 800 have a ball at diocesan dance party

Charity event benefits Catholic education, Bay City’s All Saints wins new car

SAGINAW – More than 800 people filled Horizons Conference Center in Saginaw on Friday evening to support Catholic schools and parish religious education efforts across the 11-county Catholic Diocese of Saginaw.

The event was highlighted by a raffle, which included a grand prize new Pontiac Solstice or $10,000, second prize trip for two to Rome and third prize $5,000 home improvement project. Winners were drawn from nearly 45,000 entries. Tickets had been on sale for $5 each at participating schools and parishes across the diocese since February.

Raffle winners included:
Grand Prize: All Saints Central High School, Bay City
Second Prize: Randy and Cathy Schafer, Mt. Pleasant
Third Prize: Jim Schlicker, Saginaw

The event also included a silent auction featuring family vacations, entertainment packages and other recreational and specialty items donated by Catholic school benefactors.

The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw will host a special “Winner’s Circle” event on May 20 at the Center for Ministry in Saginaw to dole out event proceeds and present the raffle awards and recognize event sponsors.

The Bishop’s Charity Ball 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.

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

April 16, 2008

'I Come as a Friend, a Preacher of the Gospel ... '

The following is text of Pope Benedict XVI's speech during welcoming ceremonies at the White House this morning (Follow the Holy Father's visit to the United States at www.uspapalvisit.org):

Mr. President,

Thank you for your gracious words of welcome on behalf of the people of the United States of America. I deeply appreciate your invitation to visit this great country. My visit coincides with an important moment in the life of the Catholic community in America: the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the elevation of the country’s first Diocese – Baltimore – to a metropolitan Archdiocese, and the establishment of the Sees of New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Louisville. Yet I am happy to be here as a guest of all Americans. I come as a friend, a preacher of the Gospel and one with great respect for this vast pluralistic society. America’s Catholics have made, and continue to make, an excellent contribution to the life of their country. As I begin my visit, I trust that my presence will be a source of renewal and hope for the Church in the United States, and strengthen the resolve of Catholics to contribute ever more responsibly to the life of this nation, of which they are proud to be citizens.

From the dawn of the Republic, America’s quest for freedom has been guided by the conviction that the principles governing political and social life are intimately linked to a moral order based on the dominion of God the Creator. The framers of this nation’s founding documents drew upon this conviction when they proclaimed the “self-evident truth” that all men are created equal and endowed with inalienable rights grounded in the laws of nature and of nature’s God. The course of American history demonstrates the difficulties, the struggles, and the great intellectual and moral resolve which were demanded to shape a society which faithfully embodied these noble principles. In that process, which forged the soul of the nation, religious beliefs were a constant inspiration and driving force, as for example in the struggle against slavery and in the civil rights movement. In our time too, particularly in moments of crisis, Americans continue to find their strength in a commitment to this patrimony of shared ideals and aspirations.

In the next few days, I look forward to meeting not only with America’s Catholic community, but with other Christian communities and representatives of the many religious traditions present in this country. Historically, not only Catholics, but all believers have found here the freedom to worship God in accordance with the dictates of their conscience, while at the same time being accepted as part of a commonwealth in which each individual and group can make its voice heard. As the nation faces the increasingly complex political and ethical issues of our time, I am confident that the American people will find in their religious beliefs a precious source of insight and an inspiration to pursue reasoned, responsible and respectful dialogue in the effort to build a more humane and free society.

Freedom is not only a gift, but also a summons to personal responsibility. Americans know this from experience – almost every town in this country has its monuments honoring those who sacrificed their lives in defense of freedom, both at home and abroad. The preservation of freedom calls for the cultivation of virtue, self-discipline, sacrifice for the common good and a sense of responsibility towards the less fortunate. It also demands the courage to engage in civic life and to bring one’s deepest beliefs and values to reasoned public debate. In a word, freedom is ever new. It is a challenge held out to each generation, and it must constantly be won over for the cause of good (cf. Spe Salvi, 24). Few have understood this as clearly as the late Pope John Paul II. In reflecting on the spiritual victory of freedom over totalitarianism in his native Poland and in eastern Europe, he reminded us that history shows, time and again, that “in a world without truth, freedom loses its foundation”, and a democracy without values can lose its very soul (cf. Centesimus Annus, 46). Those prophetic words in some sense echo the conviction of President Washington, expressed in his Farewell Address, that religion and morality represent “indispensable supports” of political prosperity.

The Church, for her part, wishes to contribute to building a world ever more worthy of the human person, created in the image and likeness of God (cf. Gen 1:26-27). She is convinced that faith sheds new light on all things, and that the Gospel reveals the noble vocation and sublime destiny of every man and woman (cf. Gaudium et Spes, 10). Faith also gives us the strength to respond to our high calling, and the hope that inspires us to work for an ever more just and fraternal society. Democracy can only flourish, as your founding fathers realized, when political leaders and those whom they represent are guided by truth and bring the wisdom born of firm moral principle to decisions affecting the life and future of the nation. For well over a century, the United States of America has played an important role in the international community. On Friday, God willing, I will have the honor of addressing the United Nations Organization, where I hope to encourage the efforts under way to make that institution an ever more effective voice for the legitimate aspirations of all the world’s peoples. On this, the 16th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the need for global solidarity is as urgent as ever, if all people are to live in a way worthy of their dignity – as brothers and sisters dwelling in the same house and around that table which God’s bounty has set for all his children. America has traditionally shown herself generous in meeting immediate human needs, fostering development and offering relief to the victims of natural catastrophes. I am confident that this concern for the greater human family will continue to find expression in support for the patient efforts of international diplomacy to resolve conflicts and promote progress. In this way, coming generations will be able to live in a world where truth, freedom and justice can flourish – a world where the God-given dignity and rights of every man, woman and child are cherished, protected and effectively advanced.

Mr. President, dear friends: as I begin my visit to the United States, I express once more my gratitude for your invitation, my joy to be in your midst, and my fervent prayers that Almighty God will confirm this nation and its people in the ways of justice, prosperity and peace.

God bless America!

April 15, 2008

USCCB to Stream Papal Visit Events Live on the Web

WASHINGTON D.C. — The special Website (uspapalvisit.org) created by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for Pope Benedict XVI’s April 15-20 visit to the United States will live stream the events.

From the pope’s arrival at Andrews Air Force Base to his departure from New York, uspapalvisit.org will have the events live. The events will have commentators, guests and live phone-in interviews from U.S. bishops and others. The events also will be packaged for viewing at anytime. Coverage of events will start 15 minutes ahead of time. Check the site for actual times.

“It’s a major event and for some a once-in-a-lifetime event. We want to make sure everyone gets a chance to experience it,” said Joe Larson, director of Digital Media for the USCCB. The newly formed Office of Digital Media handles the Web presence for the USCCB and its affiliates along with video and audio production.

Larson added, “We look to bring the Holy Father’s visit to your computer at the workplace during lunch, at school, at church or in the home. And with the on demand video, if you miss an event live you can view the video at your leisure.”

The Web site is full of information such as the papal itinerary, facts and figures on the Church in the United States, biographical information on Pope Benedict XVI and stories of the papal visit. There is also a great selection of multimedia files including the pope’s video-message to the U.S., Cardinal Edward Egan’s walk-through of the New York itinerary and Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl and others welcoming the pope to the United States.

The first videos to premiere on the site were the finalists in a “Papal Video Contest,” sponsored by the Archdiocese of Washington and open to Catholic youth from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Among the other features on the U.S. Papal Visit Web site is a blog, giving an inside view of papal visit preparations, views from the pew and reflections on the meaning of the visit.

The www.uspapalvisit.org Web site is made possible by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ and by donations of parishioners across the United States to the annual Catholic Communication Campaign collection, which provides funding for a variety of Catholic media efforts.

April 9, 2008

St. Benedict: Father of Monasticism, Patron of Europe

Vatican Information Service - Benedict XVI dedicated his catechesis during this morning’s general audience to St. Benedict of Nursia, “the father of western monasticism, who with his life and work exercised a fundamental influence on the development of European civilisation and culture.” The audience, held in St. Peter’s Square, was attended by 20,000 people.

The most important source for the life of the saint, the Pope explained, is the second book of “Dialogues” written by St. Gregory the Great, in which Benedict features as the “shining star” who shows the way out of the "dark night of history,” in other words, the crisis of values and institutions caused by the fall of the Roman empire.

St. Benedict's work and his Rule led to “a true spiritual ferment which over the course of the centuries - well beyond the confines of his homeland and his time - changed the face of Europe and created, with the collapse of political unity, a new spiritual and cultural unity, that of the Christian faith shared by the people of the continent.”

St. Benedict was born to a wealthy family around the year 480. He went to school in Rome but before completing his studies retired to a monastic community in Enfide. Subsequently he spent three years in a cave at Subiaco where he "underwent the three fundamental temptations that all human beings face: self-affirmation and the desire to place oneself at the centre, ... sensuality, ... and anger and revenge.” This, said the Holy Father, was because “St. Benedict was convinced that only by overcoming these temptations would he be able find the right words to give others in their situations of need.”

In the year 529 the founder of the Benedictine Order moved to Monte Cassino, “a height that dominates the surrounding plains and is visible from a distance". This was a symbolic decision on the saint’s part, said the Pope, because "monastic life has its raison d'etre in withdrawal and concealment, but a monastery also has a public role in the life of the Church and of society.”
Throughout his life St. Benedict “was immersed in an atmosphere of prayer, the main foundation of his existence. Without prayer there is no experience of God, but Benedict’s spirituality was not an interior life divorced from reality. In the disquiet and confusion of his time, he lived under the gaze of God and with his own gaze fixed upon God, though without losing sight of his daily duties and the concrete needs of mankind.”

St. Benedict died in 547. His famous Rule “provides useful advice not only to monks but to everyone seeking guidance on their journey to God. For its precision, its humanity, and its sober discernment between what is essential and what is secondary in spiritual life, the Rule has maintained its illuminating power up to today.”

In 1964, Paul VI named Benedict as patron saint of Europe. “Having just emerged from a century profoundly marked by two world wars and following the collapse of the great ideologies, ... Europe today is searching for its own identity,” remarked Pope Benedict."

In order to create a new and lasting unity,” the Pope concluded, “political, economic and juridical measures are necessary, but it is also necessary to generate an ethical and spiritual renewal which draws on the continent’s Christian roots. Without this vital lifeblood, man remains exposed to the danger of succumbing to the ancient temptation of seeking redemption alone, a utopia which in 20th century Europe ... caused a retrocession without precedent in human history.”

April 8, 2008

Pope sends Video-Message to the People of the U.S. in Perparation for His Upcoming Journey

(Vatican Information Service) - A video message by the Pope addressed to citizens of the U.S.A. was made public today. Benedict XVI is due to visit the United States from April l5 to 21.

Speaking in English, the Holy Father offers "a heartfelt greeting and an invitation to prayer."

"As you know," he continues, "I shall only be able to visit two cities: Washington and New York. The intention behind my visit, though, is to reach out spiritually to all Catholics in the United States."

After thanking the people working to organize his trip and those who are praying for its success, Benedict XVI talks of his conviction that "without the power of prayer, without that intimate union with the Lord, our human endeavours would achieve very little."

"Together with your bishops, I have chosen as the theme of my journey three simple but essential words: 'Christ our Hope.' ... Jesus Christ is hope for men and women of every language, race, culture and social condition. ... Through him, our lives reach fullness, and together, both as individuals and peoples, we can become a family united by fraternal love, according to the eternal plan of God the Father. I know how deeply rooted this Gospel message is in your country. I am coming to share it with you, in a series of celebrations and gatherings.

"I shall also bring the message of Christian hope to the great Assembly of the United Nations," the Pope adds, "to the representatives of all the peoples of the world. Indeed, the world has greater need of hope than ever: hope for peace, for justice, and for freedom, but this hope can never be fulfilled without obedience to the law of God, which Christ brought to fulfilment in the commandment to love one another. Do to others as you would have them do to you, and avoid doing what you would not want them to do. This 'golden rule' is given in the Bible, but it is valid for all people, including non-believers. It is the law written on the human heart; on this we can all agree, so that when we come to address other matters we can do so in a positive and constructive manner for the entire human community."

The Holy Father then goes on to address Spanish-speaking U.S. Catholics in their own language, expressing his "spiritual closeness, especially to the young, the sick, the elderly and those who are suffering difficulties or feel in greatest need."

Benedict XVI concludes his message with thanks for everyone living in the United States, "even if my itinerary is short", he says, "my heart is close to all of you."

April 7, 2008

Sr. Corinne Weiss to be honored with annual Bishop Murphy Award for Catholic leaders

SAGINAW – Bishop Robert J. Carlson has announced that Sister Corinne Weiss SJ will be the recipient of the 2008 Bishop Murphy Award for outstanding leaders of faith. The award presentation will take place on April 25 during the 2008 Bishop’s Charity Ball at the Horizons Conference Center in Saginaw Township.

Weiss, who entered religious life at the age of 16, served as a dedicated teacher and school administrator in the Detroit area and Saginaw for more than 50 years. From 1976 to 2002, she was principal at St. Helen School in Saginaw.

Since her “retirement” from Catholic schools in 2002, Weiss has worked as mission coordinator for the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw, organizing missionary visits to the region and special collections for world outreach efforts. She also has remained a familiar face in Catholic schools, regularly visiting classrooms to promote mission education and continue passing on the faith.

Weiss holds a bachelor’s degree for English from Madonna College in Livonia and a master’s degree for journalism from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisc. In addition to her Catholic school teaching experiences, she also served an adjunct writing instructor at Delta College for more than a decade, starting in 1990.

Weiss was inducted into the Saginaw Catholic Schools Hall of Fame in 1995 and received the Michigan Association of Non-Public Schools (MANS) Educators’ Achievement Award in 1997.

Weiss is the second person to be honored with the Bishop Murphy Award, which debuted at the Bishop’s Charity Ball in 2007. Last year’s recipient was Stanley Krajkowski of St. Casimir Parish in Saginaw. The award is named in honor of Bishop William F. Murphy, who served as the Diocese of Saginaw’s first bishop from 1938 until his death in 1950.

The Bishop’s Charity Ball 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.

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

The Road to Emmaus is the Road all Christians Follow

Vatican Information Service - On Sunday, Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study overlooking St. Peter's Square in order to pray the Regina Coeli with pilgrims gathered there.

Commenting on Sunday's Gospel reading of the meeting on the road to Emmaus, the Pope recalled how that locality, "which has not been definitively identified, ... in fact represents all places. The road leading there is the road each Christian, indeed all mankind, follows.

The risen Jesus becomes our travelling companion on the roads of our life, to rekindle in our hearts the flame of faith and hope and to break the bread of eternal life."

Dwelling then on the phrase "we had hoped ... " used by one of the disciples of Emmaus, the Pope explained the significance of the use of the past tense: "We had believed, we had followed, we had hoped, ... but now all is over. Even Jesus of Nazareth Who showed Himself so powerful a prophet in deed and word has failed and we have been disillusioned.

"The drama faced by the disciples of Emmaus," the Holy Father added, "appears to mirror the situation of many Christians of our own time. It seems as if the hope of faith has failed. Faith itself is in crisis because of negative experiences that make us feel we have been abandoned by the Lord. But this road to Emmaus along which we are walking can become a path of purification and maturity for our belief in God."

He continued: "Today too we can enter into dialogue with Jesus, listening to His Word. Today too He breaks the bread for us and gives Himself as our bread. And thus the encounter with the risen Christ, which is also possible today, gives us a more profound and authentic faith, tempered so to say by the fire of the events of Easter. A robust faith because it is nourished not by human ideas by the Word of God and His real presence in the Eucharist."

Following the Marian prayer, Benedict XVI recalled that today marks the close of the first World Congress of Divine Mercy. "Go and be witnesses of God's mercy," he told the participants, "the source of hope for each human being and for the world entire."

Gospel of Life is also Gospel of Mercy

Vatican Information Service – On Saturday in the Vatican, the Holy Father received 300 participants in an international congress entitled: "Oil on the wounds. A response to the blight of abortion and divorce." The event is being promoted by the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family in collaboration with the Knights of Columbus.

Benedict XVI expressed his satisfaction at the participants' focus on the parable of the Good Samaritan in studying questions "which bring so much suffering to the lives of people, families and society". He also recalled how in debating such matters, "often purely ideologically, a kind of conspiracy of silence is created. Only through an attitude of merciful love can we ... bring help and enable victims to rise up again and resume the course of their lives.

"In a cultural context marked by increasing individualism, hedonism and, all too often, by a lack of solidarity and adequate social support," the Pope added, people make "decisions that contrast with the indissolubility of the conjugal bond and with the respect due to human life freshly conceived and still guarded in the maternal womb."

He went on: "Divorce and abortion are, of course, different choices, at times made in difficult and dramatic circumstances. They often give rise to traumas and are a source of profound suffering for the people who make them. ... They leave wounds that mark life indelibly.

"The Church's ethical judgement concerning abortion and divorce is clear and well-known to everyone: they are grave sins which – in various ways and with due evaluation of subjective responsibilities - injure the dignity of the human person, involve a profound injustice in human and social relationships, and offend God Himself, the guarantor of the marital bond and the architect of life."

Nonetheless, "the Church, following the example of her divine Master,
always has to deal with real people, especially the weakest and most innocent, ... as well as other men and women who, having perpetrated those acts, are stained with sin and bear its interior wounds while seeking peace and the possibility of rehabilitation.

"The Church", said the Pope, "has the primary duty to approach these people with love and delicacy, with kindness and maternal concern, in order to announce the merciful closeness of God and Jesus Christ. ... Yes, the gospel of love and of life is also always the gospel of mercy" and, "on the basis of this mercy, the Church cultivates an indomitable faith in mankind and its capacity for recovery. She knows that, with the help of grace, human freedom is capable of the definitive and faithful giving of self which makes it possible for the marriage of a man and a woman to be an indissoluble bond", just as she knows that "human freedom, even in the most difficult circumstances, is capable of extraordinary gestures of sacrifice and solidarity to accept the life of a new human being."

"Hence," Pope Benedict went on, "it may be seen that the 'noes' pronounced by the Church in her moral guidelines, and upon which public opinion sometimes unilaterally fixes its attention, are in fact so many 'yeses' to the dignity of human beings, their lives and their capacity to love."

Turning to consider the consequences of divorce, the Holy Father recommended that pastoral efforts be concentrated on ensuring "that children do not become the innocent victims of conflicts between divorcing parents," and that efforts be made to ensure "as far as possible" the continuity "of the bond with parents and of the relationship with their family and social origins, which are indispensable for well-balanced psychological and human development".

"How much selfish complicity often lies at the roots of a difficult decision that so many women have had to face alone and of which they still have the open wound in their soul!" said Benedict XVI talking of abortion.

Then, echoing John Paul II's words from his Encyclical "Evangelium vitae", he added: "Do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. ... The Father of mercies is ready to give you His forgiveness and His peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation".

In closing, Benedict XVI expressed his appreciation for "all those social and pastoral initiatives which seek the reconciliation and cure of people affected by the drama of abortion and divorce". They are, he concluded, "essential elements in building the civilisation of love of which humanity today has more need than ever."

April 4, 2008

U.S. Bishops Praise House Passage of Health Bill to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria

WASHINGTON, D.C. (USCCB) — On April 2, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008 (HR 5501).

The reauthorization act strengthens HIV/AIDS programs by increasing nutrition resources needed for effective treatment, by improving the health care capacity of host governments, and by expanding HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention.

Bishop Thomas G. Wenski, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, praised the House vote.

"On behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, I welcome the bipartisan spirit expressed in yesterday's House vote to renew our nation's flagship program to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Yesterday's action sends two messages to anyone wondering about our nation's commitment to the world's poor and vulnerable: The United States will continue its solidarity with those affected by these terrible diseases, and such programs must continue to support morally appropriate evidenced-based prevention and treatment activities that have been shown to save lives."

Ken Hackett, President of Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. Bishops' Relief and Development Agency, added, "This bill, if it becomes law, offers a pathway to respond more vigorously to current needs and to guarantee continued care and treatment of those affected by HIV/AIDS. For example, providing food for sick and vulnerable people will improve treatment. Also, much-needed health workers can be trained though this bill to build capacity locally to prevent and treat these diseases."

"In addition, CRS and other private voluntary and faith-based organizations will be able to increase their lifesaving work. CRS alone would expect to expand treatment from 100,000 to more than twice that amount,” Hackett said.

Press Contact: Keven Moore, 202.541.2306.

April 2, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI: May the Church Follow Teachings, Example of John Paul II

Vatican Information Service - In St. Peter's Square at 10.30 a.m. today, Pope Benedict XVI presided at a Eucharistic celebration to mark the third anniversary of the death of Servant of God John Paul II. Members of the College of Cardinals concelebrated with the Holy Father.
Addressing the more than 40,000 people present, the Pope in his homily returned to the hours following the news of John Paul II's death on April 2, 2005, recalling the innumerable faithful who prayed before his body and participated in the funeral.

"Among the many human and supernatural qualities" of the late Pontiff, Benedict XVI mentioned "that of an exceptional spiritual and mystical sensibility. It sufficed to watch him as he prayed: he literally immersed himself in God and, during those moments, it seemed as if everything else was foreign to him. ... The Mass - as he often said - was for him the focal point of every day and of his entire life. The 'living and holy' reality of the Eucharist gave him the spiritual energy to guide the People of God along the path of history."

After recalling how John Paul II died on the eve of the second Sunday of Easter, the Holy Father highlighted how the late Pope's pontificate, "both as a whole and in many specific moments, appears to us as a sign and testimony of Christ's resurrection. The paschal dynamism which rendered John Paul II's existence a complete response to the call of the Lord, could not be expressed without his participation in the suffering and death of the divine Master and Redeemer."

Pope Benedict pointed out that the words from the Gospel that figured in today's Mass - the "do not be afraid" addressed by the angel to the women at the empty tomb - "became, from the solemn beginnings of his Petrine ministry, a kind of motto on the lips of Pope John Paul II."

He always pronounced these words "with unbending firmness, at first while carrying his bishop's staff with its cross and later, when his physical strength was waning, almost while supporting himself on it, until that final Good Friday in which he participated in the Way of the Cross from his private chapel, holding the cross in his arms. ... That eloquent scene of human suffering and faith ... revealed to believers and to the whole world the secret of an entire Christian life."

As little by little the late Polish Pontiff "lost everything, in the end even the power of speech, his trust in Christ became increasingly evident. As it was with Jesus, so with John Paul II, in the end words gave way to the extreme sacrifice, to the gift of self. Death was the seal of an existence entirely donated to Christ, conformed to Him even in physical terms, in his suffering and faithful abandonment in the arms of the heavenly Father."

The Holy Father also reminded those present that today marks the opening of the First World Apostolic Congress on Divine Mercy, which aims to study Pope John Paul's "rich Magisterium on this subject."

"God's mercy," Pope Benedict explained, "is a good key to understanding John Paul II's pontificate. He wanted the message of God's merciful love to reach all mankind and exhorted the faithful to bear witness to it."

"Servant of God John Paul II personally knew and experienced the immense tragedies of the 20th century, and for a long time he asked himself what could stem the tide of evil. The answer could not but be in the love of God. In fact, only Divine Mercy is capable of limiting evil; only God's all-powerful love can overcome the arrogance of the wicked, and the destructive power of selfishness and hatred."

The Holy Father gave thanks to the Lord "for having given the Church this faithful and courageous servant" and to the Virgin Mary "for having incessantly watched over his person and his ministry." He also asked John Paul II "to continue to intercede from heaven for each of us, and particularly for me whom Providence has called to take up his priceless spiritual legacy.

"May the Church," Pope Benedict added in conclusion, "following his teaching and example, continue in her evangelising mission faithfully and without compromise, tirelessly spreading Christ's merciful love, source of true peace for the whole world."

April 1, 2008

Catholic Men's Fellowship donates more than $3K for diocesan seminarians

Catholic Men's Fellowship leaders, from right, Mike Shabluck and David Paulik and, from left, Jerry Hegenauer and Dan Fitzpatrick present Bishop Robert J. Carlson (center) with a $3,333 donation to benefit diocesan seminarians. The money was provided from the daily Mass collection at the 2008 Saginaw Catholic Men's Conference on March 1 at St. Hyacinth Parish, Bay City.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

The diocesan website, http://www.saginaw.org/, was recently updated with resources to help your parish communities with the observation of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. Information includes articles and "Did You Know?" bulletin announcements from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. There also is a liturgical guide for the Sundays of April that includes homily helps, intercessions and a special blessing. For more information, including how to host safe environment awareness programs at your parish or school, contact Sister Janet Fulgenzi, OP PhD.

Welcome to the Diocese of Saginaw on Blogspot!

This blog, which began publishing on April 1, 2008, is maintained by the Communications Office of the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw. Its purpose is to be a center of news, event information, and other points-of-interest about happenings within this 11-county region of the Roman Catholic Church.

You also my visit the diocesan homepage at http://www.saginaw.org/, read the Monthly Newsletter, or check out FAITH Saginaw magazine to discover more about our local church.