December 21, 2009

Bishop Cistone utilizes YouTube to offer first Christmas blessing, welcome back faithful who have been away

SAGINAW — Using the technology of the viral Internet phenomenon known as YouTube, Bishop Joseph R. Cistone today posted a video recorded Christmas blessing for the faithful of the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw.

Earlier this month Bishop Cistone launched his own Web blog, “Father of Mercy and Love,” as a means to share video recorded homilies and messages as well as written announcements and reflections. The bishop’s blog also is accessible through the diocese’s Internet homepage. 

Bishop Cistone’s blog, which is a first of its kind for a bishop of Saginaw, adds him to the rolls of the nation’s other blogging bishops, which include Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York and Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston.

The diocese’s YouTube channel follows the lead of the Vatican, which established its presence on the video sharing site in 2005 and began broadcasting posts of the Pope’s daily activities in January of this year. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops launched its own YouTube channel in 2008.  

Bishop’s Cistone’s Christmas video and others are hosted on YouTube as part of the  FAITHsaginaw Channel operated under the nameplate of the Diocese of Saginaw’s quarterly magazine, FAITH Saginaw, and the direction of the Communications Office.

Bishop Cistone was selected by Pope Benedict XVI to be the Bishop of Saginaw in May and was installed as the diocese’s sixth bishop on July 28. His predecessors were Archbishop Robert J. Carlson (2005-2009), Bishop Kenneth E. Untener (1980-2004), Bishop Francis F. Reh (1968-1980), Bishop Stephen S. Woznicki (1950-1968) and Bishop William F. Murphy (1938-1950). 

The Diocese of Saginaw was established in 1938 and includes upwards of 119,000 Catholics worshiping in 105 parish communities located across 11 mid-Michigan counties.

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