April 30, 2010

Bishop Cistone sings 'Saginaw, Michigan' at 2010 Charity Ball

The Most Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw, sings Lefty Frizzell's 1964 No. 1 country hit "Saginaw, Michigan" during the 2010 Bishop's Charity Ball at the Horizons Conference Center in Saginaw. The Bishop's Charity Ball benefits Catholic schools and parish religious education programs. This year's event was the first for Citstone, who was installed as the Diocese of Saginaw's sixth bishop in July 2009. "Saginaw, Michigan" was Lefty Frizzell's sixth and final number one on the U.S. country chart. "Saginaw, Michigan" spent a total of twenty-three weeks on the country chart and peaked at number eighty-five on the Billboard Hot 100. The song earned Lefty Frizzell a Grammy nomination. It earned Bishop Cistone a big applause and a lot of laughs. 

Look for more photos and uploads from tonight's Bishop's Charity Ball online next week. 

Great Lakes Bay Region Doctor Prescribed 2010 Bishop Murphy Award

The annual Bishop’s Charity Ball has raised more than $1 million for Catholic schools, religious education programs since its debut in 2007

SAGINAW – The Most Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw, presented Essexville’s Dr. Donald Campbell  with the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw’s 2010 Bishop Murphy Award for outstanding leaders of faith tonight at the fourth annual Bishop’s Charity Ball at the Horizons Conference Center in Saginaw Township.

The Bishop’s Charity Ball benefits Catholic schools and parish religious education programs throughout the Diocese of Saginaw. Since the first ball in 2007, it has raised more than $1 million.

Described as a “loving son, faithful Catholic, loyal husband, dedicated pediatrician, caring father, and affectionate grandfather,” Dr. Campbell, a retired pediatrician, is a well-known and loved fixture of his community and dedicated supporter of the Bay Area Catholic School System. As a Commissioned Lay Minister at his home parish of St. John the Evangelist in Essexville, he visits the homebound, assists with funerals and other services, participates in daily liturgies and is among the first in line to roll up his sleeves to help at parish functions.

“My grandfather has set such a wonderful example for how to live life well,” said Brian Campbell, assistant principal at All Saints Central High School in Bay City. “He taught me about humility, patience, commitment, dedication, faith, and priorities.  He taught me that doing the right thing every single time, no matter who is watching, and no matter what it takes is the only way to live.  He taught me how to be a good man.” 

The Bishop Murphy Award, which named in honor of the Diocese of Saginaw’s first bishop, the Most Rev. William F. Murphy, is given each year at the Bishop’s Charity Ball.

The Diocese of Saginaw includes 105 parish communities and 24 Catholic schools, located across 11 mid-Michigan counties. 

Vatican Approves New Version of Roman Missal, Bishops to Decide When to Implement in Dioceses, Parishes

WASHINGTON — The Vatican has given its “recognitio,” or statement of acceptance, of the proposed U.S. version of the new edition of the Roman Missal. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) now must decide when to authorize its use in dioceses and parishes in the United States.
In a letter from Cardinal Antonio CaƱizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, dated  March 25, 2010,  (Protocol Number 269/10L)  the text of the English translation of the Roman Missal, third edition, has been approved with the required
In addition,a series of adaptations and proper texts for the Dioceses of the United States also has been approved. Cardinal Francis George, OMI of Chicago, USCCB President, was in Rome to attend meetings of the Vox Clara Committee, of which he is a member, and received the decrees personally.  The complete text of the 
Roman Missal is still undergoing final editing by Vatican officials. It is expected to be forwarded to Conferences of Bishops later this spring, at which time it will be prepared for publication. 
Bishop Arthur Serratelli, Chair of the Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship, voiced gratitude for the approval.
“I am happy that after years of study and review, the Congregation for Divine Worship has concluded its work and provided us with a text that will enable the ongoing renewal of the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy in our parishes,” he said.
In the coming weeks, the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship will offer to Cardinal George its recommendation regarding the date of the implementation of the new translation. Once the final decision is made, Cardinal George will announce the date to the bishops. It is also expected that a suggested implementation timeline and process will be offered to the bishops for implementation within their dioceses.
The receipt of the 
recognitio marks the beginning of the proximate preparation for the implementation of the Roman Missal. During the time leading up to actual first Sunday of use of the new text, pastors are encouraged to make use of the wide variety of resources available to prepare parishioners for the reception of the new text.  Some of these resources have been made available already in the remote preparation, while others are being released now, including the Parish Guide for the Implementation of the Roman Missal, Third Edition, from USCCB Publishing.  In addition, the Office of Divine Worship has launched Website to provide up-to-date information about the Missal:www.USCCB.org/romanmissal.
Msgr. Anthony Sherman, Director of the USCCB Secretariat for Divine Worship, said work already is in progress so that priests and congregations will be prepared for the first substantial changes in the Mass in decades.
“A great effort to produce the new 
Roman Missal for the United States of America is underway now among the publishers of liturgical books, along with the other necessary resources by publishers of liturgical music and catechetical resources,” he said. “Even as that work is underway a full–scale implementation of catechesis for the new Missal should be taking place in the parishes, so that when the time comes, everyone will be ready.”
Currently the Office of Divine Worship is leading a series of workshops for clergy and diocesan leaders as a first step in preparation for the changes.

Immigration Reform Framework Needs Work, But ‘Important First Step’ In Legislative Process, Say U.S. Bishops

WASHINGTON — The U.S. bishops called the introduction of  a framework on immigration reform by Senate leadership, April 29, an “Important first step” in the process of achieving enactment of comprehensive reform legislation. The framework, developed by Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and endorsed by Senate leadership, attempts to lay a road map for launching negotiations toward a bipartisan immigration reform bill.            
The bishops’ position was outlined April 29, by Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration.
“We urge members of both parties to begin a process toward introducing and enacting bipartisan legislation which affirms the rule of law and basic human rights,” Bishop Wester said.
Bishop Wester pointed to flaws in the framework that require revision, including a controversial provision that would permit same-sex couples to receive immigration benefits equal to married couples.  He also pointed out that enforcement measures in the framework should not violate basic rights, and that policies that address the root causes of migration should be addressed.
Bishop Wester urged Congress to begin discussions on the issue, with the goal of passing legislation in 2010.
“We call for a robust but civil debate.  This issue can no longer wait and should not be politicized or held hostage to ideology.  Our immigration system is badly broken and is in need of immediate repair,” Bishop Wester said.

April 29, 2010

English Translation of Roman Missal to be Published Soon

VATICAN CITY (VIS) - The Pope had lunch yesterday in the Vatican's Casina Pio IV with members and consultors of "Vox Clara", an advisory committee for questions concerning the celebration of the Roman Rite in English. 

Following the luncheon the Holy Father, himself speaking English, thanked "Vox Clara" for the work it has done "over the last eight years, assisting and advising the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in fulfilling its responsibilities with regard to the English translations of liturgical texts. This has been a truly collegial enterprise. Not only are all five continents represented in the membership of the committee, but you have been assiduous in drawing together contributions from bishops' conferences in English-speaking territories all over the world".

"I thank the superiors and officials of the congregation for their daily, painstaking work of overseeing the preparation and translation of texts that proclaim the truth of our redemption in Christ, the Incarnate Word of God", he said.

Benedict XVI went on: "I welcome the news that the English translation of the Roman Missal will soon be ready for publication. ... Through these sacred texts and the actions that accompany them, Christ will be made present and active in the midst of His people".

Going on then to identify a new task, that of "preparing for the reception of the new translation by clergy and lay faithful", the Pope pointed out that "many will find it hard to adjust to unfamiliar texts after nearly forty years of continuous use of the previous translation. The change will need to be introduced with due sensitivity, and the opportunity for catechesis that it presents will need to be firmly grasped. I pray that in this way any risk of confusion or bewilderment will be averted, and the change will serve instead as a springboard for a renewal and a deepening of Eucharistic devotion all over the English-speaking world".

"Soon the fruits of your labours will be made available to English-speaking congregations everywhere", the Holy Father concluded.

April 28, 2010

Saginaw Priest wins free trip to Rome from Fireside Catholic Publishing Contest celebrating ‘Year of the Priest’

SAGINAW – A 28-year priest from the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw will be making a trip to Rome as part of the Kansas-based Fireside Catholic Publishing’s celebration of the “Year of the Priest.”  The Rev. Thomas J. McNamara was selected as the winner of a drawing for two free round-trip airline tickets and seven nights’ stay in the Rome metropolitan area.

“I’m very excited to see St. Peter’s Basilica once again,” said Father McNamara, who serves as Vicar General for the Diocese of Saginaw and Rector at the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption in Saginaw. “I celebrated Mass there 10 years ago. To be in the home base of the worldwide Church, the same area where St. Peter once roamed, is humbling. I won’t forget the Year of the Priest.”

Father McNamara is a native of Birch Run. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 4, 1982 by Bishop Kenneth E. Untener at the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption.

To learn more about the prize or Fireside Catholic Publishing, go to www.FiresideCatholic.com

April 26, 2010

Saginaw Seminarian composes setting of Ave Maria

Nate Harburg, a seminarian of the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw, composed the following setting of the Ave Maria, dedicated to Our Lady Star of the Sea and performed by the seminarian choir of Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit:

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

April 22, 2010

U.S. Bishops Launch 'Campus' Website to Promote Catholic Social Teaching, Life and Dignity

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development has collaborated with eleven Catholic organizations to create a new Web site to help college students and campus ministers promote Catholic social teaching on campus.

The Web site, “Transforming Our World: Our Catholic Faith in Action,” can be found at www.usccb.org/campus.

Site elements include principles of Catholic social teaching, prayer materials, small group resources, tools for action, and multimedia such as videos and podcasts. The home page features quotes from Church leaders, ideas of the week and an invitation to site visitors to submit resources and ideas for possible features on the Web site. Collaborators hope the Web site will become an online clearinghouse featuring “best practices” to promote Catholic social teaching on campus

Development of the site was initiated to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the U.S. bishops’ statement Sharing Catholic Social Teaching. The spring 2010 launch of the site responds to Pope Benedict XVI’s Message for World Youth Day 2010, in which he mentioned challenges such as respect for the environment, just division of goods, solidarity with poor countries, promotion of dignity in labor, building a culture of life, and promoting peace.

“They are challenges to which you are called to respond to build a more just and fraternal world,” Pope Benedict said.

Collaborators involved in the Web site include Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, Catholic Campus Ministry Association, Conference of Major Superiors of Men, Catholic Relief Services, Fellowship of Catholic University Students, The National Association of Diocesan Directors of Campus Ministry, National Council of Catholic Women, National Catholic Student Coalition, National Catholic Young Adult Ministry Association, and Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

April 21, 2010

St. Brigid School is Growing as Construction begins on Building Expansion Project

MIDLAND - The Most Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw, joined with local leaders this morning to break ground on a $2.8 million school and parish center expansion at St. Brigid of Kildare School,  located at the downtown intersection of Ashman and Larkin streets.

The 12,700-square-foot addition to the St. Brigid campus will include a gymnasium, locker rooms, kitchen, classrooms and offices. The former school cafeteria and multi-purpose room will be converted into new class rooms. The project will allow the school's kindergarten class to move back into building from its rented location across Larkin Street as well as for the library to be moved from the current parish center into the school. 

The Catholic school’s enrollment has been on the rise from 67 students to 145 since 2004. That number has increased with the school’s addition of sixth grade in 2006, seventh grade in 2007 and eighth grade 2008. 

Follow the St. Brigid School expansion project as it continues at www.embracethefuture.net

Below are videos from today's event:

MCC Praises Senate for Passing Human Embryo Research Transparency Legislation

LANSING – The following statement was released today by Paul A. Long, Michigan Catholic Conference Vice President for Public Policy, after the State Senate passed with bipartisan support Senate Bills 647-652, legislation that seeks to ensure human embryo research is conducted with transparency and accountability in Michigan:

"While human embryo experimentation represents a direct attack on human life itself, the fact that voters approved Proposal 2 in 2008 should not prevent the Legislature from passing common sense provisions that penalize those who operate outside of the law. The passage of the 2008 ballot measure did nothing to ensure transparency or accountability in human embryo research, and may very well have opened the door for illegal research to be conducted by unscrupulous individuals seeking profit from suffering patients. Senate Bills 647-652 ensures those who conduct human embryo research in this state, either within public institutions or at private companies, are doing so in a legal and transparent manner.

"Additional provisions of the legislative package – that which call for simple reporting requirements, ensuring informed consent is obtained in IVF clinics, banning the creation of human-animal chimeric embryos, and upholding the intent of Michigan’s cloning ban by prohibiting the trafficking of cloned human embryos into the state - are common-sense measures that deserve further support. Michigan Catholic Conference applauds the Senate for its vote today, and encourages the House of Representatives to follow suit by passing Senate Bills 647-652 in a timely fashion."

Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.

April 20, 2010

U.S. Bishops Launch National Website to Promote Vocations to Priesthood, Consecrated Life

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Bishops’ Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations is initiating a new website on April 25 to be a resource for both laity and clergy in the promotion of vocations. The launch date is the World Day of Prayer for Vocations and Good Shepherd Sunday.

The site has two goals: to help individuals hear and respond to the call by God to the priesthood or consecrated life, and to educate all Catholics on the importance of encouraging others through prayer and activities to promote vocations.

The Vocations Website can be found at www.ForYourVocation.org. A Spanish-language site will be available this fall at www.PorTuVocacion.org.

 Site elements include discernment resources for men and women, respectively, aids for promoting a vocation culture within the home, and a range of tools for educators, youth leaders and vocation directors including prayers, videos, best practices, lesson plans and vocation awareness programs.

 In response to Pope Benedict XVI’s 2010 Theme for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Witness Awakens Vocations, the site also hosts videos of priests and religious men and women giving witness to their vocations, as well as testimonies from family members.

ForYourVocation.org exemplifies the Vatican’s embrace of new communications media. In his message for the 44th World Day of Communications, Pope Benedict XVI challenges clergy to employ the “latest generation of audiovisual resources (images, videos, animated features, blogs, websites)” to put the media “ever more effectively at the service of the Word.”

 The launch of the site will be promoted through social media forums. Facebook users can become “eVangelizers” for the cause. By becoming an eVangelizer, one can connect others to the Website’s blog posts.

 Dioceses and organizations may link to ForYourVocation.org by following the instructions at http://foryourvocation.org/web-resources.cfm

April 9, 2010

U.S. Bishops Welcome Signing of New START Treaty, Call For Bipartisan Senate Ratification

WASHINGTON — "The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) welcomes the signing of the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) between the United States and the Russian Federation," said Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, President of the USCCB, in an April 8 letter to President Barack Obama.
“The horribly destructive capacity of nuclear arms makes them disproportionate and indiscriminate weapons that endanger human life and dignity like no other armaments. Their use as a weapon of war is rejected in Church teaching based on just war norms,” Cardinal George wrote. The cardinal cited teaching from both the U.S. bishops and Pope Benedict XVI calling for a world without nuclear weapons.
“Based on a moral imperative to rid the world of nuclear weapons,” Cardinal George said, “the Conference of Bishops will be a steadfast supporter of strong and bipartisan action on the new START Treaty as an important and essential step toward a nuclear-weapons-free future.”
Cardinal George acknowledged that “the path to a world free of nuclear weapons will be long and difficult,” but listed steps that would help, such as ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, securing nuclear materials from terrorists, and strengthening the International Atomic Energy Agency to monitor nonproliferation efforts and ensure access to peaceful uses of nuclear power.
The full text of Cardinal George’s letter to President Obama can be found online at
http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/international/2010-04-08-let-card-george-pres-obama.pdf. Other resources on nuclear weapons are at http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/international/nuclear.shtml.