September 29, 2010

All Saints' Facebooking Principal was on ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday

Facebook expert said, "This principal is intelligent to go where the students are because - let's face it - Facebook is where American young people are spending their time. It's changing huge aspects of modern life and nothing is it... changing more than the life of the modern teenager."

September 20, 2010

Bishop Cistone will be on the radio today and tomorrow

You will be able to hear Bishop Cistone on local radio during the next two days: 

Catholic Radio: This afternoon (Monday), he will be on air live with Al Kresta between 5:00 and 5:30 p.m. on Ave Maria Radio WMAX 1440 AM.

Saginaw Radio: Tomorrow morning (Tuesday), he will be on air live with Art Lewis from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. on WSGW NewsRadio 790 AM and FM Talk  100.5.

September 16, 2010

Bishop Calls on Commissioned Lay Ministers to be Evangelists

SAGINAW - Bishop Joseph R. Cistone celebrated Mass for the Commissioning of Lay Ministers on Sunday at the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption. 

Eight men and women stood before Bishop Cistone and were commissioned for the first time. In addition, 50 others re-committed themselves for another three years and 17 men and women were granted permanent status as commissioned  lay ministers. More than 300 commissioned lay ministers serve among the 105 parish communities of the Diocese of Saginaw. 

In his homily, Bishop Cistone challenged the commissioned lay ministers to become evangelists with the local Church.

"I truly believe that we need to develop our programs, our attention and our sight on our brothers and sisters, who, for whatever reason, are no longer worshiping with us," he said. 

"If we are truly missioned and commissioned to preach the Good News, then to whom better can we do it than our brothers and sisters who have lost a sense of the power of the Lord Jesus Christ and the grace of the Sacraments in their lives? Where could we do any better work than that?"

New Poll: Americans Continue to Oppose Tax Funding for Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Support Ethical Alternatives

WASHINGTON — As the U.S. Senate prepares to hold a hearing on human embryonic stem cell research (hESCR), a new public opinion poll shows that a plurality of Americans (47 percent) oppose federal funding of stem cell research that involves destroying human embryos, while only thirty-eight percent (38 percent) support such funding. The poll, conducted by ICR / International Communications Research, surveyed 1,006 adults September 8-14. It was commissioned by the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
Survey respondents were informed that stem cells can also be obtained from adults, placentas from live births and other ways that do no harm to the donor, and that scientists disagree on whether stem cells from embryos or from such alternative sources may end up being most successful in treating diseases. Fifty-seven percent (57 percent) favor funding only the research avenues that do not harm the donor, while only twenty-one percent (21 percent) favored funding all stem cell research, including research that involves killing embryonic human beings.
“The Senate should not be misled on this important issue,” said Richard M. Doerflinger, Associate Director of the USCCB’s Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities. “Most Americans do not support federally funded research that requires destroying human embryos. They want their tax dollars used for stem cell research that is ethically sound as well as medically promising – the kind of research that has attracted the interest and commitment of more and more stem cell experts in recent years.”
The new poll also shows continued overwhelming opposition to human cloning, whether to provide children for infertile couples (83 percent against) or to produce embryos that would be destroyed in medical research (76 percent against).

Click here to read more about "New Poll: Americans Continue to Oppose Tax Funding for Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Support Ethical Alternatives". 

September 14, 2010

Saginaw native who traded house for SUV returns home with musical family to give concert

All are invited to enjoy a free concert featuring the Irish folk music group ShaeLaurel following the annual “Mass on the Grass” at St. Stephen Catholic Church this weekend

It will be a homecoming of sorts for Andrew Witchger. The father of four grew up in Saginaw and graduated from St. Stephen High School in 1981. Witchger went on to study music at Central Michigan University and began working as a parish music minister.

Taking a leap of faith in 2001, Witchger and his wife, Janet, sold their home and belongings and took their musical family on the road. They have since performed across the United States, Canada, Europe and China. Recently the group was even featured on CNN.

Witchger will be in Saginaw with ShaeLaurel this weekend for the third annual “Mass on the Grass” celebration at St. Stephen Catholic Church. The outdoor Mass provides an opportunity for the community to worship together amidst the outdoor beauty of fall. It also is an opportunity to bring the entire neighborhood together for a free concert that is upbeat and entertaining. The fast-fiddling Irish and contemporary style of ShaeLaurel promises to provide an enjoyable afternoon for the entire family.

ShaeLaurel also will perform for students at St. Stephen School on Monday, September 20.

In case of bad weather the concert will take place in the parish hall. ShaeLaurel also will provide music during the St. Stephen weekend Masses at 4:00 p.m. and 8:30 a.m.

WHAT: St. Stephen Catholic Church invites families to participate in a day of worship, music and fun. Food and beverages will be available. All are welcome.

WHEN: Mass begins at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, September 19 and ShaeLaurel will follow at 12:00 p.m.

WHERE: St. Stephen Catholic Church parking lot, 1300 Malzahn, Saginaw

September 13, 2010

Catholic schools again featured on NBC25

Check out part two in a recent NBC25 series on Catholic schools. You can view the story about the expansion project and growing enrollment at St. Brigid of Kildare School by clicking here. Preliminary numbers show increased enrollment at many Catholic schools in the Diocese of Saginaw. Watch for more good news from our Catholic schools to come.

September 10, 2010

Bishop hopes new Nouvel High School chapel will ‘enliven Catholic identity and mission’ for students

SAGINAW — As part of a renewed effort to strengthen Catholic identity, one classroom inside Nouvel Catholic Central High School underwent a major renovation this summer. The room was transformed into a chapel for students, faculty and staff so they might have the opportunity to spend quiet time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament during the school day. Weekly Masses for the school community will be celebrated during the school year.

“It is my sincere hope that students, faculty and staff will frequently visit St. Paul Oratory, and that they may find that the presence of the Blessed Sacrament enlivens the Catholic identity and mission of Nouvel Catholic Central High School,” said the Most Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw, in a recent letter to Nouvel Principal Irene Hensinger and Sister Yvonne Mary Loucks RSM, Director of Catholic Identity and Mission for Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Saginaw.

Bishop Cistone is set to dedicate the private chapel and celebrate Mass there on Monday morning. The dedication comes on the 50th anniversary of the first Mass celebrated at the school, which first opened its doors as St. Paul Seminary in 1960.

The seminary ceased operation in 1970 and the building became the new site of Ss. Peter & Paul High School. In 1984, following the merger of three Saginaw-area Catholic high schools, the name was changed to Nouvel, which remains today.

Nouvel Catholic Central was named in honor of Father Henri Nouvel, a Jesuit missionary credited with celebrating the first Mass in the interior of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula at the Saginaw River Valley on December 3, 1675. A monument stands today on Saginaw’s Ojibway Island to commemorate that event.

Several Diocese of Saginaw priests who attended the seminary have been invited to attend Monday’s Mass as well as Nouvel students, faculty and staff and Saginaw Area Catholic School leaders.

Catholic Schools featured on NBC25

Check out the recent story on NBC25 news about Bay Area Catholic Schools' growing enrollment. Coverage of our Catholic Schools continues on NBC25 tonight with a feature on the expansion project at St. Brigid of Kildare School in Midland.

September 8, 2010

MCC Board of Directors Names Paul A. Long as President/CEO

LANSING – Michigan Catholic Conference Board of Directors unanimously voted today to name MCC Vice President for Public Policy Paul A. Long as the Conference’s next President and Chief Executive Officer.

Long succeeds Sister Monica Kostielney, RSM, who is retiring in November after 38 years of service to the Conference, the last 16 as President/CEO.  Long will begin his tenure as President/CEO on November 15, 2010

"For more than two decades Paul Long has presented to state government the Conference’s advocacy agenda with integrity and the utmost level of professionalism. His years of service and commitment to the Church make him an exemplary candidate to lead the Conference into the next decade," said the Most Rev. Allen H. Vigneron, Archbishop of Detroit and chairman of the MCC Board of Directors.

“Sister Monica Kostielney for nearly 40 years has been a tireless advocate for the poor and the unborn; a passionate and commanding voice on matters concerning education and economic justice, Sister Monica has directed the Conference with humility and grace.”

Long was raised in St. Clare Shores Michigan and graduated from Michigan State University’s James Madison College in 1988 with a bachelor of arts degree in urban political studies.  After working for both the House of Representatives and State Senate while enrolled at MSU, Long was hired by the Michigan Catholic Conference as Public Affairs Associate with a principle focus on tax and health care issues. In November 1994 he was appointed Vice President for Public Policy, serving as the chief liaison between the Catholic Church in Michigan and state government.

As Vice President for Public Policy, Long has worked on numerous pieces of legislation that sought to advance the common good in Michigan, including a ban on assisted suicide, the creation of a state earned income tax credit, and ushering through the Legislature the state’s ban on human cloning.

Ensuring non-public schools are treated fairly in the legislative process, protecting budget programs that assist the state’s poor and vulnerable population, and advancing legislation that promotes and protects all human life, from conception to natural death, have been priority areas for Long and the Conference’s public policy advocacy.

Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state and advocates for legislation that promotes the common good. The Conference was established in 1963 by Cardinal John Dearden, then Archbishop of Detroit, who envisioned a unified Catholic voice that would bring its economic and social justice message to the executive, legislative and judicial branches of state and federal government.

“I am humbled today – and eagerly look forward to steering the Conference forward in its mission to develop sound public policy and administer benefit services with a dedication to integrity and excellence,” Long said.

Long serves on the Board of Visitors for Michigan State University’s James Madison College, the Board of the Michigan Association of Non-Public Schools, the Parish Education Council, Pastoral Council and Finance Council of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in East Lansing, and on the Catholic Charities USA Social Policy Committee.  He is a former chairman of the Board of The Hospice of Lansing and the Michigan State University Alumni Association National Board of Directors.

In 1996 Long was named a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, and in 1999 he was awarded as a Distinguished Alumnus of the James Madison College. Paul, his wife Dr. Melissa Long, and their three children reside in East Lansing.

September 3, 2010

Cardinal’s gift now adorns Cathedral

SAGINAW – A nearly 18-foot tall ornately carved triptych that displays a painted image of the Holy Family now stands in the northwest corner of the worship space inside the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption after it was installed there this week.

The artwork, which once was housed in Philadelphia’s Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter & Paul, was gifted by Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, to the people of the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw for display in the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption following the first anniversary of Bishop Joseph R. Cistone’s installation as the sixth Bishop of Saginaw.

Bishop Cistone, a native of Philadelphia, was ordained to the priesthood there in 1975. In 2004, he was appointed to serve as an Auxiliary Bishop to the Archbishop of Philadelphia by Pope John Paul II and consecrated as a bishop by Cardinal Rilgali. He was installed as the sixth Bishop of Saginaw on July 28, 2009.

The Holy Family Triptych was commissioned in Rome by Cardinal John O’Hara, CSC, Archbishop of Philadelphia from 1951-1960, during the 1958 consistory of his elevation by Pope John XXIII. He had it installed above a side altar within Philadelphia’s Cathedral Basilica where it remained until its removal earlier this year to make room for a new shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

A triptych, which is derived from Greek words for “three” and “fold,” is a work of art that is divided into three sections, or three carved panels, which are hinged together and can be folded. In the case of the Holy Family Triptych, the central painting is flanked by carved wooden doors made. The entire wood encasing is comprised of black walnut.

Cardinal O’Hara, a Michigan native, was born in Ann Arbor in 1888 and ordained as a priest of the Congregation of the Holy Cross in 1916. He served as the 13th president of the University of Notre Dame, during the 1930s. He then served as Bishop of the Military Ordinariate of the United States of America during World War II. In 1945, he was named as Bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo and served six years there until his final appointment as Archbishop of Philadelphia in 1951. He died in 1960 and is entombed within the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.