May 26, 2011
SAGINAW — The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw is looking for a few good young men and women to participate in a weeklong service camp that allows high school students to learn about and fight poverty, while reaching out to the poor.
Youth will spend five days of their summer vacation, June 19-24, sprucing up yards and making minor repairs to four homes selected in the city of Saginaw. They will even get some help from the Most. Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw, who is expected to spend time working at each location during one of the project days.
In addition to mowing lawns, trimming bushes and painting, YES participants will spend part of the week volunteering at various outreach organizations in the community. Evening activities include guest speakers, prayer and reflection on the experiences of the day.
“YES offers participants an opportunity to learn more about human dignity and the effects of poverty on their neighbors. Daily prayer and reflection help the young people develop a better understanding of their Catholic faith and the social teachings of the Church,” said Terri Grierson, Director of the Office of Christian Service.
“We have been taught that to find who we are we must give the total gift of self,” said Mark Graveline, Director of Youth Ministry. “The virtue of generosity leads us to God's plan for our lives. Students don’t need to travel out of the country or even their own community to do mission work and see Jesus in their brother or sister; the YES program has been providing this opportunity for our young people for many years.”
Those in need in the city of Saginaw, and unable to make necessary home repairs, may apply to have their home selected for the effort. Projects need to be such that they can be finished in one week and may include yard work, painting, and limited construction — such as fixing entry doors and locks for safety or installing new steps. Applications for home repairs may be picked up at any Catholic parish in Saginaw.
The YES program has been in existence for more than a decade and its success is due in large part to its dedicated volunteer supervisors, Nicole Bakos and Diane Seidel. Information and applications for those interested in participating may be found by clicking here.
YES is one of many ministries and programs supported by the Catholic Services Appeal.
May 25, 2011
May 23, 2011
View a one minute montage from Ordination to the Priesthood below.
View Bishop Cistone's homily below.
May 18, 2011
SAGINAW – The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) announced today the release of a major study related to the issue of sexual abuse of minors by clergy.
The report, The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States 1950-2002, follows the comprehensive study published in 2004 on the Nature and Scope of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States 1950-2002. Both research studies and reports were conducted and provided by the John Jay College for Criminal Justice in New York.
The Nature and Scope report provided information as to what occurred, including the number of abuse incidents, characteristics of the priests involved, and the financial impact, among other factors.
The purpose of the Causes and Context study was “to understand why the sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests occurred as it did by integrating research from sociocultural, psychological, situational, and organizational perspectives.”
The Most Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw, released the following statement:
“I welcome the release of the John Jay study on ‘Causes and Context.’ It is an important contribution not only to the Catholic Church but to the broader society as well in better understanding the tragic acts of abuse against minors and developing additional ways of protecting children and young people now and in the future.”
“I encourage people to carefully read the report in its entirety. Over the past decade, so much has been said and written about the terrible abuse of minors by members of the Church and of society in general. The John Jay report is unique in its scope and depth, and supports its findings with facts and data gleaned from clinical analysis, historical records, surveys, extensive interviews, as well as contributions made by experts.”
“I realize that each and every time such news and attention is given to this issue, many victims and survivors of sexual abuse relive the painful experience and memories. I express, once again, my sincere sorrow to the victims and survivors for the harm inflicted upon them and to all the members of the Church who suffer because of this evil and criminal behavior. I wish to assure them of my prayers and commitment to protect our children and young people now and in the future.”
The Diocese of Saginaw has programs and safeguards in place to help ensure the safety and well-being of young people. In 2003, in accordance with the mandate of the USCCB’s Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and Essential Norms, the Diocese of Saginaw revised its own Policies and Procedures.
The Diocese of Saginaw mandates all church personnel, as well as volunteers who work with children and youth, be subject to a criminal background check, attend VIRTUS training: Protecting God’s Children for Adults, and abide by the diocesan Standards of Ministerial Behavior Policy. Since 2003, more than 7,000 adults in the Diocese of Saginaw have undergone VIRTUS training, had background checks and signed the Standards of Ministerial Behavior Policy.
The Safe Environment Programs assist church personnel and volunteers to better understand the issue of child sexual abuse, how to prevent abuse, and how to report abuse in accordance with state law. In compliance with the Charter and diocesan policies, there are also programs for children and youth which teach them how to protect themselves and report inappropriate behavior. This includes participation in the Child Lures School Program and the Michigan Model for Health Education.
Since 2003, the Diocese of Saginaw has had in place a Victim Assistance Coordinator who seeks to provide pastoral care and outreach to all victims and their families. The Church of Saginaw hopes to provide healing and reconciliation to all those in need.
The Diocese of Saginaw is also assisted by a Review Board that meets regularly and advises the Bishop on policies and procedures for the protection of children. The Review Board is a confidential consultative body that is composed of six members — five lay people who are not employed by the church and one priest — who bring their areas of expertise in the protection of children to discussions and recommendations. The board also advises the Bishop regarding any allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by clergy.
Under the direction of the USCCB Office of Child and Youth Protection, each diocese is subject to a yearly audit by an independent firm to ensure compliance with the Charter. Since the audit process began in 2003, the Diocese of Saginaw has been in compliance each year.
Those in need of assistance are urged to call or e-mail the Victim Assistance Coordinator, Janet Fulgenzi, OP, PhD, at (989)797-6682 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Diocese of Saginaw’s child and youth protection programs, visit saginaw.org and click on the “Promise to Protect, Pledge to Heal” link.
“The bulk of cases occurred decades ago,” said Karen Terry, PhD., John Jay’s principal investigator for the report. “The increased frequency of abuse in the 1960s and 1970s was consistent with the patterns of increased deviance of society during that time.” She also stated that “social influences intersected with vulnerabilities of individual priests whose preparation for a life of celibacy was inadequate at that time.” Terry also said that neither celibacy nor homosexuality were causes of the abuse, and that priest candidates who would later abuse could not be distinguished by psychological test data, developmental and sexual history data, intelligence data, or experience in priesthood. The development of human formation components of seminary preparation for priesthood is associated with the continued low levels of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests in the United States, she said.
The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010 report by a John Jay College research team was made public May 18 in Washington. Terry presented the report to Diane Knight, CMSW, Chair of the National Review Board, a group of lay Catholics who oversaw the project and to Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Washington, who chairs the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People.
The study also found that the initial, mid-1980s response of bishops to allegations of abuse was to concentrate on getting help for the priest-abusers. Despite the development by the mid-1990s of a comprehensive plan for response to victims and the harms of sexual abuse, diocesan implementation was not consistent or thorough at that time. Yet, the decrease in incidence of sexual abuse cases by clergy was more rapid than the overall societal patterns.
Knight, a social worker from Milwaukee, lauded the work of John Jay. “Through its extensive processes of data collection and statistical analyses,” she said, “the researchers found that the crisis of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests is an historical problem.”
She added that “researchers also concluded that much of what has been implemented through the Charter is consistent with a model response to the prevention of child abuse. However, this in no way should lull us as a Church into complacency.”
The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People was adopted by the U.S. bishops in 2002 and has guided their response in dealing with sexual abuse of minors by clergy.
Bishop Cupich found hope in the documented progress that shows that “what we are doing works” in addressing child sexual abuse. He said that the inability to predict individual sexual deviance “makes the safe environments programs valuable and necessary.” He added that “the Catholic Church has taken a position of zero tolerance of any cleric who would sexually abuse a child.”
“Such a position protects children,” he said. “But it also protects the tens of thousands of priests who have suffered greatly in this crisis, all the while quietly serving with honor and self-sacrifice every day of their lives.”
The way forward for the bishops must be marked by humility and partnerships with others, Bishop Cupich said. “The shame of failing our people will remain with us for a long time. It should. Its sting can keep us resolute in our commitments and humble so as to never forget the insight we came to nearly a decade ago in Dallas. We cannot do any of this on our own.”
Established in 1964, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York is an international leader in educating for justice. It offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law.
The four include Deacons (pictured with Bishop Cistone from left to right) J. Marcel Portelli, Robert P. Schikora, Nathan E. Harburg, and Edwin C. Dwyer.
- Father Edwin C. Dwyer, to Parochial Vicar, Blessed Sacrament Parish, Midland. Father Dwyer also will assist Father Steven Gavit in ministry to Nouvel Catholic Central High School and Saginaw Valley State University Newman Apostolate.
- Father Nathan E. Harburg, to Parochial Vicar, St. Michael Parish, Port Austin, and St. Mary / St. Edward Parish, Kinde.
- Father J. Marcel Portelli, to Parochial Vicar, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Chesaning, St. Michael Parish, Oakley, and St. Cyril Parish, Bannister, with primary responsibility to St. Cyril Parish. Father Portelli will reside at St. Cyril Parish.
- Father Robert P. Schikora, to Parochial Administrator, St. Denis Parish, Lexington, and St. Patrick Parish, Croswell. Father Shikora will reside at St. Denis Parish.
May 17, 2011
Catholic schools and parish education programs walk away with more than $71K from BIG Raffle Celebration
SAGINAW — There were some big prizes given away during the Catholic Community Foundation of Mid-Michigan’s BIG Raffle Celebration this evening, but the biggest winner was Catholic education. Schools and parishes across the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw immediately took home more than $71,000 raised through the sale of more than 29,000 BIG Raffle tickets.
The BIG Raffle, which previously took place during the Bishop’s Charity Ball, has helped to raise more than $1 million for Catholic education since 2007.
The Most Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw, drew the winning tickets of the BIG Raffle this evening. Ron and Marcy Hegenauer were on hand to hear their names called for the top prize, the choice of a new Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Cruze or $10,000. Dolores Lawrence won a trip for two to Rome; Amy Frillici of Alma won the $5,000 home improvement project, while Candi Nadolski of Bay City took home a laptop computer. Three tickets were also drawn for $1,000 cash prizes, and the winners of that drawing were Joseph Luplow of Saginaw; Scott, Kristine and Molly Nowak of Bay City and Mary McCarthy of Saginaw.
To view photos from the BIG Raffle click here.
The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw includes 105 parish communities and 22 Catholic schools located across 11 counties.
Bishop Cistone calls for special collection for 'Tornado Recovery' : 'I invite all our parishes to do what you can, when you can'
May 16, 2011
More than 29,000 tickets sold for inaugural BIG Raffle benefiting Catholic education, event tomorrow night
The BIG Raffle, which previously took place during the Bishop’s Charity Ball, has helped to raise more than $1 million for Catholic education since 2007. Tickets for the drawing have been sold for $5 each in communities across the diocese and tomorrow night the Most Rev. Joseph R. Cistone will help draw the winning tickets.
Top prizes include the choice of a new Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Cruze or $10,000 Cash (McDonald Chevrolet), Trip for two to Rome (A-M Church supply), $5,000 home improvement project (R.C. Hendrick & Son), Computer Laptop (Yeo & Yeo CPAs & Business Consultants), and three $1,000 prizes.
The BIG Raffle celebration will be held from 5:30 until 7 p.m., on Tuesday, May 17, at Horizons Conference Center. BIG Raffle celebration and drawing tickets can be purchased through noon tomorrow by visiting the diocesan website, saginaw.org. All are welcome to the event which includes an artists’ auction featuring Inspiring Benches, art cookies, door prizes, great hors d’oeuvres and beverages.
The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw includes 105 parish communities and 22 Catholic schools located across 11 counties.
May 6, 2011
Bishop Cistone announces $5.7 million investment to support Catholic high schools in Bay City, Saginaw
May 5, 2011
Information will be posted on the DoS News blog following the afternoon announcement.
May 4, 2011
“Mary Ann has great passion for Catholic school education and continuous learning,” Bishop Cistone said. “I am delighted she will assist us in building upon the quality programs already in existence in our Catholic schools throughout the diocese.”
The search for a superintendent was among the first initiatives announced by Bishop Cistone following his installation as sixth Bishop of Saginaw in 2009.
Deschaine earned an Education Specialist degree from Saginaw Valley State University in 2010, a Master of Arts degree in education with a concentration in K-12 educational leadership from Michigan State University in 2004, a Bachelor of Science degree in foods and nutrition from Central Michigan University in 1985 and Montessori teacher certification from the Adrian Dominican Montessori Teacher Education Institute in 1999.
Since 2008, Deschaine, has worked as principal at Elms Road Elementary School in Swartz Creek. Previously, she worked as principal at Atkins Elementary School in Bridgeport from 2005-2008; a kindergarten teacher at List Elementary School in Frankenmuth from 2002-2005; as principal and first-grade teacher at St. Helen Catholic School in Saginaw from 2001-2002; and as directress and teacher at Midland Montessori School, Inc. in Midland from 1998 -2000.
Deschaine is a resident of Frankenmuth and member of Blessed Trinity Parish, where she has long served as a member of the parish council, faith formation catechist, and children’s liturgy of the word facilitator.
“I am honored and eager to serve the people of the Diocese of Saginaw, especially the children and families engaged in many wonderful Catholic school communities,” Deschaine said.
“I have tremendous respect for the personal commitment of Bishop Cistone to strengthen Catholic school education within the diocese. I look forward to developing relationships with the many key leaders of our schools and parishes, and especially with pastors, principals, teachers, staff members and school boards.”
There are 3,400 students enrolled in 22 Catholic schools located across the 11-county Diocese of Saginaw.
May 3, 2011
- It fails to take into consideration those who are able to find employment but later find themselves in need of assistance due to job loss or any other unforeseen circumstance;
- Only those with children are eligible to enroll in the Family Independence Program. The legislation fails to address the impact it will have on the children of those who have made repeated mistakes and will be banned for life from receiving assistance.
May 2, 2011
The recommendation and approval come following a series of meetings of the school committee, parish council and finance committees, which determined the parish could no longer support the rising cost of operating the school.
In a “State of the School” address that was presented to St. Valentine parishioners and school families in February, data showed the per-pupil cost — with the current enrollment of 20 students — was more than $8,500. That cost was expected to rise as the projected enrollment for the 2011-12 school year was 13 students.
“While it is sad to close our parish school, we are thankful that our students will have the opportunity to continue their education at one of our neighboring Catholic schools,” said James Fielbrandt, who has served as principal of St. Valentine since 2002. “Our parents remain committed to Catholic education and the surrounding parishes in our community are generously supporting them.”
In a letter to St. Valentine parishioners, Bishop Cistone wrote, “I am most respectful of the 61-year legacy of St. Valentine School and grateful for the outstanding support of the school by this parish family. I hope that the parents and students currently enrolled in St. Valentine School will make every effort to continue their Catholic school education in neighboring Catholic schools which are prepared to welcome and care for them.”
St. Valentine School opened its doors in 1949 and has provided excellent Catholic education in the Beaver community for more than half a century. Plans will be made to hold a farewell gathering to give teachers, current and former students, families and parishioners an opportunity to celebrate the cherished history of St. Valentine School.