News from Diocese of Saginaw, MI

Well, we’ll see where this goes.

Bishop Carlson has made some changes to the pastor lineup in the Diocese of Saginaw.

Roger Pasionek will be ordained a Permanent Deacon at Saginaw Holy Family. (He’s currently he Pastoral Associate there).

Fr. Bill Taylor is retiring. He is (was) at Holy Family in Saginaw.

Fr. Ron Wagner will move from St. Mary’s Cathedral to Saginaw Holy Family.

Fr. Jim Bessert will move from St. Brigid in Midland to St. Mary’s Cathedral.

Andy Booms will be ordained to the priesthood in June and be Associate Pastor at Bay City St. James

Jose Cabrera will also be ordained a priest in June to be the Associate Pastor at Midland Blessed Sacrament.

Good call on the cathedral, in my opinion.

I am glad it worked out that way.
High Callings!
I pray that with these changes the church communities value and support each Shepherd.

Any idea who is going to Midland? I didn’t see it mentioned. Also, the Cathedral is losing it’s music director after many years of service. He has been as influential as any rector in guiding the worship in that parish community. Combined with the change in rectors, the Cathedral could look very different in the near future.

I wondered about Midland too–that’s a pretty big parish with a nice school.
Fr. Bessert does a great job keeping in the guidelines of the GIRM so hopefully he’ll be able to implement that at the cathedral.
I wonder how long the new ordinations will serve as associate pastors before being assigned to their own parishes.

Generally, it’s about 4-6 years.

There are usually assignments at a large parish, a small parish and a parish with a school.

Possibly a hospital or prison chaplaincy as well.

SInce this thread is about general news from the Diocese, I really would love to know what Bishop Carlson’s true and initial gut response is to the comments made by our Pope this week. Latin Mass is beautiful, but limits some participation. Praying for the Conversion of Jews, telling Christians that We the Catholics are the one true Christians caused a world schism, a crack in our mission as a Catholic church…
I am sure I will take some flak but my thoughts are:
WOW!! On this war torn earth, how could he. I am alarmed evenmore so by the Pope’s statement on proclaiming the Catholic Church as the one true Christian Church. Ecumenical communication just got thrown out the window. He could not have communicated more clearly that therefore “we are special, you are not” YES, Peter is the Rock of the Church, YES, we celebrate Sacraments that annoint us with the Gift of the Holy Spirit, YES, by taking the Body of Christ we are called to a higher standard. WE are held to a higher responsibility to be LOVE in this world. THIS is what it means to be a CATHOLIC. The statement he made causes division, inklings of superiority. Does God: love us better, communicate only with US. OR, did Jesus die on the Cross for the whole world. For the Sin of the whole world. Giving Hope for the whole of humanity. Remember, all life is a Holy Miracle, a gift. Directed, communicated, made out of the Love of God.
Again, we must reconcile our words with our deeds. Do we really believe that we are ONE BODY in Christ. DO we acknowledge, revere, immerse ourselves in the understanding that Jesus reveals himself not only to Catholics but to the whole world. Have we shoved GOD into our own little special box, somehow thinking we are better, we are chosen, God loves us more. These are fighting words.
How many Christians do you know that don’t believe in following the Ten Commandmants, that don’t believe that Jesus died for their sins??.
What a SAD day, when he could have been so much more powerful to speak about unity and loving and fighting evil in this world together.
Just like with previous comment on Muhammed when he came out to further clarify his statement. I pray that he Clarifies to other Christians that statement.
My God!!

Have you read any of the Vatican documents in question?

Why now at this point in history this statement issued on Primacy of the Catholic Church. A very calculated move on his part, he understands fully the power of the position he holds. What damage has been done.
Peace, lisa

I have to say the diocese of Saginaw is lucky to have Bishop Carlson. He is a GREAT bishop! The number of vocations he has generated in such a short amount of time is nothing short of phenomenal! God Bless Bishop Carlson and God Bless Pope Benedict XVI!

Hi Lisa,

Thank you for your honest frustration with this recent document from Rome.

I want to ask you, however, in all respect, have you read the document or did you only hear about it? The reason I ask is because some of the questions you raise were actually answered in the document itself. I mean here the argument that Christ is exclusive to the Catholic Church.

The document never said that, in fact, it said the opposite. Christ does provide grace and salvation outside the structure of the Church but it is within the Roman Catholic Church where we find what Christ intended. Without totally spelling this out, we have things like the papacy, clearly intended by Christ, we have the Eucharist, we have the apostles down to this very day in the persons of our bishops. It is here that we find the truth that Christ entrusted to humanity and Christianity. Again, not exclusively, but in its fullness.

As far as ecumenism goes, I think this is the most fair thing we could do in inter-faith dialogue. If we are to enter into a conversation with someone, we need to be clear about who we are and where we are coming from. This document is not new news. This has been the constant teaching of the Church for two thousand years. It is not said to condemn, it is not said out of hatred, it is said in love. It is not an easy saying, but it is a true saying. Why would we not want to speak the truth because someone would be offended by it? It is not the truth that needs to change in this instance, it is the “offended” person.

I hope this might help a little, please respond so that we can continue this conversation…

Dear 8640:
I have not read the document that Pope Benedict was speaking of. I have only read news reports. As has many other Christians in the world. I am simply asking for clarification, speaking to those who now have most likely turned a blind ear. As always, new media serves to confuse, sell ads. Skewing info for ratings. I realize this but now Christians around the world mistrust him, because words are very powerful, and the message that was disseminated was limited. So it is, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among Us” Jesus did die for the Sin of the whole world, Salvation is a Gift to everyone. Sin is isolating, separating, moves against Love. Moves against God. We celebrate our Covenantal Sacraments as Catholics with enormous responsibility. NOT soley with the intention of what that does for me personally, but for the betterment of the whole world. They are a gift, the annointing of the Holy Spirit in our lives, stewardship and sacrifice for others. Helping others see the Divinity of God through our actions, our words. Not only letting others “see” that we are the only ones privy to salvation because we are Catholic. Undoubtedly, YES, we must evangelize, be hope to others that in receiving the BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST is paramountal in spreading Love in the World. Our Catholic Faith is so much centered on the Love, Mercy, and Forgiveness of Christ. WE must share that. The perceived message to other Christians- (Christ-ins) is that eventhough you believe that Jesus is the Incarnation, Died for your Sins and the Sins of the whole world so that we may have everlasting life, that only we the Catholics hold the Key to Salvation. I understand that it is not what the Document says, but that is what is now perceived.

I think about the fact that Pope John Paul the Second used his papacy for healing. The truth was very important to him, knowing that speaking it brought healing. Moved us forward towards Peace… He apologized for the ineffectiveness, the inactivity of the Catholic Church in taking a firm and definitive stance against Hitler. He apologized, moved towards unity. Understood deeply the woundness of the Jews. So, the reinstitution of the TLM, which holds a prayer for the conversion of the Jews moves us backwards,.

Many people fear losing certain aspects of their faith tradition. They have something so good that the thought of change petrifies them. To keep the flow of Love, the Will of God in the world, and because we Live in this world, we must be willing to adapt our faith practices in the History of the World. Not give in to the history of the world, but, be OPEN to the constant REVELATION of Christ’s Word to us. “Grow in Love and Peace and Serve God”, is our ending prayer. This is why each week when we proclaim the Gospel we revel in its Mystery to be alive in us, to be pertinent, to be the ultimate constant Truth manifesting itself in our present day. When we follow the Holy Spirit and let the Spirit determine our decisions, the creativity and presence of God in the world Will only increase. Therefore, inorder to constantly grow in our faith, as we see in Vatican 2, we must not be so rigid to change. Think about the Apostles-sent forth to spread the good news, the foundation of our church. Our entire celebration of Liturgy was instituted and finely tuned throughout all of history. Because we LISTENED. we followed God’s Will…The purpose of the document, and its original intent was to be rooted in Love=Unity=Mercy. Christ wants Unity more so than we humans comprehend.People around the world, Christians, only heard this, “we Catholics are the one true church and will be the one’s who are Saved” As you said the entire document speaks of our Mission, but I am telling what the world heard.
Admittedly, YES, we must clearly state our Decree, we must know firmly what we believe in, what is the foundation of our faith tradition. Pope Benedict does have an enormous Responsibility be Truth and Wisdom in a world full of despair. To Evangelize and share the Life giving message of our Catholic Faith but he must enclose others in understanding, in knowing why we do what we do, and send the message of “come along with us and we will journey together and be Christ to one another” and there will be Peace…
God Bless,

You have said that John Paul II Servant of God was very interested in speaking the truth, and you have mentioned the healing power of the truth. Yet by implication you feel that Benedict XVI is not interested in speaking the truth or in healing. That seems odd to me. Benedict is speaking the truth here, that is why it is uncomfortable. While a different man might have phrased it more politically, Benedict is his own man and the Head of the Church on Earth. He believes that false ecumenism is just that, false and pointless. Unless the Catholic Church builds its house on firm ground, it will tumble. Over the last 40 years we have struggled with that. Now Benedict is making progress. He recognises that it is the duty of the Church to proclaim Christ and save souls. I fail to see how discussion of ‘different paths to God’ is better at saving souls than clearly and compassionately telling the world how to attain salvation.

Benedict has restated the teaching of Extra ecclesiam nullum salus. Not always,though some do feel that way- cf invincible ignorance and baptism of desire in the CCC, …But it’s a good general rule.

Pope Benedict cannot be responsible for the twisting and lies portryaed by the media. It is the responsibility of every person to educate themselves about issues like this and not leave it to the New York Times to tell them what the Pope is saying. There is a blog out there put out by some of the seminarians from your Saginaw Diocese. They do a good job of telling the news and have interesting commentary on it. I’m sure it would be helpful to you to check it out. Here is the link:

John Paul II was also criticized. However, now that he is dead everyone is praising him against their criticisms of Benedict. John Paul stated definitively that only men could become priests, he spoke out boldly against the use of contraceptives, etc., For this, he was hated as well. A failproof way I have for knowing if the Holy Father is doing the will of God is if everyone hates him for it. “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before you.”

As far as the Latin Mass goes, we have always prayed for the conversion of the Jews and we continue to pray for their conversion in the Good Friday Services. That is the loving thing to do. Salvation comes through Jesus Christ and him alone. This is by far the most desperate attempt on attacking catholicism that I have ever seen Satan and the media pull. This is pure desperation. To pull out a two second prayer out of a service that is done once a year that says the same thing services in the new mass says is down right desperate on the part of Satan to cause division and confusion. To say that Benedict is destroying Catholic-Jewish relations by bringing back an historic form of prayer in the Church is asinine. Oh, and please, I’m not saying this to you, I’m saying it to those people that drum this stuff up.

Anyways, I’d please ask you to consider getting your news from different sources and then trust that the Holy Spirit is working through holy men like Benedict XVI.

I keep tabs on the Saginaw Diocese from where I am now. Partly because that’s where I grew up, partly because it is discussed on Ave Maria radio all the time. From what I can tell, Bishop Carlson is a good Bishop and is doing a bang up job trying to turn things around in the diocese. I think the church needs more people like him. And if he makes my sister mad, he must be a pretty good guy.

I’d also like to comment that with the old mass returning and the decree earlier this week, I’ve run into both catholics and non-catholics complaining that Benedict is ‘ruining’ all of the ‘modernization’ Pope JP2 did in his papacy. Which puzzles me. People seem to think JP2 was some great modernizer that was taking the church in a new direction. And indeed, even when I was not in the church I had this idea as well, thanks to the secular world. I always like to ask these people what were these great modernizations and reforms he did? How did JP2 change the church and how is Benedict ‘ruining’ that? After they finish stammering and not being able to name these great ‘modernizations’ I point out that JP2 held fast to the same teachings the church has always had about docterine, sexuality, women clergy, homosexuals, birth control, abortion, moral values, etc etc and changed none of that. I also like to point out that JP2 set the church’s modern voice on sexuality, the one that the feminists and liberals like to complain about so much.

This idea that JP2 was some great ‘modernizer’ or ‘liberal’ is a myth. What he was, was a great stewart of the church. He was charasmatic and traveled the world. He appealed to young people, and people just liked him. These ideas about him are all myths perpetuated by a media that wanted him to change the church for their own selfish reasons. The same media that has put forward ideas that Benedict is changing all that back and is too ‘conservative’.

Drives me mad sometimes.

Dear 8640-
Evil is built on Confusion and lies, subtle deception, we are taken in. This is why we must constantly pray to be open to Divine Wisdom and Truth. Be instruments of peace and understanding.

Having said that,you must consider deeply the implications on Pope Benedict’s Words to our Christian Brother and Sisters. They not only got the attention of World Christian Leaders and CNN, but filtered right on down to my little town of 2500 people. My son was on facebook, and everyone knows everyone here, and his Lutheran Friends were furious with what the Pope said. “How could these Catholics think this way??”, “We are not defective Christians” “We are Saved”. THIS IS THE INTERPRETATION of 17 year olds, this will resound deeply with them, how they view Catholics. The impact is enormous.
Please consider that when the Pope speaks, the entire World listens. He can BE love, He can Unite, He can bring LIGHT to Darkness, He can be a gentle leader. He is isolated us.

Sorry 8640, he accomplished nothing with those statements. Catholics know they have a Miraculous thing going. Other Christians heard they are Sub par. Not a good way to evangelize to me.

Dear Lisa,

Evil causes confusion and lies. Again, your beef should not be with the pope. He is doing a great service to the work of ecumenism. He is stating that the teaching of the catholic church will be the same as it has always been. We will not waver. Don’t you see that this is the loving thing to do? Just because your son doesn’t like something that you’ve told him, should you change your mind and apologize? If it is the truth, you must train your son in righteousness as the Apostle would say. Same here. Also, there were leaders in other Protestant Church’s that asked for this document. This wasn’t just some whim of the pope. Those working for Christian Unity wanted to know the boundries so that we could work towards unification.

The sad fact of the Protestant Reformation is that it did make them defective Christians. They are not fully initiated since they have only received one sacrament. You need Confirmation and Eucharist to be a fully initiated Christian. Because of their break with truth, they do not have that. It is a hard saying but the truth is a two-edged blade, sometimes it cuts for us, but sometimes it cuts us. This is the hard fact: what he said was true.

I have read much of Pope Benedict’s writings and I have met him. He is a very holy and gentle man. He speaks the truth and asks his children to listen. We need to pay strict attention to where the Holy Spirit is guiding him.


At least five of the last half dozen Popes have said the same thing that Benedict said. Ecumenism is not “I’m O.K., you’re O.K.” It is speaking the truth about what we believe and teach and letting the others speak the truth about what they believe and teach. Then to seek as much common ground as possible and agreeing to disagree on the rest. It is not compromising one’s form of faith to jolly up the other party. Read then documents and do not depend on the secular press to interpret them for you.

Im just wondering. Is kneeling during eucharistic pryer back? becack when I attended CMU in my pleasant in the early 90s after Mass on campus bishop uetener and I got in a heated debate over his getting rid of kneeling during eucharistic prayer, something Id been spanked for not doing when I was a kid. hopefully all of bishop uetener’s non sense will soon be gone from the diocese of saginaw.

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