2018-10-25 / News

Bishop Cistone’s funeral Mass celebrated on Oct. 23

The Most Rev. Joseph Robert Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw. The Most Rev. Joseph Robert Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw. SAGINAW – The Most Rev. Joseph Robert Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw, died on Tuesday, Oct. 16 in Saginaw. Bishop Cistone’s funeral Mass was celebrated on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 11 a.m., at the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption, 615 Hoyt. Ave, Saginaw. The Most Rev. Allen H. Vigneron, archbishop of Detroit, presided, and the homily was given by Most Rev. Michael F. Burbidge, bishop of Arlington.

In lieu of flowers, those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorial contributions to the Diocese of Saginaw Cathedral Renovation. Contributions may also be made to the Daniel and Josephine Cistone Endowment Fund.

Bishop Cistone was born on May 18, 1949. He was the second of three sons born to Josephine R. (Altomare) and Daniel A. Cistone, Sr. He was baptized and grew up in the close-knit Italian parish community of Our Lady of Consolation in Philadelphia. He received his elementary education from his parish school and later graduated in 1967 from Father Judge High School for Boys.

Bishop Cistone was appointed Bishop of Saginaw by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on May 20, 2009. Two months later, on July 28, at St. Stephen Catholic Church in Saginaw, Bishop Cistone was installed as the sixth bishop of Saginaw.

Soon after his arrival in Saginaw, parish leadership called upon Bishop Cistone to address the need for parish restructuring. In 2011, as part of an overall plan to strengthen the Church of Saginaw and position parishes to better engage in the work of evangelization, Bishop Cistone announced the historic undertaking, Planning Tomorrow’s Parishes. The strategic planning process, designed to engage parishioners to assess the state of churches across the 11-county Diocese of Saginaw and develop recommendations to enhance the vibrancy of parish life, led to Bishop Cistone’s decisions in January 2013 to restructure parish communities and designate use of churches to better serve the faithful.

Pope Francis has appointed the Most Rev. Walter A. Hurley, bishop emeritus of Grand Rapids, as apostolic administrator for the Diocese of Saginaw, effective immediately. In this capacity, he serves as the caretaker for the diocese in this time of transition, addressing the spiritual needs of the diocese and keeping things working in an orderly way until the new bishop is appointed. Rev. William Rutkowski, who has served as vicar general for the Diocese of Saginaw since 2013, welcomed Bishop Hurley in a meeting with Diocesan staff on Wednesday, Oct. 17.

Bishop Hurley was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit in 1965 and was ordained the 22nd auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit in 2003. He continued to serve in the Archdiocese until 2005, when he was installed as the 11th bishop of the Diocese of Grand Rapids. He served as bishop in Grand Rapids for nearly eight years, until his retirement in 2013.

“I am happy to serve,” said Bishop Hurley. “I want to walk alongside the people of the Diocese of Saginaw as we await Pope Francis’ appointment of a new bishop.”

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