SAGINAW — The Most Rev. Joseph R. Cistone is in Rome for his “ad limina” visit to the Vatican (Feb. 1 — Feb. 6), when he will report on the state of the Diocese of Saginaw to the Holy See, Pope Benedict XVI. Bishop Cistone made the pilgrimage with Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, and the bishops of the other dioceses of Michigan and Ohio.
While in Rome, Bishop Cistone will have a meeting with the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI and visit the tombs of Ss. Peter and Paul.
“Ad limina” comes from the Latin phrase ad limina apostolorum (to the threshold of the Apostles), which is a reference to the pilgrimage to the center of the Church, Rome, and includes prayer at the tombs of Ss. Peter and Paul. Bishops are required by church law to visit Rome and meet with the Holy Father every five years, in order to discuss each diocese.
In addition to reporting to the Holy Father, Bishop Cistone submitted what is called the Quinquennial Report — the word “quinquennial” meaning “a period of five years.” This report is several hundred pages and informs the Holy See on many aspects of the diocese including statistics, such as the number of Catholics, priests and Catholic schools. In addition, the bishop provides copies of significant writings.
Traditionally, the “ad limina” visits are made every five years, but near the end of Pope John Paul II’s pontificate, the visits were stopped for a period of time. The last time “ad limina” report to the Vatican happened in 2004 for American dioceses.