Bishop Cistone will Drive more than 1,300 miles to Confirm more than 1,000 Catholics by June
SAGINAW- The Most Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw, will drive about 1,350 miles, or the equivalent of the distance between Saginaw, Mich. and Denver, Colo., as he travels across the Diocese of Saginaw to confer the sacrament of Confirmation on more than 1,000 young Catholics, most of whom are students in the second and third grade. Bishop Cistone will visit nearly 30 parishes during his travels from as far West as Beal City, to as far East as Harbor Beach, by June. This is the fifth year he has done this.
“For our youth, like all disciples of Jesus, the sacrament of Confirmation reminds us that we are chosen by God to receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit, to be ‘sealed’ with the gift of the Holy Spirit bestowed freely by God, and we are called to cooperate with that wonderful grace,” Bishop Cistone said. “It is such a privilege for me as the Bishop of Saginaw, and in particular the shepherd to our youth across the diocese, to be able to witness their childlike trust and wonder in God’s goodness as they receive the transformative gifts of the Holy Spirit poured out upon them in prayer and the anointing with Sacred Chrism. Furthermore, the Church has more than a vested interest in our young people. The strength and growth of society depend upon the intellectual and moral formation of our youth.”
The Catholic Church teaches that "by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed."* At each Confirmation, the Bishop prays over the candidates and anoints them with Sacred Chrism oil. The candidates also renew their baptismal promises which include a rejection of Satan and a belief in God and the Catholic Church.
In addition to the more than 1,000 receiving confirmation, most of whom are children, approximately 215 youth and adults at 42 different parishes across the diocese were received into the Catholic Church during Easter Vigil Masses on Holy Saturday, the evening before Easter Sunday. Some of the 215 received only the sacraments of Confirmation and the Eucharist at Mass, while others received all of the sacraments of initiation, which include Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist.
Bishop Cistone began his travels to administer the sacrament of Confirmation this year on Feb. 23 at St. Cecilia Church in Clare. He will conclude his travels on June 8 at the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption.
Bishop Cistone’s detailed Confirmation schedule may be viewed at the following address: http://www.saginaw.org/images/stories/PDFs/Confirmation/Confirmation_Schedule_2014.pdf
*from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1285