SAGINAW — The Most Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw, will ordain two new priests for the diocese this afternoon. The Rev. Mr. Thomas R. Held and Rev. Mr. Alberto E. Vargas Posada will be ordained to the priesthood during a Mass celebrated at 2:00 p.m. today at the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption, 615 Hoyt. Ave., in Saginaw.
The ordinations to the priesthood will be Bishop Cistone’s third priestly ordinations for the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw since he was installed as its sixth bishop in July 2009.
In the Catholic Church, there are three “degrees” of the sacrament of Holy Orders: episcopate (bishops), presbyterate (priests) and diaconate (deacons). Bishops, who are successors of the Apostles, are ordained to teach, sanctify and govern; bishops may confer all seven sacraments of the Church. Priests, who are ordained to be co-workers with the Bishop in his ministry, cannot ordain and may only confirm under specific circumstances or with special permission from their bishop. Deacons, who are ordained to assist the bishop and the priests, may baptize and witness marriages.
Held, 46, is a native of Defiance, Ohio. He graduated from the University of Toledo in 1992. He served in the Ohio Air National Guard, lived in Japan and worked in the auto industry before realizing that God was calling him to the priesthood. Held received his priestly formation from Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, Conn. He has served as a deacon for the past year at St. John Catholic Church in Middletown, Conn.
Vargas Posada, 35, is a native of La Granja, Colombia. He came to the Diocese of Saginaw in 2008 as a seminarian and received his priestly formation at St. Vincent Seminary in LaTrobe, Pa. He also has completed English-language courses at Saginaw Valley State University. He has served as a deacon for the past year at St. Richard Catholic Church in Gibsonia, Pa.
Held and Vargas Posada will join the brotherhood of diocesan priests who minister to and pray for the people of the Diocese of Saginaw’s 105 parish communities located throughout 11 counties in mid-Michigan.