Bishop Cistone, with Participation of Parish Leaders and local Catholics, to provide Input to Vatican for Next Year’s Synod
SAGINAW — In October 2014, Catholic bishops from around the world will gather in Rome with Pope Francis for an Extraordinary Synod, a meeting of bishops with the Holy Father to discuss a particular theme or message. The topic for the synod is: Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelization.
In an effort to seek consultation from a wide audience, the Vatican is asking bishops from around the globe to gather information from their local dioceses through the distribution of a questionnaire about family and the Church. All pastors and pastoral administrators in the Diocese of Saginaw have received the questionnaire and have been asked by the Most Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw, to participate and contribute to his response, with the assistance of their pastoral councils.
Bishop Cistone also is making the questionnaire available online at Saginaw.org. Those who wish to participate and respond, either in part or in full, to the questionnaire online should print their responses and submit them to their local parish no later than next Friday, November 29.
Introducing the questionnaire is a four-page preparatory document which establishes the Church’s teaching and forms the context for the synod’s work.
Parishes will share their responses with Bishop Cistone during the first week of December, and Bishop Cistone will have two weeks to prepare and submit his report, on behalf of the Diocese of Saginaw, to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The conference will then send a report from the United States to the Vatican. The Vatican will use the information to prepare a working document for the synod.
“This is a very important topic for the bishops of the world to consider with the Holy Father,” Bishop Cistone said. “I am excited to be a part of this discussion and appreciate the interest shown by many to thoughtfully respond to the challenges facing marriage and family life in our world today.”
The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw was established by Pope Pius XI on Feb. 26, 1938. Today, it includes 6,955 square miles across Arenac, Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Huron, Isabella, Midland, Sanilac, Saginaw and Tuscola counties.