Eternal Rest, grant unto him, O Lord
In remembrance of our Bishop: let us be grateful for his service and remember him in prayer.
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.
Bishop Cistone encouraged the faithful to trust in the Lord’s plan, a message he first shared in his pastoral letter, “A Future Full of Hope”, in 2011. In it, he shared his vision for a complete revitalization of the diocese, which included a commitment to evangelization, vocations, lifelong discipleship and promotion of a deeper love, appreciation and understanding of the gift of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. The hallmark of his leadership is reflected in the restoration of the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption in Saginaw.
Bishop Cistone enjoyed spending time among the people, providing public witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ as he celebrated Mass, led Holy Hours, administered the Sacrament of Confirmation, particularly to the youth, traveled with pilgrims to the March for Life in Washington, D.C., hosted guests at the Bishop’s Ball and Golf Classic, prayed outside the abortion clinic, ministered to migrant workers, spoke at community events, visited Catholic schools and much more across the Diocese of Saginaw.
“The Eucharist is the foundation, the very essence, of what it means for us to be a Church. All priorities must find their source, meaning and grace in the Eucharist.” — Bishop Joseph Cistone, DD in his first pastoral letter to the Diocese of Saginaw: "A Future Full Of Hope"