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News & Press Releases


In an effort to provide those who visit this site with up-to-date information regarding  events or stories of interest happening within the diocese, the Secretariat for Communications researches and prepares articles and news releases. 

Access to the most recent news is available under "News Headlines" on the home page.  Copies of old stories are available by accessing the Archives at the end of the News and Press Release section.

Top Ten Stories of 2004


Each year, we take a moment to look back and reflect on the past year. Below are some of the major events and activities of the Diocese of Gaylord in 2004.

  • Bishop Cooney’s Ad Limina Visit – The Vatican requests diocesan bishops prepare a complete report covering all activities taking place in their dioceses every five years. Bishop Cooney and the other bishops of Region VI (Michigan and Ohio) visited the Vatican in May.
  • Ordinations – Two priests and two permanent deacons were ordained in 2004. On June 12, Donald James Wright (at St. Joseph, Manistee) and December 18, Anthony Cureton (at St. John the Baptist, Alpena) were ordained to the priesthood. On Saturday, June 26, a Liturgy for Ordination to Permanent Deacon was held for Dennis Duggan and Rene Hoenscheid, the first permanent deacons ordained for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gaylord since Bishop Cooney instituted the new diaconate formation program.
  • Introduction of new General Instructions on the Roman Missal (G.I.R.M.) – Following training sessions of clergy and parish leadership, the instructions were introduced to the all the parishes throughout the diocese. The GIRM refocuses on the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy and emphasizes many of the items called for in Vatican II but never implemented. Following instruction by liturgical leadership, Bishop Cooney has mandated the new instructions become effective in January 2005.
  • Vicariate Restructuring – In an effort to pool resources, enhance programs for the faithful and better assist clergy and parish life coordinators, the diocese has restructured from six vicariates to nine. Realizing the rural nature of the diocese, Bishop Cooney proposed the vicariate changes in order to provide more shared resources and programming between parishes.
  • Cross in the Woods Named National Shrine – The USCCB ad hoc committee on the Liturgy has designated the shrine at Indian River as only the second in the State of Michigan to be so honored. The complete story of this historic event will appear in the January 15 issue of the Catholic Weekly.
  • Global Solidarity Partnership – Catholic social teaching defines solidarity as “one human family in the world.” Because dignity, rights and responsibilities are realized in relationship with others, the Diocese of Gaylord has joined in solidarity partnership with the Diocese of Matagalpa, Nicaragua. A delegation visited Nicaragua in October.
  • Cathedral Renovation – St. Mary Cathedral, built in1975, has been undergoing a major renovation, including a new steel roof, enhanced sound system and lighting, and improved ventilation. The project expansion includes a larger gathering area and additional meeting space. Rededication is planned for February 2005.
  • Financial Development Feasibility Study – During the last quarter of 2004, the Northern Michigan Catholic Foundation launched an in-depth opinion and data-gathering research study on the potential for building an endowment program in support of Catholic parishes, schools, and ministries in the Diocese of Gaylord. Over 400 members of Catholic parishes in Northern Michigan took part in the study, and almost half of the respondents took part in face-to-face interviews. The results showed support for NMCF’s plan to create educational and fundraising programs to increase planned and bequest giving to Catholic organizations.
  • Vicariate-based Premarriage Program – In our culture, where more than 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, Bishop Cooney has stressed the importance of ministry to married couples and those considering marriage. This year a new pre-marriage program titled "Today and All the Days of Your Life" has been introduced by the Secretariat for Marriage Enrichment Programs. Utilizing videotapes, workbooks and sponsor couples, the program is very flexible and also allows parishes working together in a vicariate to structure sessions for more in-depth preparation.
  • Diocese Applauded for Child Protection Efforts – All dioceses in the United States were audited for compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children which was promulgated by the U.S. Bishops in 2002. An independent auditing firm oversees the on-site, week-long auditing process utilizing former FBI agents. In 2003 and 2004, the Diocese of Gaylord was found to be in complete compliance with all requirements and also received accolades each year for additional efforts toward prevention and outreach.

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