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Photo Gallery of Recent Events

Things are always happening in the Diocese of Gaylord. In an effort to share at least a brief glimpse of recent events with visitors to our website, we offer the following photo gallery. If you know of an upcoming or recent event which you would like to have considered for inclusion here, please contact us. You may click on the link below or send photos and information to:

Secretariat for Communications
611 North Street
Gaylord, Michigan 49735

You may submit an event by using our Submit Ideas & Events or send photos and information to:

Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion


Catechumens and Candidates from across the Diocese of Gaylord gathered at St. Mary Cathedral for the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion. These individuals are preparing to complete the Sacraments of Initiation into the Roman Catholic Church during the Easter Season.

Four Gaylord seminarians among those installed as Readers and Acolytes at the Josephinum


The Institution of Readers and Acolytes took place at the Pontifical College Josephinum on Friday, November 1. The Most Reverend James S. Wall, Bishop of Gallup was the principal celebrant. Four seminarians from the Diocese of Gaylord were installed.

Pictured (l-r): Nicholas Cooper (Reader), Benjamin Rexroat (Acolyte), Bradley Nursey (Reader), and Christopher Nowak (Reader), with the Most Reverend James S. Wall (Bishop of Gallup) and Monsignor Christopher J. Schreck (Rector/President). Individual photos are also attached, identified by filename. Photos by Ken Snow.

First-year theology students installed as readers are commissioned to proclaim the Word of God in the liturgical assembly and to catechize the faithful. Acolytes, who are second-year theologians, are entrusted with the duties of attending to the altar, assisting the deacon and priest at Mass, and distributing Holy Communion as an extraordinary minister.

New Coadjutor Archbishop of Newark Bernard A. Hebda


On September 24, the Most Rev. Bernard A. Hebda, who has served as Bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord for the past four years, was named Coadjutor Archbishop of Newark.  Newark Archbishop John J. Myers (left) welcomed Archbishop Hebda and introduced him to staff and local media.  A Mass of Welcome will be held in Newark on November 5.




Junior High Altar Server Appreciation Day

Bishop Hebda and the Vocations Advisory Committee hosted a special day in appreciation for the ministry of elementary and middle school altar servers included Mass and lunch at  Our Lady of the Woods Parish followed by an afternoon of fun at the Kalesium in Kalkaska.

World Youth Day 2013

View from our pilgrims' hotel rooftop as Pope Francis passes by on the way to the Closing Mass for World Youth Day.

New priests


On June 29, Bishop Bernard A. Hebda ordained Fr. Matthew Furgiuele (left) and Fr. Bryan Medlin to the priesthood for the Diocese of Gaylord.

2013 Priest Jubilarians

On June 24, a special Mass and luncheon honoring this year's jubilarians was held in Gaylord.  Pictured with Bishop Hebda (right) are jubilarians:  (front row) Fr. Michael Janowski, 10 years; Fr. Gus Franczek, 65 years; (back row) Fr. Paul Megge, 15 years; Fr. Richard Kropf, 55 years; Fr. Richard Schaeffer, 30 years; Fr. Joe Muszkiewicz, 5 years; and Fr. Duane Wachowiak, 15 years. Not present were Fr. Joseph Reitz, 60 years; Fr. Lawrence Kelleher, 20 years; and Fr. Richard Kosterman, 20 years.

Fr. Artur becomes U.S. citizen

Please join us in congratulating one of the newest citizens of the U.S.A -- Fr. Artur Duchnowicz, Pastor at St. Ignatius-Rogers City, St. Casimir-Posen and St. Dominic-Metz. He took his Oath of Allegiance to the United States in a ceremony May 30, 2013, in Detroit.

Graduate Fr. Polycarp Mblarawa


Fr. Polycarp Mblarawa (right) graduated from Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) on May 2 receiving a Master of Education in Educational Leadership. Due to the large number of students from the area, SVSU held a Commencement Ceremony at the Grand Traverse Resort in Traverse City. Fr. Mblarawa and Fr. John Paul Bashe (pictured at left) are both priests from the Diocese of Maiduguri, Nigeria, assisting parishes in the Diocese of Gaylord while completing advanced studies in education. Fr. Mblarawa is currently serving as Parochial Vicar at St. Francis of Assisi in Traverse City and Fr. Bashe is serving as Parochial Vicar at Sacred Heart, Oscoda and Holy Family in East Tawas.

CSA 2013


One of the newest members of St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord who was welcomed into the Catholic Church through Baptism, Confirmation and First Eucharist during the Easter Vigil.

Rite of Election

On Sunday, February 17, 2013,  Bishop Bernard Hebda presided over the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion at St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord welcoming those who will become new Catholics during the Easter Season.

2013 Delegation to Matagalpa

Bishop Bernard A. Hebda and a delegation from the Diocese of Gaylord visited our sister diocese in Matagalpa, Nicaragua. View more photos here.

March for Life


Students from Gaylord, Grayling, Manistee, Harrisville and Traverse City were among those who participated in a local March for Life on January 25 in Gaylord. Many of the students had participated in an overnight dedicated to promoting the dignity of human life through prayer and activities which began with Mass celebrated by Bishop Bernard Hebda Thursday evening, followed by Eucharistic Adoration, and spending the night at St. Mary Cathedral School. The two-day event coincided with the national March for Life marking the 40th anniversary of the Roe v Wade decision. Since the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision decriminalizing abortion in the United States, more than 54 million children have been aborted.

Approximately 200 people of all faiths attended the Rally for Life hosted by St. Mary Cathedral at noon on Friday featuring speakers from local churches and others active in the prolife movement. which was followed by a one mile march to the Gaylord’s City Hall.

Ordination to the Priesthood


On Saturday, January 12, Bishop Bernard A. Hebda ordained Chet Collins to the priesthood for the Diocese of Gaylord.


Catechism: Hidden Treasure Series

As the Diocese of Gaylord celebrates the "Year of Faith," a special series highlighting the many treasures to be found in the "Catechism of the Catholic Church" is taking place in every vicariate each month across the diocese. Bishop Hebda was the presenter for the first session held in Traverse City in November.  Download a complete schedule below.

Conference Center renamed

The Conference Center at the Diocesan Pastoral Center was renamed on October 6, 2012, in honor of the Most Reverend Patrick R. Cooney, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Gaylord. The ceremony was held at the beginning of the Diocesan Conference held in anticipation of the opening of the "Year of Faith."

Matthew Furgiuele was ordained to the Order of Deacon for the Diocese of Gaylord by Bishop Bernard A. Hebda on Monday, August 6, 2012.

Diocese Honored by Gaylord's Alpenfest


New Monsignors


Ordination of Fr. Joe Ortega


On Saturday, December 17, Bishop Bernard A. Hebda ordained Joseph Ortega to the priesthood for the Diocese of Gaylord at St. Mary Cathedral.  The event brought to a close the diocese’s 40th Jubilee Year.  Here the newly ordained Fr. Joseph is pictured with his parents, Sue and Tom Ortega.

Mass for Consecrated Life

Bishop Bernard Hebda celebrated a special Mass at St. Mary Cathedral honoring those who have responded to their call to religious life and are serving in the Diocese of Gaylord.  Pictured here are this year's jubilarians: Fr. Harry Speckman, OFM, 50 years; Sr. Chris Herald, OP, 50 years; Sr. Augusta Stratz, RSM, 60 years; and Fr. Mike Fowler, OFM, 35 years.  Not pictured: Fr. Thomas Vos, OFM, 50 years.

Diocese celebrates 40th Anniversary


On July 20, 2011, the Diocese of Gaylord celebrated its 40th anniversary with a special Mass and Family Picnic at St. Mary Cathedral. All four Diocesan Bishops who have shepherded the Diocese of Gaylord were present. To read about the event, click here; and to see a photo galleries of the day and the banners created by parishioners for the event, click here.

Medlin receives Candidacy


Gaylord Seminarian Bryan Medlin was admitted to Candidacy for Holy Orders during the liturgy of Evening Prayer at the Pontifical College Josephinum on March 25th.  Most Rev. Roger Foys, Bishop of Covington, admitted nine seminarians to Candidacy for Holy Orders in the seminary’s Saint Turibius Chapel. The Rite of Admission to Candidacy for Holy Orders is celebrated when a seminarian has reached a maturity of purpose in his formation and has demonstrated the necessary qualifications for ordination.  In the presence of the bishop, he publicly expresses his intention to complete his preparation for Holy Orders and his resolve to fully invest himself to that end, so that he will serve Christ and the Church faithfully. Pictured above: Bryan Medlin, Bishop Roger Foys (Covington), and Father James Wehner (Rector).

Peter Wigton takes Oath of Fidelity


On February 5, 2011, seminarian Peter Wigton of the Diocese of Gaylord,  shown here with the Very Reverend James A. Wehner, STD, Rector / President of the Josephinum, made the Profession of Faith and took the Oath of Fidelity in the presence of the seminary community at the Pontifical College Josephinum in preparation for ordination to the diaconate.

Cowan Instituted as Lector


Gaylord Seminarian Matthew Cowan (right) receives the book of Sacred Scriptures from Archbishop Edwin O’Brien of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Matt  was one of 54 seminarians from Pontifical North American College to be instituted as a lector on January 16 in Rome.   (Photo courtesy of Pontifical North American College.)

Vigil for All Nascent Human Life


Pope Benedict XVI celebrated a “Vigil for All Nascent Human Life” coinciding with first vespers of the First Sunday of Advent and called for diocesan bishops of every church to join in analogous celebrations involving the faithful in their respective parishes, religious communities, associations and movements. ("Nascent" means beginning to develop or exist.)

Catholics in the Diocese of Gaylord joined in the worldwide vigil for life through services held at St. Mary Cathedral, Gaylord; Holy Family Parish, East Tawas; St. Bernard Parish, Alpena; St. Patrick Parish, Traverse City and Holy Rosary Parish, Cedar. A special service to offer prayers for life were also held on November 28 at St. Francis Xavier, Petoskey and on December 3 at St. Anne, Frankfort. 

Seminarians Installed


The Institution of Readers and Acolytes took place at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday, November 7. The Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory (center) of the Archdiocese of Atlanta was the principal celebrant. William MacMaster (left) received the ministry of Reader, while Bryan Medlin (right) received the ministry of Acolyte. First-year theology students installed as Readers are commissioned to proclaim the Word of God in the liturgical assembly and to catechize the faithful. Acolytes, who are second-year theology students, are entrusted with the duties of attending to the altar, assisting the deacon and priest at Mass, and distributing Holy Communion as an extraordinary minister.

First "White Mass" Celebrated at Cathedral


Catholic medical professionals from across the Diocese of Gaylord joined Bishop Bernard Hebda and parishioners of St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord for a special “White Mass” on October 24. Traditionally celebrated in many dioceses close to October 18th, the Feast Day of St. Luke, the Patron Saint of Physicians and Surgeons, it is believed to be the first such Mass held in this diocese. This year, the date selected also coincided with World Mission Sunday. Bishop Bernard Hebda blessed the healthcare professionals gathered for the White Mass using the prayer that Pope John Paul II wrote when he invited doctors to Rome during the Jubilee Year 2000. The liturgy is one which Bishop Hebda hopes to celebrate annually and is already on the calendar for October 18, 2011.

St. Anthony of Padua Celebrates Centennial

Bishop Bernard Hebda joined parishioners of St. Anthony of Padua, Mackinaw City to celebrate their centennial with a Eucharistic Liturgy concelebrated by present and former sacramental ministers to the parish. As a gift to the parish in honor of its centennial, Sr. Chris presented an icon of the Holy Trinity she had made - travelling weekly to Jane Cardinal’s studio in Cross Village over the past two years to complete the project. The icon itself is painted on a historic piece of wood which was originally a table top from the boarding school at Holy Childhood in Harbor Springs. First painted by Andrew Rublev in 1425, the inspiration comes from the visit of three angelic men to Abraham of the Old Testament. The symbolism found in the icon is a foretelling of what is to come in the New Testament and the relationship of the three angelic men to each other captures the circle of love found in the Trinity.

Matthew Cowan Candidacy for Holy Orders


On Saturday, July 31, Matthew Cowan was admitted to Candidacy for Holy Orders during the Eucharistic Liturgy at his home parish of Cross in the Woods, Indian River, by Bishop Bernard A. Hebda. Cowan is one of ten seminarians currently preparing for priesthood for the Diocese of Gaylord. Fr. Michael Fowler, OFM, Pastor at Cross in the Woods and Fr. Donald Geyman, Director of Vocations for the Diocese concelebrated the Mass. The Rite of Admission to Candidacy for Holy Orders is typically celebrated when a seminarian has reached a maturity of purpose in his formation.

Seminarian Holy Hour in Petoskey

On Saturday, July 31, the faithful of the Diocese of Gaylord joined the seminarians of the diocese for an evening of Prayer and Praise Before the Blessed Sacrament at St. Francis Xavier Parish, Petoskey. As the seminarians led the service, Bishop Hebda and many of the faithful participated in this inspirational evening service.

DCCW Annual Meeting 2010

“Following our Shepherds” was the theme of the 38th annual convention of the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (DCCW) held May 19. The event brought 200 women from across the diocese to St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord. Several speakers were invited including David Martin, President and CEO of Catholic Human Services (CHS); Karen Derris, the new Director of Guest Services at the Augustine Center; Fr. Wayne Dziekan, director of the Secretariat for Justice and Peace; Fr. Francis Murphy, Chaplain to the DCCW; and Bishop Bernard Hebda. The women then gathered in St. Mary Cathedral for a Eucharistic Liturgy. Bishop Hebda presided and Fr. Francis Murphy and Fr. Patrick Maher concelebrated with him. At the conclusion of the Mass, Bishop Hebda installed the new officers for the Gaylord Diocesan Council of Catholic Women: Kathleen Melville-Hall, President; Angie Yarch, 1st Vice President; Marcia Albosta, 2nd Vice President; Lorraine Aurand, Secretary; Gloria White, Treasurer.

Baraga Broadcast Dinner

Supporters of Baraga Broadcasting were out in full force on Friday, April 16, to attend a benefit dinner at Holy Childhood Parish Hall in Harbor Springs. The hall was filled to capacity for the gala event which included a wonderfully elegant dinner, silent auction, updates on Baraga Broadcasting’s business to date, and a presentation by radio personality and acclaimed author, Dr. Ray Guarendi.

Church Welcomes New Catholics at Easter

The Catholic Church in the Diocese of Gaylord was blessed to welcome more than 100 new Catholics at Easter.  Here Bishop Bernard Hebda confirms Thomas Rahn, anointing him with Sacred Chrism during the Easter Vigil at St. Mary Cathedral.

Easter Vigil


Candles.jpgThe Easter Vigil began outside with the Easter fire. The new Paschal Candle was lit by Rector of the Cathedral Fr. James Bearss from the newly blessed Easter fire before it was marked by Bishop Hebda. Parishioners then processed in darkness into the cathedral where their individual candles were lit with fire from the Paschal Candle.



Good Friday

Following the Liturgy of the Word on Good Friday, Deacon Gerald Okoli carried in the Cross for Veneration at St. Mary Cathedral.


Holy Thursday


Fr. Wayne Dziekan (shown here), Fr. Richard Kropf and Fr. James Bearss concelebrated the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday with Bishop Hebda.  All of the priests joined in the washing of feet.  The Mass concluded with the faithful joining a Eucharistic Procession as Bishop Hedba carried the Blessed Sacrament to the altar of repose in the Chapel of the Cathedral.  Adoration with prayer before Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament continued in the Chapel until midnight.

Palm Sunday


Bishop Bernard A. Hebda presided and Fr. James Bearss, Rector of the Cathedral,  concelebrated  the Palm Sunday liturgy on Saturday evening at St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord to begin Holy Week. The evening Mass is broadcast throughout the diocese each week on Sunday mornings.  In his homily Bishop Hebda urged the faithful not to be distracted by the media or others from praying and fully experiencing this Holy Week.

Chrism Mass


More than 1,000 of the faithful were present as the Most Reverend Bernard Hebda, Bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord, presided at the Eucharistic Celebration with the Blessing of Oils and Consecration of Chrism on Tuesday, March 30. Bishop Emeritus Patrick R. Cooney and some 48 priests from throughout the diocese concelebrated. The annual Chrism Mass is one of the occasions when the entire Church of Gaylord gathers as one with our shepherd, highlighting our common ministry and union with Jesus Christ and one another.

In this photo Bishop Hebda breathes over the vessel of Sacred Chrism, a gesture symbolizing both the Holy Spirit coming down to consecrate the oil, and the life-giving, sanctifying nature of the sacraments for which it is used. For more information about the Chrism Mass and excepts from Bishop Hebda's homily, click here.

Rite of Election


On Sunday, February 21, the First Sunday of Lent, Bishop Bernard Hebda presided over the Rite of Election at St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord. During the ceremony forty-four people from twenty-one parishes across the Diocese were formally welcomed as catechumens.

During the Rite of Election, sponsors and godparents publicly affirmed that the candidates are prepared to be admitted to the sacraments of Christian initiation and the assembly pledged to continue to support them in faith, prayer and example. The catechumens also affirmed their desire to fully enter into the life of the Church through the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. As each catechumen’s name was called, with their sponsor, they joined Bishop Hebda in the sanctuary where the Bishop welcomed them and offered a special blessing. Each name was also recorded in the specific parish’s Book of the Elect which was then signed by Bishop Hebda.

Mass for Homeschoolers


A Eucharistic Liturgy for the Catholic homeschooling families in the Diocese of Gaylord was held on Monday, March 8, 2010 at St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord. Bishop Bernard Hebda presided with Father James Bearss, Rector of the Cathedral concelebrating. Nearly 200 people jgathered at the Cathedral for this first Mass for the Homeschoolers. In his homily, Bishop Hebda reminded those present that we need to experience God in all we do, not only the extraordinary but also in the ordinary saying, "When you are doing your studies, or helping around the house with chores... perhaps that is when you will experience God. You just need to be open to His call."

Marriage Day 2010


The Third Annual Marriage Enrichment Dinner in celebration of World Marriage Day was held at St. Mary Cathedral on February 13. The celebration followed the 5:00 p.m. Eucharistic liturgy, with more than 60 couples from across the diocese joining in the festivities. The parish hall had been transformed into a beautifully romantic setting with candlelight for the catered dinner.

After dinner and some martrimonial awards, participants gathered in the Cathedral for a reflection on marriage by Fr. James Bearss who offered his reflections on Ephesians 5:21-33.

To conclude the evening, the lights were dimmed as each couple lit a candle and Fr. Bearss led a prayer and then imparted a special blessing for each couple’s marriage, inviting them to seal their love once more with a kiss before departing. The event was planned through the diocesan Secretariat for Marriage Enrichment and St. Mary Cathedral.

Catholic Schools Week 2010


“Catholic Schools - Dividends for Life” was the theme selected for Catholic Schools Week 2010, the annual celebration that focuses attention on the good work done by the nation’s Catholic schools. This year Catholic Schools week was observed Jan. 31 to Feb. 6. 

Throughout the week Bishop Bernard Hebda criss-crossed the diocese to join in special events and celebrate Masses with students, staff and parents.  At each, he expressed gratitude for those who support Catholic School education and encouraged students to hold onto their faith and maintain their enthusiasm as they show their love of God.

March for Life


For the 37th time our nation’s capitol was the site of the annual March for Life, an event planned each year since 1974. Pilgrims from the Diocese of Gaylord joined some 300,000 individuals and families from across the country in Wash­ington D.C. to pray together and bring awareness to the more than fifty million children who have lost their lives through abortion since the Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision.

At the National Prayer Vigil for Life His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, the archbishop of Galveston-Houston who is chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, was the principal celebrant and homilist. His Eminence’s homily focused upon the life of St. Agnes, virgin and martyr, whose memorial Mass we celebrated that evening. While highlighting the young saint’s life of virtue and self-sacrifice, the Cardinal addressed the overwhelming number of youth who made up the congregation. The Eucharistic Liturgy was fol­lowed by an all night vigil in the crypt of the Basilica.

Okoli Ordination to the Diaconate

Gerald Chigbogu Okoli was ordained a transitional deacon by Bishop Bernard A. Hebda on Saturday, January 9, 2010 at Holy Childhood Church, Harbor Springs. Deacon Gerald was born in Nigeria during a period of civil war in that country prompting his parents to bestow his middle name of "Chigbogu" (which means "May God bring an end to war") reflecting his tribe's prayer for peace.  His parents and three of his siblings still live in Nigeria while two other siblings reside in Switzerland and Japan.  After years of prayer and discernment, his vocation journey led him to the Diocese of Gaylord.   Though far from his homeland, Deacon Gerald said there are similarities between the two areas and he has found in northern Lower Michigan a "serene environment for spiritual growth" and "people sincerely and passionately seeking to serve God."  Deacon Gerald is currently completing his formal studies at Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wisconsin, and is scheduled to be ordained to the priesthood in June.

Ordination of Bishop Bernard Hebda

On Tuesday, December 1, 2009, St. Mary Cathedral was filled to overflowing with parishioners from the 80 parishes and 17 schools across the 21 counties of the Diocese of Gaylord along with clergy, religious sisters, ecumenical guests, civic leaders, and family and friends of Bishop Hebda from across the United States and several other countries. Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, the Metropolitan for the Province of Michigan was the Principal Consecrating Bishop with Archbishop Francesco Coccopalmerio and Bishop Patrick R. Cooney serving as Co-consecrating Bishops. Archbishop Francesco Coccopalmerio heads the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts at the Vatican where Bishop Hebda was assigned prior to being named to Gaylord.

Vespers Service for Bishop Bernard Hebda


On Tuesday, December 1, Bernard A. Hebda was ordained and installed as the Fourth Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gaylord.   Pope Benedict XVI named the new bishop on October 7.  He succeeds Bishop Patrick R. Cooney, who retired after serving the Diocese for 20 years. On the eve of the Ordination, Bishop Hebda made his Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity during a liturgy known as Solemn Vespers.  The prayer service, coinciding with the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, began with a procession of the Bishops followed by the lighting of the Paschal Candle and candles held by each person in the assembly recalling that  the “Light of Christ” will guide and protect us through the darkness of the night to come.

Bishop Cooney Farewell Mass


On Sunday, November 8, Bishop Patrick R. Cooney bid a fond farewell to the faithful of the Diocese of Gaylord as he presided over a special Eucharistic Liturgy at St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord. The celebration was planned in honor of Bishop Cooney’s 20 years of service as Bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord and 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. He turned 75 in March of this year and on October 7, Pope Benedict XVI named Rev. Msgr. Bernard Hebda to succeed him as the Fourth Bishop of Gaylord.

The last liturgy of its kind for the retiring Bishop, the Mass included participation and representation from all areas of the diocese. Over 26 of the priests of the diocese concelebrated and were joined by Fr. Michael Cooney, Bishop Cooney’s brother, who serves in the Archdiocese of Detroit. Nine of the deacons in the area also vested for the service and all of the diocesan seminarians were present to minister as altar servers.

Many dignitaries were on hand for the ceremony and Gladys Solokis, Mayor of the City of Gaylord presented Bishop Cooney with a Proclamation highlighting the thanks of the City for his ministry and involvement in the community which led to a standing ovation.

Call To Continuing Conversion


On Sunday, October 18, Bishop Patrick Cooney celebrated The Call to Continuing Conversion at St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord at 4:00 PM. The liturgy was a great way to support and encourage the individuals from northern Michigan who were ready to continue on their faith journey. These candidates had been baptized but are not fully initiated in the Catholic Church. Each will continue with their religious education and when they are ready, will receive the sacraments of Confirmation and First Eucharist. A welcome gathering prior to the event was held from in the Cathedral’s Parish Hall.

DCCW Fall 2009 Workshop


The Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (DCCW) held their Fall Workshop on Wednesday, October 14, in Gaylord at St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish Hall. The theme this year, “The Year For Our Shepherds” featured speakers Rev. Patrick Maher, Pastor of St. Joseph, West Branch; Holy Family, Klacking Creek; and St. Stephen of Hungary, Skidway Lake in the morning and Dannie Brzezinski, Director of Faith Development for the Diocese of Gaylord in the afternoon session. Mass was presided by Bishop Patrick Cooney and concelebrated by Rev. Francis Murphy and Rev. Duane Wachowiak.

Catechist Day 2009


On Saturday, October 10, the Center for Catholic Studies offered a Catechist and Youth Minister Certification Day at the Diocesan Pastoral Center in Gaylord. A day to explore the fundamental principles of catechesis and youth ministry, the event offered three tracts of instruction that included basic catechesis, youth ministry and advanced certification. More than 80 people from across the diocese participated.

Circle of Grace Training

To help prepare parishes and schools to implement the Circle of Grace safe environment training for children and youth in the Diocese of Gaylord, two training sessions were held in October. Seventy-five parish and school leaders gathered at Sacred Heart Parish in Elk Rapids and the Diocesan Pastoral Center in Gaylord to learn about the Circle of Grace concept. Each participant also received materials and lesson plans for use in their local faith community. Mary Beth Hanus, safe environment coordinator for the Archdiocese of Omaha and one of the developers of the program, was the presenter.

Altar Server Appreciation Event

Over 550 altar servers, chaperones and seminarians gathered for the 4th Annual Altar Server Appreciation Day. Sponsored by the Diocese of Gaylord and Knights of Columbus Councils, the event brought altar servers from 42 parishes to Traverse City from throughout the diocese for a picnic followed by attendance at a Traverse City Beach Bums baseball game. Participants came from every corner of the diocese, some travelling more than three hours (one way) to join the celebration.

Altar Server Appreciation Picnic

Bishop Patrick R. Cooney was on hand at the picnic to offer his thanks to the altar servers and encouragement to enjoy the day.

“We really are happy you are here and I hope you have a wonderful time,” Bishop Cooney said. “Of course, we also hope that at least 30 of you will one day become priests for our diocese,” he added.

This year’s schedule reprised the inaugural Altar Server Appreciation Day slate of activities which is fondly remembered despite rain delays. However, this year, the sun shone brightly the entire time and the day included a Beach Bums homerun and ultimate game victory.

SYME Event


Once again, the Secretariat for Justice and Peace along with the Justice and Peace Awareness Center (JPAC), Traverse City and the Hispanic Apostolate working through the Diocese of Gaylord, offered a Summer Youth Mission Experience (SYME) this summer. The event is an opportunity for Junior High and High School age youth together with their parents and/or youth ministers to deepen and share their faith and talents at migrant camps and the local Hispanic groups in Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Benzie and Manistee counties. The group commits to a 5-day experience, Sunday through Thursday and were housed at either Holy Rosary School, Cedar or St. Ann’s Church, Frankfort

DCCW Annual Conference

“Faith in Action ” was the theme of the 37th annual convention of the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (DCCW) held May 13. Keynote speaker for the event was Cathryn Torgerson. Bishop Patrick Cooney celebrated the Eucharistic Liturgy at St. Mary Cathedral.

During his homily, Bishop Cooney told the women they must always remember that “God loved us first and loves us throughout our whole life.” He explained that what we do is in response to that love. “The works of the DCCW are works of love,” he added.

Bishop Cooney continued, “In this Eucharist today, we are thanking God. As Bishop, my intent it to thank God for you – all of you. You stand on the shoulders of those who came before you. We hope that there will be women who will walk in your footsteps to continue your work which is done as a result of God’s love,” he concluded.

Year of St. Paul Conference

The Conference for the Year of St. Paul, hosted by the Diocese of Gaylord on May 16 at the Diocesan Pastoral Center drew about 200 participants from across northern Lower Michigan. The day-long program offered three presenters as well as opportunity to join together in prayer and fellowship. Sr. Chris Herald, shown here, was the first speaker. Her topic was on "The Travels of St. Paul."

Chrism Mass


Bishop Patrick R. Cooney and a packed audience celebrated the Chrism Mass on Tuesday, April 7 at St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord. In this Liturgy, the faithful of the Church of Gaylord were called to pray together and to be a part of the blessing of the Oil of Catechumen, the Oil for the Anointing of the Sick and for the Consecration of the Sacred Chrism.

Faith Development Resource Day


On March 21 catechetical professionals gathered at the Diocesan Pastoral Center in Gaylord for a Faith Development Resource Day. Sponsored by the Secretariat for Faith Development, the event brought together 75 ministers from throughout the diocese for a day of workshops and sharing. The keynote speaker was Patrick M. O’Brien, President and Chief Executive Officer of FAITH Publishing Service, who offered a presentation on “Marketing as a form of Evangelization.”

Rite of Election


On Sunday, March 1, the First Sunday of Lent, fifty-four people from twenty-four parishes were formally welcomed as catechumens at the Rite of Election held at St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord. Due to illness, Bishop Patrick R. Cooney was unable to attend the ceremony and delegated Fr. John McCracken, Rector of St. Mary Cathedral, to preside in his absence.

During the Rite of Election, sponsors and godparents publicly affirmed that the candidates are prepared to be admitted to the sacraments of Christian initiation and the assembly pledged to continue to support them in faith, prayer and example.  The catechumens also affirmed their desire to fully enter into the life of the Church through the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.

Diaconate Ordination of James Siler


On Saturday, February 7, 2009, James H. Siler was ordained to the permanent diaconate for the Diocese of Gaylord by Bishop Patrick R. Cooney. Siler is a member of St. Stephen, Lake City and currently serves as Chaplain to Mercy Hospital in Cadillac and Grayling.

Priestly Ordination of San Hoyumpa

On Saturday, January 10, Santiago Hoyumpa was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Gaylord by Bishop Patrick R. Cooney at St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord. Approximately 30 priests concelebrated at the liturgy which was attended by over 300 parishioners. A bus from the Detroit area carried many of Fr. San's friends to Gaylord, along with Fr. Bob Keller, to join in this wonderful celebration for our diocese.

St. Andrew Task Force Retreat


Attendees of the SATF retreat were provided time for prayer, fun, sports and fellowship.

The third annual retreat for the St. Andrew Task Force was held in January at St. Mary Cathedral School in Gaylord. The event was planned to coincide with the priestly ordination of San Hoyumpa and 32 young men gathered from across the diocese to explore the theme “Stop, Look and Listen.” The retreat, which is designed for young men in 7th -12th grade, was led by Fr. Don Geyman, Delegate for Vocations. The weekend provided a variety of prayer experiences including morning and evening prayer, Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction, Sacrament of Reconciliation, as well as attending the Ordination ceremony and Mass.

Diocesan Staff Holiday Party


The Diocesan Staff holiday celebration took place on Dec. 19. This year the theme was, "Time, Talent and Treasures" and the highlight was singing carols to the residents of McReynold's Hall, Otsego Memorial Hospital's skilled nursing facility. Two weeks prior to the event, materials were purchased to make homemade greeting cards, and many of the staff created cards over the next several days. Prior to the celebration, all the staff signed the beautiful greeting cards. These were distributed along with a small token gift to the residents after a blessing by Bishop Cooney and the carols were sung. After the event, the staff all attended a nicely catered lunch at the Bishop's residence.

Call To Continuing Conversion


On Sunday, November 16, thirty-eight candidates, along with their sponsors, parish leadership, family and friends gathered at St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord for the “Call to Continuing Conversion.” They represented eight parishes within the Diocese of Gaylord. Bishop Patrick Cooney presided and Deacon John Falicki served as Deacon for the ceremony which was preceded by a welcoming reception with refreshments in the parish hall.

The Call to Continuing Conversion is the rite of the Church celebrated with baptized Catholics who have not received the sacraments of Confirmation and First Eucharist, and other baptized Christians who wish to join the Catholic faith.

Catechist Resource Day

Held on Oct. 4 at the Diocesan Pastoral Center in Gaylord, Catechist Resource Day has grown over the years into an important and well-attended event. This certification program is of special interest to Parish Catechetical Leaders (DRE’s), Catechists, Youth Ministers, and anyone pursuing a track in the Center for Catholic Studies. The day offered an examination of the fundamental principles of catechesis and youth ministry, along with additional sessions devoted to special topics of interest and concern.

SATF Mission Trip

Members of the St. Andrew Task Force (SATF) gathered for a picture at Sacred Heart Seminary where they stayed while attending a mission trip to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit. The trip, which took place June 12-15, was led by Fr. Don Geyman, Delegate for Vocations at the Diocese of Gaylord and enlightened the group to the reality of homelessness in our own state.

Four Men Ordained Deacons


On Saturday, June 21, John Falicki, Mathew Lyberg, Glen Painter, and Doug Wigton were ordained Permanent Deacons by Bishop Patrick R. Cooney at St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord. Over 500 friends, family and faithful from around the diocese were in attendance.

Sending Forth Ceremony


During a special Liturgy of the Word and Sending Forth Ceremony at St. Mary Cathedral on June 15, Bishop Patrick Cooney blessed those who have completed a certificate program through the diocesan Center for Catholic Studies.

Those completing the Christian Discipleship Program included: Joan Denemy, St. Joseph Parish, West Branch; Sharon Fritz, St. Joseph Parish, West Branch; and Garry Singel, Cross in the Woods Parish, Indian River. Completing the Parish Catechetical Leader program was Samuel Vicari, St. Augustine Parish in Hillman.

Ordination to the Diaconate - San Hoyumpa


On Saturday, June 7, Santiago Hoyumpa was ordained a transitional deacon for the Diocese of Gaylord by Bishop Patrick R. Cooney during the 4:00 p.m. Eucharistic celebration at St. John the Baptist in Alpena. Reflecting on his call to the priesthood, Hoyumpa said “I am anxious to serve the Lord. I hope to be able to bring more awareness to the people of the Lord and of His love and mercy.” Hoyumpa is scheduled to be ordained to the priesthood on January 10, 2009.

Neophyte Mass Celebrated


On May 18, Bishop Patrick Cooney presided at a special Neophyte Mass at St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord. Fifty-six neophytes continued their faith journey as they were presented to Bishop Cooney during the Liturgy. “Neophytes” are those who have recently entered the Catholic Church through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) either through Baptism, Confirmation and First Eucharist at the Easter Vigil or through completing their initiation sacraments, often during the Easter season.

Diocesan Conference


The Diocese of Gaylord’s Conference on Mental Illness, “Restoring the Spirit, Removing the Stigma” held this month was widely applauded by attendees for providing a platform of spirituality, information, support and hope. Approximately 175 people gathered for the day-long symposium, with the audience made up of participants from across the diocese as well as ecumenical guests and representatives from as far away as Detroit and Grand Rapids. Seen here, Deacon Tom Lambert from the Archdiocese of Chicago and Fr. Bob Malloy, OFM-Cap. present their views on "Creating Caring Congregations" in one of the afternoon breakout sessions.

Diocese of Gaylord Parishioners at Papal Mass


Between the two venues, Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., and Yankee Stadium in New York City, approximately 101,000 people participated in the Papal Masses celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to the United States in April. Of those fortunate enough to obtain tickets were 45 people from the Diocese of Gaylord. Shown here is a picture taken by Duane and Althea Reames from St. Michael Parish, Roscommon, who travelled with their son, Tim to attend the Mass at Yankee Stadium. These were some of the liturgical dancers who provided entertainment prior to the Pope's arrival. 


Chrism Mass


Bishop John Quinn, Auxiliary Bishop from the Archdiocese of Detroit, presided over the Chrism Mass in Gaylord while Bishop Cooney continues his recuperation.  St. Mary Cathedral was full for this special liturgy during which the Holy Oils are blessed and consecrated and the priests of the Diocese of Gaylord renew their commitment to service.

Joseph Muszkiewicz ordained to the priesthood


Bishop John Quinn lays hands on Joseph Muszkiewicz to invoke the Spirit of God during the Rite of Ordination to the priesthood on January 6.  Bishop Quinn presided over the liturgy due to Bishop Cooney's sudden illness.

Adult Faith Symposium


More than 100 catechetical leaders gathered at the Diocesan Pastoral Center in Gaylord for an adult faith formation symposium on Saturday, September 8. Participants were invited to share insights and concerns during the day. The presenter for the conference was Babara Minczewski, Director of Catechesis and Evangelization for the Diocese of Saginaw.

Deacon Acolyte Ceremony


Three deacon candidates were instituted as acolytes for the Diocese of Gaylord on October 7. Matthew Lyberg, St. Patrick Parish, Traverse City; Glen Painter, Holy Family Parish, Klacking Creek; and Dr. Douglas Wigton, Holy Rosary, Cedar previously were instituted as lectors. An instituted acolyte is one more step on the way to ordination as a permanent deacon and/or as a priest. They are scheduled for ordination to the permanent diaconate June 2008.

Lector Institution


Three men were Instituted as Lectors by Bishop Patrick R. Cooney.  Matt Lyberg, Glen Painter and Doug Wigton are preparing for Ordination to the Permanent Deaconate and the Institution as Lector is one step in the journey. The men have been participating in spirituality sessions and taking classes for several years. The hope is that they will be ordained in June of 2008. Deacon Paul Fifer served as deacon for the Mass.

Altar Server Event at Sportsplex in Gaylord

More than 350 altar servers and chaperones gathered at the Otsego County Sportsplex for an Altar Server Appreciation Day. Sponsored by the Diocese of Gaylord and Knights of Columbus council, the day was a lot of fun for everyone involved. The attendees were able to utilize the Sportsplex amenities - ice rink, two large pools as well as a slide, and an outdoor park area. In addition, a refreshment tent was set up outside and Small Simple Voice, a local band, provided musical entertainment. Fr. Donald Geyman, delegate for vocations welcomed the group before Bishop Patrick R. Cooney offered his thanks to the altar servers and encouraged them to enjoy the day.

45 - 55 Year Anniversary Celebration

More than 600 people gathered at St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord for a special anniversary celebration on Sunday, Aug. 26. Sponsored by the Secretariat for Marriage Enrichment, the event recognized couples who had been married for 45-55 years. The afternoon included a presentation followed by a Mass with renewal of marriage vows was presided over by Bishop Patrick R. Cooney with several other area priests concelebrating. The event ended with a reception at the Diocesan Pastoral Center.

Cardinal Szoka Visits Gaylord


Edmund Cardinal Szoka, the first Bishop of the Gaylord Diocese and who most recently served as President of the Governatorate of Vatican City State before his retirement last fall, visited Gaylord in August for the celebration of the Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree Exemplification Ceremony. 


Knights of Columbus Celebration


District 3 Knights of Columbus held a Fourth Degree Exemplification Ceremony for 53 men recently in Gaylord. The colorful and elaborate festivities also honored Bishop Patrick R. Cooney, the third and current Bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord, and Edmund Cardinal Szoka, the first Bishop of the Gaylord Diocese.


Bishop Cooney Goes to Africa


In July, Bishop Patrick Cooney completed another trip to Africa for Catholic Relief Services (CRS). Bishop Cooney was elected to serve a six-year term on the CRS Board of Directors in November, 2003; one of the responsibilities as a member of the board is a periodic trip to an area served by CRS.

Catechetical Conference


A conference was offered at the Diocesan Pastoral Center on August 18 to anyone in catechetical ministry. Six major publishers demonstrated how to use their materials and singer-songwriter and composer Timothy Smith demonstrated through song and prayer how to use music in ministry. The day included a special luncheon to acknowledgement and award catechetical leaders for their years of service in catechetical ministry. Bishop Cooney addressed those gathered and sent them forth with a special blessing.

Christian Leadership Institute


Christian Leadership Institute (CLI), a tradition in the Diocese of Gaylord, was held in June at the Boyne Valley Resort on Walloon Lake. The actual event ran for a week, but the effects will last a lifetime. The program has helped many young people with the transition into college and from college into the work force. A lot of these young people become part of the CLI team and return as staff for this dynamic event. CLI incorporates skills development, small and large group sessions, prayer and worship, and recreation. Each day’s routine consists of workshops, communal activities, shared meals and play.

Robbie Deka Ordination


On Friday, June 8, Robbie Deka was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Gaylord by Bishop Patrick R. Cooney at St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord. Deka was born in Kafue Gorge, Zambia in South Africa and is one of seven children born to Mathew and Mary Deka. Fr. Deka now serves St. Ignatius in Rogers City, St. Casimer in Posen, and St. Dominic in Metz as Associate Pastor.

Vocation Window Sticker


In conjunction with National Vocations Awareness week, the Diocese of Gaylord sponsored a contest for students with the goal of raising awareness about vocations. The youngest group of students were asked to draw a picture and the next oldest group was asked to submit a phrase. The two winning entries were combined to make a window sticker for use in our diocese.

Rite of Election


On Sunday, February 25, the 2007 Catechumens from the Diocese of Gaylord gathered at St. Mary Cathedral for the Rite of Election celebrated by Bishop Patrick R. Cooney. Despite the inclement weather, many of the 60 people representing 24 parishes who were registered were able to participate. The Rite of Election is a ceremony which marks the beginning of a period of purification and enlightenment for the Elect who will become members of the Body of Christ at the Easter celebration.

In his homily, Bishop Cooney challenged the Catechumens to fully live as disciples of the Lord. He said, “What is expected of you? You are to follow the path of the Lord through whatever vocation you have been called. The Lord will give you the strength and all you need—you just have to choose to do it.”

During the liturgy each Catechumen is called forward, with their sponsor, to receive a special blessing from the Bishop.

Cantor Workshops

Instructor Mary Sellars-Malloy goes over the finer points of leading the assembly in song with Wayne Miller from St. Francis Xavier in Petoskey at the Cantor Workshop that took place in Boyne City on January 25. Several workshops were offered across the diocese and all were well attended.

Jr. High Youth Rally


Nearly 165 youth and chaperones gathered for the annual Junior High Youth Rally held in Gaylord.  Musicians Amanda Vernon and Tim Smith entertained and inspired students through their songs, stories and though various activities.

Mass Celebrating Native American Customs

On the afternoon of Sunday, October 29, 2006 at the Cathedral of St. Mary in Gaylord, the beauty and spirituality of Native American people was celebrated during a special Eucharistic Liturgy. Bishop Patrick R. Cooney worshipped with the assembly while Father James Gardiner, Pastor of St. Luke the Evangelist Parish in Bellaire and St. Joseph Parish in East Jordan, presided. Father John McCracken, Rector of St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord; Father Joseph Graff, Pastor of Holy Childhood of Jesus in Harbor Springs; Father Duane Wachowiak, Pastor of St. Matthew, Boyne City and St. Augustine, Boyne Falls; and Father James Barrand, Administrator of St. Mary of the Woods in Kalkaska and St. Aloysius in Fife Lake, concelebrated. The Mass was planned to invite and encourage Native Americans to become more involved in their parishes and to create an understanding in the faith community about the beliefs and practices of Native Americans. It was celebrated in “honor of our elders and our children.”