Superintendent of Catholic Schools and Associate to the Director of the Office of Liturgy Announced 

The Most Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw, is pleased to announce the appointments of Mr. Cormac Lynn, Ed.S., as the Superintendent of Catholic Schools and Sister Esther Mary Nickel, R.S.M., Ph.D., S.L.D., as the Associate to the Director of the Office of Liturgy for the Diocese of Saginaw.

In his role as Superintendent, Mr. Lynn serves as a primary voice of the Bishop in carrying out his role as the teaching authority for the Faithful enrolled in the Catholic schools of the Diocese. He will work closely with pastors, parochial and pastoral administrators, principals, and diocesan staff to promote the operation of a Catholic School system which reflects the highest ideals of Catholic education. He will provide on-going communication with parents and ensure compliance with the requirements of the Michigan Department of Education and the Michigan Association of Non-public Schools (MANS) accreditation. Further, Mr. Lynn will provide direction and guidance on long and short-term planning, educational and instructional standards, continuing formation and certification of principals and teachers, financial and staffing issues, and other matters related to school operations. Mr. Lynn reports to Bishop Cistone and assumes the position previously held by Mrs. Mary Ann Deschaine, Ed.S., who accepted the position of Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia.

“Mr. Lynn brings to our Diocese a deep desire to help strengthen the Catholic culture in our schools,” Bishop Cistone said.  “He has a demonstrated commitment to student and faculty achievement, and he possesses the leadership and communication skills necessary for the continued advancement of our schools.  I am encouraged about beginning this new chapter of success for our students and families, teachers and staff, pastors, administrators, parishioners, other donors, and all those who support Catholic School education.”

Mr. Lynn joins the Diocese after serving as Headmaster of Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Preparatory, Orchard Lake, Mich., where he also previously held the offices of Vice Headmaster and Academic Dean as well as various teaching and coaching responsibilities.  In addition Mr. Lynn is currently an Adjunct Professor at Madonna University, Livonia, Mich., where he works with future K to 12 educators.  He earned an Education Specialist degree from Oakland University, Rochester, Mich., a Master’s degree from Michigan State University, and a Bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University.  Mr. Lynn is currently a doctoral candidate, pursuing a Doctorate of Educational Leadership from the University of Michigan, Flint.

As Associate to the Director of the Office of Liturgy, Sister Esther Mary, a member of the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, will assist in liturgical formation and catechesis, as well as evangelization. She will help promote sound and meaningful liturgical practices throughout the Diocese. In collaboration with colleagues, especially the Offices of Catholic Schools and Formation, as well as with school and parish leaders, she will support sacramental preparation and on-going catechesis to enhance the celebration of the Liturgy in parish communities.  Sister Esther Mary will serve as the liaison of the Office of Liturgy to the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption for Sunday Masses and other parish liturgies. She will assist with workshops and liturgical formation in the diaconate, lay ministry and additional parish liturgical ministries. Sister Esther Mary will establish and maintain a process for and program of certification of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) in collaboration with parish staff.  She will serve as a resource to parishes and schools for worship and faith formation programs based upon ecclesial documents. Sister Esther Mary will report to Rev. James Wm. Bessert, Director of the Office of Liturgy.

“Our Diocese is blessed to benefit from the extensive credentials and talents of Sister Esther Mary,” Bishop Cistone said.  “She is internationally recognized as a liturgical expert through her teachings, writings and workshop presentations.  Sister Esther Mary’s vast experience and her enthusiasm and joy for the Church will be a wonderful complement to the resources and services provided by the Office of Liturgy.”

Sister Esther Mary most recently served in the Diocese of Sioux City as the Associate Director of Worship.  She was on the faculty of St. John Vianney Theological Seminary, Denver, Colo., as Associate Professor of Sacred Liturgy and Sacramental Theology, and served as a Liturgical Consultant to the Office of Liturgy, Archdiocese of Denver.  Sister Esther Mary earned a Doctorate in Sacred Liturgy from the Pontifical Atheneum of St. Anselm, Rome, as well as a Ph. D. in Agronomy from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul. For more than 30 years she has been a presenter at professional conferences, institutes and workshops in higher education, as well as author of dozens of published works.  

Beginning immediately, Mr. Lynn and Sister Esther Mary will be preparing resources for the upcoming school year, planning for the school Masses with Bishop Cistone, and establishing priorities aligned with the Catholic Schools Strategic Plan.