Latest Statements Regarding Father Robert J. Deland

Catholic Diocese of Saginaw
March 1, 2018

Community Gathers at St. Agnes Parish, Freeland


SAGINAW — In response to the needs and concerns of the community after criminal charges were issued against Father Robert (Bob) DeLand, a listening session was held at St. Agnes Parish Tuesday evening (Feb. 27) for members of the church and the greater Freeland community. Those gathered participated in a scheduled Stations of the Cross prayer event, and the listening session followed. It allowed those present to share and express deep feelings following the arrest of Father DeLand and the circumstances surrounding his arrest.

Youth were in the parish hall to share their own feelings and concerns. Their listening session was facilitated by the St. Agnes Faith Formation Director, Nicole Bakos, with support from the diocesan Director of Christian Service, Terri Grierson, and the Coordinator of Youth Ministry for the diocese, Mark Graveline, as well as a licensed counselor from Child & Family Services of Saginaw, Windi Sterling, LLMSW.

The listening session for adults was held in the church and facilitated by the coordinator of the Office of Child and Youth Protection for the Diocese of Saginaw, Sister Janet Fulgenzi, OP, PhD.

Sister Fulgenzi, OP, PhD, victim assistance/safe environment coordinator and a licensed clinical psychologist, will be at all scheduled Masses at St. Agnes Parish this weekend to listen and speak with anyone. Sister Fulgenzi also may be reached at and 989.797.6682.

The protection of children and youth is a priority in the Diocese of Saginaw. The Office of Child and Youth Protection is guided by a policy which includes areas that assist the diocese in efforts to provide preventive measures designed to keep all of our children and youth safe from harm now and in the future.

The policy also contains a comprehensive set of procedures for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. Additionally, there are guidelines for reconciliation, healing, and accountability. The Diocese of Saginaw's Policy for the Protection of Children and Young People can be viewed online at

Father Deland, who was pastor at St. Agnes Parish in Freeland, as well as a judicial vicar for the Diocese of Saginaw, has been placed on administrative leave during the investigation in accord with diocesan policy.

Father Robert DeLand’s Ministry Restricted, May Not Publicly Present Himself as a Priest


SAGINAW — The Diocese of Saginaw was made aware of the arrest of Rev. Robert (Bob) DeLand and his arraignment on criminal charges through the media on February 26, 2018. Because of the criminal charges filed against Father DeLand, the Most Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw, immediately placed him on administrative leave from active ministry.

Bishop Cistone has mandated that Father DeLand must meet all the obligations of the courts, including the critically important directive that he is to have no contact with individuals under 21, for the well being, safety and protection of our community and most especially young people. This prohibits Father DeLand from going on school properties and participating in school and parish activities and functions.

In addition, Bishop Cistone has informed Father DeLand that he must refrain from wearing clerical garb or presenting himself publicly as a priest. He must also refrain from the exercise of public ministry and must notify the Office of the Bishop of any change of location.

These restrictions will remain in place throughout the entire criminal proceeding.

In accord with diocesan policy, an internal investigation will begin once the criminal investigation is completed, so as not to obstruct the criminal investigation.

Bishop Cistone has publicly expressed his commitment, on behalf of the Diocese of Saginaw, to cooperate fully with law enforcement in this most serious matter.








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