Bishop encourages students to pray Print this post

Bob Reddy – Florida Catholic

8/23/17

Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Venice need to be known as places of prayer. This was the message Bishop Frank J. Dewane is carrying to the schools as he celebrates Mass at the start of the new academic year.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane celebrated Mass for St. Martha Catholic School and St. Mary Academy on Aug. 15, the Feast of the Assumption of Mary.

During the first week, the Bishop visited St. Martha Catholic School and St. Mary Academy in Sarasota, St. Joseph Catholic School in Bradenton and Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School in Venice and encouraged the students to pray and for the teachers to incorporate prayer into every aspect of the day.

Developing a strong prayer life serves to connect Catholics, both present and in the past, Bishop Dewane explained. “This is done because the Lord said: ‘You shall be my people and I will be your God.’ (Exodus 6:7) That means we must live in a particular way, and to do that we have to talk with God sometimes. We do that through prayer.”

Prayer must be more than something that is done from memory or part of a school activity or at meals, the Bishop added. “Those are good places to start, but each student must pray often. Stop and pray for others that they have the courage to go on, or to heal them. Pray in your heart for your parents, your brothers and sisters, your grandparents, for each other, your safety, your health, and for your school. Make this a year of prayer.”

Bishop Dewane asked that the students, faculty and staff work together to encourage prayer. “Become known as a school of prayer. Let the world know that you come together in prayer for others. It will help you each grown closer to the Lord.”

Bishop Frank J. Dewane talks to eighth graders at St. Joseph Catholic School in Bradenton follow Mass on Aug. 15, the Feast of the Assumption of Mary.

Following each elementary school Mass, the Bishop has a tradition of inviting the eighth-graders to stay behind which offers the opportunity to give them encouragement for the upcoming year.

“The call to prayer applies to each of you most, because you are now the leaders of the school and young ones will follow your example,” Bishop Dewane said. “Take this responsibility seriously. If someone is sitting alone, talk to them.”

The Bishop also encouraged the students to apply to attend the local Catholic High School next year, noting that they will have the opportunity to visit the schools in the coming months.

The students were also given the opportunity to ask the Bishop questions, most of which focused on what it was like to be a Bishop and if he ever me Pope Francis. The talk concluded with a group photo.

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