Religious welcomed in Bishop’s home Print this post

Bob Reddy – Florida Catholic


It is a rare occasion when many religious women and men can get together to interact with each other. The reality is that throughout the Diocese of Venice religious women and men are often very busy doing what they have dedicated their lives to do: serving the People of God.

Men and women religious enjoy catching up with each other on Aug. 18 at the residence of Bishop Frank J. Dewane in Sarasota. This annual dinner is a rare gathering bringing together religious from across the Diocese.

As a special “Thank You!” for their commitment to their vocation and for all that they do in the Diocese and beyond, Bishop Frank J. Dewane hosted the religious men and women of the Diocese during an informal dinner at his Sarasota residence on Aug. 17.

Approximately 45 men and women religious attended, while still others were unable as they have ongoing commitments. So it was that many old friends caught up with each other, while religious who might be new to the Diocese were able to make new friends.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane talks to women religious of the Diocese during an Aug. 17 gathering at his residence in Sarasota.

Franciscan Sister Myrna Luntok, who serves as Director of Liturgy at Jesus the Worker Parish in Fort Myers, was excited to reconnect with the other religious men and women. “It is a so rare that we can be together,” she said. “This is a true celebration. We are all so proud to serve in the Diocese of Venice and to have Bishop Dewane support us in more ways that anyone can imagine.”

Men and women religious of the Diocese of Venice gathered for dinner on Aug. 17 a the residence of Bishop Frank J. Dewane in Sarasota.

The religious in the Diocese are a vibrant group of men and women who reach all aspects of the Faith life, Bishop Dewane said. They work tirelessly in their commitment to the people they serve each day and do it in service to faithful of the Diocese in honor of God.

Bishop Dewane said it was an honor and privilege to have the men and women religious present, recalling how he had religious woman as school teachers when he was young. “I thank you for your service, commitment and dedication to the Diocese of Venice. Many of you serve behind the scenes, but the impact of what you do is real and lasts.”

Bishop Frank J. Dewane welcomes the men and women religious of the Diocese to his residence on Aug. 17 in Sarasota.

Diocese Director of Religious Sister Carmela DeCosty, SNJM, said of the evening: “Pope Francis has said often, ‘Wherever Religious are present there is joy.’ That was certainly evident at the Bishop’s home! It was a wonderful celebration of dedication, service and commitment gathered in one place with our Bishop. It was great to greet friends and newcomers to the Diocese of Venice, as well as to laugh, reminisce, and enjoy a delicious meal.”

Religious men and women have been crucial in the formation of the Diocese, as they served in multiple capacities throughout the early years. The religious provided a crucial supply of support for the growing area when the numbers of Diocesan priests was still quite low. Today they continue to serve parishes, schools and charities in a number of capacities, including as pastors, school teachers, religious educators, elder care providers, social workers and much more. Each is a reflection of the charism of their religious order, being the Light of Christ in the world.

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