Bishop Frank J. Dewane was the main celebrant for the Vigil Mass on June 6, 2020 at the Church of St. Patrick Parish in Sarasota,
This visit was the latest in a series of Masses being celebrated by Bishop Dewane throughout the Diocese of Venice since public Masses resumed May 18, 2020 in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The Bishop celebrated Mass on the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord and Pentecost at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice, as well as on May 31, 2020 at St. Isabel Parish in Sanibel. In addition, the Bishop presided over a Baccalaureate Mass at Ave Maria Parish for the graduating students of the Donahue Catholic Academy of Ave Maria on June 5, 2020.
“Since we have begun existing the way we do now I try to be out and about in the Diocese at various Parishes,” Bishop Dewane explained. “We certainly have a new normal.”
Public Masses resumed in the Diocese of Venice on May 18, 2020 and now Parishes are functioning at up to 50 percent capacity while also ensuring parishioners are wearing face coverings and maintaining appropriate social distancing. In addition to other safety and health precautions, extra sanitizing is taking place between Masses.
“The good thing is that we gather as a community when we come to Mass – or are watching via livestream – and know that the Lord sees the good that you do,” Bishop Dewane said at St. Patrick Parish. “It’s not ideal to have masks on and not being able to see people as they are, but we need to do that right now.”
During this time of Pandemic, the Bishop said the faithful must acknowledge that Christ calls us to be a people of hope. “We must remain believers and hope for the best – for one another, for ourselves, but most of all for our Faith. We have to have hope in Jesus Christ.”
For those who are older, are vulnerable to illness. or they are not fully comfortable to return to Mass, the dispensation of the obligation to attend Sunday Mass continues through June 28, 2020.
The live streaming Masses from the Diocese of Venice will continue (available on Facebook or at www.dioceseofvenice.org) from the Catholic Center at 9:15 a.m. daily through June 28, 2020.