Bishop inspires students to follow Jesus’ example

Each of the more than 6,200 students enrolled in the 15 Diocese of Venice Catholic schools has been blessed to be called to follow the example of Christ in their lives.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane stressed to students at St. Catherine Catholic School in Sebring how Christ’s example must be followed at home, in school and in the community.

This was the message Bishop Dewane delivered during a Mass for the students on Aug. 28, 2023, the first of what will be a series of Masses the Bishop will celebrate in the coming months at each Diocesan Catholic school.

“You have to make a real effort, because human nature isn’t enough,” Bishop Dewane said. “You can do this through having a prayer life – perhaps morning prayer or evening prayer with your family. Just be sure to pray every day. You can also follow the example of saints, or you can listen to your teachers and parents.”

Along the way, Bishop Dewane said, the students can follow the 10 Commandments – something each is learning about – using the commandments as a guidepost to make sure they are living their life in the right way.

Bishop Dewane remarked that he knows that the students are doing this, as he hears about how well-mannered and polite the students are in school and in the community.

When Bishop Dewane asked the students if they can live this year as a school community, following Jesus Christ’s example, the response was a resounding “Yes!!”

“Go and do that. Treat each other well. Remember that you are each made in the image and likeness of God. Find the good and love of God not just in yourselves but also in others,” Bishop Dewane said.

Following Mass, the Bishop continued his tradition by meeting and speaking with the eighth graders, the oldest students in their schools. It was at this time he asked them to be the leaders of their school and to take that role seriously and give a good example as they set the tone for the entire school.

The eighth graders were also given the opportunity to ask the Bishop any question they chose. Most questions focused on his background and inquiries about what it is like to be a Bishop. At the conclusion of their talk, a photo was taken with the Bishop and the group.