Rite of Election – Large number set to enter Church at Easter Vigil

By Bob Reddy – Florida Catholic

A large group of women and men who will join the Catholic Church within the Diocese of Venice at the Easter Vigil were recognized during the annual Rite of Election at Epiphany Cathedral on the first Sunday of Lent on March 10. This annual tradition is a formal Rite during which catechumens are presented and their names are entered into the Book of Elect.

The 148 catechumens were joined by an additional 120 candidates who also participated in the formal ceremony and are recognized during the celebration for answering the call to their continuing conversion.

The Rite of Election was presided over by Bishop Frank J. Dewane who complimented each for making the commitment to answer the call of Jesus Christ in a particular way by becoming members of the Church in the Diocese of Venice. “This is where the catechumens and candidates come forward with courage to step up and today proudly say: ‘I am called!’”

The catechumens and candidates who were recognized by Bishop Dewane will be welcomed as part of the Easter Vigil celebration on April 20 at their respective parishes. They represent 40 Parishes in the Diocese of Venice and are accompanied by more than 150,000 people across the country that will also join the Catholic Church this year. St. Peter the Apostles Parish in Naples, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Immokalee and Jesus the Worker Parish in Fort Myers had the largest groups of catechumens and candidates.

The decision each made in their life is part of a journey to grow ever closer to the Lord and to become fully a part of the Church of God, Bishop Dewane said. Each came forward for different reasons, but a key first step in this process is developing a personal friendship with Jesus Christ.

Bishop Dewane said this process should be a conversion of the heart, as each catechumen and candidate must prevent outside influences, such as things, people or objects, standing in their way of developing that relationship with the Lord.

“Go forward knowing the Holy Spirit will aid you in this journey,” the Bishop added. “You have been called to be catechumens and candidates… it is human nature to stumble along the way – but keep working to become ever more that man or woman of God you are called to be.”

The catechumens are part of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). RCIA is for those who are unbaptized and unchurched, who come to inquire about becoming part of the Roman Catholic Faith. Often catechumens are those who have begun to seek and understand God in their lives and have been led by the Holy Spirit to become Catholic.

RCIA is not simply a course on Catholicism; it is a journey of discovery and faith. This is most commonly done is three distinct phases: discernment, acceptance into the catechumenate and purification and enlightenment.

Each catechumen will go through a series of scrutinies during which they examine their readiness to accept Christ and the Catholic Faith in the form of the Sacraments of Initiation. This time culminates at the Easter Vigil when the catechumens are received through Baptism into the Catholic Church. The final period of the RCIA is the time of “Mystagogy” (post-baptismal catechesis). During the weeks following the Easter Vigil, the newly initiated live more profoundly their experience of Baptism and the Eucharist as they begin the journey of discipleship and their growing union with Christ.

For candidates, those who have been baptized in the name of the Trinity, the Catholic Church does not require re-Baptism. Candidates have already experienced a journey of faith and have some understanding of how Jesus leads us to the Father through the work of the Holy Spirit. In fact, many have been attending Mass with their families for years but may have never received the Sacrament of Holy Communion or the Sacrament of Confirmation. Candidates, therefore, are in a separate group and are not necessarily required to wait an entire year before being welcomed into the Church.

The candidates are invited to the Cathedral for the Rite of Election as a form of welcome, but because they are already in the Book of the Elect as baptized Christians, they do not bring their names forward; rather they come forward and make the sign of the cross with holy water as a reminder of their Baptism and sign of their continuing conversion.

Everyone is encouraged to pray for and welcome the catechumens and candidates at their own parish as they continue their journey of discovery in their Faith.

Bishop Dewane Extends Appreciation to all volunteers

Susan Laielli – Special to the Florida Catholic

For the nearly 400 people who joined Bishop Frank J. Dewane at February 23 Mass in Appreciation of Volunteers at Our Lady of Light Parish in Fort Myers, it was a day to celebrate their work in the Diocese of Venice Parishes, Missions and other entities.

For one St. Ann Parish volunteer, retired nurse Denise Delaney, who now serves as an Extraordinary Eucharistic Minister at a hospital in Naples, she admits it took some prompting from both the Holy Spirit and her husband to return to the hospital setting, but she is very grateful for the nudge.

“I wasn’t sure if I could transition from the nursing side of the hospital to being in ministry, but my husband said, ‘How long are you going to wait before you do this?’ – then I saw a St. Ann bulletin ad with heartfelt encouragement expressing the need for Extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers at the hospital,” Delaney said.

Delaney said bringing the Eucharist to the hospital is ‘humbling’, , who admits to finding the work very rewarding to be included with families during very sensitive times.

Bishop Dewane was the Principal Celebrant of the Mass, and he was joined by priests from across the region who were there to support the volunteers.

During the Mass Bishop Dewane acknowledged all the various roles making up a Church family and encouraged each to continue working as a Missionary Disciple, saying the work is symbolic of a deeper meaning and message. Those roles can vary dramatically from helping at a soup kitchen to teaching a young person learn how to read. Each volunteer’s contribution is valued for their presence; not only by the Universal Church, but by those who they assist.

“The Holy Father reminds us that Volunteers are like John the Baptist – by reaching out, going out to those in need, you prepare the way of the Lord for them,” Bishop Dewane said. “As volunteers, you act without personal interest being prompted by the Holy Spirit, and it is truly humbling to stand before you.”

Members of the Our Lady of Light Parish Choir sang beautifully during the Mass. By the way, they are all volunteers themselves. One chorister was Colleen Miley, who started singing in the Parish in 1993 when her husband passed away.

“It’s important for people to be engaged in something that’s not only good for you, but good for others as well,” Miley said.

Before the afternoon luncheon in the Parish Hall where a slideshow played featuring volunteers from across the Diocese, Bishop Dewane took photographs with each of the Parish groups in attendance.

Ash Wednesday marks beginning of Lenten Journey

Bob Reddy – Florida Catholic

“Remember that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return” are the words one hears when ashes are formed in the sign of the cross and imposed on the forehead on Ash Wednesday.

The ashes come from the blessed Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year and the moment serves as a launching point for one’s Lenten Journey of praying, of fasting, of almsgiving – sacrifice.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane stressed during a Mass at St. William Parish in Naples, that on this journey of salvation, as one moves forward, one is called to discipline oneself to be the ever more for the Lord. A key component of this is to renew one’s heart, the Bishop added.

While attending Mass on Ash Wednesday is a good start, Bishop Dewane said that it is very easy to get too busy with the motions of the Lenten Season and miss the motivation.

“Why is it we are here? What is it we do? Why do we do it?” the Bishop asked. “It is in our heart, as human beings, where that love and motivation can most profoundly occur. Go forward – as you are starting out well – but look at the motivation. If one needs to make more connections with the Lord, do so. Be very mindful in expressing to the Lord, clearly in one’s prayer, what it is that motivates you and also seek the help one needs from the Lord.

The ashes were used as a sign of repentance in the Old Testament, and to serve as a public sign of our intent to die to our worldly desires and live in Christ. Ashes also symbolize grief, in this case, grief for our sins.

Pope Francis said on Ash Wednesday that fasting from food or other things during Lent is a chance for Catholics to reorient their material attachments, and the Holy Father urged people to slow down and turn to Christ during the penitential season.

The Pope added that the three area of focuses during Lent serve as an invitation from the Lord. “Prayer reunites us to God; charity, to our neighbor; fasting, to ourselves.”

Seminarian receives Ministry of Acolyte

Staff Report – Vatican City

Diocese of Venice Seminarian Alexander Pince was received into the Ministry of Acolyte during a Feb. 24 Mass on Vatican City.

Pince was one of 43 seminarians from Pontifical North American College to receive this honor in the College Chapel of the Immaculate Conception from Most. Rev. Steven J. Lopes, Bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.

During his homily, Bishop Lopes stressed the importance of Christ’s love as a measure for our lives noting that Jesus Christ is “a love without conditions, a love without limits, a love that was willing to give all; that is the love that is revealed in God, in Christ.”

Bishop Lopes told the newly instituted acolytes that this ministry, “as understood in the context of this seminary, is a ritual step toward ordination. It is a ritual drawing near to the altar, the love by which you draw nearer today, changes us. It transfigures us. It accomplishes is us what you and I, humanly speaking, could never ask or even imagine. And so we love differently. We are changed by the sacramental outpouring of grace. Because at the altar we know ourselves to be loved in a way that is unimaginable. This is the heart of the Christian Faith. This is the heart of the Gospel itself.”

As part of the Rite, the Bishop placed the paten, which contains the hosts for the celebration of Mass, in the hands of each candidate. He then said, “take this vessel with bread for the celebration of the Eucharist. Make your life worthy of your service at the table of the Lord and His Church.”

The seminarians, currently in their second year of formation for the priesthood, would have two additional years of theological studies before being ordained to the priesthood in their home Dioceses.

The Pontifical North American College serves as the American Seminary in Rome. Founded in 1859 by Blessed Pius IX, the college has formed more than 5,000 priests.

Scripture Series looks at Bible in fresh way

Bob Reddy – Florida Catholic

Curtis Mitch describes studying Sacred Scripture as a journey to discover God’s will in your life.

This was the starting point for the latest Diocese of Venice Office of Evangelization Scripture Series which was held Feb. 21 at St. Patrick Parish in Sarasota. Mitch co-authored the Ignatian Study Bible and is from the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology at Franciscan University in Steubenville. He also spoke later that same day at a gathering of Theology on Tap in Sarasota.

By gaining greater understanding for Sacred Scriptures, we begin to have a greater appreciation for the gift of Salvation, Mitch explained. He compared the Old Testament with the New Testament as a bad news, good news story. The Old Testament begins with the failure and disobedience of Adam and in the New Testament the obedience and success of Jesus.

Mitch explained that his goal for the day was for everyone to walk away with a means to personally bridge the language of Scripture with the language of the Church.

Participants in the talk expressed their appreciation for the continued opportunity to learn from world-renowned speakers. “I think I know the Bible fairly well, but get so much out of these talks, that I can’t wait for the next one,” said one woman from St. Patrick Parish.

The next Scripture Conference will feature Scott Hahn on May 18, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at Bishop Verot Catholic High School, 5598 Sunrise Drive, Fort Myers. This conference will feature several talks on aspects of the Scriptures and includes lunch. Bring your Bible. Tickets are $20 in advance and $30 at the door. Students receive a discount. Please register at www/dioceseofvenice.org/calendar.

News briefs from Around the Diocese March 15 2019

Bishop serves as Grand Marshal to Marco St. Patrick’s Parade

Bishop Frank J. Dewane served as the Grand Marshal for the 2019 Marco Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 3. The parade included a variety of floats and various musical performers including the St. John Neuman Catholic High School Band from Naples.

Parish celebrates 20 years

Our Lady of the Angels Parish Lakewood Ranch celebrated their 20th anniversary with a Mass and party on Feb. 24. Bishop Frank J. Dewane was the principal celebrant for the Mass with current, past and neighboring priests concelebrating. It was noted that the faith community, which has been in a new parish church for about a year, has grown thanks to the efforts of the priests and of the strong support of the people who make Our Lady of the Angels what it is today.

Order of Malta retreat brings in Archbishop

Archbishop Jerome Listecki, of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, was the retreat master for an Order of Malta retreat in Naples from March 1-3. Bishop Frank J. Dewane celebrated a Mass for the knights and dames of the order on March 1 at St. Ann Parish and was joined by Archbishop Listecki.

St. Andrew student saves father, receives “Do The Right Thing Award”

Kendall Sullivan, a seventh grader at St. Andrew Catholic School in Cape Coral, was recently honored at the Cape Coral “Do The Right Thing” Awards. She was recognized for her fast thinking and calm demeanor in a very stressful situation when her father had a medical emergency while driving here and a her younger sister to school. After a minor traffic accident, the quick-thinking student was able to remove the keys from the ignition and turn off the car. She then explain to bystanders and emergency medical personnel about her father’s medical history which was credited with helping him make a full recovery. She was presented the ‘Do the Right Thing Award” for being able to prevent injury to her family and others on the road all while putting her fear aside.

Two Diocesan teams going to state Odyssey of the Mind competition

The St. Joseph Catholic School in Bradenton and St. Andrew Catholic School in Cape Coral both qualified teams for the state Odyssey of the Mind competition at the University of Central Florida in April! The teams did well in regional qualifiers on March 2 competing against more than 100 schools from across the area. Odyssey of the Mind is a creative problem-solving program where teams work together to solve complex problems.

Parish holds annual Gala

St. Jude Parish in Sarasota held their annual Gala Feb. 15 at Michael’s on East. The theme of the evening was “One World, One Family,” and in addition to fine dining, there was dancing, photo booth, raffles and live auction, including for Father Celestin Gutierrez’s famous paella dinner.

Epiphany Cathedral students participate in Kids Heart Challenge

Students at Epiphany Cathedral School know that February celebrates St. Valentine and is American Heart Month by participating in the Kids Heart Challenge which educates them on how their heart works, ways to stay healthy and how to make a difference in the lives of others. American Heart Association Youth Marketing Director, Emily Helter visited the Venice to the school on Valentine’s Day to speak with the 2nd & 3rd grade class about the fundraiser and ways to stay heart healthy.  This year the student’s goal is to raise $5,000 with the school raising $8,000 in the past two years. The Kid’s Heart Challenge fundraiser culminated with a school-wide event with jumping rope, hula hooping, dance and many fun activities designed to illustrate that being active is both fun and life-saving.

Lenten Season focuses on prayer, fasting and almsgiving

By Joshua Mazrin – Florida Catholic


As the Liturgical Calendar and all of creation turn its eyes toward the Passion of Jesus Christ this Lent and the following Resurrection, how ought we to give the proper response to the love of God?  The common practices of Lent include prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

Joshua Mazrin, Diocese of Venice Director of Evangelization.

These practices begin with a day of fasting and abstinence on Ash Wednesday, March 6, abstaining from meat each Friday, and another day of fasting and abstinence on April 19, which is Good Friday.

When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, Eve sees a threefold description of the fruit, “the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desired to make one wise” (Gen 3:6).  St. John explains this threefold distinction in his first epistle, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16).

Basically, what this means is that we primarily struggle in three ways: 1) the lust of the flesh is when we give into bodily temptations which may be gluttony, sloth, or lust for example, 2) the lust of the eyes pertains to wanting possessions or money, and 3) the pride of life is pride and vanity, wanting our own importance and glory rather than God’s.

Prayer, fasting, and almsgiving are set up directly to combat those dispositions in our lives.  Prayer gives us humility rather than pride, relying on God rather than ourselves.  Fasting is denying the body and the lusts of the flesh in order to grow in discipline and gain mastery over the body.  Almsgiving brings about detachment to material goods so that we might rule them rather than us being ruled by the cares of the world, it also helps us to become generous people!

Lent is a season to focus on these in light of Jesus’ ministry, self-denial, and Passion that we might grow in conformity to Christ and His divine life.  It is a season to truly grow in charity, which covers a multitude of sin and is the true measure of holiness.  Growth in holiness is truly the perfection of charity (the perfection of ourselves in love of God and neighbor).  As we progress along this path of sanctity, our lives become more perfectly united to that of Christ’s on the Cross, so that in dying with Him in death, we might rise with Him in life, including the growth and possible perfection of virtue and great union with God even on earth!

This Lenten Season, be encouraged to do more than you have ever done because you are given a unique opportunity to receive grace from God that you will never have the opportunity to receive again. Expect to receive abundant blessings this Lenten season!  Remember the scandal of the Cross and the foolishness of God’s love for us, He desires to pour more and more grace into your heart and to love you in exactly the way you need.  He offers healing, love, and mercy if only you would provide the open door of your heart and cooperate with His grace.

The Office of Evangelization is also offering many opportunities to encounter the love of God in your daily lives this Lent. There are daily reflections and prayerful resources on the Diocesan website under the new section “Liturgical Calendar” with a dedicated webpage to Lent. There will also be Diocesan “Mercy Nights” throughout the Diocese at different Parishes you can find on the website. These nights will include Eucharistic Adoration, praise & worship, a short reflection, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession)—where we all might draw from the spring of eternal life and be transformed by the scandalous love of God.


Ash Wednesday, March 6, 2019, and Good Friday, April 19, 2019, are days of fast and abstinence. All Fridays of Lent are also days of abstinence from meat.

Fasting is to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday by all Catholics between the ages of 18 years and 59 years (inclusive). On a fast day one full meal is allowed. Two smaller meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to each one’s needs, but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids are allowed. If possible, the fast on Good Friday is continued until the Easter Vigil (on Holy Saturday night) as the “Paschal Fast” to honor the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus, and to prepare ourselves to share more fully and to celebrate more readily His Resurrection.

Abstinence from meat is to be observed by all Catholics who are 14 years of age and older. Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays of Lent (and Good Friday) are days of abstinence.

Note: If a person is unable to observe the above regulations due to ill health or other serious reasons, they are urged to practice other forms of self-denial that are suitable to their condition. 

Fasting, almsgiving, and prayer are the three traditional disciplines of Lent. The faithful and catechumens should undertake these practices seriously in a spirit of penance and of preparation for baptism or of renewal of baptism at Easter.


Lent 2019 – Mercy Nights

The Office of Evangelization is hosting several “Mercy Nights” throughout the Diocese during Lent. Mercy Nights are designed to give the faithful the opportunity to encounter God particularly through His unfathomable mercy. Each night will have Eucharistic Adoration, lively praise and worship music, a short reflection, and the opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession). Make your Lent a time to truly encounter what the Lord has in store for you in prayer, come to Mercy Night! For more information, contact evangelization@dioceseofvenice.org (see a list below for the dates, locations and musicians).

All are welcome to the Mercy Nights, which begin at 7 p.m., unless otherwise noted. There is no cost to attend.

  • March 13, St. Peter the Apostle Parish, 5130 Rattlesnake Hammock Road, Naples, music by Jon Niven;
  • March 20, Incarnation Parish, 2901 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota, music by Out of Darkness;
  • March 27, St. Katharine Drexel Parish, 1922 SW 20th, Cape Coral, music by Jon Niven;
  • April 5, St. John the Evangelist Parish, 625 111th N., Naples, (starts at 6:30 p.m.) music by Jennine Fuentes “Encounter on the Mountain;”
  • April 9, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, 1301 Center Road, Venice, music by Nathan Boock;
  • April 17, St. Elizabeth Seton Parish, 5225 Golden Gate Parkway, Naples, music by Jon Nevin.

For more information, please call 941-484-9543 or email evangelization@dioceseofvenice.org.

Web Lenten resources

Be sure to check out https://dioceseofvenice.org/offices/daily-resources/liturgical-seasons/, especially the “Lent” section for daily Lenten resources such as reflections, prayer, devotions, and teachings.

Joshua Mazrin is the Diocese of Venice Director of Evangelization and can be reach at 941-484-9543 or at mazrin@dioceseofvenice.org.

Bishop leads Holy Land pilgrimage

Staff Report


Deacon Richard and Lynne Frohmiller renews their wedding vows in Cana, Israel, before Bishop Frank J. Dewane and Father Peter Vasko, OFM, Feb. 8, during a Holy Land pilgrimage.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane was part of a recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land with a group of mostly faithful from the Diocese of Venice.

The pilgrimage was organized by John and Maureen Lengyel of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem and included visits to sites such as Cana, Nazareth, Capernaum, Jericho, Bethany, Jerusalem and Bethlehem, names that evoke vivid imagery from the New Testament and specifically the life and death of Jesus.

The spiritual leader for the pilgrimage was Father Peter Vasko, OFM, who is the President of the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land.

Bishop Dewane expressed how he was truly a blessed for opportunity to take part in the pilgrimage, noting that when one visits the sites of the life of Jesus, one cannot help but be changed by the experience.

While in Cana, the couples participating had the opportunity to renew their wedding vows. Other highlights included visiting the site where Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount, the Sea of Galilee, Mount Carmel, the River Jordan, the Holy Grotto of the Nativity, the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and to walk along the Via Dolorosa, the same path Jesus took while carrying the cross to Calvary. There were just a few of the highlights of the pilgrimage.

During the journey, one pilgrim wrote on social media that she was overwhelmed to be at holy sites where Jesus walked and taught. She later added that the entire journey was a life-changing experience.

Second Diocesan STREAM School certified

Staff Report


St. Charles Catholic School in Port Charlotte has many reasons to celebrate. In late 2018, after three years of preparing for the STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) accreditation, they were honored with achieving STREAM certification from the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops (FCC) and the National Council for Private School Education.

St. Charles is one of a limited number of schools in the state of Florida to receive this prestigious honor and only the second in the Diocese of Venice after St. Mary Academy in Sarasota received the distinction in October.

Principal Tonya Peters thanked her teachers and all of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School community for all their hard work to make this happen!

Such a designation is the culmination of years of preparation and professional commitment to this initiative. The FCC then validates the schools’ unique ability to provide a balanced educational experience designed to prepare our students for the future while remaining grounded in our Catholic identity.

A STREAM education is the collaborative blending of six concepts (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) through the platform of the Catholic Faith in an exploratory and inquiry-based learning environment. STREAM schools integrate Catholic identity into every aspect of the curriculum and promote a culture of innovation.

The schools that integrate a STREAM curriculum are “think forward” institutions and place a high priority on educator training, learning leadership, and 21st Century skill applications, educating students for their future, make learning relevant, and emphasize interdisciplinary connections.

We need to train students to be ready for the jobs and leaders of tomorrow in this ever-changing world,” Principal Peters said. “Many jobs that exist today will not be around in a few years, and there will be jobs created that we do not have today!”

STREAM engages students with critical thinking, team building, problem solving, critique, inquiry, and innovation and is an integrated approach to learning connecting standards, assessments, and lesson design/implementation.

True STREAM experiences involve two or more standards from Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Math and the Arts to be taught and assessed. Inquiry, collaboration, problem-solving, team building, and an emphasis on process-based learning are the STREAM approach.

“Religion, the “R,” is the foundation that keeps God-centered in all that we do as we dive deeper into learning about our faith,” Principal Peters explained.

If you would like more information about St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School, please call the office 941-625-5533 or email info@stcbs.org.  Can’t make the open house?  Contact us any time for a tour.

Religious women recognized for service to Church

Bob Reddy – Florida Catholic

In gratitude and recognition for the contributions of men and women religious within the Universal Church, but more precisely in the Diocese of Venice, a jubilee celebration was held Feb. 17 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center in Venice.

Appropriately, the day began with the celebration of the Mass by Bishop Frank J. Dewane. During the Mass, there was a renewal of the vows for the jubilarians, the same ones they took when professing a commitment to a religious life, that of poverty, chastity and obedience.

The Bishop thanked the religious for answering a specific call of the Lord to live a life of holiness, and then taking that commitment a step farther by reaching out and serving others. Bishop Dewane added that the celebration of consecrated life is a celebration of goodness, a blessing to the Church as a whole.

Four religious women celebrating significant anniversaries were specifically recognized during the Mass and at a following reception. The religious honored were: 75 years, Sister Mary Paschal Sadlier, Poor Clare Nun (Order of St. Clare); 60 years, Sister Liliette Ouellette and Sister Mary Josine Perez, School Sisters of Notre Dame; and 25 years, Sister Maria Pilar Alindogan, Poor Clare Nun (Order of St. Clare).

Sister Liliette explained that her call to a religious life was a path she followed with great joy. As a teacher, she followed the charism of her religious order with passion knowing that she was accompanied by the Lord along the path she had chosen. “It has been a good life,” Sister Liliette said.

Sister Josine spent a lifetime teaching at every level from elementary to college level, but now, in her “retirement,” she remains active at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice assisting with funeral planning and the work of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. “As a religious sister, I have been called by Christ to serve. That service helps bring others close to His love.”

Sister Mary Paschal and Sister Maria Pilar were unable to attend the celebration. Present at the Mass were religious brothers, priests and or women religious as a sign of support for those celebrating their jubilee in 2019. Following the Mass, the was a luncheon where jubilarians were again recognized for their commitment to a service to others and their continued service within the Diocese of Venice.


75 years of religious life

Sister Mary Paschal Sadlier, OSC

Born Honora Sadlier in Lisheen Cashel Co., Tipperary, Ireland, now nearly 101, Sister Mary Paschal Sadlier, Poor Clare Nun (Order of St. Clare), was born to Martin and Mary Sadlier, and is last surviving of 10 children. Sister entered religious life on Jan. 22, 1936 with the Sisters of St. Anne in Wimbledon, England and she received her habit and the name Sister Paschal Baylon of the Sacred Heart. After working at a hospital in Plymouth helping the victims of the bombing of England in the early years of World War II, she took a rest at a Poor Clare convent and felt called to a contemplative life. In July 1942 she was accepted as a Poor Clare in Cornwall and Sister Mary Paschal made her profession on July 31, 1944. She remained in the convent in Cornwall until becoming Abbess which exhausted her. Sister Mary Paschal then went to Arundel, before moving on the to Poor Clares in Darlington. There she was the Portress – second in charge – which suited her temperament better and later she was named infirmarian, caring for the older sisters in the monastery. At the age of 70, in 1988 she made her final transfer to live with the Poor Clare Sisters at San Damiano Monastery of St. Clare on Fort Myers Beach. The religious community joyfully embraces a life of poverty, prayer and contemplation, solitude and seclusion that they might serve the Lord and His Church. In her spare time, she likes to read.

60 years of religious life

Sister Liliette Ouellette, SSND

Sister Liliette Ouellette, School Sister of Notre Dame, was bornin Dracut, Mass. To Arthur and Beatrice Ouellette and has three sisters. The earned a Bachelor’s in French at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisc., a Master’s in Elementary Education from the University of Detroit in Michigan, and a Master’s in Education Administration from Manhattan College in New York. Sister Liliette entered religious life on Aug. 28, 1957 and made her profession on July 14, 1959. She taught elementary school in Michigan for nine years before moving to Long Island, N.Y. to teach junior high from 1970 to her retirement in 2009. Since her move to Port Charlotte in 2014 she serves as a lector and Eucharistic Minister at St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish. She also volunteers with the St. Vincent de Paul Society. The day of Sister Lilliete’s profession was one of her happiest memories, because it was when her family shared in the joy she had in consecrating her life to God in expression of her vows. Another happy memory was becoming cancer-free, something she sees as a sign of God’s love and presence in her life. In her spare time, she loves any form of needlework and even crotchets mats for the homeless using plastic bags.

Sister Mary Josine Perez, SSND

Sister Mary Josine Perez, School Sister of Notre Dame, was born in New York to Joseph and Alice Perez, and has one brother. Sister Maria received a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from the College of Notre Dame in Baltimore, Md., and then a Master’s in Education from Loyola College in Baltimore and Master’s in Religious Studies from Barry University in Miami and finally a certification in administration/supervision from the University of South Florida in Tampa. She entered religious life on Sept. 8, 1957 and made her profession on July 25, 1959. Sister Maria was an elementary and then junior high school teacher in Baltimore before becoming a principal in Hollywood, Fla. She was then a teacher later dean at a high school in St. Petersburg before becoming Assistant Academic Dean at the College of Notre Dame in Maryland. After leaving the College of Notre Dame, she returned to Catholic Schools as a principal of an elementary school in St. Petersburg. It was 25 years ago that she moved to the Diocese of Venice where she was the Director of Religious Education at St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Port Charlotte and then from 1993 to 2017 as DRE and involved in parish ministry at Sacred Heart Parish in Punta Gorda. She retired in 2017 to Venice where she now assists with funeral planning and with the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

25 years of religious life

Sister Maria Pilar Alindogan, OSC

One of 14 children, Sister Maria Pilar Alindogan, Poor Clare Nun (Order of St. Clare), was born in San Fernando Masbate, Philippines, to Effigenio and Elsie Alindogan. She is a graduate from Emilio Aguinaldo College in Manila, Philippines. Sister Maria Pilar entered religious life on June 27, 1991 and made her profession on June 27, 1994. She entered the monastery in Quezon City, Philippines and was there until she came to Florida in 2007. Since that time Sister Maria Pilar has been with the Poor Clare Sisters at San Damiano Monastery of St. Clare on Fort Myers Beach. She loves to play the organ and guitar, as well as draw, cut letters for sign boards and to do little things for others to let them know that she loves and cares for them.