Mass with Bishop kicks off Parish Golden Jubilee

Bob Reddy – Florida Catholic

Anniversaries are a good time to look back while also looking forward to the future.

Sacred Heart Parish, near downtown Bradenton, has a history to fondly look back upon that dates to 1888. However, it wasn’t until 81 years later, June 4, 1969 to be exact, that the actual Parish was permanently erected as an off-shoot of St. Joseph Parish.

To mark the beginning of 50th Anniversary festivities, Bishop Frank J. Dewane celebrated a Mass in honor of those who have called Sacred Heart Parish home for the past 50 years, for those who do so today, and for future generations to follow in their footsteps.

“Just as each priest leaves his mark during the time he serves here, each person who comes into the Church to worship and pray, leaves their own mark,” Bishop Dewane said. “This community would be much poorer if it wasn’t for you. Thank you. You have made Sacred Heart a unique Parish with a proud history and a bright future.”

Many of the parishioners wore t-shirts with a 50th Anniversary logo of the parish which included an image of the Parish Church at its center and underscored by the dates 1969-2019.

“It’s just a wonderful Parish,” said Carlos Martinez. “Everyone is always so welcoming. And to have Bishop Dewane here to help us start our anniversary celebration with a Mass makes everything so special.”

The Parish Church has several unique features including faceted glass windows that contain the Beatitudes which were installed in 1974. A stained-glass window, high above the front doors and narthex depicts the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was in 2004 when a grotto Shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe was dedicated. A major renovation of the Parish Church took place and Bishop Dewane rededicated the Church in late 2009.

The theme for the 50th Anniversary is: “Built by Faith and diverse in its expression, Sacred Heart Parish stands as a celebration of God’s love of His people, reflected in our church building, surroundings and, most of all, its members.”

Execution prayer vigils Aug. 22

On Aug. 22, at 6 p.m., Gary Ray Bowles is scheduled to be executed by the State of Florida.

The Diocese of Venice Respect Life Office is asking everyone to please join a prayer vigil (choose from list below) or pray at home for Mr. Bowles, his family, the victims and their families, and those who must carry out the execution.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2267 states: “The Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that ‘The death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person,’ and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.”

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops document, A Culture of Life and the Penalty of Death, states: “When the state, in our names and with our taxes, ends a human life despite having non-lethal alternatives, it suggests that society can overcome violence with violence.  The use of the death penalty ought to be abandoned not only for what it does to those who are executed, but for what it does to all of society.”

Execution Prayer Vigil times and locations:

5 p.m., St. Catherine Parish, 820 Hickory St., Sebring;

5:30 p.m., St. John XXIII Parish, 13060 Palomino Lane, Fort Myers; St. Raphael Parish (chapel), 2514 Lee Blvd., Lehigh Acres; Sacred Heart Parish, 211 West Charlotte Avenue, Punta Gorda (outdoor Last Supper Table);

5:45 p.m., St. Thomas More Parish, 2506 Gulf Gate Drive, Sarasota; San Pedro Parish (chapel), 14380 Tamimi Trail, North Port; San Marco Parish, 851 San Marco Drive, Marco Island;

6 p.m., St. Joseph Parish, 3100 26th St. W., Bradenton; St. Katharine Drexel Parish (chapel), 1922 SW 20th Ave., Cape Coral.

To learn more about the death penalty, watch the video at https://dioceseofvenice.org/offices/offices-departments/respect-life/death-penalty/.  For additional information, contact the Diocesan Respect Life Office at Berdeaux@dioceseofvenice.org or 941-441-1101.

News from Around the Diocese late July 2019

Seminarian admitted to Candidacy

Bishop Frank J. Dewane presided over the Rite of the Admission to Candidacy of Diocesan Seminarian Daniel Scanlan on June 27 at the Diocese Catholic Center in Venice. Scanlan recently graduated Valedictorian from St. Vincent de Paul College Seminary in Miami and is heading to Rome, Italy, to continue his priestly formation at the Pontifical North American College. Also present was Father Shawn Roser, Diocese Director of Vocations.

Youth take part in religious retreat in Georgia mountains

Youth from two different parishes took part in separate religious retreats in the Georgia mountains in late June. The Epiphany Cathedral group from Venice went to the Camp Covecrest retreat center for a week of fun activities and team-building exercises while also hearing inspirational talks and having time to reflect on their faith. Meanwhile, the boys and girls from St. Michael Parish in Wauchula went camping in the mountains of Georgia on consecutive weeks. The groups hiked to the start of the Appalachian Trail and took part in numerous other activities and were led by the religious sisters and priests from the parish.

Mooney student taking part in Ballet summer program

Lauren Garner, Class of 2022, is spending her summer at the Boston Ballet School Summer Dance Program. After an intense audition, she was accepted and will spend 5 weeks training 5-7 hours each day with internationally renowned faculty of the Boston Ballet School and prestigious collegiate dance institutions in the areas of ballet technique, choreography, improvisation and contemporary dance. She will be attending this program and living in college dorms with other students from the United States and around the globe.

 

 

Verot grad receives top Girl Scout award

Samantha Romero, who just graduated from Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Sarasota has earned Girl Scouting’s highest honor – the Gold Award. Following Hurricane Michael in 2018, she turned her passion for filmmaking to make a difference in the Florida Panhandle by documenting the damage and recovery at St. John Catholic School in Panama City. There was a local connection to that school in that the principal, Dr. Vikki Parks, previously served as Diocese of Venice Assistant Superintendent and a teacher at St. Andrew Catholic School in Cape Coral. Through the power of video, she was able to help the school share their story and spearhead their relief effort. Romero also created a video club at Bishop Verot, and through in-person workshops and online video classes she trained younger students in the art of film, editing, and techniques to create professional content. Romero was also a member of the Verot Catholics in Action Club and was very active in Pro-Life activities including a trip to the National March for Life in Washington, D.C. The Girl Scout Gold Award recognizes girls who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through take-action projects with sustainable impact in their communities. The Gold Award is so prestigious that some universities and colleges offer scholarships unique to Gold Award Girl Scouts, and girls who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces may receive advanced rank in recognition of their achievements.

Mooney grad receives national lacrosse recognition

MJ McMahon, a recent graduate of Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota, has been named to the 2019 All-LaxRecords Second Team. McMahon completed his career with the Cougars tallying 410 points, good for top ten all time throughout the state. He racked up 235 goals, the fifth most ever for a high school lacrosse player from Florida. This past spring, McMahon helped guide Cardinal Mooney to a 21-win season. McMahon will be attending the University of Utah in the fall.

New Church Dedicated in Immokalee

Dream comes true for Parish Community

Bob Reddy – Florida Catholic

A Church building, dating from the ancient times, has been given the name – the Temple of the Lord. Because of this, a dedication of a new Parish Church permanently makes the building a sacred and holy place where the faithful come to hear the Word of God, to pray together, to celebrate and receive the Sacraments, and most precisely to celebrate often the Eucharist at the Table of the Lord.

A Church, as a building, is destined solely and permanently for the gathering of the faithful to give Glory and Praise to God, Bishop Frank J. Dewane stressed when he dedicated the new Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Church during a Mass on July 20 in Immokalee before a joyous assemblage of several thousand.

A huge and enthusiastic throng of people were there to witness the next chapter in the life of their beloved Parish. While the Church is a visible building, Bishop Dewane said it is nothing without the faith-filled people of Immokalee. “You are the ‘living stones.’ You are the why we build this Church – to come to gather as a community to adore Christ… It fills my heart with joy to see so many here for this important moment.”

Fittingly, the dedication began in the old church, which was built in 30 years ago, in 1989. Present for the dedication were Our Lady of Guadalupe Pastor Father Carlos Reyes-Ramirez, CS, Missionaries of St. Charles (Scalabrinians), Parochial Vicars Father Wilner Durosier, CS, and Thobias Sariar, M.o.C., as well as Father Moacir Balen, CS, Regional Provincial Superior of the Scalabrinians, and priests from the Diocese, the religious order. A special concelebrant was Father Isaia Birollo, CS, who served at Our Lady of Guadalupe for four years and was present for the 1989 dedication of the old church. “It is amazing how this community has grown. Wonderful!”

Led by the cross bearer, the priests and Bishop then processed to the front doors of the new, but empty church. There the building was symbolically handed over to the Bishop and he said: “Enter the gates of the Lord with thanksgiving, his courts with song and praise.” Pastor Father Reyes then opened the door and all entered.

During his homily, Bishop Dewane explained the different parts of the Rite of Dedication, but he also reemphasized the purpose behind the new church by citing the Gospel of Matthew (16:13-19), which was proclaimed during the Mass. In Matthew, Jesus questions the disciples about who other people say He is. When their answers are unsatisfactory, Jesus challenges Peter, “Who do you say that I am?” The Bishop noted that each one of those present answers that question by the life that they live.

Here in Immokalee, we set about to build this new Church so that every one of you can answer that question,” Bishop Dewane continued. “It is not just for the Fathers to answer it, or for those who are here often…  We put up this Church so that no one will have the chance to say: ‘Let someone else enter there.’ Let it be – in this Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe – where everyone begins their response to the Lord of ‘Who do you say that I am?’ and they end with their response by carrying the Lord with them throughout their daily life.”

Reactions and post-dedication celebration

Yolanda Medina brought her young children, Daniela, 6, Elena, 4, and Jose, 3, Manuel, 2, into the new church following the dedication and pointed out the key interior features. These included the crucifix, the tabernacle, the baptismal font, the statue of St. Juan Diego, the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and a statue of St. Michael the Archangel.

The Medina family first knelt in the pews and prayed for a time before exploring their new Parish Church. “They were in such awe of the whole dedication and wanted to see everything up close. It was amazing to have the Bishop here because we know he helped us build this beautiful place. This is a day Immokalee won’t soon forget.”

This may be an understatement as the new nearly 15,000-square-foot church, which seats nearly 1,200 comfortable was overflowing out the doors and into the parking lot. Everyone wanted to be present for this historic moment in the life of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish.

Tents were set up in a field on the back of the Parish property, seating 3,500 for a post-dedication fiesta complete with food, performances by musicians and dancers as well as a huge cake. There were so many people that some were content to participate standing up. Cooking of the food began about 6 a.m. and the menu include barbeque chicken, pork, rice and beans as well as cake. While it rained off and on during the Mass and the fiesta, no one complained as the celebration lasted well into the evening.

The Rite of Dedication

Following the opening procession and entrance into the empty church, the faithful followed and the next part of the Rite began with the Bishop blessing the water in the Baptismal Font, and then he, along with Father Reyes, blessed the people with Holy Water further as a symbol of the spiritual temple of the Lord so as to recall their Baptismal promises. This was followed by the sprinkling of the walls of the Church, marking the Church as a holy place from that day forward — before finally blessing the altar and the sanctuary.

The Mass then proceeded with some minor adjustments, such as the Litany of Saints replacing the general intercessions. Following the Litany, the rites of anointing, incensing, covering and lighting the altar followed. During the anointing, Bishop Dewane spread Sacred Chrism Oil – blessed at the Chrism Mass during Holy Week – first on the altar and then in the sign of the cross at four points on the walls of the Church. This is done to mark, through sacred designation, the altar and Church. Next was the incensation, symbolic of the “prayers rising up to the Lord, not just for today, but for generations to come” of the altar and then of the nave of the Church.

Next was the lighting of the altar and the Church. Bishop presented Father Reyes with a lighted candle, who then proceed to light the candles on the newly anointed altar while the lights of the building were turned on. With the Rite concluded, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass continued.

At the end of the Mass, Scalabrinian Provincial Father Balen read a congratulatory letter from the Superior of the Order in Rome to the Parish which included his gratitude to the Bishop and faithful for their continued support to the religious order. Father Reyes also expressed his gratitude to Bishop Dewane for helping to make a reality the long-held dream for a new Church.

It was in January 2017 when Bishop Dewane and Father Reyes used an excavator to start the work of clearing space for the new Church. Unforeseen delays, plus Hurricane Irma made the project take much longer than anticipated.

Bishop Dewane thanked the faithful for their patience during the delays. “I know everyone would agree that it was worth the wait.” A large roar of approval and applause responded to this statement.

The new church doubles the size of the old building while utilizing masonry and metal in its design. Features include a drive-through porte-cochere and exterior fountain with a shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Following Mass, Bishop Dewane blessed the neighboring 5,000-square-foot Father Richard Sanders Pastoral Center which features eight meeting rooms. The existing Church will eventually be converted into a Parish Hall.

Contractors

Architect: Patrick M. Pillot Architect, Inc.;

Civil Engineer, Spectrum Engineering, Inc., engineer: R. J. (Buck) Ward;

Contractor:  Anderson & Ellis, Inc., owner:  Steve Anderson, project superintendent:  John Augeri;

Exterior Fountain:  Jackson Pools, Inc., owner: Tom Fritz;

Pew manufacturer:  Imperial Woodworks, Inc., contact: Michael Correa;

Interior designer:  KDL Interior Design, LLC, designer: Kristin Lyons;

Church bells: The Verdin Company.

God and Pro-Life Prayer Warriors Help Convert Cape Coral Woman’s Heart

Susan Laielli – Special to the Florida Catholic

If you have ever prayed in front of an abortion clinic during 40 Days for Life – or on any day – and wondered if it has an impact, one need not look further than the transformation of a former Maryland Planned Parenthood employee who walked away from the industry, thanks to those prayers.

The story begins when Myra Neyer, 43, of Cape Coral, found herself looking for a job in Baltimore, Md. to support her seven children, after her husband was killed in a car accident. Following the death of her husband, a subsequent relationship ended at the hands of abuse, making the job search even more desperate to feed and clothe her children.

As her college graduation neared, the school sent Neyer’s resume to various organizations which were looking to fill positions. The work she found was at two northeast locations of Planned Parenthood, in Annapolis and Baltimore.

Over the next year Neyer would watch half-hearted counseling sessions of young pregnant women who were trying to decide how to handle their pregnancy. From day one she would observe actual abortions. Worst of all, as part of the job requirement, Neyer would be forced to piece babies back together following their killing, to be sure all of the aborted baby had been retrieved from its mother.

“I knew early on this was not the place for me but I had seven children to care for, so I kept going to work,” Neyer said, as she sat in a Cape Coral coffee shop recalling that long year of working for Planned Parenthood.

One day as she was walking back to work from lunch Neyer passed by two sets of protesters: the quiet Catholic prayer warriors who were joining together in praying the rosary; and the loud angry people who yelled awful things to the Planned Parenthood employees. Privately, Neyer says hearts are being affected.

“I started to think, what if God does hate what I am doing, and what am I doing to my soul?” Neyer recalls. It was then she remembers feelings of guilt started penetrating her mind. “The torment became so severe I would dream of being the one who was having the abortion – without anesthesia.”

Neyer recalled each time she looked at her youngest child, who was three at the time, she saw the skin of the aborted babies and soon became tormented for hours each day.

“One day I went outside to the 40 Days for Life prayer warriors, although I didn’t know any of them at the time, and I asked for a pair of the rosaries from one lady who was praying,” Neyer said, smiling. “She asked me if she could pray for me, and if I knew how to pray the rosary, to which I responded, yes. I also told her I grew up Catholic, and this is not how I ever saw my life going, but I have children to raise by myself.”

The woman continued to quietly pray over Neyer before she walked back into the Planned Parenthood clinic, knowing her co-workers were going to give her grief for talking to the people praying outside.

It wasn’t long before Neyer found herself searching for the woman who offered to pray for her, if only to share a smile, or a kind word. In some strange way, she says a sense of well-being was gained from those exchanges.

“This is when I remember starting to feel different. There was something about the prayer woman that provided comfort, and I felt drawn to her,” Neyer said, wiping away a tear. “I learned these ladies were with 40 Days for Life, which at the time, I knew nothing about.”

Attendees of 40 Days for Life commit themselves each Spring and Fall to 40 days of prayer in front of abortion clinics across the United States, including Sarasota, Port Charlotte, Fort Myers and Naples in the Diocese of Venice in Florida.

February 2014 is when Neyer definitively knew it was time to end her year working at Planned Parenthood. She says a young pregnant girl, estimated to be 20-years-old, came into the clinic feeling pressured to get an abortion by her boyfriend, an older man who did not want children.

Neyer says the ultrasound tech told the young mother she was 13-weeks pregnant with identical male quadruplets. The abortion could not be performed at that location because there was not sedation available there, so the procedure needed to be moved to another location in order to abort the four babies.

On the next scheduled visit, the day of the abortion, the young girl was too upset to go through with it. On the third visit her boyfriend came in with her and was visibly angry, claiming he did not want children and he argued with all involved, according to Neyer. The couple was moved to a private room to come to an agreement, but they eventually left without the abortion.

The next day before closing, Neyer said the young mother came back to the clinic in substantial pain, bleeding, with the babies literally falling out of her. The boyfriend had taken the young girl to an unknown location to have an abortion, which was going very wrong.

“The last baby needed to be suctioned out, and (afterwards) all of these little (parts) needed to be pieced back together, as my co-worker and I stood there hugging each other crying,” Neyer painfully recalls. “I knew I could not do this anymore.”

In hindsight, Neyer is now convinced more than ever that the woman who offered to pray for her was a gift from God and is ultimately what helped change her heart.

But for those who know and love God, there is an understanding that His work is never done. As Neyer quit her job the next day, she asked the woman outside to please continue praying for her because she would need a job and was unsure how to provide care for her children.

The praying woman gave Neyer a pamphlet titled, “And Then there Were None” (ATTWN), a non-profit organization founded by Abby Johnson, that exists to help abortion clinic workers leave the industry.

Johnson herself left the industry in 2009 after watching a 13-week old baby struggle in the womb during an ultrasound-guided abortion, and is the subject of the 2019 movie, “UNPLANNED.” That was the first time Abby saw an abortion done with an ultrasound, so it was also the first time she actually saw what was happening inside the womb.

Following Neyer’s conversion, ATTWN provided her with assistance, strength and counsel which led to a trip to Washington, D.C., for the pro-life March for Life. On the plane, Neyer found herself seated next to Renate Ferrante, Executive Director of Collier Community Abstinence Program, who knows Abby Johnson, and a meeting was set up.

Today, Neyer calls Johnson a sister and occasional mother figure, who has given her the strength to speak in public.  She will express to all who will listen that there is a better way for you – and our babies.

Jeanne Berdeaux, Diocese of Venice in Florida Respect Life Director is thrilled Neyer is now local.

“We are blessed that Myra Neyer chose to move to our Diocese after quitting Planned Parenthood in Baltimore.  She gives a powerful testimony to the truth of what happens inside an abortion facility,” Berdeaux said.

Neyer has spoken at several Luncheons 4 Life gatherings. This grassroots effort was started locally to bring like-minded and life-affirming people together and now takes place monthly in eight locations including Venice, Fort Myers and Naples and beyond.

Post-Abortion Help/Project Rachel

Are you suffering after abortion? There is hope and healing waiting for you. Many women and men experience deep pain and grief after an abortion and don’t know where to turn. They don’t know there is help available for them.  Project Rachel is the outreach of the Catholic Church to those who are suffering this loss. We offer help through the sacraments, retreats, and referrals for professional counseling. For confidential information, contact Sylvia Jimenez, Project Rachel Coordinator, at 941-412-5860 (English and en español), project.rachel@dioceseofvenice.org, or www.hopeafterabortion.com.

Faithful Catholics kayak and pray with new friends

Staff Report

A new young adult group initiative launched in late June with a day of kayaking, fellowship, food and the participation in the Mass.

The Frassati Society is a group for young adults (ages 18-39) in the Diocese of Venice that focuses on growing in community and holiness inspired by the spirituality and active lifestyle of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. The first gathering was June 29 at Robinson Preserve in Bradenton where like-minded young adults rented kayaks to spend time together while taking the time to discuss their faith.

Modeled after the spirituality of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, who had a great devotion to serve the poor and the work of evangelization. Born in Italy in 1901, Blessed Pier Giorgio would often organize hiking trips, attend the theatre, museums, and the opera. Through these cultural and active engagements, he would be the example of faith and witness to his friends through the praying of the rosary, reading the Scriptures, and bringing them to Mass.

Following his example, the Frassati Society, which will meet in the northern and southern parts of the Diocese of Venice, engages young adults through activities they desire to do, such as hiking, kayaking, arts and music, as well as partaking in spiritual enrichment through prayer, discussion, and attending the Mass, explained Joshua Mazrin, Diocese of Venice Director of Evangelization.

“In today’s culture of fleeting relationships and superficiality, young adults are craving authenticity and genuine friendships to combat the growing loneliness,” Mazrin added. “Through the Frassati Society, they are able to come together with like-minded people, to be present to one another as friends and family, and to grow together in the faith.”

The principle goals of the Frassati Society are to bring healing into the culture by providing a real community of people and to enculturate the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he concluded.

At the first gathering, the group kayaked for a time and gathered for the Mass, which was celebrated outdoors by Father Shawn Roser, Diocese Vocations Director and Parochial Vicar at St. Joseph Parish in Bradenton. While the initial group was small, the reception was overwhelmingly positive as the act of combining outdoor activity with a strong spiritual component appealed to those who participated.

The next Frassati Society gathering will take place July 20, 10 a.m. at the Celery Fields County Park, 6893 Palmer Blvd., Sarasota. There will be hiking, food and prayer. There is no cost to participate. A gathering in the southern part of the Diocese is currently in the planning stages.

There are several other outreach efforts within the Diocese which target Catholic young adults, including Theology on Tap in Sarasota and Naples, and other parish-based groups in Lee County.

The last Theology on Tap of the season in Sarasota took place June 20 at the Mandeville Beer Garden in Sarasota with Zander Waves giving a concert and offering his personal testimony before the largest crowd of the year. The gatherings will resume in September.

In Naples, Theology on Tap gathers each Thursday of the month at different parishes and sites in the area and has been doing so for at least four years. Host parishes include St. John the Evangelist, St. Agnes, St. Peter the Apostle, and St. William.

In Lee County, there are two active young adult outreach programs. At St. Raphael Parish in Lehigh Acres the LOFT young adult group meets at 6p.m. on the last Thursday of each month. Meanwhile, at St. John XXIII Parish in Fort Myers, the “Rooted” gatherings take place on the first Thursdays on each month at 7:15 p.m.

Each of these programs exists in order to reach out to young adults, foster moments of conversion, and lead them home to Christ and His Church.

For more details about the Frassati Society, Theology on Tap or any other young adult outreach efforts within the Diocese of Venice, please email evangelization@dioceseofvenice.org or contact Joshua Mazrin at mazrin@dioceseofvenice.org.

Parish offices dedicated and blessed

Bob Reddy – Florida Catholic

Gathered in faith and prayer, the faithful of St. Peter the Apostle Parish celebrated the dedication and blessing of the new Parish offices with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and celebration in Naples on June 21.

The celebration was a culmination of a nearly 10 years plan to upgrade the Parish facilities and this project coincided with an urgent need because of damage from 2017’s Hurricane Irma.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane presided over the dedication and blessing offering prayers of thanksgiving that this project has come to fruition. The celebration reflected the cultural diversity of the Naples Parish with the readings, petitions and music in three languages: English, Spanish and Creole.

The new offices are adjacent to the Spirit Center, which was dedicated by Bishop Dewane in March 2018. The offices are 4,095 square feet with a bright reception area and meeting room at the center of the building, replacing an original building that was constructed in 1986.

Bishop Dewane and Father Gerard “G” Critch, Pastor of St. Peter the Apostle, made the first official cut of the ribbon. The other priests, deacons and members of the building committee also cut and then received small commemorative pieces of ribbon.

As part of the dedication and blessing, Bishop Dewane proceeded through the new offices and blessed them with holy water. This was an important moment for the Parish and the staff and volunteers as many spend most of their waking hours in the offices and important business is done there. A blessing is also an important way to bring faith and protection to the office.

Father Critch thanked everyone for their sacrifice to make the new offices possible. The offices are a culmination of a lengthy effort by the Parish starting with the expansion of the parking lot, the new Spirit Center, the offices and more. The project was the result of small increments making an impossible dream, possible.

“Now we can take a breather and enjoy what we have accomplished,” Father said.

After the dedication and blessing, tours of the new offices were offered to the delight of the faithful and a potluck celebration followed in the Spirit Center.

Diocese news briefs for early July 2019

Sarasota Pastor receives Rotary honor

Father Celestino Gutierrez, Pastor of St. Jude Parish in Sarasota, was recently honored by the Rotary Club of Sarasota with their “Citizen of the Year” award. Father was presented the award by Rotary Club President Joe Devore, for service to the community, in particular his focus on helping the poor and the needy.  Father Gutierrez commented that, growing up in Spain, he never anticipated receiving such an award in the USA.

 

Mooney students go on Mission Trip to Jamaica

A group of Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School students from Sarasota went on a mission trip to Jamaica the week of June 17. During their trip the youth, who are all part of the Mooney Pivotal Directions mission club, worked in poor villages to help the needy of the area.

 

 

 

 

Immeasurable Mercy worship event July 25 on Sanibel

Take time to tend to your soul, for an Immeasurable Mercy worship event July 25, 7 p.m., St. Isabel Parish, 3559 Sanibel Captiva Road, Sanibel. The event will feature the music of Mark Shapic with vocals by Jennine Fuentes. There will be praise and worship, live music, adoration, confession, games, pizza and desserts. Please RSVP to Sue Ellen Nolan at239-472-2763 or sueellen.nolan@saintisabel.org.

Verot grad selected to MLB All-Star Game

Daniel Vogelbach, a graduate of Bishop Verot Catholic High School, and current Seattle Mariners designated hitter was selected to the 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star game, which was held July 9 in Cleveland. At the All-Star break, he had 20 home runs and a .244 batting average. Vogelbach help lead the Verot Vikings baseball team to the 2011 Florida Class 3A State Championship and shortly after graduation that same year was drafted 68th overall in the second round by the Chicago Cubs. Vogelbach set a Vikings single-season record with 17 home runs. He also led the team in batting average .459, hits (39), triples (4), walks (27), RBI (50), on-base percentage (.571) and slugging (1.224). After playing in the Cubs farm system, he was traded to the Mariners in 2016 and made his major league debut Sept. 12, 2016, earning his first hit the next night.

Knights on Bikes looking for riders

If you’re driving almost anywhere in Florida or the United States… you’ve probably seen or noticed a motorcyclist on a Harley Davidson, or another motorcycle, with a Knights of Columbus patch and a cross on their leather riding vests along with various other patches. Many Knights of Columbus have asked, “Who are these guys?” Well these are the Knights on Bikes and they are Knights of Columbus first and foremost dedicated to their roles of Knights of Columbus, the Dioceses of Venice, and the Holy Spirit! If you are a current, or planning to become a, Knight of Columbus with a positive passion for motorcycles and would like to ride with fellow positive minded Knights on Bikes, please consider joining. Knights on Bikes is always looking for properly formed good spirited Catholic men within the Diocese of Venice and other Dioceses for rides and fundraising. The motto is, ” In God We Trust and Ride.” For more information, please contact Venice Diocesan Knights on Bikes Chairman George Lopez for details at Knights1314@yahoo.com.

Arcadia senior housing opening soon

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice announces the completion of St. John Paul II Villas in Arcadia – a brand new development for Senior, Low-Income Housing. Apartments available consist of 1 or 2 bedrooms and are available for individuals 55 years of age and older, or handicapped or disabled. Income restrictions apply. For more information please call 863-884-2123.

Home Buyer Education Workshop

Catholic Charities offers a free Home Buyer Education Workshop every month in Bradenton and Sarasota in both English and Spanish. Potential home buyers receive important and useful information on how to purchase a home. For information, call Catholic Charities at 941-714-7829.

Church celebrates Pentecost

Bob Reddy – Florida Catholic

The journey of the Easter Season is concluded and the gift of the Holy Spirit has descended to provide wisdom, knowledge, understanding, fortitude, good counsel, piety and fear of the Lord – all gifts of the Spirit.

Celebrated on June 9, Pentecost Sunday marks an important transition in the lives of the Apostles and clarifies their mission in creating the Lord’s Church on earth and is traditionally viewed as the “birthday” of the Church.

Also on Pentecost, those who have been baptized and are seeking to be more fully united to Christ within the Church, receive the Sacrament of Confirmation at cathedrals around the world. At Epiphany Cathedral in Venice, Bishop Frank J. Dewane bestowed the sacrament upon 65 women and men representing 17 parishes across the Diocese.

Deybi Diaz Rodriquez of St. Agnes Parish in Naples said she was overwhelmed to have received the Sacrament of Confirmation from Bishop Dewane at the Cathedral.

“I am so happy right now,” Diaz Rodriguez said. “My whole family was here and that is so special. As the Bishop said, I feel like the Holy Spirit has come upon me and will be with me forever.”

The confirmandi responded to Christ’s call and made themselves available to Him in prayer, explained Cathedral Rector Father Jack Costello. “Through study and reflection, they have learned the truths of our Faith. Through acts of service they have demonstrated their love for Jesus. Their Pastors and catechists have assured the Church of their readiness to receive this Sacrament.”

Bishop Dewane praised the confirmandi for their courage in being witnesses of their faith and encouraged them to become an advocate for Jesus Christ. He noted that they take on a new relationship with the Lord that must come from the heart.

Continuing, the Bishop said, upon receiving Confirmation, the confirmandi must reflect upon the gifts of the Holy Spirit – wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord – “because each one of them is about your relationship with God and will help you answer the question ‘Who is God in my life?’ Know God in your life!”

The Spirit which is Pentecost, should become a part of who they are, the Bishop concluded. “Let this help you become more that man and women of God you are called to be through the strengths and gifts of the Holy Spirit.”

The Sacrament of Confirmation includes the anointing with the Sacred Chrism – consecrated at the Chrism Mass during Holy Week – and placed on the forehead when the Bishop says: “Be sealed with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.”

This Sacrament imbues the recipient with the Holy Spirit, making them an advocate for the Lord. “This becomes a permanent part of who you are. Live your faith to the fullest. Use these Gifts of the Holy Spirit every day. They must become part of who you are. The more you use them, the closer you will grow to the Lord.”

Pastor installed at Lake Placid Parish

Bob Reddy – Florida Catholic

6/18/19

There are moments in the life of each Parish that are well remembered: the dedication of a new building, significant anniversaries, and of course, the installation of a new Pastor.

For the faithful of St. James Parish in Lake Placid, such a day occurred June 2, the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord, when Father Vincent Clemente was installed as Pastor by Bishop Frank J. Dewane.

The Ascension was an appropriate time to install and Pastor, because it was when Jesus commissioned the Apostles to go out into the world and spread the Gospel. The Church, in creating its structure, has established Parishes to help orchestrate that effort. The leader of a Parish is appropriately a Pastor who will give the impetus to the faithful to go forward out into the world to live the Gospel by spreading the Good News through their words and actions.

Bishop Dewane encouraged the faithful to offer advice to their new Pastor but also know that he will be called to make difficult decisions that not everyone will appreciate. “He needs your support through prayer and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Let the decisions that are to be made become a part of who you become as a Parish community.”

During the installation, the priest begins with selected words leading to the start of the Creed when he is then joined by the faithful. At the end of the Creed, the new Pastor has extra lines which are exclusive for him. In addition, the Pastor makes an Oath of Fidelity to the Bishop and his successors; formalized by his placing his hand upon the Book of Gospels.

Following the installation, two members of the parish, representing the entire congregation, served as witnesses and signed the formal documents, copies of which are left at the Parish, placed in the Diocesan archives and in the personnel file of Father Clemente. Bishop then introduced the new Pastor to a rousing applause.

Father Clemente thanked Bishop Dewane for his appointment and commented on how hospitable the Parish community has been since the day he was first assigned.

After the installation, a reception was held in the Parish Hall.

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