Disciple of Christ Prayer

Diocese of Venice Disciple of Christ Prayer

God Almighty, You alone are the source of every good gift.  Help us to show gratitude and to be thankful, and guide us on our journey as a Disciple of Christ.

We have been invited to proclaim Your Gospel of hope and salvation.  Teach us to be faithful missionary disciples through words and actions in our homes, communities and all whom we meet.

Strengthened by the gifts of the Holy Spirit to “go forth and make disciples of all nations”, may we carry out the great work of Jesus while here on earth.

Through the intercession of Our Mother Mary, help us to accept the challenges and opportunities You place before us, thereby giving witness as a Disciple of Christ and sharing our faith with others.

This prayer is offered through Jesus Christ, Our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, now and forever.  Amen.



Dios Todopoderoso, solo tú eres la fuente de todo bien. Ayúdanos a ser agradecidos y guíanos en nuestro camino como discípulos de Jesucristo.

Hemos sido invitados a proclamar tu Evangelio de esperanza y salvación.  Enséñanos a ser fieles discípulos misioneros a través de palabras y acciones en nuestros hogares, comunidades y con todos los que nos encontramos.

Fortalecidos por los dones del Espíritu Santo para “salir y hacer discípulos de todas las naciones”, que podamos llevar a cabo la gran obra de Jesús mientras estamos aquí en la tierra.

A través de la intercesión de nuestra Madre María, ayúdanos a aceptar los desafíos y oportunidades que pones ante nosotros, de tal manera que demos testimonio como discípulos de Cristo y compartir así nuestra fe con los demás.

Esta oración la ofrecemos a través de Jesucristo, Nuestro Señor, que vive y reina contigo y el Espíritu Santo, ahora y para siempre. AMÉN.



If you would like a copy of this prayer card in English or Spanish, please contact Gail Ardy at ardy@dioceseofvenice.org, or call 941-484-9543.


Student Winners

Disciple of Christ 35th Anniversary Student Showcase Competition

1st Place Winners and Prize Selection (Certificate, Ribbon, Cash Prize):

Art LINK Sara Blandon St. Elizabeth Seton 8th Grade $100 Cash
Video LINK Jasmine Aviles St. Catherine 8th Grade $100 Cash
Essay LINK Ava Irion St. Francis Xavier 8th Grade $100 Cash

HONORABLE Mention (Certificate and Ribbon):

Art LINK Taylor Copeland St. Francis Xavier 8th Grade
Video LINK Theresa Harrell St. Martha 7th Grade
Essay LINK Christopher Wasdin St. Mary 8th Grade

1st Place WINNER ART – Sara Blandon, St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic School, Naples

Description: (link above)
When I think of a disciple of Christ, my mind goes directly to Saint Teresa of Calcutta. I drew Saint Teresa of Calcutta holding a malnourished baby to represent, the love that she put in caring for those who were in need. Mother Teresa has exerted a great influence on all individuals. She loved people with all her heart, even those with the worst diseases. Mother Teresa renounced all her wealth to serve those who had no food, shelter, a good health nor clothing. With the devotion she gave, she became that true reflection of our Lord. A true disciple is one who gives up everything and helps those who truly need help. But most importantly, a true disciple is one who leads people closer to God. In conclusion, St. Teresa of Calcutta is a true disciple of Christ with all the work she did, she is a human who we should admire to become that true disciple of Christ.  

HONORABLE MENTION ART – Taylor Copeland, St. Francis Xavier Catholic School, Fort Myers

Description: (link above)
I used a digital art application to create my depiction of a Disciple of Christ. I chose St. Dorcas, also known as St. Tabitha, because I feel women don’t have as much representation in the Bible as male disciples. It is stated that Dorcas was the first female disciple. She was alive the same time as St. Peter, and she lived in Joppa. She spent all of her life caring for the sick and the poor. When she died, the people who knew St. Dorcas sent for Peter, who was in a nearby town. Peter knelt down and said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes. Peter had brought her back to life! I find her story beautiful and inspiring. She is my favorite disciple especially because of the kindness she displayed to others.


1st Place WINNER – Ava Irion, St. Francis Xavier Catholic School, Fort Myers
There are many ways in which a person can be a Disciple of Christ. If someone is a Disciple of Christ, he or she respects and loves all humankind no matter the circumstance. Even more importantly, a disciple of Christ loves God more than their possessions and even more than their family. For example, John 8:31 states that, “A disciple loves others as Jesus has loved him.” By following the Ten Commandments, by helping others in everyday life, and by evangelizing, anyone can become a wonderful disciple of Christ. This is not an easy task, but someone who is a true disciple will surrender everything for God. The following will focus on traits that true disciples display:  kindness, acceptance, and character.
To begin, kindness is one of the prime traits that someone needs in order to be a Discipline of Christ and to live the way Jesus did. Kindness was displayed by Jesus in many ways throughout his life. He did this by healing, caring, and showing mercy for others. He never judged nor thought that he was better than others. Instead, he helped those who were different. No matter who they were or where they came from, Jesus showed kindness to everyone he came across. Some might think that this would be easy to do, however Jesus even showed immense kindness toward his enemies. Matthew 5:44 explains, “I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

Jesus followed these words and was kind to those who persecuted him and to those who cursed him. So the challenge is to live and act the way that Jesus did in his life.  If we use kindness towards our neighbors, loved ones, and enemies more often in our everyday lives, we will be closer to living as a Disciple of Christ. Next, Jesus showed acceptance to others in his life. Acceptance of those who may look or act differently is very hard to do. However, all people need to be treated with human dignity and respect. Jesus showed acceptance many times in the Bible. One example is in Matthew 8:14 when Jesus touched the untouchable. Back in the time of Jesus, people who were visibly ill were outcasts. They were the “scraps” of the society. However, Jesus still loved them very much. In Matthew 8:14, a leprous man approached Jesus as he was walking up a mountain side. The man begged Jesus to be healed. Jesus broke all of the laws and boundaries as he walked up to the leper man and touched him. In one small, single touch, the leper was healed and was free to live the rest of his life. The man was cast out from society because of his differences but Jesus accepted him. Jesus was the only one who still saw this man as a human and not as some sort of monster. This acceptance from Jesus changed the man’s life. Jesus chose tosee him as a real person and not as a plague. This enabled the man to be cured. Acceptance was powerful and lifechanging, as it can be in each person’s daily life.

Finally, character is a trait that can turn an ordinary person into someone who loves Jesus with all of their heart, mind, and soul. Character can mean that someone is a role model, and that this person cares for others.Parents are a great example of this, as they are role models to their children. Parents can teach lifelong lessons such as, “Treat others how you want to be treated.” Parents model behavior for their children to learn and to act upon as the children grow into adults. Parents show their children how to treat others with respect. No matter what life throws at someone, that person can look to the character of their parents and think about what they would do in that situation. Another role model with strong character is Jesus. Jesus displayed character by showing forgiveness, love, and compassion. To act like Jesus means to not hold a grudge, to never wish harm to anyone, and to never try to one up someone to feel superior. Jesus forgave the people that killed him. Forgiveness in today’s world might not have to be that extreme, but one should never hold a grudge and should learn to love those who hurt them. The love of Jesus is the most radiant and powerful love ever. People need to love as he does. They need to love their neighbors and love him, with all of their hearts, minds, and souls. Finally, Jesus always had compassion for everyone he came across. Instead of worrying for himself, he thought of others and how he could help them. If humans learn from their parents and demonstrate the great character of Jesus, anyone can become a Disciple of Christ.

Overall, a Disciple of Christ needs to have the traits of kindness, acceptance, and character. If someone can demonstrate these virtues to others the way that Jesus did, they are becoming a Disciple of Christ. The core of being a Disciple of Christ is interesting and complex, but, ultimately, it means living like Jesus did. If people truly love Jesus and act with kindness, acceptance, and character, they can be one of the strongest and most amazing Disciples of Christ. How will you use these traits to become a Disciple of Christ?

HONORABLE MENTION – Christopher Wasdin, St. Mary Academy, Sarasota
What does it mean to be a Disciple of Christ? It is  helping other people that are poor, sick, or they need food.  We can be merciful to everyone if they are being mean or cruel. Forgiving others will help them to forgive other people too.
You can pray for those who have died and meet people who have done bad things and talk to them. You can help people who get hurt and make sure they will be okay. You can give people that don’t have much clothing your old clothes,  and give people homes, and give them water.

Visiting the sick to pray for them so they will get better soon is being a disciple of Christ.  You can bury those who have helped us or served us who had a great heart. Being a disciple is not just doing for yourself.  If you truly care about other people and you want to make the world a better place you will do things for them. If you want to be a disciple you could help out your neighbors, friends, or family.


Diocese of Venice Catholic School Updates

Hurricane Dorian

Diocese of Venice in Florida Catholic School Closure Update


Collier County Catholic Schools – September 3, 2019

CLOSED Donahue Academy, St. Ann’s Catholic School, St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic School, and St. John Neumann Catholic High School.

Highlands County Catholic Schools – Tuesday and Wednesday, September 3, and 4, 2019

CLOSED – St. Catherine Catholic School

Lee County Catholic Schools – Tuesday, September 3, 2019

OPEN St. Andrew’s Catholic School, St. Francis Xavier Catholic School, Bishop Verot Catholic High School

Charlotte County Catholic Schools – Tuesday, September 3, 2019

OPEN – St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School

Manatee County Catholic  Schools – Tuesday, September 3, 2019

OPEN St. Joseph’s Catholic School

Sarasota County Catholic Schools – Tuesday, September 3, 2019

OPEN – Epiphany Cathedral Parish School, Incarnation Catholic School, St. Martha’s Catholic School, St. Mary’s Academy, Cardinal Mooney Catholic High school

Florida Statewide Resources for monitoring Hurricane Dorian



2019 Respect Life Conference – St. Augustine

Sign Up for the 2019 Respect Life Conference in St. Augustine, Florida

October 10-13, 2019

Click Here for bus trip brochure

Click Here Free Bus Sign Up

BUS RESERVATIONS – Pick up and drop off locations are arranged at the most convenient
locations close to I-75.  To reserve your seat on the bus, register by Friday, September 20.  Click the link above to sign up for the free bus. 

Click Here for Hotel Information

HOTEL RESERVATIONS – Room reservations should be made directly with “The Ponce St. Augustine Hotel” (904-824-5554).  Ask for the Diocese of Venice room block with a rate of $99/night plus tax for three nights: October 10, 11 & 12 with departure on Sunday the 13th.  This hotel is within walking distance of the Shrine of Our Lady of LaLache and has been renovated. See www.theponcestaugustine.com for details about the hotel. Although the deadline is September 20, register early before rooms are sold out.

Click Here for the 2019 Respect Life Conference Registration

Enjoy Friday daytime activities at the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche with dinner on your own at 5 p.m.  Registration opens at 5:30 p.m. with a 7 p.m. Mass with Bishop William Wack as the Celebrant.

News from Around the Diocese November 2018

Wrap-up of news from Across the Diocese in November

Wauchula Children’s Festival a big success

More than 200 children participated in a Children’s Festival at St. Michael Parish in Wauchula. Geared toward children aged 3 to 10, there were a number of fun activities and games as well as Mass and prayers.




Successful Vocations Awareness Weekend

The Diocese Vocations Office brought a group of young men to participate in the Nov. 9-11 Vocations Awareness Weekend at St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami. Led by Vocations Director Father Eric Scanlan, several attended this engaging and prayerful discernment event.





Retreat inspires catechists

A Diocesan Catechist Retreat themed: “Root of God’s Healing” took place Nov. 17 at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. About 100 catechists participated in the retreat which focused on reenergizing them as they approach the Advent and Christmas seasons. They were reminded that Jesus serves to free and restore them as they work to be the light and witness of the Lord for others.




VDCCW Latina Convocation held

The first ever Venice Diocesan Council of Catholic Women Latina Convocation took place Nov. 17 at Sacred Heart Parish in Bradenton. About 50 women took part in the gathering which served to educate about the role of the CCW and to inspire them to become more involved in their faith. Iris Gomez, VDCCW Past-President, organized the gathering and Father Juan Carlos Sack, Administrator at Sacred Heart Parish, provide inspirational talks.



Cities for Life gathering held

Praying for the end to the death penalty, a Cities for Life gathering was held Nov. 30 at St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Port Charlotte. Cities for Life is a worldwide annual event that was begun in 2002 by the community of Saint’ Egidio in Rome where the Coliseum was lit up during the night. November 30th was chosen because it is the anniversary of the first civil state in the world to do away with the death penalty in Tuscany, Italy in 1786- 229 years ago. About 2,000 cities and 80 countries will call for the end of the use of the death penalty by lighting civic or religious buildings around the world, along with prayer services and educational programs. This was the fourth time the Dioceses of Florida participated in the prayer vigil. Participants in the Port Charlotte gathering saw a video presentation of a talk on the death penalty from the September 2018 Florida Respect Life Conference in Punta Gorda.


Sarasota Charity Ball Jan. 26 at The Westin

The Catholic Charities Ball will be held on Jan. 26,  at 6 p.m. at The Westin in Sarasota. All proceeds will benefit the programs and services of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. in Sarasota and Manatee counties which include Our Mother’s House, St. Martha’s Early Learning Center, Bethesda House, Catholic Charities Family Haven, housing counseling and foreclosure prevention, financial assistance, senior services, professional counseling, refugee services, and immigration services. The evening will include a cocktail hour, auctions, dinner, and dancing. Tickets are $300 a person. For information and tickets visit www.catholiccharitiesdov.org or call 941-355-4680, ext. 301 or email nmuth@ccdis1.org.

Advent Resources

Advent Reflections – Advent is a time of reflection and spiritual growth.  The original practice of Advent was a period including 40 days of fasting which began after the Feast of St. Martin.  Since then, Advent has been shortened to the four weeks we know it as today.
Attached you will find a spiritual reflection for each day of Advent.  These reflections focus on the true spiritual preparation for Christ’s coming at Christmas including prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and the life of the Church.  Feel free to share them on your websites, in your bulletins, social media, and with your family and friends.
Let us all come together to “Prepare the way” of the Lord this Advent and truly celebrate this beautiful liturgical season.

Daily Reflections CLICK HERE


Bishop Frank J. Dewane Welcomes you to Advent
Check this out on Chirbit

Advent Calendar and Resources – United States Conference of Catholic Bishops