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.