Memorial Mass held for Deacons and their wives

November is an appropriate time to remember those who have died, that they may someday be accepted into heaven.

For this reason, Bishop Frank J. Dewane invites the Permanent Deacons and their wives to participate in a Memorial Mass each year as a time to pray for, honor and remember the Deacons and their wives who have before us. The 2020 Mass was celebrated on Nov. 3 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center in Venice and was livestreamed for those who were unable to attend in person. Today, there are more than 60 Permanent Deacons, many seasonal, living and serving throughout the Diocese.

The goal of the Memorial Mass is to bring together those Deacons, and their wives, serving today while honoring the memory of those who have served in the Diocese of Venice since its founding in 1984. The purpose is not to just remember the Deacons, and their wives, but to express gratitude to all for their answering the call of the Lord in a precise way, Bishop Dewane explained.

As part of this annual tradition, during the Prayer Intentions, the names of those who have passed away during the previous year are solemnly read as candles are lit in their honor. Included in the list of names this year were Deacon Walter Brady, Deacon Francis Head and Deacon Don Healy, as well as Jo Caliguire, Gladys Cole and Helen Schaupp.

“We are comforted by a hope-filled promise that everyone who lives in Christ will be raised on the last day,” Bishop Dewane added. “Each one has responded to the invitation of the Lord to live in a certain way and be a beacon of hope in the community. Take that hope and live it by reaching out to the community of believers.”

Deacon Tom Caliguire, who assists at San Pedro Parish in North Port, said the Memorial Mass was important for him ashe copes with the loss of his wife Jo earlier in 2020. “We are blessed to have Bishop Dewane here and his continuing care and support for the Diaconate. It means so much.”