News Briefs for the week of April 26, 2024

Vocations talk inspires young women

Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers hosted a visit on April 16, 2024, from Sister Maria Nikipoia, a perpetually professed Sister of the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará (SSVM). Sister Nikipoia recently came to Florida after ministering in Guyana for 5 years and currently she ministers at St. Michael Parish in Wauchula. Sister spoke to the students about how to discern God’s will for our lives, specifically our vocation. Students were able to ask questions of Sister Nikipoia regarding religious life and the work of her Religious Order.

Charities fun day includes special visit

The Remake Learning Days Family Fun Day for residents of Casa San Juan Bosco, a farmworker housing community in Arcadia run by Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc., took place April 20, 2024. There were games, food and information booths. There was also the surprise arrival of a Florida Department of Forestry helicopter landing in the soccer field. The two pilots answered many questions and allowed the children to climb up and into the helicopter.

New playground equipment wows students

If the pre-school and kindergarten students at St. Catherine Catholic School in Sebring are any judge, the newly installed playground equipment is a hit. The playground for pre-school and kindergarten students received an upgrade in early April 2024 with woodchips serving as a soft surface and interactive equipment with a combination slide and educational portal. The equipment was made possible thanks to the PTO (Parent Teacher Organization), as well as individual donors.

Vocation Discernment Retreat May 11 in Cape Coral

A Vocations Discernment Retreat is taking place beginning at 10:30 a.m., May 11, 2024, at St. Katherine Drexel Parish, 1922 SW 20th Avenue, Cape Coral.  If you are of high school or college age, or a young adult, and wish to discover more about different vocations, plan to attend this one-day Retreat. The day will include breakfast, lunch and dinner, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and presentations regarding the different Vocations. Priests, as well as religious men and women will be present throughout the day. This retreat is co-sponsored by the Diocese of Venice Vocations Office and St. Katharine Drexel Parish. The cost for the day is $25. To register, please following the link at, or for additional information, please contact or

Theology on Tap continues

Fun, faith and fellowship were part of the monthly Theology on Tap outreach to young adults on April 18, 2024, at the Mandeville Beer Garden in Sarasota. The featured speaker in April was Father Rafal Ligenza, Pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Bradenton. The relaxed atmosphere takes place in the garden for food and refreshments, presentations, and discussions about the Catholic Faith. Theology on Tap takes place at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month. The next gathering will be May 16. For more information, please contact Jim Gontis at

Calling all Pro-Life Advocates! 

If you’d like to volunteer to help educate people on the truth about the pro-abortion amendment on the November ballot, plan to attend a training opportunity within the Diocese of Venice in May (one of two). The first training is Monday, May 13, 2024, from 11:45 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Leadership Institute, 2163 Main Street (downtown), Sarasota.  The second session is also from 11:45 a.m., Wednesday, May 15, at St. John XXIII Parish Center, 13060 Palomino Lane, Fort Myers. Lunch will be included at both sessions.  Register online at for either session by May 8. If you have questions, please contact Jeanne Berdeaux at 941-374-1068 or

Eucharistic Adoration for Life

You are invited to spend time with Our Lord in Eucharistic Adoration anytime between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (abortion days at Planned Parenthood) at Mary’s House (next to Community Pregnancy Clinic, 1419 7th Street, Sarasota) to pray for an end to abortion. Questions?  Contact Ginger at or 941-224-0662.

Marian Eucharistic Conference in May

All are invited to the 13th Annual Ave Maria University Marian Eucharistic Conference May 10-12, 2024, “My Soul Proclaims the Greatness of Our Lord.” Featured speakers will include Fox News and EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo, Father Robert Sirico co-founder of the Acton Institute, “Women of Grace” Founder Johnnette B. Williams, President and Co-Founder of “Foundation of Prayer for Priests” Kathleen Beckman. In addition to these great talks special Spanish sessions will also be offered including talks by Sister Maria Jose of Servants of the Pierced Heart of Jesus, Father Rafael Capo, Director of the US Bishops’ Regional Office in Miami, and Father David Vidal, Pastor of Ave Maria Parish.  Music ministry will be provided by Jon Nevin. The cost is $190 per person, which includes lodging, meals, and conference fee for the weekend. For more information about our speakers or to register for this event visit, call 239-348-4725, or email