News Briefs for the Week of April 7, 2023

Bishop Lenten school Masses come to an end

Bishop Frank J. Dewane concluded March with the last of 15 Masses for students at Diocesan Catholic schools. The Bishop’s message throughout Lent was to use the three pillars of the Season (prayer, fasting and almsgiving) as a basis for having a productive Lent. As the Season drew to a close, the Bishop encouraged the students to finish their Lenten Season strong in anticipation of the Resurrection on Easter. The final three school Masses took place at St. Joseph Catholic School in Bradenton on March 30, 2023, at Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School in Venice and Incarnation Catholic School in Sarasota, both on March 31. Bishop Dewane celebrates Mass for students at each Diocesan Catholic school at least twice a year, usually at the start of the academic year (August and September) and then during Lent. The Bishop also celebrates Masses at schools on other special occasions when his schedule allows.

Palm Sunday marked throughout Diocese

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord marks the triumphant entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem and starts the events which are marked throughout Holy Week which include the Lord’s crucifixion and Resurrection on Easter. Father Robert Tatman, Parochial Vicar at St. Jude Parish Sarasota, opened the Vigil Mass with the reading of the Gospel of Matthew (21: 1-11), prior to the blessing and procession with palms. This scene was repeated at Parishes throughout the Universal Church, with options to process from another location into the church, to start in the narthex of the church, or a simple opening with a blessing of palms and opening procession. The Mass includes the Passion of the Lord, also from the Gospel of Matthew (26:14-27:66 or 27:11-54).

Several Diocesan schools host Galas

Three Diocesan Catholic schools recently held their respective Galas, each serving as a celebration promoting the benefits of a Catholic education. The Incarnation Catholic School “Through the Years Gala” was March 30, 2023, at The Field Club in Sarasota. Honored during the evening was Sister Monica Paul Fraser, OP, former longtime Incarnation principal who continues to serve the school and Parish community. St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic School in Naples hosted its annual Broadway Lights Gala & Auction on April 1, at The Players Club & Spa. Bishop Frank J. Dewane was present for this event which also featured a sampling of the first ever school musical “Godspell.” St. Joseph Catholic School in Bradenton hosted its own “A Night of the Red Carpet” event, also April 1, at The Celebration of Life Center in Lakewood Ranch. The evening highlighted the school’s performing arts program and focused on the fundraising for the north campus improvement project.

High school hosts “Easter Egg Hunt”

Pre-kindergarten students from St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Fort Myers and St. Andrew Catholic School in Cape Coral converged on Bishop Verot Catholic High School for the annual Easter Egg Hunt on March 31, 2023, in Fort Myers. The eager young students were greeted by an Easter bunny and they first gathered in prayer before enjoying coloring, as well as fun and games. The highlight, of course, was the mad scramble during the Easter Egg Hunt which took place on the football field.

Battle of robots in Naples

The “1st Annual Battle of the (Ro)Bots” took place during an assembly at St. John Neumann Catholic High School in Naples on April 4, 2023.  The Neumann Robotics class has worked tirelessly to build, configure and battle for the top spots on the school leaderboard for the year. The “Battle of the (Ro)Bots” challenge determined which teams will be going to compete in the Diocesan Lions Cup Challenge on April 22 in Fort Myers. The winner was Los Robotos Hermanos.