News Briefs for the Week of Jan. 27, 2023

Retreat brings Deacons together

Two retreats were recently held for the Permanent Deacons of the Diocese of Venice, first Jan. 19, 2023, at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Venice and then on Jan. 21, at Resurrection Parish in Fort Myers. The retreats were presented by Deacon Dominic Cerrato, Director of Diaconal Ministries and editor of “The Deacon Magazine.”  The goal for the retreat was to offer the opportunity for the Deacons to grow in greater intimacy with Christ the Servant. The retreat reemphasized what the Deacons committed to during the prayer of ordination as it relates to: “Our relationship to Him; Our Identity in Him; Our mission with Him.” Deacon Cerrato explained that these are the three key elements in grasping the essential nature of the Diaconate.

Principal gathering held in Sarasota

Diocese of Venice Catholic Schools principals gathered for their Colloquio 2023 meeting Jan. 19-20, 2023, in Sarasota. The meeting focused on goal setting and empowering the principals in how they can support their faculty and staff to help ensure long-term retention. The keynote was Tony Ferraro, of Floyd Consulting, who spoke on “The Dream Manager,” a program based on a book by acclaimed author Matthew Kelly. The book is a business parable about how companies can achieve remarkable results by helping their employees fulfill their dreams. The meeting was organized by Father John Belmonte, SJ, Superintendent of Catholic Education, and Jennifer Falestiny, Diocesan Curriculum Specialist.

Robotics program teaches “Gifts of Christ”

Third grade students at St. Francis Xavier Catholic School began the robotics unit Jan. 18, 2023, in technology class and are learning to focus on the Gift of Christ, affability, with their partner. Working together, the students built a robotic snail and used block coding to create the snail’s communication through signal lights.

Catholic Charities Christmas Appeal ending

The 21st Annual Catholic Charities Christmas Appeal is continuing through the end of January 2023. A donation to the Appeal strengthens Catholic Charities ability to provide much-needed support, for those recovering from Hurricane Ian, or who need any type of assistance in the region. This outreach is accomplished through more than 35 programs in locations throughout the 10-county Diocese. These programs annually support more than 100,000 individuals and families in ways both large and small. To support the Christmas Appeal, please visit or mail a contribution to Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc., 1000 Pinebrook Road, Venice, FL 34285.

Last call to book hotel rooms for Diocesan Eucharistic Congress

The two-part Diocese of Venice Eucharistic Congress and Youth Rally is coming March 24 and 25, 2023, to the Caloosa Sound Convention Center and Luminary Hotel on the riverfront of downtown Fort Myers. For those wishing to spend the evening of the 24th or 25th at the Luminary Hotel, the deadline to obtain a special rate is Feb. 1, please make your reservation by visiting The Eucharistic Congress Youth Rally is 5 to 10 p.m., Friday, March 24, while the Adult Eucharistic Congress is Saturday, March 25. Exciting speakers and musicians are scheduled for these two events. Both events will include Eucharistic Processions and the opportunity to grow closer to the Lord through the Blessed Sacrament. Visit to register and for additional details.