News Briefs for the week of July 14, 2023


After consultation, Bishop Frank J. Dewane announces the following:

Father Jerome A. Carosella, retired as Pastor of Our Lady of Mercy, Boca Grande, effective July 17, 2023, and thus, is relieved of his duties as Pastor of Our Lady of Mercy, Boca Grande, and other appointments on the Board of Trustees with the Diocesan Pension Plan and Catholic Charities.

Father Anthony Hewitt, appointed as Pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Parish, Boca Grande, effective July 17, 2023, and thus, is relieved of his duties as Pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish, Fort Myers.

Father Steven Clemente, appointed as Administrator of St. Francis Xavier Parish, Fort Myers, effective July 17, 2023, and thus, is relieved of his duties as Parochial Vicar of St. William Parish, Naples.

Father Grzegorz Klich, appointed as Parochial Vicar of St. William Parish, Naples, effective July 17, 2023, and thus, is relieved of his duties as Parochial Vicar of Ascension Parish, Fort Myers Beach.

Father Robert Tatman, appointed as Parochial Vicar of St. Francis Xavier Parish, Fort Myers, effective July 17, 2023, and thus, is relieved of his duties as Parochial Vicar of St. Jude Parish, Sarasota.

Father Christian Chami, appointed as Parochial Vicar of St. Jude Parish, Sarasota, effective July 17, 2023, after completion of his Licentiate Studies at the Pontifical University of Saint Anselm in Rome.

Bishop celebrating anniversaries in July

The month of July holds a special meaning in the heart of Bishop Frank J. Dewane as it is the month in which he was ordained to the priesthood (July 16, 1988), and ordained as a Bishop (July 25, 2006). The priestly ordination anniversary is 35 years, while the Bishop ordination is 17 years.

Bishop Dewane was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Green Bay and served in a Parish as well as on the Diocesan Tribunal. The Bishop was then appointed in 1991 to serve as a member of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York City, during which time he represented the Holy See at several international conferences. In 1995, he was transferred to the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum” and was later appointed Under Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Bishop Dewane was named Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Venice in Florida by Pope Benedict XVI on April 25, 2006.

Please pray for Bishop Dewane on his respective 35th and 17th anniversaries. Anyone wishing to send their congratulations to the Bishop can do so at

Ave Youth Conference welcomes Bishop

Bishop Frank J. Dewane celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on July 9, 2023, at the conclusion of the REVEALED Conference in Ave Maria. The Mass included more than 400 high school students from across Florida and beyond who were participating in the three-day conference at Ave Maria University. The youth were encouraged to open themselves to God’s love and His Kingship, making the Lord their King guide in their life.

Totus Tuus continues to share the love of Christ

Totus Tuus (a Latin phrase meaning “totally yours”) is a summer Catholic youth camp program dedicated to sharing the Gospel and promoting the Catholic faith through evangelization, catechesis, Christian witness and Eucharistic worship. During the week of July 9-14, 2023, the team was at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish in LaBelle. The weeklong Parish summer catechetical program assists parents and parishes in evangelizing and catechizing the youth by complementing the work they are already doing at the Parish and at home. The program is offered at 11 Parishes throughout the summer in the Diocese of Venice with four sessions now completed. The week-long camps are divided into two sessions, with the day camp for students entering grades 1 – 6, and the evening camp for middle school and high school students entering grades 7 – 12.

The remaining Parishes hosting the program are as follows:

  • John XXIII in Fort Myers and St. Patrick in Sarasota, July 16-21;
  • Epiphany Cathedral in Venice and Our Lady of the Angels in Lakewood Ranch, July 23-28.

Some parishes still have limited openings for this program. To inquire, please contact the individual Parish religious education office by visiting For further information regarding this program, please visit

Sarasota parishioner earns Gold at Special Olympics

Congratulations to Mollie O’Connell, of St. Martha Parish in Sarasota, for earning a Gold Medal the 2k Cycling Time Trial race at the Special Olympics held in Berlin, Germany, on June 21, 2023, with a winning time of 5:56.78. The Special Olympics were held from June 17-25, with more than 7,000 athletes competing in 26 sports. Well done, Mollie!

Bradenton student plays lacrosse for a cause

St. Joseph Catholic School student, Cooper Kolbe, plays on a competitive lacrosse team with a higher purpose. The team is called Owen’s Heroes, which was named for a 5-year-old who has type 1 diabetes. The team plays and raises money for research and to help families of children struggling with juvenile diabetes. Cooper is the team goalie and this summer, Owen’s Hero’s made it all the way to the Youth Lacrosse World Series competing against 25 teams from around the world. After the tournament, Owen’s Heroes was ranked #11 in the world. What a great experience, and what a great cause these young athletes have embraced!

4th of July Parade held in Ave Maria

The 7th annual Ave Maria Parish “God Bless America” Independence Day Bike and Golf Cart Parade was a huge success with hundreds of participants of all ages. The parade concluded in the Ave Maria Piazza in front the Parish church.

Natural Family Planning Week July 23-29

Natural Family Planning Awareness week is July 23-29, 2023.  The dates of Natural Family Planning Awareness Week highlight the anniversary of the papal encyclical Humanae Vitae (July 25) which articulates Catholic beliefs about human sexuality, conjugal love, and responsible parenthood. Find information through the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website at For more information or to attend a free introductory session contact Carrie Harkey at 941-484-9543 or

Execution Prayer Vigils Aug. 3

James Barnes is scheduled to be executed in Florida at 6 p.m. on Aug. 3, 2023. Barnes was sentenced to death for the 1988 murder of a young woman named Patricia Miller in Melbourne, and he has been on Florida’s death row since 2006. Prayer vigils will be held at 5:30 p.m., Aug. 3, at San Pedro Parish, 14380 Tamiami Trail, North Port, and at 5:30 p.m., Aug. 3, at the outdoor Last Supper table at Sacred Heart Parish, 211 W. Charlotte Ave., Punta Gorda. All are invited to attend! If you are not able to attend, please pray for Barnes and his family as well as Miller and her family, and all tasked with his execution.

Vocational Retreat in Arcadia in August

St. Paul Catholic Church is hosting a one-day “Encounter with Christ” Vocational Retreat, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Aug. 26, 2023, for males and females ages 15 to 30. The retreat will take place in the Parish Hall located at 1208 East Oak St., Arcadia. The cost for the day is $20 and includes meals and materials. Pre-registration is available by emailing For further information contact the Parish office at 863-494-2611.

Surviving Divorce program

If you or someone you know is navigating the challenges of a separation or divorce, consider participating in the Surviving Divorce Program developed by Rose Sweet, a well-known Catholic author, and speaker. The 12-week program begins at 6:30 p.m., Aug. 17, 2023, at St. John the Evangelist Parish, 625 111th Ave., Naples. To register, contact Michael Dana at or 301-332-9055.