News briefs for the week of July 23, 2021

Bishop celebrating two anniversaries in July

A small celebration in honor of Bishop Frank J. Dewane on the occasion of the 33rd Anniversary of his Ordination to the Priesthood took place at the Catholic Center in Venice on July 16, 2021, the Feast Day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. A second small celebration is scheduled for July 25, which will mark the 15th Anniversary of his Ordination to the Episcopate. Please pray for Bishop Dewane. If you would like to send the Bishop a congratulatory message, please send a message to or post a message on the Diocesan Facebook page at



Summertime and the Giving is Easy Appeal

Every day, Catholic Charities Diocese of Venice serves the most vulnerable population by feeding, housing, empowering, and striving to help those in need. This summer, you can leave your footprint by helping your neighbors. The Catholic Charities Summertime and the Giving is Easy Appeal is asking for your support. You can donate to the type of assistance you believe is the most important, such as food, shelter, education or other support. The giving is easy! Your gift will make a positive impact on our less fortunate brothers and sisters! Please visit or mail a check to Catholic Charities,1000 Pinebrook Road, Venice, FL 34285.

Firefighter saves Mary statue

The North Collier Fire Rescue District posted an image to social media on July 19, 2021 following a house fire in North Naples showing a firefighter handing a rescued a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary with Child Jesus to a grateful homeowner. The post stated: “As firefighters our mission is to save lives and property. During moments of devastation, a light can shine through and today at the 35th Avenue fire, that is exactly what happened.” Pictured at left is the moment when North Collier Lead Investigator Andrew Marfongella handed the family the statue that held deep spiritual meaning for them. Family, friends and neighbors cheered and clapped at the rescue, and they then gathered in prayer.

Football team helps clean neighboring Parish grounds

The St. John Neumann Catholic High School Celtic Football Team in Naples took a break from summer workouts July 16, 2021 to get in some volunteer work at St. Elizabeth Seton Parish, this included some landscape/gardening work around the property as well as cleaning the pews of the church.

Scholarships for Catholic Schools

Step Up for Students is a state-approved non-profit scholarship funding organization that helps administer four scholarships for Florida schoolchildren: the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program (FTC) for lower to middle income families, the Family Empowerment Scholarship (FES) for lower to middle income families and students with unique abilities (formerly Gardiner), as well as the Hope Scholarship. These scholarships could provide up to $7000 for a Catholic School education with 2021 adjusted income guidelines. Step up for Students will continue accepting applications throughout the school year. For the Diocese of Venice Catholic School application webpage visit

Catholic Alpha Online

Alpha Online is an online course where others meet virtually once a week via Zoom to discuss and share ideas about faith and God in an open, caring and non-judgmental way. The Diocese of Venice English Catholic Charismatic Renewal invites you to experience Catholic Alpha online from the comfort of your home, and to hear from notable Catholic speakers including newly appointed Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa O.F.M. Cap., longtime Preacher of the Papal Household, Dr. Mary Healy. Father John Ricardo and Father Mike Schmitz, each Monday from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. beginning Sept. 13 through Nov. 29, 2021.  For further information please contact Theresa Salvo at or 804-387-8282.

2021 Marriage Preparation Retreats

The Diocesan Office of Family Life is offering “Day of Reflection” retreats for couples preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage. A specially prepared volunteer team of married couples and a priest will share their experiences and information with the intention of enabling couples to be more aware of the privileges and responsibilities of marriage. The retreats in English are from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., on the following Saturdays: Aug. 7, and Nov. 13. Please visit to register for the English retreats. Retreats in Spanish take place: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Aug. 7 and Oct. 30 at St. Jude Parish, 3930 17th Street, Sarasota, and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Aug. 14 and Dec. 4, at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish, 355 S. Bridge Street, LaBelle. To register for a St. Jude retreat date please contact the parish at 941-955-3934. Please visit to register for a retreat at Our Lady Queen of Heaven, For further information contact Carrie Harkey at 941-484-9543 ext. 3019.

New Catholic Institute course beginning in August

The Institute for Catholic Studies and Formation is offering a 16-week graduate level online course starting Aug. 24, 2021 that introduces students to the principles, practices, and sources of Catholic Theology. The course “What is Catholic Theology? (Ecclesial Nature and Mission of Theology)” counts as a pre-requisite for those beginning the online MA in Theology and Christian Ministry at Franciscan University of Steubenville. (Franciscan offers Diocese of Venice students discounted tuition for this online MA). This course is also available to those who wish to attend for their own personal enrichment. For cost and other information and to register for the course, visit the Institute website at or call 941-766-7334.

Year of Saint Joseph

On the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, March 19, 2020 Bishop Frank J. Dewane, in the context of the Coronavirus, consecrated the Diocese of Venice to the care and protection of Saint Joseph, and announced a “Year of Saint Joseph”. Pope Francis recently dedicated a “Year of St. Joseph” therefore, the Diocesan celebration will continue through December 8, 2021. Saint Joseph, often referred to as the Protector, can be our protector during these troubling times. A 9-day Novena to Saint Joseph is included. This Novena can be prayed any time throughout the year. The novena and other resources can be found at

Diocesan Marriage Conference Oct. 2

The Diocese of Venice in Florida and the St. John Paul II Foundation announce the “Together in Holiness Marriage Conference” that will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 2, 2021, at St. Agnes Parish, 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples and St. Thomas More Parish, 2506 Gulf Gate Drive, Sarasota. The speakers are Kevin and Lisa Cotter. For more details contact Carrie Harkey at