News Briefs for the week of June 14, 2024

Bishop confirms more inmates

Bishop Frank J. Dewane conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation upon several inmates at Avon Park Correctional Institute on June 3, 2024, and then again at DeSoto Correction Institute In Arcadia on June 4. When celebrating the Mass for the incarcerated, Bishop Dewane emphasized that he is bringing the forgiveness, mercy, compassion, peace, love and joy of the Lord to others. Each year, the Bishop celebrates Mass for inmates at different facilities throughout the 10-county Diocese, and has conferred the Sacraments of Confirmation, First Communion and Baptism for dozens of inmates since 2006. The Diocesan Prison Ministry provides a variety of services, including Bible study, religious education and assistance with receiving the Sacraments. Within its boundaries, the Diocese has five state prisons, 10 county jails and one civil commitment program. There are approximately 15,000 incarcerated within the Diocese; meaning the need for priests and volunteers is great. If you are interested in learning more about the Diocesan Prison Ministry, please contact Bob Hiniker at or Joe Mallof at

Mooney hosts first local Special Olympics Camp

Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School hosted the Inaugural Sarasota Camp Shriver in partnership with Special Olympics the week of June 10-14, 2024. The event kicked off June 10 with a celebratory ribbon cutting with Special Olympics President and CEO Sherry Wheelock. Also present was Lucy Nicandri, Executive Director for Suncoast Charities for Children. Each day, the Special Olympics campers participated in various sports and activities, such as lacrosse, football, baseball, softball, volleyball (beach and indoor), cheerleading and more. Mooney buddies, seen at right, paired up with the campers for the week, while Mooney coaches organized the different activities. When not having fun playing sports, there were plenty of other activities, including a dance party and other fun games.

Theology on Tap at new location

Theology on Tap, a young adult outreach of the Diocese of Venice, is returning June 20, 2024, after a brief hiatus at a new location, Big Top Brewing Restaurant & Brewery, 975 Cattleman Road, Sarasota. Please come to this event, which starts at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month. Join other young adult Catholics for food and refreshments, presentations, and discussions about the Catholic Faith. The next speaker is Mother Maria Therese Nikopoia Klobe, SSVM, Director of Religious Education at St. Michael Parish in Wauchula. Sister Nikopoia will be speaking about “Wise Choices.” For any questions, please email Jim Gontis at

Vote No on 4!  Spread the word.

To learn the facts about Amendment 4 and how it is designed to mislead voters, visit the websites of the Florida Voters Against Extremism,, the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops,, and the Diocese of Venice Respect Life Office, To get involved and help defeat this dangerous pro-abortion amendment, contact Jeanne Berdeaux, Diocese of Venice Director of Respect Life,, 941-374-1068.

Ave Maria Youth Conference registration open

All high school age youth from incoming freshman to outgoing seniors are invited to attend the 15th Annual Ave Maria University High School Youth Conference, “CALLED,” from July 12 – 14, 2024. This faith-filled weekend will be full of fellowship, music, and great speakers, including Father Timothy Anastos from the Diocese of Chicago who is currently serving as a National Eucharistic Preacher and featured regularly on “Reel Homilies”, Noelle Garcia a Catholic recording artist who shares her faith through scripture and music, nationally known chastity speaker Pam Stenzel, and Father Joseph Lugalambi, Adjunct Professor of Theology at Ave Maria University. Music will be provided by EPIC Music Ministries. The cost is $190 per person, which includes lodging in the dorms, meals, conference fee, and a cool t-shirt! Register now by visiting, call 239- 348-4725, or email

Sidewalk counselors and prayer warriors in Fort Myers and Naples needed

There is an urgent need for sidewalk counselors and prayer partners to provide coverage to stand as peaceful witnesses for life at the Planned Parenthood abortion facilities at 6418 Commerce Park Drive, Fort Myers, and 1425 Creech Road, Naples. No training is necessary to be a prayer partner – just bring a hat and a rosary. For those interested in counseling, training and necessary resource materials will be provided. In addition, during this process an experienced counselor will be present. Prayer partners and counselors are a vital component in the Pro-Life movement, as they ensure a constant presence in front of abortion facilities, showing that women and their unborn children in crisis are not abandoned in their time of need. To learn more details, please call Mary Claire Dant at 239-200-8117.