News Briefs for the week of June 23, 2023

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 June 18-23, 2023, the team was at St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Naples and Ave Maria Parish in Ave Maria. The weeklong Parish summer catechetical camp 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:

  • Catherine in Sebring, June 25-30;
  • Our Lady Queen of Heaven in La Belle, July 9-14;
  • 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.

Several 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

Ordination to the Priesthood July 15

Bishop Frank J. Dewane invites the Faithful of the Diocese of Venice to attend the Ordination to the Priesthood of Transitional Deacons Alejandro Giraldo Roldan and Daniel Scanlan. The Ordination will take place at 11 a.m., Saturday, July 15, 2023, at Epiphany Cathedral, 350 Tampa Ave. W., Venice. All are welcome and encouraged to attend this important event in the lives of Deacons Alejandro and Daniel as well as the Diocese of Venice. A reception will follow in the Parish Hall.

Best practices for school development

Representatives from each of the 15 Diocese of Venice Catholic schools gathered June 12, 2023, at St. John XXIII Parish for a best practices and proven strategies meeting to maximize charitable giving from current parents. The gathering was presented by Partners in Mission which worked with Diocese of Venice Superintendent of Catholic School Education, Father John Belmonte, SJ. The gathering occurred in the wake of the passage of Universal School Choice legislation in Florida, which removed the income requirements for assistance, and opened the availability of scholarship to all families. To learn more about available financial aid at Diocesan Catholic schools, please visit

Youth raise money to attend conference

Parishioners at Our Lady of Grace Parish in Avon Park were greeted by smiling teens following each Mass the weekend of June 18, 2023. The youth were selling American flags to raise money so they can attend the inspiring Steubenville Youth Conference in Orlando in July. This conference is the largest youth gathering in the region. The sales of the flags throughout the weekend put a big dent in reaching the fundraising goal for the youth as the cost for weekend conference is quite high, which means any fundraising helps defer the costs for the teens.

Liberty Ball Gala a success

St. Columbkille Parish in Fort Myers hosted a Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus Liberty Ball Gala on June 17, 2023. This annual patriotic celebration honors all Knights who are veterans and first responders, as well as their families. The evening included a ceremonial posting of the Colors as well as dinner and live entertainment. Veterans from Lee County were honored during the event, and there was a ceremonial meal table honoring and remembering all veterans MIA (missing in action). Proceeds benefit veterans’ programs throughout Lee County.

Fire hose enhances water day at Naples camp

The St. Ann Parish and Catholic School summer camp concluded on June 16, 2023, with a water day courtesy of the Naples Fire Department. A ladder truck (Tower 2) was brought to the school and a hose laid out as the children excitedly waited in anticipation for the blast of water. Screams of delight came as a shower of chilly water soaked everyone. Inflatable pools were set up to help the water day last a bit longer. Everyone had lots of fun following a week of activities and art projects during the summer camp.