News Briefs for the week of June 28, 2024

John XXIII Movement retreat reinforces faith

Members of the John XXIII Movement took part in a follow-up retreat on June 21, 2024, at St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish in Port Charlotte. More than 60 took part in the retreat which served to reinforce lessons previously learned when they joined the Movement. The group is made up of faithful who had been absent from the Church and marginalized from society before being welcomed back by friends and family and have completed the initial welcoming retreat. The John XXIII Movement is a private international association of laity, born to be a movement of evangelization/conversion and to work, helping the faithful return to full and active participation in the Catholic Church.

Incoming Verot student gets head start on high school

Diving into summer learning, incoming freshmen at Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers are taking part in the LEAP (Learning Enrichment Academic Program) course.  This unique summer initiative is designed to boost skills in reading, writing, studying, and math, setting our students up for success from day one. The first session took place the week of June 17, 2024, and another session will take place in July.

Parish completes bible study series

St. William Parish in Naples has completed a four-part bible study series with a focus on Ephesians. The study was led by Scripture scholars Jeff Cavins and Thomas Smith, focusing on the “adventure of discovering our Spiritual Inheritance in Jesus Christ.” This is the latest in a series of programs offered at the Parish to encourage the faithful to grow in their faith. For more information about other upcoming programs, please visit

Totus Tuus program reaches half-way point

The Diocese of Venice Totus Tuus summer program has reached its halfway point, inspiring young people to long for holiness, develop a deep desire for conversion and personally renew their faith with a stronger prayer life. The week-long program is visiting different Parishes each week and offering day camp for students entering grades 1 – 6, as well as evening camp for middle school and high school students entering grades 7 – 12. Two missionary teams are going to different Parishes each week. In the first four weeks, the program has taken place at seven Parishes, with the most recent at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice, and St. Katharine Drexel in Cape Coral the week of June 24. Five more Parishes will host the program through the end of July including the following: Our Lady Queen of Heaven, LaBelle (July 7-12); Our Lady of Light, Fort Myers, and St. Cecilia, Fort Myers (July 14-19); Our Lady of the Angels, Lakewood Ranch, and St. Peter the Apostle, Naples (July 21-26). To register, please contact the hosting Parish directly. Parish contact information can be found at

Theology on Tap returns at new location

After a one-month hiatus, Theology on Tap has returned with a new location (Big Top Brewing Brewery & Restaurant, 3045 Fruitville Commons Boulevard, Sarasota). About 60 people gathered for the June 20, 2024. The featured speaker was Mother Maria Therese Nikopoia Klobe, Servant of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará, and Director of Religious Education at St. Michael Parish in Wauchula, who spoke about making wise choice in all aspects of life. Theology on Tap meets at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month. The featured speaker for July 18 is Father Alex Pince, Diocesan Vocations Director, and the topic will be “The Interconnectedness Between Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Precious Blood of Jesus.” Theology on Tap is presented by the Diocesan Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry. For more information, contact Andres Prias at or 941-484-9543.

Fourth of July Parade in Ave Maria

The 8th Annual “God Bless America” Independence Day Bike and Golf Cart Parade presented by Ave Maria Parish, 5088 Annunciation Circle, Ave Maria, will take place at 10:00 a.m., Thursday, July 4. The celebration will begin in the Piazza in front of the church and will include patriotic songs, a reflection from a veteran, prayers and then the parade that will include bikes, trikes, golf carts, strollers and more. The event is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus of Ave Maria Parish. For further information call 239-348-4725.

Sidewalk counselors 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.