News Briefs for the week of May 3, 2024

Ascension Solemnity moved to Sunday, May 12

The Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, Sunday, will be celebrated in the Diocese of Venice on May 12, 2024 (moved from May 9). The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops voted in the year 2000 to transfer the Solemnity of the Ascension from the Thursday, 40 days after Easter, to the Seventh Sunday of Easter, in accord with an indult granted to the US. Conference of Catholic Bishops by the Holy See. Therefore, for the Catholic Churches in the State of Florida, the Seventh Sunday of Easter is replaced by the Solemnity of the Ascension.

Retired Venice priest dies

Father Richard John Beligotti, a retired priest who has served at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice for the past eight years, died April 26, 2024, at the age of 81. Born as an identical twin in Montour Falls, New York, on Sept. 8, 1942, Father Beligotti attended St. Andrew Minor Seminary and St. Bernard Major Seminary, Rochester.  He was Ordained to the Priesthood June 1, 1968, for the Diocese of Rochester. Later, Father Richard earned an advanced degree from St. Bernard Major Seminary and took two different sabbaticals, first at American College in Louvain, Belgium, and then at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. For the Diocese of Rochester, he served as a Parochial Vicar, Administrator or Pastor at Parishes in Irondequoit, Apalachin, Ithaca, Charlotte, Avon, Horseheads, Rochester, Newark, Chili, Elmira Heights, Leicester, Retsof, Bloomfield, Lima and Honeoye Falls. Father also served as a hospital chaplain in Auburn. Retired in 2013, Father Richard had been assisting at Epiphany Cathedral since 2016 alongside his twin brother, Father Robert Beligotti. A Memorial Mass was celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Dewane on May 1, 2024, at Epiphany Cathedral. A Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled for May 8, 2024, at St. Mary’s of the Lake Parish in Watkins Glen, New York, with burial to follow. Please pray for the repose of his soul and for the consolation of his family. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in eternal peace.

Students gets colorful during fun run

The St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic School Color Run fundraiser took place April 19, 2024, in Naples. Students (and volunteers) had a wonderful time while helping raise funds for school improvements. During the event, students ran on the field and every lap they took, volunteers “colored” them with chalk. The top three participating classes won an ice cream party. The event was organized by the Home and School Association.

Donations of baby supplies needed

Community Pregnancy Centers Inc. is seeking donations of diapers and clothing to support the children of the women that are served each day. Items sought include new or gently used clothes (size 12 months to 3T); baby wipes; diapers (size 4-6); baby shampoo/lotion; new clothes for babies (0-3 months); pacifiers; pull ups/training diapers. Community Pregnancy Clinics has offices in Naples, Fort Myers and Sarasota. Please call 239-326-0453 or visit for locations.

Vocation Discernment Retreat May 11 in Cape Coral

A Vocations Discernment Retreat is taking place beginning at 10:30 a.m., May 11, 2024, at St. Katherine Drexel Parish, 1922 SW 20th Avenue, Cape Coral.  If you are of high school or college age, or a young adult, and wish to discover more about different vocations, plan to attend this one-day Retreat. The day will include breakfast, lunch and dinner, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and presentations regarding the different Vocations. Priests, as well as religious men and women will be present throughout the day. This retreat is co-sponsored by the Diocese of Venice Vocations Office and St. Katharine Drexel Parish. The cost for the day is $25. To register, visit, or for additional information, please contact or

Calling all Pro-Life Advocates! 

If you’d like to volunteer to help educate people on the truth about the pro-abortion amendment on the November ballot, plan to attend a training opportunity within the Diocese of Venice in May (one of two). The first training is Monday, May 13, 2024, from 11:45 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Leadership Institute, 2163 Main Street (downtown), Sarasota.  The second session is also from 11:45 a.m., Wednesday, May 15, at St. John XXIII Parish Center, 13060 Palomino Lane, Fort Myers. Lunch will be included at both sessions.  Register online at for either session by May 8. If you have questions, please contact Jeanne Berdeaux at 941-374-1068 or