News Briefs for the Week of September 29, 2023

Called to serve God

Bishop Frank J. Dewane celebrated Mass for students at Incarnation Catholic School on Sept. 21, 2023, and Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers on Sept. 26. The Bishop encouraged the students to reflect on the call of God in their lives and to live that call to holiness each day. This can be accomplished through prayer and reflection on the Word of God, which will open their hearts as they go forward in service to the Lord.

Neocatechumenal Way holds prayer service

Bishop Frank J. Dewane presided over a prayer service of the Neocatechumenal Way on Sept. 20, 2023, at Jesus the Worker Parish in Fort Myers. The gathering included a sending forth of several in the group for the next phase of their formation process. The Neocatechumenal Way was initiated in Madrid in 1964, and is dedicated to post- and pre-baptismal formation of Christians, based on the Word of God, the Eucharist and the Christian community. The Way engages families who through their witness and life of service to establish the presence of the Catholic Church in countries where the Church is absent or tiny, or to revive and strengthen the presence of Catholic communities in difficult and ‎highly secularized areas. During the prayer service the candidates were called to be sent forth and be witnesses to God in the community, announcing the Good News of His resurrection. They also committed to live their lives according the Nicene Creed, and agreed to let the Holy Spirit drive out their sins of doubt and guide them through their lives.

Fun Run supports schools

St. Mary Academy and St. Martha Catholic School in Sarasota share facilities and work together to offer a quality education to their students. In the 10 days before Sept. 22, 2023, the students collect donation commitments as part of a Boosterthon which culminated in a Fun Run, where the students ran in circles either getting sprayed with water or covered in colored dyes. Run and laughter prevailed as more than $115,000 was raised to help update the school’s outdoor lunch and learning spaces. Way to go everyone who supported this cause.

Legion of Mary gathers

The annual Manasota Curia Legion of Mary Retreat was held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center in Venice on Sept. 16, 2023. About 75 people took part in this event. The Legion of Mary is a worldwide organization of lay Catholics focusing on Marian spirituality and apostolic works. It has been active in the United States since 1931, and was endorsed by the Second Vatican Council. The main purpose of the Legion of Mary is to give glory to God through the sanctification of its members. Members become instruments of the Holy Spirit through a balanced program of prayer and service. Works include door-to-door evangelization, parishioner visitation, prison ministry, visitation of the sick or aged, religious education, visiting the newly baptized, Pilgrim Virgin Statue rotations, and meeting the other spiritual needs of the parish community. Legionaries are under the guidance of a spiritual director who is appointed by the Pastor. The Legion is, in essence, an extension of the heart and hands of the Pastor. The keynote speaker for the retreat was Jim Gontis, Diocese of Venice Director of Evangelization. For a list of Parish praesidia (chapters) in the Diocese of Venice, please visit