First grader wins national Space Art contest
Javier Herrera, a first grader at St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Fort Myers has been named the first-place winner in the Living Worlds Space Art Contest sponsored by the University of Notre Dame. Javier won the K-1st grade category in the contest which asked students to imagine what new and unusual forms of life may exist on other planets. For his top place finish, Javier was presented with a beginner telescope and some science books. His teacher/classroom will receive a $250 gift card to purchase science and art supplies.
A panel of educators and scientists evaluated the artworks based on their artistic creativity, scientific accuracy, and the written explanation. By participating in this contest, it is hoped that students will learn about adaptation, the discovery of planets around other stars, and the diversity of life both on our planet and beyond.
LaBelle priest earns Doctorate
Congratulations to Father David Vidal, Administrator of Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish in LaBelle, for successfully defending his doctoral dissertation on April 23, 2020, through the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Father Vidal is also a part-time member of St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami Philosophy Faculty as well as one of the adjunct spiritual directors. Father Vidal is a Thomistic scholar whose research and writings deal with the idea of the “Transcendentals” in the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas.
Son of current Ave Maria family ordained Transitional Deacon
On June 14, 2020, Salesian Brother Steven Joseph DeMaio (Salesians of Don Bosco) was among seven ordained transitional deacons in Jerusalem. He is originally from Sherman, Conn., but his parents are parishioners at Ave Maria Parish. Deacon DeMaio entered formation in 2010 and made his first vows in 2012 and perpetual vows in 2018. The ordaining prelate was Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, OFM, Latin-Rite Apostolic Administrator of Jerusalem. The ordinations were celebrated at the Church of All Nations in Gethsemane. This summer he will exercise his ministry at a parish in Belle Glade in Diocese of Palm Beach, about 20 miles east of Clewiston.
Food pantry open in Wauchula
St. Michael Parish in Wauchula is the home to a food pantry which has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 Pandemic response. To accommodate those who work, the food pantry is open each Saturday, 7–8:45 a.m., 408 Heard Bridge Road, Wauchula. If you need food at a different time or would like to support the efforts to assist the community, please call the Parish at 863-773-4089.
Community supports Catholic Charities program
The Vilano Community of Sarasota recently held a food drive for Our Mother’s House of Catholic Charities in Venice and dropped of the items in early June 2020. The drive also collected items for the babies such as diapers and wipes. The program assists mothers and their young children who might otherwise be homeless with shelter and supportive assistance.
Bradenton food pantry available
The St. Joseph Parish Food Pantry, 2704 33rd Ave. W., Bradenton, is open and distributing food from 9a.m. to noon Monday-Friday, and 5-7 p.m. Wednesdays, following all social distancing protocols. New clients are welcome to register during regular pantry hours. Call 941-756-3732 if you have any questions or wish to make a donation of money or food. For more information on the St. Joseph Food Pantry go to https://www.stjoepantry.com/.
Catholic Charities Response to Pandemic
If you need help
If you need assistance from Catholic Charities for food, financial assistance or tele-mental health counseling, please call the number for your area listed below 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday:
- Sarasota/Manatee/DeSoto/Hardee/Highlands counties: 844-385-2407,
- Charlotte/Lee/Hendry/Glades counties: 844-385-2423,
- Collier County: 844-385-2404.
Catholic Charities food distribution will take place only at the following times and locations. Please call the regional number for more information.
- Monday-Friday, 9-11 a.m., Guadalupe Social Services, 211 S. 9th St., Immokalee;
- Tuesdays, 9-11:30 a.m., Judy Sullivan Family Resource Center, 3174 Tamiami Trail E., Naples;
- Thursdays, 9 a.m.-noon, St. Margaret Parish, 208 Dean Duff St., Clewiston;
- Fridays, 9-11 a.m., St. Leo the Great Parish, 28360 Beaumont Road, Bonita Springs;
- Fridays, 9 a.m.-noon, Elizabeth K. Galeana Pantry, 4235 Michigan Avenue Link, Fort Myers;
- 2nd and 4th Fridays of the month, 9-11 a.m., St. Paul Parish, 1208 E. Oak St. Arcadia;
How to Help
Catholic Charities Diocese of Venice Inc. is in urgent need of your financial support during its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To help, please visit www.catholiccharitiesdov.org/donate or send a check to: Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice Inc., 5824 Bee Ridge Road, PMB 409, Sarasota, FL 34233-5065.