News briefs from week of October 26, 2020

Virtual Diocesan Concert Series begins Nov. 6

The Diocese of Venice is proud to announce that a virtual concert series will be offered to the faithful at noon on the first three Fridays of November 2020. The concerts will be livestreamed from select Parishes in the Diocese and offer a broad selection of Catholic music. This is being offered as many remain home due to the ongoing global pandemic and miss the richness of music. The series begins at noon, Nov. 6, 2020 and will return on Nov. 13 and Nov. 20. Each segment will be live and last approximately 30 minutes. Anyone can view the live stream through the Diocese of Venice Facebook page at You do not need to register to view live events on Facebook. For more information, please contact Gail Ardy at 941-484-9543 or

Equestrian Order celebrates Feast Day

Bishop Frank J. Dewane celebrated Mass for the Knights and Dames of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem on Oct. 27, 2020 at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice. The annual Mass is held as close as possible to the Order’s Patroness Feast Day, Our Lady of Palestine, which is Oct. 25 and was approved by the Holy See in 1933. Following the Mass, two Knights and two Dames were presented with honors from the Order by Bishop Dewane. The Feast Day asks all to join in praying to the Virgin Mary for special protection of Palestine and the holy city of Jerusalem. The Equestrian Order is the only lay institution of the Vatican State charged with the task of providing for the needs of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and for all the activities and initiatives which are necessary to support the Christian presence in the Holy Land. The Order is present in nearly 40 countries worldwide.

Adopt a family for Christmas

Our Mother’s House of Catholic Charities is looking for people who want to make Christmas special for single mothers and their babies by providing gifts from their wish list. If you are interested in adopting a family for Christmas or want to donate a gift, please contact Rita Millner, Case Worker for Our Mother’s House at 941-485-6264, or email All wrapped gifts must be delivered before Dec. 9, 2020. Our Mother’s House is committed to helping homeless mothers and their children achieve self-sufficiency.

Students take action to prevent bullying

An Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School student makes a pledge to promote unity during a rally to end bullying on Oct. 21, 2020 in Venice.

Diocese of Venice Catholic School participated in the annual Unity Day on Oct. 21, 2020, to take action in their world and stand up against bullying. At Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School in Venice, students wore orange to school and took a pledge of acceptance, kindness, and inclusion.

Students in this second grade class at St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Fort Myers write positive, kind and thoughtful notes about their classmates as part of Unity Day, a effort to promote kindness and stop bullying.

In addition to wearing orange, at St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Fort Myers students in a second-grade class wrote a positive, kind and thoughtful thing about each student in the class and placed it in their kindness buckets. These were just a few of the activities which took place at Diocesan Catholic schools.

If you need help from Catholic Charities

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. Services have expanded to include assistance in applying for state and federal benefits if you have lost work due to the COVID-19 Pandemic:

  • Sarasota/Manatee/DeSoto/Hardee/Highlands counties: 844-385-2407,
  • Charlotte/Lee/Hendry/Glades counties: 844-385-2423,
  • Collier County: 844-385-2404.

Food distribution from Catholic Charities

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, the Soup Kitchen is providing meals-to-go;
  • 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, 9-10:30 a.m., St. Paul Parish, 1208 Oak St., Arcadia;
  • 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.

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 or send a check to: Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice Inc., 5824 Bee Ridge Road, PMB 409, Sarasota, FL 34233-5065.

Parish donations

During this challenging time in the life and mission of the Diocese of Venice, our Parishes face increased risk of financial shortfalls due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and its effects on everyday life. Parishes depend on weekly financial gifts to continue their ministries, especially in this critical time of crisis. The Diocese of Venice is providing an online platform and encourages the Faithful to support their Parish. Please visit to donate to your Parish. The Faithful may also contribute through usual channels (e.g., envelopes, and through the Parish online giving option). Together we will navigate through this crisis, provide assistance to those in need, and secure the road ahead for the Parishes within the Diocese of Venice.


As Bishop Frank J. Dewane continues to listen to public health data and hear from Priests and Parishioners about the experiences at Diocesan Parishes, the dispensation given to attend Sunday Mass has been extended through Nov. 27, 2020, and depending on conditions, perhaps longer. At the same time, Bishop Dewane invites the Catholic Faithful who are able, to return to their Parish for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Please check the Diocese of Venice website for any updates.


The Diocese of Venice will continue livestreaming the Mass through the Diocese website ( and Facebook pages from the Catholic Center in Venice at 9:15 a.m. daily as the dispensation to attend Mass remains.