Mooney girls make third straight State Final in basketball

The Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School Lady Cougars Basketball Team will be playing for a State Championship after a Class 3A Semifinal victory Feb. 22, 2023, at the RP Fund Center in Lakeland. This is the third return trip to the State Championship game for the Sarasota team having had heartbreaking losses in 2021 and 2022.

The Lady Cougars defeated King’s Academy of West Palm Beach 52-39 in their Semifinal, the same team they beat to reach the final in 2022. Back in Sarasota, the game was livestreamed to students as they took a break for lunch. A large group of students is expected to go to the Final.

The Cougars lifted their season record to 21-5, having won their last eight games to reach the Final. The team’s leading scorers throughout the year are Olivia Davis and Keli Barrett. The Class 3A State Final against Miami Country Day is at 10 a.m., Saturday. Feb. 25 in Lakeland. This game is a rematch of the 2021 3A State Final.

On Feb. 17, the Mooney team won the regional championships on their home court over Tampa Catholic, earning their berth into the State Final Four for their third consecutive year. The Lady Cougars are seeking their first State Championship.

 

News Briefs for the Week of February 3, 2023

Youth “Rock the Universe”

Youth from the Diocese of Venice took part in the annual “Rock the Universe” at Universal Studios in Orlando on Jan. 28, 2023. “Rock the Universe” is an annual Christian rock festival which has been taking place since 1998. Among the groups present was the youth team from Holy Cross Parish in Palmetto, led by Carmen Martinez.  Joining this team was Marthamaria Morales, Diocesan Youth and Young Adult Outreach Director.

Ball supports education

The gymnasium of St. John Neumann Catholic High School in Naples had an extreme makeover and served as the site of the annual Celtic Ball benefitting the school. The Ball, with a theme of “Palm Beach Chic Celebration,” took place Jan. 29, 2023, with Bishop Frank J. Dewane serving as the guest of honor. The purpose of the Ball was also to celebrate the next generation of Catholic leaders who are the beneficiaries of the faith-based education at St. John Neumann Catholic High School.

Youth wash cars in Fort Myers

Throughout the year, the youth at St. Cecilia Parish in Fort Myers host a series of fun events to raise money so they can participate in a variety of activities throughout the year. On Jan. 29, 2023, the teens hosted a car wash, washing cars while parishioners were either at Mass, or getting donuts and coffee in the Parish Hall after Mass. The money raised will allow the teens the ability to participate in the Diocesan Eucharistic Congress Youth Rally, as well as a variety of trips, each of which help the youth learn to grow closer to the Lord.

Rummage sale offered wide selection of goods

The Women’s Guild at Our Lady of Grace Parish in Avon Park hosted a Rummage Sale in the Grogan Center on Jan. 27 and Jan. 28, 2023. There were dozens of tables filled with items such as clothing, cookware, artwork and much more. The money raised supports the outreach the Women’s Guild does throughout the year.

Students recognized for artistic talent

St. Martha Catholic School students Caleb Shouse (4th grade), and Hannah Lomangino (3rd grade), had their artwork selected for the 2023 Sarasota County Government NEST (Neighborhood Environmental Stewardship Team) Calendar. Caleb’s artwork is featured on the November page and Hannah’s is on the December Page. They were honored, with the other winners, during an awards ceremony on Jan. 31, 2023, in Sarasota. Their art teacher, Mary Jo Salomone, was also present for the awards presentation.

Fort Myers sports teams ready for Districts

The Bishop Verot Catholic High School boys’ soccer team locked up the No. 1 seed in the 3A District 8 District Tournament for the fourth year in a row. The Verot girls’ basketball team also dominated this season under new head coach, Alissa Schenk, and enter the 3A District 12 District Tournament as the No. 1 seed. Well done Vikings!

Volleyball player recognized in state

For the second year in a row Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School student Jordyn Byrd has been named the Gatorade Florida Volleyball Player of the Year which was announced Jan. 13, 2023.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, distinguishes Jordyn as Florida’s best high school volleyball player.

The state’s returning Gatorade Player of the Year, the 6-foot-5 senior outside hitter amassed 571 kills and 206 digs this past season, leading the Cougars (18-10) to the Class 3A state quarterfinals. Byrd also recorded 52 service aces and 48 blocks while posting a .571 kill percentage and a .439 hitting percentage. Ranked as the nation’s No. 16 recruit in the Class of 2023 by PrepDig.com, she concluded her prep volleyball career with 1,640 kills.

Jordyn has volunteered locally as a Mooney student ambassador, and she has donated her time with Stuff the Bus, which collects school supplies and toiletries for underserved children in the Sarasota region.

“Jordyn is better than any hitter I’ve seen in the state,” said Kim Whitney, head coach of Calvary Christian High School. “She attacks the ball at a very high point, which is very difficult to defend. She’s able to put a ball away wherever she is on the court.”

Being a Gatorade Player of the Year means paying it forward for the next generation. Through Gatorade’s “Play it Forward initiative,” every Player of the Year receives a grant to give to one of Gatorade’s social impact partners, supporting Gatorade’s ambition to fuel the future of sport. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations.

At Mooney, Jordyn has maintained a 3.69 GPA in the classroom. She has signed a National Letter of Intent to play volleyball on scholarship at the University of Texas this fall. She is also a standout on the Mooney basketball team.

News briefs for the week of Jan. 20, 2023

Naples teens attend Florida March for Life

A group of 27 (six parents, two teachers, and 19 students) represented St. John Neumann Catholic High School of Naples at the March for Life in St. Augustine on Jan. 14, 2023. The group marched for the sanctity of life in a trip sponsored by Florida Right for Life President Lynda Bell.

Cougar Experience held for visiting students

On January 11, 2023, Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota hosted 130 8th graders from their partner schools for The Cougar Experience. It was a great day of games, lunch, athletics and learning more about Cardinal Mooney’s arts and academics. The partner schools are St. Martha Catholic School, Incarnation Catholic School, and St. Mary Academy, all in Sarasota, as well as Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School in Venice and St. Joseph Catholic School in Bradenton.

Learning the Sacraments

Fourth grade students at St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Fort Myers are learning about the seven Sacraments, and the role water plays in the sacraments. The students renewed their baptismal promises Jan. 11, 2023, while working on a craft project related to the Sacraments.

Jr. Thespians take stage in state competition

The Jr. Thespians Troupe from St. Joseph Catholic School in Bradenton received four Superior Awards and four Excellent Awards at the Jan. 12-14, 2023, Florida State Junior Thespian Festival – Thespian Jam, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. Some 6,000 participated in the festival which gives theater lovers the chance to celebrate the best middle school theatrical work and have an unforgettable experience. The students put in many hours of practice and hard work, which definitely paid off.

Basketball player reaches milestone

St. John Neumann Catholic High School basketball player Sophia McCartney reached the 1,000-point milestone during a game on Jan. 14, 2023. After the home game in Sarasota, the star player was honored and recognized for this remarkable achievement, something that is rare in high school basketball.

Cape Coral students hone their robotics skills

Middle school students at St. Andrew Catholic School in Cape Coral were able to hone their robotic coding skills on Jan. 17, 2023. They worked on coding and working with Lego Spike Prime Robots. These small robots are made out of Lego pieces and can follow paths on an established course. The robots can be coded to perform various tasks as well. These skills are being learned as part of a larger Diocesan-wide robotics STREAM (science, technology, religion, engineering, arts, math) curriculum which helps students learn the skills needed to excel in a high-tech modern society.

News Briefs for the Week of Jan. 13, 2022

Cathedral celebrates Feast Day

Epiphany Cathedral in Venice celebrated its Feast Day, the Epiphany of the Lord, with a trilingual (English, Spanish, Polish) Mass on Jan. 8, 2023. Msgr. Patrick Dubois, Cathedral Rector, said the Feast Day is an important moment for the Parish community as well as for the Universal Church. The day marks the moment when the three magi come to pay homage to the Child Jesus, something we must do each day as we celebrated the love of the Lord in our lives. Readings and music alternated between the three languages and at the conclusion of Mass, Msgr. Dubois asked all to wish one another a “Happy Feast of the Epiphany.” A multicultural celebration followed in the Parish Hall.

Basketball player reaches milestone

Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School basketball player Olivia Davis reached the 1,000-point milestone during a game on Jan. 6, 2023. After the home game in Sarasota, the star player was honored and recognized for this remarkable achievement, something that is rare in high school basketball.

Opportunities upcoming to support life

There are several opportunities for the faithful to support life in the coming months. First, one can Pray for the protection of all human life during the 9 Days for Life campaign from Jan. 19-27, 2023. Sign up now at www.9daysforlife.com to receive each day’s intention and reflection via email or text message. Second, the annual Ave Maria March for Life will take place at 10 a.m., Jan 21, at the Ave Maria University football field. The walk is held in recognition of the right to life of every human being from conception to natural death, and will conclude in front of Ave Maria Parish Church. Bishop Frank J. Dewane is the featured speaker. A lunch of hot dogs, chips and drink will follow the march.  For more information including registering for small or large groups, please contact Sharon Levesque at amprespectlifeminstry@gmail.com. Next, join others for the 25th Annual Sarasota Prayer Walk for Life on Feb. 7. The event begins with the 8:30 a.m. Mass celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Dewane at St. Martha Parish, 200 N. Orange Ave. A bus will shuttle people from the church to 7th Street where walkers will circle the block around Planned Parenthood in prayer. Lastly, join others from around the state for the annual Catholic Days at the Capitol in Tallahassee from March 7-9. The three-day trip includes a legislative briefing on important bills relating to human life and dignity, a breakfast with legislators and the Florida Bishops, tours of the capitol and museum, scheduled visits with legislators and the annual Red Mass of the Holy Spirit with the Florida Bishops and public officials. Bus transportation is provided at no cost as long as space is available. The registration deadline is February 6. For further details contact Jeanne Berdeaux at 941-374-1068 or Berdeaux@dioceseofvenice.org.

World Youth Day 2023 Deadline EXTENDED

The deadline to register is open for the Diocesan 11-day pilgrimage to World Youth Day 2023 in Lisbon, Portugal, has been extended to Jan. 15, 2023. You are invited to join Bishop Frank J. Dewane for the trip to Lisbon with two nights in Fatima. This pilgrimage is from July 29 to August 8, 2023. The theme for World Youth Day 2023 is “Mary arose and went with haste”. (Luke 1:39) Travel arrangements are facilitated by Peter’s Way Tours. Space is limited and registration must be completed by January 15. Please visit https://dioceseofvenice.org/offices/offices-departments/evangelization/world-youth-day-2023/ for registration and further information.

Lee County schools gather for joint Mass

Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers welcomed students from St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Fort Myers and St. Andrew Catholic School in Cape Coral for Mass on Jan. 10, 2023. The younger students led everyone in song and afterwards Principal Suzie O’Grady invited students to participate in the “Three Kings” celebration. Following the Mass, the “Three Kings” went around campus writing the following on every door: 20 + C + M + B + 23. For centuries, faithful Catholics have marked the entrance to their homes with a symbol of faith, asking that Jesus bless all who live within the home. The message is as follows: [the first two digits of the year] + C + M + B + [the last two digits of the year]. The “C”, “M”, and “B” stand for the names of the three Magi – Caspar, Malchior & Balthazar, and the “+” represents the cross. The message also abbreviates the Latin phrase, Christus Mansionem Benedicat, meaning “May Christ bless the house.”

Parish marks Three Kings celebration

St. Paul Parish in Arcadia held a special “Three Kings” celebration on the Feast of the  Epiphany of Our Lord, Jan. 8, 2023.

Thanksgiving across the Diocese

The idea of giving thanks, knowing that we are here because of gifts given to us by God, is at the core of what Thanksgiving is all about.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane described the holiday this way while celebrating Mass at Our Lady of the Angels Parish in Lakewood Ranch on Nov. 24, 2022.

As hard as we try, Bishop Dewane added, “being who God called us to be is difficult, and we will fail along the way. But, the Bible records the wonderful gifts of God, which we can find within ourselves and in others who are all made in the image and likeness of God.”

The Gospel reading of the day was the parable of the 10 lepers, when only one returned to thank Jesus upon being cured of the debilitating illness. Jesus asks where the other nine were, and Bishop Dewane said that we are all among the nine at certain points in life, but must always strive to be among the one’s who return.

“Our appreciation and gratitude of thanksgiving increases over the years as we realize how much is done for us by those around us and by God Himself.” Bishop Dewane said. “By your presence at Mass on Thanksgiving, you are counted among those who returned to Jesus, just as you came to give thanks to God. Know the Lord sees the goodness and thanks you express.”

Being grateful for what they have was a strong theme during a Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner at St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Cape Coral.

The community was devastated by Hurricane Ian and is still recovering, which encouraged Father Ricky Varner, Pastor at St. Katharine Drexel, to host a Parish Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner.

Father Varner sent a request to the Parish staff and leaders of the different outreach groups (Knights of Columbus, Council of Catholic Women, Legion of Mary, Youth Outreach, Cursillo and more) to organize the dinner in an effort to help continue the healing process in support of families who are still displaced or rebuilding. Each group would be responsible for providing a designated dish.

“Since the wrath of Hurricane Ian on September 28th, I have had the privilege to see the best of all of you and to work alongside this incredible community… as we continue to support our brothers and sisters here and beyond to rebuild their lives and strive to get back to some form of normalcy,” Father Varner wrote in his appeal.

The results were glorious as more than 200 people came to enjoy a holiday meal.

Father Varner bussed the tables during the dinner pleased at the response to the meal by individuals and families, many still traumatized by the hurricane eight weeks later. “You people of St. Katharine Drexel – You Rock!”

One couple present were the Tremble’s who thought they would have to forgo a traditional Thanksgiving meal this year because their kitchen was destroyed in storm surge. The Tremble’s had hosted family from across the country each Thanksgiving since they moved to the area in 2010. That was not an option this year. They could have taken up any number of offers to go north for the holiday, but there is too much work to do in Cape Coral.

“Our life has been one long microwave dinner since Ian,” said June Tremble. “We are so thankful to Father Ricky and to everyone at the Parish for doing this. This is the best turkey I have ever had, because I know it was made with love.”

Other families had similar stories to share, with one person expressing their thanks for having a chance to put the recovery from Ian at the back of their mind, if only for a few hours.

“I have smiled and laughed more in the hour I have been here than in the two months since Ian,” said one man. “I really needed this. I think we all did.

The response by the staff and volunteers, as well as by the Parish families meant that Father Varner is already planning on making the dinner an annual tradition.

Meanwhile, Bishop Dewane went from the Mass in Lakewood Ranch to take part in a free community Thanksgiving dinner hosted by the Knights of Columbus Our Lady of Victory Council 3358 at their Hall on Fruitville Road in Sarasota.

The Knights delivered more than 200 meals to the elderly and homebound and then served hundreds more to those who needed a hot meal or didn’t have anywhere to go for the holiday. Guests were also encouraged to take meals home. Those meals included turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, corn, stuffing, roll, and pumpkin pie with whipped cream.

Bishop Dewane offered the opening prayer for the Knights and other volunteers before the dining room was opened. Then, the Bishop took his traditional spot in charge of serving the corn and assisted in serving potatoes as well.

On Nov. 24, students from Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota volunteered and served food at the 23rd Annual Sarasota Ministerial Association Thanksgiving Dinner at Sarasota First Baptist Church. Students and families participate each year this event is held.

For those who watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from New York, they might have caught a glimpse of two cheer teams from the Diocese.

The National Champion Cheer Squad from Incarnation Catholic School in Sarasota were part of the larger “Spirit of America Production!” group.

Joining them was a group of senior cheerleaders from Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Sarasota. The participation of both groups is by invitation only and it is considered a great honor to be selected.

News Briefs for the week of December 9, 2022

Verot football shines amidst adversity

The Bishop Verot Catholic High School Viking Football Team fell in the FHSAA 2S Final Four on Dec. 2, 2022, ending the season for a team seeking the school’s first state title in its 60-year history. The team dominated most games, bring much needed smiles to the faces of the community devastated and overwhelmed by the impacts of Hurricane Ian. Undefeated Florida State University High Seminoles defeated Verot 38-28 in Tallahassee. The Vikings ended the season 10-3 having claimed the 2S Region 4 Final over Frostproof on Nov. 25. This was their first regional title since 1994. The best seasons in Verot history came in 1990 and 1994 when the teams reached the championship game. When the Vikings departed the Verot campus on Dec. 1, the entire student body came out to cheer them on. Enroute to Tallahassee, the team bus took a short detour to visit St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Fort Myers where those students also cheered on the team. In a statement to the Fort Myers News-Press, Bishop Verot Coach Richie Rode said, “This has been a resilient group all year that continued to fight against a really good team… We’re disappointed in the moment, but we’ll be proud of what we did.” Great season!!

Mooney Volleyballer honored

Jordyn Byrd, a senior at Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota, has been named the Florida Dairy Farmers Class 3A Volleyball Player of the Year. Jordyn was also named the FACA District 16 3A Player of the Year. She received the identical honor as a junior and was also named 2022 Florida Gatorade Player of the Year. Jordyn is committed to playing at the University of Texas in the fall of 2023. and Coach Chad Davis was named the District 16 3A Coach of the Year.

“Spiritual Bouquet” of prayers offered for Ian victims

The 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season will be long remembered by the faithful of the Diocese of Venice as the time when Hurricane Ian struck the shores of Southwest Florida on Sept. 28, 2022. Many lives were lost, many more lost homes or their livelihoods and still more are recovering and rebuilding. While many sent monetary donations or items to help in the hurricane relief and recovery, still more offered their prayers. The Diocese of Venice opened up an offering of a “Spiritual Bouquet” for those who wished to offer a special prayer for the victims of Ian. The practice was for a person to commit or pledge a “flower” of prayer to offer in union with others doing the same. These flowers of prayer offerings can take a wide variety of forms, such as a Rosary, a Divine Mercy Chaplet, a Holy Hour, litanies, novenas, or Holy Communion intention. An initiative of the Diocese Evangelization Office, participation in the “Spiritual Bouquet” was offered online through Nov. 30, the official end of the 2022 Hurricane Season. In all, 2,399 offerings were made for those who suffered in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian; 310 submissions were made, allowing participants to do a variety of actions. These actions were broken down as follows: 432 Mass Remembrances; 417 Holy Communions; 126 Visits to the Blessed Sacrament; 821 Rosaries; 31 Divine Mercy Chaplets; 147 Stations of the Cross; 203 Novenas and Litanies; and 222 Acts of Penance. Thank you to everyone who participated in this special outpouring of prayer.

Sarasota youth give back

In keeping with learning about Catholic social teachings, 8th graders from St. Martha Catholic School along with the students from the St. Martha Parish Service Club/Faith Formation Program learned about several ministries that help those in need on Dec. 4, 2022, in Sarasota. The youth provided the following to the community: 140 gift cards and handmade Christmas ornaments to the elderly residents at Casa Santa Marta; 100+ blankets for the homeless; get well/Christmas cards for those in the hospital; 180 St. Nick Treat Bags for the parish students of the Religious Education/Faith Formation Program; toys and miscellaneous household items for the families of Family Promise; four ministry pantries stocked with food and supplies; “kindness rocks” (that they made) placed in the memorial garden and prayed for our parishioners buried there; 100 Blessing Bags to Resurrection House for the homeless community.

Mooney musicians perform for shoppers

The members of the Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School symphonic orchestra spread the joy of Christmas by performing for shoppers at University Town Center (UTC) in Sarasota on Dec. 5, 2022. The musicians helped shoppers get into the spirit of the holiday ahead of a performance on Dec. 7 in the School Music Hall.

STREAM activities are so much fun!

St. Mary Academy students took part in a lesson on Dec. 5, 2022, called “Candy Cane Calamity.” The students were challenged to design a package that could be used to send a candy cane to a friend. The package that kept the candy cane from breaking and weighed the least won the competition. After the packages were “delivered/smashed” a few times, (against a wooden door!) students unwrapped their candy canes to see if they were successful. What a blast they had learning!

Mooney swimmer takes State title for fourth consecutive year

A Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School senior repeated as Class 1A State Champion Nov. 18, 2022, at Sailfish Splash Park and Aquatics Center in Stuart.

Michaela Mattes took the State Championships in the 500 Freestyle for the fourth year in a row and came in second in the 200 Individual Medley, proudly representing her Sarasota school. Michaela completes her swimming career as the most decorated Mooney athlete and will go on to swim for the University of Florida in the fall.

Michaela took the 500 Freestyle with a dominating time of 4:43.80, more than 9 seconds faster than her nearest competitor. Her winning time earned her automatic All-American status with the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA). She was also State Champ in the same event as a freshman, sophomore and junior.

In the 200 individual medley, Michaela took silver with a time of 1:59.27, again earning All-American status. This was also the fourth consecutive year Michaela medaled in the event, taking gold in 2020 and silver in 2019 and 2021. On her own, Michaela took 15th in the team competition.

The Mooney boys qualified for States in the 200 medley relay with swimmers Alexander Mitten, Daniel Krajewski, Michael Navarro-Lenza, and Turner Mitten. Turner Mitten finished 12th in the 500 free, while Krajewski qualified for the 200 individual medley, and Alexander Mitten in the 100 backstroke.

At the same event, Bishop Verot Catholic High School swimmers Alexander Price, Stephen Prendiville, Nicolas Scripcariu and Daniel Perez also qualified for the 200 medley relay. Meanwhile, Eleanor Bonds, finished 11th in the 1 meter diving competition, while her teammate Kaylie Cunniff finished 14th in the same event.

The 1A State competition was delayed one week due to impacts from Hurricane Nicole.

Exciting sports news from around the Diocese

It was a busy time the past week for athletes at Diocese of Venice Catholic high schools between competitions and signings.

First up, Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School Sophomore Nico Bencomo fired a -1 (71) to tie for 2nd in Florida High School 1A Golf State Championship, Nov. 12, 2022, at Mission Inn Resort and Country Club in Howey-in-the-Hills. Bencomo led Mooney to a team bronze medal.

Mooney’s Tommy Tyler fired an even par 72, one shot out of the medals to tie for 6th. Other Mooney golfers included Joe Pike, Lukas Wahlstrom, and Finley Murphy. This is the best team finish in school history for the Sarasota boys.

At the same competition, the Bishop Verot Catholic High School team finished 5th overall. The golfers were Christian Allen, Michael Bevins, Zachary Loninger, Kevin Kelly, and Dalton Payne. In addition, Connor Shea, of St. John Neumann Catholic High School in Naples was the only boy to qualify for States.

In the girls’ golf competition, the Verot team finished 12th overall. Golfers included Amelia Loninger, Samantha Loninger, Morgan Franklin, Caroline Kelly, and Ava Aloia. Due to the impacts of the Hurricane Nicole, the State Championship was delayed and then shortened a single 18-hole event.

Meanwhile, on National Signing Day, Nov. 9, 2022, 13 student-athletes from across the Diocese signed their letters of intent to play at the collegiate level.

At Mooney, five student-athletes made their announcements. They include: Jordyn Byrd, University of Texas (volleyball, the 6-foot-5 senior outside hitter is part of the 1,000 Kills Club and was the 2021-2022 Gatorade Florida Volleyball Player of the Year); Michaela Mattes, University of Florida (swimming, ranked as the No. 5 recruit in the country and No.1 out of Florida according to College Swimming.com for the Class of 2023); Jack McKinnon, University of South Florida, (baseball, also a standout varsity football player); Olivia Davis, University of Tampa (basketball, four year starter at Mooney); and Caity Patterson, Florida Gulf Coast University (softball).

At Bishop Verot, six students signed their letter of intent. They are: Victoria Ash, Stetson University (softball); Camryn Feast, Florida Gulf Coast University (softball), Andrew Hanlon, Brown University (baseball); Aidan Knaak, Clemson University (baseball); Sarah Yamrick, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania (softball); and Gigi Malik, University of Piedmont (lacrosse).

At St. John Neumann in Naples, Carter White and Tyler Kozera both signed to play baseball at the University of Central Florida.

Congratulations and good luck to each student-athlete!

 

News Briefs for the week of Nov. 11, 2022

Appointments

After consultation, Bishop Frank J. Dewane announces the following:

Father Kristian Villafaña is relieved of his duties as Temporary Administrator of Holy Cross Parish, Palmetto, effective October 18, 2022.

Father Nicholas Thompson, as Parochial Vicar at St. John the Evangelist Parish, Naples, effective November 1, 2022.

Father Binu Joseph, as Parochial Vicar at Sacred Heart Parish, Bradenton, effective November 3, 2022.

Catholic Mass to Honor Veterans Moved Due to Weather

The Diocese of Venice in Florida will celebrate its 13th annual Veterans Day Catholic Mass to honor veterans on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022. The Mass, originally scheduled to be held at The Sarasota National Cemetery, has been moved due to weather constraints. The Mass will now be celebrated at the nearby St. Patrick Parish, 7900 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota. The Mass will begin at 3:30 p.m., with opening ceremonies at 3:15 p.m. All are encouraged to arrive early. Bishop Frank J. Dewane will be the principal celebrant of the Mass.

Mooney runner finishes second in States

Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School junior Addison Dempsey took the silver medal in the Class 2A girls Florida High School Athletic Association Cross Country State Championship on Nov. 5, 2022, in Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee. Dempsey crossed the 5,000-meter (or 3.1 mile) race in 17:54, just 11 seconds behind the winner. The Mooney girls’ team came in 25th overall, with Kate Ruaona placing 11th. The Sarasota boys finished in 20th, with the top runner, Christian Kline placing 37th. At the same event, the Bishop Verot Catholic High School runners from Fort Myers also participated, with sophomore Mackenzie De Lisle placing fifth. The boy’s team took fifth place overall, with the top runner, Grayson Tubbs, placing 16th. Congratulations everyone!

Students learn to fold American Flag

The Veterans of Foreign War Golden Gate Post 7721 visited St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic School in Naples on Nov. 4, 2022, to teach the eighth graders how to properly fold the American flag in advance of the school’s Veterans Day Tribute on Nov. 11.

Key Club members help neighboring school

More than 40 St. John Neumann Catholic High School students and Key Club members came together Nov. 7, 2022, to help with a beautification project at St. Elizabeth Seton. Students laid mulch on the playground and painted parking lot curbs and stops. Lots of fun was had amidst the hard work.

Tiger Trot a success

The annual Tiger Trot at Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School in Venice was a huge success. Held on Nov. 4, 2022, the event raised funds and everyone had a great time. Msgr. Patrick Dubois was in attendance to observe and blessed the Tiger Trot and cheer everyone on.

Thermal energy class was HOT!

Fourth grade science students at St. Martha Catholic School in Sarasota learned all about Thermal Energy the week of Nov. 1, 2022. The students each constructed their own solar oven and placed the components for s’mores in them before bringing them outside to cook. The result: the ovens worked, and everyone had a delicious snack created in their own oven!

Parish holds food fest

Our Lady of Grace Parish in Avon Park held its annual International Food Festival on Nov. 6, 2022. Delectable cuisine from around the world was up for selection including from countries such as Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Ireland, Mexico, Italy and many more. Parish pastor Father Ronnie Sison, who is originally from the Philippines, took time to visit each table and sampled many selections.

 Fun day in Bradenton

A fun time was had during “Silly String” festivities at St. Joseph Catholic School in Bradenton on Nov. 4, 2022. The fun was a follow-up celebration to the successful annual Eagle Run fundraiser held earlier in the month. The seventh-grade class, which had great success during the Eagle Run, also celebrated with a McDonald’s party.

 

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