Bishop celebrates Mass at university

The Ave Maria University 2022-2023 Academic Year opened with a Mass celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Dewane on Aug. 22, 2022.

The Mass included faculty, who processed in before the opening hymn dressed in their doctoral robes and seated up front while the students sat behind. Concelebrating were priests who serve the spiritual needs of the students on campus and in Ave Maria Parish.

Bishop Dewane welcomed new and returning students for the start of a new Academic Year and noted that they have each been provided with a great opportunity to be at Ave Maria University and said he was praying that they find success in their studies. The Bishop encouraged the students to be open to hear the call of the Lord in their lives and to live that answer each day.

The Mass fell on the Feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Gospel reading was from Luke 1:39-56, relating the time Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth and the response of St. John the Baptist who was in the womb.

Bishop Dewane remarked that the title of Queen for the Blessed Virgin implies a struggle, a challenge and even battle, and how the students must be conscious of that in recognizing Mary and her role in Salvation history. Bishop Dewane noted that when regal titles, such as king and queen, are used in Scripture, there is an implied battle.

“We need to search for announcement of the Angel Gabriel in our own life; those things that come from the Lord and bring about change,” Bishop Dewane said. “It might not be the Angel Gabriel, but it might be as when Jesus is on the shore and calls to the Disciples, ‘Come follow Me!’ (Matt. 19:21) As students at Ave Maria University, I want you to listen closely this year, how many times Christ says ‘Come follow Me!’”

The Bishop said we must all be attentive to our response to the call of the Lord, with the knowledge God has an eye out for those who strive to serve Him and do His will. There are clues along the way, but we will only find them if we are ready to respond and have not only our ears open, but our minds, hearts and souls open to that call of “Come follow Me!”

“Pray to hear that call,” Bishop Dewane continued. “Look to the Lord to find what good He gives you in your life and let that guide you to become a faithful spouse, or perhaps to the priesthood or a religious vocation … all of this will be found as you acquire more knowledge of who Jesus Christ is in your life.”

The Bishop said the students attend Ave Maria University with a quest for truth, justice, integrity and they should not settle for less, but he reminded them that during this search for those things in the world around them, they must also look within themselves.

“It is you who has to project those very things you search for in your life,” Bishop Dewane said. “It is no surprise that God brought you here to have an encounter with the Lord… Accept the guidance of the Lord. Go with Him on the journey and be richer for it along the way… Hear that call of ‘Come follow Me!’ and live a true answer to Christ here at Ave Maria University.”

Following closing prayer, the Bishop presided over a commissioning ceremony for four new theology professors, during which each took a Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity, vowing to remain faithful to the Teachings of the Church before Bishop Dewane and the entire school community.

After the Mass the Bishop greeted the students who thanked him for his presence and inspiring homily.

Youth Conference draws more than 400

Youth from across the Southeastern United States spent July 8 to 10, 2022, listening to dynamic talks, hearing moving music, praying, participating in Eucharistic Adoration, going to Confession, attending daily Mass, and making new friends.

With a theme of “Fearless,” the goal of the 14th annual Ave Maria University Youth Conference was to allow high school-aged youth to come to know God in a more personal way as well as to learn how to touch the lives of others through their own life. Many young men and women from throughout the Diocese of Venice participated in the Conference and they were joined by youth from each part of Florida and beyond.

The youth raved about the weekend, one young man from Naples said “this was so awesome. Jesus was everywhere.”

The weekend was not just simply listening to inspirational speakers and musicians who encouraged the young people to become more involved in their faith and to be guided by the Word of Christ; it was an interactive experience meant to awaken the Holy Spirit for the Conference goers.

The Conference was capped with Mass celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Dewane at Ave Maria Parish on July 10, directly across from the University.

Bishop Dewane said he prayed the youth took advantage of the Conference and that they “will go forward for the Lord, and the Lord with them.”

Citing the Gospel reading, Luke 10:25-37, the parable of the Good Samaritan, the Bishop said the lesson is for each of us to follow the Lord’s example, showing mercy and compassion.

“We have been made in the image and likeness of God; called to live that ethical moral example of the Good Samaritan, that is given to you, and to me, in our lives,” Bishop Dewane concluded. “It is my prayer that you go forward and live that life, to be the Good Samaritan, in union with Christ.”

Following the Mass, Bishop Dewane took part in a large group picture and other individual and Parish-centered photos, while the youth thanked him for celebrating the Mass and offering his inspiring words. In return, the Bishop again challenged them to live those words each day.

One young lady from Cocoa Beach summed up the weekend this way: “My spirit is filled with Christ’s love. I am now ready to do more, to show my friends and family how much love, joy and comfort the Church provides.”

Featured talks were by Father Rick Martignetti, Father Joseph Lugalambi, Father Rich Pagano and Chris Padget. The event included the talks, Mass, Adoration, praise and worship, fellowship, and opportunities for confession.

Community celebrates the Annunciation of the Lord

The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord is a day we celebrate when the Blessed Virgin Mary said “Yes!” to God.

Celebrated on March 25, 2022, the Solemnity marks the Angel Gabriel’s appearance to the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:26-38), and his announcement that the Blessed Virgin has been chosen to be the Mother of Our Lord, and Mary’s willing acceptance of God’s Holy Plan.

To mark this Solemnity, Ave Maria Parish, Ave Maria University, as well as the entire town took part in various activities throughout the day.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane presided at the inauguration of the new Ave Maria University President Mark Middendorf, and was the principal celebrant for a Solemnity Mass.

Other events incorporated into the day included the Prayer of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, an outdoor barbecue dinner, concert and fireworks.

Bishop Dewane said during the Mass that the faithful should learn from the example of Mary and apply Her willingness to be open to the call of the Lord in our own lives; as it is inspiring to know the Blessed Virgin Mary had the courage to say “yes.”

“Take the grace that the Lord gives each of us, and live it and go forward,” the Bishop continued. “We learn the important lesson that ‘nothing will be impossible for God.’ Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her’ (Luke 1:37-38). Without God, we cannot fulfill His Mission. Our Lady understood that, so must each one of us. We have to radically change our inner selves and have that same strength to do the will of the Lord.”

President inauguration

As part of the inauguration of Middendorf as the fourth President of Ave Maria University, Bishop Dewane presided over the Oath of Fidelity and Profession of Faith.

Following the Oath of Fidelity and Profession of Faith, an Investiture Ceremony took place wherein Middendorf was bestowed with the Seal of the Office of the President of Ave Maria University by Board of Trustees Chairman Patrick Rainey. Prior to this, Father David Vidal, Pastor of Ave Maria Parish, and others representing the students, faculty, alumni and Board of Trustees, spoke highly of the appointment of Middendorf as the new President of the University.

A native of Chicago, Illinois, Middendorf was educated at Northern Illinois University and DePaul University and had a successful corporate marketing and management career before discerning a special call to the New Evangelization. Middendorf founded a lay apostolate, Lighthouse Catholic Media (LCM), then the largest producer of Catholic audio talks in the world, reaching millions. Upon its merger with the Augustine Institute in 2015, Middendorf became the Institute’s Executive Vice President for Mission Expansion, and led the launch of platform. Middendorf also serves on the boards of 5 Stones, Ignatius Press, and the Marian Missionaries of Divine Mercy, and has been a long-standing member of Legatus.

Middendorf and his wife, Christine, are the parents of four children, one already a graduate of Ave Maria University and another currently enrolled.

When asked what his first priority would be as University President, Middendorf stated that he will be inviting all staff, students, and friends of Ave Maria to join him in entrusting themselves and the University to the care of our Immaculate Mother. He then added, “The University belongs to her. It has her name on it. As President, I see this as foundational.”

Bishop celebrates Mass at university

The Ave Maria University 2021-2022 Academic Year opened with a Mass celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Dewane on Aug. 23, 2021.

The Mass included faculty, who processed in before the opening hymn dressed in their doctoral robes and seated up front while the students sat behind. Concelebrating were a number of priests who serve the spiritual needs of the students on campus.

Bishop Dewane welcomed new and returning students for the start of new Academic Year and noted that they have each been provided with a great opportunity to be at Ave Maria University and said he was praying that they find success in their studies. The Bishop encouraged them to take advantage of their time at the school to grow closer to the Lord and reminded them that they can do this by having a strong underlying presence of Christ is all that they do in their life.

“Jesus is not an optional course at Ave Maria University,” the Bishop said. “Find time for Christ in your daily life. If you allow yourself the opportunity to receive the Body and Blood of Christ, let the Real Presence permeate you and truly become a part of who you are. This is not just an abstract thought. It is what makes us unique as Catholics and differentiates us from our Protestant brothers and sisters. The Real Presence of Christ must be your focus. Make Christ the source of what allows you more the man or woman of God you are called to be.”

It is through the Lord that each of the students will become more than they thought possible in life, Bishop Dewane continued. “Know Christ is not bound by the limitations we have. Let this be for you a time of growth as Christ accompanies you on your journey.”

Following closing prayer, the Bishop presided over a commissioning ceremony for three new theology professors, during which each took a Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity, vowing to remain faithful to the Teachings of the Church before Bishop Dewane and the entire school community.

After the Mass the Bishop greeted the students who thanked him for his presence and inspiring homily.

FOCUS missionaries commissioned by Bishop

More than 500 FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) missionaries and staff were commissioned to serve the Church during the coming year during a ceremony presided over by Bishop Frank J. Dewane

The commissioning was part of the annual FOCUS New Staff Training which took place at Ave Maria University. Bishop Dewane celebrated Mass for the group on June 10, 2021.

The Gospel reading for the Mass was from the conversion of the Apostle Matthew, which Bishop Dewane said was apt as it is the moment when Jesus summons Matthew and says, rise up and “Follow me!”

“Matthew becomes a new man by rising in response to the Lord,” the Bishop continued. “I pray each one of you has taken the opportunity in deciding to be a missionary by rising up to the expectation God has for you. You have to go out and decide the type of missionary you are going to be and then live that response by going forward as a new creation in the Body of Christ.”

Father John Lager, OFM Cap. and FOCUS National Chaplain, said the missionaries are being sent to preach the Gospel and make disciples for Jesus Christ accompanied by the prayers of the faithful.

As part of the commissioning, Father Lager first called each missionary to stand by naming the Dioceses in which they will serve. Next, Father read out the colleges and universities to which the missionaries are assigned.

“All missionaries and staff will accept the official teachings of the Holy Father on matters of faith and morals and the Pope’s authority as the head of the Catholic Church. As a positive expression of Catholic character, a public Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity is part of our service.”

Following the Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity by the missionaries, Bishop Dewane gave the group a final blessing noting how the Lord sent His Apostles to proclaim the Gospel to all peoples. FOCUS is now sending forth new messengers of salvation and peace, marked with the sign of the cross.

Following the commissioning, Bishop Dewane blessed special crosses which were given to each FOCUS member identifying them as a missionary.

Father Lager concluded by noting that the missionaries are now in the hands of the Lord and urged them to “be zealous, be bold, be Jesus to others.”

Bishop Dewane concluded the Mass by thanking the missionaries for their “generous yes. You are a beautiful sight. You are in my prayers as you go forward remembering to continue to hear that voice of Christ in your life.”

FOCUS is a Catholic apostolate whose mission is to share the hope and joy of the Gospel. FOCUS missionaries encounter people in friendship, inviting them into a personal relationship with Christ and accompanying them as they pursue lives of virtue and excellence. Through Bible studies, outreach events, mission trips and discipleship, missionaries inspire and build up others in the faith, sending them out to live out lifelong Catholic mission wherever they are. Each year some 800 FOCUS missionaries serve on more than 150 campuses across the U.S. and Europe, as well as seven parishes for good measure.

News Briefs for the Week of April 2, 2021

Palm Sunday opens Holy Week

The opening of Mass on the Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, begins with the Procession with Palms and a reading of the Gospel of Mark (11:1-10), describing the scene of the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem days before He was put to death and resurrected . This opening is followed by the blessing of the palms and marks the start of Holy Week with the Easter Triduum beginning at sunset on Holy Thursday and continuing until the Great Easter Vigil.

Easter Sunday Televised Mass

The Diocese of Venice in Florida will air the televised Easter Sunday Mass, for a full hour. The Mass can be viewed at 9 a.m. on the CW Network in Sarasota, Manatee, Desoto, Charlotte, Hardee and Highland counties, and at 10:30 a.m. on FOX4 in Charlotte, Lee, Collier, Hendry, Glades and Desoto counties. The Mass is also available on the Diocese of Venice website at

Livestream moves from Catholic Center to Epiphany Cathedral Parish

After more than a year of livestreaming the Mass from the Catholic Center, beginning April 1, 2021 the livestream of the daily and weekend Masses will be broadcast at 8 a.m. from Epiphany Cathedral Parish. You will still be able to find the Masses on the Diocese of Venice Facebook page found or at

Bishop celebrates Mass for students in Fort Myers

Bishop Frank J. Dewane finished his round of celebrating Mass for students in Diocese of Venice Catholic schools with the latest stops on March 25, 2021, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, at Bishop Verot Catholic High School and St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Fort Myers.

During these Masses, Bishop Dewane stressed how the Lenten Season is a time for prayer, fasting, and almsgiving as we prepare to celebrate the Paschal Mystery of our Faith. He also fielded questions from the eighth graders at St. Francis Xavier.

Divine Mercy Sunday Prayer Service

On Sunday, April 11, all are invited to join Bishop Frank J. Dewane in a Prayer Service for Forgiveness and Healing from pregnancy loss from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Epiphany Cathedral, 350 Tampa Avenue West, Venice. The Prayer Service will also be livestreamed at Contact Sylvia at 941-412-5860 or for any questions.

Bishop celebrates Mass for students at Ave Maria University

Bishop Frank J. Dewane celebrated Mass on the Vigil of Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, March 27, 2021, for the students and faculty of Ave Maria University. Following Mass was a community celebration of the Feast Day of the University, the Annunciation of Our Lord, moved from March 25 to the weekend to allow everyone to participate. The outdoor festivities included a barbeque dinner as well as musical entertainment.

Mass for Victims of Child Abuse April 16

April is Child Abuse Awareness Prevention Month, and in conjunction with the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the Diocese of Venice will hold a Mass for Victims of Child Abuse for the 14th consecutive year. Bishop Frank J. Dewane is the Celebrant of the Mass at 8 a.m. on April 16, 2021 at Epiphany Cathedral, 350 Tampa Ave. W., Venice. The Mass will be livestreamed through, and all are welcome to attend as we come together to pray for the victims of abuse.

Evangelizing Catechesis: Survey of the new Directory for Catechesis

The Diocese Institute for Catholic Studies and Formation is offering an online course surveying the new how-to guide, the Directory for Catechesis, published by the Vatican in 2020. This new edition of the Directory emphasizes how to incorporate evangelization throughout the entire process of catechesis. This course is for Directors and Coordinators of Religious Education, catechists, schoolteachers, adult faith formators, RCIA teams, parents — anyone who teaches the Faith. Co-teachers of the course are Dr. John Gresham, Director of the Institute for Catholic Studies and Formation, Anne Chrzan, Director of Religious Education for the Diocese of Venice, and Joshua Mazrin, Director of Evangelization for the Diocese of Venice. The six-week course starts April 19, 2021. There is a $25 fee to take the course. Visit the Institute website for more information and to register at or contact the director for more information:

Parent Cyber Security Presentation

The Offices of Family Life and Religious Education are hosting a free parent event “Protecting God’s Children Online in a Hyper Digital Age.” Cyber security expert Liz Repking will cover keeping kids safe from cyber bullying, online predators, sexting, online gaming, and how to help children create an escape plan when trouble arises. There are two opportunities to attend: April 14, 2021 at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, 1301 Center Road, Venice, and April 15 at St. Francis Xavier Parish, 2057 Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers. Both presentations are from 6:30-8 p.m. Registration by April 10 is required for planning purposes at



Bishop celebrates outdoor Mass at university

The Ave Maria University 2020-2021 Academic Year opened with a Mass celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Dewane on Aug. 24, 2020.

Mass was celebrated outdoors on the Academic Mall in front of the Thomas & Shelby Prince Building, home of the St. Mother Teresa Museum, on the Feast of St. Bartholomew, an original Apostle who was brought to Jesus by the Apostle St. Philip.

As students and faculty spread out in the grass on the sunny and breezy evening, Bishop Dewane offered practical advice to the students on how they can follow a path which will allow them to grow closer to the Lord.

The advice from the Bishop included following the 10 Commandments, attend Mass, prayer to the Lord, and to engage in the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. Combined, if they were to do these few things in their lives will help them to become more the man or woman of God they are called to be.

For example, “It isn’t about picking and choosing the Commandments you wish and dismissing the others; it is a guidepost on how to live your life,” Bishop Dewane continued. “You are also called to go to Mass because you are children of God. You need to be there.”

The Bishop suggested that they students could increase their prayer time when walking to class or when they are alone and calling upon the Holy Spirit to guide them. Finally, completing the Corporal Works of Mercy are done to serve others in a direct response to the call of Jesus, while the Spiritual Works will help sustain their Faith life.

Citing the daily reading from the Gospel of John 1:45-51, when St. Philip invited St. Bartholomew to meet Jesus, Bishop Dewane told the students that St. Bartholomew is an example of how one must respond to the Lord. “He recognized the Lord, proclaiming ‘you are the Son of God and King of Israel.’ Open your heart to the Lord. Recognize the Son of God.”

The students must also follow the example of St. Philip by inviting their friends to meet the Lord by attending Mass. “We are all called to be evangelists. We do this by the example in how we live your lives in celebration of Our Savior.”

At the conclusion of Mass, new Ave Maria University President Christopher P. Ice took an Oath of Fidelity and gave a Profession of Faith before Bishop Dewane and the entire school community.

Ice thanked Bishop Dewane afterwards for supporting the university and ensuring that the Sacraments would be made available during the fall semester.

“Thank you,” Ice concluded. “Your leadership and support is inspiring.”

Ave Maria University announces new President

Staff Report

Christopher P. Ice has been elected as the third president of Ave Maria University by the Board of Trustees in an announcement made Nov. 8. Ice will begin his presidency on January 1, 2020.

Ice comes to the University with a deep passion for Catholic, liberal arts education, many years of experience as an executive in the corporate and private sectors as well as Catholic non-profit organizations, with an impressive background of fundraising in Catholic higher education at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He currently serves as chief executive officer of Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph (Missouri), a position he has held since 2017. Ice and his wife, Mary, are parents of seven children ages 10 to 29, and grandparents of one.

“Ave Maria University is fortunate to have a leader of Chris Ice’s caliber who is wholeheartedly committed to our Catholic mission,” said Patrick Rainey, Chairman of the Board. “We are fully confident he will build on the fine foundation that our founder, Tom Monaghan, and President Jim Towey have put in place, and take the University to new heights.”

Towey is in his ninth year as president of Ave Maria University. Upon his announcement to step down in 2020, the University conducted a national search for his successor, attracting dozens of highly qualified applicants. After a search committee of the Board interviewed the finest of these individuals, the Board met on Nov. 7 to elect Ice.

“It is an honor to be chosen to lead this great Catholic university,” Ice said. “I look forward to immersing myself in campus life and within the town of Ave Maria.”

Bishop Frank J. Dewane, who is a non-voting member of the Board, praised the Board’s choice of Ice, noting that the new President brings the right qualities necessary to lead Ave Maria University into the future.

The Bishop also praised Towey for his tenure as president which helped the institution become recognized as a Catholic University and his development of course selection and the establishment of the Mother Teresa Program and Museum.

Ave Maria University was founded in 2003 on a temporary campus in Naples and moved to its permanent campus in the fall of 2007. Enrollment has nearly tripled since that time, with the current undergraduate population numbering 1,082 students, as have the number of majors offered to students, which now stands at 32 and includes nursing, biochemistry, biology, theology, business administration and education.

Ice’s formal inauguration as president will take place later this academic year on a date to be determined.

News from Around the Diocese early May

Sarasota school expands offering

Incarnation Catholic School, 2911 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota, will be expanding their early learning classes to include a PreK-3 program. The program will offer a monthly theme-based curriculum that will include math, science, language and basics of our Catholic faith. Our little learners will discover answers to big questions like “How do Plants Grow?” and “ Who lives in the Ocean?”. Small class sizes will allow for individual attention and differentiate instruction. Playground time will provide an opportunity to work on gross motor skills.  The program will offer full and part time options, perfect for every family. Children must be potty trained and three years old by Sept. 1. For more information please call 941-924-8588.

Naples club meets for final time, honor former advisor

The St. John Neumann Catholic High School Y.A.C.H.T. Club (“Youth and Christ Helping Together”) held their final Fun Night April 28 at Naples Beach. Students attended Mass at St. Ann Parish before enjoying a beautiful sunset in memory of Shelley Raley, with Sister Katie Flanagan, FMA, and teacher Laura Roszkowski. Ralley, who passed away in 2018 was the group moderator and each of the club members had sunflowers in her honor. The YACHT Club is an instrumental component of the Campus Ministry Program. The mission of the club is to invite all students to the fullness of Christ’s love through service to others. Students plan and implement retreats, prayers services, liturgies and other events/services. They also take “cruises” to perform service in the community.

Neumann Track relay places 2nd at States

The St. John Neumann Catholic High School 4×100 Relay Team from Naples took the silver medal in Class 1A at the State Championships May 4 in Jacksonville.

The St. John Neumann Catholic High School boys track 4×100 relay team was the FHSAA 1A State Runnerup May 4 during the Track and Field Championships at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. The Naples relay team placed second with a school record-breaking time of 42.23. The runners were Daniel DeSantis, Justin Mathieu, JP Raiger and Alex Myrin. No long after, Mathieu later placed second in the 1A Long Jump finals. Way to Go Celtics!


Camp Mercy in Sarasota

St. Patrick Parish, 7900 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota, will be hosting Camp Mercy 2019 for the third year in a row from June 24-28, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.. This service-oriented summer camp is for children ages kindergarten to fifth grade. The cost is $75 for the week and includes a camp t-shirt. Registration is required by June 1. For more information, please call 941-378-1703 ext. 300.

Catholic Center May Crowning

On May 2, the staff of the Diocese of Venice Catholic Center gathered for a May Crowning ceremony led by Bishop Frank J. Dewane. The ceremony included a few songs and a Litany to Our Lady. In the Catholic tradition, May is devoted to Our Lady and many Diocesan parishes and a retreat center are dedicated to Mary.

Teacher, students earn Excellence in Education awards

On April 29, the Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Education Awards ceremony took place at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre in Fort Myers. The chamber recognized educators and students in 30 Cape Coral elementary, middle and high schools. St. Andrew Catholic School Art teacher, Diana Villadolid, and eighth grader, Jackalyn Flynn, were honored for excellence as educator and student. Villadolid has taught Art at St. Andrew for 15 years.  She facilitates the students’ participation in community art events such as those sponsored by the Alliance of the Arts and the Edison Ford Estate.  She also serves as the school’s Marketing Director. Jackalyn Flynn will be graduating from St. Andrew Catholic School in May and has won awards for tennis (Cape Coral Parks and Recreation-First Place), soccer (SACS First Place team), art (Alliance of the Arts), and a three-time Sunshine State Luncheon attendee for achieving top levels in reading. She plans to attend Bishop Verot High School. She would enjoy becoming a writer or story editor someday.

Donation to Catholic Charities

The Venice Yacht Club Foundation recently presented a check for $5,000 to support the Family Haven of Catholic Charities which helps families in South Sarasota County transition from being homeless to finding more permanent housing.


Ave Maria University graduation

Bishop Frank J. Dewane celebrated the Baccalaureate Mass for the Ave Maria University graduating class on May 3 in Ave Maria. The Bishop encourages the graduates to carry Christ with them always beyond college and into the next phase in their lives. Having the Lord by their side will give them the strength to overcome any obstacle they may face in the future.

VBS in Fort Myers June 24-28

St. Francis Xavier Parish in Fort Myers is hosting the “ROAR! Totally Catholic Vacation Bible School from June 24-28. It is a week of fun, games, snacks, crafts, and learning more about our faith!  The cost is $30 per child, or $70 per family.  Registration forms are found at Please all 239-246-2635 for more details. Register early as space is limited and VBS usually fills up!