2024 BISHOP’S EASTER MESSAGE

2024 Easter Message of Bishop Frank J. Dewane in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole.

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Easter is the “feast of feasts,” the “solemnity of solemnities.” It is the Most Holy Day of the Liturgical Year! Today, the Greatest of All Sundays, we proclaim, “Christ the Lord is risen, Alleluia! Alleluia!”

The Paschal Mystery is the very essence of our Catholic Faith. Through Christ’s Suffering Death and Resurrection, He paved the way for our Salvation.

This Easter, as we find ourselves in the midst of a National Eucharistic Revival, let us more fully recognize and embrace Christ’s precious gift of Himself, present in the Holy Eucharist, in our lives.

Take comfort knowing that this gift is available to us not only today, but every day, at each and every Mass, through Christ’s great love for us.

I wish you, and your family, a very Blessed and Joyous Easter Sunday.

Happy Easter!  Let us rejoice and be glad!

+ Frank J. Dewane

Bishop of the Diocese of

Venice in Florida

MENSAJE DE PASCUA 2024

Mis queridos Hermanos y Hermanas en Cristo:

La Pascua es la “fiesta de fiestas”, la “solemnidad de las solemnidades”. ¡Es el día más santo del año litúrgico! Hoy, el más grande de todos los domingos, proclamamos: “¡Cristo el Señor ha resucitado, Aleluya! ¡Aleluya!”

El Misterio Pascual es la esencia misma de nuestra Fe Católica. A través del sufrimiento, muerte y resurrección de Cristo, Él allanó el camino para nuestra salvación.

En esta Pascua, mientras nos encontramos en medio de un Avivamiento Eucarístico Nacional, reconozcamos y abracemos más plenamente el precioso don de Cristo de sí mismo, presente en la Sagrada Eucaristía, en nuestras vidas.

Consuélese sabiendo que este don está disponible para nosotros no solo hoy, sino todos los días, en todas y cada una de las Misas, a través del gran amor de Cristo por nosotros.

Le deseo a usted, y a su familia, un Domingo de Pascua muy bendecido y alegre.

¡Felices Pascuas!  ¡Regocijémonos y alegrémonos!

+ Frank J. Dewane

Obispo de la Diócesis de

Venice en Florida

MESAJ Pak 2024

Chè frè m ak sè m yo nan Kris la,

Pak se “fèt tout fèt yo,” “solanite tout solanite yo”.” Li se jou ki pi Sen nan tout ane litigik la! Jodi a, pi gran nan tout dimanch, nou pwoklame : “Kris Granmèt-la leve byen vivan, Alleluia! Alleluia!”

Mistè Paschal la se fondman lafwa Katolik nou an. Atravè soufrans Kris la ak Rezirèksyon Kris la, Li te pave wout la pou Delivrans nou.

Pak sa a, pandan nou twouve nou nan mitan yon Renouvo Ekaristik Nasyonal, se pou nou rekonèt e anbrase plis toujou ,kado presye Kris la nan bay tèt li, prezan nan lekaristi e nan lavi nou.

Se pou-n rekonfòte nou lè nou konnen ke kado sa a disponib pou nou ,non sèlman jodi a, men chak jou, nan tout e chak Mass, atravè gwo lanmou Kris la pou nou.

Mwen swete nou, ak fanmi nou, yon gwo benediksyon ak yon Dimanch Pak kèb kontan.

Jwayez Pak!  Annou rejwi e annou fè kè-n kontan!

+ Frank J. Dewane

Monseigneur Evèque du Diocèse de

Venice, Florida

World Mission Sunday Nov. 22

World Mission Sunday, the annual worldwide Eucharistic celebration for the Missions and missionaries of the world, will be celebrated on Oct. 22, 2023.

“This annual celebration joins Catholics worldwide into one community of Faith, inviting us to recommit ourselves to the Church’s missionary call through prayer, participation in the Sunday Eucharist, and sacrifice,” Bishop Frank J. Dewane wrote in a letter to the faithful.

Throughout the year, the Pontifical Mission Societies support the work of mission priests, religious Sisters and Brothers, and lay pastoral leaders. “These missionaries not only provide food, housing, education, and medical care to the most impoverished communities throughout the world, they offer hope and compassion,” Bishop Dewane wrote.

In the Diocese of Venice, the World Mission Sunday Collection will take place on the weekend of Oct. 21 and 22. World Mission Sunday offers each one of us an opportunity to support the life-giving presence of the Church among the poor and marginalized.

Instituted in 1926 by Pope Pius XI, the day is celebrated in all the local Churches as the feast of Catholicity and universal solidarity so Christians the world over will recognize their common responsibility with regard to the evangelization of the world.

The theme for 2023 is “Hearts on fire, feet on the move,” based on the story of the disciples who encounter Jesus on their way to Emmaus (cf. Lk 24:13-35).

Reflecting on the theme, Pope Francis, in his Message for World Mission Sunday 2023, invites us to set out “to make other hearts burn with the word of God, to open the eyes of others to Jesus in the Eucharist.”

The Pontifical Mission Societies notes that this collection is a unique, global effort for the entire Church to provide for the building up of more than one thousand local churches in Asia and Africa, the Pacific Islands, and parts of Latin America and Europe. Through the work of these churches, and their witness to Christ, the poor receive practical help and experience God’s love and mercy, His hope and peace.

A Father’s Day Tribute from Bishop Dewane

Father’s Day is celebrated in the United States on June 18, 2023. Below, a message from Bishop Frank J. Dewane, is offered below in English and Spanish:

Let us honor all fathers, living or deceased, on this day. Happy Father’s Day!

The divine Fatherhood of God is the source of human fatherhood; this is the foundation of the honor owed to fathers, today and every day. May the Fatherhood of God, our Heavenly Father, inspire all fathers to great love. Remember that it is out of God’s love for us that he gave of His only Son, Jesus Christ, for our salvation. Let God, our Heavenly Father, be the role model, and source of inspiration, for all fathers.

Inspiration can be found, too, in the example of Saint Joseph, patron saint of fathers, workers and the Universal Church. Saint Joseph’s obedience to God, his courage, and the love and care shown to Mary and Jesus make him a model of earthly fatherhood. As a father, Saint Joseph guided and accompanied Jesus so he could grow in wisdom and grace. This is what all fathers must do – teach your children to grow in God’s grace and to become wise in the ways of our Lord.

Best wishes for a blessed and happy Father’s Day.

Honremos a todos los padres, vivos o fallecidos, en este día. ¡Feliz Día del Padre!

La Paternidad divina de Dios es la fuente de la paternidad humana; Este es el fundamento del honor que se debe a los padres, hoy y todos los días. Que la Paternidad de Dios, nuestro Padre Celestial, inspirar a todos los padres a un gran amor. Recuerde que es por el amor de Dios por nosotros que dio de Su único Hijo, Jesucristo, para nuestra salvación. Que Dios, nuestro Padre Celestial, sea el modelo para seguir y la fuente de inspiración para todos los padres.

La inspiración se puede encontrar también en el ejemplo de San José, santo patrono de los padres, de los trabajadores y de la Iglesia universal. La obediencia de San José a Dios, su coraje y el amor y cuidado mostrado a María y Jesús lo convierten en un modelo de paternidad terrena. Como padre, San José guio y acompañó a Jesús para que pudiera crecer en sabiduría y gracia. Esto es lo que todos los padres deben hacer- enseñar a sus hijos a crecer en la gracia de Dios y a ser sabios en los caminos de nuestro Señor.

Mis mejores deseos para un bendito y feliz Día del Padre.

Message from Bishop Dewane on Feast of St. Mark, the Evangelist 2023

Tuesday, April 25, 2023, is the Feast of St. Mark, the Evangelist, Patron Saint of the Diocese of Venice in Florida!

St. Mark was chosen as a Patron Saint of the Diocese because of the connection between Venice, Florida, and Venice, Italy, where St. Mark is also the Patron Saint of the city. The magnificent St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice is dedicated to him and is the home of his relics.

St. Mark the Evangelist was one of the 70 Disciples sent out by Christ (Luke 10:1), and one of only four Evangelists (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). The four Evangelists are depicted beautifully on the walls of the Diocese’s Epiphany Cathedral in wood relief: St. Mark’s depiction carries a relic of St. Mark inside it, a gift of St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice to the Cathedral!

It is known that St. Mark authored the Second Gospel and was a disciple of St. Peter. We read in the Opening Prayer of the Mass that God “gave St. Mark the privilege of proclaiming your gospel,” and traditionally St. Mark is considered to be the interpreter and mouthpiece of St. Peter. St. Mark was likely baptized by St. Peter, as St. Peter refers to St. Mark as “my son” (1 Peter 5:13).

Following His Resurrection, Jesus appeared at the home of St. Mark where the disciples were gathered (John 20), and the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples at Pentecost in the same house. Many depictions of St. Mark show him as a man with a book or scroll, accompanied by a winged lion. The lion is often associated with Jesus’ Resurrection, because lions were believed to sleep with open eyes, thus a comparison to Christ in his tomb.

The Gospel of St. Mark was written not only to give historical documentation concerning the life of Christ, but also to urge the followers of Christ to be so committed to Him that they would be willing to lay down their life for the sake of the good news (Mark 8:35-38).

St. Mark, through the grace of God our Father, became a great Evangelist, preaching the good news of Christ. May St. Mark continue to help us to know Him well so that we may faithfully live our lives as followers of Christ, our Lord.

Lent, a New Beginning

Pope Francis has described Lent as a new beginning, a path leading to the certain goal of Easter, Christ’s victory over death.

The message from the Holy Father is clear; we must take time out of our busy schedules to renew our encounter with Christ, living in His Word, in the Sacraments and in our neighbors. During this season we are invited to hear and ponder more deeply the Word of God, which is the foundation for the Faith.

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, and ends with the celebration of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, April 6. The Lenten Season is a time for fasting, praying and almsgiving – the three pillars of Lent – as we prepare to celebrate the Paschal Mystery.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane said it is important to remember that throughout the Lenten Season, the faithful must break out of indifference and enter into the unwavering love and mercy of God and become more energized about their Faith.

Fasting

“Fasting and abstinence is not only about food, or the lack of it, it is also about sacrifice for the benefit of our spiritual lives. Sacrifice and self-denial should not be viewed as something to lament, but instead should be viewed as an opportunity to remove anything that distracts us from Jesus Christ,” Bishop Dewane said

For early Christians, fasting was an important and meaningful Lenten practice in commemoration of Christ’s Passion and Death. During these earlier days of the Church, the observance of fasting was very strict with one meal was allowed per day.

The current Lenten discipline, set forth by the Roman Catholic Church, consists of both fasting and abstinence on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday as well as abstaining from meat each Friday of Lent.

“These small sacrifices should just be the beginning of one’s Lenten journey as we are all called to grow closer to Christ. Fasting is not solely about food, and abstinence is not about meat; rather, both are about spiritual conversion and renewal,” Bishop Dewane said.

Prayer

The second Lenten discipline is prayer. All Catholics are called to a prayer life that is both diverse and rich. A diverse prayer life includes personal and communal prayer, in which the faithful grow closer to Christ Himself – as well as to the Church Christ founded.

“During Lent our prayer life should not only grow but should focus upon the areas of life in which we might have fallen short of God’s expectation – in other words, where we have sinned. Prayer is an indispensable component of the Catholic Faith. Therefore, by growing and maturing in that Faith, prayer becomes much more – it becomes an act of worship,” the Bishop said.

It must be understood that as life progresses and one receives more of the Sacraments, prayer is recognized as a critical act of public worship in the Church, especially the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

“Prayer is an ongoing conversation with God, expressed through both words and actions. Thus, it can be easily understood that to grow in deeper communion with God, one must pray daily and this does not have to be in a Church.”

The five basic forms of prayer are blessing, petition, intercession, thanksgiving and praise. When someone prays in any one of these forms, they are expressing a different emotion, need, concern or appreciation. No two prayers are the same, just as no two conversations are the same.

“In prayer, all grow in the love of God and greater appreciation of who God is and what God does. In a world so full of uncertainty and loneliness, great comfort should be taken in knowing that by praying, God will offer His blessings and grace. By offering blessings back to God in prayer, the blessing is returned to Him. What a beautiful exchange of love that becomes!”

Almsgiving

The third and final discipline traditional pillars of the Lenten observance is almsgiving. Often misunderstood, as with fasting and abstinence, almsgiving is an act of self-denial and is an expression of charity and assistance extended to the needy.

“By almsgiving during Lent, one not only expresses care for those in need, but also expresses a sign of gratitude for all God has provided in one’s life. These acts of charity are connected to the responsibilities of living the Faith that begins with Baptism and is reignited in the Sacrament of Confirmation. Each of us bear responsibility in helping our brothers and sisters in Christ, but it takes prayer and reflection to understand how God is calling individuals to give of themselves.”

The Catechism defines almsgiving as, “Money or goods given to the poor as an act of penance or fraternal charity… Almsgiving, together with prayer and fasting, are traditionally recommended to foster the state of interior penance.”

This definition gives clarity as to how we are guided into the deep theological journey of Lent, and how these observances help to lift human beings out of their sinfulness toward a closer, more holistic relationship with the Lord. In a sense, almsgiving is a type of prayer. Because almsgiving requires sacrifice, it is also a sort of fasting from the material world.

“By uniting fasting, prayer and almsgiving, one seeks to become a better person, more than he or she has ever been before,” Bishop Dewane said.

In addition to these observances, the Lenten Season is an ideal opportunity to confess grave sins. To facilitate this requirement, all Parishes in the Diocese of Venice will be open with a confessor present so that the faithful will find ample opportunity to receive God’s Mercy in the Sacrament of Confession from 4-8 p.m., Friday, March 31, and 9 a.m.-noon, Saturday, April 1. Please check with your local Parish for additional reconciliation times.

Bishop Dewane reiterated the need to understand the way in which these Lenten observances can work in concert with one another. “Each is indispensable in its own way and offers the faithful an opportunity to grow in greater love and appreciation of God. The Lord calls each person to total commitment. By practicing these observances together, even when the Lenten Season ends, they become more than the sum of their parts. They become part of a faith that flourishes and a heart that is increasingly dedicated to the Lord.”

2022 Christmas Message from Bishop Dewane

Here is the 2022 Christmas Message from Bishop Frank J. Dewane offered below in English, Spanish and Creole.

Merry Christmas!!

In this joyful Christmas Season, we celebrate the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ into the world and into our lives.  Out of love for us, God, Our Father, sent to us his only Son, in the flesh, born in humble surroundings.

With his coming, Jesus brought each one of us redemption and the offer of salvation. This wonderful gift gives us joy, confident hope, and abiding peace in a world that needs healing.

Let us celebrate this gift in the true spirit of Christmas. Christ is the light that leads us out of the darkness.  Take the time to let the light of Christ shine in your life and the lives of those around you.

May the grace and peace of Our Savior remain with you and your family, today and always.

Have a Very Blessed and Merry Christmas!

+Frank J. Dewane

Bishop of the Diocese of

Venice in Florida

 

¡¡Feliz Navidad!!

En este alegre Tiempo de Navidad, celebramos el nacimiento de Nuestro Señor Jesucristo en el mundo y en nuestras vidas. Por amor a nosotros, Dios, Nuestro Padre, nos envió a su Hijo único, en la carne, nacido en un ambiente humilde.

Con su venida, Jesús trajo a cada uno de nosotros la redención y la posibilidad de la salvación. Este maravilloso regalo nos da gozo, esperanza confiada y paz duradera en un mundo que necesita sanación.

Celebremos este regalo con el verdadero espíritu de la Navidad, permitiendo que Cristo llene nuestros corazones mientras compartimos su amor, alegría y paz entre nosotros y con todo el mundo.

Que la gracia y la paz de Nuestro Salvador permanezca con usted y su familia, hoy y siempre.

¡Que tengan una muy Bendecida y Feliz Navidad!

+ Frank J. Dewane

Obispo de la Diócesis de

Venice en Florida

 

Jwaye Noel,

Nan sezon Nwèl la ak kè kontan sa a, nou selebre nesans Jezikri, Seyè nou an, nan mond lan ak nan lavi nou. Nan lanmou pou nou, Bondye, Papa nou, te voye sèl Pitit li a ban nou, nan kò a, ki fèt nan yon anviwonman enb.

Avèk vini-l nan, Jezi te pote redanmsyon ak sali  pou nou chak. Gwo bèl kado sa-a ba nou lajwa, lespwa konfyans, ak lapè nan yon monnd ki bezwen gerizon.

Se pou nou selebre kado sa a nan vrè lespri Nwèl la,se pou kite Kris la ranpli kè nou pandan n ap pataje lanmou li, lajwa, ak lapè youn ak lòt ak lemonn antye.

Se pou favè ak lapè Sovè nou an rete avèk ou menm, ak fanmi ou, jodi a e toujou.

Pase yon Jwaye Nwèl ak anpil benediksyon !

+ Frank J. Dewane

Monseigneur Evèque du Diocèse de

Venice, Florida

Ian Relief second collection Oct. 22-23, 2022

As a result of Hurricane Ian’s destructive path, lives have been tragically lost and many properties, homes, and businesses have been severely damaged or destroyed. The suffering and widespread damage in the storm’s wake are staggering. No part of the Diocese has been untouched by the storm’s destruction.

“Several Parishes have lost church buildings, and others have had facilities severely damaged by the storm,” Bishop Frank J. Dewane said in a letter to the faithful. “Many people throughout the region have endured significant damage and loss, still others have come together to provide help in the face of significant suffering. Many Parishes in the worst impacted areas have been the center of immediate response. Catholic Charities, as well as other agencies, have been working tirelessly to provide humanitarian assistance.”

To respond to these recent calamities, Parishes in the Diocese of Venice will take up a special collection the weekend of Oct. 22-23.

“This collection will help provide for the pastoral and reconstruction needs of the Church, as well as the efforts of Catholic Charities in providing both immediate and long-term assistance to those impacted,” Bishop Dewane wrote. “Thank you for your kindness and profound generosity towards all impacted by the hurricane. Your compassion towards those in need fulfills the Lord’s command to ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Hurricane Ian recovery

As the recovery from Hurricane Ian continues, Bishop Frank J. Dewane and the Diocese of Venice continue to facilitate helping those in need. Because of the scope of the devastation, with coastal communities destroyed, widespread wind damage and inland flooding, there is great need.

If you need help

Please visit www.catholiccharitiesdov.org. There you will find an updated list of disaster distribution points for supplies. This list is updated at the end of each day and will change often as the focus of the recovery shifts and the different needs are understood.

How to help

If you would like to support the Diocesan response to Hurricane Ian, please visit www.dioceseofvenice.org/hurricaneian, or send a check to Diocese of Venice in Florida, ATTN: Hurricane Ian Relief, 1000 Pinebrook Road, Venice, FL 34285.

Volunteering

If you are interested in volunteering, please visit www.catholiccharitiesdov.org to find a list of disaster distribution points where volunteers are needed for loading vehicles, sorting supplies and additional assistance.

Additional help

The Diocese will hold a special second collection for Hurricane Ian relief on the weekend of Oct. 22-23 in all Parishes. Also, please contact your local Parish to learn about collection drives for hurricane supplies.

The Diocese of Venice extends its thanks to everyone for their continued prayers and outpouring of support as the recovery from Hurricane Ian continues.

Bishop condemns hateful acts of anti-Semitism

Bishop Frank J. Dewane calls on Catholics to condemn and work to prevent hateful anti-Semitic acts in the wake of a recent spate of hateful flyers showing up at homes across the Diocese of Venice.

Incidents taking place throughout June 2022 in Venice, Punta Gorda, Naples and Fort Myers, where flyers were placed on the doors of homes containing anti-Semitic vitriol, come on the heels of similar incidents in Sarasota in early 2022.

As in the case of the Sarasota incident, and in all cases of public anti-Semitism, Bishop Dewane has been quick to condemn these acts, calling them disheartening and disturbing.

In a show of support with the Jewish people and in response to these latest incidents, letters to the editor from the Bishop have appeared in several local newspapers in the region calling on all to join him in condemning these hateful acts.

Bishop Dewane noted that Pope Francis spoke recently about “this ‘escalation of evil’ in the world and identified an antidote. ‘The antidote to this escalation of evil is remembrance of the past… of its wars … of countless other atrocities.’” In the words of Bishop Dewane, “Let us remember!”

In the letter, the Bishop Dewane wrote: “The Diocese of Venice has tremendous compassion and empathy for what has occurred in the history of the Jewish people and has always valued and indeed cherished its longstanding relationship with the Jewish Community. An emphasis has been placed on deepening our shared roots, the teaching of tolerance in our schools and Parishes, and fostering interreligious friendships.”

As the letter to the editor states: “Anti-Semitism is simply unacceptable. It must not be tolerated. Let us work together to prevent hate in all its forms, in our words, in our deeds, and in our prayers.”

Statement from Bishop Dewane regarding May 24, 2022 Texas school shooting

The following is a statement from Most Rev. Frank J. Dewane, Bishop of the Diocese of Venice in Florida, regarding the May 24, 2022, school shooting in Texas.

“Please join me and the entire Diocese of Venice in prayer as we mourn the loss of life in yesterday’s school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. This tragic loss of so many innocent children and their teachers is truly heartbreaking. Through the intercession of Our Lady of Mercy may God in his infinite mercy pour out his grace to strengthen those who grieve, to heal the wounded, and bring peace to all.

I want to reassure everyone that the safety of schools is our top priority. Each school has a safety plan and procedures that foster a safe learning environment for students and teachers. These plans are regularly reviewed by school leaders who implement best practices as we maintain safe and secure schools. Our schools work closely with local law enforcement to keep our students and teachers safe every day.

As we conclude this school year, we draw strength from our faith in God and entrust the people of Uvalde to His love and mercy. Let us be united in prayer that “the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:7)”

Lenten journey begins

Fasting, almsgiving, and prayer are the three traditional disciplines of Lent, but we are reminded to do these things privately because the Lord knows us and what we are doing.

Grand displays are not what the Lord wants, explained Father Robert Tatman, Parochial Vicar of St. Jude Parish in Sarasota. The clear example of this is represented in the ashes marked on one’s forehead to open Lent on Ash Wednesday, March 2, 2022.

“They don’t last very long, but it is not something we want to wear on the outside, just to be seen,” Father Tatman said. “We want it to cleanse and purify our inner heart.”

In addition to opening the Lenten Season, which concludes on Holy Thursday, April 14, on Ash Wednesday the faithful across the Diocese of Venice joined in fasting and prayer for peace in Ukraine as called for by Pope Francis.

As Bishop Frank J. Dewane noted in a letter to the faithful on March 1, “Our Catholic Faith calls each of us to care for those in need, and, at this time in particular, for those who are suffering in the wake of this terrible tragedy.”

In the letter, Bishop Dewane stated that donations made to the collection on Ash Wednesday will support charitable relief for the Ukraine and assist in providing humanitarian aid, as well as necessary recovery efforts.

For those not prepared for the collection, donations may be sent to the Diocese of Venice, with “Ukraine” indicated in the memo or note line at the following address: Diocese of Venice in Florida, Ukraine Relief, 1000 Pinebrook Road, Venice, FL 34285.

As the Lenten Season progresses, the precept of confessing grave sins and receiving Holy Communion at least once during the Lenten Season merits a reminder to all. To facilitate this requirement, every Parish in the Diocese of Venice will be open with a confessor present from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., on Friday, April 8, and from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, April 9. Check with your local Parish for additional confession times or the availability of a Penance Service. These opportunities are made available so that the faithful may find ample opportunity to receive God’s Mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation during the Lenten Season.

X