News Briefs for the Week of Oct. 1, 2021

Scout 10 Commandment Hike held

The Knights of Columbus of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Council 15821, led by Grand Knight Anthony Hopfinger, presented a dialogue with the Cub Scouts about the Ten Commandments held on Sept. 25, 2021, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center in Venice. The Cub Scouts hiked around the Lake of the Blessed Sacrament to 10 different points to discuss the Commandment with the Knights. Patches were blessed and distributed by Father Lawton Lang, Diocesan Scout Chaplain. A light lunch was provided by the staff at Our Lady of Mount Carmel. All were pleased with the weather, the program, and the presentations.

Religious Sister dies

Sister Maria del Carmen Peña, Salesian Sister of St. John Bosco, died unexpectedly Sept. 25, 2021 in Haledon, New Jersey at the age of 87 and a Salesian Sister for 65 years. Sister Carmen retired at the age of 86 after six years of service in the finance office of St. John Neumann Catholic High School in Naples. The high school posted a message of her passing on social media and stated: “She loved our school and we loved her even more.  She was small in stature, but captured a big piece of your heart once you met her. Her legacy will live on through all those who were blessed to know her.  May you rest in peace Sr. Carmen.  No doubt some of the first words she heard was, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!’” Born in 1934 in Saltillo, Mexico, Sister Carmen served in various roles of leadership for more than 40 years, including Provincial Treasurer and Provincial Vicar and much more. A Mass of Christian Burial was held Sept. 27, 2021, at the St. Joseph Provincial Center in Haledon, New Jersey.

Latest Catholic Charities vaccination clinic a success

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. continues to reach out to underserved portions of the community by hosting COVID-19 vaccination clinics throughout the Diocese. The latest clinic was hosted Sept. 25, 2021 at the Casa San Juan Bosco Farmworker Housing community in Arcadia. Representatives of the DeSoto County Department of Health and Florida Department of Health administered the vaccines with volunteers assisting and handing out gift bags of food and other essentials to all who came. Catholic Charities has hosted more than a dozen vaccination clinics throughout the region.

Interest in science blossoms in Chemistry Club

The after-school St. Catherine Catholic School Chemistry Club explored chemical changes in matter during various scientific experiments at their Sept. 27, 2021 meeting. Everyone in the club loves science.

Students donate care packages

Members of the Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School St. Vincent de Paul Society in Sarasota donated more than 100 care packages to the families and clients of Bethesda House of the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Venice, Inc. on Sept. 24, 2021.

Hispanic Heritage Month celebrated in school

Students at St. Ann Catholic School in Naples celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month by doing research on the different Spanish-speaking countries in the world. Students then created a presentation to share what they learned with the rest of the class on Sept. 21, 2021.

Students learn about Moses

The first grade students of Christine Macaluso at St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Fort Myers learned about the story of Moses in class the week of Sept. 20, 2021. They ended their week by creating colorful drawings of baby Moses in a basket.

Schools hold Boosterthon

St. Martha Catholic School and St. Mary Catholic Academy in Sarasota held a Boosterthon the week of Sept. 20-24, 2021. One of the highlights was a fun run and other games, topped off by ice cream at the end of the week. Money raised during the week will go toward various programs in the two schools.

Students celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day outside

Pre-K-3 and Pre-K-4 classes at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic School in Naples celebrated Johnny Appleseed Day with an outdoor class on Sept. 27, 2021. Students sat on blankets while they learned about a man who not only introduced apples to North America but promoted conservation.

Parish helps dreams come true for youth

Over the years the parishioners of St. Leo the Great Parish have forged a strong bond with Catholic Charities programs in Bonita Springs.

“We proudly host their presence on our campus in the Juan Diego Center and constantly witness and support the good works provided by their staff and volunteers, many of whom are our own parishioners,” said Anne Bellows, Assistant to the Pastor.  “We partner in providing donations from our St. Leo Food Bank, as well as annual holiday food and gift drives at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. We receive the most delight in this relationship when it impacts our area children.”

The Positive Youth Development Program is one such Catholic Charities resource which helps area children and operates after-school tutoring and summer camps, explained Jose A. Perez, Positive Youth Development Program Manager.

Each of the 40 children who participated in the Program’s Summer Enrichment Camp received scholarships from parishioners of St. Leo the Great Parish. During the summer the children received tutoring in math and reading, as well as enjoying enriching activities during their seven weeks on campus including a number of day trips.

“This year we wanted to do something special for the youth we have the privilege of working with,” Perez said. “The last two years have been hard on everyone, but especially on youth who will look back and remember the Pandemic as a significant life event, and it has not been a very positive one.”

Perez figured that perhaps the Program could do something that will leave a positive memory for these challenging times in all this sadness.

“After much thought, I decided to reach out to the most magical place on earth (Disney World) since the kids have always asked about visiting since none had ever been,” Perez said. “Looking back on my first time at Disney, I remember what a fantastic experience it was, but it was also expensive.”

With this goal in mind, Perez worked tirelessly to put the pieces together to make this marvelous adventure happen within budget and without a hitch. The effort included reaching out to Disney for discounted tickets and to a local company for economical transportation.

“St. Leo Parish has always been there for our Positive Youth Development Program,” Perez said. “They help us with whatever comes up. Once the time came for us to meet about scholarships, they asked if we’re doing anything different this year, and I said ‘Yes!’ I explained what we were trying to accomplish making a lasting memory for the students, and they were on board. So, we came up with what we wanted to call the trip: ‘Making Dreams That Last Forever.’”

St. Leo the Great Parish covered the cost of nearly everything, including additional funding for t-shirts and money for souvenirs, Bellows noted. “’Making Dreams That Last Forever’ became a joyful reality made possible through the generosity of our parishioners.”

The parents were as excited as the kids were when they learned about the trip, Perez explained. One mother said: “Thank you for giving our children an opportunity we could never give them.”

Therefore, on the July 31, 2021, the group, including 40 youth, nine high school-aged volunteers, and Catholic Charities staff went on a trip of lifetime.

Upon entering the Magic Kingdom, a girl named Arianna said to Perez: “Mr. Jose, look, it’s the Castle! It’s real!”

Camper Briana described her experience this way: “This was amazing. I had always dreamed of going to Disney. I am so glad I was able to come to summer camp. Thank you!”

Other campers had similar reactions: “It was such a magical feeling when we entered the park.” “This is so cool!” “Thank you for making my dream come true!”  “This was the most fun I have ever had!”

Perez said the trip was “beyond what I thought possible, the kids had a fantastic time. Getting to see their faces as we entered the park as they were greeted with the sight and sounds was priceless.”

To learn more about the Catholic Charities Positive Youth Development Program please contact Lose Perez at 239-390-2928 ext. 2302 or email Jose.Perez@catholiccharitiesdov.org. To support the Program, visit www.catholiccharitiesdov.org.

To learn about St. Leo the Great Parish in Bonita Springs, please visit www.stleocatholicchurch.org/ or call 239-992-0901.

From Afghanistan to Southwest Florida

Susan Laielli – Special to the Florida Catholic

(Images courtesy of Catholic News Service)

From the latest bomb attacks outside of the Kabul Airport in Afghanistan to the Taliban and ISIS-K takeover of the region there is at least one new family in Southwest Florida who is grateful to be alive, and thankful to Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. for their support.

Jamal, (not his real name) is a former Afghanistan resident who worked as a contractor for the U.S. Government helping to rebuild the country’s judicial system.  He arrived in the United States two years ago after qualifying for a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV). In June 2021, he was reunited with his wife and four children, after they escaped the southern Asian country just before the crisis started to worsen.

“I am so lucky to be alive because all of the contact information from Afghani residents who worked as contractors for the U.S. has been left behind and is now in the hands of the Taliban,” said Jamal, from his newly rented apartment. “They are sure to be killed if they are found.”

Since arriving in the United States Jamal has been assisted by Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc., after being referred from Gulf Coast Jewish Children’s Services, says Anna Solovyanchik, Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Case Manager.

“Catholic Charities initially helped with the family’s intake orientation, and I also met with them in their home to offer guidance on some of the cultural differences from country to country,” said Solovyanchik, who became involved when Jamal’s wife and children, ages seven, four, and two-year old twin boys, arrived in the United States in June.

Since then, Solovyanchik says a donor of Catholic Charities has also stepped in to help with food from a local food pantry and from his personal resources, to ensure the family has what they need as they navigate a new life in a country far away from his mother and other siblings who remain in danger. Jamal’s brother also worked for the U.S. Government but hasn’t been able to leave Afghanistan at this time, and Jamal has not had contact with him.

Jamal speaks English very well and is in the process of attending a university to obtain an advanced degree in construction management. Currently, he is working in a warehouse during the day and attends school in the evening. The couple’s seven-year-old son is already enrolled in school, which wasn’t easy for him at first due to language barriers, but his parents say it is getting better with each passing day.

During the Catholic Charities home visit, Solovyanchik assisted with paperwork for referral services for food and other necessary supplies.  She also discovered the family is sleeping on mattresses on the floor, but they are very, very happy to be in America.

“As they begin their new life, the family could use donations of a dinner table and chairs, bedroom sets for the children, and clothing for three boys and one girl,” said Solovyanchik, who was also deeply touched that the family insisted she have lunch with them, sharing the very little food they had to eat.

Philomena Pereira, CEO, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc., admits that while many Afghani families are going to larger regions with broader language support and deeper familial ties, Catholic Charities was asked to assist this family.

“Catholic Charities welcomes Jamal and his family as we help them transition and settle into their new home; it is a reminder to us of Pope Francis’ message that to welcome the stranger, is to welcome Christ,” said Pereira.

Jamal says he and his family are forever grateful for the support they are receiving, but he can’t help worrying about his brother whose fingerprints are in the various U.S. systems now in Taliban control.

“They will not stop until they (Taliban) track all these people down – it’s very sad,” said Jamal.

If you are interested assisting Jamal’s family or learning more about Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc., please call 941-488-5581 or visit https://catholiccharitiesdov.org/.

 

 

 

 

 

News Briefs for the Week of Aug. 20, 2021

Bishop celebrates Mass for Parish

Bishop Frank J. Dewane celebrated Mass for the faithful of St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish in Port Charlotte in what was to be a Parish Feast Day celebration on Aug. 15, 2021. While the Mass was on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, there was planned celebration after Mass to honor the Patron Saint of the Parish, St. Maximilian Kolbe, whose Feast Day is Aug. 14. Bishop Dewane noted the sacrifice of St. Maximilian Kolbe a Polish Franciscan friar who was active in the promotion and veneration of the Immaculate Virgin Mary and was martyred in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland when he volunteered to die in the place of a stranger. Bishop Dewane said the devotion of the Saint to his faith and to his fellow prisoners is well documented and should serve as an example for all to follow. The man saved by St. Maximilian Kolbe’s sacrifice survived the Holocaust and was present for the Saint’s beatification and canonization. While the after-Mass celebration was cancelled, present was Father Mark Heuberger, founding-Pastor of St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish and current Pastor of Ss. Peter and Paul the Apostles Parish in Bradenton. Current Pastor Father Teofilo Useche said the threat of Tropical Storm Fred and the ongoing Pandemic caused the celebration to be cancelled.

Naples Parish hosted State Knights for Conference

St. Agnes Parish in Naples hosted the 139th Supreme Convention virtually for the Florida State Council Delegation from Aug. 3-4, 2021. Father Bob Kantor, Pastor of St. Agnes, is the Knights State Chaplain, and participants watching the Supreme Convention as a group. While together, the State Exemplification Team conducted a ceremony Aug. 3, welcoming new Knights and elevating existing ones to the third degree, 12 in all. Father Kantor also celebrated Mass for the State delegation.

Fort Myers and Sarasota 40 Days for Life campaigns begin Sept. 22

The Fall 40 Days for Life campaign begins worldwide on Sept. 22, 2021 through Sunday, Oct. 31, including in Fort Myers and Sarasota. Prayerfully discern where God is calling you. Is it to peaceful sidewalk prayer? Fasting? Adoration? Please consider the many ways in which you can participate. For information about the Fort Myers 40 Days for Life visit www.40daysforlife.com/fortmyers for location and details or to sign up. Also consider joining the monthly respect life meetings on the third Wednesday of the month in the Parish Life Center at St. John XXIII Parish in Fort Myers following the 8 a.m. Mass (approximately 8:45 a.m.). All are welcome! Contact Maureen at 239-823-6800 with questions. For information about the Sarasota 40 Days for Life, go to www.40daysforlife.com/sarasota or contact Rich at 40DFLSarasota@gmail.com or 941-923-0752.

Congreso Pro Vida

Registrations are now open! The Archdiocese of Miami is hosting the 6th national Congreso Pro Vida at St. Thomas University the weekend of Oct. 29-31, 2021 (first time in Florida!) Archbishop Joseph Naumann, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities will join Archbishop Thomas Wenski for the event and will be a keynote speaker. See www.congresoprovida.org for details including registration, hotel, schedule, and speakers. Simultaneous interpretation in English or Spanish will be available via headsets. For questions, contact Sylvia Jimenez at c-Jimenez@DioceseofVenice.org or call 941-412-5860.

 Congreso Pro Vida

¡Ya están abiertas las inscripciones! La Arquidiócesis de Miami está organizando el 6° Congreso Pro Vida Nacional en la Universidad de St. Thomas el fin de semana del 29 al 31 de octubre de 2021 (¡primera vez en la Florida!). El arzobispo Joseph Naumann, presidente del Comité de Actividades Pro-Vida de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de EE. UU. se unirá al arzobispo Thomas Wenski en el evento y será el orador principal. Visite www.congresoprovida.org para obtener detalles, incluido el registro, el hotel, el horario y los oradores. Interpretación simultánea de las presentaciones en inglés o español estarán disponibles a través de auriculares. Si tiene preguntas, comuníquese con Sylvia Jimenez at o al 941-412-5860 o c-Jimenez@DioceseofVenice.org.

Summertime and the Giving is Easy Appeal

Every day, Catholic Charities Diocese of Venice serves the most vulnerable population by feeding, housing, empowering, and striving to help those in need. This summer, you can leave your footprint by helping your neighbors. The Catholic Charities Summertime and the Giving is Easy Appeal is asking for your support. Donate to your choice of assistance, such as food, shelter, education or other support. The giving is easy! Your gift will make a positive impact on our less fortunate brothers and sisters! Please visit www.catholiccharitiesdov.org or mail a check to Catholic Charities,1000 Pinebrook Road, Venice, FL 34285.

Labor Day Pig Roast

Join the Epiphany Cathedral Knights of Columbus for a Labor Day Pig roast, Sept. 6, 2021, at the Knights Hall, 512 Substation Road, Venice. Doors open at 3 p.m., dinner buffet starts at 4 p.m. Menu includes roasted pig, plantains, barbecue beans, potato salad, cole slaw, dessert, iced tea, lemonade, water. Cost is $20 per person. Beer and wine available. Credit cards accepted. Register at epiphanyknights.org or call Nancy Kraszewski at 281-814-9954.

CCW Vocation Fund fundraiser

Support and encourage our future priests by contributing to the Venice Diocesan Council of Catholic Women Vocation Fund by joining them in celebrating Priesthood Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021. Send a donation to the VDCCW Vocation Fund “In Honor of” the priest(s) in your Parish. Our Diocese is educating 16 MEN in various seminaries so your donation of any amount will be a great help! To take part, please send $1.00 for each card in addition to your donation. The extra $1.00 covers the cost of the “IN HONOR OF” card(s) and mailing them to you so you can deliver to your Priest(s). Your donation amount will not be revealed to the Priest(s). And please remember that this is a gift that keeps on giving!  Please send $1.00 plus your donation made out to “VDCCW Vocation Fund” to: Cornelia Zanetti, 5808 Gulf Drive, #204, Holmes Beach, FL 34217. Questions? Please email Corniez@aol.com.

Diocesan Marriage Conference Oct. 2

The Diocese of Venice in Florida and the St. John Paul II Foundation announce the “Together in Holiness Marriage Conference” that will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 2, 2021, at St. Agnes Parish, 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples and St. Thomas More Parish, 2506 Gulf Gate Drive, Sarasota. The speakers are Kevin and Lisa Cotter. For more details contact Carrie Harkey at harkey@dioceseofvenice.org.

Stepping into Marriage with Children

The Diocese Office of Family Life is offering a free half day workshop for couples beginning or currently in a stepfamily situation. This program takes a realistic look at blended families and offers strategies and tools for success.  The program is being offered 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Oct. 9, 2021, at St. Leo the Great Parish, 28290 Beaumont Road, Bonita Springs, and 9 a.m. to noon, Nov. 6, 2021, at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, 1301 Center Road, Venice. To register https://dioceseofvenice.regfox.com/stepping-into-marriage-with-children.

White Mass in Naples Oct. 16

A White Mass and lecture for physicians and medical professionals will be 8:30 a.m., Oct. 16, 2021, at St. Agnes Parish, 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples. A blessing of the stethoscope will also be held. Please wear your white coat. Following Mass, a lecture and breakfast will take place in the Parish Center. The lecture is entitled “Spiritual Leadership in a Secular Healthcare Setting” presented by speaker Paul Hiltz followed by a discussion with Dr. Gloth and other panelists. There is a $50 fee per person (reduced rates for physicians in training and non-physician health professionals). Register and pay online at www.stagnesnaples.org. For more information, please contact Maggie Brady 239-592-1949. (1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit)

 

 

News Briefs for the Week of Aug. 13, 2021

Parish collects shoes in Back-to-School Drive

The Faithful of Our Lady of Light Parish in Fort Myers took part in a Back-to-School Shoe Drive collecting more than 170 pairs of shows for local foster children the weekend of Aug. 5, 2021. The Shoe Drive was organized by the Office of Faith Formation. Well done!

Summertime and the Giving is Easy Appeal

Every day, Catholic Charities Diocese of Venice serves the most vulnerable population by feeding, housing, empowering, and striving to help those in need. This summer, you can leave your footprint by helping your neighbors. The Catholic Charities Summertime and the Giving is Easy Appeal is asking for your support. Donate to your choice of assistance, such as food, shelter, education or other support. The giving is easy! Your gift will make a positive impact on our less fortunate brothers and sisters! Please visit www.catholiccharitiesdov.org or mail a check to Catholic Charities,1000 Pinebrook Road, Venice, FL 34285.

Marriage prep for couples over 55

The Office of Family Life is offering a one-day marriage prep seminar for those couples over 55 years of age preparing for marriage or convalidation from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Aug. 28, 2021, at Our Lady of Lourdes. 1301 Center Road, Venice. A specially prepared volunteer team share their experiences and information with the intention of enabling couples to be more aware of the privileges and responsibilities of marriage. Pre-registration is required. Please register online at: https://dioceseofvenice.regfox.com/two-become-one.

Life in the Spirit Seminar coming to Fort Myers

Resurrection Parish, 8121 Cypress Lake Drive, Fort Myers, is hosting a Life in the Spirit Seminar, Monday mornings from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., beginning Aug. 23, 2021, through Nov. 11. To register call 239-482-7172 or email AdultFaith@resurrectionch.org. The cost of books is $7. Any questions, please call or text Janet at 708-525-4352 or email jalmen11@att.net.

New Catholic Institute Course Aug. 24

The Institute for Catholic Studies and Formation is offering a 16-week graduate level online course starting Aug. 24, 2021 that introduces students to the principles, practices, and sources of Catholic Theology. The course “What is Catholic Theology? (Ecclesial Nature and Mission of Theology)” counts as a pre-requisite for those beginning the online MA in Theology and Christian Ministry at Franciscan University of Steubenville. (Franciscan offers Diocese of Venice students discounted tuition for this online MA). This course is also available to those who wish to attend for their own personal enrichment. For cost and other information and to register for the course, visit the Institute website at https://institute-dov.org/ or call 941-766-7334.

Cathedral Concert series resumes Aug 29

The latest in the Epiphany Cathedral Concert Series, “A Night At The Opera” featuring Soprano: Robyn Rocklein, Tenor: Russell C. Andrade, and our Music Director: Andi Zdrava, will take place at 7 p.m., Aug. 29, 2021, Epiphany Cathedral Parish Hall, 375 Tampa Ave. W., Venice. Tickets are $25 per person and available at www.EpiphanyCathedral.org. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. For more information, please call 941-484-3505.

Invitation to all widows and widowers

Come join the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish faith-sharing group to grow together in holiness and the devout life. This 8-week series will be held on Wednesday mornings from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. beginning Sept. 1, 2021, at the Parish, 425 S. Tamiami Trail, Osprey. The topic will be: “Praying with the saints, our mentors in the faith.” All are welcome!  For information and to join this group, please contact Marianne Cano at 941-966-0807, ext. 314, or mcano@olmc-osprey.org

Labor Day Pig Roast

Join the Epiphany Cathedral Knights of Columbus for a Labor Day Pig roast, Sept. 6, 2021, at the Knights Hall, 512 Substation Road, Venice. Doors open at 3 p.m., dinner buffets starts at 4 p.m. Menu includes roasted pig, plantains, barbecue beans, potato salad, cole slaw, dessert, iced tea, lemonade, water. Cost is $20 per person. Beer and wine available. Credit cards accepted. Register at epiphanyknights.org or call Nancy Kraszewski at 281-814-9954.

Catholic Alpha Online

Alpha Online is a course where individuals meet virtually once a week via Zoom to discuss and share ideas about faith and God in an open, caring and non-judgmental way. The Diocese of Venice English Catholic Charismatic Renewal invites you to experience Catholic Alpha online from the comfort of your home, and to hear from notable Catholic speakers. These include newly appointed Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa O.F.M. Cap., longtime Preacher of the Papal Household; Dr. Mary Healy; Father John Ricardo; and Father Mike Schmitz. Each course is Monday from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. beginning Sept. 13 through Nov. 29, 2021.  For further information please contact Theresa Salvo at asolotogod@gmail.com or 804-387-8282.

CCW Vocation Fund fundraiser

Support and encourage our future priests by contributing to the Venice Diocesan Council of Catholic Women Vocation Fund by joining them in celebrating Priesthood Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021. Send a donation to the VDCCW Vocation Fund “In Honor of” the priest(s) in your Parish. Our Diocese is educating 16 MEN in various seminaries so your donation of any amount will be a great help! To take part, please send $1.00 for each card in addition to your donation. The extra $1.00 covers the cost of the “IN HONOR OF” card(s) and mailing them to you so you can deliver to your Priest(s). Your donation amount will not be revealed to the Priest(s). And please remember that this is a gift that keeps on giving!  Please send $1.00 plus your donation made out to “VDCCW Vocation Fund” to: Cornelia Zanetti, 5808 Gulf Drive, #204, Holmes Beach, FL 34217. Questions? Please email Corniez@aol.com.

Magnificat breakfast for women Oct. 2

Be Blessed and Encouraged at the next Magnificat breakfast for women, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Oct. 2, 2021, at the Holiday Inn Airport, Gulf Coast Town Center, Fort Myers. The guest speaker is Peg Mengle, a member of St. Cecilia Parish in Fort Myers. Seating is limited. No walk-ins or payment at the door! Advanced registration only. Please send a $23 check, payable to Magnificat Fort Myers, to Margaret Mengle, 5017 Westminster Dr., Fort Myers, FL. 33919. Your mail request must be postmarked by Sept. 22. You can also make a reservation at https://magnificatfortmyers.com/order-tickets/. For more information, please call 239-826-7475.

Diocesan Marriage Conference Oct. 2

The Diocese of Venice in Florida and the St. John Paul II Foundation announce the “Together in Holiness Marriage Conference” that will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 2, 2021, at St. Agnes Parish, 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples and St. Thomas More Parish, 2506 Gulf Gate Drive, Sarasota. The speakers are Kevin and Lisa Cotter. For more details contact Carrie Harkey at harkey@dioceseofvenice.org.

Virtual Laps for Life in October

The Knights of Columbus Virtual Laps for Life will be from Oct. 2 to 9, 2021. Show your support for the cause by being a part of this virtual event. Your contributions help fund the life changing services provided to expectant mothers at no cost to them at My Choice Pregnancy Center in Sarasota Florida. There is a $30 Race Fee, and registration ends Oct. 9. Sign up at http://srqlapsforlife.net. For more information, contact Knights of Columbus Council 3358 Pro-Life Chair Joe Gina at 941-702-1700 or srqLapsforLife@gmail.com.

Parish hosting day of renewal for men and women

St. Agnes Parish in Naples is hosting a day of renewal given by the Parish Men’s and Women’s “WELCOME” retreat teams. Come celebrate the Parish being fully open with an incredible day of God’s love, friendship, and revitalization. The Women’s Welcome Day is Oct. 9, 2021 and the Men’s Welcome Day is Oct. 23, 2021 at the Parish, 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples. For more information, including free registration, please visit our website at www.StAgnesNaples.org.

Stepping into Marriage with Children

The Diocese Office of Family Life is offering a free half day workshop for couples beginning or currently in a stepfamily situation. This program takes a realistic look at blended families and offers strategies and tools for success.  The program is being offered 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Oct. 9, 2021, at St. Leo the Great Parish, 28290 Beaumont Road, Bonita Springs, and 9 a.m. to noon, Nov. 6, 2021, at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, 1301 Center Road, Venice. To register https://dioceseofvenice.regfox.com/stepping-into-marriage-with-children.

White Mass in Naples Oct. 16

A White Mass and lecture for physicians and medical professionals will be 8:30 a.m., Oct. 16, 2021, at St. Agnes Parish, 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples. A blessing of the stethoscope will also be held. Please wear your white coat. Following Mass, a lecture and breakfast will take place in the Parish Center. The lecture is entitled “Spiritual Leadership in a Secular Healthcare Setting” presented by speaker Paul Hiltz followed by a discussion with Dr. Gloth and other panelists. There is a $50 fee per person (reduced rates for physicians in training and non-physician health professionals). Register and pay online at www.stagnesnaples.org. For more information, please contact Maggie Brady 239-592-1949. (1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit)

News Briefs for Week of Aug. 6, 2021

Summertime and the Giving is Easy Appeal

Every day, Catholic Charities Diocese of Venice serves the most vulnerable population by feeding, housing, empowering, and striving to help those in need. This summer, you can leave your footprint by helping your neighbors. The Catholic Charities Summertime and the Giving is Easy Appeal is asking for your support. Donate to your choice of assistance, such as food, shelter, education or other support. The giving is easy! Your gift will make a positive impact on our less fortunate brothers and sisters! Please visit www.catholiccharitiesdov.org or mail a check to Catholic Charities,1000 Pinebrook Road, Venice, FL 34285.

Marriage prep for couples over 55

The Office of Family Life is offering a one-day marriage prep seminar for those couples over 55 years of age preparing for marriage or convalidation from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Aug. 28, 2021, at Our Lady of Lourdes. 1301 Center Road, Venice. A specially prepared volunteer team share their experiences and information with the intention of enabling couples to be more aware of the privileges and responsibilities of marriage. Pre-registration is required. Please register online at: https://dioceseofvenice.regfox.com/two-become-one.

Scholarships for Catholic Schools

Step Up for Students is a state-approved non-profit scholarship funding organization that helps administer four scholarships for Florida schoolchildren: the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program (FTC) for lower to middle income families, the Family Empowerment Scholarship (FES) for lower to middle income families and students with unique abilities (formerly Gardiner), as well as the Hope Scholarship. These scholarships could provide up to $7000 for a Catholic School education with 2021 adjusted income guidelines. Step up for Students will continue accepting applications throughout the school year. For the Diocese of Venice Catholic School application webpage visit https://www.stepupforstudents.org/swflcatholic/.

Catholic Alpha Online

Alpha Online is course where individuals meet virtually once a week via Zoom to discuss and share ideas about faith and God in an open, caring and non-judgmental way. The Diocese of Venice English Catholic Charismatic Renewal invites you to experience Catholic Alpha online from the comfort of your home, and to hear from notable Catholic speakers. These include newly appointed Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa O.F.M. Cap., longtime Preacher of the Papal Household; Dr. Mary Healy; Father John Ricardo; and Father Mike Schmitz. Each course is Monday from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. beginning Sept. 13 through Nov. 29, 2021.  For further information please contact Theresa Salvo at asolotogod@gmail.com or 804-387-8282.

2021 Marriage Preparation Retreats

The Diocesan Office of Family Life is offering “Day of Reflection” retreats for couples preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage. A specially prepared volunteer team of married couples and a priest will share their experiences and information with the intention of enabling couples to be more aware of the privileges and responsibilities of marriage. The retreats in English are from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., on the following Saturdays: Aug. 7, and Nov. 13. Please visit https://dioceseofvenice.regfox.com/marriage-preparation-retreat-2021 to register for the English retreats. Retreats in Spanish take place: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Aug. 7 and Oct. 30 at St. Jude Parish, 3930 17th Street, Sarasota, and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Aug. 14 and Dec. 4, at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish, 355 S. Bridge Street, LaBelle. To register for a St. Jude retreat date please contact the parish at 941-955-3934. Please visit https://dioceseofvenice.regfox.com/retiro-de-formacion-matrimonial. to register for a retreat at Our Lady Queen of Heaven, For further information contact Carrie Harkey at 941-484-9543 ext. 3019.

New Catholic Institute course Aug. 24

The Institute for Catholic Studies and Formation is offering a 16-week graduate level online course starting Aug. 24, 2021 that introduces students to the principles, practices, and sources of Catholic Theology. The course “What is Catholic Theology? (Ecclesial Nature and Mission of Theology)” counts as a pre-requisite for those beginning the online MA in Theology and Christian Ministry at Franciscan University of Steubenville. (Franciscan offers Diocese of Venice students discounted tuition for this online MA). This course is also available to those who wish to attend for their own personal enrichment. For cost and other information and to register for the course, visit the Institute website at https://institute-dov.org/ or call 941-766-7334.

Year of Saint Joseph

On the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, March 19, 2020 Bishop Frank J. Dewane, in the context of the Coronavirus, consecrated the Diocese of Venice to the care and protection of Saint Joseph, and announced a “Year of Saint Joseph”. Pope Francis recently dedicated a “Year of St. Joseph” therefore, the Diocesan celebration will continue through December 8, 2021. Saint Joseph, often referred to as the Protector, can be our protector during these troubling times. A 9-day Novena to Saint Joseph is included. This Novena can be prayed any time throughout the year. The novena and other resources can be found at https://dioceseofvenice.org/a-year-of-st-joseph.

Diocesan Marriage Conference Oct. 2

The Diocese of Venice in Florida and the St. John Paul II Foundation announce the “Together in Holiness Marriage Conference” that will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 2, 2021, at St. Agnes Parish, 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples and St. Thomas More Parish, 2506 Gulf Gate Drive, Sarasota. The speakers are Kevin and Lisa Cotter. For more details contact Carrie Harkey at harkey@dioceseofvenice.org.

Invitation to all Widows and Widowers

Come join the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish faith-sharing group for widows and widowers to grow together in holiness and the devout life.  The next topic will be: ‘Praying with the saints, our mentors in the faith.’ This 8-week series will be held on Wednesday mornings from 10:30 a.m. to noon, beginning on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021 at the Church, 435 S. Tamimi Trail, Osprey.  All are welcome!  For information and to join this group, please contact Marianne Cano at 941-966-0807/ext314 or send e-mail to mcano@olmc-osprey.org.

Food Distribution within Diocese

For various food distribution sites of Catholic Charities and Parishes throughout the Diocese of Venice, the days, times, and locations are listed below:

Guadalupe Social Services – 211 S. 9th St., Immokalee, Monday – Friday: 9 a.m.-12 p.m., Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen open daily. The Soup Kitchen Dining Room is open for dine-in and also provides take-out/meals-to-go.

Judy Sullivan Family Resource Center – 3174 Tamiami Trail E., Naples, Mondays – Fridays: 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. and Tuesdays – Fridays: 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

St. Margaret Parish – 208 Dean Duff St., Clewiston, Thursdays: 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Bonita Springs – 28360 Beaumont Road, Bonita Springs, Fridays: 9 a.m.-11 a.m.

Elizabeth K. Galeana Food Pantry – 4235 Michigan Ave. Link, Fort Myers, Fridays: 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

St. Paul Parish – Parish Hall, 1208 E Oak St., Arcadia, Fridays: 8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

St. Francis of Assisi Food Pantry – 5265 Placida Road, Grove City, Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9:15 a.m.-11:15 a.m., contact Megan at 941-697-4899 or megan@sfoachurch.com.

St. Jude Food Pantry, 3930 17th St., Sarasota, Wednesdays: 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m., Saturdays: 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Please bring ID and do not exit your vehicle. Volunteers will load cars. Call 941-955-3934 if you have any questions or visit: https://www.stjudesarasota.com/info/st-jude-food-pantry-schedule.

Wauchula Food Pantry – 408 Heard Bridge Road, Wauchula, Saturdays: 7 a.m.-8:45 a.m., call the parish at 863-773-4089 if you require a different time or would like to support the efforts to assist the community.

St. Joseph Food Pantry – 3100 26th St W., Bradenton, Monday through Friday: 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Call 941-756-3732 with any questions. Please visit https://www.stjoepantry.com/ to donate money or food.

Bishop supports Catholic Charities at baseball game

The Fort Myers Mighty Mussels may have found a new starting pitcher.

Team members of the Single-A Florida State League affiliate of the Minnesota Twins watched as Bishop Frank J. Dewane threw a perfect strike when he tossed out the first pitch before a July 23, 2021 game at Hammond Stadium at CenturyLink Sports Complex in Fort Myers.

The honor of throwing out the first pitch came about because it was Faith and Family Night at the ballpark with a portion of the proceeds benefitted Catholic Charities Diocese of Venice Inc. in Lee County. There was also a canned food drive which offered attendees a free ticket to a future game if they brought in four cans of food.

Bishop Dewane was greeted by Club President Chris Peters, who expressed his honor to have the Bishop present for the game. Bishop Dewane also thanked Peters and the Mighty Mussels organization for supporting Catholic Charities.

A few minutes before the start of the game, standing on the grass directly in front of the pitcher’s mound, Bishop Dewane made a wind-up and hurled the ball towards Peters, who was waiting to catch the ball behind home plate. Everyone cheered when the hard-thrown ball sailed straight into the glove, right over home plate for a strike. With a big smile, the Bishop waved to the crowd, the Peters congratulated Bishop and presented him with several baseballs as souvenirs for the occasion. Bishop Dewane later presented these baseballs to children.

Alex Olivares, Regional Director of Catholic Charities in Lee, Hendry and Glades counties, who helped to organize the Catholic Charities participation in Faith and Family Night at the ballpark, said the Mighty Mussels organization wanted to celebrate Catholic Charities and the work done by the food pantries in Fort Myers and Bonita Springs which continue to respond to the impacts of the global Pandemic. In all, four large containers of food were collected for the Catholic Charities food Pantries.

In addition, prior to the game, Catholic Charities had displays set up in the main concourse to inform baseball fans of the various programs and services offered by Catholic Charities. The tables were operated by Catholic Charities staff who were happy to share with people what they do for the less fortunate in the community.

Before throwing out the first pitch, Bishop Dewane stopped and personally greeted each of the Catholic Charities staff, thanking them for their hard work and dedication. Later, during the game, the Bishop sat in the same section as the staff and met many of the family members.

As the game progressed, faithful from across the area stopped by to greet Bishop Dewane. Jeremy Ramey, Sales Manager for the Mighty Mussels also came down to the stands to say hello to the Bishop during the game.

The Mighty Mussels held their own but fell to the Daytona Tortugas 7-5 in 11 innings.

Summer camps bring smiles to young faces

For one week each summer many parishes throughout the Diocese of Venice make an amazing transformation to accommodate Vacation Bible School for the youngest of the faithful.

While this option was not available in the summer of 2020 due to the global Pandemic, the summer of 2021 brought the children back in droves.

A Vacation Bible School is intended to teach children to love God and thank the Lord for all the wonderful gifts in the world. Throughout a typical day of Vacation Bible School, the children learn about Bible stories, and then sing and dance in praise of God.

Team leaders – often middle school and high school student volunteers – lead the children through a variety of activities which included arts and crafts, games, reenacting Bible adventures and just having fun. Each day in the week has a different theme and different activities to keep the children engaged and learning.

One of the highlights for the volunteers is during the quieter moments when they hear the children explain their “God Experiences.” These are explained encounters with God’s creation or with good people, such a seeing butterflies or rainbows or having a good friend help with a project. The week concludes with a joyous celebration.

Some VBS programs are coordinated with neighboring Parishes to pool resources as was the case the week of July 19-23 with St. Cecilia and St. Francis Xavier Parishes in Fort Myers. A bonus for the St. Cecilia group was the opportunity to commemorate “World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly” on July 25, by singing at the conclusion of Mass.

Meanwhile, multiple Diocesan Catholic schools hosted STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Math) camps. Some of these camps covered several weeks and introduced the eager students to new projects such as arts and crafts, engineering various objects and other activities that incorporated the different aspects of STREAM.

St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Naples held its annual Summer Music Camps in mid-July with the budding musicians (ages 4-12) showing off their newly learned skills during Mass.

For the athlete in many, the area Catholic high schools hosted a variety of sports camps for children such as soccer, football, basketball, cheerleading and many others. These camps offer a chance for younger children to learn the skills needed to excel in different sports while at the same time having a bit of fun.

Catholic Charities in Bonita Springs holds a summer-long camp for children which includes a variety of fun games and projects giving the children the opportunity to show off their athletic, artistic and other skills. The campers also take a variety of fun field trips.

These are just some of the examples of the exciting activities that took place for the thousands of young people in the Diocese during the “slow” season.

News Briefs for the week of July 30, 2021

Bishop celebrates anniversary of Episcopal Ordination

A small celebration in honor of Bishop Frank J. Dewane took place at the Catholic Center in Venice on July 26, 2021 to mark the 15th Anniversary of his Ordination to the Episcopate. On the actual anniversary day, July 25, Bishop Dewane celebrated Mass at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice, the site of his Ordination to the Episcopate.

Summertime and the Giving is Easy Appeal

Every day, Catholic Charities Diocese of Venice serves the most vulnerable population by feeding, housing, empowering, and striving to help those in need. This summer, you can leave your footprint by helping your neighbors. The Catholic Charities Summertime and the Giving is Easy Appeal is asking for your support. Donate to your choice of assistance, such as food, shelter, education or other support. The giving is easy! Your gift will make a positive impact on our less fortunate brothers and sisters! Please visit www.catholiccharitiesdov.org or mail a check to Catholic Charities,1000 Pinebrook Road, Venice, FL 34285.

Marriage prep for couples over 55

The Office of Family Life is offering a one-day marriage prep seminar for those couples over 55 years of age preparing for marriage or convalidation from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Aug. 28, 2021, at Our Lady of Lourdes. 1301 Center Road, Venice. A specially prepared volunteer team share their experiences and information with the intention of enabling couples to be more aware of the privileges and responsibilities of marriage. Pre-registration is required. Please register online at: https://dioceseofvenice.regfox.com/two-become-one.

Scholarships for Catholic Schools

Step Up for Students is a state-approved non-profit scholarship funding organization that helps administer four scholarships for Florida schoolchildren: the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program (FTC) for lower to middle income families, the Family Empowerment Scholarship (FES) for lower to middle income families and students with unique abilities (formerly Gardiner), as well as the Hope Scholarship. These scholarships could provide up to $7000 for a Catholic School education with 2021 adjusted income guidelines. Step up for Students will continue accepting applications throughout the school year. For the Diocese of Venice Catholic School application webpage visit https://www.stepupforstudents.org/swflcatholic/.

Catholic Alpha Online

Alpha Online is an online course where others meet virtually once a week via Zoom to discuss and share ideas about faith and God in an open, caring and non-judgmental way. The Diocese of Venice English Catholic Charismatic Renewal invites you to experience Catholic Alpha online from the comfort of your home, and to hear from notable Catholic speakers. These include newly appointed Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa O.F.M. Cap., longtime Preacher of the Papal Household; Dr. Mary Healy; Father John Ricardo; and Father Mike Schmitz. Each course is Monday from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. beginning Sept. 13 through Nov. 29, 2021.  For further information please contact Theresa Salvo at asolotogod@gmail.com or 804-387-8282.

2021 Marriage Preparation Retreats

The Diocesan Office of Family Life is offering “Day of Reflection” retreats for couples preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage. A specially prepared volunteer team of married couples and a priest will share their experiences and information with the intention of enabling couples to be more aware of the privileges and responsibilities of marriage. The retreats in English are from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., on the following Saturdays: Aug. 7, and Nov. 13. Please visit https://dioceseofvenice.regfox.com/marriage-preparation-retreat-2021 to register for the English retreats. Retreats in Spanish take place: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Aug. 7 and Oct. 30 at St. Jude Parish, 3930 17th Street, Sarasota, and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Aug. 14 and Dec. 4, at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish, 355 S. Bridge Street, LaBelle. To register for a St. Jude retreat date please contact the parish at 941-955-3934. Please visit https://dioceseofvenice.regfox.com/retiro-de-formacion-matrimonial. to register for a retreat at Our Lady Queen of Heaven, For further information contact Carrie Harkey at 941-484-9543 ext. 3019.

New Catholic Institute course beginning in August

The Institute for Catholic Studies and Formation is offering a 16-week graduate level online course starting Aug. 24, 2021 that introduces students to the principles, practices, and sources of Catholic Theology. The course “What is Catholic Theology? (Ecclesial Nature and Mission of Theology)” counts as a pre-requisite for those beginning the online MA in Theology and Christian Ministry at Franciscan University of Steubenville. (Franciscan offers Diocese of Venice students discounted tuition for this online MA). This course is also available to those who wish to attend for their own personal enrichment. For cost and other information and to register for the course, visit the Institute website at https://institute-dov.org/ or call 941-766-7334.

Year of Saint Joseph

On the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, March 19, 2020 Bishop Frank J. Dewane, in the context of the Coronavirus, consecrated the Diocese of Venice to the care and protection of Saint Joseph, and announced a “Year of Saint Joseph”. Pope Francis recently dedicated a “Year of St. Joseph” therefore, the Diocesan celebration will continue through December 8, 2021. Saint Joseph, often referred to as the Protector, can be our protector during these troubling times. A 9-day Novena to Saint Joseph is included. This Novena can be prayed any time throughout the year. The novena and other resources can be found at https://dioceseofvenice.org/a-year-of-st-joseph.

Diocesan Marriage Conference Oct. 2

The Diocese of Venice in Florida and the St. John Paul II Foundation announce the “Together in Holiness Marriage Conference” that will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 2, 2021, at St. Agnes Parish, 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples and St. Thomas More Parish, 2506 Gulf Gate Drive, Sarasota. The speakers are Kevin and Lisa Cotter. For more details contact Carrie Harkey at harkey@dioceseofvenice.org.

“Witnessing Faith with Bishop Dewane” available June 30

Join Bishop Frank J. Dewane, for his monthly radio program on Relevant Radio. “Witnessing Faith with Bishop Dewane” can be heard at 8:30 a.m., June 30, 2021, discussing the topic of vocations and the Ordination to the Priesthood of two men. Access to the program is available at https://dioceseofvenice.org/our-bishop/relevant-radio-podcasts.

Tele-Mental Health Counseling Services

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice Inc. is offering Mental Health Counseling for adults and children provided by licensed mental health therapists. If you or someone you know is feeling stressed, anxious, overwhelmed, depressed, or helpless, Catholic Charities can help. For more information, please call 239-455-2655. There is no charge for this service.

Hurricane Prayer

As the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season (June 1-Nov. 30) continues, a prayer is presented here by which one asks God for protection and safety from the storms that often threaten Southwest Florida. With the formation of Tropical Storm Ana in mid-May, it promises to be another busy season of watching the tropics. We must all remember the devastating effect of Hurricane Irma from 2017 and what was witnessed when Hurricane Michael struck the Florida Panhandle in 2018. Everyone in the Diocese of Venice knows and understands the power of these storms and the suffering which follows in their wake.

Prayer for Safety in Hurricane Season

O God, Master of this passing world,

hear the humble voices of your children.

The Sea of Galilee obeyed Your order

and returned to its former quietude.

 

You are still the Master of land and sea.

We live in the shadow of a danger over which we have no control:

the Gulf, like a provoked and angry giant,

can awake from its seeming lethargy, overstep its conventional boundaries, invade our land, and spread chaos and disaster.

 

During this hurricane season we turn to You, O loving Father.

Spare us from past tragedies whose memories are still so vivid

and whose wounds seem to refuse to heal with passing of time.

 

O Virgin, Star of the Sea, Our beloved Mother, we ask you

to plead with your Son on our behalf,

so that spared from the calamities common to this area

and animated with a true spirit of gratitude,

we will walk in the footsteps of your Divine Son

to reach the heavenly Jerusalem,

where a stormless eternity awaits us. Amen.

 

Oración para la temporada de huracanes

O Dios, Señor de este mundo pasajero,

escucha la humilde voz de tus hijos.

El Mar de Galilea obedeció Tu orden

y volvió a su anterior quietud.

 

Tu todavía eres el Señor de tierra y mar.

Vivimos en la sombra del peligro sobre el cual no tenemos control;

el Golfo, como un violento gigante, puede despertar de su aparente letargo,

sobrepasar sus límites, invadir nuestra tierra y sembrar caos y desastre.

 

Durante esta temporada de huracanes acudimos a Ti, O Padre Misericordioso.

Líbranos de tragedias como las pasadas que están tan vivas en nuestra

memoria y cuyas heridas rehúsan ser curadas con el paso del tiempo.

 

O Virgen, Estrella del Mar, nuestra amada Madre, te pedimos

que intercedas ante tu Hijo por nosotros,

para que nos libre de las calamidades comunes a esta área,

y animados con un verdadero espíritu de gratitude

caminemos en los pasos de tu Divino Hijo

para llegar a la Jerusalén Celestial,

donde una eternidad sin tormentas nos espera. Amen.

 

 

News briefs for the week of July 23, 2021

Bishop celebrating two anniversaries in July

A small celebration in honor of Bishop Frank J. Dewane on the occasion of the 33rd Anniversary of his Ordination to the Priesthood took place at the Catholic Center in Venice on July 16, 2021, the Feast Day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. A second small celebration is scheduled for July 25, which will mark the 15th Anniversary of his Ordination to the Episcopate. Please pray for Bishop Dewane. If you would like to send the Bishop a congratulatory message, please send a message to communications@dioceseofvenice.org or post a message on the Diocesan Facebook page at www.facebook.com/dioceseofvenice.

 

 

Summertime and the Giving is Easy Appeal

Every day, Catholic Charities Diocese of Venice serves the most vulnerable population by feeding, housing, empowering, and striving to help those in need. This summer, you can leave your footprint by helping your neighbors. The Catholic Charities Summertime and the Giving is Easy Appeal is asking for your support. You can donate to the type of assistance you believe is the most important, such as food, shelter, education or other support. The giving is easy! Your gift will make a positive impact on our less fortunate brothers and sisters! Please visit www.catholiccharitiesdov.org or mail a check to Catholic Charities,1000 Pinebrook Road, Venice, FL 34285.

Firefighter saves Mary statue

The North Collier Fire Rescue District posted an image to social media on July 19, 2021 following a house fire in North Naples showing a firefighter handing a rescued a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary with Child Jesus to a grateful homeowner. The post stated: “As firefighters our mission is to save lives and property. During moments of devastation, a light can shine through and today at the 35th Avenue fire, that is exactly what happened.” Pictured at left is the moment when North Collier Lead Investigator Andrew Marfongella handed the family the statue that held deep spiritual meaning for them. Family, friends and neighbors cheered and clapped at the rescue, and they then gathered in prayer.

Football team helps clean neighboring Parish grounds

The St. John Neumann Catholic High School Celtic Football Team in Naples took a break from summer workouts July 16, 2021 to get in some volunteer work at St. Elizabeth Seton Parish, this included some landscape/gardening work around the property as well as cleaning the pews of the church.

Scholarships for Catholic Schools

Step Up for Students is a state-approved non-profit scholarship funding organization that helps administer four scholarships for Florida schoolchildren: the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program (FTC) for lower to middle income families, the Family Empowerment Scholarship (FES) for lower to middle income families and students with unique abilities (formerly Gardiner), as well as the Hope Scholarship. These scholarships could provide up to $7000 for a Catholic School education with 2021 adjusted income guidelines. Step up for Students will continue accepting applications throughout the school year. For the Diocese of Venice Catholic School application webpage visit https://www.stepupforstudents.org/swflcatholic/.

Catholic Alpha Online

Alpha Online is an online course where others meet virtually once a week via Zoom to discuss and share ideas about faith and God in an open, caring and non-judgmental way. The Diocese of Venice English Catholic Charismatic Renewal invites you to experience Catholic Alpha online from the comfort of your home, and to hear from notable Catholic speakers including newly appointed Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa O.F.M. Cap., longtime Preacher of the Papal Household, Dr. Mary Healy. Father John Ricardo and Father Mike Schmitz, each Monday from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. beginning Sept. 13 through Nov. 29, 2021.  For further information please contact Theresa Salvo at asolotogod@gmail.com or 804-387-8282.

2021 Marriage Preparation Retreats

The Diocesan Office of Family Life is offering “Day of Reflection” retreats for couples preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage. A specially prepared volunteer team of married couples and a priest will share their experiences and information with the intention of enabling couples to be more aware of the privileges and responsibilities of marriage. The retreats in English are from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., on the following Saturdays: Aug. 7, and Nov. 13. Please visit https://dioceseofvenice.regfox.com/marriage-preparation-retreat-2021 to register for the English retreats. Retreats in Spanish take place: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Aug. 7 and Oct. 30 at St. Jude Parish, 3930 17th Street, Sarasota, and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Aug. 14 and Dec. 4, at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish, 355 S. Bridge Street, LaBelle. To register for a St. Jude retreat date please contact the parish at 941-955-3934. Please visit https://dioceseofvenice.regfox.com/retiro-de-formacion-matrimonial. to register for a retreat at Our Lady Queen of Heaven, For further information contact Carrie Harkey at 941-484-9543 ext. 3019.

New Catholic Institute course beginning in August

The Institute for Catholic Studies and Formation is offering a 16-week graduate level online course starting Aug. 24, 2021 that introduces students to the principles, practices, and sources of Catholic Theology. The course “What is Catholic Theology? (Ecclesial Nature and Mission of Theology)” counts as a pre-requisite for those beginning the online MA in Theology and Christian Ministry at Franciscan University of Steubenville. (Franciscan offers Diocese of Venice students discounted tuition for this online MA). This course is also available to those who wish to attend for their own personal enrichment. For cost and other information and to register for the course, visit the Institute website at https://institute-dov.org/ or call 941-766-7334.

Year of Saint Joseph

On the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, March 19, 2020 Bishop Frank J. Dewane, in the context of the Coronavirus, consecrated the Diocese of Venice to the care and protection of Saint Joseph, and announced a “Year of Saint Joseph”. Pope Francis recently dedicated a “Year of St. Joseph” therefore, the Diocesan celebration will continue through December 8, 2021. Saint Joseph, often referred to as the Protector, can be our protector during these troubling times. A 9-day Novena to Saint Joseph is included. This Novena can be prayed any time throughout the year. The novena and other resources can be found at https://dioceseofvenice.org/a-year-of-st-joseph.

Diocesan Marriage Conference Oct. 2

The Diocese of Venice in Florida and the St. John Paul II Foundation announce the “Together in Holiness Marriage Conference” that will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 2, 2021, at St. Agnes Parish, 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples and St. Thomas More Parish, 2506 Gulf Gate Drive, Sarasota. The speakers are Kevin and Lisa Cotter. For more details contact Carrie Harkey at harkey@dioceseofvenice.org.

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