Christmas brings Light of Christ into Diocese

The Christmas Season is a time to celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ and an opportunity to let the Light of the Lord shine forth from within ourselves.

Celebrations abounded throughout the Diocese of Venice with Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Masses bringing the faithful together in celebration of the Birth of the Christ Child – Our Savior Incarnate, the Word Made Flesh.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane celebrated Masses on Christmas Eve and Day at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice. He also recorded a Christmas Day Mass from St. Patrick Parish in Sarasota for broadcast on TV and online for the homebound.

The message of Bishop Dewane was that we must strive to be aware that Christ is in our lives. “He is the Word made Flesh and our Incarnate Savior. Let us fall in love again with the Christ Child this Christmas Season and be sent forward with the Light of Christ, magnifying it to the world.”

Aside from the decorated altars, behind the scenes it was the Faithful who magnified the Light of Christ through their generosity in supporting those in the community who are less fortunate.

Catholic Charities and Parish-based programs distributed thousands of toys and gifts to needy children throughout the region. Additionally, food was also collected in distributed to families who are struggling to make end meet.

One way this is made possible is through the support of the Parish religious education programs throughout the Diocese. These acts of kindness, great and small, made huge impacts on children and families who struggle to make ends meet.

New this year, Diocese of Venice Director of Religious Education Anne Chrzan had a special task for the Directors of Religious Education from each Parish. They were asked to participate in individual service opportunities outside of the one’s they were already coordinating at their Parish. The day of Dec. 16, 2021, was chosen because of the Gospel reading for the day stated: “Behold, I am sending a messenger ahead of you, he will prepare your way before you.” (Luke 7:24-30).

Chrzan explained that this task was not intended to be an added burden, but rather an opportunity to focus on how “they” were preparing as individuals, not “what are they” preparing? This served to rediscover the joy of service on a personal level and not as just another task or part of their work.

Among the tasks, were stopping by a nursing home and bringing flowers, unused cards, and stamps; paying for someone’s groceries; helping a neighbor with setting up their Christmas lights and more.  The DREs exchanged ideas and smiles as they came up with each small and significant act.  Several DREs reported back to Chrzan sharing how much fun they had by coming up with something that they could do alone and not with 30 children.

The Filipino Catholic community at St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish in Port Charlotte continued with the custom, in preparation for Christmas, of participating in a novena of Masses at Dawn, known as Simbang Gabi or Misa de Gallo, from Dec. 15, 2021, to Christmas Eve. This is an important and growing Catholic tradition as the faithful prepare their hearts waiting for that dawn when the sun rises. The sun rise is associated with Jesus Christ, bringing with it a new hope, new life. It is believed that participating in the novena of Masses brings many blessings, mostly for the family. Some also believe that if you attended the Simbang Gabi you would find your future spouse, which naturally increased the popularity of the tradition.

Of course, Christmas could not be celebrated without Nativity plays. One of the region’s largest takes place annually at St. Michael Parish in Wauchula. On Dec. 18, 2021, using live animals and including more than 100 children, the story of the Nativity is retold in both English and Spanish. The story includes a recreation of the town of Bethlehem and concludes with the arrival of the three kings on the Feast of the Epiphany. With the end of the program, the was a gift distribution for the children.

The celebration of the Epiphany was celebrated at Epiphany Cathedral with a Mass on Jan. 2, 2022, with Bishop Dewane as the celebrant. The trilingual Mass included the three primary language communities which the Cathedral serve – English, Spanish and Polish. Bishop Dewane explained how the three kings who sought out to pay homage to the Christ Child should serve as examples for all. We are all called, not just by the star the Magi followed, but by our heart, to hear the Message of Christ, but to understand who Jesus Christ truly was.

These are but a few examples of the spirit of Christmas which spread across the Diocese of Venice this Holiday Season.

 

2021 Christmas Message from Bishop Dewane (English, Spanish, Creole)

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Merry Christmas!

More than 2,000 years ago, the angel brought a message to the shepherds watching over their flocks. “Do not be afraid, for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).

These words of the Angel are all the more necessary to be heard in context of the Pandemic, when so many of our brothers and sisters live in fear, feel alone and isolated and truly are in need of prayer, our prayers.

Today we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Indeed, our world may look very different today, yet the message so many years ago on that holy night, remains the same.  God loved us so much that He sent the wondrous gift of His Son, born in a humble manger, to live among us and to bring joy, peace, and the hope of salvation to the world.

Let us accept this great gift by magnifying and being the light of Christ to others through our thoughts, words and actions.

May the joy of Our Lord be with you, your family and your neighbors this Christmas Season.  Have a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

 

Mensaje de Navidad de 2021 del obispo Frank J. Dewane

Mis queridos hermanos y hermanas en Cristo,

¡Feliz Navidad!

Hace más de 2.000 años, el ángel trajo un mensaje a los pastores que velaban por sus rebaños. “No teman, porque les traigo una buena noticia, una gran alegría para todo el pueblo: Hoy, en la ciudad de David, les ha nacido un Salvador, que es el Mesías, el Señor. ” (Lucas 2:10-11).

Estas palabras del ángel son aún más necesarias para ser escuchadas en el contexto de la Pandemia, cuando tantos de nuestros hermanos y hermanas viven con miedo, se sienten solos y aislados y realmente necesitan la oración, nuestras oraciones.

Hoy celebramos el nacimiento de Jesucristo. De hecho, nuestro mundo puede parecer muy diferente hoy, sin embargo, el mensaje dado hace tantos años en esa noche santa, sigue siendo el mismo.  Dios nos amó tanto que envió el maravilloso don de su Hijo, nacido en un humilde pesebre, para vivir entre nosotros y traer alegría, paz y esperanza de salvación al mundo.

Aceptemos este gran don agradeciendo y siendo la luz de Cristo para los demás a través de nuestros pensamientos, palabras y acciones.

Que la alegría de Nuestro Señor esté con ustedes, su familia y sus vecinos en este tiempo de navidad.  ¡Que tengan una muy Feliz Navidad y un bendito año nuevo!

 

Frè m ak sè m yo nan JeziKri,

Jwaye Nwel!

Sa fè plis ke 2000 ane, yon zanj pote yon mesaj bay bège kap gade troupo bet yo “ Pa pè map proklame pou nou Bon Nouvel lajwa pou tout pèp. Jodia nan vil David yon  sovè fek fèt Ki se Mesi a, Seyè a. (Luc 2:10-11)

Pawol sa yo Ki sot nan bouch zanj lan, vin pi nesesè pou n tande nan kontex pandemi a, lè nou wè tout frè ak sè nou yo kap viv ak kè sote, yo santi yo sèl, izole, yo vreman bezwen lapriyè, lapriyè nou.

Jodia nap celebre nesans Jezikri. An efè, mond nou an sanble diferan jodia; sepandan,  mesaj nwit sen sa , rete menm , malgré sa pase lontan.  Bondye telman renmen nou, Li voye kado pitit li a, Ki fèt nan touf pay manje bet yo, pou l vin viv nan mitan nou, e pou l pote lajwa, lapè, ak lespwa délivrants pou mond lan.

Ann aksepte gwo kado sa ak gwo kè louvri, e se pou  n vle tounen limyè Kris la pou lòt yo, nan panse nou, pawol nou, ak aksyon nou.

Se pou lajwa Bondye tonbe sou nou, sou fanmiy nou ak vwazen nou yo nan nan sezon Nwel la.

Generosity and seasonal cheer found in Diocesan Schools

The first weeks of Advent proved quite busy for the students at Catholic Schools throughout the Diocese of Venice as they lived the call of the Season by committing to making a daily sacrifice for the good of others while also getting into the Christmas spirit with lots of fun activities.

The lesson of Advent, making a sacrifice for others, was found in so many different ways at each of the 15 Catholic Schools. Toy, gift and food drives were held with thousands of items given with love and the joy of the Season to those less fortunate in the region.

December was a busy time at St. John Neumann Catholic High School in Naples. The amazing YACHT (Youth And Christ Helping Together) Club gathered weeks ago to make homemade Christmas cards for military men and women serving overseas that will not make it home for the holidays. The YACHT Club also sponsored a Neumann Fun Night and gave some of the hard-working students a chance to take in the Victoria Park Christmas Lights via the “Neumann Express,” driven by one of the teachers. The night also included adoration in the chapel and a visit to the convent for a cookie decorating competition, a festive holiday wear contest, and Christmas Jeopardy with the Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco who serve at the school.

A spirited group of Neumann students also showed off their Christmas enthusiasm at the Collier County Sheriff’s Office’s Winterfest Holiday Walk at the Fairgrounds. The Neumann band performed Christmas songs while another group of students participated in a living nativity and several young alumni hosted games for participants of the Holiday Fest!

Of course, the Neumann generosity has been on display with collections for toys which were distributed to several different charities. The baseball team focused their attention on collecting gifts for 38 children who are assisted through Catholic Charities in Collier County.

Proverbs 22:9 states: “The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share with the poor.” In Fort Myers, the National Junior Honor Society members from St. Francis Xavier Catholic School took that verse from Proverbs to heart by organizing a “Spread Your Christmas Joy” gift drive to benefit local migrant children served by Catholic Charities. In just more than two weeks, they collected more than 1,500 presents.

Throughout December the students continued to learn the lessons of Advent, preparing for the arrival of Jesus at Christmas.

Pre-kindergarten students at St. Martha Catholic School in Sarasota took part in a Christmas Novena. Each morning they prayed and heard the different stories that lead up to the Nativity and sang various Christmas songs. The final day included hearing the story of Baby Jesus and Mary and Joseph. Afterwards they had a giant marshmallow treat.

Part of the holiday fun often includes the making of gingerbread houses as the students at St. Andrew Catholic School did on Dec. 14 in Cape Coral. Meanwhile, at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic School in Naples, the students celebrated the Feast of St. Nicholas by finding treats inside their shoes. This which harkens back to the original story when children left their shoes out in hope of finding small gifts and treats on the Feast Day of this historical Saint.

Of course, the Season also brings about pageants, assemblies, and musical celebrations. Many such observances included a retelling of the Nativity and Epiphany in their performances of children of all ages. Some schools took their talents on the road such as the children’s choir of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School in Port Charlotte who did great job singing for the residents of Parkside Assisted Living and Memory Cottage. The Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School band also performed for shoppers at the University Town Center sharing the sounds of the season with earnest shoppers.

Polish Catholic community hosts Christmas Luncheon

Dressed in their holiday best, the Polish Catholic community of Epiphany Cathedral in Venice hosted its annual Christmas Luncheon on Dec. 19, 2021.

The luncheon reflected what is a traditional Christmas Eve celebration in Poland, everyone joyfully sang Christmas Carols in Polish followed by a traditional meals and sweet desserts.

Father Sebastian Szczawinski, Administrator at Our Lady of the Angels Parish in Lakewood Ranch, offered the opening prayer and welcoming. Father Leszek Trojanowski, Parochial Vicar at San Pedro Parish in North Port, offered the blessing of the meal. Fathers Szczawinski and Trojanowski share the duties of celebrating Mass and caring for the spiritual needs of the Polish Catholic Faithful.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane was also present for the luncheon and expressed his gratitude to the thriving Polish Catholic community for their continued presence in the Diocese of Venice and unfailing devotion to the Lord.

Prior to the meal being served, there was a traditional breaking and sharing of the oplatek (Christmas wafer). The oplatek is a rectangular and paper-thin wafer, made of flour and water of consistency similar to a communion host that is stamped with a Christmas scene. This is meant to remind families of the Eucharistic at Mass and makes a stronger connection between Christmas and the gift of the Eucharist. This bread is not consecrated but blessed by the priest as a way to extend the fruits of the Mass into the home.

The tradition dates back centuries and calls for the eldest member of the family – or in the case of the luncheon, the table – to break a piece off of it, giving it to a spouse or dear friend and eventually distributing it to the rest of the people. Each person then offers a piece to everyone else, from the oldest to the youngest, generally stating in some way how they care about that individual. The purpose of this act is to express unconditional love and forgiveness to each member of his or her family. Among so many friends, the ceremony brought many smiles and hugs.

The luncheon concluded with the singing of Silent Night, the last carol traditionally sung by families on Christmas Eve and representing that everyone is prepared spiritually for the birth of Our Savior, Jesus Christ, on Christmas Day.

News Briefs for the Week of December 24, 2021

2021 Christmas Mass times

The 2021 Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Mass times for Parishes throughout the Diocese of Venice can be found on the Diocese of Venice homepage at https://dioceseofvenice.org/2021-diocesan-parish-christmas-mass-times/. The listings are in alphabetical order by the city the Parish is located. For details on youth choirs or musical accompaniment, please contact the Parish via the phone number or website listed for further information.

As a reminder, the televised Christmas Day Mass for the Homebound with Celebrant Bishop Frank J. Dewane will air for a full hour on Christmas Day. For viewers in the northern portions of the Diocese (DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, Manatee, and Sarasota counties), the Mass will air at 10 a.m. on the CW Network. In the southern portions of the Diocese (Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Lee counties), the Mass will air at 6 a.m. on WFTX-TV (FOX-4). Please check your cable provider for channel listings.

The Mass will also be available on the Diocesan website at www.dioceseofvenice.org/televisedmass. Leaflet missals are available upon request by calling Gail Ardy at 941-486-4714 or by writing: TV Mass, Diocese of Venice, 1000 Pinebrook Road, Venice, FL 34285. For more information email ardy@dioceseofvenice.org.

Mass Celebrating Haitian Independence

Bishop Frank J. Dewane invites everyone to participate in the Annual Mass celebrating the 218th Anniversary of Haitian Independence on Saturday, January 1, 2022, at St. Leo the Great Parish, 28290 Beaumont Road, Bonita Springs. The 10:30 a.m. Mass, which takes place on the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, brings together the various Haitian communities within the Diocese of Venice for one celebration. Bishop Frank J. Dewane and priests serving the Haitian Catholic community of the Diocese welcome Most Rev. Pierre-Andre Dumas, Bishop of the Diocese of d’Anse-a-Veaux and Miragoane, who will be the Principal Celebrant and Homilist. There is a reception after the Mass in the Parish Hall.

Naples school helps tornado victims

St. John Neumann Catholic High School in Naples is known for its generosity to local charities through the years. Having been the recipient of outside help following Hurricane Irma in 2017, the students and faculty are cognizant of the need to give back when other communities are ravaged by storms. This is why the students chose to split a collection with a local charity and to Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Owensboro, Kentucky, for disaster relief in one of the worst areas impacted by recent tornadoes.

Science experiments equal fun

The students at St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Fort Myers are blessed to have many opportunities to test their science and engineering skills in unique and fun ways through a comprehensive STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) curriculum. On Dec. 14, 2021, the fourth-grade science students used the skills they have been learning about potential and kinetic energy to the test by making a roller coaster using pool noodles and marbles. This is engineering excitement mixed with teamwork at its best. Meanwhile, the sixth-grade students wrapped up their Space Unit in their curriculum on Dec. 17. The went outside onto the soccer field and put their unique designs to the test, by launching homemade water bottle rockets. The added benefit was that the “exhaust” from the “engines” was nice cool water on the hot and muggy day which is why the students didn’t mind getting wet.

School “news crew” preparing to go livestream in 2022

The Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School Tiger Talk News Crew is in final preparations to go live starting in early 2022. The Venice-based crew performed a test run the week of Dec. 13, 2021, for the newly formed Tiger Talk. The goal is to have the morning school announcements made available via a livestream to the school and parents from the Tiger Talk newsroom. As part of the test, the students prepared their equipment and lighting and made sure the sound was working and that the image going out was in focus and clear. The news crew is learning valuable lessons on the use of technology, public speaking skills, as well as the proper use of social media.

Boosterthon fun day in Port Charlotte

The students at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School in Port Charlotte took part in a Boosterthon on Dec. 13, 2021. The Boosterthon included a variety of fun games and competitions. One of the highlights of the entire event was when students had the opportunity to put pies in the face of Principal Tonya Peters and Vice Principal Chris Mullins. As pies were being put in their faces, some of the older students would release colored powder making for an exciting mix of colors on the two school leaders and on many of the students.

Pets help students relax for exams

Taking exams at a prestigious school such as Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers can be very stressful for students. Staff members know this, so to help alleviate some of the stress, they brought their pet dogs to the school to help the students cope on Dec. 15, 2021. Judging by the reaction of the students, and the dogs, the mission was accomplished. Smiles abounded as the students appreciated a few minutes or furry stress relief and the canines enjoyed the attention of petting and belly rubs.

News Briefs for the Week of Dec 17 2021

School Pro-Life club prays in front of abortion facility

On the Solemnity of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8, 2021, the Pro-Life Club of the Donahue Catholic Academy of Ave Maria Parish, prayed in front of the Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Fort Myers. The students visit the site regularly and the Solemnity was a ideal time to come forward to be seen standing up for life as the voice of the voiceless – the unborn.

Naples high school hosts retreat

St. John Neumann Catholic High School hosted a DEC – Day Everyone Connects Retreat in Naples the weekend of Dec. 4-5, 2021. They welcomed Cristo Rey Catholic High School of Tampa and Immaculata LaSalle Catholic High School from Miami. Each school is led by Salesian Sister of St. John Bosco. The theme of this retreat was Renewal and New Life, and what better way to celebrate that than with birthday cake! Students took part in Mass, prayed together, and participated in a variety of spiritual exercises as well as team building activities while having lots of fun. It was also the first chance that many students were able to try the newly built and installed low ropes course that Neumann student Hunter Lund built on campus as his Eagle Scout project!

Mooney students spread Christmas spirit with hundreds of toys

The Cardinal Mooney chapter of the St. Vincent de Paul Society collected new toys to support Andrew’s Toybox in partnership with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office. The donated toys by Cardinal Mooney students will benefit the 12th Judicial Circuit of Florida Guardian ad Litem Program. Donations were picked up by the Sheriff’s Department, Dec. 13, 2021. That’s not all, the Sunshine Meadows Nursing Home in Sarasota will be receiving Christmas gifts that are purchased by the Cardinal Mooney staff and families. The 38 residents will be receiving the needed items on their Christmas list. Mooney students also volunteered to assist the Longboat Key Kiwanis fundraiser for the Children’s Charity Scholarship Luncheon on Dec. 4 by assisting guests and serving food to attendees. The Cardinal Mooney band performed for shoppers at the University Town Center on Dec. 6 to showcase members of the band and experience the sounds of the season.

Police escort students – students enjoy lights and sirens

St. Francis Xavier Catholic School reached out to the Fort Myers Police Department Dec. 9, 2021, for a simple request to help their students cross a busy intersection so they could attend an event. Of course, FMPD had to make sure they crossed in style with lights and sirens. The kids were ecstatic to have the officers there escorting them and they officers enjoyed it just as much.

Older students teach about saints to schoolmates

The eighth graders at Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School in Venice took time out of their busy schedule to teach what they know about the saints to students in other classrooms. On Dec. 7, 2021, the students visited the fifth graders, asking questions such as “What do you know about saints?” or “What qualities do saints possess?” This opened up a lively discussion where it was learned that many saints are known for doing the small things in service to Christ well, something they should learn to emulate in their own lives.

Students organize food and toy drives

The St. Ann Catholic School Student Council sponsored a food drive for St. Matthews House in Naples to help fight hunger and poverty in Southwest Florida collecting all of their items on Dec. 7, 2021. At the same time, the S.O.S. Colombia Christmas Campaign gathered boxes of clothes and toys for Christmas, while collecting money for needy children in Bogota, Colombia.

2021 Diocesan Parish Christmas Mass times

Below, please find the 2021 Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Mass times for Parishes throughout the Diocese of Venice. The listings are in alphabetical order by the city the Parish is located.

For details on youth choirs or musical accompaniment, please contact the Parish via the phone number or website listed for further information.

As a reminder, the televised Christmas Day Mass for the Homebound with Celebrant Bishop Frank J. Dewane will air for a full hour on Christmas Day. For viewers in the northern portions of the Diocese (DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, Manatee, and Sarasota counties), the Mass will air at 10 a.m. on the CW Network. In the southern portions of the Diocese (Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Lee counties), the Mass will air at 6 a.m. on WFTX-TV (FOX-4). Please check your cable provider for channel listings.

The Mass will also be available on the Diocesan website at dioceseofvenice.org/televisedmass.

Leaflet missals are available upon request by calling Gail Ardy at 941-486-4714 or by writing: TV Mass, Diocese of Venice, 1000 Pinebrook Road, Venice, FL 34285. For more information email ardy@dioceseofvenice.org.

ARCADIA

■ St. Paul, 1208 E. Oak St., www.stpaularcadia.org, 863-494-2611

CHRISTMAS EVE 5 p.m., 8 p.m. (Spanish)

CHRISTMAS DAY 9 a.m., 11 a.m. (Spanish)

AVE MARIA

■ Ave Maria, 5078 Pope John Paul II Blvd., www.avemariaparish.org, 239-261-5555

CHRISTMAS EVE 3:30 p.m., 5 p.m., midnight

CHRISTMAS DAY 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. (Latin)

AVON PARK

■ Our Lady of Grace, 595 E. Main St., www.ologap.org, 863-453-4757

CHRISTMAS EVE 4 p.m., 7 p.m. (Spanish), 10 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 8 a.m., 10:30 a.m., noon (Spanish)

BOCA GRANDE

■ Our Lady of Mercy. 240 Park Ave., 941-964-2254

CHRISTMAS EVE 5 p.m., 10 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m.

BOKEELIA

■ Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, 12175 Stringfellow Road, www.miraculousmedalch.org, 239-283-0456

CHRISTMAS EVE 3 p.m., 7 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m.

BONITA SPRINGS

■ St. Leo the Great, 28290 Beaumont Road, www.stleocatholicchurch.org, 239-992-0901

CHRISTMAS EVE 3:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 9 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 7:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 5 p.m. (Spanish)

BOWLING GREEN

■ Holy Child; 4315 Chester Ave.; 863-773-4089; michaelwauchula.weconnect.com

CHRISTMAS DAY  2 p.m. (Spanish)

BRADENTON

■ Sacred Heart, 1220 15th St. W., www.sacredheartbradenton.org, 941-748-2221

CHRISTMAS EVE 5 p.m., 9:30 p.m. (Spanish)

CHRISTMAS DAY 9 a.m., 11 a.m. (Spanish)

■ Ss. Peter and Paul, 2850 75th St. W., www.sspeterandpaul.org, 941-795-1228

CHRISTMAS EVE 4:30 p.m., 7 p.m., 10 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.

■ St. Joseph, 3100 26th St. W., www.sjcfl.org, 941-756-3732

CHRISTMAS EVE 4 p.m., 7 p.m., 10:30 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 9 a.m., 11 a.m.

BUCKHEAD RIDGE

■ St. Theresa of the Child Jesus, 1027 Chobee Loop,  863-946-0696

CHRISTMAS EVE 4 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 10 a.m.

CAPE CORAL

■ St. Andrew, 2628 Del Prado Blvd. S., www.standrewrcc.org, 239-574-4545

CHRISTMAS EVE 4 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 6 p.m., 8 p.m. (Spanish), 11 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., noon (Spanish)

■ St. Katharine Drexel, 1922 S.W. 20th Ave., saintkatharinedrexelparish.org, 239-283-9501

CHRISTMAS EVE 4 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 6 p.m., midnight

CHRISTMAS DAY 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m.

CLEWISTON

■ Santa Rosa de Lima, 835 N. Mayoral St., Montura Ranch Estates, www.saintmargaretparish.org, 863-983-8585

CHRISTMAS EVE 7 p.m. (Spanish)

CHRISTMAS DAY noon (Spanish)

■ St. Margaret, 208 N. Deane Duff Ave., www.saintmargaretparish.org, 863-983-8585

CHRISTMAS EVE 5:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m. (Spanish)

CHRISTMAS DAY 10 a.m.

ENGLEWOOD

■ St. Raphael, 770 Kilbourne Ave., www.StRaphEng.org, 941-474-9595

CHRISTMAS EVE 4 p.m., 8 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m.

EVERGLADES CITY

■ Holy Family, 200 Datura Ave., www.sanmarcochurch.org

239-394-5181

CHRISTMAS DAY 10:30 a.m.

FORT MYERS 

■ Jesus the Worker, 881 Nuna Ave., www.jesustheworker.org, 239-693-5333 (All MASSES IN SPANISH)

CHRISTMAS EVE 7 p.m., midnight

CHRISTMAS DAY noon

■ Our Lady of Light, 19680 Cypress View Drive, www.ourladyoflight.com, 239-267-7088

CHRISTMAS EVE 4 p.m., 6 p.m., 8 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 7 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m.

■ Resurrection of Our Lord, 8121 Cypress Lake Drive, www.ResurrectionCh.org, 239-481-7172

CHRISTMAS EVE 3:30 p.m., 5 p.m., 7 p.m., 10 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. (Latin)

■ Sagrada Familia, 4235 Michigan Ave. Link, 239-657-2666

CHRISTMAS DAY 6 p.m. (Portuguese)

■ San Jose, 10750 Gladiolus Drive, 239-639-5333, (All MASSES IN SPANISH)

CHRISTMAS EVE 7 p.m., midnight

CHRISTMAS DAY noon

■ St. Cecilia, 5632 Sunrise Drive, www.saintcecilias.org, 239-936-3635

CHRISTMAS EVE 4 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 9 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 9 a.m., 11 a.m.

■ St. Columbkille, 12171 Iona Road, www.stcolumbkille.com, 239-489-3973

CHRISTMAS EVE 3 p.m., 5 p.m., 7 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m.

■ St. Francis Xavier, 2157 Cleveland Ave., www.stfrancisfm.org, 239-334-2161

CHRISTMAS EVE 4 p.m., 5:30 p.m., (Creole), 8 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 7:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m. (Polish)

■ St. John XXIII, 13060 Palomino Lane, www.johnxxiii.net, 239-561-2245

CHRISTMAS EVE 4 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 9 p.m., 11 p.m. (Vietnamese)

CHRISTMAS DAY 7:15 a.m., 9:15 a.m., 11:15 a.m.,    1:30 p.m. (Spanish)

■ St. Vincent de Paul, 13031 Palm Beach Blvd., www.stvincentfortmyers.org, 239-693-0818

CHRISTMAS EVE 7 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 9 a.m., 11 a.m.

FORT MYERS BEACH

■ Ascension, 6025 Estero Blvd., 239-463-6754

CHRISTMAS EVE 7 p.m., 9 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 8 a.m., 10 a.m.

GROVE CITY

■ St. Francis of Assisi, 5265 Placida Road, www.sfoachurch.com, 941-697-4899

CHRISTMAS EVE 4 p.m., 8 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 8 a.m., 10 a.m.

HOLMES BEACH

■ St. Bernard, 248 S. Harbor Drive, www.stbernardcc.org, 941-778-4769

CHRISTMAS EVE 4 p.m., 7 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m.

IMMOKALEE

■ Our Lady of Guadalupe, 219 S. 9th St., 239-657-2666

CHRISTMAS EVE 6 p.m., 8 p.m. (Spanish)

CHRISTMAS DAY 10 a.m., noon (Spanish)

LABELLE

■ Holy Martyrs, 4290 Crescent Ave. S.W., www.olqhhmm.org, 863-675-0030

CHRISTMAS EVE 7 p.m. (Spanish)

■ Our Lady Queen of Heaven, 355 S. Bridge St., 863-675-0030

CHRISTMAS EVE 5 p.m., 8:30 p.m. (Spanish)

CHRISTMAS DAY 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. (Spanish), noon (Spanish)

LAKE PLACID

■ St. James, 3380 Placid View Drive, www.stjameschurchlp.com, 863-465-3215

CHRISTMAS EVE 5:30 p.m., 10 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 8 a.m., 10 a.m.

■ Santiago Apostol, 685 County Road 621 E., 863-385-0049

CHRISTMAS EVE 8 p.m. (Spanish)

CHRISTMAS DAY 10 a.m. (Spanish)

LAKEWOOD RANCH

■ Our Lady of the Angels, 12905 State Road 70 E., www.olangelscc.org, 941-752-6770

CHRISTMAS EVE 4 p.m., 6 p.m., 8 p.m., 10 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m.

LEHIGH ACRES

■ St. Raphael, 2514 Lee Blvd., www.saintraphaelcc.net, 239-369-1831

CHRISTMAS EVE 5 p.m., 8 p.m. (Spanish), 10 p.m., midnight

CHRISTMAS DAY 8 a.m., 10 a.m. (Spanish), noon

LONGBOAT KEY

■ St. Mary, Star of the Sea, 4280 Gulf of Mexico Drive, www.stmarylbk.org, 941-383-1255

CHRISTMAS EVE 5 p.m., 8:30 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m.

MARCO ISLAND

■ San Marco, 851 San Marco Road, www. sanmarcochurch.org, 239-394-5181

CHRISTMAS EVE 3:45 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 10 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 8 a.m., 10:30 a.m.

MOORE HAVEN

■ St. Joseph the Worker, 1800 N. U.S. Highway 27, 863-946-0696

CHRISTMAS EVE 7:30 p.m. (Spanish)

CHRISTMAS DAY 8 a.m.

NAPLES

■ Corpus Christi, 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Road, www.corpuschristifssp.com/, 402-659-5531, (All Masses in Latin)

CHRISTMAS DAY 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m.

■ St. Agnes, 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Road, www.stagnesnaples.org, 239-592-1949

CHRISTMAS EVE 4 p.m., 5 p.m. (Palmetto Ridge High School), 7 p.m., midnight

CHRISTMAS DAY 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. (Spanish)

■ St. Ann, 985 Third St. S., www. naplesstann.org, 239-262-4256

CHRISTMAS EVE 4 p.m., 7 p.m., 10 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 9 a.m., 11 a.m.

■ St. Elizabeth Seton, 5225 Golden Gate Parkway, www.stelizabethseton.org, 239-455-3900

CHRISTMAS EVE 5 p.m., 7 p.m. (Spanish), midnight

CHRISTMAS DAY 8 a.m., 10 a.m.

■ St. Finbarr, 13520 Tamiami Trail E., www.stfinbarr.org, 239-417-2084

CHRISTMAS EVE 4:30 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 8 a.m. (Spanish), 10 a.m.

■ St. John the Evangelist, 625 111th Ave. N., www.saintjohntheevangelist.com, 239-566-8740

CHRISTMAS EVE 3 p.m., 5 p.m., 7 p.m., midnight

CHRISTMAS DAY 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m.

■ St. Peter the Apostle, 5130 Rattlesnake Hammock Road, www.stpeternaples.org, 239-774-3337

CHRISTMAS EVE 3:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 8 p.m., 10 p.m. (Creole), midnight (Spanish)

CHRISTMAS DAY 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. (Spanish), 3:45 p.m. (Creole)

■ St. William, 750 Seagate Drive, www.stwilliam.org, 239-261-4883

CHRISTMAS EVE 2:45 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 6:15 p.m., 10 p.m., midnight (Latin)

CHRISTMAS DAY 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m.

NOCATEE

■ Capilla Católica de San Juan Diego, 5247 S.W. Highway 17, 863-494-2611

CHRISTMAS EVE 6 p.m. (Spanish)

NORTH FORT MYERS

■ St. Therese, 20155 N. Tamiami Trail, www.sainttheresechurch.net, 239-567-2315

CHRISTMAS EVE 4 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 8 a.m., 10 a.m.

NORTH PORT

■ San Pedro, 14380 Tamiami Trail, www.sanpedrocc.org, 941-426-2500

CHRISTMAS EVE 5:30 p.m., midnight

CHRISTMAS DAY 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 10:45 a.m.

OSPREY

■ Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 425 S. Tamiami Trail, www.olmc-osprey.org, 941-966-0807

CHRISTMAS EVE 3 p.m., 5 p.m., 7:30 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m.

PALMETTO

■ Holy Cross, 505 26th St. W., www.holycrossdov.org, 941-729-3891

CHRISTMAS EVE 4 p.m., 7 p.m. (Spanish)

CHRISTMAS DAY 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m. (Spanish)

PARRISH

■ St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, 12001 69th St. E., www.sfxcabrini.com, 941-776-9097

CHRISTMAS EVE 4 p.m., 6 p.m., midnight

CHRISTMAS DAY 10:30 a.m.

PORT CHARLOTTE

■ San Antonio, 24445 Rampart Blvd., www.sanantoniorcc.org, 941-624-3799

CHRISTMAS EVE 3 p.m., 5:30 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 9 a.m.

■ St. Charles Borromeo, 2500 Easy St., www.stcharlespc.org, 941-625-4754

CHRISTMAS EVE 4 p.m., 6 p.m., midnight

CHRISTMAS DAY 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. (Creole)

■ St. Maximilian Kolbe, 1441 Spear St., Stmaxcatholic.org, 941-743-6877

CHRISTMAS EVE 4 p.m., 8 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon

PUNTA GORDA

■ Sacred Heart, 211 W. Charlotte Ave., www.sacredheartfl.org, 941-639-3957

CHRISTMAS EVE 4 p.m., 9 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m.

SANIBEL

■ St. Isabel,  3559 Sanibel Captiva Road, www.saintisabel.org, 239-472-2763

CHRISTMAS EVE 5 p.m., 7:30 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 10:30 a.m.

SARASOTA

■ Christ the King, 1900 Meadowood St., www.Christthekingsarasota.org, 941-924-2777, (All MASSES IN LATIN)

CHRISTMAS EVE midnight

CHRISTMAS DAY 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m.

■ Incarnation, 2901 Bee Ridge Road, www.incarnationchurch.org, 941-921-6631

CHRISTMAS EVE 4 p.m., 7 p.m., 10 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m.

■ Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, 6600 Pennsylvania Ave., www.olqm.net, 941-755-1826

CHRISTMAS EVE 3 p.m., 5 p.m., 10 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 8 a.m., 10 a.m.

■ St. Jude, 3930 17th St., www.stjudechurchsarasota.com, 941-955-3934

CHRISTMAS EVE 4 p.m., 11 p.m. (Spanish)

CHRISTMAS DAY 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m. (Spanish), 10:30 a.m., noon (Spanish)

■ St. Martha, 200 N. Orange Ave., www.stmartha.org, 941-366-4210

CHRISTMAS EVE 4 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m. (Vietnamese), 10 p.m., midnight

CHRISTMAS DAY 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., noon, noon (Vietnamese), 4 p.m., 5:30 p.m.

■ St. Michael the Archangel, 5394 Midnight Pass Road, www.stmichaelssiesta.com, 941-349-4174

CHRISTMAS EVE 4 p.m., 7 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 8 a.m., 10 a.m.

■ St. Patrick, 7900 Bee Ridge Road, www.churchofstpatrick.org, 941-378-1703

CHRISTMAS EVE 3 p.m., 5 p.m., 10 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 10 a.m., noon

■ St. Thomas More, 2506 Gulf Gate Drive, www.stthomasmoresrq.org, 941-923-1691

CHRISTMAS EVE 3 p.m., 5 p.m., 10 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 10 a.m., noon

SEBRING

■ St. Catherine, 820 Hickory St., www.stcathe.com, 863-385-0049

CHRISTMAS EVE 4 p.m., 9 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon (Spanish)

VENICE

■ Epiphany Cathedral, 350 Tampa Ave. W., www.epiphanycathedral.org, 941-484-3505

CHRISTMAS EVE 3:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 9 p.m. (Polish), midnight

CHRISTMAS DAY 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m.

■ Our Lady of Lourdes, 1301 Center Road, www.ollvenice.org, 941-497-2931

CHRISTMAS EVE 3 p.m., 5 p.m., 8 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon

WAUCHULA

■ St. Michael, 408 Heard Bridge Road, www. michaelwauchula.weconnect.com, 863-773-4089

CHRISTMAS EVE 6 p.m., 8 p.m. (Spanish)

CHRISTMAS DAY 8:30 p.m., noon (Spanish)

Celebrating Christmas during a Pandemic

The Christmas Season is a time to celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ and an opportunity to let the light of the Lord shine forth from within.

Celebrations abounded throughout the Diocese of Venice with Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Masses bringing in the number of faithful not seen since before the start of the global COVID-19 Pandemic.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane recorded a Christmas Day Mass for broadcast on TV to the homebound and also offered a livestream Mass from the Catholic Canter in Venice on Christmas Day.

The message of Bishop Dewane was of hope, not only of the news that vaccines are being distributed, but the “hope that God gave us in sending His Son into the World. That is what we celebrate today… Allow Christ to be the light in your life.”

Aside from the decorated altars, behind the scenes it was the Faithful who magnified the light of Christ through their generosity in supporting those in the community who are less fortunate.

To reach as many children as possible, while still staying safe, St. Margaret Parish in Clewiston, distributed gifts during smaller celebrations throughout December. Each child also received a t-shirt with an image of Jesus embracing a child and the name of the Parish. In all, some 500 children received gifts.

At St. Jude Parish in Sarasota, Pastor Father Celestino Gutiérrez helped to distribute toys and food for 58 families at the Myakka Mission for Migrants brings smiles to the faces of 118 children.

Donors from across the Diocese brought holiday cheer to children at St. Michael Parish in Wauchula, where gifts were distributed following an outdoor Nativity Play on Dec. 19, 2020. In addition to the gifts, the young children of the Parish also received jackets, donated by the Knights of Columbus from Our Lady of the Angels Parish in Lakewood Ranch.

Those in religious education classes at Sacred Heart Parish in Punta Gorda, who usually visited nearby assisted living facilities, turned their disappointment into activities which included handmaking Christmas cards and creating gift bags for residents. The youth created videos of Christmas Carols that were shared with the residents and posted to social media.

Donations not only came from Parishes and the faithful, but from inspiring children who wanted to help kids like themselves.

For example, Renata, Milena and Tyler, along with their friends, all from the Vilano Community in Sarasota, pooled their lemonade stand money to buy necessities and donate them to the mothers at Our Mother’s House in Venice, a residential and support program of Catholic Charities which assists single mothers and their children who might otherwise be homeless.

One young girl from Fort Myers, 5-year-old Chandler Ciccarello, first went to friends and then went on social media to raise money so she could use the money, with the help of her mom, to buy gifts for area needy children. In the end, more than $4,000 was raised and gifts were purchased for 400 children and donated to Catholic Charities of Lee County. Originally the idea was to buy bicycles for children and enough was raised that all children who asked receive a bicycle for Christmas courtesy of Chandler.

These are but a few examples of the spirit of Christmas which spread across the Diocese of Venice this Holiday Season.

Catholic schools celebrate Christmas early in a variety of ways

The modern struggles facing all of society of trying to inject the Christmas spirit into the season dominated harrowing by COVID-19 Pandemic news, can be viewed in a microcosm at Diocese of Venice Catholic schools.

Appropriate time was taken out to have pre-Christmas festivities to ensure some light and festive moments took place in a socially distanced manner. At the same time, service projects took special meaning as items collected and distributed provided holiday cheer and kindness to others who may be alone or struggling this year.

St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic School celebrated “The Reason for the Season” at an outdoor Family Christmas Event on Dec. 11, 2020. There was a live student nativity, Christmas story narration, student decorated Christmas tree, lights, hot chocolate, goodies and fellowship. Donated gifts were gathered under the Christmas tree, destined for children at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Immokalee.

St. Martha Catholic School in Sarasota had students collect snacks and treats which were sent to military serving oversees in mid-December. Just before their holiday vacation, the youngest students participated in a special Christmas prayer service with religious songs before a large Nativity scene and concluded with a Christmas carol singalong. Meanwhile, some of the older students thought they were having a pop spelling quiz when instead the quiz papers became part of an outdoor “snowball” fight.’

Also taking place in Sarasota, the Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School chapter of the St. Vincent de Paul Society collected new toys which students delivered just in time for Christmas to the pediatric ward of Manatee Memorial Hospital, Mothers Helping Mothers and Sarasota Memorial Hospital Center for Behavior Health. Stuffed animals were collected and delivered to the Sarasota Department of Children and Families. Meanwhile, the Cardinal Mooney students also provided gifts for the 60 residents of the Sunshine Meadows Nursing Home in Sarasota.

The students at St. Francis Xavier Catholic School National Junior Honor Society in Fort Myers helped to organize the collection of more than 700 gifts as part of the annual St. Nicholas Gift Drive to benefit Catholic Charities of Lee County. Students, along with help from the Knights of Columbus, provided warm coats for children in Bonita Springs. The children. in pre-kindergarten. had a special visit from Mary, Joseph and the Three Wise Men as they learned about the Miracle of the Christ Child.

Meanwhile, at St. Ann Catholic School in Naples, a pajama dress-up day helped to collect new pajamas for local children. Early in December, the students received a visit from St. Nicholas for a view of Santa’s workshop as well as for fun and games.

Decorating is a big part of Christmas, so students at St. Andrew Catholic School in Cape Coral decorated their own “Christmas trees” in art class using various materials to create their tree and decorations.

Construction was on the minds of students at St. Joseph Catholic School in Bradenton as they were asked to build their own crèche.

In lieu of in-person holiday concerts or presentations, many schools opted to pre-record performances and later shared the results for all to hear and see online.

News briefs for the week of Dec. 14, 2020

Bishop celebrates Mass for Sarasota Catholic school

Bishop Frank J. Dewane celebrated Mass on Dec. 10, 2020, Thursday of the Second Week of Advent, for the students at Incarnation Catholic School in Sarasota. Bishop Dewane reminded the students to not only prepare for the coming of the Christ Child at Christmas but for the Second Coming of Christ. Following the Mass, the Bishop spoke to the eighth graders and fielded questions from the group.

Televised Christmas Day Mass for the Homebound

The televised Christmas Day Mass for the Homebound, with Celebrant Bishop Frank J. Dewane, will air for a full hour on Christmas Day. For viewers in the northern portions of the Diocese (DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, Manatee, and Sarasota counties), the Mass will air at 9:30 a.m. on the CW Network. In the southern portions of the Diocese (Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Lee counties), the Mass will air at 8 a.m. on WFTX-TV (FOX-4). You will also be able to find the Christmas Day Mass on the Diocese of Venice website at www.dioceseofvenice.org/tvmass. Please check your cable provider for channel listings. Leaflet missals are available upon request by calling Gail Ardy at 941-486-4714 or by writing: TV Mass, Diocese of Venice, 1000 Pinebrook Road, Venice, FL 34285. For more information email ardy@dioceseofvenice.org.

Catholic Charities Christmas Appeal

The annual Catholic Charities Christmas Appeal is happening now through January. A donation to the 19th Annual Catholic Charities Christmas Appeal will give those struggling the means to move beyond their battles and strengthen our communities during these times of high unemployment and despair. During this season of sharing, please consider a contribution to Catholic Charities so we can continue to provide help, create hope, and serve all. Thank you for your giving spirit! To donate, please visit www.catholiccharitiesdov.org or mail a donation to Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc., 5824 Bee Ridge Road PMB 409, Sarasota, FL 34233-5065.

Annual Mass for Catholic Haitian Community Jan. 1

The annual Mass celebrating the 217th anniversary of the independence of Haiti will take place at 2 p.m., Jan. 1, 2021, the Solemnity of Holy Mary, Mother of God, at St. Leo the Great Parish, 28290 Beaumont Road, Bonita Springs. The Main Celebrant is Bishop Frank J. Dewane. There is ample seating available at the Parish with social distancing and masks required. A drive-thru dinner will follow in lieu of a reception. For more information, please contact Father Fritz Ligondé at 239-210-1018.

Students send get well cards to COVID patients

St. Martha Catholic School second-graders in Sarasota made “Get Well Cards” for the patients on the COVID-19 Floor of Sarasota Memorial Hospital, as well as “Thank You Cards” for the staff which were delivered the week of Dec. 7, 2020. The students also collected treats to make Gift Baskets.

Toiletries added to food distribution

Thanks to a generous donation, toiletries were included in the Dec. 11, 2020, food pantry distribution by Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. in Arcadia. The items allow the recipients to focus on the purchasing of other more urgent needs without having to pay for toiletries and food as they struggle to become more financially stable.

2021 Catechetical Conference Feb. 13

The 2021 Catechetical Conference, “Encountering Christ in the Classroom” will be held Feb. 13, 2021, at Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers. The day will begin with Mass celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Dewane. This will be followed by keynote addresses and workshops in English and Spanish. All workshops will be geared around how to engage both catechists and students the lesson about the Faith while having Jesus Christ at the center. Exhibitors will be present, making possible the viewing new and creative ideas on using technologies, resources and teaching techniques. The cost for the day is $25 a person and includes lunch. Registration for this event can be found at https://dioceseofvenice.regfox.com/2021-catechetical-day

Sunday Mass In Spanish available on the radio

St. Jude Parish in Sarasota broadcasts the Holy Mass in Spanish, celebrated by Pastor Father Celestino Gutiérrez, every Sunday at 9 a.m. on radio station 99.1 and at 11 a.m. on 105.3. We thank the sponsors for this Mass and SOLMART Media for their collaboration in this effort.

Misa Dominical En Español

La Iglesia de San Judas en Sarasota transmitirá la Santa Misa en español, oficiada por su Párroco, el Padre Celestino Gutiérrez, todos los domingos a las 9 a.m. por la emisora de radio 99.1 y a las 11 a.m. por la 105.3. Agradecemos a los Patrocinadores para esta Misa y a SOLMART Media por su colaboración en este esfuerzo.

Safe Haven Sunday coming to Diocese

Pornography is one of the leading causes of addictions, abuse, adultery, divorce, and even human trafficking: it is, in short, a pervasive evil inflicting grave wounds on our families. Pornography creates unsafe environments for children and confuses others about attitudes towards sex and marriage. It is a moral issue. For this reason, March 7, 2021, has been designated as Safe Haven Sunday in the Diocese of Venice. This awareness day will give us an opportunity to address the harmfulness of pornography in marriages, families, and culture, while providing helpful resources for all. Detailed information about the implementation of this program will be shared in the coming weeks through your Parishes. If you have any questions, please contact Carrie Harkey, Diocesan Coordinator of Family Life at harkey@dioceseofvenice.org.

Online “Introduction to Catholic Theology” offered by Diocesan Institute

The Institute for Catholic Studies and Formation is offering a 16-week online course starting Jan. 11, 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. Anyone interested in a graduate-level introduction to Catholic Theology is welcomed to access the course for half-price. The course is taught by Dr. John Gresham, Executive Director of the Institute. For cost and other information and to register for the course, visit https://institute-dov.org/ and click on the link to COURSES. For more information, contact Dr. Gresham at 941-766-7334 or john.gresham@institute-dov.org.

Anniversary Masses coming soon

All couples celebrating 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, or more than 50 years of marriage are invited by Bishop Frank J. Dewane to an Anniversary Mass in their honor to be celebrated in two locations. This year, considering the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, each location will have two Masses to allow for appropriate social distancing. The Masses are 10 a.m. and noon on Feb. 6, 2021, Epiphany Cathedral, 350 Tampa Ave. W., and 10 a.m. and noon, March 6, 2021, St. Leo the Great Parish, 28290 Beaumont Road, Bonita Springs. All registration is being handled through your local Parish. Please reserve your seats at least one week before the Mass you wish to attend.

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