News Briefs for the Week of Sept. 10, 2021

Bishop celebrates Mass for students in Fort Myers

Bishop Frank J. Dewane celebrated Mass for students at St. Francis Xavier Catholic School and Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers on Sept. 7, 2021. He stressed the importance of taking time for prayer in their lives. The Bishop cited the Gospel Reading for the day (Lk 6:12-19), when the Lord calls the 12 Disciples by name. “Jesus always took time for prayer before making a major decision or announcement,” Bishop Dewane said. “Find the time in your life to pray.”

Naples Parish hosts Peace Novena

St. Agnes Parish in Naples began a Peace Novena on Sept. 3, 2021, in the lead up to the 20th Anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks and marking the end of the war in Afghanistan with its recent tragic consequences. The daily Peace Novena will conclude at 3 p.m., Sept. 11, in the Church, 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Road The service will include special decorations, candle lighting, scripture readings, a brief homily, intercessions, the completion of the Novena, and music, prior to the 4 p.m. Mass. The faithful were able to follow the novena through the Parish website.

Knights gifts Bibles to students

The sixth and seventh grade students at St. Joseph Catholic School in Bradenton were each presented with a personal Bible, courtesy of the Knights of Columbus. St. Joseph Pastor, Father Rafal Ligenza, visited each of the classrooms and blessed the Bibles on Sept. 3, 2021.

Students donate blood

More than 60 Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School students donated blood on Aug. 31, 2021 as part of a life-saving drive conducted at the Sarasota school by Suncoast Blood Centers.

 

Freshmen retreat includes pray and fun

The St. John Neumann Catholic High School Class of 2025 participated in the annual Freshmen Retreat on Sept. 3, 2021 in Naples. It was a day of prayer, adoration, education, fun, games, trivia, and food!

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)

Diocesan Priest installed as State Chaplain for Knights

Father Bob Kantor, Pastor of St. Agnes Parish in Naples and Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus, was installed as the Florida Knights of Columbus State Chaplain on July 3, 2021 in Winter Garden.

The installation ceremony was led by Bishop Frank J. Dewane and took place following Mass.

After reading the responsibilities of the office, Bishop Dewane placed the State Chaplain Medal on Father Kantor. Bishop Dewane and Father Kantor then congratulated the other officers as the State Deputy presented their medals.

“It was nice of Bishop Dewane to come all the way up there to do the ceremony,” Father said. “The Knights and I were very grateful.”

Father Kantor will continue to serve as Diocesan Chaplain for the Knights and the new State Chaplain appointment is for a two-year term.

In addition to his responsibilities at St. Agnes, Father Kantor is also Dean of the Southern Deanery and the Diocesan of Venice Director for the Propagation of the Faith (Mission Office).

News Briefs for the week of March 26, 2021

Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday Televised Mass

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

Holy Week Mass times

The Holy Week Mass times for each Diocese of Venice Parish/Mission have been compiled and are available for viewing at www.dioceseofvenice.org. The list is in alphabetical order by city and includes the address and contact information for more information.

Catholic Center daily livestream to end March 31

The livestream of the Daily Mass from the Catholic Center will end on the final day of Lent, Wednesday, March 31, 2021. The 8 a.m. livestream of the Daily Mass from Epiphany Cathedral in Venice will still be available for viewing through the Diocese of Venice and Cathedral Facebook pages. As usual, this stream is available for viewing throughout the day.

Knight receives honor for military valor

Knights of Columbus member Salvatore (Sal) Naimo, of the Our Lady of Victory Council 3358, served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the 1950s including during the Korean War. On his 89th birthday, March 17, 2021, the veteran received one of the military’s highest honors for his heroic actions nearly 70 years ago. Colonel John Polidoro, Chief of Staff for Marine Corps Forces, Central Command, awarded Cpl. Naimo the Silver Star in a ceremony at the Knights Hall in Sarasota.

It was September 1951 when Cpl. Naimo put his own life at risk by carrying two fellow Marines who were severely injured in a mortar attack to get aid. Naimo was nominated for the honor years ago but only recently was it approved and awarded.

“What I did in 1951, it is long gone in the past, but this will remind me of it forever,” Naimo said to local media who were present for the ceremony. “It was a day that I won’t forget. It is just something that I won’t probably talk about again.”

Divine Mercy items of interest

A Divine Mercy Novena begins on Good Friday, April 2, 2021 and concludes Saturday, April 10. In private revelations to St. Faustina, Jesus asked that the Feast of Divine Mercy be preceded by a novena praying for nine intentions with the Divine Mercy Chaplet. It is particularly appropriate for anyone who has been touched by abortion or is nearing death. The novena can be accessed online at www.thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/novena.php.

In addition, there will be a Divine Mercy Sunday Prayer Service on April 11, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Epiphany Cathedral, 350 Tampa Ave, West, Venice. Everyone is invited to participate in the prayer service for forgiveness and healing from pregnancy loss. The prayer service will also be livestreamed at www.facebook.com/DioceseofVenice.

For information about either the Divine Mercy Novena of the Prayer Service, please contact Sylvia at 941-412-5860 or project.rachel@dioceseofvenice.org.

Bishop celebrates Mass for students in Sarasota and Bradenton

Bishop Frank J. Dewane continued celebrating Mass for students in Diocese of Venice Catholic schools with the latest stops on March 8, 2021, at Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota, March 19 at St. Joseph Catholic School in Bradenton and March 23 at St. Martha Catholic School and St. Mary Academy in Sarasota.

During these Masses, Bishop Dewane stressed how the Lenten Season is a time for prayer, fasting, and almsgiving as we prepare to celebrate the Paschal Mystery of our Faith.

Freshman Retreat

The Bishop Verot Catholic High School Class of 2024 enjoyed the much-anticipated Freshman Retreat on March 17, 2021. Seniors led the event, including a scavenger hunt, small group discussions, ice cream social, and candlelight prayer service in the courtyard. The key moment of the retreat was the celebration of Mass. This retreat was postponed from before the start of the academic year due to necessary pandemic restrictions.

 

 

News Briefs for Week of March 6, 2021

Something BIG is coming to DOV Catholic Education

The Diocese of Venice Catholic Education Department will be making a big announcement regarding the future of Catholic Schools within the Diocese and an exciting new partnership which will propel all students into the forefront of STREAM (science, technology, religion, engineering, arts, math) focused education. An event featuring Bishop Frank J. Dewane and Father John Belmonte, SJ, Diocesan Superintendent of Catholic Education, will be livestreamed from the St. Martha Catholic School Zazarino Center at 10 a.m., March 10, 2021 via the Diocese of Venice Facebook page.

Students helped victims of Texas disaster

Helping Texas Recover! The proceeds from the Feb. 27, 2021 St. John Neuman Catholic School Cowgirl & Cowboy themed dress down day are going to the Austin Area Urban League to aid relief efforts. Along with fellow community-based organizations, the League plans to help provide shelter, food, clothing, and more to those impacted by the cold. Our Celtics even held a fashion show at lunch to show off their best western attire and compete for some gift cards!

Free Tele Mental Health Counseling Services available

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 in your family are feeling stressed, anxious, overwhelmed, depressed or helpless, we can help. For more information, please contact the number for your area Sarasota/Manatee/DeSoto/Hardee/Highlands counties: 844-385-2407; Charlotte/Lee/Hendry/Glades counties: 844-385-2423; Collier County: 844-385-2404.

Knights Fish Fry in Sarasota

The Knights of Columbus, Our Lady of Victory Council #3358 at 4880 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, is hosting Lenten Fish Fry Fridays from 4:30 p.m.-7 p.m. to March 26. The meal includes your choice of hand battered fish (fried or baked) or fried shrimp with a roll, coleslaw and a choice of french fries, rice or macaroni and cheese. The cost is $12 for adults, $8 children and under age 4 are free.  There is a $2 charge for seconds on fish.  Desserts and soft drinks are also available for $1 each. The Columbus Hall also has a full cash bar with soda, beer, wine and liquor.  There is a weekly 50/50 Raffle. Take out and curb service are available as well as limited seating in the Hall.  Social distancing and masks are required. All are welcome!

Easter Triduum Retreat and Monthly Days of Prayer

The Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat and Spirituality Center in Venice continues to offer single days of prayer and overnight retreats in a safe, tranquil setting along the Myakka River.  A Monthly Day of Prayer is offered on both the second Sunday and the second Wednesday of each month (March 10 and 14). The Easter Triduum retreat begins with supper on Holy Thursday (April 1) and ends with breakfast on Easter Sunday (April 4).  The liturgies of the Lord’s Supper, Way of the Cross, Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion, Easter Vigil, and Sunrise Easter Liturgy are celebrated. Confessions are available. For more info or to register, call Denise Riley at 941-486 0233, ext. 3004, or visit www.olph-retreat.org and click on “Schedule of Events.”

Student learn to be athletics trainers

The Bishop Verot Catholic High School HOSA-Future Health Professions Club in Fort Myers hosted their first taping workshop Feb. 23, 2021 where students were able to learn about sports medicine. The athletic trainer taught the students a technique for taping the hand/wrist.

Faith and Wine Lee County March 18

The next gathering of Faith and Wine Lee County will be a virtual Zoom event beginning at 7 p.m., March 18, 2021. The speaker is Cy Kellett, the host of Catholic Answers Live, who will present “Whatever Happened to the Modern World?” Advanced registration is required at https://faithandwineleecounty.com.

 

Bradenton student takes Knights State Spelling Bee title

Michelle Lupescu, a seventh-grade student at St. Joseph Catholic School in Bradenton, won the Florida State Council of the Knights of Columbus Spelling Bee in Kissimmee on Feb. 6, 2021.

Michelle began the competitions at the local level with the Knights of Columbus St. Joseph Council 5604, based in Bradenton. She came in first for the seventh and eighth grade division at the school, district, and regional competitions, before moving on to the state level. The competition is held annually for private and Catholic schools throughout the state. The state level competition includes the top spellers from each of the Florida regions.

She credits much of her success to her language skills. Michelle’s family is from Romania and English is her second language.  In addition, she is enrolled in High School Level Spanish I at St. Joseph Catholic School.

Michelle appeared calm and confident even when she faced multiple rounds with the second and third place winners. Many of the adults in the room were commenting that they would have missed several of the words these students spelled with ease.

Principal Deborah Suddarth of St. Joseph Catholic School was present and congratulated Michelle, praising her excellent academic achievements that led to her victory. The general programs director for the Florida State Council of the Knights of Columbus, presented Michelle with a plaque and a $125 check.

Michelle is the daughter of Rev. Fr. Ioan Lupescu, a Romanian Orthodox priest, and Cami Lupescu.

Sarasota Prayer Walk commemorates dark anniversary

Support of the unborn is a moral stance, not a political one. This was the message shared during the 23rd Annual Prayer Walk for Life in Sarasota Jan. 22, 2021.

This walk coincided with the National Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children. The day also marked the 48th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision which cleared the way for the legalization of abortion in the U.S. Since legalization, some 60 million babies have been aborted.

A Mass celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Dewane began the day at St. Martha Parish, putting the activities in their proper context of prayer, resolve and hope. This Mass was livestreamed and shared via the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities social media accounts and was available for viewing by those outside of the Diocese.

“Respecting life is not a political issue, but a moral one,” Bishop Dewane stated. “Failing to protect life is a moral evil that threatens the dignity of each and every human being in the world today.”

For this reason, the Catholic Church, U.S. Bishops, priests and the faithful are obligated to continue to speak out for the voiceless because the right to life is God-given, the Bishop added.

“It has to be all of us together,” Bishop Dewane continued. “Abortion is of preeminent priority and we need to continue to be a voice for life in our country. The position of the Church and that of the U.S. Bishop Conference is unchanging and publicly well known. The sacredness of human life must be defended and has been the position of the Conference and Church since the beginning.”

The prayer walk took place in front of the regional headquarters for Planned Parenthood on Central Avenue in Sarasota, the largest abortionist in the nation.

Circling the facility in prayer, approximately 100 took part in the walk with some holding signs seeking the closure of the facility, others calling for all to pray for the unborn.

Carmella Roberts of Our Lady of the Angels Parish in Lakewood Ranch said she was pleased that there were so many people participating in the walk because of many factors that could have prevented participation.

“I’m so glad people didn’t use the excuse of the cold weather, the Pandemic or even a new president to stop coming out for this important walk for life,” Roberts said. “We are out here to raise awareness about what happens here, but also to educate others about the sacredness of all life. Jesus calls us to be here, in His place, to pray for the unborn and for the mothers that they choose life.”

The faithful of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Grove City took part in their own Prayer Walk for Life on Jan. 23, 2021. Participants circled the Parish Church while praying the rosary as witnesses to the dignity of the human person.

In addition, a Prayer Life Chain took place on Jan. 24, 2021 on U.S. 41 in front of San Pedro Parish in North Port. Dozens of faithful, led by Deacon Richard Frohmiller, held up signs for passing motorists to see that read “Jesus Forgives and Heals,” “Adoption is a Loving Option, “Pray to End Abortion,” “Abortion Hurts Women,” and more.

Beginning Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, the faithful will have the additional opportunity to stand up as witnesses for life. There will be two Diocesan locations for the Spring Campaign of 40 Days for Life. Stand and peacefully pray during vigils in the public right-of-way outside Planned Parenthood in Fort Myers or Sarasota. For more information, go to www.40daysforlife.com and click on the location nearest you.

For more information about the Diocese of Venice Respect Life Office, please visit www.dioceseofvenice.org/respectlife, or contact Jeanne Berdeaux at 941-484-9543 or berdeaux@dioceseofvenice.org.

News briefs for the week of Jan. 15, 2020

Fort Myers school installs new floors

Thanks to the contributions of generous donors, St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Fort Myers recently started implementing Phase 2 of its “Health and Safety Initiatives.” During the Christmas break carpet was replaced in seven Middle School classrooms, with laminate wood floors. In addition, the school added flexible classroom furniture which support collaborative learning within recommended social distancing parameters.

All-school Mass held for high schoolers in Fort Myers

The entire student body of Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers gathered for Mass in the Viking Stadium on Jan. 6, 2021, the Feast of the Epiphany. The outdoor Mass, with students sitting in the stands or on the football field, was the first time all students were able to gather together for Mass since the start of the Academic Year. Previous Masses had been divided by classes or grades, due to the need for social distancing. During the Mass, students took time to remember Joe Ilnitzki, an English teacher, who joined the faculty in the fall and died during the Christmas break.

Knights collect shoes and socks for homeless vets

The Knights of Columbus Council 11425 of St. Columbkille Parish in Fort Myers had a successful Shows and Socks for Homeless Veterans drive. This was the fourth such annual collection, which brought in more than 200 pairs of shoes and 500 pairs of socks and will be distributed to area agencies which support homeless veterans. Socks are one of most requested items for the homeless.

Students plant and maintain garden

Returning from Christmas vacation, second graders from Ms. Binky Ravazzoli’s class at St. Martha Catholic School in Sarasota worked hard on Jan. 6, 2021, assisting in the cleaning of the school Garden Beds and in planting new lettuce, beans, corn, carrots and rosemary. The fresh herbs and vegetables from the garden are eaten by the students throughout the year. The garden is also used as a hands-on learning tool to teach environmental awareness while having the responsibility of maintaining and later benefitting from their hard work.

Catholic Charities Ball Feb. 13

Please join us Feb. 13, 2021, for an elegant evening at one of Sarasota’s beautiful Jewels on the Bay, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Bring your valentine to an elegant evening featuring exquisite cuisine and wine pairing by Michael’s on East. The beautiful and unique setting of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens reminds us that, despite this pandemic, we are surrounded by God’s majesty and Mother Nature’s glory. The event begins at 6 p.m. with cocktails. Tickets are $350 with a limit of 150 guests. For more information call 941-909-7817 or email hilles.hughes@catholiccharitiesdov.org.

Faith & Wine Lee County Virtual Event Jan. 21

Faith & Wine of Lee County will hold its next Virtual Zoom Event at 7 p.m., Jan. 21, 2021. The guest speaker is Kitty Cleveland on the topic “Beloved: Finding My Identity in Christ.” Registration is now open for this free event at faithandwineleecounty.com.

Dispensation

As Bishop Frank J. Dewane continues to listen to public health data and hear from Priests and Parishioners about the experiences at Diocesan Parishes, the dispensation given to attend Sunday Mass has been extended indefinitely. At the same time, Bishop Dewane invites the Catholic Faithful who are able, to return to their Parish for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Please check the Diocese of Venice website for any updates.

Livestreaming

The Diocese of Venice will continue livestreaming the Mass through the Diocese website (www.dioceseofvenice.org) and Facebook pages from the Catholic Center in Venice at 9:15 a.m. daily as the dispensation to attend Mass remains.

Act of Spiritual Communion

It has long been a Catholic understanding that when circumstances prevent one from receiving Holy Communion, it is possible to make an Act of Spiritual Communion which is a source of grace. Spiritual Communion means uniting one’s self in prayer with Christ’s sacrifice and worshiping Him in His Body and Blood.

The most common reason for making an Act of Spiritual Communion is when a person cannot attend Mass, as is the case during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Acts of Spiritual Communion increase our desire to receive sacramental Communion and help us avoid the sins that would make us unable to receive Holy Communion worthily.

For all who will not be able to receive the Holy Eucharist in person, consider this special prayer, an Act of Spiritual Communion:

My Jesus,
I believe that You
are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,

and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there

and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.
Amen.

Online Resources

A special coronavirus webpage is located on the Diocese of Venice website at www.dioceseofvenice.org. Resources include links to the Mass, the prayer for an Act of the Spiritual Communion, videos of the Stations of the Cross, Divine Mercy Chaplet and Pray the Rosary. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website, www.usccb.org, also posts the daily Mass readings.

Parish donations

During this challenging time in the life and mission of the Diocese of Venice, our Parishes face increased risk of financial shortfalls due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and its effects on everyday life. Parishes depend on weekly financial gifts to continue their ministries, especially in this critical time of crisis. The Diocese of Venice is providing an online platform and encourages the Faithful to support their Parish. Please visit https://dioceseofvenice.org/ways-to-give/parish-donations-online/ to donate to your Parish. The Faithful may also contribute through usual channels (e.g., envelopes, and through the Parish online giving option). Together we will navigate through this crisis, provide assistance to those in need, and secure the road ahead for the Parishes within the Diocese of Venice.

Mass honors Veterans

Even while the world continues to deal with the impacts of a global Pandemic, time must be taken to remember those men and women who faithfully served in defense of this country so that all can continue enjoy the freedoms we hold dear.

The annual Diocese of Venice Memorial Mass held on Veterans Day had an altered format because of the Pandemic, taking place at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice for a small group of people while being livestreamed, versus an outdoor event at Sarasota National Cemetery.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane noted the difference saying a Mass at the National Cemetery was impractical given restrictions on the size of the crowd due to the Pandemic. This was the first time since the Mass began in 2010 that the celebration was not held at Sarasota National Cemetery. In the end it turned out to be fortuitous that the outdoor event was rescheduled to be indoors as Hurricane Eta chose Nov. 11, 2020 to strike the west coast of Florida.

“We may be a little bit wet, but the reason we are gathered together does not change,” Bishop Dewane said. “We are here to thank all the men and women who served, and continue to serve, in the armed forces for what they have done so that we can live as we do today. We also comfort those who mourn, honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.”

Bishop Dewane noted that a veteran is called upon to do many things, as they proclaim liberty to captives, bringing glad tidings to the lowly and telling them they are free. Even when their active service is complete, veterans continue to give back to the community in which they live. At the same time, the Bishop said praise should also go to the families of those who serve, who make their own sacrifices in support of veterans.

Pope Francis spoke at an American Cemetery in Italy, a few years back, and reflected upon the vocation of soldiers as they are called to be both patriot and peacemaker. While it is sometimes difficult to do both at the same time, the Holy Father said soldiers are necessary in the world and their vocation allows virtue to flourish.

Ultimately, Bishop Dewane explained that the service of veterans for the common good merits tremendous respect for which we should all offer our heartfelt appreciation.

Members of the Knights of Columbus Color Corps were present at the Mass to bestow honors. The annual Mass is organized by the Diocese of Venice with support from the Knights of Columbus.

Dennis Warren, Past Grand Knight of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Council 13639, said many Knights, including himself, have served in the armed forces. This adds special significance to the annual Mass and is an important opportunity for the organization to join the Bishop in honoring all veterans.

“It is a privilege for all Knights to be part of this annual Mass,” Warren said. “While this year we could not all be together, this important tradition continues.”

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