News Briefs for the Week of Oct. 1, 2021

Scout 10 Commandment Hike held

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

Religious Sister dies

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

Latest Catholic Charities vaccination clinic a success

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

Interest in science blossoms in Chemistry Club

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

Students donate care packages

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

Hispanic Heritage Month celebrated in school

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

Students learn about Moses

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

Schools hold Boosterthon

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

Students celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day outside

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

News Briefs for Week of Sept. 17, 2021

Civilize it! Campaign Relaunched

It was during the 2019-2020 election cycle that Most Rev. Frank J. Dewane, Bishop of the Diocese of Venice, encouraged all to take a Pledge entitled “Civilize It!” for a more enlightened political season.  On September 7, 2021, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) relaunched Civilize it:  A Better Kind of Politics, to address the polarization in society.  Join Catholics across the Diocese of Venice in taking the Civilize It Pledge to engage individuals, families, and communities in a dialogue of bridgebuilding.  Visit and sign the Pledge today.

Civilize It:  A Better Kind of Politics Prayer

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where uncivil words prevail, show me how to model love.

Help me remember the God-given dignity of all and invite others to do the same.

Show me how to build bridges and not walls and see first what unites us rather than how we diverge.

Let me seek to understand before asking to be understood.

Give me a listening heart filled with empathy and compassion.

May I be clear in sharing my own position and respectful and civil in describing those of others.

Let me never tolerate hateful ideas.

May I invite all to charity and love.

Lord, help me to imitate your compassion and mercy.

Make me an instrument of your peace. Amen

School benefactor dies

Louis Zazarino, a supporter of St. Martha Catholic School and St. Mary Catholic Academy in Sarasota died Sept. 4, 2021. He was 78. A devoted parishioner of St Martha Parish in Sarasota, Zazarino took great joy in giving back. He loved dancing, horses, and cars. Those who knew him loved him for his humor, humanity, and humility. He will be dearly missed by his family and children. A social media post from St. Mary Catholic Academy stated, “His legacy as a supporter of Catholic Education will never be forgotten. The Zazarino Center of St. Martha and St. Mary will serve as a reminder of his generosity, love and support forever. May God grant him eternal rest.” A similar post was made by St. Martha Catholic School. A funeral Mass, celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Dewane, was Sept. 9, 2021 at St. Martha Parish in Sarasota.

Venice CCW member named to State Board

Brenda Dolan, Immediate Past President of the Venice Diocesan Council of Catholic Women, has been installed as President, Provincial Director-Elect Florida Council of Catholic Women (FCCW) Board. The new Board members were installed at the Province Dinner on Aug. 26, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia. This was part of the 101st National CCW Convention. In June 2021, Dolan, of St. Therese Parish in North Fort Myers, completed a two-year term as Co-President of the Venice Diocesan Council of Catholic Women. She was President for two years before that. Several women from the Diocese of Venice also serve on FCCW committees, including Iris Gomez, Legislative Advocacy Co-Chair; Ellen Bachman, Our Lady of Good Counsel Co-Chair; Dolan, By Laws Committee Chair. The current Venice Diocesan Council of Catholic Women President is Josephine Weiss.

Giving back on Labor Day

Students and faculty from St. John Neumann Catholic High School in Naples gave up some of their Labor Day holiday to help distribute food at nearby St. Elizabeth Seton Parish. Under the portico in front of the Parish Church, the students and faculty helped to load vehicles with food for families in need. Among the helpers were four Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco, who serve at St. John Neumann, including Principal Sister Patricia Roche.

Blizzards in a jar

For students learning in Florida it is pretty rare for them to experience a blizzard, but with a little bit of science kindergarteners and first graders at St. Mary Catholic Academy created their own blizzards – in a jar, of course. These students took part in the science experiment during class on Sept. 9, 2021 in Sarasota. Here’s how it works: Because oil is less dense than water, the water will naturally sink to the bottom of the jar. When the Alka-Seltzer is dropped into the jar, its interaction with the water creates pressure in an upward direction, and the oil pushes it back down. This pressure back and forth is part of what creates the snowstorm. The other element is the interaction between water and sodium bicarbonate in the Alka-Seltzer, which generates carbon dioxide gas. The combination of these factors creates a blizzard every time! The students had a blast!

Happy Birthday Mary

On the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Sept. 8, 2021, students at St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Fort Myers by making their own Mary statues and writing the Blessed Virgin birthday cards.

Science students learn about hurricanes and earthquakes

Students in an Environmental Science class at Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers learned about the impact of hurricanes and earthquakes on structures in a Sept. 8, 2021 lab where they created their own houses.

Bishop celebrates Mass at Mooney

Bishop Frank J. Dewane, joined by Father Eric Scanlan, Chaplain of Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School, receives the gifts presented by students during the school Mass held on September 14, 2021.

Circus Chaplain dies at 75

Father George “Jerry” Hogan, the national Circus Chaplain, and who served seasonally at St. Martha Parish in Sarasota, died May 5, 2021 in Massachusetts at the age of 75.

Father Hogan, a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston for 46 years, served for three decades as the national “Circus Chaplain” under the direction of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat of Cultural Diversity’s Subcommittee on the Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees and Travelers (PCMRT). Bishop Frank J. Dewane is the Episcopal Liaison of the PCMRT.

As part of his service as national “Circus Chaplain,” Father Hogan was affiliated with St. Martha Parish in downtown Sarasota, which was designated as the “National Circus Parish” by the PCMRT. Splitting his time between his home in Massachusetts and Sarasota, Father was frequently on the road ministering to different circus troupes and performers.

Born on April 13, 1946 in Woburn, Massachusetts, he studied at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts and was ordained to the priesthood on May 18, 1974 for the Archdiocese of Boston. It was in 1990 when he was approached to assist in the “Circus Ministry,” and Father Hogan often returned to St. Martha and served as host for the annual gathering of PCMRT pastoral workers each January. Since 2013, Father Hogan spent several months each winter assisting at St. Martha before returning to Massachusetts.

A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated May 10, 2021 at St. Michael Parish in North Andover, with burial following at Calvary Cemetery, Woburn. St. Martha Parish will have a Memorial Mass for Father Hogan at 10:30 a.m., May 22, 2021.

Retired, founding Pastor of St. Mary, Star of the Sea died

The Diocese of Venice is mourning the loss of Father Edward Pick, the retired founding Pastor of St. Mary, Star of the Sea Parish in Longboat Key, who passed away March 27, 2021 at the age of 86.

Born on February 22, 1935 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Father Pick grew up in Florida and returned to Ohio to attend St. Gregory Seminary and Mount St. Mary of the West Seminary (now known at the Athenaeum of Ohio) in Cincinnati. He was Ordained to the Priesthood on May 28, 1960 in Cincinnati.

Since his ordination, Father Pick served in the Archdiocese of Miami and the Diocese of St. Petersburg with Parishes in Lake Worth, Miami, North Miami, Boca Raton, and Fort Lauderdale.

Having been incardinated in the Diocese of Venice since its inception in 1984, Father Pick was Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Punta Gorda from 1968 to 1973 and served briefly at Our Lady of Mercy Mission on Boca Grande before becoming the founding Pastor of St. Mary, Star of the Sea Parish in Longboat Key in 1973.

Masses at St. Mary, Star of the Sea were originally celebrated in a fire station before the current church was built in Manatee County, just north of the Sarasota County line. He served at the Parish from November 21, 1973 until his retirement on May 1, 2008.

Known as a “gentle giant,” referring to his 6-foot 6-inch frame, Father Pick actively supported area Catholic schools and traveled up north seeking support for Diocesan migrant programs. Within the Diocese of Venice, he served as Dean of the Northern Deanery and was appointed a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy of Sepulcher by St. Pope John Paul II. In his retirement, Father Pick continued to assist at the Parish.

Funeral arrangements will be forthcoming.

Please pray for the repose of his soul and the consolation of his family. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in eternal peace.

News Briefs for the week of February 26, 2021

Mooney Girl’s Basketball reaches first State Final

The Lady Cougars of Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in the State Final! The team won the Class 3A State Semifinal over The Master’s Academy of Oviedo on Feb. 24, 2021 at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.  The Cougars will be competing in the State Final against Miami Country Day on March 5, a game which was postponed from Feb. 26. The team took the Class 3A Regional Championship over the Community School of Naples in Naples on Feb. 19. The Lady Cougars are 20-8 this season and appearing in their first State Final.

Retired priest dies

Father Carl A. Birarelli, a retired priest who assisted at Parishes in Sarasota and Manatee counties died on February 12, 2021, in Sarasota. He was 94. Born in Everett, Massachusetts, Father Birarelli was ordained in June 15, 1958 and was a Priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati until his retirement in 1994. Throughout his ministry he served in several parishes throughout the United States and Canada. Within the Diocese of Venice, he assisted at Our Lady of the Angels Parish in Lakewood Ranch, Ss. Peter and Paul the Apostles Parish in Bradenton and Incarnation Parish in Sarasota. He is survived by many nieces and nephews who were extremely devoted to him throughout his life and ministry. A Mass of Christian Burial was held Feb. 22 at Our Lady of the Angels. Burial followed at Palms Memorial Park in Sarasota.

Safe Haven Sunday March 7

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 day for awareness will give 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. Join the Safe Digital Family Challenge by texting SECURE to 66866 to receive seven days of emailed digital tips to create a safe haven in your home. If you have any questions, please contact Carrie Harkey, Diocesan Coordinator of Family Life at or 941-484-9543.

Longtime Pastor of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs dies

Father Joseph F. Connolly, Third Order Regular Franciscan (TOR), Pastor of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish in Sarasota, died Jan. 16, 2021, at the age of 79.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane said the death of Father Connolly was a loss for the Diocese and in particular Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish, where he served as Pastor for 24 years.

“Father Connolly was a priest who had a passion for his ministry,” Bishop Dewane said. “Please pray for the repose of the soul of Father Connolly, for the people of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs who found inspiration by his good work, and for his family for whom this loss is particularly personal.”

Born on Aug. 9, 1941, in Springfield, Mass., Father Joe, as most called him, entered the Third Order Regular community in September 1959. He professed first vows on July 1, 1962. Educated at St. Francis College (now university) and St. Francis Seminary in Loretto, Pa., Father Connolly was ordained May 18, 1968 in Loretto.

After ordination he was assigned to a teaching position in Fairless Hills, Pa., where he eventually became principal. While teacher and principal he served on weekends in parishes in the Diocese of Trenton, N.J., including in Willingboro, and for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia at a parish in Fairless Hills. From there, Father Connolly served at a parish in Cinnaminson, N.J.

It was in 1994 when Father Connolly was assigned to the Diocese of Venice where he was Parochial Vicar at St. Joseph Parish in Bradenton from 1994-1996. Father was then appointed as Pastor of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish in Sarasota in late 1996 where he served until his death.

While at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, Father Connolly was instrumental in forming the Mission of what became Our Lady of the Angels Parish in Lakewood Ranch and was on the Fundraising Board for Bethesda House of Catholic Charities in Sarasota. A special Padre Pio Shrine was dedicated on parish property February 23, 2006, at the direction of Father Connolly and funded by the Saint Padre Pio Society. This Shrine has since become nationally recognized.

For the Diocese of Venice, Father served on the Presbyteral Council, the College of Consultors, and was the longtime Spiritual Advisor of the Venice Diocesan Council of Catholic Women.

Known for making fettucine alfredo for guests, something he said was the only dish his fellow seminarians liked while he was in formation. In a 2004 interview with the Florida Catholic, Father Connolly was asked what person, other than Christ, he admires most. His reply was, “St. Francis of Assisi, although I don’t measure up to him, either.”

He was honored as a Golden Jubilarian at the 2018 Chrism Mass and on that occasion, Father noted with time he had gained a renewed perspective on his sacramental ministry. Reflecting on his own years as priest, Father said that “after 50 years of faithful service we jubilarians come to realize just how much God loves us; how Jesus works through us; and how the Holy Spirit still inspires us.”

In his final months of ministry, Father Connolly had a serious illness and was unable to celebrate Mass publicly out of health concerns and he regularly posted video messages to the faithful about his progress in recovery and how his prayers were always focused on the faithful and their spiritual wellbeing.

The Funeral arrangements for Father Connolly T.O. R., are as follows:

Viewing – 4-7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish, 833 Magellan Drive, Sarasota;

Mass of Christian Burial – 11 a.m., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021, at the Parish.

Long-time Pastor in Avon Park dies

Father Gerald P. Grogan, Pastor for 27 years at Our Lady of Grace Parish in Avon Park, died Jan.10, 2021. He was 82.

Father Grogan was born March 8, 1938 in County Cork, Ireland, the third of seven children. He graduated from St. John’s College Seminary in Waterford, Ireland, and then St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach before being Ordained to the Priesthood on Sept. 11, 1960 in Birr, County Offaly, Ireland, for the Diocese of Miami. Father served in parishes in Coral Gables, Fort Lauderdale, North Miami, Miami Beach, Homestead, Port St. Lucie and Cocoa Beach, as well as at schools in Miami and Fort Lauderdale. He also later received an advanced degree from Barry University in Miami.

Before the Diocese of Venice was established in 1984, Father Grogan was named Pastor of Our Lady of Grace Parish in Avon Park on March 16, 1979 and remained there, overseeing expansions of the Church and additional construction, before retiring on March 8, 2007.

For the Diocese of Venice, Father Grogan was a member of the Presbyteral Council and Priest Personnel Board and coordinator of the pre-Cana program in the Eastern Deanery. After his retirement, Father continued to assist at Our Lady of Grace, as well as at St. James Parish in Lake Placid and St. Catherine Parish in Sebring.

A Funeral Mass for Father will be 11 a.m., Jan. 18, 2021, Our Lady of Grace Parish, 595 E. Main St., Avon Park.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Father Gerald P. Grogan and for the consolation of his family. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God Rest in Eternal Peace.

Retired Monsignor dies

Msgr. Joseph A. Ferraro, a retired priest who served 30 years as a military Chaplain, was a priest of the Diocese of Oakland and in retirement assisted at Parishes in Manatee County, died Dec. 18, 2020 at the age of 79.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1942, as a young man Msgr. Ferraro attended Catholic schools is Bristol Borough, Pennsylvania.  and later attended Holy Trinity College and St. Mary’s Seminary, both in Baltimore, Maryland, and he was ordained to the priesthood May 20, 1967, in Baltimore for the Trinitarian Order (Order of the Most Holy Trinity).

As a priest, Msgr. Ferraro first served as a Prison Chaplain in New Jersey, as well as assisting at St. James Parish in Trenton, New Jersey before becoming a teacher at DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland.

In 1969 he was commissioned an officer in the U.S. Navy, which led to a 30-year career as a Navy Chaplain. While a Chaplain, he served with the U.S. Third Marine Division, Vietnam, followed by duty with the 3rd Battalion 4th Marines, Okinawa; U.S. Coast Guard Training Center, Petaluma, California; Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni, Japan; Construction Battalion Center-Seabees, Port Hueneme, California; Naval Support Activity, Naples, Italy; Oakland Naval Hospital, Oakland, California; and the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, Alameda, California. He was promoted to Captain in 1986. Father also served as Command Chaplain, U.S. Pacific Submarine Force, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California; Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, California; and then with the U.S. Naval Forces, Rota, Spain. Msgr. Ferraro was Incardinated to the Diocese of Oakland in 1988.

It was in 1999 that he was selected by St. John Paul II as honorary prelate, garnering the title of Monsignor. That same year Msgr. Ferraro was also awarded the Legion of Merit, a military award of the U.S. armed forces that is given for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements. In 1979, he was awarded a Navy and Marine Corps medal for heroism when he saved the lives of a family in Oxnard, California, which was being held hostage by a distraught woman.

Within the Diocese of Venice, Msgr. Ferraro assisted primarily at Holy Cross Parish in Palmetto as well as at Ss. Peter and Paul the Apostles in Bradenton and Our Lady of the Angels Parish in Lakewood Ranch and at St. Patrick Parish in Sarasota. He was recognized as a Golden Jubilarian during the 2017 Diocese of Venice Chrism Mass.

Funeral arrangements are pending. A Memorial Mass will be held at Holy Cross Parish at a later date. Please pray for the repose of the soul of Msgr. Joseph Ferraro and for the consolation of his family.

News Briefs for the Week of Oct. 1, 2020

Retired Holmes Beach priest dies

Father John H.R. Ellis, former priest-in-charge at St. Bernard Parish in Holmes Beach and College Campus Ministry Director for the Diocese of Venice died Sept. 25, 2020 in St. Cloud, Fla. He was 83. Father Ellis was born in Guelph, Ontario, Canada and was originally ordained an Episcopal priest. On July 13, 1991 Father Ellis joined the Catholic Church and was ordained to the priesthood at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice, for the Diocese of Venice. Father Ellis served as the College Campus Ministry Director at 10 college campuses from 1991-1998 and then at St. Bernard Parish in Holmes Beach until his retirement in 2004. He also assisted at several Manatee County Parishes throughout his years serving in the Diocese. He was married to Burgess Ann Lynch. In his retirement, he assisted at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in St. Cloud.

Mooney student named Commended Scholar

Congratulations to Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School Senior Michael Lunin for being awarded National Merit Commended Scholar and National Merit Hispanic Recognition Scholar for the 2019 qualifying PSAT. The Sarasota student received a letter in recognition of his outstanding academic promise as he was one of about 34,000 Commended Students being recognized, representing the top 5 percent of high school students who entered into the National Merit Scholarship competition.

2020 Public Square Rosary Crusade Oct. 10 in Fort Myers

Please join in praying for our nation during the 2020 Public Square Rosary Crusade on Oct. 10, 2020 at noon, Planned Parenthood, 6418 Commerce Park Drive, Fort Myers. The Public Square Rosary Crusade is a united effort as our nation is in great need of public prayer, repentance and conversion. We ask God to save America through the Rosary of His Most Holy Mother. Please bring your own rosary and camp chair, if you desire to sit. Rosary programs will be provided. Please contact Barb Quigley, 239-267-7883 for more information.

Retreats and Days of Prayer available at OLPH

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center, 3989 S. Moon Drive, Venice, is currently offering retreats and single days of prayer in a safe, tranquil setting along the Myakka River.  A Monthly Day of Prayer is offered on both the second Wednesday and the second Sunday of each month (Oct. 11 and Oct. 14, 2020). Choose the date that is more compatible with your schedule. The day begins at 9:30 am with continental breakfast, and includes two conferences, lunch, Eucharistic Adoration, Mass, and opportunities for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  In addition, a special weekend retreat, “Living our Faith During COVID-19,” will be offered Oct. 16-18, 2020.  Both events can be joined online if you are unable to attend in person.  For more info, call 941-486-0233, or visit and click on “Schedule of Events.”

White Mass Oct. 17 in Naples

St. Agnes Parish, 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples, will celebrate the annual White Mass in honor of Medical Professionals at 8:30 a.m., Oct. 17 in the Church. The Lecture and discussion that was to follow has been postponed until next year due to COVID 19. There will be a special blessing for the professionals and a blessing of stethoscopes. Please join us as we honor your service and dedication during this year of pandemic!



Priest founder of two Parishes and School dies

Msgr. George W. Cummings, the founder of Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School, St. Raphael Parish in Englewood and San Pedro Parish in North Port, as well as longtime Pastor at Epiphany Parish, died Aug. 8, 2020 in Brooksville at the age of 102.

Ordained in Nov. 27, 1943 for the Diocese of St. Augustine, which covered the entire state of Florida at the time, Msgr. Cummings first taught at St. James Cathedral School in Orlando and then helped found Archbishop Curley Catholic High School in Miami. In addition, he founded Our Lady of Good Counsel Camp for youth in Citrus County at which he served as Director for many years.

Within the Diocese of Venice, Msgr. Cummings was the founder of St. Raphael Parish in Englewood (1957), Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School in Venice (1959), and San Pedro Parish in North Port (1965), all while serving as the second Pastor of Epiphany Parish (now Cathedral) from 1956-1976. At the request of Archbishop Joseph Hurley, he was given the ecclesiastical honor of Domestic Prelate (now Honorary Prelate) by Pope John XXIII in 1959.

After serving at Epiphany, he was assigned as Pastor of St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Citrus Park from 1976 until his retirement in 1991. He also served as Youth Ministry Director for the Diocese of St. Petersburg.

All funeral services will be held at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle, 5815 5th Avenue N., St. Petersburg, and will be as follows:

Visitation: Wednesday, August 12, 2020, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Evening Prayer will be offered at 7:00 p.m.

Funeral Mass: Thursday, August 13, 2020, 10 a.m., Most Reverend Robert N. Lynch will be the Main Celebrant, with Very Reverend James B. Johnson as Homilist.

For those unable to attend, the Funeral Mass will be livestreamed on the Cathedral website: and the Diocese of St. Petersburg’s Facebook page.

Burial will immediately follow at Calvary Catholic Cemetery, 5233 118th Avenue N., Clearwater.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Msgr. Cummings.