There are moments in the life of each Parish that are well remembered: the dedication of a new building, significant anniversaries, and of course, the installation of a new Pastor.
For the faithful of St. James Parish in Lake Placid, such a day occurred June 2, the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord, when Father Vincent Clemente was installed as Pastor by Bishop Frank J. Dewane.
The Ascension was an appropriate time to install and Pastor, because it was when Jesus commissioned the Apostles to go out into the world and spread the Gospel. The Church, in creating its structure, has established Parishes to help orchestrate that effort. The leader of a Parish is appropriately a Pastor who will give the impetus to the faithful to go forward out into the world to live the Gospel by spreading the Good News through their words and actions.
Bishop Dewane encouraged the faithful to offer advice to their new Pastor but also know that he will be called to make difficult decisions that not everyone will appreciate. “He needs your support through prayer and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Let the decisions that are to be made become a part of who you become as a Parish community.”
During the installation, the priest begins with selected words leading to the start of the Creed when he is then joined by the faithful. At the end of the Creed, the new Pastor has extra lines which are exclusive for him. In addition, the Pastor makes an Oath of Fidelity to the Bishop and his successors; formalized by his placing his hand upon the Book of Gospels.
Following the installation, two members of the parish, representing the entire congregation, served as witnesses and signed the formal documents, copies of which are left at the Parish, placed in the Diocesan archives and in the personnel file of Father Clemente. Bishop then introduced the new Pastor to a rousing applause.
Father Clemente thanked Bishop Dewane for his appointment and commented on how hospitable the Parish community has been since the day he was first assigned.
After the installation, a reception was held in the Parish Hall.
Congratulations to Father Benjamin Casimir, a native of Haiti, who became a citizen of the United States on June 4. The parochial vicar serves at by St. Peter the Apostle and St. Finbarr parishes in Naples.
Longtime Catholic Charities supporter recognized
Llewellyn Schmidt was honored as the 2019 recipient of the James A. McTague Humanitarian Award by Catholic Charities of Collier County during a May 31 luncheon in Naples. Schmidt was a founding member of the Catholic Charities Diocese of Venice Inc. Board of Directors, and of the Catholic Charities Foundation Board and the District III Advisory Board. He was instrumental in helping found the locations for the district offices and the Judy Sullivan Family Resource Center, and also volunteered his time in many of the outreach efforts of Catholic Charities.
Parish celebrates Pentecost with rose petal drop
At the conclusion of the Pentecost Sunday Mass at St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Naples, rose petals fell from the ceiling in custom going back to the sixth century by which rose petals fell from a hole in the ceiling. This symbolizes the tongues of fire that fell on the disciples in the upper room. Today this is still done at them Pantheon in Rome. Also an ancient Pentecost custom, the parish released almost 20 doves following Mass and celebrated with a cake for the birthday of the Church.
Longtime Cathedral coordinator retires
Brother Peter Nault, Congregation of the Holy Cross, has retired after more than 25 years as the Epiphany Cathedral’s Parish Coordinator. He has been a member of the Congregation since 1963 and was previously a teacher in secondary schools in Texas, Illinois, and Ohio. From 1986 until 1993, when he began his duties at Epiphany Cathedral, Brother Peter was Director of the Bishop’s Annual Appeal for the Diocese of Venice and Assistant Treasurer, organizing the Office of Stewardship and Development for the new Diocese. As Epiphany’s Parish Coordinator, Brother Peter provided administrative support to the Rector in non-pastoral concerns so that parish and school resources and personnel were utilized to best fulfill the Church’s mission. In this role, he represented the parish in assisting the needy and less fortunate through various outreach programs. He was instrumental in the foundation of Mercy House, a temporary residence shelter operated by Epiphany.
Life in the Spirit Seminar
Incarnation Catholic Church, 2929 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota, is presenting a six week Life in the Spirit seminar to be held on Thursday evenings from July 25 through Aug. 29, from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Finegan Center. This will be an opportunity to grow and deepen one’s relationship to the Holy Spirit through the graces given at Baptism and Confirmation. Come and experience a new life in the Spirit! The seminar is free. Please email or call Julie Dorr to register at email@example.com or 941-751-4937.
Summertime Catholic Charities campaign begins
Real people. Real lives. Make a real difference! Catholic Charities offers people in need in Southwest Florida with help that brings about real change in their lives. The Catholic Charities Summertime and the Giving is Easy Appeal is asking for your support. You can donate to the type of assistance you care about such as Food, Shelter, Education and Support. The giving is easy! Visit www.catholiccharitiesdov.org or mail a check to Catholic Charities, 5824 Bee Ridge Road PMB 409, Sarasota, FL 34233-5065. Your gift will make a positive impact!
The Second Sunday of Easter, or Divine Mercy Sunday, completes the Octave of Easter, a celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the blessing of His continuing presence in our midst. The Gospel reading for Divine Mercy Sunday, April 28, recalls the encounter between St. Thomas and Jesus after the Resurrection.
For many in the Diocese of Venice, the Feast of Divine Mercy takes on a powerful meaning when they participate in a private or public prayer called the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Each year many parishes throughout the Diocese hold Divine Mercy services and novenas. The popularity of Divine Mercy has been noticed and embraced by many diverse communities throughout the Diocese.
Divine Mercy Sunday celebrates the mercy of Jesus as reminded us by St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, a religious sister who lived a humble life to whom Jesus appeared. St. Faustina was born in Krakow, Poland and lived from 1905-1938 being canonized by St. John Paul II in 2000, who at that time declared the Second Sunday of Easter is Divine Mercy Sunday.
St. Faustina wrote in her diary what Jesus told her: “I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls but especially for poor sinners. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon these souls who approach the fount of My Mercy… let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be many.”
The image of the Divine Mercy was created by St. Faustina who was told to paint the image of Jesus as she saw Him. The painting has the saying at the bottom: “Jesus, I Trust in You.” The rays emanating from Jesus represent water – which makes souls righteous — and blood — which is the life of souls, Jesus told St. Faustina.
At St. William Parish in Naples, Divine Mercy Sunday included the traditional afternoon prayer service. This included Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, a reflection from Father Anthony Lukka, recitation of the Divine Mercy Litany, singing of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and concluded with a veneration of the image of Divine Mercy. A large newly-created painting of the Divine Mercy image, by Rosalie Polivika Ramstead, was on display during the prayer service.
The prayer service began with a procession which brought the Divine Mercy image forward while being escorted by the Color Corps of the Knights of Columbus. First children, then adults placed red and white flowers before the image.
Divine Mercy Sunday serves as an important time to remind our brothers and sisters in Christ of our own need to be merciful and that no sin is too great to receive the Lord’s forgiveness, Father Lukka explained.
“Don’t take forgiveness for granted,” he warned. “You must ask for forgiveness, which will help you grow closer to Jesus Christ.”
Georgina Stringer loves the Divine Mercy devotion and takes part in the Novena of Divine Mercy which begins on Good Friday. “It is comforting to know that this devotion exists to allow us all to pray as one as we trust in the Lord to bring mercy upon the world.”
Pope Francis describes the Catholic Church as the “Church of Mercy” and stresses the importance that everyone “be apostles of God’s Mercy.”
From the Vatican on Divine Mercy Sunday, Pope Francis reflected on Christ’s wounds, which he said contain the difficulties and persecutions endured by people who suffer today.
“Touch the wounds of Jesus,” Pope Francis said. “The wounds of Jesus are a treasure from which mercy comes.”
Deacon Frank Camacho is being remembered fondly for his compassion and reflecting the love of Christ to others. The longtime Director of Diaconate Personnel, as well as serving as a deacon for more than 14 years at Our Lady of Light Parish in Fort Myers, passed away March 29. He was 81.
A Mass of Christian burial was held for Deacon Camacho on April 1 at Our Lady of Light Parish. The Mass was celebrated by Parish Pastor Father Hugh McGuigan, OSFS, and other priests of the Diocese. Along with Bishop Frank J. Dewane, more than 50 permanent deacons were present to honor Deacon Camacho for whom they had utmost respect.
Father McGuigan spoke of Deacon Camacho, a dear friend, as a man who lived his life as a servant of the Church fully, and who felt blessed to each day serve the People of God. “There was not limit to the love he gave to the people of Our Lady of Light and beyond.”
Bishop Dewane said that Deacon Camacho was a respected friend and confidant who offered good advice and someone whose judgement was spot on; but had a sense of humor to handle any situation, no matter how difficult.
“I can see he and Lil (his wife who passed away in 2018) coming together again in their eternal lives, with an embrace and good laugh, but with certain joy and love,” Bishop Dewane said. “This man of faith – he knew who Christ was in his life. He knew the image and likeness of God in every person he saw; and he left that impact on us all.”
Deacon David Reardon, the current Director of Diaconate Personnel, spoke on behalf of his fellow deacons and noted that Deacon Camacho was a man who not only loved the Lord as much as other, but he lived that love more completely and in a most integrated and honest way than anyone he has ever known.
“Frank was so in touch with the wellspring of love in the heart of Jesus,” Deacon Reardon said. “It poured out of everything he did, and he gave his heart to everyone with who he came into contact.”
Born in Cambridge, Mass., Deacon Camacho was a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard and later worked for the federal government General Services Administration in the Boston area for 37 years before retiring in 1994. He earned a degree from Northeastern University and was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate in 1980 for the Diocese of Fall River, Mass. He served at Our Lady of the Cape in Brewster, Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, and as the Assistant Director of the Diaconate in Dartmouth.
Upon moving to Florida in 2003, Deacon Camacho served at St. Leo the Great Parish in Bonita Springs before moving on to Our Lady of Light Parish in Fort Myers. He also assisted at several other parishes through the years taking on temporary administrative roles when called upon by the Bishop. For the Diocese of Venice, he served as past-President of the Diaconate Council and as the Director of Diaconate Personnel.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Lillian B. Camacho; a son, Joseph Camacho and a daughter, Barbara Peters. He is survived by three children, Leo Almeida, Susan C. Franze and Francine E. Camacho, as well as nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated by Father Hugh McGuigan, with Bishop Dewane and other priests present on April 1 at Our Lady of Light Parish. Additional services will be held in Cape Cod, Mass., with burial in Oak Ridge Cemetery, South Dennis, Mass.
There are moments in the life of each Parish that are well remembered: the dedication of a new building, significant anniversaries, and of course, the installation of a new pastor.
For the faithful of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Fort Myers and San Antonio Parish in Port Charlotte, such a day occurred in March. It was on March 24 that Father Murchadh O’Madagain was installed at St. Vincent de Paul Parish, and on March 30 that Father Leo Riley was installed at San Antonio Parish.
Bishop Frank J. Dewane presided over the installations which he said marks a key time in the life of the respective parishes.
Bishop Dewane noted that the pastor of a parish and the various priests who serve put a great deal of life into a parish. “A pastor must be supported by the faithful because he will be called to make difficult decisions that not everyone will appreciate.”
The Bishop added that the Holy Spirit will speak through a pastor and the faithful must be open to listen and learn. “A pastor has eyes that see with faith. Take advantage of the richness that all pastors bring. The Spirit will also speak through the People of God, and the Pastor must all listen and learn.”
During the installation, the priest begins with selected words leading to the start of the Creed when he is then joined by the faithful. At the end of the Creed, the new pastor has extra lines which are exclusive for him. In addition, the pastor makes an Oath of Fidelity to the Bishop and his successors; formalized by his placing his hand upon the Book of Gospels.
Following the installation, two members of the parish, representing the entire congregation, served as witnesses and signed the formal documents. Bishop then introduced the new pastors to rousing applause.
Both new pastors thanked Bishop Dewane for their respective appointments and they commented on how hospitable their own parish community was from the day they were first assigned.
After the installations, receptions were held in the parish halls. The installation of Father Riley coincided with his birthday, so it was a double celebration, cake and all.
The new Pulte Family Life Center at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Naples was dedicated and blessed by Bishop Frank J. Dewane on March 16.
The building is dedicated to the memory of Bill Pulte, a builder of homes who passed away in 2018. Representatives of the Pulte family were present for the ceremony and led the ribbon-cutting.
Bob Pulte, Bill’s son, said the legacy left behind by the Family Life Center is something the Parish community will use and enjoy for years to come. “Please know what this place and this community meant to my father,” Bob Pulte said.
Bishop Dewane described the Pulte Family Life Center as a place where all will come to know the presence of Christ, to experience friendship and joy, and to grow in Christ’s love.
Following the dedication ceremony, the Bishop, joined by St. John the Evangelist Parish Pastor Father Tomasz Zalewski, blessed the building with holy water.
The Center is 29,277 square-feet and encompasses a café, two fitness rooms, a gym with courts for basketball, volleyball and more, as well as a community room that can be subdivided. In addition, there are offices and maintenance areas. There is also a playground and two bocce ball courts. The front lobby has a large cross and a quote from St. Ignatius of Loyola: “Teach us to give and not count the cost.” The facility was designed by Studio+ Architects and the construction done by Gates Construction.
This new space is home to the growing Catholic Youth Organization – which focuses on engaging younger parishioners; and the new Catholic Adult Organization which is a set of programs to enrich and engage every age of adult, from 18 to 118, in body, mind, soul, and spirit.
Following the blessing, the Bishop celebrated the Mass in the gym, which is serving as a temporary overflow worship space while hurricane repairs on the Parish Church continue.
It is the responsibility of those who know what it means to have a relationship with Jesus Christ to take the fire and to keep building upon that and share it with others.
Teresa Tomeo, author, journalist and radio host, delivered this message to the fourth annual joint gathering of Faith and Wine of Lee County/Faith and Ale which was held March 21 at St. John XXIII Parish in Fort Myers. The basis of her topic was on her latest book: “Beyond Sunday: Becoming a 24/7 Catholic.”
“Like a choir, we need to practice and always learn something new about our faith and help others do the same,” Tomeo said.
Like so many others, Tomeo grew up and went to Catholic School in the Detroit area but when she went to college and lost herself. It was when she started diving into the teachings of the Church, especially about women, she asked herself: “Where have I been all of these years?”
“I could not believe how deep and beautiful the Church was; and how much I didn’t know,” she added. “In order to grow in a relationship with God and find purpose and meaning, we must integrate faith into our daily lives… While essential, dedicating one hour of our lives to Sunday Mass alone won’t satisfy our deep longing for more.”
Joan Chance said she appreciated the insight and perspective Tomeo provided during the presentation. “She was funny and said some things that made me think and reassess how I live my own faith.”
This was the last of five seasonal gatherings for Faith and Wine Lee County which is a community of faithful women who come together socially uniting all backgrounds and ages to develop friendships and to support one another as they apply the Gospel to their lives. Events for the women’s outreach run from October through March. For more information about the group, please visit www.faithandwineleecounty.com.
Faith and Ale, the outreach to help men learn more about their faith and grow closer to the Lord, meets monthly from October through April. The last event of the season is April 11, featuring John Knuth, coach and Catholic author, and the topic will be: “Coaching 100 Days with Jesus.” The gathering begins at 6 p.m., and will be held at St. John XXIII Parish, 16060 Palomino Lane, Fort Myers. Tickets are $10 and available at www.faithandale.com or at the door.
Bishop serves as Grand Marshal to Marco St. Patrick’s Parade
Bishop Frank J. Dewane served as the Grand Marshal for the 2019 Marco Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 3. The parade included a variety of floats and various musical performers including the St. John Neuman Catholic High School Band from Naples.
Parish celebrates 20 years
Our Lady of the Angels Parish Lakewood Ranch celebrated their 20th anniversary with a Mass and party on Feb. 24. Bishop Frank J. Dewane was the principal celebrant for the Mass with current, past and neighboring priests concelebrating. It was noted that the faith community, which has been in a new parish church for about a year, has grown thanks to the efforts of the priests and of the strong support of the people who make Our Lady of the Angels what it is today.
Order of Malta retreat brings in Archbishop
Archbishop Jerome Listecki, of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, was the retreat master for an Order of Malta retreat in Naples from March 1-3. Bishop Frank J. Dewane celebrated a Mass for the knights and dames of the order on March 1 at St. Ann Parish and was joined by Archbishop Listecki.
St. Andrew student saves father, receives “Do The Right Thing Award”
Kendall Sullivan, a seventh grader at St. Andrew Catholic School in Cape Coral, was recently honored at the Cape Coral “Do The Right Thing” Awards. She was recognized for her fast thinking and calm demeanor in a very stressful situation when her father had a medical emergency while driving here and a her younger sister to school. After a minor traffic accident, the quick-thinking student was able to remove the keys from the ignition and turn off the car. She then explain to bystanders and emergency medical personnel about her father’s medical history which was credited with helping him make a full recovery. She was presented the ‘Do the Right Thing Award” for being able to prevent injury to her family and others on the road all while putting her fear aside.
Two Diocesan teams going to state Odyssey of the Mind competition
The St. Joseph Catholic School in Bradenton and St. Andrew Catholic School in Cape Coral both qualified teams for the state Odyssey of the Mind competition at the University of Central Florida in April! The teams did well in regional qualifiers on March 2 competing against more than 100 schools from across the area. Odyssey of the Mind is a creative problem-solving program where teams work together to solve complex problems.
Parish holds annual Gala
St. Jude Parish in Sarasota held their annual Gala Feb. 15 at Michael’s on East. The theme of the evening was “One World, One Family,” and in addition to fine dining, there was dancing, photo booth, raffles and live auction, including for Father Celestin Gutierrez’s famous paella dinner.
Epiphany Cathedral students participate in Kids Heart Challenge
Students at Epiphany Cathedral School know that February celebrates St. Valentine and is American Heart Month by participating in the Kids Heart Challenge which educates them on how their heart works, ways to stay healthy and how to make a difference in the lives of others. American Heart Association Youth Marketing Director, Emily Helter visited the Venice to the school on Valentine’s Day to speak with the 2nd & 3rd grade class about the fundraiser and ways to stay heart healthy. This year the student’s goal is to raise $5,000 with the school raising $8,000 in the past two years. The Kid’s Heart Challenge fundraiser culminated with a school-wide event with jumping rope, hula hooping, dance and many fun activities designed to illustrate that being active is both fun and life-saving.
Filipino Catholics participated in a novena of Masses as a form of spiritual preparation in the nine days leading up to Christmas.
This tradition was introduced to the Philippines by Spanish friars to allow the farmers to hear Mass before going to the fields early in the morning. Simbang Gabi is also known by its popular Spanish name as the Misa de Gallo, or “Mass of the Rooster,” commonly indicating the pre-dawn Christmas Eve Mass. The novena serves as spiritual preparation for Christmas, in commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. The celebration is also seen as a way of requesting blessings from the Lord, as most people believe that if one completes the whole series of nine dawn Masses, wishes will be granted.
The complete novena was held at St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish in Port Charlotte, with the opening Mass celebrated by Pastor Father Teofila Useche and Father Kristian Villafana, Parochial Vicar of St. Leo the Great Parish in Bonita Springs. Celebrated in Tagalog, the language known by most Filipinos, Masses were also celebrated on one day of the novena period at Incarnation Parish in Sarasota (Dec. 16), St. Andrew Parish in Cape Coral (Dec. 16), and at St. Leo the Great Parish (Dec. 21).
Although this tradition is not exclusive to Filipinos, its observance is very much highlighted and distinctive of the Philippine Catholic culture.
Father Villafana explained that the Vatican allows the Simbang Gabi Masses to differ from the traditional Advent Season readings and requirements. This exception allows the readings to be directly associated with the Christmas Season and the Church is also decorated while the priests wear white vestments.
“Time changes during this celebration of the Holy Mass,” Father said. “It is no longer the same moment of Advent that you celebrate during the day, everything is Simbang Gabi, but when the sun rises it returns to the Advent Season. It is because we are living that magical moment that is before the sun rises.”
This is an important and growing Catholic tradition as the faithful prepare their hearts waiting for that dawn when the sun rises, Father Villafana added. The sun rise is associated with Jesus Christ, bringing with it new hope, new life.
“We are living that moment in joyful and hopeful anticipation,” Father continued.
Father Villafana added that it is believed that participating in the novena of Masses brings many blessings. Some believe that if you attended the Simbang Gabi you would find your future spouse, which naturally increased the popularity of the tradition.
The best prayer is about family,” Father concluded. That God would take care of our family and help us remain united in that great love that the Lord has given us in the form of a child born on Christmas Day. That child shows us the value of sacrifice and the value of true love in our life.”
Following the daily Masses, a reception is held serving traditional Filipino delicacies including rice cakes, pastries, coffee and breakfast rolls.
The televised Christmas Day Mass for the Homebound with Bishop Frank J. Dewane as Celebrant 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 airs at 9:30 a.m. on the CW Network. In the southern portions of the Diocese (Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Lee counties), the Mass airs at 8:00 a.m. on WFTX-TV (FOX-4). Please check your cable provider for channel listings. Leaflet missals are available upon request by calling 941-486-4714 or by writing: TV Mass, Diocese of Venice, 1000 Pinebrook Road, Venice, FL 34285. For more information, contact Gail Ardy at 941-486-4714 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2018 Christmas Appeal
Catholic Charities launches the annual Christmas Appeal during December 2018 and January 2019. The goal is to raise $565,000 and your gifts are much appreciated! The Catholic Charities Christmas Appeal is the agency’s largest fundraiser and critical to operating the social service organization. Your donation will benefit Catholic Charities programs and services available throughout Southwest Florida that assist individuals, families, and seniors all year long. 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. For more information, please call 941-488-5581.
Bishop Blesses Christmas Tree
During the first week of Advent, Bishop Frank J. Dewane blessed the Catholic Center Christmas Tree Dec. 6 during a prayer service with the employees of the Catholic Center in Venice. The tree was then decorated and various holiday treats were offered.
Mass at Dawn continues through Dec. 23
Following the Filipino tradition, several parishes have hosted all or part of the so-called Mass at Dawn (Simbang Gabi). This novena of Masses in celebrated preparation for Christmas. In the Diocese, the full novena was available at St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish in Port Charlotte and began Dec. 15. Three Diocesan Filipino priests celebrated the opening Mass. Additional one-day Simbang Gabi or Misa de Gallo opportunities took place Dec. 16 at Incarnation Parish in Sarasota and St. Andrew Parish in Cape Coral, as well as Dec. 21 at St. Leo the Great Parish in Bonita Springs. Although this tradition is not exclusive to Filipinos, its observance is very much highlighted and distinctive of the Philippine Catholic culture.
Mass Celebrating Haitian Independence Jan. 1
Bishop Frank J. Dewane invites everyone to participate in the Annual Mass celebrating Haitian Independence at 2 p.m., New Year’s Day, at St. Leo the Great Parish, 28290 Beaumont Road, Bonita Springs. The Mass, which is on the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, brings together the various Haitian communities within the Diocese of Venice for one celebration. Most Rev. Désinord Jean, Diocese of Hinche, Haiti, will be the Principal Celebrant and Homilist. There is a reception after the Mass in the Parish Hall.
“Lord Teach Me To Pray” Series begins Jan. 8
Are you longing for a deeper relationship with Jesus? If so, the “Lord Teach Me To Pray” prayer series rooted in Ignatian spirituality is for you. The first part of the three-part series, “Praying Christian Virtues,” is being offered for women for 12 weeks beginning Tuesday, January 8, at St. Thomas More Parish, 2506 Gulf Gate Drive, Sarasota. For more details, please email Veronica at email@example.com.
Fashion Show Jan. 12
All are invited to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center at 1 p.m. Jan 12, 3989 South Moon Drive, Venice, for an afternoon of fashion, food and fun. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m. with an opportunity to bid on auction items. Lunch will be a Caesar Salad with your choice of salmon of chicken. Great Christmas gift! For more information or to buy tickets please visit www.olph-retreat.org or call 941-486-0233 ext. 3002.
Couples Date Night Jan. 15 and 17
The Office of Family Life is hosting two Parenting workshops. Catholic Parenting is challenging! Learn specific tips and tricks that helped hundreds of families thrive! Jim and Maureen Otremba have been presenting for over 20 years and have given presentations to Parishes and Diocese around the country. The workshops are 6 p.m., Jan. 15 at Our Lady of Light Parish, 19680 Cypress View Drive, Fort Myers, and from 6 p.m. Jan. 17 at Our Lady of the Angels Parish, 12905 E. State Road 70, Lakewood Ranch. The cost is $25 for materials. Registration is needed. Pizza dinner and drinks will be provided. Our Lady of the Angels will have babysitting available. For more information and registration go to www.dioceseofvenice.org/calendar.
Spirituality of Retirement workshop Jan. 16
The Office of Family Life is hosting a workshop at 1 p.m., Jan. 16, at St. William Parish Ministry Hall, 750 Seagate Drive, Naples. The Universal Call to Holiness invites us to “the fullness of the Christian life and the perfection of charity” (Lumen Gentium). For Catholics in their retirement years, this invitation takes on new joys and challenges as their wisdom increases and defining life characteristics such as career, mobility, and relationships undergo transition. This workshop provides strategies for retired Catholics to enrich their identity as cherished members of the Body of Christ. Rooted in our baptismal call to holiness and drawing on the riches of the Eucharist, the presentation incorporates current research on brain biology, generativity, and wellness. Participants will gain an enhanced knowledge of the gift they are to the Body of Christ along with ways to share their gifts with their faith community. Suggested donation at the door. Please register by Jan. 14 either online at www.dioceseofvenice.org/calendar or call St. William at 239-261-4883.
Faith and Ale Lee County Jan. 17
Faith and Ale is an outreach for men to learn more about their faith and grow closer to Our Lord. The next gathering is 6:00 p.m. Thursday, January 17, at Our Lady of Light Parish, 19680 Cypress View Drive, Fort Myers. The speaker is David Casper, a retired Hall of Fame American football player. Locations will vary throughout the 2018-19 season. To register, or for more information, please visit www.faithandale.com.
Blue Mass in Naples Jan. 26
St. Agnes Catholic Church, 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples will celebrate a Blue Mass in honor of Law Enforcement and First Responders, Active and Retired on Saturday, January 26, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. This year’s guest homilist will be Deacon Bob Montelongo of the Chicago Police Department. Please join us as we honor their sacrifice and service to our community. A luncheon will immediately follow in the Parish Hall. Please RSVP at 239-592-1949 for the reception.
Mooney Lady Cougar Weightlifting team debuts
The Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School Lady Cougar Weightlifting Team made its debut in November. This new Sarasota team consists of 15 inaugural participants and will be competing against teams at competitions throughout the region.
Making gingerbread houses
The Bishop Verot Catholic High School National Honor Society welcomed second and third graders to the Fort Myers campus Dec. 6 from St. Andrew Catholic School in Cape Coral and St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Fort Myers. It was a fun day of creating beautiful Gingerbread Houses and Christmas Cookies, and a little snacking too.
Bringing music for weary travelers
String musicians from Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School in Venice entertained weary travelers at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport on Dec. 4 with a holiday concert. Musicians from Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota also had their own holiday concert a few days later. Great job everyone.