Pastor installed at Lake Placid Parish

Bob Reddy – Florida Catholic

6/18/19

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.

Coalition for Life meets

Staff Report

6/18/19

Every year since the inception of the Coalition for Life in 2007 the Diocesan Respect Life Office has brought leaders together annually in the spring for updates, networking and to provide input on future activities.

Parish Respect Life Representatives (designated by Pastors), Knights of Columbus Culture of Life Chairmen, Council of Catholic Women Representatives, and others interested in serving, gathered June 2 at St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Port Charlotte. Those gathered enjoyed their time with like-minded people who dedicate themselves to building a Culture of Life in the Diocese of Venice.  Some attendees have been volunteering for 30 or more years while others have recently felt called to do something to promote a greater respect for life.

Diocesan Respect Life Director Jeanne Berdeaux gave a brief overview of the pro-life strategy outlined by the U.S. Bishops. She celebrated the previous 12-months of activities with a PowerPoint presentation that included pictures from key events such as the State Respect Life Conference that the Diocese hosted in the fall of 2018, 40 Days for Life, and Prayer Walks for Life in four locations, the March for Life in Washington and Catholic Days at the Capitol in Tallahassee.

Looking ahead to the coming year, she announced that the movie UNPLANNED is due to be released on DVD and streaming in mid-August, providing a powerful tool for pro-life education.  The dates for Catholic Days at the Capitol in Tallahassee were announced:  January 28-30, 2020.  The three-day bus trip will be earlier since the Florida Legislative Session runs from January to March in even years, allowing legislators more time for campaigning in the summer and fall leading up to the 2020 elections.

Berdeaux also noted that there are excellent speakers available to present on a variety of life issue from conception to natural death. She also noted that video presentations from the 2018 Florida Respect Life Conference and events on the death penalty and other issues are available online at www.dioceseofvenice.org/respectlife.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane addressed the group and specifically spoke about the ramifications of recent events in states across the country with laws being enacted, both pro-life and pro-abortion, in anticipation of the day when the infamous Roe v Wade might be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, sending the issue back to the states. Bishop Dewane pointed out that Florida will still have a problem because of the privacy clause that was added to the State Constitution in 1980.

Attendees were given a new brochure explaining the Florida privacy clause and how this might impact any future legislation (available on the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops at www.flaccb.org/culture-of-life). A short video and other important resources which further explains the issue are also on the site.

Janine Marrone, founder of Luncheons 4 Life and member of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Venice, shared with the group a special project that shows 30-second videos promoting pregnancy help centers and adoption to young women via YouTube and other social media, helping them to look at a difficult situation from a pro-life perspective.

Project Rachel Coordinator Sylvia Jimenez shared information and stories to highlight the need to be sensitive when talking about abortion with others as there could very well be women or men listening who have been hurt by abortion.

One of the most important and fun parts of the day was the time spent in round-table discussions with others sharing what they are doing in their local area.

For information on how you can become involved of pro-life activities in your parish or the Diocese, please contact Jeanne Berdeaux at 941-374-1068 or Berdeaux@dioceseofvenice.org.

News from Around the Diocese June 18, 2019

Naples priest becomes U.S. Citizen

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 registerwithjulie@gmail.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!

 

 

Pastors installed at Fort Myers and Port Charlotte parishes

Bob Reddy – Florida Catholic

4/9/19

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.

Naples Parish Life Center dedicated and blessed

Bob Reddy – Florida Catholic

3/29/19

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.

How to become a 24/7 Catholic

Bob Reddy – Florida Catholic

3/29/19

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.

News briefs from Around the Diocese March 15 2019

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.

Thanksgiving celebrated around the Diocese

Staff Report – Florida Catholic

12/4/2018

The Thanksgiving holiday brings people together for a meal with the opportunity to thank the Lord for all that has been provided during the past year.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane helps serve a hot meal at the Knights of Columbus Council 3358 in Sarasota for the traditional Thanksgiving Dinner for the community.

While Thanksgiving is typically a celebration of the family, many take the opportunity to help those in need, whether it is through bags of food or offering a hot meal, the outreach throughout the Diocese is impressive.

The Young Vincentians from Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota delivered more than 1,000 pounds of food to Bethesda House, a Catholic Charities program for people impacted by HIV/AIDS.

Guadalupe Social Services of Catholic Charities in Immokalee and the Judy Sullivan Family Resource Center in Naples both offered baskets of food to hundreds of needy families. This included food that would not only be used for the holiday itself but could feed a family of four for up to a week.

One mother, who received a gift basket from the Judy Sullivan Center, noted that the food was much appreciated as it would allow her to provide a special meal for her two children at Thanksgiving. “I’m just so grateful to everyone who provided the food. It means so much to my children too.”

The St. Joseph Food Pantry handed out more than 1,200 bags of food Thanksgiving Week in Bradenton.

At St. Joseph Parish in Bradenton, volunteers handed out more than 1,200 bags of food in three days. Meanwhile, the Young Vincentians from Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota delivered more than 1,000 pounds of food to Bethesda House, a Catholic Charities program for people impacted by HIV/AIDS. At St. Columbkille Parish in Fort Myers, more than 120 turkeys and other items were donated to St. Margaret Parish in Clewiston and St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Moore Haven.

Volunteers at St. Columbkille Parish in Fort Myers load turkeys for delivery to parishes in Clewiston and Moore Haven just before Thanksgiving.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane was in Sarasota on Thanksgiving Day when he joined the Knights of Columbus Council 3358 for the traditional Thanksgiving Dinner for the community. The Bishop gave the opening blessing and helped on the food line. This annual event is in its third decade and this year provided about 600 hot meals for many people who have nowhere else to go on Thanksgiving. An additional 200 meals were delivered to the homeless in the area. Earlier, Bishop Dewane celebrated Mass at Our Lady of the Angels Parish in Lakewood Ranch.

In Immokalee, the faithful of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Naples offered “Thanksgiving in the Park” which provided more than 2,000 meals. More than 100 volunteers helped prepare the meal and then serve the food on Thanksgiving Day.

Several other parishes had Thanksgiving dinner for the faithful, including at St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Naples which served about 300.

These were just a few examples of what took place throughout the Diocese of Venice Thanksgiving week.

Punta Gorda Youth Tweet the Holy Father

Staff Report – Florida Catholic

11/15/2018

A simple exercise for a Parish youth group turned into an outpouring of heartfelt emotion about the Universal Church, their Faith and Pope Francis.

Rita J. Sheridan, Director of Youth Ministries at Sacred Heart Parish in Punta Gorda, organized her 6th-8th graders to compose messages – or Tweets – that would be sent to Pope Francis through his Twitter social media account.

Sheridan heard about other youth groups doing this exercise and believed it would be a good idea. The results were amazing.

“After I read each of them, I was so moved that I set up the Twitter account and sent them off to the Pope,” Sheridan said. “They really couldn’t believe I would actually do this!”

Sheridan was pleased with the thought and effort the students made during this project.

“It was a great exercise and the kids truly spoke from their hearts,” she said.

The following are just some of the Tweets created by the youth from Sacred Heart Parish in Punta Gorda:

  • “Dear Pope Francis – when I go to Church I feel safe against all evil on Earth. I honor you for religious freedom. I get connected to the Church when I pray and I am with my family.” – Nicholas
  • “Dear Pope Francis – I feel special at Church because I sing at Mass. It’s only me and three other girls. Almost all my family that goes to church at the 4 o’clock Mass helps in the Mass. Thank you for trying to stop the shootings. Love.” – Tristen
  • “Dear Pope Francis – My name is Aaron and I’d like to tell you that when I go to Church I feel connected to the Church. I appreciate your work. I’m connected to the Church because I love to learn about God. God bless you, Pope Francis.” – Aaron
  • “Dear Pope Francis – When my mother, brother and I walk into Church we feel welcomed by God. I truly follow what you stand for which is love, caring and having a beloved heart. I follow yours and God’s Word for these top three special things. I plan on serving in the U.S. Navy to protect these top three things including religious freedom so we can continue to follow God and follow his word in the future. Thank you for being the true head of our Christian Catholic religion. I truly follow you wholeheartedly… dearly loved and truly follower.” – no name provided
  • “Dear Pope Francis – As I walk into Church I feel welcomed. Along with many other emotions including the breaking of my religious solitude and the acceptance into God’s arms. I honor you because of your efforts and success in helping people into Christianity or accepting them for who they are no matter the religion or Faith of said person. I feel as if you connect me to the Church by showing me there is nothing to be afraid of as you and God accept me into your arms even if others don’t accept me for who I am. I like your approach on how you want to save the environment and how you unite people together to make a change. Thank you.” 8th grader – no name provided

To date, the youth have not received any responses from Pope Francis, but Sheridan explained that this is understandable as the Holy Father (or his staff) likely see countless messages each day.

Seton faithful back – HOME

Church destroyed by Irma reopens

Bob Reddy – Florida Catholic

4/10/18

Alleluia! Alleluia! were the words which adorned the altar at St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Naples on Easter Sunday. The words reflect the celebration that Christ Our Lord is Risen. However, on this holiest of days, the meaning was even more profound as Sunday Mass was celebrated in the Church for the first time since Hurricane Irma struck more than six months previous.

“Wonderful!” “It’s true, we are home!” “Our prayers have been answered!” “What a glorious moment!” These are just some of the comments made as people entered the Church for the first time on Easter Sunday. Most looked up, knowing that on Sept. 10, 2017, when the fierce winds of Irma struck, a large section of the roof was blown off allowing water to flow in and severely damage the sanctuary.

Ann and Brian Morris evacuated when Hurricane Irma threatened but never could have imagined the damage the storm would cause to the Parish Church. “This is the center of our lives,” Brian explained. “Our condo was okay, but our Church, where we go every week to pray to Our Lord, was badly damaged. It was so sad and really hard to deal with. This is a great day for us and for everyone at St. Elizabeth Seton. We are where we are supposed to be: Home!”

Martie Granieri sings in the Parish Choir and was overjoyed that the Church opened in time for Easter. “Christ is where you find Him. He was in our gymnasium (which served as a temporary Church while repairs were made), He is where we gather in His name,” Granieri said. “But this place; the Church, is where we know Him best. We are so happy to be back.”

In addition to a roof repair, the ceiling and floor had extensive water damage. Water and debris also damaged the pews. While the work was being done, some changes were made to the layout of the Church including making the interior brighter. Most significantly, the tabernacle was placed directly behind the altar, and a crucifix with a corpus was placed above. The previous crucifix was relocated to the opposite wall, while a Last Supper painting was moved to one of the niches along the south wall. Statues of saints were also added around the perimeter of the Church to complement to extensive stained-glass windows which were undamaged.

The Church reopened on Holy Thursday, exactly 200 days after the last Mass was celebrated on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, the day before the hurricane blasted ashore.

“We are very Blessed by Almighty God to be here,” said Father Russell Ruggiero, Parish Administrator, prior to Easter Sunday Mass to a standing room only crowd. “It is as people said, it is a Resurrection.”

Eschewing any recognition for getting the Church repaired, Father Ruggiero said the “congratulations are to you, not to me. I did nothing. I just tell other people what needs to be done.” He noted that the patience of the parishioners of St. Elizabeth Seton was only exceeded by the outpouring of support in the recovery effort through the sharing of time, talent and treasure.

Gesturing to the crowd and to Church itself, Father concluded by saying: “This is for you. This is your Parish. I am only here temporarily. My joy is that you are all happy and that you are back home.”

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