Lent transforms into Holy Week

In the waning days of Lent and at the opening of Holy Week, the faithful across the Diocese of Venice prepared for the Easter Triduum – Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil.

On Palm Sunday, April 10, 2022, the Mass opened with a blessing of the Palms and entrance into the Church, reminiscent of the Lord’s Messianic entrance into Jerusalem.

Some Parishes, such as Our Lady of Guadalupe in Immokalee and St. Michael in Wauchula, to name a few, started the opening of the Mass outdoors with an empty Church. This opening included a reading from the Gospel of Luke (19-28-40) and was followed by a procession of the palms.

The Passion of the Lord is a key component of the Palm Sunday Mass. During the 40 Days of Lent, Parishes and Diocesan Catholic schools actively learn about and recite the Stations of the Cross, typically on the Fridays of Lent.

Each Diocesan Catholic school offered a “Living Stations of the Cross,” typically with older students leading the reenactment of the Passion of Our Lord.

Students at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic School in Naples created a Stations of the Cross for the Prayer Garden.

At Incarnation Catholic School and Parish in Sarasota, the outdoor Stations received an upgrade with staining, bronzing, and rebuilding some of the parts that were needed. The “new” Stations were completed just in time for the Passiontide.

At Sacred Heart Parish in Punta Gorda, the religious education program had their young charges (grades 1-5) participate in an interactive Stations of the Cross. Students were selected to portray key characters bringing the stations “to life,” while Msgr. Phil Hill, an assisting priest, provided the narration and background for each Station. This enabled the children to better understand Jesus’ journey to Calvary. Catechists and parents were on hand to listen to the story leading to Christ’s crucifixion.

Using Legos to create the Stations

Eighth grade students at St. Martha Catholic School in Sarasota benefitted from using multiple skills, including thousands of Lego bricks, to build the 14 Stations of the Cross.

Maria Beall, St. Martha’s religion teacher and technology integration specialist, challenged her students to develop innovative ideas to celebrate Holy Week.

“My students worked on this project four days a week for six weeks,” Beall said. “The class broke into smaller groups to give each Station a three-dimensional aspect that offered viewers a deeper appreciation of Jesus’ suffering and sacrifice.”

The students used existing Lego bricks they have as part of an ongoing STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Art and Math) initiative. In addition, the Zuniga family donated thousands more Lego pieces from their own collection which offered enough of a variety of bricks to allow the project to succeed.

“My family was very excited to support this creative collaboration in honor of Holy Week,” said Emma Zuniga, an eighth grader who helped build the ninth Station, Jesus Falls for the Third Time. “(My classmates) and I enjoyed mixing Lego pieces from various collections to create realistic depictions of every Station.”

Students supplemented their masterpieces with a pair of QR codes. These codes can be scanned from a phone or smart device which then automatically links to numerous articles, images and videos that offered the history and reflections for each Station. For each Station, one QR code contained resources tailored to kindergarten through third grade, while the other code offered information for fourth through eighth grade.

“This was the biggest challenge for the class,” Beall said. “They had to think back to their days in elementary school on how they taught and understood the Stations. They also needed to show the connection between how an event so sad and painful could turn out to be the most joyful event in Christianity.”

Father John Belmonte, SJ, Diocese Superintendent of Catholic Education, and Jennifer Falestiny, Curriculum Coordinator, visited St. Martha Catholic School on April 11, 2022, to see the results of the project and how it integrated several key many STREAM components into the project.

The Lego Stations of the Cross were on display at St. Martha Catholic School throughout Holy Week. After Easter, the students will preserve the collection in shadow boxes, while the QR codes will be placed on display in the school prayer garden.

“This was something more than a class project,” Emma Zuniga said. “We created a legacy by presenting the Stations of the Cross that inspired our school to pray, reflect, and share Catholic values and teachings with their friends and family.”

The activities listed above are just a fraction of the examples of how Diocesan Parishes and Catholic schools not only transitioned from the Lent Season into Holy Week, but also instilled lasting memories and lessons that build Catholic values.

John L. Carkeet IV, contributed information to this story.

Easter Sunday Televised Mass

The Diocese of Venice in Florida will air the televised Easter Sunday (April 17) Mass, for a full hour. The Mass 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 FOX-4 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.

Parish Easter Mass times online

The Easter Sunday Mass times at Parishes and Missions throughout the Diocese of Venice are available online. Please visit https://dioceseofvenice.org/diocese-of-venice-2022-holy-week-mass-times/.

Witnessing for Life a 365-day effort

The 40 Days for Life peaceful spring campaign in Sarasota and Fort Myers came to a successful conclusion on April 10, 2021, but there is more work to do. In fact, there is day 41 and beyond as people are needed 365 days to unfailingly stand as a witness for life, the voice of the voiceless – the unborn.

The 40 Days for Life 365 is an effort to ensure that whenever a local abortion facility exists, whether surgical abortions are taking place or not, the faithful are present showing compassion and support for those who enter such facilities.

Rich Owens, the Sarasota 40 Days for Life campaign organizer, spoke during a Candlelight Vigil on April 9 in front of the regional headquarters of Planned Parenthood, the largest abortionists in the nation. He focused on how the 12-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week coverage makes a difference with five confirmed unborn babies saved since the start of 2022.

“You don’t know who you are going to impact,” Owens said. “There were 21 babies saved because of our vigil outside of this monstrosity (Planned Parenthood) last year. The most recent save we had was of a woman who approached one of us and said: ‘There were people here three years ago. Here is a picture of my 3-year-old, because you are here.’ It mattered to this girl, and it matters to the five we have saved since the start of the year. But it is more than that, it is the 10 souls (mothers and fathers) who don’t have to go through the pain and emotional physical and spiritual suffering of having killed their child.”

The 40 Days for Life spring campaign began Ash Wednesday (March 2) in thousands of locations in the United States and around the world with 455 babies saved. The local campaigns in Sarasota and Fort Myers benefitted from the support of local churches, both Catholic and other Christian denominations. Each church selects a day for coverage to ensure all hours are filled. Faithful from Parishes in the northern areas of the Diocese stand witness in Sarasota, while those from the central and southern regions are witnesses outside the Fort Myers Planned Parenthood. Participants can stand vigil for as much time as they wish. Signs are provided for those who want them, while others pray the rosary.

An expansion to 365 days is a daunting challenge even as both Diocesan locations have teams of dedicated prayer warriors and trained sidewalk counselors who are present on surgical abortion days (several days a week). The need for 365-day coverage comes from the reality that pre-surgery appointments and abortion-inducing drugs are offered at any time.

Maureen Nash, the 40 Days for Life leader in Fort Myers, explained that surgical abortions are performed at the Lee County facility on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

“We make sure that those days are covered throughout the year,” Nash said. “Along with our prayer warriors, Wednesday and Thursday we have Sidewalk Advocates for Life and the mobile van with ultrasound equipment available brought to us by Community Pregnancy Clinics Inc.”

It is the effort to keep the Pro-Life campaign going that matters now, Nash added.

While there has been encouraging news from state Legislators regarding limiting access to abortion in Florida, and there is hope the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade (the decision that paved the way for unlimited legalized abortion in the U.S.); it is too early to celebrate a victory.

Owens said that in Sarasota the loss of one life to abortion is one too many and that the vigils will continue until this scourge on humanity ceases.

For 40 Days for Life 365 information on the two Diocesan locations, please go to www.40daysforlife.com/sarasota or www.40daysforlife.com/fortmyers. The Fort Myers prayer vigil takes place at 6418 Commerce Park Drive, while Sarasota prayer vigil is at 736 Central Ave.

For more information about ongoing efforts to defend life from conception to natural death within the Diocese of Venice, please visit www.dioceseofvenice.org/respectlife or contact Jeanne Berdeaux at 941-484-9543 or berdeaux@dioceseofvenice.org.

News Briefs for the Week of April 15, 2022

Long-serving Diocesan employee recognized

Although Jeanne Berdeaux has been with the Diocese of Venice for 37 years, she shows no signs of slowing down. The Diocesan Respect Life Director started her work with the Diocese on April 8, 1985, just a few months after the Diocese was founded and even before the current Catholic Center was constructed. She worked in Pastoral Ministries (now Evangelization) in her early years then moved to the Respect Life Office for several years before becoming the Director in 1998. Respect Life has been her passion ever since, spreading the word about the Catholic Church’s teaching on life from conception to natural death. On her anniversary day, Bishop Frank J. Dewane congratulated and recognized Berdeaux for her hard work. Congratulations and keep up the good work Jeanne!

Mass for Victims of Abuse April 20 at Cathedral

For the 15th consecutive year, during April, which is Child Abuse Awareness Prevention Month, the Diocese of Venice will be offering a Mass to pray for the victims of abuse. This Mass will be celebrated at 8 a.m., Wednesday, April 20, 2022, at Epiphany Cathedral 350 Tampa Ave. W., Venice. The Mass will be live-streamed, and all are welcome to attend as we come together to pray for the victims of abuse.

Ultrasound donated and blessed

The Knights of Columbus Council 10757, from St. William Parish in Naples, raised the money to purchase a 3D ultrasound which was donated to the Community Pregnancy Clinics Inc. offices in Fort Myers, giving mothers and fathers in need the highest quality images of their unborn babies. The ultrasound was blessed on April 11, 2022, by Father Steven Clemente, Parochial Vicar of St. William Parish. With the science of 3D ultrasound, even at six weeks gestation, parents and family see in detail the beginning of their baby’s development. Approximately 95% of women who view these clear images choose life for their baby!

Student athlete nominated for academic honor

Hallie Monserez, a graduating senior at Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota, has been nominated to the 2022 Florida Dairy Farmers Academic All-State Team. This elite program recognizes and honors 24 graduating student-athletes who excel in both athletics and academics. The 2022 Florida Dairy Farmers Academic All-State Team selection committee received applications from 51 male nominees and 69 female nominees across the state. Each nominee was evaluated on their athletic participation, academic record, extracurricular activities, community service, and essay. Hallie owns a 4.0 GPA. The National Merit Finalist lettered in three sports (cross country, track and field, and soccer) all four years of high school and holds the school record in the 4x400m relay. Hallie is a member of student government, National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, and St. Vincent de Paul Society. She earned over 150 community service hours volunteering with St, Michael the Archangel Parish, Our Lady of Angels Parish in Lakewood Ranch in Sarasota, as well as Living Lord Lutheran Church. She is the daughter of Amber and Michael Monserez and plans to attend the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana this fall. With this being one of the most important special recognition programs the Florida High School Athletic Association sponsors, 12 girls and 12 boys from all over the state will be awarded a total of $50,000 in scholarships. Each Florida Dairy Famers honoree will be recognized during a banquet on June 6, 2022.

Divine Mercy presentation and Feast Day celebrations

The annual celebration of the Divine Mercy Sunday, initiated by St. John Paul II and started in 2000, celebrates the mercy of Jesus as reminded us by St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, a religious sister who lived a humble life and to whom Jesus appeared. To celebrate this important Feast (April 24, 2022), Parishes throughout the Diocese will be holding traditional afternoon prayer services (typically around the 3 p.m. hour). Following are two examples of what Parishes are doing for the Feast of Divine Mercy.  St. William Parish, 601 Seagate Drive, Naples, will have its Divine Mercy Sunday celebration from 2:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The service will start with the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, a reflection of Divine Mercy, chanting the Divine Mercy Chaplet and end with Benediction. All are welcome! For more information, please contact Fred or Barb Goduti at 239-261-4810. In Fort Myers, Our Lady of Light Parish, 19680 Cypress View Drive, invites everyone to its annual celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday. The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available from 1:00 p.m. and the Holy Hour will begin at 2:30 p.m. with Adoration, the Chaplet and Benediction. All are welcome! For more information, please call the Parish at 239-267-7088.

Computers, robotics and Legos make learning fun

St. Andrew Catholic School third grade students learned about landmarks on April 6, 2022, in Cape Coral. To do this, they researched various landmarks on their computers and then, with their new Robotics programing software, used their Lego kits to bring what they learned to life. This is another example of great STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Math) cross-curricular activity.

Fresh salsa made from school garden

The Bishop Verot Catholic High School Environmental Club members enjoyed the fruits of their labor with homemade salsa in Fort Myers on April 17, 2022. Each of the ingredients were cultivated from the school garden. The results were tasty.

Schools, Catholic Charities in northern counties to benefit from Giving Challenge

Diocesan Catholic schools and programs of Catholic Charities in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties will be beneficiaries of the 2022 Giving Challenge, from noon April 26 to noon April 27, 2022. The Giving Challenge is presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County with giving strengthened by The Patterson Foundation. All donations made during the 24-hour Giving Challenge are unrestricted gifts to the nonprofit organization of your choice. You can visit www.givingchallenge.org to search for participating organizations. Schools participating in the 2022 Giving Challenge include: Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School, Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School, Incarnation Catholic School, St. Mary Academy, St. Martha Catholic School, St. Joseph Catholic School, and St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School. In addition to Catholic Charities, other organizations within the Diocese that are part of the Giving Challenge include the St. Joseph Food Pantry, St. Vincent de Paul – St. Joseph Conference Bradenton Inc., as well as the Society St. Vincent de Paul – Ss. Peter and Paul the Apostles Conference.

 

Universal Diocesan Confession times ahead of Holy Week

With Holy Week just days away, it is not too late to realize how well prepared we are for the Resurrection of the Lord on Easter Sunday.

One way to help in this effort is through participating in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Throughout the Lenten Season, Parishes have offered extended hours for the Sacrament, in addition to offering Penance Services, where multiple priests from the region are available to hear the confessions of a large number of people.

Realizing the need to have a universal opportunity for this important Sacrament of Mercy, all Parishes in the Diocese of Venice will offer Confessions from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, April 8, 2022, and then again from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 9.  These opportunities are made available so that the faithful may find ample opportunity to receive God’s Mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation during the Lenten Season.

Father Eric Scanlan, Pastor of Incarnation Parish in Sarasota, spoke during a March 31 Penance Service and explained how availing oneself of the Sacrament of Reconciliation at least once during Lent fulfills a specific obligation.

“Rules and obligations are not meant to burden us but to make room for good things to run wild and we need more of that – that holy wildness in our life,” Father Scanlan said.

Pope Francis often speaks about the healing benefits of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, saying that he goes about once every two weeks. “When I go to confession it is in order to be healed, to heal my soul, to heal my heart and to be healed of some wrongdoing.”

The Pope also reminds us that no one is free from sin and that feeling a little “ashamed before God is a grace… Going to confession is going to an encounter with the Lord who forgives us, who loves us and our shame is what we offer him… When one is in line to go to Confession, one feels all these things, even shame, but then when one finishes Confession one leaves free… forgiven, happy. This is the beauty of Confession! Jesus is there…and He receives you with so much love!”

As the Catechism teaches, the priest is acting in Persona Christi, the person of Christ, within the confessional. So, like presenting oneself at the altar to be nourished by Christ in the Eucharist, a person going to Confession, is not ultimately confessing to a priest, but confessing to and receiving forgiveness from Jesus Christ.

Father Scanlan said during the Penance Service that everyone comes to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation as a sinner, broken, wounded and in need of healing.

“As we reflect on these sins, it is easy to feel discouraged. Don’t listen to the voices of the evil one,” Father added. “God wants you to know that He loves you. He wants to pour His mercy and blessing out to you tonight. It is time to receive that freedom that Christ has for you. When we leave here, we have a new deliverance, a freedom, a holiness that is given to us from the mercy and blessing God pours forth in this Holy Sacrament.”

Please contact your local Parish for additional available confession times.

“Pope’s Rabbi” shares stories of friendship, interreligious dialogue

A friendship lasting a quarter-century finds its roots in the Second Vatican Council Declaration Nostrae Aetate (On the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions), the important document that called for a fresh and positive relationship between the Catholic and Jewish Faiths.

Rabbi Abraham Skorka and Pope Francis have served as examples of friendship and interreligious dialogue because they have lived out the call of Nostrae Aetate which acknowledges the Church’s bond with the Jewish people.

Rabbi Skorka was the keynote speaker at the April 3, 2022, gathering of the Catholic-Jewish Dialogue of Collier County at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Naples. The presentation was co-sponsored by the Diocese of Venice and Jewish Federation of Greater Naples.

“One of the values I learned from my parents and grandparents was that speech between peoples should reflect the way that people ought to relate to each other with moderation, sincerity and honesty,” Rabbi Skorka explained, noting that the friendship with Pope Francis began as an open exchange of ideas with then Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires. Rabbi Skorka was the leading Rabbi in Argentina as Rector of the Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano (Latin American Rabbinical Seminary), in Buenos Aires.

The Rabbi explained that the Holocaust, and its lasting impacts, was a reality that marked his being since childhood.

“The travails of the Jewish people took palpable form in my family which was decimated by the massacre (of the Holocaust). It was not merely historical fact as a Jew I should remember; what stays with me was the sadness which overwhelmed the members of my family and the many members of the community in which I was a part. The Shoah and anti-Semitism were not simply recounted to me; it was an experience that also shaped me by being imparted by many who suffered in their native Europe.”

When he began his rabbinical studies, Rabbi Skorka learned a great deal about Nostrae Aetate, which was released in 1965 by St. John XIII. While the document was short, it served as a profound and absolute apology for years of divisiveness between the Catholic and Jewish faiths.

Inspired by the knowledge and understanding that no religion is an island, Rabbi Skorka openly wrote about the need for interfaith dialogue. One such article brought the Rabbi and Archbishop into contact, forming a lasting bond centered on the belief that the only way to overcome hatred was through the encounter of the members of different religions and cultures.

The Rabbi went on to say that Pope Francis has a profound ability to identify with the Jewish experience. This was evident in his instinctive understanding from the very beginning that dialogue between Catholics and Jews would become untenable if Catholics harbored any thought of “converting” Jews to Jesus Christ.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane also addressed the Catholic-Jewish Dialogue gathering, talking about the noble mission of the group.

Bishop Dewane said that the advancement of Catholic-Jewish relations comes directly from Nostrae Aetate, which should be celebrated. The document changed the landscape of the Church and was done with prudence and love, started a completely new conversation within the Catholic Church.

This new moment in the Church’s history had its roots in a renewed study of Hebrew and Christian Scripture and other theological developments that had occurred at the Second Vatican Council.

Bishop Dewane explained how Pope John Paul II led a revolution that transformed relations between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people. Pope John Paul II was the first Pope to visit a Jewish synagogue and the Western Wall. He then established diplomatic relations with Israel, applying the term “beloved elder brothers” when referring to the Jews.”

The Bishop explained that the development of Nostrae Aetate’s principle themes reshaped specific expression of Catholic Teaching, which had posed obstacles to Jewish-Catholic relations.

“The long road ahead is marked by our two communities of faith in a relatively short time since the Second Vatican Council and has yielded immense fruit and I believe there are practical ways in which we can build on these developments,” Bishop Dewane continued. “We need to share our concerns on an increasingly hostile culture and especially a growing antagonism toward people of faith… We can find a common purpose in standing up against these acts as people of faith… Any one act against faith is too much. We all need to speak up, each one within our tradition, within our faith perspective. In this environment we face today we must also see increased positive collaboration to deepen friendships as we moved forward together.”

Michael Feldman, member of the Catholic Jewish-Dialogue served as the program emcee. Other speakers included Rabbi Frank Muller, Father Bob Kantor of St. Agnes Parish, as well as Catholic-Jewish Dialogue Co-Chairs Luba Rotsztain and Martin Gauthier.

News Briefs for the week of April 8, 2022

Parish hosts 40-hour Devotion

St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Cape Coral hosted a 40-hour Devotion April 2, to April 4, 2022. This devotion included Adoration, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, praying the Holy Hour and concluded with a Mass. Father Ricky Varner, Pastor at St. Katharine Drexel, stressed the importance of focusing on the Lord through Eucharistic Adoration. The 40-hour Devotion was spilt into blocks of time throughout the three days to allow for more people to participate and benefit from spending prayerful time in the presence of the Lord.

 Candlelight Vigil to close 40 Days for Life in Sarasota

Everyone is invited to participate in the closing Candlelight Vigil of the 40 Days for Life spring campaign in Sarasota on Saturday, April 9, 2022. The Vigil will begin at 7:45 p.m. in front of the regional Planned Parenthood abortion facility at 736 Central Ave. in Sarasota. The 40 Days for Life spring campaign began on Ash Wednesday in thousands of communities, including Sarasota and Fort Myers. During 40 Days, at all of these sites, the faithful stood as peaceful witnesses for life. While the 40 Days for Life campaign is concluding, there are year-round opportunities to pray at abortion facilities in the Diocese. For more information, please contact Jeanne Berdeaux at 941-484-9543 or Berdeaux#dioceseofvenice.org.

 Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday Televised Mass

The Diocese of Venice in Florida will air the televised Palm Sunday (April 10) and Easter Sunday (April 17) 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 FOX-4 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.

Chrism Mass April 12

The Diocese of Venice Chrism Mass, which takes place during Holy Week every year, will be held at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, April 12 at Epiphany Cathedral, 350 Tampa Ave. W., in Venice. During this Mass, the faithful of the Diocese join the Priests, Deacons and Bishop Frank J. Dewane for the blessing of the Holy Oils which are used in the administration of the Sacraments at each parish throughout the year. Priests and Deacons celebrating 25 and 50 years of Ordination are recognized at this Mass. All are encouraged to attend in support of our clergy and to participate in this important Holy Week celebration.

The 2022 Priest and Deacon Jubilarians are:

  • 50 years – Msgr. Joseph Stearns, Father Adrian Wilde, O. Carm., Father David Foley, and Deacon Ray Barrett.
  • 25 years – Father Hugh McGuigan, OSFS, Father Patrick O’Connor, OSFS, Father Leszek Sikorski, Deacon Henry de Mena, and Deacon Mark Miravalle.

Holy Week Mass times online

To learn about the times for the Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday Mass and service times at Parishes and Missions throughout the Diocese of Venice, please visit https://dioceseofvenice.org/diocese-of-venice-2022-holy-week-mass-times/.

Students visit biomed business

Bishop Verot Catholic High School students in “Medical Interventions,” a third-year course in the Biomedical Sciences program in Fort Myers, visited Neogenomics on April 1, 2022, to better understand the application of the research they are doing in class and learn about potential career paths.

Young students study DNA

Catholic schools in the Diocese of Venice pride themselves on offering programs in all areas of study including science. Seventh graders at St. Catherine Catholic School in Sebring were studying DNA and genetics on March 30, 2022. As part of the lesson, they extracted their own DNA, using dried skin, and observed it in the school’s STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Math) lab. Classes like this enable students to learn more about not only the world around them, but also about themselves: students identify themselves as unique through their DNA and, in particular, as children of God.

Field trip teaches about Florida wildlife

A March 31, 2022, field trip to Florida Gulf Coast University in Estero by fifth graders from St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Fort Myers helped the young students learn about wildlife that is native to Florida. The program, called the “Panther Posse,” brings in wildlife experts to share images and research that is ongoing about the Florida panther as well as other wildlife, including black bears. The presentation is a mix of fun and hands-on science. Students learned to identify trail markings of different wildlife as well as what dangers the wildlife face from pollution and interaction with people. The students left the program as newly launched naturalists and scientists.

Cyber safety education

Students at the different schools in Lee County heard from a specialist the week of March 29, 2022, about how to navigate technology and social media in today’s world. Robert Hackenson Jr. of Dynamic Influence spoke with students at St. Andrew Catholic School in Cape Coral, St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Fort Myers as well as at Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers. These lessons provided basic tips on the pitfalls of providing too much information about yourself online. The safety aspects could not be overstated as online predators try to manipulate people of all ages to endanger the users in different ways. Hackenson used age-appropriate examples to ensure the students understood these dangers. One of the focuses was on Social Media Land Mines, which included never revealing your location, details about your home or private life and much more.

Sneak preview wows young students

Student groups from St. Andrew Catholic School in Cape Coral and St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Fort Myers were given a sneak peek of the musical “Cinderella” at Bishop Verot Catholic High School on April 1, 2022. Two special previews were offered for the younger students who saw the elaborate production by the Verot Theater Department. Afterwards, the students were able to meet some of the cast and people who worked behind-the-scenes to make the show happen. Full performances were offered throughout the subsequent weekend.

Diocese of Venice 2022 Holy Week Mass times

Below, please find the 2022 Holy Week Mass times for the Parishes and Missions of the Diocese of Venice, including the address and phone number. The list is in order of the cities where the Parish/Mission is located. If you have any questions, please contact the Parish/Mission directly.

ARCADIA

St. Paul, 1330 E. Oak St.; 863-494-2611; https://www.stpaularcadia.org/

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m. (bilingual); GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m., 5 p.m. (Spanish); EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m. (bilingual)

EASTER – 9 a.m., noon (Spanish)

AVE MARIA

Ave Maria, 5068 Annunciation Circle, Suite 101; 239-261-5555; www.avemariaparish.org

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m.

EASTER – 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. (Latin)

AVON PARK

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

HOLY THURSDAY – 6 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8 p.m.

EASTER – 8 a.m., 10:30 a.m., noon (Spanish)

BOCA GRANDE

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

HOLY THURSDAY – 5 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8 p.m.

EASTER – 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m.

BOKEELIA

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

HOLY THURSDAY – 6 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 6 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8 p.m.

EASTER – 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m.

BONITA SPRINGS

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

HOLY THURSDAY – 5 p.m., 7 p.m. (Spanish); GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m., 5 p.m., 7 p.m. (Spanish); EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m. (Spanish – new Auditorium)

EASTER – 6 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. (Polish), 5 p.m. (Spanish)

BOWLING GREEN

Holy Child Mission; 4315 Chester Ave.; 863-773-4089; http://michaelwauchula.weconnect.com/

EASTER – 7 p.m. (Spanish)

BRADENTON

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

HOLY THURSDAY – 6 p.m. (English, Spanish, Creole); GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m., 5:30 p.m. (Spanish); EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m. (English, Spanish, Creole)

EASTER – 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m. (Spanish), 4 p.m. (Creole)

Ss. Peter and Paul the Apostles; 2850 75th St. W.; 941-795-1228; www.sspeterandpaul.org

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8 p.m.;

EASTER – 7:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.

St. Joseph Parish; 2704 33rd Ave. W.; 941-756-3732; www.sjcfl.org

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m.

EASTER – 6:30 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m.

BUCKHEAD RIDGE

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

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 6:30 p.m.

EASTER – 10 a.m.

CAPE CORAL

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

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m. (bilingual); GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m., 5 p.m., 7 p.m., (Spanish); EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m.

EASTER – 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 9:15 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 10:45 a.m., noon (Spanish)

St. Katharine Drexel; 1922 S.W. 20th Ave.; 239-283-9501; www.drexelcc.org

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 7 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m.

EASTER – 7 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 12:30 p.m.

CLEWISTON

Santa Rosa de Lima; 835 N. Mayoral St.; 863-983-8585

HOLY THURSDAY – 6 p.m. (Spanish); GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m. (Spanish)

EASTER – 8 a.m. (Spanish)

St. Margaret; 208 N. Deane Duff Ave.; 863-983-8585

HOLY THURSDAY – 8 p.m. (bilingual); GOOD FRIDAY – 2:30 p.m., 5 p.m. (Spanish); EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m. (bilingual)

EASTER – 10 a.m., noon (Spanish)

ENGLEWOOD

St. Raphael; 770 Kilbourne Ave.; 941-474-9595; www.strapheng.org

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m.

EASTER – 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m.

EVERGLADES CITY

Holy Family; 200 Datura Ave.; 239-394-5181; sanmarcochurch.com

GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.

EASTER – 10:30 a.m.

FORT MYERS

Jesus the Worker; 881 Nuna Ave.; 239-693-5333; www.jesustheworker.org

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m. (Spanish); GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m. (Spanish); EASTER VIGIL- 8:30 p.m. (Spanish)

EASTER – 9 a.m. (Spanish), noon (Spanish)

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

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m., 7 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8 p.m.

EASTER – 6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m.

Resurrection; 8121 Cypress Lake Drive; 239-481-7171; www.resurrectionch.org

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m., 5 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m.

EASTER – 6:15 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., noon, 12:15 p.m. (Latin)

San Jose; 10750 Gladiolous Drive; 239-481-1143; www.jesustheworker.org

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m. (Spanish); GOOD FRIDAY – 5 p.m. (Spanish); EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m. (Spanish)

EASTER – noon (Spanish)

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

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 2 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m.

EASTER – 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m.

St. Columbkille; 12171 Iona Road; 239-489-3973; www.stcolumbkille.com/

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m.

EASTER – 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 9:15 a.m. (Iona Hall), 11 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.

St. Francis Xavier; 2157 Cleveland Ave.; 239-334-2161; www.stfrancisfm.org/

HOLY THURSDAY – 6 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m.

EASTER – 7:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m. (Polish), 4 p.m. (Creole)

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

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m., 8 p.m. (Vietnamese); EASTER VIGIL – 8 p.m.

EASTER – 7:15 a.m., 9:15 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 1:30 p.m. (Spanish), 4 p.m. (Vietnamese)

St. Vincent de Paul; 13031 Palm Beach Blvd.; 239-693-0818; www.stvincentftmyers.org

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m.

EASTER – 9 a.m., 11 a.m.

FORT MYERS BEACH

Ascension; 6025 Estero Blvd.; 239-463-6754;

HOLY THURSDAY – 5:30 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8 p.m.

EASTER – 6:45 a.m., 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m.

GROVE CITY

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

HOLY THURSDAY – 6:30 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m.

EASTER – 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m.

HOLMES BEACH

St. Bernard; 248 S. Harbor Drive; 941-778-4769; www.stbernardcc.com

HOLY THURSDAY – 6 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8 p.m.

EASTER – 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m.

IMMOKALEE

Our Lady of Guadalupe; 207 S. 9th St.; 239-657-2666

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m. (English, Spanish, Creole); GOOD FRIDAY – 4 p.m. (Spanish), 5 p.m. (Creole), 7 p.m. (English); EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m. (English, Spanish, Creole)

EASTER – 7:30 a.m. (Spanish), 9 a.m. (English), 10:15 a.m. (Creole), 12:15 p.m. (Spanish), 7 p.m. (Spanish)

LA BELLE

Holy Martyrs; 4290 Crescent Ave. S.W.; 863-675-0030; www.olqh.weconnect.com

HOLY THURSDAY – 6 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 4 p.m.

Our Lady Queen of Heaven; 355 S. Bridge St.; 863-675-0030; www.olqh.weconnect.com

HOLY THURSDAY – 5 p.m., 7 p.m. (Spanish); GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m., 5 p.m. (Spanish); EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m. (bilingual)

EASTER – 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. (Spanish), noon (Spanish)

LAKE PLACID

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

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m.

EASTER – 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 10 a.m.

Mision Santiago Apostol; 685 County Road 621 E.; 863-385-0049; www.stjameschurchlp.com

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m. (Spanish); GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m. (Spanish); EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m. (Spanish)

EASTER – 10 a.m. (Spanish)

LAKEWOOD RANCH

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

HOLY THURSDAY – 6 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m., 6 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8 p.m.

EASTER – 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:45 p.m.

LEHIGH ACRES

St. Raphael; 2514 Lee Blvd.; 239-369-1831; www.saintraphaelcc.net/

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8 p.m.

EASTER – 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. (Spanish), noon, 5:30 p.m. (Spanish)

LONGBOAT KEY

St. Mary, Star of the Sea; 4280 Gulf of Mexico Drive; 941-383-8758; www.stmarylbk.com

HOLY THURSDAY – 5 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8 p.m.

EASTER – 7:30 a.m., 7:45 p.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.

MARCO ISLAND

San Marco; 851 San Marco Road; 239-394-5181; www.sanmarcochurch.com

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m.

EASTER – 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 9:30 a.m. (The Charter School), 10:45 a.m., 11:15 a.m., (The Charter School), 12:30 p.m.

MOORE HAVEN

St. Joseph the Worker; 24065 U.S. Highway 27; 863-946-0696

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m. (bilingual); GOOD FRIDAY – 6:30 p.m. (bilingual); EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m. (bilingual)

EASTER – 8 a.m. (bilingual)

NAPLES

Corpus Christi; 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Road; 239-592-1949; www.corpuschristifssp.com

HOLY THURSDAY – 5:15 p.m. (Latin); GOOD FRIDAY – 5:15 p.m. (Latin); EASTER VIGIL – 7:30 p.m. (Latin)

EASTER – 7:15 a.m., (Latin), 8:45 a.m. (Latin)

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

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m.

EASTER – 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 9:15 a.m., 10 a.m. (Palmetto Ridge High School), 11 a.m., 11:15 p.m., 1 p.m. (Spanish), 5 p.m.

St. Ann; 475 9th Ave. S.; 239-262-4256; www.naplesstann.com

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m.

EASTER – 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 9:15 a.m. (Jubilee Center), 11 a.m., 11:15 a.m. (Jubilee Center)

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

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m. (Bilingual); GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m., 7 p.m. (Spanish); EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m.

EASTER – 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 5 p.m. (Spanish)

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

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m., 6 p.m. (Spanish); EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m.

EASTER – 8 a.m., (Spanish), 10 a.m., 11:45 a.m.

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

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8 p.m.

EASTER – 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 9:15 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 1 p.m., 5 p.m.

St. Peter the Apostle; 5130 Rattlesnake Hammock Road; 239-774-3337; www.stpeternaples.com

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m. (English, Spanish, Creole); GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m., 5 p.m. (Creole), 7 p.m. (Spanish); EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m. (English, Spanish, Creole)

EASTER – 6 a.m., 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. (Spanish), 3:45 p.m. (Creole), 7 p.m. (Spanish)

St. William; 601 Seagate Drive; 239-261-4883; www.saintwilliam.org

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m.

EASTER – 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m.

NOCATEE

Capilla Católica de San Juan Diego

5247 S.W. Highway 17; 863-494-2611

EASTER – 1 p.m. (Spanish)

NORTH FORT MYERS

St. Therese; 20115 N. Tamiami Trail;

239-567-2315; www.sainttheresechurch.net

HOLY THURSDAY – 6 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m.

EASTER – 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m.

NORTH PORT

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

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 7 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m.

EASTER – 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 10:45 a.m.

OSPREY

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

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8 p.m.

EASTER – 7:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., noon

PALMETTO

Holy Cross; 505 26th St.; 941-729-3891; www.holycrossdov.org

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m. (Bilingual); GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m., 6 p.m. (Spanish); EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m. (bilingual)

EASTER – 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m. (Spanish)

PARRISH

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini; 12001 69th St. E.; 941-776-9097; www.sfxcparrish.com

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 2 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m.

EASTER – 8 a.m.,10:15 a.m.

PORT CHARLOTTE

San Antonio; 24445 Rampart Blvd.; 941-624-3799; www.sanantoniorcc.org/

HOLY THURSDAY – 5 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8 p.m.

EASTER – 9 a.m., 11 a.m.

St. Charles Borromeo; 21505 Augusta Ave.; 941-625-4754; www.stcharlespc.org

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8:15 p.m.

EASTER – 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. (Creole)

St. Maximilian Kolbe; 1441 Spear St.; 941-743-6877; www.stmaxcatholic.org/

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m. (bilingual); GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m. (bilingual)

EASTER – 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon

PUNTA GORDA

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

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m.

EASTER – 7 a.m. (Ponce de Leon Park), 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m.

SANIBEL

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

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m.

EASTER – 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m.

SARASOTA

Christ the King; 1900 Meadowood St.; 941-924-2777; www.christthekingsarasota.org

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m. (Latin); GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m. (Latin); EASTER VIGIL – 10 p.m. (Latin)

EASTER – 8:30 a.m. (Latin), 10:30 a.m. (Latin), 12:30 p.m. (Latin)

Incarnation; 2929 Bee Ridge Road; 941-921-6631; www.incarnationchurch.org

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m. (Polish)

EASTER – 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. (Polish)

Our Lady Queen of Martyrs; 833 Magellan Drive; 941-755-1826; www.olqm.net

HOLY THURSDAY – 6 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8 p.m.

EASTER – 7:30 a.m., 10 a.m.

St. Jude; 3930 17th St.; 941-955-3934; www.stjudesarasota.com/

HOLY THURSDAY – 5 p.m., 7 p.m. (Spanish); GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m., 7 p.m. (Spanish); EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m. (Bilingual)

EASTER – 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m. (Spanish), 10:30 a.m., noon (Spanish), 1:30 p.m. (Spanish)

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

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m., 7:30 p.m. (Vietnamese); GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m., 5 p.m., 7 p.m., 7:30 p.m. (Vietnamese); EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m., 11 p.m.

EASTER – 6:30 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 8 a.m. (Spanish), 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., noon, noon (Vietnamese), 5:30 p.m.

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

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m.

EASTER – 6 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., noon

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

HOLY THURSDAY – 6 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m.

EASTER – 7:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 11:30 a.m.

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

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m.

EASTER – 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 10:15 a.m., noon, 12:10 p.m.

SEBRING

St. Catherine Parish; 882 Bay St.; 863-385-0049; www.stcathe.com

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m., 7 p.m. (Spanish – Youth Center); GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m., 6 p.m. (Spanish – Youth Center); EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m. (Spanish – Youth Center)

EASTER – 6:30 a.m., 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon (Spanish)

VENICE

Epiphany Cathedral; 310 Sarasota St.; 941-484-3505; www.epiphanycathedral.org

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – 3 p.m.; EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m.

EASTER – 6 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 9:10 a.m. (Parish Center), 11 a.m., 11:10 a.m. (Parish Center), 12:30 p.m. (Polish)

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

HOLY THURSDAY – 7 p.m.; GOOD FRIDAY – noon; EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m.

EASTER – 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 10:15 a.m., noon

WAUCHULA

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

HOLY THURSDAY – 5 p.m., 7 p.m. (Spanish); GOOD FRIDAY – 5 p.m., 7:30 p.m. (Spanish); EASTER VIGIL – 8:30 p.m. (bilingual)

EASTER – 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m. (Spanish), 3 p.m. (Creole)

Community celebrates the Annunciation of the Lord

The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord is a day we celebrate when the Blessed Virgin Mary said “Yes!” to God.

Celebrated on March 25, 2022, the Solemnity marks the Angel Gabriel’s appearance to the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:26-38), and his announcement that the Blessed Virgin has been chosen to be the Mother of Our Lord, and Mary’s willing acceptance of God’s Holy Plan.

To mark this Solemnity, Ave Maria Parish, Ave Maria University, as well as the entire town took part in various activities throughout the day.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane presided at the inauguration of the new Ave Maria University President Mark Middendorf, and was the principal celebrant for a Solemnity Mass.

Other events incorporated into the day included the Prayer of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, an outdoor barbecue dinner, concert and fireworks.

Bishop Dewane said during the Mass that the faithful should learn from the example of Mary and apply Her willingness to be open to the call of the Lord in our own lives; as it is inspiring to know the Blessed Virgin Mary had the courage to say “yes.”

“Take the grace that the Lord gives each of us, and live it and go forward,” the Bishop continued. “We learn the important lesson that ‘nothing will be impossible for God.’ Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her’ (Luke 1:37-38). Without God, we cannot fulfill His Mission. Our Lady understood that, so must each one of us. We have to radically change our inner selves and have that same strength to do the will of the Lord.”

President inauguration

As part of the inauguration of Middendorf as the fourth President of Ave Maria University, Bishop Dewane presided over the Oath of Fidelity and Profession of Faith.

Following the Oath of Fidelity and Profession of Faith, an Investiture Ceremony took place wherein Middendorf was bestowed with the Seal of the Office of the President of Ave Maria University by Board of Trustees Chairman Patrick Rainey. Prior to this, Father David Vidal, Pastor of Ave Maria Parish, and others representing the students, faculty, alumni and Board of Trustees, spoke highly of the appointment of Middendorf as the new President of the University.

A native of Chicago, Illinois, Middendorf was educated at Northern Illinois University and DePaul University and had a successful corporate marketing and management career before discerning a special call to the New Evangelization. Middendorf founded a lay apostolate, Lighthouse Catholic Media (LCM), then the largest producer of Catholic audio talks in the world, reaching millions. Upon its merger with the Augustine Institute in 2015, Middendorf became the Institute’s Executive Vice President for Mission Expansion, and led the launch of formed.org platform. Middendorf also serves on the boards of 5 Stones, Ignatius Press, and the Marian Missionaries of Divine Mercy, and has been a long-standing member of Legatus.

Middendorf and his wife, Christine, are the parents of four children, one already a graduate of Ave Maria University and another currently enrolled.

When asked what his first priority would be as University President, Middendorf stated that he will be inviting all staff, students, and friends of Ave Maria to join him in entrusting themselves and the University to the care of our Immaculate Mother. He then added, “The University belongs to her. It has her name on it. As President, I see this as foundational.”

Diocesan Listening Sessions feedback continues

Three-quarters of the way through the Diocesan Phase of “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission” and the feedback reflects the passion the faithful have for the Universal Church.

Participants come to the Diocesan Listening Sessions focused and ready to share where they believe the Holy Spirit is guiding the Church today. The latest Listening Sessions took place in Naples on March 24, 2022, at St. Elizabeth Seton Parish and March 28 at St. John the Evangelist Parish. Discussions were both positive and passionate.

The format of the Listening Sessions includes an opening prayer and brief remarks from Bishop Frank J. Dewane, with the focus shifting to lively table discussions. Each Session concentrates on questions inspired by 10 Synod themes supplied by the Vatican. Participants are also able to share additional comments privately through the Synod email, synod@dioceseofvenice.org.

Among the 10 themes under consideration is “Sharing Responsibility.” This is described by the Synod as follows: “The synodal process calls each member of the People of God to equally participate and take responsibility for the method of listening and dialogue being called by the Spirit. The participation of each member of the faithful is required to further the mission of the Church.” Other themes include: “Companions on the Journey,” “Listening,” “Speaking Out,” “Celebration,” and more.

Bishop Dewane has stressed during each Session how important it is to respond to the Synod, and the questions posed, in the context of what the Holy Spirit is asking of us, and can only be accomplished with an open heart, mind and soul. Bishop Dewane encouraged the faithful in attendance to share their dreams for the Church, and when the floor was open for a free discussion, many shared their hopes and dreams for the Universal Church.

Each session is being recorded to allow for proper documentation. The information gathered at the Diocesan Listening Sessions, as well as from direct or follow-up comments from the faithful, will be synthesized into a document which will be shared with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and ultimately the Vatican. Similar Listening Sessions are being held across the country and around the globe.

The St. Elizabeth Seton and St. John the Evangelist Listening Sessions were the seventh and eighth of 12 planned through May. Due to Holy Week and the Easter celebrations, the next Listening Sessions will take place in May in Sebring, Naples and LaBelle. Locations for the Sessions were selected based on geography and population to cover as much of the Diocese as possible.

For additional Synod details, please visit www.dioceseofvenice.org. To register for any of the Listening Sessions, please visit https://dioceseofvenice.regfox.com/2022-synod-listening-sessions.

“For A Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission”

Listing of 12 Diocese of Venice Listening Sessions

  • (Completed) Feb. 9, St. Thomas More Parish, Sarasota (Eng.);
  • (Completed) Feb. 16, Epiphany Cathedral, Venice (Eng./Sp.);
  • (Completed) Feb. 22, Ss. Peter and Paul the Apostles Parish, Bradenton (Eng./Sp.);
  • (Completed) March 3, St. Andrew Parish, Cape Coral (Eng./Sp.);
  • (Completed) March 14, St. John XXIII Parish, Fort Myers (Eng.);
  • (Completed) March 16, Sacred Heart Parish, Punta Gorda (Eng.);
  • (Completed) March 24; St. Elizabeth Seton Parish, 5225, Golden Gate Parkway, Naples (Eng./Sp.).
  • (Completed) March 28, St. John the Evangelist Parish, 625 111th Ave. N., Naples (Eng.);
  • Monday, May 9, St. Catherine Parish, 820 Hickory St., Sebring (Eng./Sp);
  • Monday, May 16, St. Agnes Parish, 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples (Eng.);
  • Monday, May 23, Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish, 355 S. Bridge St., LaBelle (Eng./Sp);
  • Virtual Session from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, May 25.

To register for a Listening Session of the Virtual Session, please visit https://dioceseofvenice.regfox.com/2022-synod-listening-sessions. Email synod@dioceseofvenice.org for any questions or comments regarding the Listening Sessions.

 

 

Saints honored in varied ways

Not one word of St. Joseph is ever used in the Bible, yet the foster-father of Jesus is one of the most adored saints of the Church; in fact he is the Patron Saint of the Universal Church. On the other hand, St. Patrick was an iconic figure; through his words and actions, he brought Christianity to Ireland and used a shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity.

Both saints are celebrated in particular ways in mid-March, with the Feast Day of St. Patrick celebrated on March 17 and the Solemnity of St. Joseph on March 19. During that week, Parishes and schools throughout the Diocese of Venice held a variety of celebrations in honor of each saint.

A St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Naples featured participation from each Catholic School in Collier County. Other schools in the Diocese held Leprechaun Days and other fun events to honor the Irish saint who is credited with converting Ireland to Christianity.

Epiphany Cathedral in Venice hosted a Mass for the Solemnity of St. Joseph which was celebrated in Italian and included the active involvement of the Italian-American Club of Venice. Following the March 18, 2022 Mass, the statue of St. Joseph was carried to the Parish Hall in a procession led by the Knights of Columbus. There, Msgr. Patrick Dubois, Cathedral Rector, blessed the traditional St. Joseph’s table of bread and sweets, which was later distributed.

Msgr. Dubois explained that saints are made through living the fulfillment of God’s will on earth. This was affirmed by Jesus, who said: “Whoever does the will of my Father in Heaven, is my brother, my sister and my mother.”

It is a challenge for all to listen and respond to the call of the Lord in our own lives; the saints provide clear examples to follow.

Maria Russo said her devotion to St. Joseph comes from her family, who emigrated to the U.S. decades ago. Among their meager belongings were icons of St. Joseph, including several images.

“We always said our prayers and sought the intercessions of St. Joseph, in both times of joy and times of sorrow, always there to hear our prayers and thanks,” Russo said.

St. Columbkille Parish in Fort Myers got into the spirit of both Feast Days, first with a St. Patrick’s Dinner Dance and then an Italia Festa two days later. While the favored colors representing the two saints differed (green for St. Patrick and red and white for St. Joseph), both gatherings involved lots of tasty food, ethnic music and fun.

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