Diocesan Catholic Schools to participate in Novena

For nine school days, all the grade school students, teachers and administrators in the Diocese of Venice Catholic Schools will be praying a Novena for Healing. The novena begins May 7, 2024, and will conclude on May 17.

This novena will seek the intercessions of Venerable Antonietta Meo, a 6-year-old from Rome known by the nickname “Nennolina,” the youngest person in the history of the Church to have a beatification process opened.

“We will be over 4,200 strong praying this novena,” wrote Jesuit Father John Belmonte, Superintendent of Catholic Schools, in a letter to parents and guardians. “I know that the people for whom we will pray, their families and our schools, will find great spiritual benefit in this novena during the Easter Season. May Venerable Antonietta Meo intercede for all of us, especially those children and their families who ask for healing.”

Father Belmonte requested that families submit the names of students, especially those with serious illnesses, for whom the novena will be prayed. Father will submit them to Rector at the Basilica of Santa Croce in Rome, where Venerable Antonietta Meo went to the Catholic school and is buried.

Born in Rome on December 15, 1930, “Nennolina” attended her early schooling with religious sisters and during this time developed an osteosarcoma and her left leg had to be amputated. She attended elementary school with a prosthesis that bothered her greatly. However, she offered it all to Jesus, “May each step that I take be a little word of love.”

She liked to attend school and catechism class; she wrote to Jesus, “I go enthusiastically, because I learn so many beautiful things about You and Your saints.” Having not yet reached the age of seven, she died in the midst of terrible pain on July 3, 1937. On December 17, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI declared Antonietta Meo, “Venerable.” Her life was a witness of sanctity for children who suffer.

Prayer to obtain graces through the intercession of Venerable Antonietta Meo:

O God, Father of the humble, we thank You because with Antonietta Meo You gave us the gift of a living image of Your Love and Wisdom, revealed to the young. You, who gave her the grace of being joined to the Cross of Our Lord Jesus and of suffering with fortitude and joy, make her glorious even now on earth, so that everyone can look to her as a shining example of loyalty to the Gospel. Grant us her simple and passionate love for the Eucharist and the Church; draw near to us in our need and, by her intercession, according to Your Holy Will, give us the grace which we request in faith.

WE HUMBLY REQUEST HEALING FOR… (PLEASE ADD THE NAMES OF THOSE FOR WHOM YOU WANT PRAY). Amen. Conclude with one Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be…

Annual Mass held to remember victims of child abuse

Bishop Frank J. Dewane celebrated Mass April 5, 2024, the Friday within the Octave of Easter, at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice, with the specific intention of praying for victims of child abuse.

This was the 16th year the Diocese has held a Mass to pray for the victims of abuse, which takes place in April to coincide with National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

“We pray for those who carry the deep and unrelenting pain of the wounds of sexual abuse,” Bishop Dewane said. “The Church must be part of the solution in addressing the scourge of sexual abuse, not a source of the problem. Unfortunately, those roles were reversed in the past, and the gravity of that is well known to all.”

Pope Francis said the actions of those who scandalized and wounded innocent lives have put Holy Mother Church in a suffering position.

While the Church’s credibility has suffered in light of the abuse scandal, Bishop Dewane cited Pope Francis in saying that the first priority must be the victims who showed great courage in speaking out and telling the truth by shedding light on what is a darkness in society, that they may find comfort in the Lord’s healing grace.

“Before God, and you good people, I express sorrow for the sins and for the great crime of clerical abuse committed,” Bishop Dewane said. “For as your Bishop, I humbly ask forgiveness of those who have been abused and of you the faithful.”

While it is a Bishop’s pastoral responsibility to provide utmost care in fostering the protection of minors through his actions and through the comprehensive Diocesan Safe Environment program, we are all called to be vigilant. The Diocese of Venice has a zero-tolerance policy, and works to prevent any instances of abuse, particularly against minors and vulnerable adults.

“I only have one pair of eyes and ears,” Bishop Dewane said. “Between all of us, there are many eyes and many ears. It is better to act, because if we don’t speak, maybe someone will walk through the rest of their life in despair and scarred terribly by what has happened – not because of anything they did but it was something that was thrust upon them. I understand my responsibility, but we must all be vigilant.”

The Safe Environment Program was established to protect the most vulnerable from  abuse while raising awareness to prevent abuse from happening. The program, educates thousands each year, working to provide education for all employees (clergy, religious and laity), those volunteers and others regularly working with minors and vulnerable adults. The program provides information on the issue of abuse of children, including the detection, prevention, and reporting of child abuse. The Safe Environment Program has a component which includes training sessions for children and young people in Catholic schools. A key component of the Safe Environment initiative is that it includes a background check for all employees and volunteers.

The Diocese of Venice annually undergoes a comprehensive audit by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection to ensure that the Diocese is in compliance with current directives.

Report any abuse against minors to the Florida Department of Children and Families at 800-962-2873. Further, if Diocesan personnel or volunteers are involved, also notify the Diocesan Victims Assistance Coordinator, Susan Benton, at 941-416-6114.

For more detailed information about what the Diocese of Venice does to prevent abuse and the Safe Environment program, please visit https://dioceseofvenice.org/offices/programs/safeenvironment/.

PRAYER FOR HEALING VICTIMS OF ABUSE

During April, the Secretariat of the USCCB encourages the faithful to recite the following Prayer for Healing Victims of Abuse.

God of endless love, ever caring, ever strong, always present, always just: You gave your only Son to save us by his blood on the cross.

Gentle Jesus, shepherd of peace, join to your own suffering the pain of all who have been hurt in body, mind, and spirit by those who betrayed the trust placed in them.

Hear the cries of our brothers and sisters who have been gravely harmed, and the cries of those who love them. Soothe their restless hearts with hope, steady their shaken spirits with faith. Grant them justice for their cause, enlightened by your truth.

Holy Spirit, comforter of hearts, heal your people’s wounds and transform brokenness into wholeness. Grant us the courage and wisdom, humility and grace, to act with justice. Breathe wisdom into our prayers and labors. Grant that all harmed by abuse may find peace in justice.

We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Courtesy of the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

UNA ORACIÓN DE SANACIÓN VÍCTIMAS DE ABUSO

Dios del amor infinito, Siempre presente, siempre justo;

Tú nos cuidas y nos proteges Y nos diste a tu único Hijo Para salvarnos con su sangre en la cruz.

Jesús manso, pastor de la paz, Dígnate unir a tu propio sufrimiento El dolor de todos los que han sido heridos De cuerpo, mente y espíritu

Por parte de aquellos que traicionaron la confianza puesta en ellos.

Escucha el clamor de nuestros hermanos y hermanas Que han sido lastimados gravemente, Así como el clamor de aquellos que los aman. Dales la esperanza que mitigue el desosiego de sus corazones, Dales la fe que calme sus espíritus perturbados. Concédeles justicia para su causa, Ilumínalos con tu verdad.

Espíritu Santo, consolador de corazones, Cura las heridas de tus hijos e hijas Y devuelve la integridad a lo que ha sido quebrantado. Concédenos el valor y la sabiduría, La humildad y la gracia, para actuar con justicia. Sopla tu sabiduría en nuestras oraciones y empeños. Que todos los que han sido heridos por el abuso encuentren paz y justicia.

Te lo pedimos por Cristo, nuestro Señor. Amén.

Mass for Victims of the Abuse April 5 at Cathedral

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and in conjunction with the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the Diocese of Venice will hold a Mass for Victims of Child Abuse for the 17th consecutive year with Bishop Frank J. Dewane as the Celebrant. The Mass will take place at 12:15 p.m., Friday, April 5, 2024, at Epiphany Cathedral, 350 Tampa Ave. W., Venice. All are invited to attend as we come together to pray for the victims of abuse.

Through a comprehensive Safe Environment program, the Diocese of Venice, and its entities, take very seriously the safety of all young people and vulnerable adults. The Diocese has a zero-tolerance policy, and works to prevent any instances of abuse, particularly against minors and vulnerable adults. This comprehensive program aims to protect the most vulnerable from all types of abuse while raising awareness to prevent abuse from happening.

Report any abuse against minors to the Florida Department of Children and Families at 800-962-2873. Further, if Diocesan personnel or volunteers are involved, also notify the Diocesan Victims Assistance Coordinator, Susan Benton, at 941-416-6114.

For more detailed information about what the Diocese of Venice does to prevent abuse and the Safe Environment program, please visit https://dioceseofvenice.org/offices/programs/safeenvironment/.

PRAYER FOR HEALING VICTIMS OF ABUSE

During April, the Secretariat of the USCCB encourages the faithful to recite the Prayer for Healing Victims of Abuse.

God of endless love, ever caring, ever strong, always present, always just: You gave your only Son to save us by his blood on the cross.

Gentle Jesus, shepherd of peace, join to your own suffering the pain of all who have been hurt in body, mind, and spirit by those who betrayed the trust placed in them.

Hear the cries of our brothers and sisters who have been gravely harmed, and the cries of those who love them. Soothe their restless hearts with hope, steady their shaken spirits with faith. Grant them justice for their cause, enlightened by your truth.

Holy Spirit, comforter of hearts, heal your people’s wounds and transform brokenness into wholeness. Grant us the courage and wisdom, humility and grace, to act with justice. Breathe wisdom into our prayers and labors. Grant that all harmed by abuse may find peace in justice.

We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Courtesy of the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

UNA ORACIÓN DE SANACIÓN VÍCTIMAS DE ABUSO

Dios del amor infinito, Siempre presente, siempre justo; Tú nos cuidas y nos proteges Y nos diste a tu único Hijo Para salvarnos con su sangre en la cruz.

Jesús manso, pastor de la paz, Dígnate unir a tu propio sufrimiento El dolor de todos los que han sido heridos De cuerpo, mente y espíritu Por parte de aquellos que traicionaron la confianza puesta en ellos.

Escucha el clamor de nuestros hermanos y hermanas Que han sido lastimados gravemente, Así como el clamor de aquellos que los aman. Dales la esperanza que mitigue el desosiego de sus corazones, Dales la fe que calme sus espíritus perturbados. Concédeles justicia para su causa, Ilumínalos con tu verdad.

Espíritu Santo, consolador de corazones, Cura las heridas de tus hijos e hijas Y devuelve la integridad a lo que ha sido quebrantado. Concédenos el valor y la sabiduría, La humildad y la gracia, para actuar con justicia. Sopla tu sabiduría en nuestras oraciones y empeños. Que todos los que han sido heridos por el abuso encuentren paz y justicia.

Te lo pedimos por Cristo, nuestro Señor. Amén.

Courtesy of the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

 

Please pray for the safety of all during the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season

As the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season (June 1 to Nov. 30) continues, a prayer is presented here by which one asks God for protection and safety from the storms that often threaten Southwest Florida. We all remember the devastating effect of Hurricane Ian and of the recovery which is still ongoing. Everyone in the Diocese of Venice knows and understands the power of these storms and the suffering which follows in their wake.

Prayer for Safety in Hurricane Season

 

O God, Master of this passing world,

hear the humble voices of your children.

The Sea of Galilee obeyed Your order

and returned to its former quietude.

 

You are still the Master of land and sea.

We live in the shadow of a danger over which we have no control:

the Gulf, like a provoked and angry giant,

can awake from its seeming lethargy, overstep its conventional boundaries,

invade our land, and spread chaos and disaster.

 

During this hurricane season we turn to You, O loving Father.

Spare us from past tragedies whose memories are still so vivid

and whose wounds seem to refuse to heal with passing of time.

 

O Virgin, Star of the Sea, Our beloved Mother, we ask you

to plead with your Son on our behalf,

so that spared from the calamities common to this area

and animated with a true spirit of gratitude,

we will walk in the footsteps of your Divine Son

to reach the heavenly Jerusalem,

where a stormless eternity awaits us. Amen.

 

Oración para la temporada de huracanes

 

O Dios, Señor de este mundo pasajero,

escucha la humilde voz de tus hijos.

El Mar de Galilea obedeció Tu orden

y volvió a su anterior quietud.

 

Tu todavía eres el Señor de tierra y mar.

Vivimos en la sombra del peligro sobre el cual no tenemos control;

el Golfo, como un violento gigante, puede despertar de su aparente letargo,

sobrepasar sus límites, invadir nuestra tierra y sembrar caos y desastre.

 

Durante esta temporada de huracanes acudimos a Ti, O Padre Misericordioso.

Líbranos de tragedias como las pasadas que están tan vivas en nuestra

memoria y cuyas heridas rehúsan ser curadas con el paso del tiempo.

 

O Virgen, Estrella del Mar, nuestra amada Madre, te pedimos

que intercedas ante tu Hijo por nosotros,

para que nos libre de las calamidades comunes a esta área,

y animados con un verdadero espíritu de gratitude

caminemos en los pasos de tu Divino Hijo

para llegar a la Jerusalén Celestial,

donde una eternidad sin tormentas nos espera. Amen.

 

Prayers, action as Diocese responds to Ian

Bishop Frank J. Dewane called upon all to pray as Hurricane Ian approached the Diocese of Venice and put into action plans to ensure the safety and recovery after the storm passes.

“As people of Faith, we are called to pray to Our Lord and the Blessed Virgin Mary in times of peril,” Bishop Dewane said. “May we find comfort in the Lord as Hurricane Ian threatens, and that our suffering brothers and sisters quickly find safety and comfort in the Lord.”

As Hurricane Ian, Bishop Dewane met with members of the Diocesan Emergency Response Team on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022, and then on Monday, Sept. 26. The first of these meetings was to review and then implement existing emergency plans for all Parishes, Schools and other entities within the Diocese.

These emergency plans were established to create policies to ensure an ease of preparation when tropical weather threatens.  This includes checklists and basic guidance to ensure that the people and the buildings within the Diocese are secured and rendered as safe as possible before a storm arrives. In addition, the emergency plans also direct actions needed to respond to the impacts of a storm.

By implementing these plans, Parishes, Schools and other entities first follow local emergency management guidance, and using this as a base, start making plans to close offices, secure and limit access to buildings and take other necessary actions.

All Diocesan Catholic Schools were closed either Sept. 27, or Sept. 28, following public schools, and each will reopen as soon as possible. Diocesan Superintendent of Catholic Education Father John Belmonte, SJ, said “any decision to reopen will be made when the Diocese is confident individual schools have power and all facilities are safe for our students and faculty.”

Diocesan Parishes follow local guidance in terms of evacuation orders and several cancelled daily Mass, as well as other activities, with expectations to reopen when a safety assessment is completed as needed. Parishes in areas which have limited impacts (such as no loss of power or minimal damage in the area) would be expected to reopen by the end of the week.

In addition, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc., is also prepared to respond and set Points of Distribution (POD) in areas of greatest need. These POD locations, preplanned and established in coordination with county and state emergency management officials, will include the distribution of water, ice and food.

After Hurricane Ian passes, those interested in volunteering to assist, donating unused hurricane supplies, or offering financial support for the recovery effort need to visit www.catholiccharitiesdov.org for details on how to help.

The Diocese of Venice will also be updating the website (www.dioceseofvenice.org) and posting to social media where the greatest need is and how people can help.

Please continue to pray for the safety of all involved and in the path of Hurricane Ian.

 

How to Help

Diocesan Response to Ian

For the latest information

www.dioceseofvenice.org/hurricaneian

If you need help, want to help

www.catholiccharitiesdov.org

 

2022 Hurricane Season is Here

If anything is predictable in Florida it is that each summer the weather will be very warm and humid, and everyone should be keeping an eye on the tropics and preparing for Hurricane Season.

One only has to see how Hurricane Agatha, a storm that formed in the Pacific Ocean, slammed the Mexican coastline during Memorial Day Weekend before crossing and heading into the Gulf of Mexico just in time for the official opening of the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

The suddenness of the formation is a reminder that these destructive storms can form nearly anywhere and at any time between June 1 and November 30, the official close of the Atlantic Hurricane Season.

While early storms do not necessarily promise this year will be worse than any other season, experts stress it only takes one storm to strike your home to make it a bad season.

Factors such as warm surface water in the Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea, along with weak tropical trade winds and a strong West African monsoon, point to another busy year for hurricanes, which typically peak in August and September.

Experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are predicting another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season following a 2021 season which produced 21 named storms. For 2022, NOAA estimates a likely range of 14 to 21 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher) is expected.

“As we reflect on another potentially busy hurricane season, past storms — such as Superstorm Sandy, which devastated the New York metro area ten years ago — remind us that the impact of one storm can be felt for years,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D.

The Diocese of Venice is no stranger to these storms, with Hurricane Irma in 2017 leaving behind a trail of destruction and despair in its wake; a year later we saw Hurricane Michael devastate the Florida Panhandle. Several other close calls and direct hits are part of the history of the region with Hurricane Donna (1960), Hurricane Andrew (1992), and Hurricane Charley (2004).

To best prepare for a storm, having an emergency plan is crucial. Simple things people need to know or do:

  • Know what evacuation zone you live in (updated annually)
  • Have more than one evacuation route
  • Have key documents ready in a waterproof container
  • Know where the nearest emergency evacuation shelter is
  • Have a disaster supply kit with essentials, including enough food, water and medications for a minimum of three to seven days. For a list of the essentials for a disaster supply kit, please visit gov(English) or Listo.gov (Spanish).

To help Floridians gather supplies ahead of time, the 2022 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday runs from now through June 10.  This tax holiday allows for the purchase of essentials from batteries and flashlights to generators all tax free. Newly eligible items in 2022 include pet food and supplies as well as smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and carbon-monoxide detectors. For a complete list of eligible items, please visit https://floridarevenue.com/disasterprep.

For those who may need help in evacuating, such as the elderly or handicapped, they must contact their county emergency management office to register for evacuation assistance. These systems are updated each year, therefore registering in the past will not guarantee being on a list for 2022.

Should disaster strike, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. will be at the forefront in preparing and responding. Catholic Charities will send a team to the epicenter of the disaster and then coordinate to set up relief centers — called PODs, which stands for Points-Of-Distribution – where the need is greatest. These centers – often located at Parishes or next to Catholic Charities offices – will be sites where water, clothing, food and other disaster relief assistance can be distributed.

The Diocese of Venice is well versed in responding to these storms. Each Parish, Catholic school and other entities have hurricane preparedness plans which assists in preparation before a storm and recovery afterwards.

Taking a few steps now can prevent panic and confusion if a storm were to threaten the area while following directions from your local emergency management officials. To track and learn more about hurricanes, www.nhc.noaa.gov/.

Hurricane Prayer (English and Spanish)

As we enter the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season (June 1-Nov. 30), a prayer is presented here by which one asks God for protection and safety from the storms that often threaten Southwest Florida. With the formation of Tropical Storm Arthur in mid-May, it promises to be another busy season of watching the tropics. We must all remember the devastating effect of Hurricane Irma from 2017 and what was witnessed when Hurricane Michael struck the Florida Panhandle in 2018. Everyone in the Diocese of Venice knows and understands the power of these storms and the suffering which follows in their wake.

Prayer for Safety in Hurricane Season

O God, Master of this passing world, hear the humble voices of your children. The Sea of Galilee obeyed Your order and returned to its former quietude. You are still the Master of land and sea.

We live in the shadow of a danger over which we have no control: the Gulf, like a provoked and angry giant, can awake from its seeming lethargy, overstep its conventional boundaries, invade our land, and spread chaos and disaster. During this hurricane season we turn to You, O loving Father.

Spare us from past tragedies whose memories are still so vivid and whose wounds seem to refuse to heal with passing of time. O Virgin, Star of the Sea, Our beloved Mother, we ask you to plead with your Son on our behalf, so that spared from the calamities common to this area and animated with a true spirit of gratitude, we will walk in the footsteps of your Divine Son to reach the heavenly Jerusalem, where a stormless eternity awaits us. Amen.

Oración para la temporada de huracanes

O Dios, Señor de este mundo pasajero, escucha la humilde voz de tus hijos. El Mar de Galilea obedeció Tu orden y volvió a su anterior quietud. Tu todavía eres el Señor de tierra y mar.

Vivimos en la sombra del peligro sobre el cual no tenemos control; el Golfo, como un violento gigante, puede despertar de su aparente letargo, sobrepasar sus límites, invadir nuestra tierra y sembrar caos y desastre. Durante esta temporada de huracanes acudimos a Ti, O Padre Misericordioso.

Líbranos de tragedias como las pasadas que están tan vivas en nuestra memoria y cuyas heridas rehúsan ser curadas con el paso del tiempo. O Virgen, Estrella del Mar, nuestra amada Madre, te pedimos que intercedas ante tu Hijo por nosotros, para que nos libre de las calamidades comunes a esta área, y animados con un verdadero espíritu de gratitude caminemos en los pasos de tu Divino Hijo para llegar a la Jerusalén Celestial, donde una eternidad sin tormentas nos espera. Amen.

Hurricane Prayer for 2021

As we continue through the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season (June 1-Nov. 30), a prayer is presented here by which one asks God for protection and safety from the storms that often threaten Southwest Florida. With the formation of Tropical Storm Ana in mid-May, it promises to be another busy season of watching the tropics. We must all remember the devastating effect of Hurricane Irma from 2017 and what was witnessed when Hurricane Michael struck the Florida Panhandle in 2018. Everyone in the Diocese of Venice knows and understands the power of these storms and the suffering which follows in their wake.

Prayer for Safety in Hurricane Season

O God, Master of this passing world,

hear the humble voices of your children.

The Sea of Galilee obeyed Your order

and returned to its former quietude.

 

You are still the Master of land and sea.

We live in the shadow of a danger over which we have no control:

the Gulf, like a provoked and angry giant,

can awake from its seeming lethargy, overstep its conventional boundaries,

invade our land, and spread chaos and disaster.

 

During this hurricane season we turn to You, O loving Father.

Spare us from past tragedies whose memories are still so vivid

and whose wounds seem to refuse to heal with passing of time.

 

O Virgin, Star of the Sea, Our beloved Mother, we ask you

to plead with your Son on our behalf,

so that spared from the calamities common to this area

and animated with a true spirit of gratitude,

we will walk in the footsteps of your Divine Son

to reach the heavenly Jerusalem,

where a stormless eternity awaits us. Amen.

 

Oración para la temporada de huracanes

O Dios, Señor de este mundo pasajero,

escucha la humilde voz de tus hijos.

El Mar de Galilea obedeció Tu orden

y volvió a su anterior quietud.

 

Tu todavía eres el Señor de tierra y mar.

Vivimos en la sombra del peligro sobre el cual no tenemos control;

el Golfo, como un violento gigante, puede despertar de su aparente letargo,

sobrepasar sus límites, invadir nuestra tierra y sembrar caos y desastre.

 

Durante esta temporada de huracanes acudimos a Ti, O Padre Misericordioso.

Líbranos de tragedias como las pasadas que están tan vivas en nuestra

memoria y cuyas heridas rehúsan ser curadas con el paso del tiempo.

 

O Virgen, Estrella del Mar, nuestra amada Madre, te pedimos

que intercedas ante tu Hijo por nosotros,

para que nos libre de las calamidades comunes a esta área,

y animados con un verdadero espíritu de gratitude

caminemos en los pasos de tu Divino Hijo

para llegar a la Jerusalén Celestial,

donde una eternidad sin tormentas nos espera. Amen.

Mass for victims of abuse to be celebrated April 16

For the 14th consecutive year, during Child Abuse Awareness Prevention Month – April, the Diocese of Venice will be offering Mass to pray for the victims of abuse. The Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Dewane and take place at 8 a.m., April 16, 2021 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.

The Diocese of Venice, and its entities, take very seriously the safety of all young people and vulnerable adults. To this end, the Diocese, with a zero-tolerance policy, works to prevent any instances of abuse, particularly against minors and vulnerable adults.

“As Christian adults, we have a moral responsibility and are entrusted by God with the spiritual, emotional and physical well-being of minors and vulnerable adults,” Bishop Dewane said. “The Diocese of Venice is steadfast in its commitment to providing a comprehensive program to protect the most vulnerable from all types of abuse while raising awareness to prevent abuse from happening in the first place.”

In 1983, recognizing the alarming rate at which children continued to be abused and neglected and the need for innovative programs to prevent child abuse, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives proclaimed April National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

In keeping with continued efforts to nationally promote awareness of child abuse and neglect, the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) joined in this effort.

Each year the Diocese conducts Safe Environment Program training sessions for thousands, including clergy, religious and laity who work or volunteer in the Diocese.

As minors and vulnerable adults participate in activities within or sponsored by the Diocese, the mission of the Safe Environment Program is:

  • To provide required education for all employees (clergy, religious and laity), those volunteers and others regularly involved with minors, and for parents, as to the issue of abuse of children including the detection, prevention and reporting of child abuse.
  • To provide required training programs for children and young people in our Catholic schools and religious education programs. This includes age-appropriate materials pertaining to personal safety and information about improper touching and relationships. Children are not expected to be fully knowledgeable about child abuse or of the laws governing care of children, but they need to know when they should seek assistance from a trusted adult.
  • To thoroughly screen and evaluate the background of all diocesan employees – clergy, religious and laity – and those volunteers who work with children and young people.
  • To hold those who minister in the name of the Church in the Diocese of Venice, all diocesan employees (clergy, religious and laity) and those volunteers who work with children and young people, to Christ-centered and professional codes of conduct.

Since 2002, the Diocese has engaged a professional company to conduct background screening through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation with results available to the Diocesan Safe Environment Coordinator within 24-48 hours. There have been more than 50,000 background screenings and in excess of 57,000 persons trained in Safe Environment. In the last five years alone, 14,755 individuals were background screened and more than 15,000 trained in safe environment. While all Diocesan staff and volunteers go through Safe Environment training, only those who work with minors or vulnerable adults must be fingerprinted and trained in Safe Environment prior to beginning employment or volunteering.

The mission of the Diocese of Venice Safe Environment Program is to provide education for all employees (clergy, religious and laity), those volunteers and others regularly working with minors, and parents, about the issue of abuse of children, including the detection, prevention and reporting of child abuse. In addition, the Safe Environment Program has a component which includes training sessions for children and young people in Catholic schools.

The Diocese of Venice annually undergoes a comprehensive audit by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection to ensure that the Diocese is in compliance with current directives.

For more detailed information about what the Diocese of Venice does to prevent abuse or how to sign up for a Safe Environment class, please visit www.dioceseofvenice.org/safeenvironment.

Report any abuse against minors to the Florida Department of Children and Families at 800-962-2873. Further, if Diocesan personnel or volunteers are involved, also notify the Diocesan Victims Assistance Coordinator, Susan Benton, at 941-416-6114.

PRAYER FOR HEALING VICTIMS OF ABUSE

During April, the Secretariat of the USCCB encourages the faithful to recite the Prayer for Healing Victims of Abuse.

God of endless love, ever caring, ever strong, always present, always just:

You gave your only Son to save us by his blood on the cross. Gentle Jesus, shepherd of peace, join to your own suffering the pain of all who have been hurt in body, mind, and spirit by those who betrayed the trust placed in them.

Hear the cries of our brothers and sisters who have been gravely harmed, and the cries of those who love them. Soothe their restless hearts with hope, steady their shaken spirits with faith. Grant them justice for their cause, enlightened by your truth.

Holy Spirit, comforter of hearts, heal your people’s wounds and transform brokenness into wholeness. Grant us the courage and wisdom, humility and grace, to act with justice. Breathe wisdom into our prayers and labors. Grant that all harmed by abuse may find peace in justice.

We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Courtesy of the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

UNA ORACIÓN DE SANACIÓN VÍCTIMAS DE ABUSO

Dios del amor infinito, Siempre presente, siempre justo;

Tú nos cuidas y nos proteges Y nos diste a tu único Hijo Para salvarnos con su sangre en la cruz.

Jesús manso, pastor de la paz, Dígnate unir a tu propio sufrimiento El dolor de todos los que han sido heridos De cuerpo, mente y espíritu Por parte de aquellos que traicionaron la confianza puesta en ellos.

Escucha el clamor de nuestros hermanos y hermanas Que han sido lastimados gravemente, Así como el clamor de aquellos que los aman. Dales la esperanza que mitigue el desosiego de sus corazones, Dales la fe que calme sus espíritus perturbados. Concédeles justicia para su causa, Ilumínalos con tu verdad.

Espíritu Santo, consolador de corazones, Cura las heridas de tus hijos e hijas Y devuelve la integridad a lo que ha sido quebrantado. Concédenos el valor y la sabiduría, La humildad y la gracia, para actuar con justicia. Sopla tu sabiduría en nuestras oraciones y empeños. Que todos los que han sido heridos por el abuso encuentren paz y justicia.

Te lo pedimos por Cristo, nuestro Señor. Amén.

Courtesy of the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

 

News briefs for week of Aug. 10, 2020

Ordination to the Transitional Diaconate Aug. 29

Diocese of Venice Seminarian Alex Pince will be ordained to the Transitional Diaconate by Bishop Frank J. Dewane on Aug. 29, 2020, at Epiphany Cathedral, 350 Tampa Ave. W., Venice. The Transitional Diaconate Ordination Mass will begin at 11 a.m., with a reception to follow. All are invited to attend.   

Diocesan Prayer Campaign begins Aug. 15

A Diocese of Venice Fall Prayer Campaign for Peace and Conversion in our country begins on Aug. 15, 2020 (the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary) and includes a 54-day Rosary Novena. These daily prayers and devotions are designed to help each of us truly encounter Christ and be transformed by His love. This transformation is that of true holiness. Each one of us is called to continuously offer ourselves to God, growing in holiness day by day. To learn more, please visit www.dioceseofvenice.org/prayer.

Voter Guides available

Please be advised that the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops Candidate Questionnaire is available at www.flaccb.org/cqp. Candidate responses are posted on the website and appear in two formats: 1) lists of all candidates on the primary and general election ballots; and 2) primary election candidates in table format by Diocese. If you have any questions, please contact Jeanne Berdeaux at Berdeaux@dioceseofvenice.org or 941-374-1068.

Religious sisters renew vows

Congratulations to Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco Katie Flanagan (Immaculata La Salle Catholic High School, Miami), April Cabaccang (St. John Neumann Catholic High School, Naples), April Hoffman (St. John Neumann) and  Maria Fe Tansioco (Immaculata La Salle) on the renewal of their vows on Aug. 4, 2020 at Our Lady of the Angels Chapel of St. John Neumann Catholic High School in Naples. Father Bob Kantor, Pastor of St. Agnes Parish in Naples presided over the renewal of vows. The ceremony was witnessed by members of the student government. The temporary professed sisters usually renew their vows in Haledon, N.J., at their Mother House, but because of pandemic travel restrictions, the Salesian Sisters who minister in Florida renewed their vows in Our Lady of the Angels Chapel at Neumann.

1,800 books devoured in summer reading program

Congratulations to St. Joseph Catholic School summer readers who participated in the Patterson Summer Reading Challenge! These students read more than 1,800 books, completed Accelerated Reader goals, shared books weekly via Zoom, and completed book activities. Because of our new start date, our readers still have until Aug. 14, 2020, to achieve their High Points goals, and some are very close! Great work! Each student earned a wristband for completing books and achieving goals.

New windows being installed

The installation of stained-glass windows at Our Lady of the Angels Parish in Lakewood Ranch is making excellent progress. The newly constructed Church was dedicated in 2019 but the stained-glass windows were not ready at the time. Since mid-June 2020, the new windows are being installed and adding greater beauty to the interior of the worship space.

Sarasota priest joins reading campaign

Pallottine Father Patrick Wilson, Parochial Vicar of St. Martha Parish in Sarasota recently took part in a webcast series of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading “This Book is Cool!” hosted by Director Beth Duda. The featured book on the July 12, 2020 episode, was “The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders” written by Jack Prelutsky and illustrated by Petra Mathers. The project is generously funded by The Patterson Foundation, is designed to encourage children, PreK- Gr. 3, to read, and includes a selected book, a special guest, new vocabulary words for the Word Bank, and a suggested activity that goes with the book.

Bradenton food pantry benefits from postal drive

The National Association of Letter Carriers headed up an employee food drive at all five post offices in Bradenton all to benefit the St. Joseph Parish Food Pantry, the largest such pantry in Manatee County.  The postal carriers.  collected food throughout the month of July 2020 and brought it, along with a monetary check in the amount of $1,000, to the food pantry on July 29, 2020.  This action took the place of a national food drive which was cancelled, impacting food banks through the country. Thank you, Bradenton letter carriers, for your generosity.

News briefs from July 6 2020

Priest becomes U.S. Citizen

Father Rafal Ligenza, Administrator of St. Joseph Parish in Bradenton was sworn in as U.S. Citizen on July 6, 2020. A native of Poland, Father Ligenza was ordained to the priesthood in 2011 for the Diocese of Venice by Bishop Frank J. Dewane. Father Ligenza has been Administrator at St. Joseph Parish since January of 2019 and previously served as Parochial Vicar at St. William Parish in Naples and St. Columbkille Parish in Fort Myers. Congratulations Father!

CCW supports Catholic Charities

Representatives of the Venice Diocesan Council of Catholic Women recently presented a check to Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice Inc. for their homeless prevention program. The presentation took place on June 23, 2020 at the Catholic Center in Venice. VDCCW President Brenda Dolan and Board Member Ellen Bachman presented the check for $7,000 to Philomena Pereira, CEO of Catholic Charities. Bishop Frank J. Dewane was also present as a show of support for both the VDCCW and Catholic Charities. The money is part of an annual effort of the VDCCW and will go toward the numerous programs that provide housing and also prevent people from becoming homeless.

Virtual Summer Reading Challenge

A Virtual Summer Reading Challenge is taking place for the students of St. Joseph Catholic School in Bradenton. Students were sent home books in early June and they are also encouraged to read more books on their own. Students in online reading sessions with guest readers via Zoom. For each book read, the students receive a wristband. During the first week of the reading challenge, the students read 197 books. With each book comes activities and projects. The group kicked off the Fourth of July Weekend by taking a virtual field trip to the Statue of Liberty in New York City, via Google Earth! The students learned the history of the statue and shared the book, “Emma’s Poem” by Linda Glaser. The group ended the morning by learning how to make “fireworks in a jar.” Some students have already completed up to 20 books. Well done!

If you need help

If you need assistance from Catholic Charities for food, financial assistance or tele-mental health counseling, please call the number for your area listed below 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday. Services have expanded to include assistance in applying for state and federal benefits if you have lost work due to the COVID-19 Pandemic:

  • Sarasota/Manatee/DeSoto/Hardee/Highlands counties: 844-385-2407,
  • Charlotte/Lee/Hendry/Glades counties: 844-385-2423,
  • Collier County: 844-385-2404.

Food distribution

Catholic Charities food distribution will take place only at the following times and locations. Please call the regional number for more information.

  • Monday-Friday, 9-11 a.m., Guadalupe Social Services, 211 S. 9th St., Immokalee, the Soup Kitchen is providing take-out/meals-to-go;
  • Tuesdays, 9-11:30 a.m., Judy Sullivan Family Resource Center, 3174 Tamiami Trail E., Naples;
  • Thursdays, 9 a.m.-noon, St. Margaret Parish, 208 Dean Duff St., Clewiston;
  • Fridays, 9-11 a.m., St. Leo the Great Parish, 28360 Beaumont Road, Bonita Springs;
  • Fridays, 9 a.m.-noon, Elizabeth K. Galeana Pantry, 4235 Michigan Avenue Link, Fort Myers;
  • 2nd and 4th Fridays of the month, 9-11 a.m., St. Paul Parish, 1208 E. Oak St. Arcadia.

Prayer to Overcome Racism

Mary, friend and mother to all, through your Son, God has found a way to unite himself to every human being, called to be one people, sisters and brothers to each other.

We ask for your help in calling on your Son, seeking forgiveness for the times when we have failed to love and respect one another.

We ask for your help in obtaining from your Son the grace we need to overcome the evil of racism and to build a just society. We ask for your help in following your Son, so that prejudice and animosity will no longer infect our minds or hearts but will be replaced with a love that respects the dignity of each person.

Mother of the Church, the Spirit of your Son Jesus warms our hearts: pray for us. Amen.

Dispensation

While the celebration of public Mass resumed May 18, 2020, Bishop Frank J. Dewane announced that the dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains in effect through Sept. 1, 2020 for those who are at greater risk or anxious about returning at this time. The Faithful ought not to worry about remaining home if they are concerned for their wellbeing or that of other parishioners. Of course, those who are sick or have symptoms associated with COVID-19 are to stay home. Please check the Diocese of Venice website for any updates on any extension of the dispensation to attend Mass.

Livestreaming

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

Sunday Televised Mass

The Televised Mass for the Homebound is available throughout the Diocese each Sunday. In northern parts of the Diocese (Manatee, Highlands, Hardee, Sarasota, DeSoto and Charlotte counties) the Mass airs on television at 9:30 a.m. on the CW Network. In the southern portions of the Diocese (Collier, Lee, Glades, Hendry, Charlotte counties) the Mass airs at 10:30 a.m., on WFTX-TV (FOX-4). This same Mass can be found on the Diocese of Venice website at any time during the week, www.dioceseofvenice.org/tvmass. Please check local listings for channel information.

Parish donations

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

Online Resources

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

Act of Spiritual Communion

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

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

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

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

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

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

Safety During Hurricanes

As the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season continues (June 1-Nov. 30), a prayer is presented here by which one asks God for protection and safety from the storms that often threaten Southwest Florida. With the formation of Tropical Storm Arthur in med-May, it promises to be another busy season of watching the tropics. We must all remember the devastating effect of Hurricane Irma from 2017 and what was witnessed when Hurricane Michael struck the Florida Panhandle in 2018, everyone in the Diocese of Venice knows and understands the power of these storms and the suffering which follows in their wake.

 

 

O God, Master of this passing world,

hear the humble voices of your children.

The Sea of Galilee obeyed Your order

and returned to its former quietude.

You are still the Master of land and sea.

We live in the shadow of a danger over which we have no control:

the Gulf, like a provoked and angry giant, can awake from its seeming lethargy,

overstep its conventional boundaries, invade our land, and spread chaos and disaster.

During this hurricane season we turn to You, O loving Father.

Spare us from past tragedies whose memories are still so vivid

and whose wounds seem to refuse to heal with passing of time.

O Virgin, Star of the Sea, Our beloved Mother, we ask you

to plead with your Son on our behalf,

so that spared from the calamities common to this area

and animated with a true spirit of gratitude,

we will walk in the footsteps of your Divine Son

to reach the heavenly Jerusalem,

where a stormless eternity awaits us. Amen.