Bishop prays rosary on national radio broadcast

Bishop Frank J. Dewane was a special guest of Relevant Radio – the largest Catholic radio network – which hosted a live national broadcast on Feb. 28, 2024, of the “Family Rosary Across America” in conjunction with Ave Maria University and Ave Maria Parish.

The special broadcast, hosted by Father Francis J. Hoffman (best known as “Father Rocky”), executive director and CEO of Relevant Radio, was intended to pray for peace and unity in our families, in our country, in the Church, as well as for peace in the Holy Land and in the Ukraine.

Bishop Dewane led the praying of the rosary, while Father Rocky described the Glorious Mysteries (used each Wednesday on the program). Those present, including leaders and students at Ave Maria University, were able to offer their prayer intentions, forgoing the usual option of taking prayer intentions from callers across the country.

Father Rocky estimates that between 50,000 and 100,000 pray the rosary in that half hour, daily at 8 p.m. (EST) on 250 AM/FM stations, with about 40,000 watching the livestream in their homes. Many of the listeners are on west coast, where it broadcasts at 5 p.m., the peak of rush hour.

“The more people praying the rosary at the same time, the more powerful the prayer,” Father Rocky said.

Bishop Dewane said it is an honor to be asked to participate and lead the praying of the rosary.

In fact, this was the third time Bishop Dewane has joined Father Rocky in the “Family Rosary Across America” broadcast. The first time was for a special joint broadcast with Archbishop Bernard Hebda, of Minneapolis – St. Paul, which took place in March 2022 from St. Isabel Parish in Sanibel. That broadcast also included an interview with the two guests. The second time occurred on Ash Wednesday, in February 2023 from Ave Maria.

Relevant Radio can be heard on 106.7 FM and 1410 AM in Fort Myers and 93.3 FM and 1660 AM in Naples and is also available online at

Bishop Dewane has a monthly radio show “Witnessing Faith with Bishop Dewane,” which can be heard on Relevant Radio at 8:30 a.m. on the last Friday of each month. The next broadcast is March 29, Good Friday. Outside of the listening area, access to the program is available at

Ash Wednesday: Lenten Journey begins

The opening of the Lenten Season began with the traditional Ash Wednesday Mass, starting a journey which ends prior to the celebration of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, April 6, 2023.

During this journey, one must take time to live the Lenten Season in a particular way, looking internally and answering the question: How can I be an ambassador for the message of Jesus Christ?

Bishop Frank J. Dewane addressed this issue at St. John XXIII Parish in Fort Myers where he celebrated Mass on Feb. 22. The Bishop spoke of putting a renewed focus on the pillars of the Lenten Season – prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

The Gospel reading for Ash Wednesday details how each of us “have to go about living our life – in the home, at work, and in society,” Bishop Dewane said. “There has to be a place for these three pillars. There is a tendency to think of them in an interior way, but we must let it well up from within. Christ is calling you and I as ambassadors, in a very visible pronounced way during the Lenten Season.”

As we prepare to celebrate the Paschal Mystery of our Faith, these three practices, approached seriously and in a spirit of penance, will ready us for the renewal of baptism at Easter.

  • Pray with Jesus in the desert to gain Faith. Realize you are not just watching Jesus; he gazes with love on you.
  • Fast with Jesus in the desert to learn hope. As we sit with Christ, receive the Spirit and hope that grows as our false material hopes wane.
  • Give alms to grow in love for the suffering of Jesus. We are to see Christ in others. What we do for them, we do for Jesus.

On Ash Wednesday, the imposition of ashes is a solemn ritual that signals the beginning of the holy season of Lent. The ceremony is distinctive; there is no liturgical action like it throughout the entire liturgical year. Ashes come from a previous Palm Sunday. The palms are burned, the ashes collected and then crushed into a fine, sooty powder and placed into bowls, where they are blessed by the priest during the Ash Wednesday Mass after the homily. Then, in a Communion-like procession, people are invited to come forward, and the ashes are applied to each person’s forehead in the shape of a cross as the minister says either, “Turn away from sin and believe in the Gospel” (Mark 1:15), the usual prayer, or “Remember that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19), the older, more traditional invocation.

Family Rosary Across America

Also taking place on Ash Wednesday, Bishop Dewane was a special guest of Relevant Radio—the largest Catholic radio network—which hosted a live national broadcast of the Family Rosary Across America in conjunction with Ave Maria University and Ave Maria Parish. The special broadcast, hosted by Father Francis J. Hoffman (best known as “Father Rocky”), executive director and CEO of Relevant Radio, was intended to help the faithful across the country kick-off their Lenten Journey in a positive way. During the broadcast from the Parish Church, Bishop Dewane led the praying of the rosary, joined by Father Rocky and students from Ave Maria University.

Opportunity for Confession in Diocese

The precept of confessing grave sins and receiving Holy Communion at least once during the Lenten Season indeed merits recalling for all the Faithful. To facilitate this requirement, all Parishes in the Diocese of Venice will be open with a confessor present so that the faithful will find ample opportunity to receive God’s Mercy in the Sacrament of Confession from 4-8 p.m., Friday, March 31, and 9 a.m.-noon, Saturday, April 1. Please check with your local Parish for additional reconciliation times.

Parishes frequently add additional times for the Sacrament during Lent, including during Parish Lenten Missions Retreats. In addition, Parishes often combine to have an evening prayer services in a region with additional priests present to offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Please visit to find a Parish.




Briefs for the Week of Feb. 24, 2023

Verot student recognized

Bishop Verot Catholic High School student Maren Pfleger has been named one of approximately 5,000 candidates in the 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. Program candidates were selected from nearly 3.6 million students expected to graduate from U.S. high schools in the year 2023. Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors. Scholars are selected on the basis of outstanding test scores, superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character, and involvement in community and school activities. A distinguished panel of educators will review these submissions and select approximately 600 semifinalists in early April.

Mooney grad receives kidney transplant

Candie Barrameda, Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School Class of 2016, received an early Valentine’s Day present with a gift of a new kidney. In mid-2022, Barrameda was diagnosed with stage five kidney failure, but had no other health issues, which made her eligible for a transplant. At the time, Mooney posted a plea for donors on social media.  Sarasota resident and Pine View High School graduate, Kathryn Kochevar, heard  about Barrameda’s plight and discovered she was a match and wanted to make a difference. The transplant took place at Tampa General Hospital in early February and was a complete success. Kochevar was released within a day, and Barrameda, who had been having four-hour dialysis treatments three days a week, went home less than a week later. Barrameda thanks her amazing team, Kochevar and her family, and everyone for their prayers.

Pregnancy help center reopens in Venice

Pregnancy Solutions, a help center for pregnancy women with three local locations (Port Charlotte, North Port and Venice), had a grand re-opening of its Venice offices on Jan. 31, 2023. The location utilized creative options to continue serving women in need during repairs needed after Hurricane Ian caused water and flood damage in September 2022. Pregnancy Solutions’ three locations served more than 1,300 in 2022 alone. A big thanks went out to the amazing staff and volunteers. Present for the reopening were Diocese of Venice Respect Life Director Jeanne Berdeaux and Father Shawn Monahan, OMV, assistant director of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center in Venice. The Venice location is open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. If you would like a tour, please call 941-408-7100 or to learn more, please visit

Bishop radio show focuses on Diocesan Eucharistic Congress

The Diocese of Venice Eucharistic Congress and Youth Rally on March 24 and 25, at the Caloosa Sound Convention Center and Luminary Hotel, 1375 Monroe St., Fort Myers, was the focus for Bishop Frank J. Dewane on his monthly radio program on Relevant Radio. “Witnessing Faith with Bishop Dewane” can be heard at 8:30 a.m. on the last Friday of each month (Feb. 24), on 106.7 FM and 1410 AM in Fort Myers and 93.3 FM and 1660 AM in Naples. The program is also available at The February guests included Teresa Tomeo, a featured speaker for the March 25 Eucharistic Congress, and Father Timothy Anastos, the keynote for the March 24 Youth Rally. To learn more about the Diocesan Eucharistic Congress and Youth Rally, please visit

Basketball team goes undefeated

The St. Ann Catholic School varsity girl’s basketball team in Naples just finished their season undefeated while also winning the Sunshine Athletic Conference. Way to go Lady Dolphins!

Seton students work on Lego STREAM project

Second grade students at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic School in Naples worked diligently on Feb. 17, 2023, to complete their first activity in the Lego WeDo 2.0 series. The students created Milo the Science Rover! The students had to apply the Engineering Design Process to complete the project. This is just one of many opportunities for Diocese of Venice Catholic school students at all levels to learn key STREAM (science, technology, religion, engineering, arts and math) skills through a comprehensive Lego robotics program. These projects challenge students to think critically, work together, and overcome obstacles to achieve a goal. STREAM is a faith-infused program which not only teaches meaningful skills but upholds Catholic values by teaching the principles of strength, utility and beauty.

Relevant Radio broadcasts live from Diocese

In a special treat for the Diocese of Venice, Relevant Radio’s “Family Rosary Across America” was broadcast live from St. Isabel Parish on Sanibel on March 7, 2022.

Host, Father Francis “Rocky” Hoffman, had two special guests, Bishop Frank J. Dewane and Archbishop Bernard Hebda of Minneapolis – St. Paul, In addition, a group of more than 60 parishioners were present for the live broadcast which was recorded in the Parish church.

Father Rocky opened the broadcast at 7:45 p.m., interrupting regularly scheduled programming, with an interview of Bishop Dewane and Archbishop Hebda during which they discussed their time together in seminary at the North American College in Rome.

Bishop Dewane asked about about his history and life before entering seminary when he worked in the then-Soviet Union for NBC. The Bishop offered his unique perspective on the current war between Ukraine and Russia, saying that the situation deeply saddens him, knowing the Russian and Ukrainian people who don’t want war.

“There is a strong spirituality in both of those countries, and it is particularly painful to see what has happened and developed and wonder where they have put the place for Christ in their lives,” Bishop Dewane stated. “In the northern part of the Diocese there are large numbers of Ukrainians, and they have a strong spirituality.”

Father Rocky inquired about the reported large number of participants in the daily Mass and wondered if there was something in the water.

“It’s the good people who come here, and those who are here; that’s really what it is, and also the Grace of God,” Bishop Dewane said. “It is true the daily Mass is shoulder to shoulder, crowded. Some Parishes do not have enough room in their Chapel during (the winter) season so the Mass goes into the main Church. I’d say this is a good problem to have.”

When asked for his special prayer intentions during the Family Rosary Across America, Bishop Dewane said: “I think we all need to pray for peace in our world, particularly with Ukraine in mind. To ask Our Lady’s intercession for people who have deep roots in spirituality, in the recognition in Our Lady, that they can come together and that the Holy Spirit will inspire the respective leaders to worry not so much about their egos but to worry about their people who are in such desperate need. Also, here in the Diocese of Venice, for our young people… that the Lord continue to inspire them in a desire for faith and a living of their faith throughout their lives.”

Archbishop Hebda led praying of the rosary who Bishop Dewane lead the responses. Father Rocky described the Joyful Mysteries (used each Monday on the program) while also sharing prayer intentions from callers across the country. These callers included young children who were praying for family members while others called in to request prayer intentions for the ill or those who have died. The faithful from St. Isabel were also afforded the opportunity to share their own prayer intentions.

Relevant Radio can be heard on 106.7 FM and 1410 AM in Fort Myers and 93.3 FM (NEW) and 1660 AM in Naples and is also available online at

Bishop Dewane has a monthly radio show “Witnessing Faith with Bishop Dewane,” which can be heard at 8:30 a.m. on the last Friday of the month. The next broadcast is March 25. Outside of the listening area, access to the program is available at

A reception in the Parish Hall preceded the live broadcast hosted by the staff of St. Isabel Parish including Father Ed Martin, Pastor.