40 Days for Life fall campaign concludes – 4 saves confirmed in Sarasota

All life is precious. For this reason, each fall and spring hundreds gather in front of abortion facilities in the Diocese of Venice praying that unborn children can be saved from the scourge that is abortion.

The 40 Days for Life fall campaign concluded on Nov. 6, 2022, with local efforts taking place in Sarasota and Fort Myers. The campaign began Sept. 28 but was delayed locally due to the arrival and impacts of Hurricane Ian.

Those impacts did not deter the prayer warriors who stood faithfully in front of the two Planned Parenthood abortion facilities as soon as it was safe, about a week after the storm at both sites. Sarasota 40 Days coordinator Rich Owens said people were in front of the downtown regional headquarters of Planned Parenthood the day the facility reopened after the hurricane. “We are here because that monstrosity is here.”

A peaceful, rather than confrontational, effort, the 40 Days for Life prayer campaign takes place in more than 1,000 cities across the United States and in 64 countries. The Diocese of Venice has participated since 2007, the year of the first national campaign. To date, 22,289 babies have been saved and 131 abortion centers have been closed.

Included in that number are four saves at the Sarasota location in just a few weeks. The saves, with the fourth was only recently confirmed, includes moms who come forward to thank the prayer warriors for their presence, which aided them in choosing life.

Many of the moms seeking help in the shadow of the abortion facility in Sarasota are directed to the neighboring Community Pregnancy Clinics (CPCI), a pro-life, free clinic that provides ultrasounds and extensive support for pregnant mothers. CPCI has medical offices in Naples, Fort Myers and Sarasota. In addition, CPCI has mobile clinics which visit rural communities, as well as college campuses, seeking to educate women and men about the pro-life options they have during an unexpected pregnancy.

During a closing vigil Jericho Walk on Nov. 5, Owens led a group of about 30 prayer warriors to rally and continue the fight to end abortion beyond the 40 days. The group circled the abortion facility, led by a banner which read “Viva Christo Rey – By Thy Power May Peace Come,” seven times. At the conclusion a horn blasted as everyone shouted in prayer, just as God told the Israelites in Joshua 6: 4-5, “On the seventh day march around the city seven times, and have the priests blow the horns. When they give a long blast on the ram’s horns and you hear the sound of the horn, all the people shall shout aloud. The wall of the city will collapse, and the people shall attack straight ahead.”

While the walls of the abortion facility did not collapse, the sounds of the prayer warriors resonated and will continue to do so long after the 40 Days fall campaign is concluded.

Owens said participation in the prayer vigil was less than in years past because many falsely believe the June 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade was the end of the battle for life. In reality, the court decision was “a good first step,” but Florida law still allows abortions up to 15 weeks.

“Until that is changed to conception, this fight is not over,” Owens said.

Owens vowed that each day the abortion facility in downtown Sarasota is open, the faithful prayer warriors will be out front praying and standing witness. This vigil takes place on Tuesdays and often several days each week, depending on the hours Planned Parenthood announces.

The 40 Days for Life spring campaign begins Feb. 22, 2023, and concludes on Palm Sunday, April 2.

To learn more about how you can help protect life from conception until natural death, please visit www.dioceseofvenice.org/respectlife.

Diocesan Respect Life Volunteer of the Year – And the Award Goes To…

Pro-Life movement continues post-Roe

By Jeanne Berdeaux, Special to the Florida Catholic

Every year each Diocese in Florida presents a “Volunteer of the Year” award at the statewide Culture of Life Conference.  At this year’s event (Oct. 15, 2022), hosted by the Diocese of St. Petersburg at its Bethany Retreat Center, Rich Owens was announced as the Diocese of Venice award recipient.

A winter resident from New Jersey and seasonal member of St. Patrick Parish in Sarasota, Owens participated several times in the 40 Days for Life fall campaign in Sarasota. The Diocesan Respect Life Office has been coordinating the campaign since the first national fall campaign in 2007.

In the fall of 2018, Owens asked why there wasn’t a spring campaign in Sarasota.  It was explained that the office had been coordinating spring campaigns in Naples and could only handle one at a time. Besides workload issues, this was the policy of the national 40 Days for Life team. He then offered to lead a spring campaign in Sarasota in 2019. His request was enthusiastically accepted, and information was shared to help him launch this new endeavor. Owens poured lots of hours and effort into making the spring campaign a huge success and then asked if he could take over the management of the fall campaign. Of course, the response was a resounding “YES!”

Owens shared his personal story on a 40 Days for Life national video interview that his son was born prematurely at 28 weeks at 2.7 lb., soon dropping to only 1.13 lbs. He will never forget holding that tiny baby whose head fit in his hand and is now taller than his dad, a testimony to the right to life of even the smallest baby.

With each campaign, Owens worked harder to fill all 480 hours, 12 hours a day for 40 days, with at least two individuals praying on the sidewalk per hour. The spring 2022 campaign saw all but one hour filled.  The good news of the overturning of Roe v Wade created an unexpected problem and caused many people to think that it wasn’t necessary to go out to the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood to pray anymore, but that could not be farther from the truth!

The Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision in June 2022 did not end abortion; it only sent the decision back to the individual states to be decided by the legislatures. The new 15-week abortion ban passed by the Florida legislature and signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis did not end abortion in Florida.  There were almost 5,000 second-trimester abortions in 2021 out of the total near 80,000 abortions in Florida in the last year.

This new 15-week abortion ban, although laudable, will only cut 6% of the abortions annually based on these figures. It will not affect the other 75,000 abortions. Because abortion is still legal in the first trimester when most abortions happen, Florida has the potential of becoming a “destination abortion state,” drawing women seeking abortions from other states where it is now illegal. The need to be on the sidewalk praying and witnessing to life is greater now than ever!

Some people were afraid to go back to the sidewalk after hearing about violence and vandalism in some parts of the country following the overturning of Roe v Wade. Fortunately, the fall 40 Days for Life campaign was as peaceful as it has ever been over the past 15 years.

As Owens said on the video, “We’re the last line of defense for these women going in; we’re saying, ‘We will fight for you!’”

And so, Owens continues to lead what is known as “40 Days for Life 365” in Sarasota, with the aim of having a peaceful, prayerful presence outside of Planned Parenthood during all of the hours they are open throughout the week. He’s already thinking of new ideas for his eighth campaign during Lent in the spring of 2023. Will you join him?

To learn more about the efforts of the Diocese protecting life from conception to natural death, please visit www.dioceseofvenice.org/respectlife.

Jeanne Berdeaux is the Diocese of Venice Respect Life Director and can be reached at 941-484-9543 or berdeaux@dioceseofvenice.org.

40 Days for Life Sept. 28 – Nov. 6 in Fort Myers, Sarasota

In a post-Roe v. Wade world, there is still a great need to stand in prayerful witness for the unborn. The fall of Roe was just one battle; there are many more ahead in the quest to protect innocent human life.

There is much excitement about the recent Supreme Court decision on the new Texas law severely limiting abortions, but the faithful must remain vigilant, as has been witnessed by the many states proposing or passing legislation making abortion available at various stages of life.

One way to stand as a witness for life is to participate during the fall campaign of 40 Days for Life which begins on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, and runs until Sunday, Nov. 6, with local vigils taking place in Sarasota and Fort Myers.

40 Days for Life is an internationally coordinated 40-day campaign that aims to end abortion locally through prayer and fasting, community outreach, and a peaceful all-day vigil in front of abortion mills. For those unable to be present in front of an abortion facility, they are encouraged to pray from home and fast for the end of abortion. Others are welcome to come to the sidewalk for as short or as long as they wish.

Paula Hellenbrand, 40 Days Fort Myers Co-Coordinator, has been leading the fall prayer vigil in Fort Myers for 12 years with her husband Rick.

“Honestly, with all of our prayers. I never thought we would be on this sidewalk post-Roe v. Wade,” Paula Hellenbrand said while trying to hold back tears during a kickoff event on Sept. 13. “Never! It makes me cry now because I can’t believe it. When we think this isn’t worth our time, or the heat or rain discourage us, know we are making progress. God hears our prayers.”

Having prayerful witnesses in front of abortion facilities serves as a powerful message of hope for those mothers who may think abortion is the only alternative they have for their unborn child, explained Co-Coordinator Rick Hellenbrand. Participants also brought diapers to be given to needy moms through area pregnancy resource centers.

Also speaking during the Fort Myers 40 Days kickoff was Terry Beatley, the founder of the Hosea Initiative. Beatley shared a story of the “Abortion King” Dr. Bernard Nathanson. Beatley explained how Nathanson co-founded the National Abortion Rights Action League (which has since been renamed to NARAL Pro-Choice America) and contributed to the momentum of the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.

“He admits to unleashing abortion on America and then saw a baby on an ultrasound and quickly resigned from NARAL,” Beatley said. “The science converted the father of abortion, who trained Planned Parenthood doctors. He became 100 percent unequivocally pro-life and could not figure out any reason why any woman would have to kill her baby.”

The Diocese of Venice has been involved with 40 Days for Life since the beginning with vigils taking place in the fall – to coincide with October, Respect Life Month – and in the spring – during Lent.

The success of 40 Days for Life has been seen locally when women approach vigil participants and tell their story of how their mind was changed by those present who were there to pray for their unborn child. More than 150 cases of lives being saved have been documented.

The Fort Myers prayer vigil is on the public right-of-way in front of Planned Parenthood at 6418 Commerce Park Drive, Fort Myers. The Fort Myers vigil takes place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., daily.

In Sarasota, the vigil is 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily outside the regional headquarters of Planned Parenthood, 736 Central Ave. A kickoff event will be held at 10:30 a.m., Sept. 28, in the parking lot of the Community Pregnancy Clinic (CPCI), around the corner from Sarasota Planned Parenthood. The guest speaker will be Lisa Rowe, CEO of Support After Abortion, which provides hope and healing to women and men who have experienced pain and grief after an abortion and don’t know where to turn.

Participants in the prayer vigil will join other like-minded individuals in communities around the nation and world. Some commit to taking part for a few minutes, an hour, or all day as they stand in the public right-of-way. Appropriate signs will be provided at both sites but are not needed to stand and pray. Check with your Parish to learn what hours they have committed to 40 Days for Life, as many often commit to several days of prayer on the front lines.

40 Days for Life Sept. 28 to Nov. 6

Sarasota

When: 7 a.m.-7 p.m. daily,

Where: 736 Central Ave.,

Contact: Rich at  40DFLSarasota@gmail.com

Fort Myers

When: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily,

Where: 6418 Commerce Park Drive,

Contact: Paula and Rick at 40DaysforLifeFM@gmail.com

 

Our Mother’s House Success Story

By Karen Barry Schwarz, Special to the Florida Catholic

“No one enters a marriage expecting it to end in divorce,” said Alexa DeGannes, a woman at Our Mother’s House of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. in Venice. “But that’s what happened to me – I had to flee my husband for the safety of myself and my child.”

Alexa, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, was married for a year when she became pregnant. It should have been a happy time, but that’s when the abuse began. “My husband, now ex-husband, just changed,” Alexa said.  “He started treating me differently. He didn’t want the baby and encouraged me to have an abortion.  When I refused, he slowly became more and more abusive. Eventually, the physical, psychological, emotional abuse — it was intolerable. I fled.”

Unfortunately, Alexa’s troubles did not end there.  She found they were just beginning. Her husband, out of spite, withdrew his citizen sponsorship of Alexa so she could no longer work in the United States.  Pregnant and alone, with no job, no money, and her family in Trinidad, Alexa had nowhere to turn.  She began sleeping on friends’ couches and did so throughout her entire pregnancy. She felt hopeless, she said, and even considered taking her own life.  “I was desperate,” said DeGannes. “I had no hope. I didn’t even really have a place to lay my head.  I considered sleeping in my car. How was I ever going to take care of a baby when I couldn’t take care of myself?”

Alexa made the selfless decision to give her child up for adoption, thinking it was her baby’s best chance for a good life. But her husband, again out of spite, blocked her in court, and won. Adoption was no longer an option.

On July 20, 2021, everything changed.  Luke, Alexa’s son, was born. Enter Our Mother’s House. “I just started googling,” Alexa said. “I figured there had to be some place, someone out there who could help me. I knew now that my son was born, I couldn’t just give up.”

Our Mother’s House of Catholic Charities has provided transitional housing to homeless mothers and their children since 1987. The program’s mission is to offer single mothers and their preschool-age children a safe and secure environment to achieve increased self-sufficiency through education, vocational training, and personal growth. Mothers apply, and if accepted, attend life skills classes, such as parenting, self-esteem, nutrition, and financial literacy. All new applicants must agree to follow house rules and regulations, attend house meetings, and accept communal responsibilities.

“When Alexa came to us, she was very scared,” said Alexa’s case worker at Our Mother’s House, Ada Laureano. “But she was open to help, open to doing her part. With a little support, she became engaged, proactive, and resourceful. It’s been a good relationship with her.”

“I lacked confidence or motivation when I arrived at Our Mother’s House with my two-week-old son,” said Alexa. “I had no sense of tomorrow because I thought I didn’t really have any kind of future. Our Mother’s House provided the help I needed to get back on my feet and now I feel joy and am hopeful about the future – because now I know I have one.”

Alexa DeGannes was living and working in Tampa, Florida as a laboratory scientist when she met her husband at work. A graduate of the University of Tampa, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Forensic Science, Alexa had a bright future. “Until I didn’t,” she said. “If this can happen to me, this can happen to anyone. I had a happy, year-long courtship with my husband before marriage. I didn’t see this coming.”

At Our Mother’s House, Alexa found not only the housing and support she needed for herself and her son, but the legal help she needed to obtain a work permit again.

“I got a job at Walmart,” she said. “It was something. But I also had always wanted to pursue my master’s degree – my case workers at Our Mother’s House encouraged me to do so. With their help I applied for scholarships and entered a program at the University of Florida. Now, I am on track to have my master’s in Clinical Toxicology in a year.”

What’s more, Alexa now has a new, high-paying job and a promising career ahead of her.

“I heard about an opportunity at Bristol Myers Squibb, a major pharmaceuticals company in New Jersey, through a former co-worker,” said DeGannes. “I applied for this great Project Management position and was offered the job the next day! I couldn’t believe it. It’s a career, not just a job, and it’s like a dream come true.”

DeGannes will be overseeing pharmaceutical clinical trials in her new job, and the company even has an on-site daycare facility. She will finish her master’s program at the University of Florida at night, online.

“Without Our Mother’s House, I don’t know where I’d be,” said DeGannes. “As a first-time mom I doubted my ability to care for my son and had no vision of how to provide a good and happy life for him. The ladies at Our Mother’s House always believed in me, until I could believe in myself again. I’m so grateful. I’m a spiritual person, and I know God had a hand in all of this, guiding me every step of the way.”

Now Luke is on the verge of walking, says DeGannes. And she is about to fly, soaring to new heights.

“No matter how hopeless a situation may seem, there is always a way forward,” said DeGannes, as she went back to packing up her belongings, ready to move on to her next chapter.

“I’m going to miss her,” said Laureano. “But I’m so happy for her.”

For more information about Our Mother’s House, please visit https://catholiccharitiesdov.org/charities/our-mothers-house/

 

Respect Life Collection Sept. 18

On the weekend of Sept. 17 – 18, 2022, the Diocese of Venice will be holding its annual Respect Life special collection. The purpose of this collection is to enhance the Diocesan outreach in its life-affirming work.

“These funds help facilitate our witness as a Faith community in Southwest Florida,” Bishop Frank J. Dewane said in a letter supporting the collection. “Great progress has been made in recent years, as is known by all, yet each of us continues to have a shared responsibility in the defense of human life and are called to educate others on its sanctity and dignity.”

The Respect Life collection comes shortly before the Sept. 28 opening of the National 40 Days for Life Fall Campaign with local vigils taking place in Sarasota and Fort Myers, as well as prior to National Respect Life Month in October.

40 Days for Life is an internationally coordinated 40-day campaign that aims to end abortion locally through prayer and fasting, community outreach, and a peaceful all-day vigil in front of abortion facilities. 40 Days for Life is an opportunity to be a witness for life by peacefully praying for an end to abortion where it matters most.

The Diocese of Venice has been involved with 40 Days for Life since the beginning with vigils taking place in the fall and in the spring – during Lent.

The success of 40 Days for Life has been seen locally when women approach vigil participants and tell their story of how their mind was changed by those present who were there to pray for their unborn child. More than 150 cases of lives being saved have been documented.

The Fort Myers prayer vigil is on the public right-of-way in front of Planned Parenthood at 6418 Commerce Park Drive, Fort Myers. The kickoff event is 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 13, and will be highlighted by national pro-life speaker and author Terry Beatley.

In Sarasota, the vigil is 7 a.m.-7 p.m. daily outside the regional headquarters of Planned Parenthood, 736 Central Ave. A kickoff event will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Sept. 28, in the parking lot of the Community Pregnancy Clinic (CPCI), 1419 7th St., Sarasota (around the corner from Planned Parenthood). The guest speaker will be Lisa Rowe, CEO of Support After Abortion.

Participants in the prayer vigil will be joining other like-minded individuals in communities around the nation and world. Some commit to taking part for a few minutes, an hour, or all day as they stand in the public right-of-way. Appropriate signs will be provided at both sites but are not needed to stand and pray. Check with your Parish to learn what hours they have committed to 40 Days for Life, as many often commit to several days of prayer on the front lines.

Those interested in taking part in a local prayer vigil are encouraged to sign up in advance at www.40daysforlife.com (search for Fort Myers or Sarasota). While registration is encouraged, all are welcome to come for any amount of time they can to help save a life.

News Briefs for the week of August 9, 2022

School Masses with Bishop continue

 

Bishop Frank J. Dewane celebrated Mass for students at Ave Maria Catholic School and Donahue Academy in Ave Maria on Aug. 31, 2022, and at St. Martha Catholic School and St. Mary Academy in Sarasota on Sept. 1. Bishop Dewane encouraged the students to use the Gifts of the Holy Spirit to grow closer to the Lord. These Masses are part of a series the Bishop will celebrate to open the 2022-2023 Academic Year at the 15 Diocesan Catholic schools from mid-August into October.

Verot Football reaches win milestone

The Bishop Verot Catholic High School football team reached 300 wins with a home victory on Sept. 2, 2022, over Lehigh 33-16. The Viking milestone appropriately comes as the Fort Myers school is in the midst of celebrating 60 years since its founding in 1962. Congratulations to all of the players, coaches and staff who have contributed to this program’s success.

School has STREAM Day

St. Mary Academy in Sarasota held a STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Math) Day on Sept. 2, 2022. The students had projects that reinforced the seven “Gifts of Christ” – truth, beauty, goodness, humility, prudence, fortitude, affability. Students participated in a variety of activities that both challenged their minds, but also built up their love for God.

Kristallnacht Commemorative Program Nov. 6 in Naples

The Catholic-Jewish Dialogue of Collier County invites the community to a commemorative Program of the 84th Anniversary of Kristallnacht, recognized by most historians as “the Night the Holocaust began.” The event is free and will take place at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022, at Temple Shalom, 4630 Pine Ridge Road, Naples. The guest speaker is Dr. Suzanne Brown-Fleming, Director of the International Academics Programs Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and her topic will be “November 1938: Perspective from the Vatican Archives. The event is sponsored by the Diocese of Venice, Jewish Community Relations Council, Jewish Federation of Greater Naples, GenShoah of SWFL, and the Holocaust Museum and Janet G. and Harvey D. Cohen Education Center. Please register at www.jewishnaples.org, or call 239-263-4205 to allow for adequate refreshments. For additional information please email cjdialogue@naples.net.

Club helps those in need

The St. John Neumann Catholic High School YACHT Club spent their Labor Day holiday helping to distribute food at nearby St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Naples. The food distribution is every Monday and is part of Naples community effort led by St. Matthews House. The YACHT Club (Youth And Christ Helping Together) is an instrumental component of the Neumann Campus Ministry Program. The mission of the club is to invite all students to the fullness of Christ’s love through service to others. Students plan and implement retreats, prayer services, liturgies, and more. They also take “cruises” to perform service in the community. The students were joined by two Sisters of St. John Bosco who serve at St. John Neumann.

Students donate blood

Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School students in Sarasota rolled up their sleeves and gave back to the community in a special way on Aug. 30, 2022, when they donated blood during a visit to the school by the SunCoast Blood Centers bus. There is a regional and national blood shortage and every pint donated helps to save lives.

Marriage Conference coming in October

Registration is now open for the Diocese of Venice Oct. 22, 2022, “Together in Holiness” Marriage Conference, presented in partnership with the Diocese of Venice Office of Family Life and the St. John Paul II Foundation. The theme of this year’s Conference is “Family: A Community of Prayer.” To register, please visit https://forlifeandfamily.org/events/th22-vnfl/. A video message from Bishop Frank J. Dewane can be found at www.dioceseofvenice.org/together-in-holiness-marriage-conference-october-22-2022. This marriage enrichment conference will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at St. John XXIII Parish, 13060 Palomino Lane, Fort Myers. Grow together in holiness, learn to form your children in the Catholic Faith, enjoy a day of quality time with your spouse, witness dynamic presentations! The day will include the Mass and the availability of the Sacrament of Reconcilliation. This special event is for all couples, engaged, newlywed or long-married! On-site childcare will be provided. For more information, please contact Carrie Harkey at harkey@dioceseovenice.org.

Viking Class golf tournament in Fort Myers

The annual Bishop Verot Catholic High School Athletic Booster Viking Golf Classic is Oct. 15, 2022, at Stoneybrook Golf Club, 21251 Stoneybrook Gold Blvd., Estero. There is an 8 a.m. shotgun start. Take your best shot on a few holes, as there will be some mini-games: hole-in-one contest, longest drive, and closest to the pin. After the tournament, enjoy a luncheon at the clubhouse, complete with raffles and a silent auction! Tickets are $150/person or $600/group. Sponsorships at multiple tiers are available. Reach out to Jason Baumgardner for more information at either jason.baumgardner@bvhs.org or 239-274-6711.

5K Walk/Run for Life Oct. 8 in Naples

The 8th Annual St. Agnes 5K Walk/Run for Life will be held Oct. 8, 2022, with the goal of promoting a respect life message and raising funds for pro-life causes while encouraging healthy living (body and soul). Registration is at the Parish at 6 a.m., with the race at 7:15 a.m., at 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Road in Naples. Only those registering by Oct. 2 will receive a race shirt. Registration is open at www.stagnesnaples.org. For more information, please call 239-592-1949 or email deaconroberto@stagnesnaples.org.

Priest appreciation dinners coming soon

The Venice Diocesan Council of Catholic Women invites all to one of two Priest Appreciation Dinners the group is hosting. The dinners are intended to honor all priests serving in the Diocese. The first dinner is 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., Friday, Sept. 16, at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Hall, 1301 Center Road, Venice, while the second is at the same time on Friday, October 7, at Our Lady of Light Parish, 19680 Cypress View Drive, Fort Myers. The dinner is $45. For those interested in attending either dinner, please contact Ellen Bachman at 941-721-7393 or pennyln99@aol.com.

White Mass for Healthcare Professionals in Naples

Registration is now open for the annual White Mass for health care professionals at 8:30 a.m., Oct. 15, 2022, at St. Agnes Parish, 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples. A blessing of the stethoscopes will also be held. Physicians are asked to wear their white coats. There will be a breakfast and lecture in the Parish Center with guest speaker Dr. Christina Puchalski, a pioneer and international leader in the movement to integrate spirituality into healthcare in clinical settings and medical education. Physicians and nurses may qualify for continuing education credit. For more information, and to register, please visit www.stagnesnaples.org.

Registration Open for golf tournament

The registration is open for the Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School 2022 Annual Golf Tournament on Monday, October 10 (rain date, October 17) at the Laurel Oak Country Club in Sarasota. Registration starts at 10:00 a.m., with a shotgun start at 12:00 p.m. The cost is $775 per foursome (early bird registration by September 12, is $725 per foursome). The cost includes golf, a boxed lunch, cocktails, buffet dinner and prizes. There will also be a 50/50 helicopter ball drop ($10 per chance/open to all). The tournament benefits the CMHS Adopt-A-Student Financial Assistance Program. For tickets and sponsorships, please contact Amy Gorman at agorman@cmhs-sarasota.org or visit www.cmhs-sarasota.org.

 

 

News Briefs for the week of September 2, 2022

Office of the Bishop

After consultation, Bishop Frank J. Dewane announces the following:

Father Inna Reddy (Ignatius) Yeruva, M.o.C., relieved of his duties as Parochial Vicar for Ministry at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish/Soup Kitchen in Immokalee, effective August 12, 2022.

Father Nathan Marzonie, O.M.V., as Parochial Vicar of San Pedro Parish in North Port, effective August 22, 2022.

Father Shawn Monahan, O.M.V., as Assistant Director of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center, Venice, effective September 1, 2022.

Father Lino Estadilla, O.M.V., relieved of his duties as Assistant Director of our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center, Venice, effective September 1, 2022, and thus has returned to his Religious Community.

Father Eric Scanlan, is appointed as Director of the Permanent Diaconate Program, Diocese of Venice in Florida, effective September 1, 2022.

28th Annual Undy Sunday coming in October to Collier County

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc., in Collier County is hosting its 28th Annual Undy Sunday campaign. This effort is a collection of undergarments and socks for needy children in Collier County. This year, there are three ways to support this cause.

There will be collection containers marked “Undy Sunday” at the Parish exits, for on-site collection the weekends of Oct. 22 – 23, and Oct. 29 – 30. Please bring new and unused underwear and socks in sizes Small, Medium, and Large for children ages 5 -14.

The Undy Sunday team has an Amazon Charity Wish List where you can find current needs at https://smile.amazon.com/hz/charitylist/ls/R7GC9KYLQEIF/ref=smi_ext_lnk_lcl_cl.

You can make a monetary donation using a secure online donor portal of Catholic Charities: https://one.bidpal.net/undysunday. All monetary donations will be used to purchase underwear and socks for the needy children. Any questions or comments, please contact Undy Sunday coordinators Mike Egan at 239-333-9933 or Tim Corcoran at 781-799-5486, or Catholic Charities at 239-455-2655 ext. 3100.

Mooney senior excels at international swim competition

Michaela Mattes, a world class swimmer who is in her senior year at Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota, recently helped lift TEAM USA to a win at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Honolulu, Hawaii from Aug. 24 to 27, 2022. Michaela finished the meet winning gold in the 1500m (mile) freestyle with a time of 16:25.19, and placed 3rd in the 800m freestyle in 8:35.78. She also placed 5th in the 400 individual medley and 9th in the 400 freestyle. Michaela was the overall 3rd top scorer for the USA women. With this Cougar’s help, TEAM USA won the Junior Pan PAC meet! The team consisted of 20 girls and 21 boys who were the fastest 18 & under (born in 2004 or later) from the US International Trials in April. The senior, who is a three-time State Champ in the 500m freestyle, is committed to swimming at the University of Florida starting in 2023.

Diapers urgently needed in Bonita Springs

Please do what you can to provide diapers to the Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc., office in Bonita Springs, 28360 Beaumont Rd, Bonita Springs, FL 34134. They have put out a call as they are in dire need for diapers for clients because their shelves are bare. A donor who use to provide them in the past, has moved away. They particularly need sizes 5 & 6 for toddlers, as well as sizes 3 & 4 for newborns (not so much the smaller sizes). The Catholic Charities office is next to St. Leo the Great Parish and can be reached by calling 239-390-2928. You can also donate directly to Catholic Charities by visiting www.catholiccharitiesdov.org/donate.

Young students build robots and follow moon mission

A robotics class at St. Ann Catholic School in Naples had fun building and coding space rovers in anticipation of the NASA Artemis I rocket launch on Aug. 29, 2022. While the rocket never blasted off, the students had a blast building their miniature rovers and some even built rockets using Lego. These specialized skills are being learned as part of a broader STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Math) curriculum. This curriculum, guided by “The Gifts of Christ: Truth, Beauty, Goodness, Affability, Fortitude, Humility, and Prudence,” grew out of a robotics program, and has expanded to enhance the spiritual and academic opportunities for students. With Artemis missions, NASA will collaborate with commercial and international partners and establish the first long-term presence on the Moon. Then they will use what they learn on and around the Moon to take the next giant leap: sending the first astronauts to Mars.

Married couples’ night in Fort Myers

The Hispanic Outreach of Our Lady of Light Parish in Fort Myers celebrated married couples with a special dinner/dance on Aug. 26, 2022. The evening included prayer, a delicious meal and dancing. This was a gathering in celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage and the commitment of the couples to each other, through God. The theme of the night was “God once again manifests Himself through His word, remembering that those who once put their lives together was through the love of God.”

Viking Class golf tournament in Fort Myers

The annual Bishop Verot Catholic High School Athletic Booster Viking Golf Classic is Oct. 15, 2022, at Stoneybrook Golf Club, 21251 Stoneybrook Gold Blvd., Estero. There is an 8 a.m. shotgun start. Take your best shot on a few holes, as there will be some mini-games: hole-in-one contest, longest drive, and closest to the pin. After the tournament, enjoy a luncheon at the clubhouse, complete with raffles and a silent auction! Tickets are $150/person or $600/group. Sponsorships at multiple tiers are available. Reach out to Jason Baumgardner for more information at either jason.baumgardner@bvhs.org or 239-274-6711.

Fans come out for football opener in Sarasota

Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School students, parents, alumni and friends came out in droves to support the Cougars for the opening of the football season on Aug. 26, 2022, against Booker High School in Sarasota. The Cougars won the defensive battle 10-9 and have high hopes for the coming season. It was great to see so many familiar faces in the crowd cheering on the team.

5K Walk/Run for Life Oct. 8 in Naples

The 8th Annual St. Agnes 5K Walk/Run for Life will be held Oct. 8, 2022, with the goal of promoting a respect life message and raising funds for pro-life causes while encouraging healthy living (body and soul). Registration is at the Parish at 6 a.m., with the race at 7:15 a.m., at 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Road in Naples. Only those registering by Oct. 2, will receive a race shirt. Registration is open at www.stagnesnaples.org. For more information, please call 239-592-1949 or email deaconroberto@stagnesnaples.org.

First Responders Mass

The Knights of Columbus Saints Cosmas and Damian Council 13341 is honored to sponsor the First Responders Mass at 1 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 10, Our Lady of the Angels Parish, 12905 E. State Road 70, Lakewood Ranch. The Mass will honor the work of public safety personnel, including law enforcement officials, firefighters, and emergency medical service personnel. This Mass is a way to recognize the sacrifice of first responders and to remember those who have given their lives in service to their communities. All are welcome.

40 Days for Life Fall Campaign begins soon

The Fall Campaign of 40 Days for Life begins Sept. 28 and ends Nov. 6, 2022. Check with your Parish coordinator to join your Parish’s day on the sidewalk or go to www.40daysforlife.com (look under the locations tab for Sarasota or Fort Myers). Your presence can be a powerful sign to women in need that there are better options available. Questions? Contact Jeanne Berdeaux at Berdeaux@dioceseofvenice.org or 941-374-1068. Join the 40 Days for Life Fort Myers kickoff event at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 13, outside of Planned Parenthood, 6418 Commerce Park Drive, Fort Myers. The event will be highlighted by national pro-life speaker and author Terry Beatley. The Kick-Off Rally in Sarasota is from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, Sept. 28, at the Community Pregnancy Clinic, 1419 7th St., Sarasota (around the corner from Planned Parenthood). The guest speaker will be Lisa Rowe, CEO of Support After Abortion.

Priest appreciation dinners coming soon

The Venice Diocesan Council of Catholic Women invites all to one of two Priest Appreciation Dinners the group is hosting. The dinners are intended to honor all priests serving in the Diocese. The first dinner is 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., Friday, Sept. 16, at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Hall, 1301 Center Road, Venice, while the second is at the same time on Friday, October 7, at Our Lady of Light Parish, 19680 Cypress View Drive, Fort Myers. The dinner is $45. For those interested in attending either dinner, please contact Ellen Bachman at 941-721-7393 or pennyln99@aol.com.

Eucharistic Conference in September

Inspired by the National Eucharistic Revival movement, St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Naples is creating the opportunity for people to learn more about Christ’s presence in the Eucharist. The one-day Eucharistic Conference is 9 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. The day features talks and worship music in both English and Spanish. There are sessions only in Spanish at the same time as the only English sessions followed by Eucharistic worship in both languages. Father Casey Jones, Pastor of St. Elizabeth Seton, and Jon Niven, Music Director at Seton, are hosting the English track. Special guests Juan De La Rosa, Director de la Renovación Carismática and Fernando Torres, Ministerio Agnes Dei Líder de Adoración, both from the Archdiocese of New York, are hosting the Spanish sessions. The day will end with a bilingual Vigil Mass at 4:30 pm. Breakfast and lunch are provided. Cost is $10 per person. Registration is on Seton’s website, www.StElizabethSeton.org. The Parish is located at 5225 Golden Gate Parkway, Naples. Please call 239-455-3900 for any additional information.

White Mass for Healthcare Professionals in Naples

Registration is now open for the annual White Mass for health care professionals at 8:30 a.m., Oct. 15, 2022, at St. Agnes Parish, 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples. A blessing of the stethoscopes will also be held. Physicians are asked to wear their white coats. There will be a breakfast and lecture in the Parish Center with guest speaker Dr. Christina Puchalski, a pioneer and international leader in the movement to integrate spirituality into healthcare in clinical settings and medical education. Physicians and nurses may qualify for continuing education credit. For more information, and to register, please visit www.stagnesnaples.org.

Sarasota Laps for Life Oct. 8

Join the Sarasota Laps for Life 5K on Siesta Key Beach from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. This year the Knights of Columbus are running to benefit SOLVE maternity homes in Bradenton, Sarasota and Englewood. SOLVE provides cost-free housing, counseling and support for women and teens with unintended pregnancies. Why run? Promote a culture that encourages life in abundance by providing the support and resources available for both mother and child so they can flourish. Join us as we celebrate life in abundance! See www.srqlapsforlife.net for details and registration.

 

News Briefs for the week of August 26, 2022

Mooney football team hears from coaching legend

The Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School Football Team was both humbled and honored to have had Coach Urban Meyer give an inspirational talk before their Preseason Classic Game against Seffner Christian in Sarasota on Aug. 19, 2022. Meyer’s is a three-time national championship college football coach, twice as head coach of University of Florida and once with Ohio State University.

Gliders fly through classrooms

Fourth graders at St. Mary Academy in Sarasota had fun with their latest STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Math) challenge on Aug. 19, 2022. Their task was to build 3-hoop gliders, alternating the location of the hoops on each glider, and then let them fly. Each glider flew to determine which design performed the best and traveled the farthest. This was a lesson which challenged the students to think creatively and build a glider from paper and then see the results of their hard work.

Verot track and field champ receives ring

Bishop Verot Catholic High School senior Wyatt Whalen received his State Championship Ring on Aug. 19, 2022, in Fort Myers. Whalen took the Class 2A shot put title with a throw of 16.32 m (53 feet 6 ½ inches) during the Florida High School Athletic Association Track & Field State Championship May 11 -12, 2022, at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Whalen also took third in the discus with a toss of 46.36 m (152 feet 1 inch).

Eucharistic Conference in September

Inspired by the National Eucharistic Revival movement, St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Naples is creating the opportunity for people to learn more about Christ’s presence in the Eucharist. The one-day Eucharistic Conference is 9 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. The day features talks and worship music in both English and Spanish. There are sessions only in Spanish at the same time as the only English sessions followed by Eucharistic worship in both languages. Father Casey Jones, Pastor of St. Elizabeth Seton, and Jon Niven, Music Director at Seton, are hosting the English track. Special guests Juan De La Rosa, Director de la Renovación Carismática and Fernando Torres, Ministerio Agnes Dei Líder de Adoración, both from the Archdiocese of New York, are hosting the Spanish sessions. The day will end with a bilingual Vigil Mass at 4:30 pm. Breakfast and lunch are provided. Cost is $10 per person. Registration is on Seton’s website, www.StElizabethSeton.org. The Parish is located at 5225 Golden Gate Parkway, Naples. Please call 239-455-3900 for any additional information.

Students visit Venice retreat center

Eleventh grade students at Donahue Catholic Academy of Ave Maria Parish in Ave Maria spent time on Aug. 18, 2022, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center in Venice as part of a retreat. The students prayed together, had some fun and learned about how they need to hear the call of the Lord in their lives. Ave Maria Parish Pastor Father David Vidal celebrated Mass for the teens.

Students have a ball with robotics

At St. Andrew Catholic School in Cape Coral, students are working hard to improve their coding skills during a robotics class on Aug. 22, 2022. This specialized skill is being learned as part of a broader STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Math) curriculum. This curriculum, called, “The Gifts of Christ: Truth, Beauty, Goodness, Affability, Fortitude, Humility, and Prudence,” is growing out of a robotics program which broadens the opportunities for each student. The coding skills learned at St. Andrew enabled the students to perform various fun tasks with a Sphero Bolt Robot.

Ave Maria men’s program returning

The Ave Maria Parish “This Man Is You!” interactive men’s program is returning for weekly meetings beginning Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, in the Parish. The program combines the best research from science with the teachings of the Catholic Faith and the wisdom of the saints to develop the vision of man fully alive. By honestly addressing the pressures and temptations that men face in our modern culture, “That Man Is You!” seeks to form men who will be capable of transforming homes and society. The theme for the year is “Thy Kingdom Come: Claim Your Royal Dignity and Inheritance.” The schedule includes 7 a.m. breakfast, with a weekly presentation from different speakers, small group discussions, concluding with Mass in the Parish church at 9 a.m. For more information and to register, please contact Dr. Charlie Thomason at drcharlie@snet.net or 860-460-7195.

Sarasota Laps for Life Oct. 8

Join the Sarasota Laps for Life 5K on Siesta Key Beach from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. This year the Knights of Columbus are running to benefit SOLVE maternity homes in Bradenton, Sarasota and Englewood. SOLVE provides cost-free housing, counseling and support for women and teens with unintended pregnancies. Why run? Promote a culture that encourages life in abundance by providing the support and resources available for both mother and child so they can flourish. Join us as we celebrate life in abundance! See www.srqlapsforlife.net for details and registration.

Priest appreciation dinners coming soon

The Venice Diocesan Council of Catholic Women invites all to one of two Priest Appreciation Dinners the group is hosting. The dinners are intended to honor all priests serving in the Diocese. The first dinner is 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., Friday, Sept. 16, at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Hall, 1301 Center Road, Venice, while the second is at the same time on Friday, October 7, at Our Lady of Light Parish, 19680 Cypress View Drive, Fort Myers. The dinner is $45. For those interested in attending either dinner, please contact Ellen Bachman at 941-721-7393 or pennyln99@aol.com.

First Responders Mass

The Knights of Columbus Saints Cosmas and Damian Council 13341 is honored to sponsor the First Responders Mass at 1 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 10, Our Lady of the Angels Parish, 12905 E. State Road 70, Lakewood Ranch. The Mass will honor the work of public safety personnel, including law enforcement officials, firefighters, and emergency medical service personnel. This Mass is a way to recognize the sacrifice of first responders and to remember those who have given their lives in service to their communities. All are welcome.

40 Days for Life Fall Campaign begins soon

The Fall Campaign of 40 Days for Life begins Sept. 28, 2022, and ends Nov. 6. Check with your Parish coordinator to join your Parish’s day on the sidewalk or go to www.40daysforlife.com (look under the locations tab for Sarasota or Fort Myers). Your presence can be a powerful sign to women in need that there are better options available. Questions? Contact Jeanne Berdeaux at Berdeaux@dioceseofvenice.org or 941-374-1068.

Support CCW Seminarian Fund

Support, encourage and educate future priests through the Venice Diocesan Council of Catholic Women Seminarian Fund. Join the VDCCW in celebrating Priesthood Sunday on Sept. 25, 2022, in a special and lasting way by sending your Parish a Seminarian Fund “IN HONOR OF” card. This is a gift that keeps on giving. The Diocese is currently educating 13 men in various seminaries and a donation of any amount would be a great help (The donation amount will not be revealed to the recipient. To take part, please send your donation, made out to VDCCW Seminarian Fund (plus $1 to cover postage and printing) to: Cornelia Zanetti, Seminarian Fund Guardian, 5808 Gulf Drive #204, Holmes Beach, FL 34217. If you have any questions, email Cornelia Zanetti at corniez@aol.com.

 

 

News Briefs for the Week of August 19, 2022

Our Mother’s House director retires

Joyce Scott, who for 17 years has led Our Mother’s House of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc., has retired. A reception in her honor was held on July 15, 2022. During her time at Our Mother’s House, the program has seen three major expansions. The mission of Our Mother’s House is to offer single mothers and their preschool-age children transitional housing in a safe and secure environment to achieve increased self-sufficiency through education, vocational training, and personal growth.

Priest founder of Diocesan Marriage Tribunal dies

Father Dennis C. Klemme, who helped establish the Diocese of Venice Marriage Tribunal, and was a longtime priest in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, and died Aug. 9, 2022, at the age of 90. Father Klemme was born in West Alice, Wisconsin, studied at St. Francis Minor and St. Francis Major Seminaries in Milwaukee. Father was ordained to the priesthood on May 25, 1957. Father Klemme served in Parishes in the Archdiocese for several years before further studies as a Canon Lawyer at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. Father was assigned to the Archdiocese Matrimonial Tribunal and Chaplain at the Carmelite Monastery in Pewaukee. In early 1985, Father Klemme was loaned to the newly established Diocese of Venice to use his experience to set up a Marriage Tribunal, gaining many friends. He returned to the Archdiocese in 1988 and was appointed as Judicial Vicar, a position he served in until retirement in 1999. In his later years, he continued to assist at Parishes and minister to the Carmelite Monastery. A Mass of Christian Burial was held Aug. 18, 2022, at the Basilica and National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians in Hubertus.

Priest appreciation dinners coming soon

The Venice Diocesan Council of Catholic Women invites all to one of two Priest Appreciation Dinners the group is hosting. The dinners are intended to honor all priests serving in the Diocese. The first dinner is 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., Friday, Sept. 16, at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Hall, 1301 Center Road, Venice, while the second is at the same time on Friday, October 7, at Our Lady of Light Parish, 19680 Cypress View Drive, Fort Myers. The dinner is $45. For those interested in attending either dinner, please contact Ellen Bachman at 941-721-7393 or pennyln99@aol.com.

Summertime and the Giving is Easy Appeal ending soon

Every day, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc., serves its most vulnerable population by feeding, housing, empowering, and helping all in need. Time is running out for you to give a gift that makes a difference. Your acts of kindness have the power to transform lives and leave a positive impact in our community. The Catholic Charities Summertime and the Giving is Easy Appeal is asking for your support. The giving is easy! Your gift will make a positive impact on our less fortunate brothers and sisters! Please visit www.catholiccharitiesdov.org or mail a check to Catholic Charities, 1000 Pinebrook Road, Venice, FL 34285.

First Responders Mass

The Knights of Columbus Saints Cosmas and Damian Council 13341 is honored to sponsor the First Responders Mass at 1 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 10, Our Lady of the Angels Parish, 12905 E. State Road 70, Lakewood Ranch. The Mass will honor the work of public safety personnel, including law enforcement officials, firefighters, and emergency medical service personnel. This Mass is a way to recognize the sacrifice of first responders and to remember those who have given their lives in service to their communities. All are welcome.

40 Days for Life Fall Campaign begins soon

The Fall Campaign of 40 Days for Life begins Sept. 28, 2022, and ends Nov. 6. Check with your Parish coordinator to join your Parish’s day on the sidewalk or go to www.40daysforlife.com (look under the locations tab for Sarasota or Fort Myers). Your presence can be a powerful sign to women in need that there are better options available. Questions? Contact Jeanne Berdeaux at Berdeaux@dioceseofvenice.org or 941-374-1068.

Support CCW Seminarian Fund

Support, encourage and educate future priests through the Venice Diocesan Council of Catholic Women Seminarian Fund. Join the VDCCW in celebrating Priesthood Sunday on Sept. 25, 2022, in a special and lasting way by sending your Parish a Seminarian Fund “IN HONOR OF” card. This is a gift that keeps on giving. The Diocese is currently educating 13 men in various seminaries and a donation of any amount would be a great help (The donation amount will not be revealed to the recipient. To take part, please send your donation, made out to VDCCW Seminarian Fund (plus $1 to cover postage and printing) to: Cornelia Zanetti, Seminarian Fund Guardian, 5808 Gulf Drive #204, Holmes Beach, FL 34217. If you have any questions, email Cornelia Zanetti at corniez@aol.com.

2022 Sarasota Laps for Life 5K in October

The Knights of Columbus Our Lady of Victory Council 3358 is hosting the 2022 Laps for Life sunrise beach run/walk in support of SOLVE maternity homes in Bradenton, Sarasota and Englewood. The run/walk is 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 8, at Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota. The respect life event brings people of all ages and backgrounds together in support of at-risk women during and after pregnancy. Enjoy the family fun and post-race celebration with music, free food and games at the playground and pavilion area. The race will be chip-time and the first 200 registrants are guaranteed an event shirt. The cost is $40 for adults and $20 for ages 9-13 (under 9, free). To register, create a team or donate online, please visit http://srqLapsforLife.net.

Statewide Culture of Life Conference

The Diocese of St. Petersburg is hosting the 2022 annual Culture of Life (Respect Life) Conference at the Bethany Center in Lutz on Oct. 14-15, 2022. It includes an opening prayer and one session on Friday evening starting at 7 p.m. with the main conference on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This year’s theme is Commitment to Care. Conference attendees will be informed, inspired and equipped to understand, engage with and respond to some of the most pressing issues of the culture. Topics will include gender ideology and youth, political commitments, Walking with Moms in Need, end of life, death penalty and human trafficking. For details and registration, see www.dosp.org/culture-of-life-conference/. If you are interested in a possible bus trip to attend the conference, contact Jeanne Berdeaux at 941-374-1068 or Berdeaux@dioceseofvenice.org.

Marriage Conference coming in October

Registration is now open for the Diocese of Venice Oct. 22, 2022, “Together in Holiness” Marriage Conference, presented in partnership with the Diocese of Venice Office of Family Life and the St. John Paul II Foundation. To register, please visit https://forlifeandfamily.org/events/th22-vnfl/. A video message from Bishop Frank J. Dewane can be found at www.dioceseofvenice.org/together-in-holiness-marriage-conference-october-22-2022. This marriage enrichment conference will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at St. John XXIII Parish, 13060 Palomino Lane, Fort Myers. All Catholic married and engaged couples throughout the Diocese of Venice and beyond are welcome. Grow together in holiness, learn to form your children in the Catholic Faith, enjoy a day of quality time with your spouse, witness dynamic presentations! The day will include the Mass and the availability of the Sacrament of Reconcilliation. This special event is for all couples, engaged, newlywed or long-married! On-site childcare will be provided. For more information, please contact Carrie Harkey at harkey@dioceseovenice.org.

News briefs for the week of Aug. 12, 2022

Retired priest dies

Father Edward A. Kearns Jr., a longtime priest in the Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey, died July 11, 2022, at the age of 86 in Sarasota. Father Kearns was born in Paterson and attended Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J., and Immaculate Conception Seminary in Mahwah, N.J. He was ordained May 25, 1963 in Paterson. He served as Parishes in Parsippany, Boonton, Oak Ridge and was founding Pastor of a Parish in Three Bridges, N.J. He retired to Sarasota in 1998 and assisted part-time at St. Thomas More Parish. He is survived by a sister, numerous nieces and nephews and grandnieces and nephews. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Three Bridges on Sept. 10, 2022.

2022 Sarasota Laps for Life 5K in October

The Knights of Columbus Our Lady of Victory Council 3358 is hosting the 2022 Laps for Life sunrise beach run/walk in support of SOLVE maternity homes in Bradenton, Sarasota and Englewood. The run/walk is 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 8, at Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota. The respect life event brings people of all ages and backgrounds together in support of at-risk women during and after pregnancy. Enjoy the family fun and post-race celebration with music, free food and games at the playground and pavilion area. The race will be chip-time and the first 200 registrants are guaranteed an event shirt. The cost is $40 for adults and $20 for ages 9-13 (under 9, free). To register, create a team or donate online, please visit http://srqLapsforLife.net.

Statewide Culture of Life Conference

The Diocese of St. Petersburg is hosting the 2022 annual Culture of Life (Respect Life) Conference at the Bethany Center in Lutz on Oct. 14-15, 2022. It includes an opening prayer and one session on Friday evening starting at 7 p.m. with the main conference on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This year’s theme is Commitment to Care. Conference attendees will be informed, inspired and equipped to understand, engage with and respond to some of the most pressing issues of the culture. Topics will include gender ideology and youth, political commitments, Walking with Moms in Need, end of life, death penalty and human trafficking. For details and registration, see www.dosp.org/culture-of-life-conference/. If you are interested in a possible bus trip to attend the conference, contact Jeanne Berdeaux at 941-374-1068 or Berdeaux@dioceseofvenice.org.

40 Days for Life Fall Campaign begins soon

The Fall Campaign of 40 Days for Life begins Sept. 28, 2022, and ends Nov. 6. Check with your Parish coordinator to join your Parish’s day on the sidewalk or go to www.40daysforlife.com – look under the locations tab for Sarasota or Fort Myers. Your presence can be a powerful sign to women in need that better options are available to her.  Questions? Contact Jeanne Berdeaux at Berdeaux@dioceseofvenice.org or 941-374-1068.

Looking for a movie with a positive message?

“LIFEMARK” is a powerful film that celebrates adoption, reconciliation and love. It will run in many local theaters for one week, September 9-15. Inspire by a true story, it stars Kirk Cameron.  Watch the trailer, find local theater times and ticket information at www.lifemarkmovie.com. Groups of 25+ can purchase discounted tickets through the website.  Questions? Contact Respect Life Director Jeanne Berdeaux at Berdeaux@dioceseofvenice.org or 941-374-1068.

Summertime and the Giving is Easy Appeal continues

Every day, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc., serves its most vulnerable population by feeding, housing, empowering, and helping all in need. This summer, you can be the one that makes a difference. Your acts of kindness have the power to transform lives and leave a positive impact in our community. The Catholic Charities Summertime and the Giving is Easy Appeal is asking for your support. The giving is easy! Your gift will make a positive impact on our less fortunate brothers and sisters! Please visit www.catholiccharitiesdov.org or mail a check to Catholic Charities, 1000 Pinebrook Road, Venice, FL 34285.

Marriage Conference coming in October

Registration is now open for the Diocese of Venice Oct. 22, 2022, “Together in Holiness” Marriage Conference, presented in partnership with the Diocese of Venice Office of Family Life and the St. John Paul II Foundation. To register, please visit https://forlifeandfamily.org/events/th22-vnfl/. A video message from Bishop Frank J. Dewane can be found at www.dioceseofvenice.org/together-in-holiness-marriage-conference-october-22-2022. This marriage enrichment conference will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at St. John XXIII Parish, 13060 Palomino Lane, Fort Myers. All Catholic married and engaged couples throughout the Diocese of Venice and beyond are welcome. Grow together in holiness, learn to form your children in the Catholic Faith, enjoy a day of quality time with your spouse, witness dynamic presentations! The day will include the Mass and the availability of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This special event is for all couples, engaged, newlywed or long-married! On-site childcare will be provided. For more information, please contact Carrie Harkey at harkey@dioceseovenice.org.

Support after abortion – Project Rachel

Most women who choose abortion eventually realize that they made the wrong choice and face a lifetime of regret. Even if they confess this sin to a priest, they often find it difficult to accept God’s forgiveness and forgive themselves. Project Rachel is the Catholic Church’s program to help women and men come to terms with an abortion decision and find the hope and healing they need. For confidential help in English and Spanish, call 941-412-5860 or email project.rachel@dioceseofvenice.org.

Want to Help a Pregnant Mother in Need?

Maybe she’s being evicted or having her electricity turned off. Imagine being in her shoes, perhaps with other young children in the home. Think about what happens to food in a refrigerator without power for even a few hours. Your donation can assist pregnant women in need with rent, utilities, and other necessities. Send your donation to Catholic Charities Pennies for Babies Fund, 1000 Pinebrook Road, Venice, FL 34285. No administrative fees are taken so your money goes directly to those in need who have been screened by case managers. Questions? Contact Jeanne Berdeaux at Berdeaux@dioceseofvenice.org or 941-374-1068.

“Two Become One” Seminar Sept. 10

The last of the “Two Become One” Sacramental Marriage Retreats is scheduled for Sept. 10, 2022, at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, 1301 Center Road, Venice. Registration is at 9:00 a.m. and the seminar ends at 5:00 p.m. A specially prepared volunteer team share their experiences and information with the intention of enabling couples to be more aware of the privileges and responsibilities of a Sacramental Marriage. The retreat is designed to be completed after the couple has done the initial consultation with their priest. For the prerequired registration, please visit https://dioceseofvenice.regfox.com/two-become-one-2022. If you have any questions, please contact Carrie Harkey at 941-484-9543 or harkey@dioceseofvenice.org.

Do You Need Help?

If you need assistance from Catholic Charities for food, financial assistance, or tele-mental health counseling, please call 941-355-4680 in Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto, Hardee, and Highlands Counties; 239-390-2928 in Charlotte, Lee, Hendry, and Glades Counties; and 239-793-0059 in Collier County between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 pm., Monday to Friday.

Equipping the Pro-Life Church

Community Pregnancy Clinics Inc., which has pregnancy resource clinics throughout the Diocese, is hosting two conferences to equip the Pro-Life Church on Tuesday, September 13. The first one is from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in Bonita Springs, and the second is 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Bradenton. The featured speaker at both events is Seth Gruber, who is a professional public speaker focused on equipping Christians and pro-life advocates to make a persuasive case for their pro-life beliefs in the public square. His approach, while not shying away from the moral question of abortion, focuses on giving participants the tools needed to effectively and lovingly engage others on the issue of abortion. Participants will learn how to effectively build a culture of life within their community. There is no cost to attend. All priests, deacons, ministry leaders, and Pro-Life advocates throughout Southwest Florida are encouraged to attend. To register for either event, please visit www.supportcpci.com or call 239-262-6381.

Catholic Women’s Bible Study begins in September

Ss. Peter and Paul the Apostles Parish in Bradenton will be hosting a 20-week study “Blessed Conversations: Rooted” beginning Wednesday, September 14, through March 29, 2023. This study for women contains lessons and short videos on seven topics: the virtues; ways to pray; God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; the seven Sacraments; the 10 Commandments; the Our Father; and the Beatitudes. Each lesson includes a layperson summary of Catechism selections; short Scripture passages from the Old and New Testaments; a reflection by the author; and questions for discussion. Rooted is a study from Blessed is She, a Catholic women’s online outreach. The cost is $25 for books and materials. The Wednesday gatherings are at 9:45 a.m. in the Moretti Center, 2850 75th St. W., Bradenton. Childcare is provided (donations appreciated). To learn more please call the Parish at 941-795-1228 or visit www.sspeterandpaul.org.

Registration Open for golf tournament

The registration is open for the Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School 2022 Annual Golf Tournament on Monday, October 10 (rain date, October 17) at the Laurel Oak Country Club in Sarasota. Registration starts at 10:00 a.m., with a shotgun start at 12:00 p.m. The cost is $775 per foursome (early bird registration by September 12, is $725 per foursome). The cost includes golf, a boxed lunch, cocktails, buffet dinner and prizes. There will also be a 50/50 helicopter ball drop ($10 per chance/open to all). The tournament benefits the CMHS Adopt-A-Student Financial Assistance Program. For tickets and sponsorships, please contact Amy Gorman at agorman@cmhs-sarasota.org or visit www.cmhs-sarasota.org.

 

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