Briefs for the week of June 2, 2023

Students meet pen-pals

During the school year, students at St. Joseph Catholic School in Bradenton practice their writing and cursive skills by becoming pen-pals with a group from Ss. Peter and Paul the Apostles Parish. To celebrate, and to finally meet their pen pals, students enjoyed an end-of-year Cursive Party on May 25, 2023, at the school.

Sarasota Parish hosts men’s Emmaus retreat

St. Jude Parish in Sarasota hosted a men’s Emmaus retreat which concluded on Pentecost Sunday, May 28, 2023, with Mass celebrated by Pastor Father Celestino Gutiérrez. An Emmaus retreat consists of a weekend (Friday evening to Sunday afternoon) consisting of lay faithful who present personal testimonies and experiences. These presentations are shared with those attending the retreat. The testimonies and presentations portray a “new way of life” in the Lord, according to the Gospel of St. Luke: 24, 13-35; “The Road to Emmaus.” The ultimate goal of the retreat is an invitation for participants to seek God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit at all times in their life.

Scout cleans Naples school, upgrades prayer garden

The flower and vegetable garden at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic School in Naples was in need of some help. An initial project for the garden renovation had fallen through, creating a perfect opportunity for 17-year-old, Kale Van Wart, a junior at St. John Neumann Catholic High School, to complete his Eagle Scout Project. Kale, son of Seton middle school Science teacher, Megan Van Wort, has been a scout since first grade. Completing an Eagle Scout service project would help him earn the highest achievement in the Scouts. A Seton parent assisted in the initial plans and layout for the garden and several other Seton families generously donated and delivered the needed materials. The renovation was no easy task, requiring a complete tear out of the old garden and relocation of existing memorial pavers to implement the new design. Kale worked five weekends to complete the project with over 24 hours of service. The new garden now includes a rosary walk surrounded by lovely placement of plants and flowers, creating a peaceful environment for students and staff to visit and pray. The prayer garden will be cared for by future Seton students as they learn about nature and growing plants and vegetables.



Scouting Awards presented – Diocese given top honors

Girls and boys from throughout the Diocese of Venice participated in Mass on May 21, 2023, at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice wearing the uniforms of their Scout troop.

Designated as “Scouting Sunday,” the Mass, which fell on the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord, was followed by an award ceremony in the Parish Hall to celebrate and recognize the girls and boys who commit themselves to scouting while remaining true to the Faith. Members of the Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, American Heritage Girls (AHG), Fraternus, Troops of St. George, Trail Life USA, and the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Society participated in the ceremony.

During a reception following Mass, Bishop Frank J. Dewane presented dozens of Scouting Religious Awards, with some Scouts receiving multiple honors.

Bishop Dewane told the Scouts that it is his prayer that the awards will continually give them encouragement to strive forward in their relationship with the Lord.

The awards earned from the National Catholic Committee on Scouting (NCCS) Religious Activities Awards included: Rosary Series, Marian Series, Faith Series, Footsteps of American Saints and Modern Saints. Diocesan Scout Awards included: Child of God, Our Lady, Mother Mary, Queen of the Rosary, Spirit Alive, and Pillars of Faith. The National Committee Boy Scout Awards included: Light of Christ, Parvuli Dei, and Ad Altare Dei. American Heritage Girls Scouting Awards included: Tenderheart Faith – God and My Family, Explorer Faith – God and My Country, and Explorer Faith – God and My Community, and Patriot Faith – Women of Integrity (these awards are earned in different segments). Each award requires the Scout to participate in different activities which help increase their Faith. The awards become more difficult to earn as the Scout advances.

Additionally, the Pope Paul VI National Catholic Quality Unit Award was presented to Pack 226, of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Naples, and American Heritage Girls Troop FL1203, of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Fort Myers.

During the ceremony, Diocesan Scout Awards Coordinator Bob Paquette presented Bishop Dewane with the Quality Diocese Award, which is given to a Diocese for its commitment to supporting Catholic Scouting. This is the 14th year in a row the Diocese of Venice has received this award. Historically, less than half of the Dioceses qualify for this important award.

Recognizing the hard work and commitment that the Scouts from throughout the Diocese of Venice make to earn the Catholic Religious Awards, Bishop Dewane congratulated each of the award recipients and all Scouts.

Participating in the ceremony was Scouts Chaplain Father Lawton Lang, who is an Eagle Scout, National Committee Member Connie Kantor, as well as Marthamaria Morales, Diocesan Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, who served as the emcee.

News Briefs for Nov. 18, 2022

Family Day in Wauchula

The 2022 St. Michael Parish Family Day on Nov. 12, 2022, in Wauchula, welcomed more than 130 families (over 250 participants to include parents and their children) for a beautiful day filled with guest speakers about parenting, a young adult guest speaker, and children learning about the Eucharist and how to have a stronger relationship with Jesus. There were family games and raffles. The day ended with a Eucharistic Procession and Holy Mass, and dinner. The day focused on prayer for the conversion of all, that they may seek God in the Eucharist to guide them as a united family.

Naples Scout recognized

Luke P. Rubino, a senior at Naples High School and St. Ann Catholic School Class of 2019, achieved Eagle Rank from the Boy Scouts of America-Southwest Florida Council/Alligator District with Troop 165, now affiliated with St. Ann Parish in Naples. Luke was also awarded the Good Citizenship Award presented by the Marine Corps League (E.T. Brisson Detachment #063) of Naples on Nov. 13, 2022, in the Parish Hall.

New altar servers blessed

Father Luis Pacheco, Pastor of St. Paul Parish in Arcadia, recently welcomed and blessed a new group of altar servers. The blessing took place Nov. 13, 2022, for the boys and girls who completed a training program. These servers will now be able to serve at Masses each week.

Naples students build bikes

More than 30 St. John Neumann Catholic High School students came together with Key and Kiwanis clubs from around the county to build bikes with the Bikes for Tykes Organization at Palmetto Ridge High School in Naples on Nov. 12, 2022. Students worked in teams of two assembling new bikes that were donated to local families. During the event, some of the students entertained the waiting children with face painting and games.

Fort Myers robotics team gains experience

The Bishop Verot Catholic High School robotics program hosted two local robotics teams to work on their designs and programming in Fort Myers on Nov. 5, 2022. The “Java the Hutt” team was incredibly helpful, as they brought their robot and helped the Verot teams get their bots built and programmed to move. The students learned about the latest version of a competition robot. The Cypress Lake team shared ideas and were instrumental in getting a playing field constructed, while advising about which materials to purchase and use to help construct future Verot robots. Events like this are vital to the growth of robotics in Southwest Florida.

Thanksgiving festival delights children

St. Martha Catholic School National Junior Honor Society hosted a Thanksgiving Festival for students in kindergarten through second grade in Sarasota on Nov. 14, 2022. The students decorated their own cookies, colored placemats, created turkeys, wrote what they are thankful for, played Thanksgiving Bingo and completed Thanksgiving Math.


News Briefs for the week of Sept. 30, 2022


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

Father Leszek Trojanowski, as Parochial Vicar of Holy Cross Parish, Palmetto, effective September 23, 2022, and thus, is relieved of his duties as Parochial Vicar of San Pedro Parish, North Port.

Father Christian Chami, returning to Rome to complete his Licentiate Studies at the Pontifical Atheneum of St. Anselm, effective September 23, 2022, and thus, is relieved of his duties as Parochial Vicar of Holy Cross Parish in Palmetto.

Bishop Dewane also announces the new members to the Presbyteral Council, as a result of the most recent elections and appointments, are the following:

Father John Fitch, Representative of the Central Deanery

Father Eric Scanlan, Representative of the Northern Deanery

Father Hugh McGuigan, O.S.F.S., Religious Representative

Father Shawn Roser, Member-at-Large

Father Lawton Lang, Member-at-Large

Father Thomas Carzon, O.M.V., Appointed Representative

Father John Nghia Hoang, Appointed Representative

Congratulations to the new members. At the same time, an expression of gratitude is extended to those who served on the Presbyteral Council in their respective categories:

Father Jarek Sniosek

Father Joseph Gates

Father George Ratzmann

Father Jayabalan Raju


Bishop celebrates Mass for students in Fort Myers, Cape Coral

“Find Christ in others” was the challenge put forth by Bishop Frank J. Dewane on the students at St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Fort Myers and St. Andrew Catholic School in Cape Coral on Sept. 22, 2022. Bishop Dewane celebrated Mass at both schools as part of an ongoing effort to visit each school in the first two months of school. Afterwards, the Bishop took time to speak to the eighth graders, answer their questions and encourage them to attend nearby Bishop Verot Catholic High School.

Scouts participate in 10 Commandment Hike

More than 70 Scouts from across the Diocese of Venice took part in the annual 10 Commandment Hike on Sept. 24, 2022, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center in Venice. The Scouts walked the grounds, go from station to station where they were taught the lessons of the 10 Commandments, not just what they are, but also how not to violate them. Diocesan Scout Religious Award Coordinator Bob Paquette said he hoped the Scouts would gain valuable lessons that they can apply to their everyday life. A special patch was presented to each Scout after they were blessed by Diocesan Scout Chaplain Father Lawton Lang of St. Thomas More Parish in Sarasota.

New Stations blessed in Cape Coral

Bishop Frank J. Dewane blessed newly installed Stations of the Cross at St. Andrew Parish in Cape Coral on Sept. 22, 2022. The blessing took place after a Mass for students at St. Andrew Catholic School and included the eighth-graders, parents and parishioners. The Stations were repurposed from the original outside Stations which were around the perimeter of the Parish property. The former Stations were imbedded into stone and placed in the newly landscaped prayer garden on the southeast side of the church. The garden includes benches surrounding a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary and a lighted path leading to each Station.

20 Parishes hosting Diocesan Rosary Congress Oct. 1-7

On Oct. 7 each year we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in honor of the Blessed Mother. This year 20 Parishes in the Diocese of Venice will be participating in a Rosary Congress from Oct. 1, to Oct. 7, 2022 (All schedules subject to change due to Hurricane Ian). During the Rosary Congress, the host Parishes (at least two in each Deanery) will provide the hourly praying of the Holy Rosary as well as Eucharistic Adoration. Many of the Parishes taking part will also have the celebration of the Mass at the opening and closing of a 24-hour period of Adoration. Several Parishes will make the Sacrament of Reconciliation available during specific times of the Rosary Congress. To find the complete listing of host Parish and their contact information, please visit

Marriage retreat held in Arcadia

A Spanish-language marriage retreat took place Sept. 25, 2022, at St. Paul Parish in Arcadia. There were 60 couples who heard from speakers about the importance of having Christ accompany the couples as they live out their Sacramental Marriage, joined in union with God. Father Luis Pacheco, Administrator at St. Paul, said the retreat was a blessed time for all of the couples.

News Briefs for the Week of May 27, 2022

Scouting religious awards presented

The Diocesan Scouting Religious Award Ceremony was held May 22, 2022, at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice. Catholic National and Diocesan Awards were presented to Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and American Heritage Girls as well as to adult leaders. Diocesan Scout Chaplain Father Lawton Lang, as well Scout Leaders Jim Fetterman and Bob Paquette, presented the awards. The ceremony followed a Mass in the Cathedral where they were also recognized.

Students artwork recognized

Congratulations to Blaire M., a first grader at St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Fort Myers, whose artwork now adorns the side of a Waste Pro recycling truck. Blaire won 1st Place in the Keep Lee County Beautiful and Waste Pro “Leave the Scene Clean” environmental art contest. The artwork included a caterpillar, flowers, trees, hearts and a butterfly with the words “Plant Trees.” The truck with Blaire’s artwork visited the school on May 19, 2022, for everyone to see.




Catholic Summer Camp Program

Totus Tuus (a Latin phrase meaning “totally yours”) is a summer Catholic youth camp program dedicated to sharing the Gospel and promoting the Catholic faith through evangelization, catechesis, Christian witness and Eucharistic worship. The weeklong program assists parents and parishes to evangelize and catechize youth by complementing the work they are already doing at the Parish and at home. This summer the program will be offered at eight parishes in the Diocese of Venice. The camp program is for grades 1-5 Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and for grades 6-12 Monday to Thursday, from 7:30 9:45 p.m. Parishes hosting the program are as follows:

  • Katharine Drexel Parish, 1920 SW 20th Ave., Cape Coral, June 6-10.
  • Agnes Parish, 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples, June 13-17.
  • Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish, 355 S. Bridge St., La Belle, June 20-24.
  • Catherine Parish, 820 Hickory St., Sebring, June 27-July 1.
  • John XXIII Parish, 13060 Palomino Lane, Fort Myers, July 11-15.
  • Joseph Parish, 3100 26th St. W., Bradenton, July 18-22.
  • Elizabeth Seton Parish, 5225 Golden Gate Parkway, Naples, July 25-29.
  • Patrick Parish, 7900 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota, August 1-5.

Several parishes still have openings. Please contact the Director of Religious Education at the Parish hosting the program or Carrie Harkey at 941-484-9543.

Our Lady of Fatima Rosary Rally

Please join our national America Needs Fatima Rosary Rally for the Traditional Family and Public Prayers in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to end abortion which will be held Saturday, June 4, from noon to 1 p.m., at the corner of Daniels Parkway and Daniels Commerce Blvd near Tile Outlet of America and TIAA Bank in Fort Myers. Parking is in an empty lot at Daniels Commerce Blvd. and Commerce Park Blvd. or John Yarbrough Linear Park off Daniels at Metro Parkway. Please arrive 10 minutes early and bring your Pro-Life signs, chairs, water, and umbrellas. For more information, please contact Toni at

Pentecost Celebration

The Diocese of Venice English Charismatic Renewal invites all to join them for a celebration on Pentecost Sunday at 3 p.m., June 5 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 211 West Charlotte Avenue, Punta Gorda. The afternoon will include praise and worship followed by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at 4:00 p.m. Please bring your Prayer Group Banner and Stand as there will be a Banner Procession. For further information, please contact Alice Keough at or 941-484-3505 ext. 1104.

22nd Annual Knights Liberty Ball

The Knights of Columbus Assembly 2542 is hosting the 22nd Annual Liberty Ball, June 18, 2022, at the Our Lady of Light Parish Center, 19680 Cypress View Drive, Fort Myers. Presented by the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus, the evening will honor Knights who are veterans. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with Presentation of Colors at 6 p.m. with dinner to follow. Tickets are $35 and include dinner, two drink tickets and dancing. Dress code for Fourth Degree Knights is tuxedo with Social Baldric, all others, smart casual. This Gala is open to everyone. For ticket or event information, please contact any of the following: Jim Mendolera at 239-390-0346, Frank Haneline, 239-466-6883, or Ron Bekech at 239-437-4999.

Religious Freedom Week 2022

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is once again promoting the celebration of Religious Freedom Week beginning Wednesday, June 22 to Thursday, June 29. Each year the week encompasses the period between the Memorial of Saints Thomas More & John Fisher, through the Solemnity of Saints Peter & Paul. The theme for this year is Life and Dignity for All. As we approach the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, we are especially mindful of the debates around our country about abortion. The Church plays a crucial role in both bearing witness to the gospel of life and serving all who will be affected by these discussions and their outcomes. Learn how you can pray, reflect, and act to promote religious freedom at

Youth Conference

The 14th annual Ave Maria University Youth Conference – “Fearless” – is being held July 8-10. Featured talks are by Father Rick Martignetti, Father Joseph Lugalambi, Father Rich Pagano and Chris Padget. The event includes the talks, Mass, Adoration, praise and worship, fellowship, opportunities for confession and much more. The cost is $175 and includes lodging, all meals, a t-shirt and more. To register, call 239-348-4725, or

Scouting religious awards presented

Participation in Catholic Scouting is an act of discipline which strengthens body, mind, and soul, but it is also a powerful tool of evangelization and service.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane recognized all Catholic Scouts and members of comporable groups in the Diocese of Venice during the annual presentation of Religious Awards on May 16, 2021 at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice. Prior to the awards presentation about 100 Scouts, Scout leaders and family members, took part in Mass for the Ascension of the Lord Sunday which was celebrated by Bishop Dewane and concelebrated by Father Lawton Lang, Diocesan Scout Chaplain.

During the awards ceremony Bishop Dewane recognized the challenges faced by all during the Pandemic as they worked to earn the various religious awards offered by different Scouting or similar groups. During the ceremony 154 awards were presented to 75 Scouts, some receiving multiple awards. Emily Black of American Heritage Girls Troop 1203 of St. Francis Xavier was the recipient of 17 different awards.

“Your hard work was commendable and identifies your dedication to the Catholic Faith as lived out through Catholic Scouting in the Diocese,” Bishop Dewane said before personally congratulating and presenting each award. “I hope that as you continue to experience the many varied lessons of Scouting, you will also continue to grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ and share that experience with others.”

The National Catholic Committee on Scouting awards included: the Rosary Series, the Marian Series, the Faith Series, Footsteps of American Saints, Modern Saints, Light of Christ, Parvuli Dei, St. John the Baptist, Our Lady, and Pope Pius XII. National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry awards included the Women in Scripture series. Diocesan Scout awards included Priesthood Sunday and Pillars of Faith. American Heritage Girls awards included Tenderheart and Explorer.

Of note at the awards ceremony was the presentation of the Pillars of Faith award to Bartosz Fabinski, of Boy Scout Troop 777 of St. Francis Xavier Parish. This award provides special recognition for youth in Scouting who earn all traditional Catholic Religious Medals: Light of Christ, Parvuli Dei, Ad Altare Dei and Pope Pius XII. This is the first time this award has been presented to a Scout in many years as it requires earning key awards at various stages in beginning at the age of 6 or 7 and continuing to age 15 or older. To make this recognition possible this year, Bartosz was able to earn the Pope Pius XII award, the final award in the sequence.

The Pius XII award is also rarely presented and requires a Scout to be 15 or older and educated on different vocations (single, married, religious, ordained). This also incorporates a discussion on current issues facing the Church and society and included an overnight camping retreat at St. Agnes Parish in Naples. In all, 10 Boys Scouts earned this award which was presented in the Diocese for the first time in 10 years.

In addition, American Heritage Girls Troop FL 1203 of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Fort Myers earned the National Catholic Quality Unit Excellence Award – Pope Paul VI. Adult recognition included the presentation of the following awards: St. Elizabeth Seton, St. Anne, Companions of the Journey, Light of the World, Bronze Pelican, and St. George Emblem.

Near the conclusion of the ceremony, Bishop Dewane was presented with the “Quality Diocese Award,” earned by only 40-50 percent of Dioceses nationally, for meeting certain requirements in supporting Catholic Scouting. This was the eighth year in a row the Diocese has earned this important award. The Bishop noted that while the award is given to the Diocese specifically, it is truly a reflection of the hard work and commitment of Scouts and Scout leaders throughout the Diocese.

Scout builds walking rosary garden for Parish

When it was time for Cameron Yedlin to choose an “Eagle Scout Project,” it was natural for him to decide to do something for St. William Parish. It was also a natural idea to help promote the praying of the rosary. This was the beginning of a passionate effort that has culminated in the blessing of a new Walking Rosary Garden.

St. William Parish Pastor, Father George Ratzmann, blessed the prayer garden on Feb. 2. Located on the northwest corner of the Parish property, the garden includes a walkway bridge, a full rosary with a cross laid into the ground with pavers, and there is a statue of Our Blessed Virgin Mary overlooking the entire area. There are also two benches for rest and prayer as well as a sign which serves to guide people in how to pray the rosary.

In addition to Cameron’s proud parents, Bruce and Bonnie Yedlin, a small group gathered for the blessing and congratulated the young man for a job well done.

Cameron is an active member of the Parish, an altar server at the 7 a.m. Sunday Mass each week, he also participates in Youth Group. Cameron has taken part in various mission trips and service projects and has taken part in the last several Diocesan Youth Rallies. He also joined the Diocese of Venice group that travelled with Bishop Frank J. Dewane to World Youth Day Panama City in 2019 and Krakow in 2016.

Joining the Scouts in first grade, Cameron worked his way through the ranks during the the next 11 years. He is a Boy Scout and has earned dozens of merit badges for Troop 243, far exceeding the minimum requirement for becoming an Eagle Scout, something he has dreamed about for many years.

“This has been a goal of mine for a long time,” the junior at Gulf Coast High School explained. “When I knew it was time to do an ‘Eagle Scout Project,’ my mind went right to what I could do for St. William Parish.”

Creating a proposal, Cameron approached and received an enthusiastic approval from Father Ratzmann. The proposal included designing the different components of the Rosary Prayer Walk and raising money for the supplies. He then spoke to the Council of Catholic Woman, the Knights of Columbus, the Parish Rosary Makers group, as well as the parishioners, seeking support for the project. The response was overwhelmingly positive.

“This has been a great experience.” He further explained how “so many people came together to help me with this; from the Parish staff to people I didn’t even know. It is humbling to have that support.”

During four weekends, the Rosary Prayer Garden took shape as Cameron cleared out the area of brush and dug the places for each stone paver, marking the location of each bead in the rosary or connection to take the shape of the cross. Utilizing the small space to maximum effect, and to enhance the prayerful nature of the setting, the pavers form a flowing arc around a tree and the statue of the Blessed Virgin.

The Walking Rosary Garden is an important legacy for Cameron, who said he prays the rosary as often as he can, even keeping a rosary close to him. “The rosary gives me great comfort because it is a way for me to pray to Christ through His Blessed Mother. At night, I will pray a decade or more and I have a rosary wrist band as well, so it is always with me.”

Next up for Cameron is completing the paperwork and giving a formal presentation to an “Eagle Scout Project” review board which will then determine if he will earn the elite Eagle Scout status.

Thanks to Cameron, the parishioners of St. William Parish in Naples now have a lasting legacy created by one of their own young people. Great job Cameron!!!

News briefs from Around the Diocese September 2019

Mooney Golfer No. 1 in Florida, ranked nationally

Noah Kumar is captain of the Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School Golf Team in Sarasota and has now cracked the top 100 nationally and is ranked 90th with Junior Golf Scoreboard. The Florida High School Athletic Association ranks Kumar the No. 1 high school golfer in the State of Florida. During his senior season with Cardinal Mooney, Kumar has an 18-hole tournament stroke average of 67.33, with six straight low round first place medal wins in a row. His nine-hole stroke average is 35.5 with a career low of 31. Kumar has been playing tournament golf since he was 10-years-old. He qualified to play in the U.S. Junior Amateur this past July and came in 12th in stroke play. Keep up the good work Noah!

Bishop celebrates Mass for Ave Maria University

Bishop Frank J. Dewane celebrated a Mass for the faculty and student of Ave Maria University in Ave Maria on Sept. 23, delayed from Sept. 2 when the Mass was cancelled because of Hurricane Dorian. During the mass the Bishop encouraged the students to grow in their faith and to carry the message of the Lord into the world. At the conclusion of the Mass, the Bishop presided over a commissioning ceremony for nine new theology professors, during which each took an oath and vowed to remain faithful to the teachings of the Church.

Scout 10 Commandment Hike held Sept. 21

Scouts from across the Diocese of Venice gathered Sept. 21 for a 10 Commandments Hike at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center in Venice. The more than 100 Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts and American Heritage Girls learned about the 10 Commandments at different stations located along the internal road of the property. The Scouts were presented with an achievement badge for participation at the end of the day.

CCW Eastern Deanery holds retreat

The Council of Catholic Women of the Eastern Deanery took part in a bi-lingual retreat Sept. 21 at Our Lady of Grace Parish in Avon Park. More than 70 women from parishes Hardee, Highlands, Hardee, Glades and Hendry counties took part. The retreat included presentations by a number of priests as well as group prayers with the praying of the rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

Bishop celebrates Mass for NET retreat in Bradenton

A National Evangelization Team (NET) Ministries group held a one-day retreat for middle school students on Sept. 29 at St. Joseph Parish in Bradenton. The retreat included several talks by youth ministers who travel across the nation trying to inspire young people to open themselves up to the Lord. Bishop Frank J. Dewane celebrated the Mass for the retreatants and offered words of encouragement to the middle-schoolers for participating in the day and to the NET team for coming to the Diocese.

Laps for Life held Sept. 28

The Our Lady of Victory Knights of Columbus Council 3358 welcomed more than 200 to the 2nd Annual Sarasota Laps for Life at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota. The event was opened by a blessing for Deacon William Ladroga and the runners and walkers followed a path for three laps to complete the 5K event. The top finishes finished in 17:35 minutes. The event helped to raise money to purchase for a new ultrasound for My Choice Pregnancy Center in Sarasota.

Bishop celebrates Red Mass

Bishop Frank J. Dewane celebrated the annual Red Mass on Oct. 2 at St. Martha Parish in Sarasota. The Mass is held in honor of all members of the legal profession and has a history which dates back centuries. The most famous such Mass is held for the U.S. Supreme Court on the first Sunday in October. The Florida Bishops also celebrate a Red Mass for lawmakers in Tallahassee during the annual legislative session.

Pets blessed on Feast of St. Francis

A variety of pets wait to be blesses on Oct. 4, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, at Incarnation Catholic School in Sarasota.

Pets great and small were blessed Oct. 4 on the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi at Incarnation Catholic School in Sarasota. Administrator Father Eric Scanlan blessed everything from hermit crabs, ferrets, fish, birds, snakes, lizards, dogs and cats brought in by the students and parishioners.

Scouting Awards presented

Bob Reddy – Florida Catholic

Girls and boys from throughout the Diocese of Venice participated in a Mass on May 5 at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice wearing the uniforms of their Scout troop.

Designated as “Scouting Sunday,” the Mass was followed by an award ceremony in the Parish Hall to celebrate and recognize the girls and boys who commit themselves to scouting while remaining true to the Faith. Members of the Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Brownies, American Heritage Girls (AHG) and the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Society participated in the ceremony.

During a reception following Mass, Bishop Frank J. Dewane presented more than 250 awards, with some Scouts receiving multiple honors. The awards included: Rosary Series, Faith Series, Footsteps of American Saints, Modern Saints, Women in Scripture, Models of Faith, Child of God, Family of God, Mother Mary, Queen of the Rosary, Mary, the First Disciple, I Live My Faith, Priesthood Sunday, Light of Christ, Parvuli Dei, Ad Altare Dei awards. Each award requires the Scout to participate in different activities which help increase their Faith and become more difficult to earn as the Scout advances.

During the awards ceremony, Diocesan Scout Awards Coordinator Bob Paquette presented Dewane was presented with the Quality Diocese Award, which is given to a Diocese for its commitment to supporting Catholic Scouting. This is the 10th year in a row the Diocese of Venice has received this award.

Three American Heritage Girl Troops earned the Pope Paul VI Catholic Quality Unit Award: Troop 1203 of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Fort Myers; Troop 2112 of Epiphany Cathedral in Venice; and Troop 1029 of Ave Maria Parish in Ave Maria. Additional adult recognition included the Duty to God, the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, and the Bronze Pelican awards.

Lastly, Melissa Harkness of the American Heritage Girl Troop 1203 at St. Francis Xavier parish in Fort Myers was presented the Companions on the Journey Award, the highest recognition from the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry for a Diocese to confer to an adult working in youth ministry.

Recognizing the hard work and commitment that the Scouts from throughout the Diocese of Venice make to earn the Catholic Religious Awards, Bishop Dewane congratulated each of the award recipients and all Scouts.

Participating in the ceremony was Scouts Chaplain Father Lawton Lang, who is an Eagle Scout, and Diocese of Venice Director of Evangelization Joshua Mazrin.