Diocesan Seminarians focus on goal

“Yes!”

That is what each of the 16 Diocese of Venice seminarians has in common: they said “Yes!” by answering a specific call from the Lord to serve.

The group gathered for the annual Convocation, a multi-day retreat which allows time for reflection and fellowship, from Aug. 2-5, 2021, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center in Venice.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane celebrated Mass for the men on Aug. 4, the Feast of St. John Vianney, Patron of Parish priests.

As they progress in their own discernment, Bishop Dewane said each seminarian must open themselves up to the grace of the Holy Spirit and allow the Spirit to shape them. “This can be accomplished by making yourselves vulnerable. It lets you experience the grace and hear what the Holy Spirit has to say to you. This can be achieved through time spent with the Lord.”

That time, either through Adoration, contemplative prayer, etc., will allow the individual to learn the language of the Holy Spirit and better understand what the Lord wants, the Bishop continued. “Don’t stop listening. Don’t stop paying attention. Don’t stop seeking that spirit of discernment in your life.”

One way to remain open to the Holy Spirit is through encounters with others in ones life, the Bishop continued. Building upon a theme from the Gospel reading of the day which was about the miracle with the Canaanite woman.

Bishop Dewane noted how it would have been easy for Jesus to dismiss the Canaanite woman when she begs Jesus to help her tormented daughter who was possessed by a demon. The disciples even ask Jesus to send her away, but Jesus does not and ultimately recognizes her faith and heals the daughter.

“The Lord puts people into your path,” the Bishop continued. “Don’t dismiss them, don’t make a judgement. Jesus had lots of Marys and Marthas who followed Him and supported Him, but it is the others that helped to define who the Lord was in this world. Such encounters with these others must define you.”

Following the Mass, Bishop Dewane had a meal with the group, including four new seminarians.

The multi-day retreat occurs at the end of summer as a time of prayer and reflection before each man returns to his respective seminary. During the week they heard from retreat leader Father Rich Pagano, a priest from the Diocese of St. Augustine.

With the group assigned to four different seminaries, the Convocation offered the opportunity for those early in their formation process to hear from those who are further along. This mentoring helps build the bond amongst the group and helps everyone understand that the discernment process is not only done in the classroom but through the entire experience in seminary, during Parish assignments as well as in their personal life.

A special treat for the group was that they had just witnessed the Ordination to the Priesthood of Fathers Mark Harris and Alexander Pince on July 31. Both new priests spoke to the group during the week offering words of encouragement and inspiration.

Please pray for our seminarians as they return to their respective seminaries and continue in discerning their vocation and formation for the priesthood.

Diocese of Venice Seminarians are supported through the Diocese Catholic Faith Appeal, the Knights of Columbus and the generosity of the faithful.

Parishioners from around the Diocese are encouraged to help support the seminarians in their studies and choice of vocation through prayer and financial assistance. Donations may be sent to: Diocese of Venice, Office of Vocations, 1000 Pinebrook Road, Venice, FL 34285.

For more information about the seminarians or Vocations, contact Father Shawn Roser at roser@dioceseofvenice.org or 941-486-4720, or visit www.venicevocations.com.

List of Diocese of Venice Seminarians

Name, year, school

Transitional Deacon Jose Grullon – St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary, Boynton Beach;

Transitional Deacon David Portorreal – St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary;

Alan Baldarelli – St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary;

Christian Chami – Pontifical North American College Seminary, Rome, Italy;

Juan Contreras – St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary; (Pastoral Year)

Andres Cordero – St. John Vianney College Seminary, Miami;

Michael Courville – St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary;

Joseph Doherty – Pontifical North American College Seminary;

Thomas Gregory (Greg) Dougherty – Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary, Weston, Massachusetts;

James Gates – St. John Vianney College Seminary;

Jacob Gwynn – Theology II – St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary;

William Patrick (Pat) Long – Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary;

Alejandro Giraldo Roldan – St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary; (Pastoral Year)

Carlos Rodriguez – St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary;

Daniel Scanlan – Pontifical North American College Seminary;

Michael Young – Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary.

Two join Presbyterate – Ordination draws large crowd

In a public response to a “call to holiness,” Transitional Deacons Mark Harris and Alexander Pince were ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Frank J. Dewane on July 31, 2021 at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice as more than 500 people rejoiced.

The newly ordained responded to a particular call in their life and evidenced their response in a profound way by coming forward for ordination. The two men reflected afterwards about the powerful emotion of the moment that brought about an inner calm. They also expressed the genuine joy and love for the Lord they each witness.

The poignant and emotional Rite places Fathers Harris and Pince in a new role as they are raised to the Order of the Presbyterate where they will now celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, confer the Sacraments and teach the Gospel.

Bishop Dewane congratulated the ordinandi for answering the call to holiness and advancing in their formation through prayer, discernment, guidance and direction. This helped them grow closer to the Lord while at the same time reminded each they are called to reflect and magnify Christ and bring others closer to the Lord.

Through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, a priest is transformed and marked indelibly as an instrument through which others receive the Sacraments, Bishop Dewane added. It is through ordination that Harris and Pince have a new beginning, configured to Christ.

“Let the holiness of your life be an example to the People of God; to those you encounter,” Bishop added. “Let it be evident that you are a holy man – live the life the Lord calls you to be – to be holy.”

Bishop Dewane concluded his remarks explaining to Harris and Pince, “Holy Mother Church reminds you that you do this while united to the Body of Christ. Know that nobody can do this alone. It is not always easy. At some times you will be a bit fearful as was stated in our first reading from the Prophet Jeremiah. At other times you will feel a little bit imprisoned by this as our second reading from St. Paul noted. But pause and remember the Scriptures read on this day and know that it is the Lord who has chosen you. That you are living the life, the gift, the sacrament, that the Lord has given to you. May you be blessed always as you go forward.”

When the Rite of Ordination began, the elect were called forth by Father Shawn Roser, Diocesan Vocations Director, and upon hearing their names, each stood and answered “Present.” After the homily, individually, the ordinand knelt before the Bishop so as to promise respect and obedience to him and his successors. They then prostrated before the altar for the Litany of Supplication/Litany of Saints. The whole assembly joined in the prayer which invoked God’s Grace and the intercession of the Saints in heaven.

The Bishop then laid his hands on the head of each man and prayed silently. Next was the Prayer of Ordination. These combine to form an essential part of the Liturgy of the Sacrament of Holy Orders

Next, the newly ordained priests were vested in the stole and chasuble, vestments which are worn when celebrating the Eucharist and symbolize their responsibility and authority in service to Christ. Father Harris was vested by Father Jerry Kaywell, Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Punta Gorda. Father Pince was vested by Msgr. Roberto Garza, former Rector of St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami.

The palms of the new priests were then anointed with the Sacred Chrism by Bishop Dewane, the sign of the special anointing of the Holy Spirit who will make their ministry fruitful. Next, the Bishop presented each new priest with the chalice and paten which they are called to present to God in the Eucharistic sacrifice saying: “Receive the oblation of the holy people, to be offered to God. Understand what you do, imitate what you celebrate, and conform your life to the mystery of the Lord’s Cross.” He repeated this commission, once each for the newly ordained priests.

The Rite of Ordination ended with the Bishop giving a fraternal kiss of peace to each newly ordained priest, welcoming them into the Diocesan Presbyterate or priesthood. The priests present then followed the Bishop’s example. The newly ordained then joined Bishop Dewane at the altar to the applause and joy of all present.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist then followed. The new priests joined all the priests for the first time in concelebrating the Eucharist with Bishop Dewane, reciting together the words of Consecration. For the first time, they offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, acting in the person of Christ. From this sacrifice their whole priestly ministry will draw its strength.

During the ordination, Deacons Harris and Pince freely presented themselves to serve God, the Church and the Bishop of the Diocese of Venice, and his successors. They also made a promise to celibacy and a promise to obedience. The reward for that choice is to have their life filled with the message of God.

In addition to family and friends, also present at the ordination were more than 50 priests, men and women religious, permanent deacons, the Knights and Dames of the Order of Malta and the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem.

The Ordination Mass was followed by a reception in the Cathedral Parish Hall where the newly ordained priests were available to greet the public and impart their priestly blessings on them.

Bios of the new priests

Father Harris, 54, was born in Miami and spent his childhood alternating between living in Florida and Connecticut. He earned degrees in Commercial Art and then Business Marketing and Management from Florida Metropolitan University, before earning a Master’s in Education from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., and worked at interior design, marketing, career development and teaching.

Becoming a seminarian in 2017, Father Harris studied at St. John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Massachusetts where he graduated in May 2021. He previously served summer assignments at Epiphany Cathedral, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Venice and Resurrection Parish in Fort Myers. His first Mass was celebrated Aug. 1 at Sacred Heart Parish in Punta Gorda and his first assignment is as Parochial Vicar of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Naples.

Father Pince, 30, was born in Concord, New Hampshire, to a large family and is the middle of seven children. He graduated from Ave Maria University in Ave Maria with majors in business and economics and worked for a few years before answering the call of service to the Lord.

During the summer of 2015, Deacon Pince started as a Diocesan seminarian with studies at St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami, earning a philosophy degree. He then studied in Rome, Italy, earning a Sacred Theology Bachelor’s Degree (STB) from the Gregorian University. He will soon be entering the second year of a two-year Licentiate program specializing in moral theology at the University of the Holy Cross in Rome. His summer assignments included Ss. Peter and Paul the Apostle Parish in Bradenton, Resurrection Parish in Fort Myers, St. William Parish in Naples, St. Thomas More Parish in Sarasota and St. Andrew Parish in Cape Coral. He will serve as Temporary Parochial Vicar at St. Andrew Parish before returning to Rome to complete his studies.

Large family grounds future priest

The middle of seven children, 30-year-old Transitional Deacon Alexander Pince had two people, his mother and an uncle who is a Diocesan priest, who were strong witnesses of Faith, ultimately inspiring him to choose a vocation to the priesthood.

“I was blessed to have been given the Faith from my parents (David and Margaret Pince), and from when I was a child, my mom took us to daily Mass,” Deacon Pince explained of his life growing up in Concord, New Hampshire, with a very large extended family with dozens of first cousins. “That habit continued through my high school years. I started altar serving after my first Communion at the age of six, and I looked up to our Parish priest, who earnestly cautioned me: ‘altar serving isn’t kid stuff.’”

His uncle, a Diocesan priest for the Diocese of Burlington, Vermont, visited the Pince family on his days off bringing the human side of a relatable priest. As a child he would play the role of the priest with his siblings as the congregation. He jokingly remembers his mother’s insistence that he use a pretzel as a pretend host, and to call it a “pretzel” to avoid any unintentional blasphemy.

Homeschooled with a Catholic curriculum through high school, then college years attending Ave Maria University earning degrees in business and economics, Deacon Pince pushed the idea of becoming a priest to the back of his mind.

During the years after college, while working in finance and then at Ave Maria University, he described as “the Lord’s gentle yet consistent invitation to follow Him as a priest… because the Lord was quite persistent. The breaking moment came in May of 2015 when I went on a pilgrimage to Lourdes, France. During those days, His call was so clear that I gratefully relented and decided to enter seminary.”

Deacon Pince explained that his spiritual journey may sound like a life sentence in prison to someone who doesn’t understand. “But, on the contrary, this decision was a moment of profound relief and grace because it began the fulfillment of the deepest longing of my heart.”

Without ever looking back, Deacon Pince opted to pursue his vocation to the priesthood with the Diocese of Venice, noting the choice of where to enter was easy. “I loved my time as a student at Ave Maria and loved the area. But even more than that, I was living in the Diocese when the vocational call became very tangible. I actually believe that I was called to serve as a priest for this Diocese.”

Transitional Deacons Pince and Mark Harris have both answered that call to a vocation to the priesthood and will be ordained by Bishop Frank J. Dewane at 11 a.m., Saturday, July 31, 2021 at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice.

During the summer of 2015 Deacon Pince started as a Diocesan seminarian with a Spanish immersion course in Guatemala followed by studies at St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami where he earned a philosophy degree. He then went on to study in Rome, Italy, and earned a Sacred Theology Bachelor’s Degree (STB) from the Gregorian University. He will soon be entering the second year of a two-year Licentiate program in Rome at the University of the Holy Cross in Moral Theology.

While a seminarian for the Diocese, he served summer pastoral assignments at Ss. Peter and Paul the Apostle Parish in Bradenton, Resurrection Parish in Fort Myers, St. William Parish in Naples, St. Thomas More Parish in Sarasota and St. Andrew Parish in Cape Coral. He also spent a summer at a pilgrimage center in Jerusalem, Israel.

As the July 31 ordination approaches, Deacon Pince said he cannot wait to celebrate Mass, and noted that he is very humbled at the prospect of becoming an instrument of God’s Mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Asked about what type of priest he hopes to be, he answered, “When it comes down to it, I simply want to be a priest that is faithful to Christ and the Church, and to do what Jesus asks of me. I’d like for people to see Christ in me, and to live out my priesthood generously and joyfully.”

Please pray for Deacons Pince and Harris as they approach their priestly ordination.

 

All are invited to attend the Ordination. Afterwards, there will be a reception will in the Epiphany Cathedral Parish Hall. If you are unable to attend, the Mass will be livestreamed at 11 a.m. July 31 through the Epiphany Cathedral Facebook page at www.facebook.com/EpiphanyCathedral (you do not need to register to view the ordination).

 

To read the previously published profile of Deacon Mark Harris, please visit www.dioceseofvenice.org/news.

News Briefs for the week of April 23 2021

“A Seminarian Story” ninth installment available

The Diocese of Venice in Florida Office of Vocations launched a video series titled, “A Seminarian Story,” to celebrate the 16 Seminarians currently in formation for the Diocese. The first eight videos have been released and more will follow approximately every few weeks. The most recent video features Seminarian Jacob Gwynn who is in formation at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach. Developed with the assistance of the Diocese Communications Department, the goal of the series is to inspire others to follow in the path to the priesthood or religious life, as well as encourage the faithful to continue to support the seminarians as they continue their formation process at different seminaries. “A Seminarian Story” featuring Jacob Gwynn can be found at https://vimeo.com/521110630.

Online fundraiser to support Our Mother’s House

Honor your mother, daughter, sister, friend, or someone who has been like a mother to you with a gift that will help homeless mothers and their children. Our Mother’s House of Catholic Charities provides a safe environment for residents to achieve self-sufficiency through education, vocational training, and personal growth. This year they are holding their annual Mother’s Day fundraiser so everyone can help a needy mother succeed. To support Our Mother’s House please visit www.dov.regfox.com/mothers-day-2021.

Cardinal Mooney Girls Track win Districts for first time in 26 years

The Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School Girls Track and Field team are District Champs for the first time in 26 years. The Sarasota team won on April 15, taking the top spot in multiple disciplines including shot put, discus, javelin, triple jump, pole vault and 4×400 relay. Just one day earlier, the Mooney Girls Beach Volley team became Regional Champs. The Lady Cougars beat Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers and then Bradenton Christian on April 14 for the regional title. With the title comes an automatic berth to the State Championship tournament field of 12 teams on May 1. Congratulations to all!

Science students learn how to help in emergencies

Students in the Principles of Biomedical Science class at Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers recently worked together in small groups to learn how to stop an uncontrolled bleed during their Emergencies Unit. They had three minutes to control different types of bleeding by either applying compression or by packing the wound and then compression. They ended the lesson by learning to control a bleed using a tourniquet as well as to clamp and legate an artery.

 

 

Pre-K-4 students attend “drive-in” movie

Students at St. Andrew Catholic School in Cape Coral recently attended a drive-in movie. Their fancy cars were creative and amazing as each student created their own cars with designs ranging from sports cars to superhero vehicles.

Youth Mental Health First Aid Workshop

Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach Priests, Deacons, Seminarians, Directors of Religious Education, Youth Ministers, Principals and Teachers how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people. The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. The course will be held on April 29, 2021 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at St. Agnes Parish, 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples, and on May 1 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish, 833 Magellan Drive, Sarasota. Advanced registration is required, and the cost is $25. Visit www.dioceseofvenice.regfox.com/workshop-on-youth-mental-health-first-aid for registration. The cost includes the book, lunch and certificate of completion.

Porn: Seven Myths Exposed event May 4

The porn industry has taken our culture hostage! The Diocese of Venice Family Life Office is hosting an event at 6:30 p.m., May 4, 2021 at the Epiphany Cathedral Parish Hall, 399 Sarasota St., Venice, to address and educate teens, parents and all others on the tyranny of pornography in our society. Matt Fradd is the speaker who has authored and coauthored several books, and creates and hosts the podcast, “Pints with Aquinas”. There is no cost to attend. For further information, please contact Carrie Harkey at harkey@dioceseofvenice.org or 941-484-9543.

Stepping into Marriage with Children

Did you know 60 percent of second marriages fail and the failure rate increases to 70 percent when there are children from a previous marriage in the home. The difficulties of parenting and stepparenting seemingly insurmountable are often the root cause of such failures. A free half day workshop, organized by the Diocese Office of Family Life, entitled “Stepping into Marriage with Children” is designed for those couples beginning or currently in a stepfamily situation, and will take place from 9 a.m. to noon, May 15, 2021 at Our Lady of Light Parish, 19680 Cypress View Drive, Fort Myers. This workshop takes a realistic look at blended families and offers strategies and tools to meet unique challenges. There is no cost to attend but registration is required at https://dioceseofvenice.regfox.com/stepping-into-marriage-with-children. For further information please contact Carrie Harkey at harkey@dioceseofvenice.org or 941-484-9543.

Year of the Family

On March 19, 2021, the fifth anniversary of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, on the joy and beauty of familial love, Pope Francis inaugurated the year “Amoris Laetitia Family” which will conclude on June 26, 2022 on the occasion of the next World Meeting of Families in Rome. When announced, the Dicastery said in a statement, “The Pandemic experience has highlighted the central role of the family as the domestic Church and has shown the importance of community ties between families”. To learn more about the effort and the initiatives occurring in the Diocese of Venice during this commemorative year visit https://dioceseofvenice.org/year-of-the-family/.

Seminarian commissioned into U.S. Navy

Diocese of Venice Seminarian Jacob C. Gwynn was commissioned as an Ensign in the United States Navy on Jan. 22, 2021, at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach.

Ensign Gwynn is currently in his first year of theology studying at the Seminary on a path to be ordained a priest of the Diocese of Venice. He is also a co-sponsored seminarian with the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA. The commissioning as an officer begins his career with the Navy as a Chaplain Candidate Program Officer (CCPO) as he pursues serving God and country as a Chaplain. He will continue his course of studies while devoting some time during his summers to train with the military.

The ceremony took place in the Seminary Chapel with a limited audience due to COVID-19 Pandemic precautions but did included members of Gwynn’s family.

Ens. Gwynn spoke after his commissioning and expressed his joy and gratitude for being able to embark on this dual journey of becoming a priest while at the same time serving his country as a Navy Chaplain.

“Growing up, from when I can recollect my first memory, I always wanted to be a priest,” Ens. Gwynn said. “Along with discerning the priesthood, I kept the military as a possibility.”

His family is well represented in the military with his grandfather serving in the U.S. Coast Guard and his father in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, while he has cousins currently enrolled in service academies.

“My greatest inspiration comes from Msgr. Joseph Ferraro who I had the privilege to know most of my life,” Gwynn explained of the priest who served more than 50 years, 30 as a U.S. Navy Chaplain before retiring to assist at Parishes in Manatee County. “Monsignor Joe is my hero and mentor who inspired me to pursue this path God has called me on.”

The Commissioning Ceremony included the Pledge of Allegiance, singing of the National Anthem, and afterwards the singing of the Navy Hymn. U.S. Air Force Reserve Col. Father Gregg Caggianelli, who is on the Seminary faculty and is a priest of the Diocese of Venice, offered the opening prayer. Navy Talent Acquisition Group Miami Cmdr. Sean Foster administered the Oath of Office.

In the future, Ens. Gwynn will be attending Officer Development School (ODS) which is located in Newport, Rhode Island. ODS is a program that is designed to provide newly commissioned Navy officers with the basic information of Naval culture.

Meanwhile, Ens. Gwynn will continue his usual formation and course of studies at seminary for the Diocese of Venice. He will also be working with the Chaplain Candidate Program to fulfill his training obligations for the Navy.

Cmdr. Foster congratulated Ens. Gwynn upon his commissioning and for choosing a path as a Navy Chaplain, which has a rich tradition of service and counsel for the sailors and soldiers of the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. “It is an important and exciting job. A job the Navy relies on to make sure people maintain a relationship with God.”

In the future, Ens. Gwynn expects to be ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Venice. In his first years following ordination he will serve as a priest in the Diocese with an expectation to serve in the Navy as a active duty Chaplain for at least five years.

“A Seminarian Story” video series continues

The Diocese of Venice in Florida Office of Vocations has launched a new video series titled, “A Seminarian Story,” to celebrate the 16 Seminarians currently in formation.

The first two videos have been released and more will follow approximately every two weeks. Developed with the assistance of the Diocese Communications Department, the goal of the series is to inspire others to follow in the path to the priesthood or religious life, as well as encourage the faithful to continue to support the seminarians as they continue their formation process at different seminaries.

The videos provide a glimpse into the life of the seminarians as they share their personal experiences which led them to choose a vocation to the priesthood.

The Diocesan seminarians are a diverse group with varied backgrounds and paths they have taken on their spiritual journey of discovery, so each video offers new insight and perspective.

The video posted the week of Nov. 9, 2020 featured Transitional Deacon Alexander Pince. Originally from Vermont and inspired by his devoutly Catholic family, this young man attended Ave Maria University before he reached a crossroads in his life. With the idea of becoming a priest in the back of his mind, Pince wavered for a time before deciding that the call from the Lord was directing him to enter a seminary.

Currently studying at The North American College in Rome, Pince was ordained a Transitional Deacon by Bishop Frank J. Dewane on Aug. 29, 2020 at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice. As his spiritual formation continues, he is hopeful that he will be ordained to the priesthood in 2021.

“A Seminarian Story” featuring Alexander Pince can be found at https://vimeo.com/454535788.

Seminarian becomes Transitional Deacon

Surrounded by nearly his entire extended family, Alexander Pince was overwhelmed with emotion before, during and after his ordination to the Transitional Diaconate Aug. 29, 2020 at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane, presiding over the Rite, informed Pince that ordination makes him a minister of the Word, Altar and Charity. “Be a servant of all… You come here freely and have worked hard to put yourself in this particular place, making a commitment to be of service to the Lord and those around you.”

Pince has chosen to live his life in a particular way, Bishop Dewane continued. “Live this life you have chosen to the fullest… Take comfort in prayer which should become the center of your daily life.”

Deacon Pince explained afterwards how the emotions of joy, blessings, and supreme happiness accompanied him throughout the day. “What a beautiful and blessed experience,” he said.

Deacon Pince, 29, was born in Concord, N.H., and is the fourth of seven children. He is a graduate of Ave Maria University and is currently studying at Pontifical North American College in Rome where the ordination was originally scheduled. However, due to the global pandemic, the location and date were changed to allow family and friends to attend while international travel restrictions persist.

As part of the Rite, Pince was called forward as a candidate and presented to the Bishop for examination and then election. Following the Homily, in a series of questions, Pince knelt before the Bishop and promised respect and obedience to the Bishop and his successors. To signify humble submission before God, he then lay prostrate in the sanctuary while the assembly sang the Litany of Saints.

Following the Litany, the candidate again knelt before the Bishop who imposed his hands on the candidate and proclaimed a prayer of consecration, to confer the Holy Spirit to guide his ministry. Next, Pince received a stole and dalmatic (the exterior garb of a deacon), signifying the office of Diaconate and the Deacon’s role in the celebration of the Eucharist.

Deacon Pince returned to kneel before Bishop Dewane, at which time the Book of Gospels was placed in his hands and the Bishop said: “Receive the Gospels of Christ, whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.” The Rite of Ordination concluded with the sign of peace.

The first of three ranks of ordained ministry in the Church, a Deacon performs many services in the Church in conjunction with the ministries of priesthood and of the Episcopate. In Parish life, Deacons may preside at baptisms, weddings and perform funerals and burial services, assist the priest at Mass, proclaim the Gospel and deliver homilies. The new Transitional Deacon has an additional year of theological studies and spiritual formation before petitioning for Ordination to the Priesthood in 2021.

The first public Mass for Deacon Pince was Aug. 30, 2020 at St. Agnes Parish in Naples, with his uncle and inspiration, Father Peter Williams, serving as the main celebrant. After his first Mass, Deacon Pince baptized his infant cousin, the newest member of his extended family.

Seminarian ordained to Transitional Diaconate

In this time of darkness, let us all join in congratulating and praying for Mark Harris upon his Ordination to the Transitional Diaconate April 15, 2020, at Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Mass.

Deacon Harris, a seminarian for the Diocese of Venice, was one of three to be ordained by Auxiliary Bishop Robert F. Hennessey of the Archdiocese of Boston. The ordination was rescheduled and moved to the seminary chapel due to the ongoing pandemic.

During the ordination, the new deacons promised to live a life of prayer, celibacy and obedience to their Diocesan Bishop.

Bishop Hennessey thanked the families, all watching online because of the pandemic restrictions, for giving the men to the Church. “You now have the right to recognize them as the one who came to serve”

To the candidates, the Bishop said, “We are watching you by the way you live your life and are recognizing you as a Disciple of Jesus Christ. Embrace the celibate life, the life of charity and the life to serve at the altar… It was the breadth of grace, an undeserved and unexpected gift, that brought you to this place and time and only you and God know the sacrifices made.”

As part of the ordination, Bishop Hennessey first placed his hands over their head and prayed. Then the men put on their stole and chasuble. Next, each came forward to kneel before the Bishop, at which time the Book of Gospels was placed in the hands of each candidate being ordained and the Bishop said: “Receive the Gospels of Christ, whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.”

During the Mass, Deacon Harris served as Deacon of the Altar, assisting with the preparation of the gifts.

Born in Miami, Deacon Harris spent part of his childhood alternating between living in Florida and Connecticut.  He earned degrees in Commercial Art and then Business Marketing and Management from Florida Metropolitan University, before earning a Master’s in Education from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn.

Now 53, Deacon Harris worked at various marketing and corporate jobs before becoming an elementary school teacher for Charlotte County School District. At Sacred Heart Parish in Punta Gorda he served as Eucharistic minister and catechist, helping with the Youth Peer Ministry, Faith Formation Program and Core Adult Ministry Team.

Now carrying the new title of Deacon, this last phase of his formation before being called to priesthood, Deacon Harris, can baptize, witness marriages, perform funerals and burial services, distribute the Eucharist and preach the homily. Deacon Harris will have an additional year of theological studies and spiritual formation before petitioning for Ordination to the Priesthood in 2021.

Diocesan Seminarian makes oath and profession

By Mary Brown, Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary – Special to the Florida Catholic

There was recently a ray of light and hope to be found at Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary, Weston, Mass., amidst the darkness and confusion that has been surrounding the world lately. On the evening of March 24, in conjunction with sung Evening Prayer, nine men who have dedicated themselves to three years of seminary formation, made the Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity.

These men, including Diocese of Venice Seminarian Mark Harris, come from nine different Arch/dioceses. Harris will be ordained a Transitional Deacon on April 15 at the seminary. After one more year of formation, he is expected to be ordained to the priesthood.

Making the Profession of Faith and the Oath of Fidelity, with one’s hand placed on a Bible, is a requirement in order for a man to become a Transitional Deacon within the Catholic Church. Anyone who is given a position of leadership in the Catholic Church is required to do so. For example, a pastor taking leadership of a Parish or a priest joining the seminary faculty is required to make the profession and oath. There are many other Church positions that require one to make this profession and oath, but for these nine men especially, it was another step towards their becoming a priest.

By making this Profession of Faith, they are publicly promising a full acceptance of and commitment to all the articles of the Catholic Faith plus all that is encompassed within in the magisterial teachings of the Church. The main part of the profession is the recitation of the Nicene Creed, which all Catholics profess at Sunday Mass.

The Oath of Fidelity is a public promise to carry out their responsibilities in communion with the Church by following and obeying all Church teachings and laws. They promise to live out their faith fully in obedience to their bishops.

These men embody the commitment that it takes to follow their calling to become Catholic priests. We are honored that nine men have continued to commit to this journey and are thankful for the light that they provide to the Catholic community, especially in such trying times in the world. We are grateful to them and ask all to keep them in their prayers so that they may fully experience the joy of priesthood.

The Pope St. John XXIII Seminary community is committed to our founding mission: the human, spiritual, academic and pastoral formation of candidates aged 30 and older.

News briefs from early March 2020

Seminarian elevated to Acolyte

Diocese of Venice Seminarian Christian Chami received the Ministry of Acolyte Feb. 22. Chami is discerning his vocation to the priesthood while studying at Pontifical North America College in Rome and was part of a large group of second-year seminarians at the North American College to be elevated to Acolyte. Archbishop J. Augustine Di Noia, O.P., Adjunct Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was the principal celebrant for the Mass in the Immaculate Conception Chapel. As part of the rite, the Archbishop placed the paten, which contains the hosts for the celebration of Mass, in the hands of each candidates and said, “Take this vessel with bread for the celebration of the Eucharist. Make your life worthy of your service at the table of the Lord and of his Church.”

Vocation Awareness Weekend March 13-15

St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami is hosting a Vocation Awareness Weekend from March 13-15. This seminary visit is open to young men, ages 18 and older. It is an engaging time of prayer, talks, sports, and other fun activities with the seminarians and priests of St. John Vianney. Come and experience what life is like for one discerning God’s call to the priesthood! There is no cost for the weekend and transportation is provided. To register, please contact the Vocations Director, Father Shawn Roser, at roser@dioceseofvenice.org or call the Vocations Office at 941-484-9543.

Parish Gala honors priests’ 80th birthday

The 16th Annual St Jude Gala event took place Feb. 14 at Michael’s On East in Sarasota.

Nearly 200 guests were present to raise money for the various Parish programs. This year was of particular note because it was time to celebrate the 0th birthday of Pastor Father Celestino Gutierrez. There was entertainment from our parishioners who sang English ballads, a Spanish medley of various songs and dances. There was also a cake with sparklers.

Traditional Marriage Public Square Rosary Crusade March 21
All are invited to participate in Traditional Marriage Public Square Rosary Crusade at 11:45 a.m., March 21, at 6418 Commerce Park Drive, Fort Myers. The rosary crusade will be taking place simultaneously across the nation as God’s marriage and the traditional family need our prayers. For more details, contact Barb 239-267-7883

Spiritual Exercises in Spanish

Ignatian Preached Retreats in Spanish are now being offered at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center. These series of meditations, prayers, and contemplative practices are in silence. There will be a Level 1 Retreat for Women on the weekend of April 3-5, and one for Men on the weekend of May 1-3. There will also be a Level 2 Retreat for Women on the weekend of July 10-12 and one for Men on the weekend of July 17-19, for those who participated in the Spiritual Exercises in 2019.  Please visit www.dioceseofvenice.org/calendar for further information.  (CLICK HERE for the flier in Spanish.)

Ejercicios Espirituales En Español

Retiros Predicados Ignacianos en Español están siendo ahora ofrecidos en Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center. Estas series de meditaciones, oraciones y prácticas contemplativas son en silencio. Habrá un retiro Nivel 1 para Mujeres del 3 al 5 de abril y para Hombres, del 1 al 3 de mayo.  Habrá también un retiro Nivel 2  del 10 al 12 de julio para Mujeres y del 17 al 19 de Julio para Hombres, para aquellas personas que participaron en los Ejercicios Espirituales en 2019.  Para más información por favor visite www.dioceseofvenice.org/calendar. (Haga Clic Aquí para ver poster en Español.)

Friday Fish Fry at Cathedral

Epiphany Cathedral is hosting a weekly Fish Fry from 5-7 p.m., Fridays of Lent through April 3, in the Parish Hall at 224 Harbor Drive, Venice. Meal options include $13 fired fish dinner, $15 baked salmon dinner, $15 fried shrimp dinner and $6 kids fried fish dinner. Meals include coleslaw, roll, drink and dessert plus your choice of French fries or boiled red potatoes.  Takeout orders are available. Purchase tickets at the door or online at www.ecstigers.com/support-ecs/knights-fish-fry All proceeds benefit Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School.  Catering is by Sharky’s on the Pier, Fin’s at Sharky’s and Snook Haven.  The event is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus Council 7052. For more details, call 941-615-0284.

Catholic Homeschool Conference

Queen of Angels Academy presents the 2020 Catholic Homeschool Conference May 27-28, at Christ the King Parish, 1900 Meadowood St., Sarasota. Guest speaker Laura Berquist will speak on: What is a classical education; Positive homeschooling: Getting the hearts of your children; Why I homeschooled my children; and a Discussion: Purpose and Practice. The cost is $20 per person for both days, $30 per couple. Contact www.queenofangelsacademy.com for a more information and to register.

 

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