Mass honors Veterans

Even while the world continues to deal with the impacts of a global Pandemic, time must be taken to remember those men and women who faithfully served in defense of this country so that all can continue enjoy the freedoms we hold dear.

The annual Diocese of Venice Memorial Mass held on Veterans Day had an altered format because of the Pandemic, taking place at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice for a small group of people while being livestreamed, versus an outdoor event at Sarasota National Cemetery.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane noted the difference saying a Mass at the National Cemetery was impractical given restrictions on the size of the crowd due to the Pandemic. This was the first time since the Mass began in 2010 that the celebration was not held at Sarasota National Cemetery. In the end it turned out to be fortuitous that the outdoor event was rescheduled to be indoors as Hurricane Eta chose Nov. 11, 2020 to strike the west coast of Florida.

“We may be a little bit wet, but the reason we are gathered together does not change,” Bishop Dewane said. “We are here to thank all the men and women who served, and continue to serve, in the armed forces for what they have done so that we can live as we do today. We also comfort those who mourn, honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.”

Bishop Dewane noted that a veteran is called upon to do many things, as they proclaim liberty to captives, bringing glad tidings to the lowly and telling them they are free. Even when their active service is complete, veterans continue to give back to the community in which they live. At the same time, the Bishop said praise should also go to the families of those who serve, who make their own sacrifices in support of veterans.

Pope Francis spoke at an American Cemetery in Italy, a few years back, and reflected upon the vocation of soldiers as they are called to be both patriot and peacemaker. While it is sometimes difficult to do both at the same time, the Holy Father said soldiers are necessary in the world and their vocation allows virtue to flourish.

Ultimately, Bishop Dewane explained that the service of veterans for the common good merits tremendous respect for which we should all offer our heartfelt appreciation.

Members of the Knights of Columbus Color Corps were present at the Mass to bestow honors. The annual Mass is organized by the Diocese of Venice with support from the Knights of Columbus.

Dennis Warren, Past Grand Knight of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Council 13639, said many Knights, including himself, have served in the armed forces. This adds special significance to the annual Mass and is an important opportunity for the organization to join the Bishop in honoring all veterans.

“It is a privilege for all Knights to be part of this annual Mass,” Warren said. “While this year we could not all be together, this important tradition continues.”

Virtual Mass to Honor Veterans

Each year the Diocese of Venice holds a Memorial Mass on Veterans Day in honor of the men and women who have served our country and continue to serve and protect us today. The restrictions regarding public gatherings at the Sarasota National Cemetery have precluded holding the Mass at that beautiful site.

This year, the virtual Memorial Mass to be celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Dewane, will be held at 3p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020. The Mass will be livestreamed so all may participate and can be found at www.facebook.com/dioceseofvenice.org/videos. You do not need to have an account to view the Mass.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane said it is a special privilege that the Diocese of Venice celebrates this Mass for the intention of our veterans each year. “While we will not be able to gather this year in person at Sarasota National Cemetery, it is important to continue the tradition of honoring the sacrifices of the soldiers who fought for the many freedoms that we enjoy today.”

Organized by the Diocese of Venice, with the support of the Knights of Columbus, the annual Mass started in 2010, just two years after the National Cemetery was dedicated. Since that time, the cemetery and Mass have grown. In 2019, some 1,500 attended the Mass. More than 24,000 veterans and their spouses are interred in the National Cemetery since opening.

Please contact Gail Ardy at ardy@dioceseofvenice.org or 941-484-9543 for further information.

News Briefs for week of October 20, 2020

Students learn about growing a garden

How does your garden grow!? Students in grades K-4 at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic School in Naples are participating in the Jr. Master Gardener 4-H program through the University of Florida. As part of the Science curriculum, these virtual classes teach students about plants and gardening and provide hands-on experiences to help expand our STREAM (science, technology, religion, engineering, arts, mathematics) Program.

Pregnancy Clinic celebrates 500th ultrasound

Community Pregnancy Clinics, Inc. (CPCI), which has Pro-Life facilities in Naples, Fort Myers, Sarasota and Gainesville, announced that the Sarasota office performed its 500th ultrasound on Oct. 8, 2020. The clinic, which opened in 2017, has established its presence as a trusted provider of life-affirming pregnancy and reproductive healthcare in the community. The ultrasound in Sarasota revealed a 14-week-old baby waving hello. CPCI thanks the Knights of Columbus for their generosity in providing Sarasota’s ultrasound machine. This gift has revealed the beating hearts of over 500 babies to their parents. To congratulate the CPCI Sarasota team or to learn more about the good work of CPCI, you can send an email to sarasota@communitypregnancyclinic.com.

40 Hour Adoration

Christ the King Parish, 1900 Meadowood St., Sarasota, is hosting a 40-hour Adoration beginning at 1 p.m., Oct. 25, and ending with a Procession at 6 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 27. All are invited to join at any time during these 40 hours of silent Eucharistic Adoration. The devotion is intended as reparation to our Dear Savior for the outrages committed against Him in the Most Blessed Sacrament, and for the sins of our nation which cry to heaven for vengeance. For more information, please call 941-924-2777 or email office@christthekingsarasota.org.

Outdoor concert to honor veterans

St. Agnes Parish, 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples, welcomes all to their annual Veterans Day Concert to be held outdoors on the Parish grounds at 6 p.m., Nov. 18, 2020. Tickets are $30 and seating is limited and will be socially distanced. You also have the option to view the concert online for $15. All proceeds benefit the Parish Catholic Faith Appeal. For tickets, please call 321-209-1381 or 239-677-5347.

Year of Saint Joseph

On the Solemnity of St. Joseph, March 19, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, in the context of the Coronavirus, consecrated the Diocese of Venice to the care and protection of St. Joseph. The Bishop announced a “Year of St. Joseph” beginning March 19, 2020 through March 19, 2021. St. Joseph, often referred to as the Protector, can be our protector during this time of the pandemic. To pray a Novena to St. Joseph please visit the Year of St. Joseph webpage at https://dioceseofvenice.org/a-year-of-st-joseph/.

Prayers and Resources briefs

Parish donations

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

Dispensation

As Bishop Frank J. Dewane continues to listen to public health data and hear from Priests and Parishioners about the experiences at Diocesan Parishes, the dispensation given to attend Sunday Mass has been extended through Nov. 27, 2020, and depending on conditions, perhaps longer. At the same time, Bishop Dewane invites the Catholic Faithful who are able, to return to their Parish for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Please check the Diocese of Venice website for any updates.

Livestreaming

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

Sunday Televised Mass

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

Online Resources

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

Act of Spiritual Communion

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

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

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

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

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

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

News Briefs for the week of Oct. 16, 2020

Memorial Mass on Veterans Day to be livestreamed

Each year the Diocese of Venice holds a Memorial Mass on Veterans Day in honor of the men and women who have served our country and continue to serve and protect us today. The restrictions regarding public gatherings at the Sarasota National Cemetery has precluded holding the Mass at this beautiful site. This year, the Mass to be celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Dewane, will be held at 3 p.m., Nov. 11, 2020. The Mass will be live streamed so that all may participate on this important day at facebook.com/dioceseofvenice.org/videos. You do not need to have an account to view the Mass. Please contact Gail Ardy at ardy@dioceseofvenice.org or 941-484-9543 for further information.

UnBall virtual event Nov. 12

Catholic Charities Diocese of Venice invites everyone to participate in The UnBall, a Virtual Charity Ball to raise funds to help stop human trafficking. Mark your calendar and join at 7 p.m., Nov. 12, 2020. Due to the pandemic and the postponement of the Venetian Ball, the Venetian Ball Committee created The UnBall virtual event. Join Catholic Charities for an hour-long event to raise awareness and stop modern day slavery. Human trafficking is not in the shadows or in faraway nations, it happens in plain sight in our community. Listen to a survivor-leader share her inspirational story and learn how you can make an impact. The UnBall supports the programs and services of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. in Lee, Hendry, and Glades counties which include Positive Youth Development Program, Senior Support Coordination Program, Anti Human Trafficking Assistance Program, immigration services, food assistance, and pantries, baby supplies, and disaster response and recovery. For more information, please contact Janet Pavelack at janet.paverlack@catholiccharitiesdov.org, 239-334-4007 ext. 2101 or by visiting www.catholiccharitiesdov.org.

Mooney student helps hurricane victims

Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School Senior Mallory Albritton started a relief effort to help farmers and ranchers in Louisiana after Hurricane Laura hit in late August 2020. Mallory coordinated a BBQ fundraiser to make money and buy supplies they needed for the farmers. She helped raise almost $8,000. Mallory, and other supporters from Sarasota, delivered all the supplies on Oct. 1, 2020, before the same region was hit by Hurricane Delta on Oct. 10,

Student assemble 1,000 PPE packets for community

Students of Catholics in Action Club at Bishop Verot Catholic High School assembled 1,000 PPE (personal protective equipment) packets on Oct. 2, 2020 in Fort Myers which will soon be distributed to Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. and throughout the community as needed.

Neumann golf team finishes regular season undefeated

Congratulations St. John Neumann Catholic High School Celtic Boys Golf Team for recently finishing their regular season undefeated. The team also placed third in Districts, Next up for the Naples team will be the regional competition the week of Oct. 19, 2020.

Surviving Divorce Retreat Nov. 21 in Fort Myers

The Diocese Office of Marriage and Family Life is hosting a Surviving Divorce Retreat, 9 a.m.-3 pm., Nov. 21, 2020, at Resurrection Parish, 8121 Cypress Lake Drive, Fort Myers. The retreat is open to all and will feature speaker Rose Sweet with a talk titled, “Surviving Divorce: Hope and Healing for the Catholic Family.” The cost is $15 and includes a continental breakfast and lunch. Please register at www.dioceseofvenice.org/divorce. For more information, please contact Carrie Harkey at harkey@dioceseofvenice.org.

News Briefs from around the Diocese for late November

Advent begins at Catholic Center

Bishop Frank J. Dewane led a prayer service for the staff of the Catholic Center in Venice on Dec. 1. The prayer service included the blessing of the Advent Candle, Christmas Tree and Nativity scene which will be on display in the lobby throughout Advent.

 

 

Parish holds Children Festival

St. Michael Parish in Wauchula hosted a Children Festival Nov. 16 for the younger members of the parish. There were a variety of fun outdoor games, crafts, food and time for quiet prayer.

 

 

 

Rose Ball recognizes service of young ladies

The Mother Frances de Sales Auxiliary to the Homeless held its Fourth Rose Ball Nov. 30 at the Naples Grande Beach Hotel and Resort where 22 young ladies were recognized for their commitment of volunteer service and formation. The event benefited four organizations in Collier County that work to help break the cycle of homelessness. Bishop Frank J. Dewane presented each young lady with a silver Rose Ball medallion of the organizations’ patron, Mother Frances de Sales, known as St. Leonie Aviat, who was canonized on Nov. 25, 2001. The ladies, known as Rose Girls, committed to a two-and-a-half-year volunteer and personal formation program where they make pledges of dignity, charity, and purity and were presented to those gathered as Dignified Ladies of Volunteer Service.

Youth make Advent Wreaths

Youth from St. Columbkille Parish in Fort Myers had an inter-generational gathering to make Advent Wreaths with their families in mid-November by members of the youth group and religious education programs. There were many smiles as they create a beautiful item to take home as a reminder of God’s greatest gift, Jesus. At the end of the fun, the wreaths were blessed.

 

Students visit Veterans Nursing Home

Students who take part in the St. Martha Catholic School & St. Mary’s Academy Mission Middle School Elective coordinated the collection of items and delivered “Giving Thanks” bags to the local veterans at the Douglas T. Jacobson Nursing Home in Port Charlotte. The Sarasota students spent time talking to these brave men and women and learning about their service to our country.

Quiz Bowl Champs

The Bishop Verot Academic team participated in the John C. Schudel Quiz Bowl Tournament the weekend of Nov. 15-16 earning a 1st Place finish! Congratulations Vikings!

 

 

 

 

Students enjoy time with women religious

The Y.A.C.H.T. Club (“Youth and Christ Helping Together”) of St. John Neumann Catholic School hosted a Neumann Fun “Night” Nov. 24! Students joined the Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco for Mass at St. Elizabeth Seton parish followed by breakfast at the religious convent.

Veterans Day Mass honors military service and sacrifice

Bob Reddy – Florida Catholic

It was in 1919 when the first celebration of Veterans Day took place. It was then known as Remembrance Day as Nov. 11, 1919 marked the anniversary of the end to World War I, the “war to end all wars.”

On the 100th Anniversary of Veterans Day, and for the 10th year in a row, the Diocese of Venice celebrated a Catholic Mass at Sarasota National Cemetery with more than 1,300 people in attendance.

“What a wonderful day,” said Charles Thatcher of St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Sarasota who served with the U.S. Marines from 1958-1967. He was wounded in combat while serving in Vietnam and was medically discharged. Wearing a pin with the Marine Corps emblem, Thatcher said he is happy that the Diocese pays tribute to the veterans with the annual Mass at the National Cemetery.

“This Mass is an important reminder,” Thatcher added. “Once we served and took off the uniform and entered civilian life many people tend to forget about what we sacrificed. My sacrifice was the loss of a few fingers and part of my sight. I have friends who lost everything. They are who we really honor, those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom we all enjoy.”

Father Edward Martin, who served 20 years as a U.S. Army Chaplain and is Temporary Administrator of St. Isabel Parish in Sanibel, celebrated the Mass for Bishop Frank J. Dewane, who was unable to attend due to a commitment at the annual meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. More than a dozen Priests and several Deacons joined Father Martin.

Father Martin thanked the veterans for their service in defense of liberty, something enjoyed to this day thanks to those who served and sacrificed for this nation dating back to George Washington.

“Our freedom and liberty are ultimately our greatest responsibility,” Father Martin said. “We are free because we have men and women heroes who are champions of courage and choose to put their very lives on the line to protect that freedom.”

Adding to the dignity and ceremony of the day were active and retired veterans – some of whom attended in uniform, as well as the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus who formed a Color Corps, and many other Knights who were there to support the veterans.

The Sarasota National Cemetery celebration concluded with a procession, escorted by the Knights of Columbus Color Corps, to the nearby graves as those in attendance sang “God Bless America.” Priests, Deacons, and the Knights of Columbus Color Corps and all present, gathered in silent prayer before “Taps” was played on a bugle.

There are 20,900 veterans and eligible family members currently interred in the National Cemetery and more than 19 million military veterans in the United States.

The Diocese of Venice coordinates the Catholic Mass at the National Cemetery with the support of the Knights of Columbus. One of the graves is that of Father Robert G. Tierney, a former assistant at St. Joseph Parish in Bradenton, who served in the U.S. Navy. Father Tierney died in 2006 and was one of the first people buried in the cemetery.

Honoring Our Veterans: More than 1,500 attend Veterans Day Mass

Bob Reddy – Florida Catholic

11/15/2018

It was 100 years ago, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of 1918, when the guns fell silent and horror that was World War I was over. Each year Nov. 11 is set aside to honor all veterans, both living and deceased, who have served their country to defend the freedoms that are cherished to this day.

For the ninth year, the Diocese of Venice has celebrated a Catholic Veterans Day Mass at Sarasota National Cemetery which drew more than 1,500 people.

Paul Zielinski, who served in Korea with the U.S. Army for two years, stood tall and proud as he sang during the National Anthem just prior to the Mass. A member of the choir at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Venice, he said it is a privilege and honor to attend the Catholic Mass at the National Cemetery each year.

“I am proud to have served and proud that the Catholic Church celebrates and honors its veterans each year,” said Zielinski, who has attended the annual Mass for the past three years. “I will be coming back every year as long as I am able.”

Another veteran who enjoys the Catholic Mass each year is Emma Raymond, who served during World War II as a truck driver in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC), and is also a parishioner at Our Lady of Lourdes.

“It is so beautiful,” Raymond said. “Veterans are often forgotten, but we did so much. It is nice to be honored in this special way.”

Father Jack Costello, Rector of Epiphany Cathedral in Venice, celebrated the Mass for Bishop Frank J. Dewane, who was unable to attend due to a commitment at the annual meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. More than a dozen Priests and several Deacons joined Father Costello.

Noting that veterans served with faith in God and country, Father Costello said they gave of themselves unselfishly and trusted that they would be able to do the Will of God when called upon.

So many veterans served unselfishly through their Faith in God, literally giving a part of themselves that they will never get back, Father Costello continued. Approximately 19,000 veterans and their spouses are interred in the National Cemetery.

“Many would say that through their service they have been blessed by our Loving God in many different ways and would not change a thing,” Father concluded. “We must never forget what they did for each one of us and what they did to do God’s Will.”

Adding to the dignity and ceremony of the day were active and retired veterans, as well as the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus who formed a Color Corps, and many other Knights who were there to support the veterans.

Veterans Day began as an informal celebration to mark the conclusion of World War I, before being designated as a national holiday in 1954 to honor all military men and women who have sacrificed so much in their service to this country.

The Sarasota National Cemetery celebration concluded with a procession, escorted by the Knights of Columbus Color Corps, to the nearby graves as those in attendance sang “God Bless America.” Priests, Deacons, and about 30 members of the Knights of Columbus Color Corps Honor Guard and all present, gathered in silent prayer before “Taps” was played on a bugle.

The Diocese of Venice coordinates the Catholic Mass at the cemetery with the support of the Knights of Columbus. One of the graves is that of Father Robert G. Tierney, a former assistant at St. Joseph Parish in Bradenton, who served in the U.S. Navy. Father Tierney died in 2006 and was one of the first people buried in the cemetery.

X