Diocese honors veterans with Mass

The Diocese of Venice continued its tradition by celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for veterans who have served and continue to serve our country in the armed forces.

The annual Veterans Day Catholic Mass, celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Dewane, is in its 13th year, with the 2022 Mass celebrated at St. Patrick Parish in Sarasota. The Mass, which has been traditionally held at the nearby Sarasota National Cemetery, was relocated out of an abundance of caution for the safety of participants due to rains caused by Hurricane Nicole.

“We honor our veterans in a very clear way,” Bishop Dewane said. “They fought to promote justice and to defeat tyranny… They had a faith that what they were doing was right and needed to be done; they were fighting not just for one nation, but for all of humanity. In the end, they had faith that a just God would grant them mercy.”

The Bishop noted that more than 41 million Americans have served in the armed forces over the course of the nation’s history and more than 1.2 million died in combat, causing everyone to pause and remember the sacrifice of not just the soldiers but of the families and friends whom they left behind.

“We celebrate the goodness, and the grace of each one of those individuals who serve their country and their God,” Bishop Dewane said, adding that veterans teach everyone “how to give totally of ourselves for one another to lay down one’s life in charity and love – our dear veterans have contributed all that they had, their whole life, many of them, for the sake of our greater good.”

The Veterans Day celebration opened with the singing of the National Anthem, and a presentation of a ceremonial wreath by one retired and two active members of the military.

Adding to the dignity and ceremony of the day were active and retired veterans who were asked to stand and be recognized as part of the opening ceremonies. The Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus formed a Color Corps, and many other Knights were also present to support the veterans.

Following the conclusion of the Mass, everyone joined in reciting a Veterans Day prayer before singing God Bless America. The Diocese of Venice coordinates the Veterans Day Catholic Mass with the support of the Knights of Columbus and plans to return to the Sarasota National Cemetery in 2023.

In the schools

Each of the 15 Diocesan Catholic schools celebrated Veterans Day in different ways.

At St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic School in Naples, students processed to church with patriotic art projects for a Veterans Day Mass and tribute. The eighth graders led the tribute with a special flag folding ceremony, and hand-made wreaths were given to each veteran present, and prayers were offered for those not present.

St. Joseph Catholic School in Bradenton had a special flag raising ceremony led by the fourth graders, while at St. Ann Catholic School in Naples the students attended Mass where veterans were recognized and honored. Meanwhile, the Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School Young Marines faith program from Venice participated in the Sarasota Veterans Day parade.

These are just a few examples of how Catholic school students honored our veterans.

Veterans Day began as an informal celebration to mark the conclusion of World War I (Nov. 11, 1918), 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.


News Briefs for the week of Nov. 11, 2022


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

Father Kristian Villafaña is relieved of his duties as Temporary Administrator of Holy Cross Parish, Palmetto, effective October 18, 2022.

Father Nicholas Thompson, as Parochial Vicar at St. John the Evangelist Parish, Naples, effective November 1, 2022.

Father Binu Joseph, as Parochial Vicar at Sacred Heart Parish, Bradenton, effective November 3, 2022.

Catholic Mass to Honor Veterans Moved Due to Weather

The Diocese of Venice in Florida will celebrate its 13th annual Veterans Day Catholic Mass to honor veterans on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022. The Mass, originally scheduled to be held at The Sarasota National Cemetery, has been moved due to weather constraints. The Mass will now be celebrated at the nearby St. Patrick Parish, 7900 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota. The Mass will begin at 3:30 p.m., with opening ceremonies at 3:15 p.m. All are encouraged to arrive early. Bishop Frank J. Dewane will be the principal celebrant of the Mass.

Mooney runner finishes second in States

Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School junior Addison Dempsey took the silver medal in the Class 2A girls Florida High School Athletic Association Cross Country State Championship on Nov. 5, 2022, in Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee. Dempsey crossed the 5,000-meter (or 3.1 mile) race in 17:54, just 11 seconds behind the winner. The Mooney girls’ team came in 25th overall, with Kate Ruaona placing 11th. The Sarasota boys finished in 20th, with the top runner, Christian Kline placing 37th. At the same event, the Bishop Verot Catholic High School runners from Fort Myers also participated, with sophomore Mackenzie De Lisle placing fifth. The boy’s team took fifth place overall, with the top runner, Grayson Tubbs, placing 16th. Congratulations everyone!

Students learn to fold American Flag

The Veterans of Foreign War Golden Gate Post 7721 visited St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic School in Naples on Nov. 4, 2022, to teach the eighth graders how to properly fold the American flag in advance of the school’s Veterans Day Tribute on Nov. 11.

Key Club members help neighboring school

More than 40 St. John Neumann Catholic High School students and Key Club members came together Nov. 7, 2022, to help with a beautification project at St. Elizabeth Seton. Students laid mulch on the playground and painted parking lot curbs and stops. Lots of fun was had amidst the hard work.

Tiger Trot a success

The annual Tiger Trot at Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School in Venice was a huge success. Held on Nov. 4, 2022, the event raised funds and everyone had a great time. Msgr. Patrick Dubois was in attendance to observe and blessed the Tiger Trot and cheer everyone on.

Thermal energy class was HOT!

Fourth grade science students at St. Martha Catholic School in Sarasota learned all about Thermal Energy the week of Nov. 1, 2022. The students each constructed their own solar oven and placed the components for s’mores in them before bringing them outside to cook. The result: the ovens worked, and everyone had a delicious snack created in their own oven!

Parish holds food fest

Our Lady of Grace Parish in Avon Park held its annual International Food Festival on Nov. 6, 2022. Delectable cuisine from around the world was up for selection including from countries such as Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Ireland, Mexico, Italy and many more. Parish pastor Father Ronnie Sison, who is originally from the Philippines, took time to visit each table and sampled many selections.

 Fun day in Bradenton

A fun time was had during “Silly String” festivities at St. Joseph Catholic School in Bradenton on Nov. 4, 2022. The fun was a follow-up celebration to the successful annual Eagle Run fundraiser held earlier in the month. The seventh-grade class, which had great success during the Eagle Run, also celebrated with a McDonald’s party.


Diocesan schools honor veterans

This Veterans Day the different Catholic schools in the Diocese of Venice honored those in the military (active and retired) with a variety of fun ways.

A Veterans Day tradition at Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School in Venice is for the fifth graders to assist the preschool students and make cards for veterans at the James A. Haley Veteran’s Hospital in Tampa.

Meanwhile, several school hosted military veterans to come and visit and speak to students.  Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers held a school assembly, while nearby St. Francis Xavier Catholic School hosted an assembly which included participation from the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts as well as American Heritage Girls.

St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic School in Naples had a Veterans Day Mass after which the students sang patriotic songs. Before the Mass, the middle school students brought forward individual small American Flags which were placed in a vase to the side of the altar.

St. Andrew Catholic School in Cape Coral had a school Mass honoring veterans and then afterwards they lined up and greeted each student with a fist bump as they returned to class.

Tradition at Incarnation Catholic School in Sarasota continued with a formal flag ceremony following a school Mass.

These were just a few of the ways Diocese of Venice Catholic schools honored the service and sacrifice of those in the military on Veterans Day.

Veterans Day Mass honors military service and sacrifice

The 12th Annual Veterans Day Catholic Mass made a successful return Sarasota National Cemetery as Bishop Frank J. Dewane prayed for those currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, those who have died, and their families.

More than 500 people attended the Mass which was celebrated in 2020 at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice out of caution because of the global pandemic and a threat from a hurricane.

Bishop Dewane thanked the veterans for their service in defense of freedom, enjoyed to this day thanks to those who served and sacrificed throughout this nation’s history and those who will continue to answer the call in the future.

“We come here to say, ‘Thank you!’ to all veterans in a very particular way,” the Bishop said. “We remember them in our prayers and in the intentions of this Mass. We stand up and we speak out for liberties and the freedom that we enjoy; but we must remember at all times those who have made it all possible. You were called to serve that the rest of us may have a more secure a safer life.”

Reflecting on the sacrifice of veterans, some of whom are elderly, some young and still some actively serving in posts around the world, Bishop Dewane acknowledged that the lasting impact of their service – be it physical or mental injury – is something that cannot be ignored and must be supported. He also recognized the sacrifice of military family members who are left behind and offered prayers for their comfort.

Citing from a statement by St. John Paul II, the Bishop said the brave men and women who have served our country upholding the dignity of human life, of a freedom, of liberty – transforms them somehow into soldiers for Christ.

“Our veterans wear their faith and hearts on their sleeves,” Bishop Dewane continued. “Let us in acknowledging the valiant fight they have given our country… Pray each and every day that they always know that, with God, all of us will be victorious and we will have eternal life.”

Prior to the opening of the Mass, all veterans – active and retired – were asked to stand and be recognized. This was followed by the singing of the National Anthem.

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. Bishop Dewane also blessed the area with Holy Water.

U.S. Army Lt. Col. (Ret.) Scott Predmore, a 20-year veteran, expressed his gratitude for the Mass. “This means a great deal to me and really to all veterans. We served our country and would gladly do it again, but it’s a service that is not always appreciated,” Predmore said. “Having faith while serving in combat was something which helped me to get through some difficult times.”

There are about 25,000 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 National Cemetery.

All encouraged to attend 12th Annual Veterans Day Catholic Mass

The Diocese of Venice will be hosting the 12th Annual Veterans Day Catholic Mass on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021, at the Sarasota National Cemetery in honor of all the men and women who have served our country and continue to serve to this day.

The Mass, preceded by an opening ceremony at 2:45 p.m., will allow the faithful an opportunity to honor veterans and pray for them, many of whom are laid to rest at the Sarasota National Cemetery. All are welcome to attend the Mass. Active military personnel are asked to wear their uniforms for the occasion.

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. More than 25,000 veterans and their spouses are interred in the National Cemetery since opening.

In 2019, some 1,500 attended the Mass. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the 2020 Mass was livestreamed from Epiphany Cathedral in Venice as Hurricane Eta struck Florida.

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. “We gather 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.”

The opening ceremony will include patriotic music, hymns, as well as the Presenting and Posting of the Colors. The Mass, concelebrated by priests from across the Diocese of Venice, will follow immediately.

After the Mass, Bishop Dewane and concelebrating priests, escorted by the Knight of Columbus Color Corps, will proceed to the nearby graves where they will stand in silent prayer as “Taps” is played.

A military display will be nearby with flags representing the branches of the U.S. Armed Forces including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marines.

Sarasota National Cemetery is located on State Road 72 (exit 205 at Clark Road), approximately four miles east of Interstate 75. A water station and restrooms will be in place for the ceremony. There is ample on-site parking available for those in attendance. There will be handicapped parking and golf carts available to shuttle those who need extra assistance. Everyone is encouraged to arrive early.

News Briefs for the week of March 26, 2021

Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday Televised Mass

The Diocese of Venice in Florida will air the televised Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday Masses, each for a full hour. The Masses can be viewed at 9 a.m. on the CW Network in Sarasota, Manatee, Desoto, Charlotte, Hardee and Highland counties, and at 10:30 a.m. on FOX4 in Charlotte, Lee, Collier, Hendry, Glades and Desoto counties. The Mass is also available on the Diocese of Venice website at www.dioceseofvenice.org/tvmass.

Holy Week Mass times

The Holy Week Mass times for each Diocese of Venice Parish/Mission have been compiled and are available for viewing at www.dioceseofvenice.org. The list is in alphabetical order by city and includes the address and contact information for more information.

Catholic Center daily livestream to end March 31

The livestream of the Daily Mass from the Catholic Center will end on the final day of Lent, Wednesday, March 31, 2021. The 8 a.m. livestream of the Daily Mass from Epiphany Cathedral in Venice will still be available for viewing through the Diocese of Venice and Cathedral Facebook pages. As usual, this stream is available for viewing throughout the day.

Knight receives honor for military valor

Knights of Columbus member Salvatore (Sal) Naimo, of the Our Lady of Victory Council 3358, served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the 1950s including during the Korean War. On his 89th birthday, March 17, 2021, the veteran received one of the military’s highest honors for his heroic actions nearly 70 years ago. Colonel John Polidoro, Chief of Staff for Marine Corps Forces, Central Command, awarded Cpl. Naimo the Silver Star in a ceremony at the Knights Hall in Sarasota.

It was September 1951 when Cpl. Naimo put his own life at risk by carrying two fellow Marines who were severely injured in a mortar attack to get aid. Naimo was nominated for the honor years ago but only recently was it approved and awarded.

“What I did in 1951, it is long gone in the past, but this will remind me of it forever,” Naimo said to local media who were present for the ceremony. “It was a day that I won’t forget. It is just something that I won’t probably talk about again.”

Divine Mercy items of interest

A Divine Mercy Novena begins on Good Friday, April 2, 2021 and concludes Saturday, April 10. In private revelations to St. Faustina, Jesus asked that the Feast of Divine Mercy be preceded by a novena praying for nine intentions with the Divine Mercy Chaplet. It is particularly appropriate for anyone who has been touched by abortion or is nearing death. The novena can be accessed online at www.thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/novena.php.

In addition, there will be a Divine Mercy Sunday Prayer Service on April 11, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Epiphany Cathedral, 350 Tampa Ave, West, Venice. Everyone is invited to participate in the prayer service for forgiveness and healing from pregnancy loss. The prayer service will also be livestreamed at www.facebook.com/DioceseofVenice.

For information about either the Divine Mercy Novena of the Prayer Service, please contact Sylvia at 941-412-5860 or project.rachel@dioceseofvenice.org.

Bishop celebrates Mass for students in Sarasota and Bradenton

Bishop Frank J. Dewane continued celebrating Mass for students in Diocese of Venice Catholic schools with the latest stops on March 8, 2021, at Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota, March 19 at St. Joseph Catholic School in Bradenton and March 23 at St. Martha Catholic School and St. Mary Academy in Sarasota.

During these Masses, Bishop Dewane stressed how the Lenten Season is a time for prayer, fasting, and almsgiving as we prepare to celebrate the Paschal Mystery of our Faith.

Freshman Retreat

The Bishop Verot Catholic High School Class of 2024 enjoyed the much-anticipated Freshman Retreat on March 17, 2021. Seniors led the event, including a scavenger hunt, small group discussions, ice cream social, and candlelight prayer service in the courtyard. The key moment of the retreat was the celebration of Mass. This retreat was postponed from before the start of the academic year due to necessary pandemic restrictions.



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.”

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.


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.


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.

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.