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.

Answering the Call – Later vocation brings unique perspective to priesthood

At the age of 54, Transitional Deacon Mark Harris may not fit the typical profile of what one would expect from a soon-to-be ordained priest, but his deep faith has prepared him for this moment.

It was in first grade when Deacon Harris proclaimed he was going to become a priest. “We were all asked what we wanted to do with our lives. That was my answer,” he said with a smile. “I was reminded of that moment by my family when I made the announcement of my intention of entering seminary. The idea of becoming a priest was always floating around and pulled at me at times in the intervening years before I finally answered the call.”

Transitional Deacons Harris and Alexander Pince 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.

Before entering seminary, Deacon Harris worked at various marketing and corporate jobs including interior design, marketing and career development. Through the years, he explained how he would have profound spiritual moments when he was comforted by or connected to the Lord in a particular way.

“They were private moments that really impacted me and opened my eyes to the Lord in new ways,” Deacon Harris said.

These experiences helped to guide his life into changing careers and eventually becoming an elementary school teacher in the Charlotte County School District. While he loved teaching, he realized, in his heart, that it wasn’t the right fit.

“It was while teaching when I felt I had to compromise who I was, as a faithful Catholic. That caused me to reevaluate the course of my life and I decided to focus on serving the Catholic Church,” he said.

This realization caused him to start volunteering at Sacred Heart Parish in Punta Gorda, first as a Eucharistic Minister and then as a catechist assisting with the Faith Formation Program, Youth Peer Ministry and Core Adult Ministry Team.

These experiences solidified his resolve to do more in service of the Lord and led him to enter the seminary. That process included first talking with a priest mentor from Miami where he spent many of his formative years. He eventually approached the Diocese of Venice and Bishop Frank J. Dewane to inquire about becoming a Diocesan seminarian.

Born in Miami, Deacon Harris spent part of his childhood alternating between living in Florida and Connecticut. He was primarily raised by two aunts, Nancy Haizlip and Donna Storey. 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.

After being accepted as a Diocesan seminary in 2017, he was sent to begin his intensive formation and studies at St. John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Massachusetts, which is committed to the human, spiritual, academic and pastoral formation of candidates aged 30 and older. He graduated in May.

While a seminarian for the Diocese, Deacon Harris served summer assignments at Epiphany Cathedral, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Venice and Resurrection Parish in Fort Myers.

As his July 31 ordination approaches, Deacon Harris said he is nervous but excited at the same time. “This has been a long journey and I feel blessed to have been chosen to serve God through the priesthood.”

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

Check back in the July 23 e-Edition of The Florida Catholic for the vocation journey of Deacon Pince.

Seminarian admitted to Candidacy

Diocese of Venice Seminarian Joseph Doherty took a significant step in to his vocation journey with his Admission to Candidacy for Ordination to the Priesthood.

The Rite took place July 9, 2021 at the Catholic Center in Venice and was presided over by Bishop Frank J. Dewane. The ceremony included the Liturgy of the Word and was witnessed by Doherty’s parents, Lawrence Doherty and Margaret Mary Corboy, Father Shawn Roser, Diocesan Director of Vocations, as well as seven fellow Diocesan seminarians.

The Rite of Admission to Candidacy for Ordination is celebrated when a candidate has reached a maturity of purpose and is shown to have the necessary qualifications. The intention of receiving orders is expressed publicly by the candidate. Then the Bishop accepts his publicly proclaimed intention.

The next steps for Doherty will be as institution to Reader, to Acolyte, then ordination as transitional deacon, before being ordained as a priest.

Bishop Dewane congratulated Doherty on this step in his formation journey and said this public expression of his intention is an important moment.

Following the Rite, Doherty said he was grateful for the Church’s acceptance of him as a candidate for the priesthood and “for the future service of the Church which it represents.”

The 28-year-old is a native of Ambler, Pennsylvania, and a graduate of Ave Maria University in Ave Maria. He recently completed pre-theology studies at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach and will now be continuing his studies at Pontifical North American College in Rome. He will spend the balance of the summer in an Italian immersion course and then begin comprehensive theological studies in the Fall.

Please pray for Seminarian Doherty and all Diocese of Venice seminarians as they continue their own vocation journeys.

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.

Prayer for Vocations

God our Father, we thank you for calling men and women to serve in your Son’s Kingdom as priests, deacons, religious, and consecrated persons. Send your Holy Spirit to help us respond generously and courageously to your call. May our community of faith support vocations of sacrificial love in our youth. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Amen.

Seminarians begin summer assignments

The Diocese of Venice seminarians have completed another year of studies on the pathway to becoming priests and now they are actively participating in a variety of summer assignments to help broaden their experiences, either in Parishes or in the classroom.

There are currently 14 Diocesan seminarians, and each summer assignment was carefully implemented to maximize the benefit for the individual seminarian, said Father Shawn Roser, Diocese of Venice Vocations Director.

The pastoral work is intended to provide the seminarians with an opportunity to learn about the daily operation of a Parish while gaining practical experiences particularly in the area of pastoral care, Father Roser explained. Typical work includes serving at morning Mass, learning to be a sacristan, visiting the sick, helping with RCIA programs, leading a Bible study and working with youth groups.

The Parish assignments place the men with Pastors who will also serve as a mentor to them. The seminarian assignments differ each summer to provide the greatest opportunity for new learning experiences and for the men to become familiar with different parts of the Diocese. Because each seminarian is at a different stage in their formation, the workload will vary accordingly.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane said the summer work keeps the seminarians engaged as part of their commitment to a prayerful life and spiritual development.

“While seminary formation stresses growth in human, academic, spiritual as well as pastoral formation, Diocesan summer assignments give practical experience in pastoral ministry and provide the individual the means to grow and have real-life pastoral encounters,” Bishop Dewane added.

Of note, two of the group, Transitional Deacons Mark Harris and Alexander Pince are preparing for their Ordination to the Priesthood which will take place at 11 a.m., July 31, 2021 at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice.

In addition, two seminarians will be taking part in the Institute for Priestly Formation (IPF) program at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. The program assists the seminarians in growing deeper in their personal relationship with the Lord through prayer, instruction and contemplation.

The seminarians and the summer assignment locations are as follows:

  • Transitional Deacon José Gullon, Institute for Priestly Formation Spirituality Program (IPF) at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska;
  • Transitional Deacon Mark Harris, Sacred Heart, Punta Gorda;
  • Transitional Deacon Alexander Pince, St. Andrew Parish, Cape Coral;
  • Transitional Deacon David Portorreal, St. Elizabeth Seton Parish, Naples;
  • Alan Baldarelli, Epiphany Cathedral, Venice;
  • Christian Chami, St. Francis Xavier Parish, Fort Myers;
  • Juan Contreras, Institute for Priestly Formation Spirituality Program (IPF) at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska;
  • Joseph Doherty, St. Leo the Great Parish, Bonita Springs;
  • James Gates, St. Joseph Parish, Bradenton;
  • Jacob Gwynn, St. William Parish, Naples;
  • Carlos Rodriguez, Sacred Heart Parish, Bradenton;
  • Alejandro Giraldo Roldan, St. Thomas More Parish, Sarasota;
  • Danial Scanlan, Ave Maria Parish, Ave Maria;
  • Michael Young, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Venice.

Please pray for our seminarians as they take part in the summer pastoral assignments.

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 the 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 .

Prayer for Vocations

God our Father, we thank you for calling men and women to serve in your Son’s Kingdom as priests, deacons, religious, and consecrated persons. Send your Holy Spirit to help us respond generously and courageously to your call. May our community of faith support vocations of sacrificial love in our youth. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Amen.

News Briefs for the Week of July 2, 2021

Mooney grad named Miss Florida

Congratulations to Leah Roddenberry, a graduate of Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota, for being crowned Miss Florida, June 26, 2021 at the RP Funding Center Youkey Theatre in Lakeland. She will go on to represent the state in the 100th Miss America Competition in December. Contestants are now judged on their poise, intelligence, talent, and how they are trying to make the world a better place. Roddenberry is originally from Bradenton and the 22-year-old is formerly Miss Tampa 2020, is an author of a children’s book and founder of “Be a LeadHER: Igniting the Spark Within” as a result of her own struggle with self-confidence during her youth. She graduated from Cardinal Mooney in 2017 and previously attended St. Joseph Catholic School in Bradenton. She is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Family, Youth, and Community Sciences and is a member of the Florida Blue Key, the oldest and most prestigious leadership honorary society in the state of Florida.

 

Ordination to the Priesthood July 31

Bishop Frank J. Dewane invites the faithful of the Diocese to the Ordination of Transitional Deacons Mark Harris and Alexander Pince to the Priesthood. This is to take place at 11 a.m., July 31, 2021, Epiphany Cathedral, 350 Tampa Ave. W., Venice. All are welcome and encouraged to attend this important event in the life of Deacons Harris and Pince, as well as the history of Diocese of Venice. A reception will follow in the Parish Hall.

OLPH Retreat Center Fall Schedule published

Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH) Retreat and Spirituality Center in Venice has published their Fall 2021 Group Retreat Schedule. The schedule includes a Men’s Retreat in October, Ignatian Preached Retreat in November, and Advent Retreat in December. In addition, the schedule for the Monthly Day of Prayer, held on the second Sunday and Wednesday of each month starting in September, has also been published. Please see the Schedule of Events page on our website for more information and to register at www.olph-retreat.org. If you have any questions, please call 941-486-0233.

Proyecto Raquel Retiro de Sanación Después del Aborto

¿Está usted sufriendo después de un aborto? Hay esperanza y sanación esperándola, no importa hace cuanto tiempo haya sucedido. Usted nunca es demasiado mayor para regalarse a si misma el Retiro de Sanación del Projecto Raquel. El próximo retiro en Español está programado para el sábado 14 de agosto. Para información confidencial, contacte a Sylvia al número 941-412-5860 o project.rachel@dioceseofvenice.org.

Project Rachel Healing Retreat After Abortion

Are you suffering after an abortion? There is hope and healing waiting for you, no matter how long ago it happened. You are never too old to give yourself the Healing Retreat from Project Rachel. The next retreat in Spanish is scheduled for Saturday, August 14. For confidential information, contact Sylvia at 941-412-5860 or project.rachel@dioceseofvenice.org.

World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly

Pope Francis instituted the Church-wide celebration of World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly. Beginning this year, this special day will be held on the fourth Sunday of July (July 25), close to the liturgical Memorial of Ss. Joachim and Anne, the Grandparents of Jesus. The theme chosen by the Holy Father for this World Day is “I am with you always” (cf. Mt 28:20) which is a way of expressing the closeness of the Lord and the Church to every older person. “I am with you always” is also a promise of closeness and hope that young and old can mutually share. Not only are grandchildren and young people called upon to be present in the lives of older people, but older people and grandparents also have the mission of evangelization, proclamation and prayer, and of encouraging young people in their Faith. To learn more, please visit www.amorislaetitia.va.

2021 Marriage Preparation Retreats

The Diocesan Office of Family Life is offering “Day of Reflection” retreats for couples preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage. A specially prepared volunteer team of married couples and a priest will share their experiences and information with the intention of enabling couples to be more aware of the privileges and responsibilities of marriage. The retreats in English are from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., on the following Saturdays: July 10, Aug. 7, and Nov. 13. Please visit https://dioceseofvenice.regfox.com/marriage-preparation-retreat-2021 to register for the English retreats. Retreats in Spanish take place: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Aug. 7 and October 30 at St. Jude Parish, 3930 17th Street, Sarasota, and 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Aug. 14 and Dec. 4, at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish, 355 S. Bridge Street, LaBelle. To register for a St. Jude retreat date please contact the parish at 941-955-3934. Please visit https://dioceseofvenice.regfox.com/retiro-de-formacion-matrimonial. to register for a retreat at Our Lady Queen of Heaven, For further information contact Carrie Harkey at 941-484-9543 ext. 3019.

Online St. Joseph course now available

The Institute for Catholic Studies and Formation invites you to celebrate the Year of St. Joseph with a self-paced online course “Encountering St. Joseph with St. John Paul II and Pope Francis.” The class covers John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation on the Person and Mission of St Joseph (Redemptoris Custos) and Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter on St Joseph (Patris Corde). This course can be taken individually or in a group. Start the course anytime and proceed at your own pace as it includes short, pre-recorded videos, questions for personal reflection or group discussion, recommended resources and more. Course fee: $35. For information and registration visit the Institute web https://institute-dov.org/ or call 941-766-7334.

St. Francis of Assisi Food Pantry open

The St. Francis of Assisi Food Pantry, 5265 Placida Road, Grove City, is open and distributing food from 9:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m., on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings. For more information contact Megan at 941-697-4899, or by email at megan@sfoachurch.com.

News Briefs for the week of June 25, 2021

Ordination to the Priesthood July 31

Bishop Frank J. Dewane invites the faithful of the Diocese to the Ordination of Transitional Deacons Mark Harris and Alexander Pince to the Priesthood. This is to take place at 11 a.m., July 31, 2021, Epiphany Cathedral, 350 Tampa Ave. W., Venice. All are welcome and encouraged to attend this important event in the lives of Deacons Harris and Pince as well as the Diocese of Venice. A reception will follow in the Parish Hall.

“Witnessing Faith with Bishop Dewane” available June 25

Join Bishop Frank J. Dewane, for his monthly radio program on Relevant Radio. “Witnessing Faith with Bishop Dewane” can be heard at 8:30 a.m., June 25, 2021 addressing the topic of Religious Freedom. Access to the program is available at https://dioceseofvenice.org/our-bishop/relevant-radio-podcasts.

“Franciscan at Home” online workshops

The Diocese of Venice Institute for Catholic Studies and Formation presents “Franciscan at Home,” which offers online workshops for anyone who wants to grow deeper in the Catholic Faith. This is a program sponsored by your Parish at no cost to you. Workshops are available on parenting, youth ministry, prayer, Catholic social teaching, theology of the body, Scripture and much more. Many workshops are available in Spanish. For more information, please call the at 941-766-7334, or visit www.franciscanathome.org/institute-dov.

Grove City Food Pantry open

The St. Francis of Assisi Parish Food Pantry, 5265 Placida Road, Grove City, is open and distributing food from 9:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings. For more information contact Megan at 941-697-4899, or by email at megan@sfoachurch.com.

ZOOM Surviving Divorce Facilitator Training July 8

Nationally known author Rose Sweet will be offering an online “Surviving Divorce” facilitator training via ZOOM 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., July 8, 2021. This is training for the Surviving Divorce: Hope and Healing for the Catholic Family program. Whether you’re a seasoned leader or considering starting a group, everyone can learn something of value to best love and support the divorced. This outreach goes to the deepest aches of the heart and the wounds are complex. While facilitators are not called to bring healing (that is God’s job) they are called to be as skilled as you can be at understanding minds, hearts, and the truth and power of the fullness of Catholic teaching. Sweet is a pioneer in the divorce healing world and will help integrate Catholic principles and practical realities into this outreach. To register, please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/surviving-divorce-zoom-facilitator-training-tickets-158750776847. For more information contact Carrie Harkey in the Family Life Office at harkey@dioceseofvenice.org.

Institute starting new course in August

The Institute for Catholic Studies and Formation of the Diocese of Venice is offering a 16-week graduate level online course starting Aug. 24 that introduces students to the principles, practices, and sources of Catholic Theology. The course “What is Catholic Theology? (Ecclesial Nature and Mission of Theology)” counts as a pre-requisite for those beginning the online MA in Theology and Christian Ministry at Franciscan University of Steubenville. (Franciscan offers Diocese of Venice students discounted tuition for this online MA). This course is also available to those who wish to attend for their own personal enrichment. For cost and other information and to register for the course, visit the Institute website https://institute-dov.org/ or call 941-766-7334.

Tele-Mental Health Counseling Services

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice Inc. is offering Mental Health Counseling for adults and children provided by licensed mental health therapists. If you or someone you know is feeling stressed, anxious, overwhelmed, depressed, or helpless, Catholic Charities can help. For more information, please call 239-455-2655. There is no charge for this service.

2021 Marriage Preparation Retreats

The Diocesan Office of Family Life is offering “Day of Reflection” retreats for couples preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage. A specially prepared volunteer team of married couples and a priest will share their experiences and information with the intention of enabling couples to be more aware of the privileges and responsibilities of marriage. The retreats in English are from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., on the following Saturdays: July 10, August 7, and November 13. Please visit https://dioceseofvenice.regfox.com/marriage-preparation-retreat-2021 to register for the English retreats. Retreats in Spanish take place: 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., August 7 and October 30 at St. Jude Parish, 3930 17th Street, Sarasota, and 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., August 14 and December 4, at Our Lady Queen of Heaven, 355 S. Bridge Street, LaBelle. To register for a St. Jude retreat date please contact the parish at 941-955-3934. Please visit https://dioceseofvenice.regfox.com/retiro-de-formacion-matrimonial. to register for a retreat at Our Lady Queen of Heaven, For further information contact Carrie Harkey at 941-484-9543 ext. 3019.

Public Prayer for God’s Mercy Upon America!

Join lay Catholics and others in public prayer asking for God’s Mercy for the United States the last Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. on the east side of U.S. 41, immediately north of Pine Ridge Road, Naples, and opposite the Waterside shops. This public witness of our Faith offers the opportunity to turn to God for His merciful help during this time of great need. The Divine Mercy Chaplet and the Rosary will be prayed. Please bring folding chairs, shade umbrellas, bottled water, and signs if you wish. Parking is available in adjacent lots. If you have questions or require additional information, please email world5433@gmail.com.

Ave Maria University 12th Annual Youth Conference

All high school age youth from incoming freshman to outgoing seniors are invited to join us for the 12th Annual Ave Maria University Youth Conference “FEARLESS” July 9-11. This incredible weekend will be full of faith, fellowship, music, and great speakers! The special rate for this year’s conference is only $130 per person and includes lodging, meals, and conference fee and a t-shirt. Call or email 239-348-4725 or aveconferences@gmail.com or visit us at www.aveconferences.com for more information.

Free Rosary Repair Service

Send your broken rosaries in a padded envelope to Betty and Dick Holden, 7930 Estero Blvd. #502, Fort Myers, FL 33931. Rosaries will be repaired and returned within the week of receipt. Donations of old rosaries are also accepted which will be repaired and sent to missions. Include a note indicating repair or donation. For more details, please call 239-463-3993 or email holdenbnd@gmail.com.

Seminarians ordained Transitional Deacon

José Grullón and David Portorreal followed different calls of the Lord in their lives, but their answers were the same, leading the two Diocese of Venice seminarians on a journey toward the priesthood. The pair reached a major milestone along that path on April 17, 2021 when they were ordained Transitional Deacon.

Deacons Grullón and Portorreal were among nine ordained at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Boca Raton by Most Rev. William A. Wack, CSC, Bishop of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee. The men, from different Dioceses across Florida, are currently studying at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach.

Deacon Grullón said he was thrilled about the Ordination, acknowledging how it is only the end of one stage in his priestly formation which is opening many different opportunities of service to the Lord that come with this new ministry.

“Priestly ministry is all about relating to the Lord and translating that experience daily in a way that the people of God are also inspired to grow closer in their relationship with Him,” the new Deacon added. “I love being able to serve the people in different capacities: service in itself is a way in which I encounter the Lord through others.”

For Deacon Portorreal, the experience of Ordination was both exciting and surreal. “Time is flying by and there’s so much to learn, but I’m grateful. I look forward to serving the People of God to the best of my ability.”

As he continues in his studies and discernment, Deacon Portorreal prays that he will become a loving, compassionate, competent, and holy priest who is present to the faithful.

The first of three ranks of ordained ministry in the Church, deacons perform many services to the Church in conjunction with the ministries of priests and bishops. In Parish life, deacons may preside at baptisms, weddings and rites of Christian burial, assist the priest at Mass, proclaim the Gospel and deliver homilies.

In his homily, Bishop Wack explained how Jesus Christ is revealed in them and through them. “Jesus Christ, the Word made Flesh, is present to us in word and sacrifice. Now, He calls you to be bearers of the word and servants of the Gospel.”

In their promise of celibacy, Bishop Wack said they are single heartedly devoted to God and His Church. While this commitment may seem strange to outsiders, it allows them to open up to others in a very radical way and thoroughly joyful way. Later, when they prostrate themselves on the floor before the altar, in the midst of their family and friends, it is a sign of complete surrender and obedience.

“I’m sure you join me as you marvel not so much as what you are doing today but what God is doing to you,” Bishop Wack continued. “This is about what God is doing in you. We celebrate God’s work in you and through you today. The Spirit conforms you more fully to Christ, the One who came not to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for the many… You may ask, how can I know the Lord, experience His presence, or know God loves me. You are God’s answer to those questions – Here I am, send me.”

Following the homily, the men approached Bishop Wack one-by-one, knelt and promised respect and obedience to his Bishop and his successors. To signify humble submission before God, the men then lay prostrate in the sanctuary while the assembly sang the Litany of Saints.

The ordinations were complete after each man again approached the Bishop who imposed his hands on the candidate and proclaimed a prayer of consecration, to confer the Holy Spirit to guide their ministries.

The Deacons then 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.

Next, the newly ordained Deacons knelt before the Bishop who presented them with the Book of the Gospels as a symbol of their new ministry of proclaiming the Gospel and preaching. The Rite of Ordination concluded with the kiss of peace.

Deacon Grullón, 33, was born and raised in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. He earned university degrees in business in the Dominican Republic and worked in a financial institution as a credit analyst. Born a Baptist, Deacon Grullón entered the Catholic Church in 2012 having been inspired by studying the history of Christianity. Once a Catholic, he began serving in his local Parish in different capacities, participating daily in the Eucharist, and the example of hard-working priests made him consider the priesthood. He studied philosophy at Pedro Francisco Bonó Institute in Santo Domingo, which is affiliated to the Pontifical Gregorian University that conferred his degree.

It was in 2017 when Deacon Grullón entered the United States to study at St. Vincent De Paul Regional Seminary for the Diocese of Venice. As a seminarian, Deacon Grullón has had pastoral assignments at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish in LaBelle and Epiphany Cathedral in Venice, as well as assisting at St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Naples during other breaks from school.

Deacon Portorreal, 49, grew up in Ohio attending Jesuit-run Catholic schools in Cleveland before entering film school at Florida State University. He moved to Los Angeles to try to break into the film industry trying to sell screenplays, get acting jobs and even tried his hand as writer/director. The seeds of a priestly vocation were planted in grade school and as the years passed there was a growing restlessness that the Ministerial Priesthood was what God wanted in his life.

Initial studies for priesthood for Deacon Portorreal began for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles at St. John Seminary in Camarilla, California, but his parents are retired in Florida and so he transferred to become a seminarian within the Diocese of Venice. As a seminarian, Deacon Portorreal has had pastoral assignments at St. William Parish in Naples and St. Leo the Great Parish in Bonita Springs.

Please pray for these men as to continue their spiritual journey.

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/.

X