News Briefs for the Week of November 4, 2022

Diocesan Seminarian admitted to candidacy

Bishop Frank J. Dewane presided over the Admission to Candidacy of 14 seminarians at Pope St. John XXIII Seminary, in Weston, Massachusetts, on Oct. 26, 2022. Among those admitted to candidacy was Diocese of Venice Seminarian Carlos Galeso. Each of the seminarians have been approved by their respective Bishops and will continue in their studies to become Catholic priests. Each man publicly expressed his intention to complete his preparation for Holy Orders and his resolve to fully invest himself to that calling.

World Youth Day 2023 Registration extended to Nov. 30!

Registration for World Youth Day 2023 to Lisbon, Portugal and has been extended to Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022. You are invited to join Bishop Frank J. Dewane for the trip to Lisbon with two nights in Fatima. This 11-day pilgrimage is from July 29 to August 8, 2023. The theme for World Youth Day 2023 is “Mary arose and went with haste”. (Luke 1:39) Travel arrangements are facilitated by Peter’s Way Tours. Space is limited. Please visit https://dioceseofvenice.org/offices/offices-departments/evangelization/world-youth-day-2023/ for registration and further information.

Food pantry needs help ahead of Thanksgiving

The St. Joseph Food Pantry, 2704 33rd Ave. W., Bradenton, is seeking food donations ahead of Thanksgiving. Specifically needed are canned green beans, canned corn, canned sweet potatoes/yams, corn muffin mix, and boxed dressing. Donations can be delivered to to the Food Pantry Monday thru Friday 9 a.m. until noon. Please call 941-756-3732 or email directors@stjoepantry.com if you have any questions or need to make arrangements for drop off.  Year round, the pantry needs full-sized toiletries, cereal and oatmeal, canned tuna, peanut butter & jelly (in plastic containers only), spaghetti in boxes and canned tomato sauce (no glass), boxed macaroni & cheese, ketchup and mustard (in plastic containers only), salad dressing (in plastic containers only), shelf stable milk or dry milk, and breakfast bars. During the cooler months, there is also a need for clean, gently used or new, blankets or throws. NO clothing. The St. Joseph Food Pantry does not accept fresh or frozen food from donors. All such items are shipped from stores with which the pantry has a professional relationship, or from the Feeding Tampa Bay Food Bank. This policy follows USDA food safety guidelines. For more information, please visit www.stjoepantry.com.

Freshmen retreat shows off Mooney

What makes Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota different? The community of caring students. The freshmen class had their first retreat on Oct. 27, 2022, where the senior ministry students led them in prayer, played games, and provided a safe place to talk about their faith. The class of 2026 is the future of Mooney and spent the day together bonding. The theme of the day: “Called By Name” came from Isaiah 43:1, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”

 

Talents shine at Science Fair

The Incarnation Catholic School middle schoolers took part in a Science Fair in Sarasota on Oct. 28, 2022. The students did an amazing job impressing the judges, teachers and each other. Each student, or team, did various experiments and documented their results, including the purpose of the project, a hypothesis, materials and procedures to conduct the experiment, data collected and the results. This was all displayed, including various graphs and images, to be judged and available for others to learn.

 

Children join in celebrating World Mission Sunday

St. Paul Parish in Arcadia celebrated World Mission Sunday, on Oct. 23, 2022, with a procession of children wearing traditional clothing representing the different regions of the world. The children then sat on the steps of the altar while World Mission Sunday was explained. World Mission Sunday is celebrated in all the local Churches as the feast of Catholicity and universal solidarity so Christians the world over will recognize their common responsibility with regard to the evangelization of the world.

Seminarian ordained as Transitional Deacon

Diocese of Venice Seminarian Daniel Scanlan took a major step toward his dream of becoming a priest when he was ordained to the Transitional Diaconate during a Mass Sept. 29, 2022, at the Altar of the Chair of St. Peter, in the Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican.

Celebrated by Bishop Austin A. Vetter of Helena, Montana, the ordination of 23 men from the Pontifical North American College is one of the final steps toward priesthood.

Present for the ordination were Deacon Scanlan’s large family (he is the seventh of 11 children), including his eldest brother, Father Eric Scanlan, Pastor of Incarnation Parish in Sarasota, who was a concelebrant and vested his brother. In addition were several other relatives as well as Father Shawn Roser, Diocesan Director of Vocations; Father Christian Chami (ordained in July 2022 and is completing his studies in Rome); and Diocesan Seminarian Joseph Doherty who is also studying at the Pontifical North American College.

Deacon Scanlan, 27, was born and raised in Fort Myers before his family moved to Ave Maria. He first studied at Ave Maria University then decided to follow his heart to become a Diocesan seminarian at St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami, and received a Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University. He is currently studying Moral Theology at the Pontifical University of Santa Croce but will transfer next year to the John Paul II Institute in Washington, D.C., to study for his licentiate in Marriage and Family.

The idea of becoming a priest started at 13, when he heard his oldest sibling, Eric, tell his large family about his own discernment to the priesthood. Though intrigued, Deacon Daniel put the thought on the backburner while he focused on other things.

“I think I was fascinated because I never considered how one became a priest. I didn’t even know what a seminary was… this was a big moment in my life because the thought that my own brother might become a priest made this vocation become real and personal to me.”

It wasn’t until later in high school when the idea of a discernment surfaced again. It occurred during a Steubenville youth conference in Orlando, when at the end, all men and women who were discerning were asked to come up to the stage.

“My heart began pounding when I heard those words. I never really spoke about the priesthood to anyone and when they invited everyone up: I had to make a choice… This was the first time I had to acknowledge to myself: ‘yeah… I am discerning priesthood.’”

During the ordination, the new Deacons promised to live a life of prayer, celibacy, and obedience to their Diocesan Bishops. The new Deacons will have an additional year of theological studies and spiritual formation before being ordained to the priesthood in their home Dioceses. As part of the ordination Rite, the Bishop placed the Book of Gospels in the hands of each candidate being ordained and said: “Receive the Gospels of Christ, whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.”

At the ordination Mass, which was on the Feast of the Archangels, Bishop Vetter thanked the 23 men for saying “yes” to God and to the Church and encouraged them to imitate the archangels, “with the help of St. Michael, fighting against the Evil One; with the help of St. Gabriel, being a herald of the Incarnation; and with the help of St. Raphael, bringing healing to the people of God.”

Bishop Vetter also told them to “bump into Jesus.” Do not look past anyone, no matter how insignificant they appear to the world, he said. “Serve them and you will find that you are bumping into Jesus all over the place. Bump into Jesus in his people.”

Deacon Scanlan said “when we follow God’s plan for our lives, we know that is what will be most fulfilling, most rewarding, and most satisfying because it is the mission He created us for while in our mother’s womb. People often come up to me and thank me for my ‘yes’ to the priesthood. I always appreciate their sentiment but at the same time, it is easy for me to say ‘yes’ because I want to serve and give myself to the Church.”

Since joining the Diocese as a seminarian, Deacon Scanlan has served pastoral assignments at the following Parishes: St. Vincent de Paul in Fort Myers; Ss. Peter and Paul the Apostles in Bradenton; St. Francis Xavier in Fort Myers; St. Joseph in Bradenton; and St. Katharine Drexel in Cape Coral.

Please pray for Deacon Scanlan and each of the Diocese of Venice Seminarians who continue in discerning their vocation and formation for the priesthood.

Catholic News Service contributed information to the report.

CCW honors priests

The Venice Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (VDCCW) took time out to recognize and honor the priests who serve throughout the Diocese.

During a VDCCW Priest Appreciation Dinner on Sept. 16, 2022, at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Venice, the members pledged to focus on better supporting the priests as they continue to serve the people of God.

‘You have no idea what you mean to us,” said Josephine Weiss, VDCCW President. “On behalf of the CCW, allow us, the people that love and support you, to minister to you. Let us know what you need. We really want to be there for you.”

The priests who were present for the dinner, both active and retired, came forward to be individually recognized. Each shared their appreciation for the role the members of VDCCW play in support of them, their Parishes and the Diocese as a whole.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane thanked the VDCCW members for all that they do in support of priests through their prayers and actions, adding “so much takes place that could not happen without the dedication of the CCW. This type of event means so much.”

Ellen Bachman, Past-Co-President of the VDCCW, reflected upon how a priest hears a call from the Lord to serve, and in doing so, he touches the lives of the faithful in many ways and that it is all our responsibility to ensure that they know they are appreciated.

“Thank you for all you do for God’s people,” Bachman said. “You will never know how important you are in our lives.”

The priests were asked to come forward to receive a token of appreciation and reflect upon what they may not have learned from seminary that was important in the priesthood.

Many spoke about how they learned much in the classroom but something they couldn’t discover there was the profound goodness of the people of God.

A second VDCCW Priest Appreciation Dinner will take place 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday, October 7, at Our Lady of Light Parish, 19680 Cypress View Drive, Fort Myers. The dinner is $45. For those interested in attending, please contact Ellen Bachman at 941-721-7393 or pennyln99@aol.com.

News Briefs for the week of August 16, 2022

Bishop celebrates Mass for students in Bradenton, Sarasota and Naples

Bishop Frank J. Dewane recently celebrated Mass for students at three Diocesan Catholic schools, visiting St. Joseph Catholic School in Bradenton, Sept. 7, 2022, Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota, Sept. 12, and St. John Neumann Catholic High School in Naples, Sept. 13. Bishop Dewane continues to be impressed by the increased enrollment at each of the schools as the students filled churches, chapels and gymnasiums. The Bishop is also continuing to invoke the Holy Spirit to descend upon the students as they go forth into the 2022-2023 Academic Year.

Seminarian prepares for Transitional Diaconate Ordination

In preparation for their upcoming diaconate ordination, the fourth-year class at Pontifical North American College (NAC) in Rome publicly professed the Faith of the Church and made an Oath of Fidelity in the presence of the NAC community on Sept. 13, 2022. Among those taking their oath was Diocese of Venice Seminarian Daniel Scanlan, who will be ordained on Sept. 29 at St. Peter’s Basilica. Please continue to pray for Daniel and all seminarians as they approach this milestone of their formation journey.

Robot building engages students

Students at St. Andrew Catholic School in Cape Coral were busy on Sept. 12, 2022, building Lego Education Spike Prime Robots in Robotics class. The robotics program at St. Andrew allows students to learn and excel using skills that will prepare them for the future. Eventually, teams will be formed to compete in completing various tasks or taking part in a robot obstacle course within the school, and as the year progresses, against other robotics teams from other Diocesan Catholic schools.

 

Faith Formation kicks off in Fort Myers

The faith formation program at Our Lady of Light Parish and St. Cecilia Parish, both in Fort Myers, got a kick-start on Sept. 11, 2022, when hundreds of children began a new educational journey as they grow closer to the Lord. Our Lady of Light has some 150 in its K-5 formation program called “Footsteps in Faith.” St. Cecilia had their first classes learn Patriotic songs in conjunction with Patriot’s Day.

Life skills learned at school

St. John Neumann Catholic High School in Naples had its own version of the TV reality show “Chopped!” on Sept. 9, 2022. Students in a life skills class created a menu, recipe, budget and learned about how to read nutritional labels on grocery items. This included a trip to a grocery store and then preparing and serving the delicious creations for the judges, which included the Principal, Sister Patricia Roche, Salesian Sister of St. John Bosco. The results were delicious.

Students celebrate Our Lady’s birthday

To honor the Blessed Virgin Mary on her birthday, Sept. 8, 2022, students at Ave Maria Catholic School and Donahue Academy in Ave Maria made special efforts to mark this joyful event. This outpouring of love for Our Lady included homemade cookies, handmade cards and paper flowers for the Mother of God. The kindergarten students also made private visits to a statue of Our Lady, offering their prayers and best wishes on Mary’s special day.

Scientific method learned in classroom

Sixth grade science students at St. Catherine Catholic School in Sebring have been learning about the scientific method – consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses. For example, on Sept. 12, 2022, they grew bacteria in a petri dish and conducted a scientific investigation and observed their bacteria specimens under a microscope. This type of project offers a hands-on approach to learning which helps students use multiple skills in order to complete their experiments.

Kindness rocks found on school campus

If you visit Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota, you might spot colorful rocks on the ground. These rocks were not lost during some science experiment gone awry, they were in fact created by freshmen in their theology class as part of a “Kindness Project.” With the assistance of guidance counselors, each small rock was colorfully decorated and included a simple message of kindness, such as “Live your best life!” “Be You!” “Smile!” and more. The reaffirming artistic creations were then placed throughout the campus on Sept. 9, 2022.

News Briefs for the week of August 26, 2022

Mooney football team hears from coaching legend

The Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School Football Team was both humbled and honored to have had Coach Urban Meyer give an inspirational talk before their Preseason Classic Game against Seffner Christian in Sarasota on Aug. 19, 2022. Meyer’s is a three-time national championship college football coach, twice as head coach of University of Florida and once with Ohio State University.

Gliders fly through classrooms

Fourth graders at St. Mary Academy in Sarasota had fun with their latest STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Math) challenge on Aug. 19, 2022. Their task was to build 3-hoop gliders, alternating the location of the hoops on each glider, and then let them fly. Each glider flew to determine which design performed the best and traveled the farthest. This was a lesson which challenged the students to think creatively and build a glider from paper and then see the results of their hard work.

Verot track and field champ receives ring

Bishop Verot Catholic High School senior Wyatt Whalen received his State Championship Ring on Aug. 19, 2022, in Fort Myers. Whalen took the Class 2A shot put title with a throw of 16.32 m (53 feet 6 ½ inches) during the Florida High School Athletic Association Track & Field State Championship May 11 -12, 2022, at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Whalen also took third in the discus with a toss of 46.36 m (152 feet 1 inch).

Eucharistic Conference in September

Inspired by the National Eucharistic Revival movement, St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Naples is creating the opportunity for people to learn more about Christ’s presence in the Eucharist. The one-day Eucharistic Conference is 9 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. The day features talks and worship music in both English and Spanish. There are sessions only in Spanish at the same time as the only English sessions followed by Eucharistic worship in both languages. Father Casey Jones, Pastor of St. Elizabeth Seton, and Jon Niven, Music Director at Seton, are hosting the English track. Special guests Juan De La Rosa, Director de la Renovación Carismática and Fernando Torres, Ministerio Agnes Dei Líder de Adoración, both from the Archdiocese of New York, are hosting the Spanish sessions. The day will end with a bilingual Vigil Mass at 4:30 pm. Breakfast and lunch are provided. Cost is $10 per person. Registration is on Seton’s website, www.StElizabethSeton.org. The Parish is located at 5225 Golden Gate Parkway, Naples. Please call 239-455-3900 for any additional information.

Students visit Venice retreat center

Eleventh grade students at Donahue Catholic Academy of Ave Maria Parish in Ave Maria spent time on Aug. 18, 2022, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center in Venice as part of a retreat. The students prayed together, had some fun and learned about how they need to hear the call of the Lord in their lives. Ave Maria Parish Pastor Father David Vidal celebrated Mass for the teens.

Students have a ball with robotics

At St. Andrew Catholic School in Cape Coral, students are working hard to improve their coding skills during a robotics class on Aug. 22, 2022. This specialized skill is being learned as part of a broader STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Math) curriculum. This curriculum, called, “The Gifts of Christ: Truth, Beauty, Goodness, Affability, Fortitude, Humility, and Prudence,” is growing out of a robotics program which broadens the opportunities for each student. The coding skills learned at St. Andrew enabled the students to perform various fun tasks with a Sphero Bolt Robot.

Ave Maria men’s program returning

The Ave Maria Parish “This Man Is You!” interactive men’s program is returning for weekly meetings beginning Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, in the Parish. The program combines the best research from science with the teachings of the Catholic Faith and the wisdom of the saints to develop the vision of man fully alive. By honestly addressing the pressures and temptations that men face in our modern culture, “That Man Is You!” seeks to form men who will be capable of transforming homes and society. The theme for the year is “Thy Kingdom Come: Claim Your Royal Dignity and Inheritance.” The schedule includes 7 a.m. breakfast, with a weekly presentation from different speakers, small group discussions, concluding with Mass in the Parish church at 9 a.m. For more information and to register, please contact Dr. Charlie Thomason at drcharlie@snet.net or 860-460-7195.

Sarasota Laps for Life Oct. 8

Join the Sarasota Laps for Life 5K on Siesta Key Beach from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. This year the Knights of Columbus are running to benefit SOLVE maternity homes in Bradenton, Sarasota and Englewood. SOLVE provides cost-free housing, counseling and support for women and teens with unintended pregnancies. Why run? Promote a culture that encourages life in abundance by providing the support and resources available for both mother and child so they can flourish. Join us as we celebrate life in abundance! See www.srqlapsforlife.net for details and registration.

Priest appreciation dinners coming soon

The Venice Diocesan Council of Catholic Women invites all to one of two Priest Appreciation Dinners the group is hosting. The dinners are intended to honor all priests serving in the Diocese. The first dinner is 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., Friday, Sept. 16, at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Hall, 1301 Center Road, Venice, while the second is at the same time on Friday, October 7, at Our Lady of Light Parish, 19680 Cypress View Drive, Fort Myers. The dinner is $45. For those interested in attending either dinner, please contact Ellen Bachman at 941-721-7393 or pennyln99@aol.com.

First Responders Mass

The Knights of Columbus Saints Cosmas and Damian Council 13341 is honored to sponsor the First Responders Mass at 1 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 10, Our Lady of the Angels Parish, 12905 E. State Road 70, Lakewood Ranch. The Mass will honor the work of public safety personnel, including law enforcement officials, firefighters, and emergency medical service personnel. This Mass is a way to recognize the sacrifice of first responders and to remember those who have given their lives in service to their communities. All are welcome.

40 Days for Life Fall Campaign begins soon

The Fall Campaign of 40 Days for Life begins Sept. 28, 2022, and ends Nov. 6. Check with your Parish coordinator to join your Parish’s day on the sidewalk or go to www.40daysforlife.com (look under the locations tab for Sarasota or Fort Myers). Your presence can be a powerful sign to women in need that there are better options available. Questions? Contact Jeanne Berdeaux at Berdeaux@dioceseofvenice.org or 941-374-1068.

Support CCW Seminarian Fund

Support, encourage and educate future priests through the Venice Diocesan Council of Catholic Women Seminarian Fund. Join the VDCCW in celebrating Priesthood Sunday on Sept. 25, 2022, in a special and lasting way by sending your Parish a Seminarian Fund “IN HONOR OF” card. This is a gift that keeps on giving. The Diocese is currently educating 13 men in various seminaries and a donation of any amount would be a great help (The donation amount will not be revealed to the recipient. To take part, please send your donation, made out to VDCCW Seminarian Fund (plus $1 to cover postage and printing) to: Cornelia Zanetti, Seminarian Fund Guardian, 5808 Gulf Drive #204, Holmes Beach, FL 34217. If you have any questions, email Cornelia Zanetti at corniez@aol.com.

 

 

‘Totus Tuus’ leaves impacts for a lifetime

When you note something took 40 days, that number has a significant connection to Sacred Scriptures, uniquely elevating the impact and meaning of an activity.

For example, the Bible states: 40 days and nights of rain during the great flood, Moses spent 40 days on Mount Sinai; Jonah preached 40 days to Nineveh; Goliath taunted Israel for 40 days; and Jesus fasted for 40 days, as well as other examples.

Therefore, there is a special significance in that the “Totus Tuus” summer camp was active in the Diocese of Venice for 40 days. This is not only because of its symbolic connection to the Bible, but for its wide-reaching impact on the hundreds of children and teens who participated. However, this positive impact was not limited to the campers; it was felt at the host Parishes, by the volunteers, and in the families, not to mention the missionaries and seminarians who led the camp each week.

In the Bible, after 40 days a great event always occurs, and the same is true in the Diocese at the completion of the “Totus Tuus” camp on Aug. 5, 2022.

Word has been spreading about the passionate growth in a love for Christ by the children at the host Parishes achieved in a single 5-day period. There is already a call to bring the missionaries back in the summer of 2023 at more Parishes, reaching even more children and teens.

Beginning June 6, at St. Katherine Drexel Parish in Cape Coral, host Parish priests have raved all summer about how this summer camp was different than anything that has been offered. Each of the five days of the “Totus Tuus” camp was an intensive and enriching time for the young participants as they learned about their faith and grew closer to the Lord.

By the time the camp reached its eighth weekly home, St. Patrick Parish in Sarasota from Aug. 1 to Aug. 5, the results were abundantly clear, the camp was a success and there was a demand for more of the same.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane visited the St. Patrick camp on Aug. 4, witnessing what the young children (aged from kindergarten to sixth grade) learned in just a few days.

The children, led by the “Totus Tuus” missionaries and accompanying Diocesan seminarians, were able to recite a variety of prayers and enthusiastically sang songs. When asked about the camp, eager little hands rose in excitement because the lessons of the week excited their minds and souls helping them to grow in their passionate relationship with the Lord.

Bishop Dewane praised the children on their knowledge of the lessons they had learned. These lessons focused on the Luminous Mysteries of the rosary, prayer, key aspects of a devotion to Jesus, all with a special focus on the Mass.

“You learned so much,” Bishop Dewane said. “That is very good. Remember, we all have more to learn about the Lord and our relationship with Jesus Christ and how that must continue to grow.”

Among the lessons during the camp, the children were taught how to view others as brothers and sisters in Christ. Therefore, when they see someone in need, they are to help, acting as Christ did.

“Totus Tuus” is a Latin phrase meaning “Totally Yours.” It was a motto of St. John Paul II, taken from St. Louis de Montfort’s “True Devotion to Mary.” It signifies our desire to give ourselves entirely to Jesus Christ through Mary.

Each Parish hosting the event welcomed children and teens from Monday morning to Friday afternoon.  These sessions were divided into daytime camp for children from first grade through sixth, and evening retreats for teens seventh grade through recent high school graduates. The weeks were filled with faith, fun, and friendship as well as games, crazy skits, and music. Throughout, the college-age leaders provided an authentic witness to the students. They were in turn supported by teen helpers for the day camp and adult volunteers in the evenings.

During this initial introduction to the “Totus Tuus” summer camp in the Diocese, only one Parish hosted the camp each week. In addition to St. Katharine Drexel and St. Patrick bookending the summer, other host Parishes included: St. Agnes in Naples (June 13-17); Our Lady Queen of Heaven in La Belle (June 20-24); St. Catherine in Sebring (June 27-July 1); St. John XXIII in Fort Myers (July 11-15); St. Joseph in Bradenton (July 18-22); and St. Elizabeth Seton in Naples (July 25-29).

The “Totus Tuus” program strives to bring an awareness of vocations to the young adults who serve as missionaries. Each missionary begins the day with morning prayer, praying the rosary and attending daily Mass. These missionaries serve as teachers for the camp by leading a small group of children or teens each day with lessons and activities to enhance the theme of prayer.

“Totus Tuus” missionaries were Stephanie Lovetere of the Diocese of Venice, Epiphany Cathedral and a student at Ave Maria University, Sam Salyer of the Diocese of Gary, Kate Ihlefeldt, of the Diocese of Colorado Springs, and Garrett Willie of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Additionally, assisting the missionaries were Diocese of Venice Seminarians Juan Contreras and James Gates.

Salyer finished his missionary work on fire for the Lord. “It has been an amazing journey,” he said. “I grew as a person, as a missionary and as a man of God. The interaction with the children of different ages opened up a whole new way for me to see how the Lord works in each of us. I saw the transformation of these children from uninterested to totally engaged in a short period of time. It was incredible.”

Seminarian Gates enjoyed helping connect the children with the wonders of Christ through the lessons, during Eucharistic Adoration and at Mass. “When you see the faces, the reactions, it is very special. Their enthusiasm validated the hard work we put into each day.”

Carrie Harkey, Diocesan Director of the Office of Family Life, who helped bring the “Totus Tuus” summer camp to the Diocese, said the praise from priests, religious education leaders and parents has been 100% positive. The only negative reaction was the request that the camp be longer than one week at a Parish.

“With the feedback we have received, we are going to bring the camp back for the summer of 2023,” Harkey said. “The enthusiasm is contagious and that is a god thing. This summer was a test to see how it worked and we have our results. Going forward, we now have an established program which directly engages young people, from kindergarten through high school, about their faith. That is very special.”

Seminarians answering a “Call to Holiness”

For three days each summer there is a gathering of men of different ages and backgrounds each dedicated to a common goal – continuing their spiritual journey with a focus on becoming a Diocesan priest.

Some are in a seminary college formation program, while others are in advanced programs and nearing the end of their journey, with potential Ordination to the Priesthood not too far off.

During the annual Diocese of Venice Seminarian Convocation at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center in Venice (July 25-28, 2022), the men spent time praying, reflecting on their choice of vocation while also sharing their thoughts and their personal journey with others who are on the same path.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane celebrated a Mass for the seminarians on July 25, the Feast of St. James the Apostle. The Bishop encouraged the men to take the time during the Convocation to continue to hear the Call to Holiness and reflect Christ in the life they live.

Just as St. James and the other Apostles struggled to follow Jesus Christ, the seminarians are also “called to be the model of the suffering servant,” Bishop Dewane said. “Know that is what the Lord asks of you. You must go about accepting that role; asking for clarification from the Lord when it is needed as you discern that response of His Call to Holiness.”

In answering this Call to Holiness, the Bishop explained that this will not always bring them friends or be easy as they stumble, feeling they have failed the Lord along the way. “This is what makes us each human – our failings, our struggles – but the Lord will always be there to pick us up and help us on this journey.”

“Following the Call to Holiness through the coming year will build you up and make you a stronger man of God as you reflect Jesus Christ,” the Bishop concluded. “Continue to listen as the Lord brings you along that journey that He has prepared for you. May each of you be blessed this year to hold before yourselves that Call to Holiness and to live it each day.”

Following the Mass, Bishop Dewane shared a meal with the group.

Seminarian Andres Cordero, who spent the summer at a pastoral assignment at Incarnation Parish in Sarasota, said that the camaraderie with his fellow seminarians reinforces his response to the Lord in his life. “The discernment process is an opportunity to grow closer to Christ, while serving the Lord in unique ways.”

The multi-day retreat occurs late in the summer as a time of prayer and reflection before each man returns to his respective seminary. During the week the seminarians were led by Father Shawn Roser, Diocese Vocations Director, with additional presentations by Father Mark Yavarone, Oblate of the Virgin Mary, Director of Spirituality at the retreat center, and Jesuit Father John Belmonte, Diocese of Venice Superintendent of Catholic Education.

With the group assigned to four different seminaries, the Convocation is an opportunity for those early in their formation process to hear from those who are further along. This mentoring aids in building a bond amongst the group and helps everyone appreciate that the discernment process is not only accomplished in the classroom but through the entire experience in seminary, during Parish pastoral assignments, and in their personal life.

A recent highlight for the group was witnessing the July 16 Ordination to the Priesthood of Fathers Christian Chami, David Portorreal and Michael Young. During the Convocation, the new priests stopped by to speak to the group, offering words of encouragement and inspiration.

Diocese of Venice Seminarians are supported through the Diocese Catholic Faith Appeal, the Knights of Columbus, Venice Diocesan Council of Catholic Women 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 can be made by visiting https://dioceseofvenice.org/ways-to-give/ or 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

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

Transitional Deacon Alan Baldarelli, St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary;

Juan Contreras, St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary;

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

Michael Courville – St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary;

Joseph Doherty, Pontifical North American College Seminary, Rome, Italy;

Carlos Galeso, St. John Vianney College Seminary;

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

James Gates, St. John Vianney College Seminary;

Jacob Gwynn, St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary (pastoral year);

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

Alejandro Giraldo Roldan, St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary;

Daniel Scanlan, Pontifical North American College Seminary.

‘Totus Tuus’ going strong

The “Totus Tuus” summer camp continues to wow children of all ages.

With six Parishes visited through July 22, 2022, the summer camp has brought hundreds of children and teens closer to the Lord. Recent stops included St. Catherine Parish in Sebring, St. John XXIII Parish in Fort Myers and St. Joseph Parish in Bradenton.

Totus Tuus (a Latin phrase meaning “totally yours”) is a summer Catholic youth camp program dedicated to sharing the Gospel and promoting the Catholic Faith through evangelization, catechesis, Christian witness and Eucharistic worship. The camp is directed by a team of four missionaries and two Diocesan seminarians. Parish staff and volunteers augment the team and together they make the week one to remember for all who participate. The intent of the program is to assist parents and Parishes in the evangelizing and catechizing of their youth by supplementing the work they are currently doing.

Father Rafael Ligenza, Pastor of St. Joseph Parish which hosted Totus Tuus the week of July 18-22, said he was impressed by the response of the children.

“It’s wonderful to see how the children are responding to everything they are learning,” Father Ligenza said.

Each week there is a potluck when the missionaries get to meet the parents and the participants in the camp show off some of the things they learned. The potluck at St. Joseph on July 19 was a double celebration with a cake marking Father Ligenza’s birthday.

Missionary Garrett Willie, of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and student at Xavier University in Cincinnati, told the parents about Totus Tuus.

“We are here teaching the children to have an intimate relationship with their faith, seeing God as their Father and Jesus as their friend,” Willie said. “We do this by taking them through the Sacraments… and in the classroom we spend time with fun games and activities and really diving in on the power of prayer. It’s cool to see them at the beginning of the week hearing them say – ‘Do we really have to talk about this?’ and then come Wednesday or Thursday, they are like – ‘Oh my gosh, Jesus is so cool, we loved learning about Him!’ – and you see the light go off in their eyes. It’s beautiful.”

The day camp program is for grades one to five, and evenings are for grades six through 12.

Each day, the children’s camp begins with music to pump the children up and get them ready for the full day ahead with all the time focused on learning key lessons about their Faith with a focus on the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary. In addition to dancing, music and prayer, the children have time for activities such as crafts and games. There is time for Mass each day with additional quiet reflective time in Eucharistic Adoration and three days when there is opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Evening sessions with the teens are less formal and focus on putting a renewed focus on growing in their personal relationship with the Lord. The missionaries and seminarians share their personal spiritual journey and then the teens gather in prayer and reflection. This group also takes part in Eucharistic Adoration with the opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Three join Presbyterate: Ordination draws large crowd

In a public response to a “call to holiness,” Transitional Deacons Christian Chami, David Portorreal and Michael Young were ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Frank J. Dewane on July 16, 2022, at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice as more than 700 people rejoiced.

The poignant and emotional Rite places Fathers Chami, Portorreal and Young in a new rank 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 this particular 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 Chami, Portorreal and Young have a new beginning, configured to Christ, the Eternal High Priest.

“Holiness has to be the greatest gift you developed within your relationship with Jesus Christ – you took it into the seminary, and you bring that out to be here today,” the Bishop said. “It is your holiness that will be supported by your daily prayer life… Let that holiness be present always in your life… Let it be a mark of who you are as an example for others.”

Bishop Dewane concluded his remarks by encouraging all the faithful present to pray for Fathers Chami, Portorreal and Young, and for all of the priests and religious in the Diocese as they continue on their spiritual journey in response to the Lord in a particular way.

“Hold them up to the Lord; asking for the graces that they need,” Bishop Dewane concluded. “Three men come forward today as an example, not just of a priest but of the whole community. Continue to lift them up and support them as they journey to be the men of God they have answered the call to be.”

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 ordinandi 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 the intercession of the Saints in heaven.

The Bishop then laid his hands on the head of each man and prayed silently. All of the priests present followed to participate in this part of the Rite. Next was the Prayer of Ordination. These combine to form an essential part of the Liturgy of the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

The newly ordained priests were then vested in the stole and chasuble, vestments which are worn when celebrating the Eucharist and symbolize their responsibility and authority in service to Christ, their role among the faithful.

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 (wine) and paten (bread) 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.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist 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 Chami, Portorreal and Young 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 serve the people of God.

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

In addition to family and friends, also present at the ordination were more than 70 priests; men and women religious; permanent deacons; the Knights of Columbus; Knights and Dames of the Order of Malta; and the Knights and Dames of Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem.

Also in attendance was a large group from St. William Parish in Naples where the families of Fathers Chami and Portorreal attend Mass. Both men celebrated their first Mass of Thanksgiving at St. William on July 17.

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 Chami, 28, was born in Montreal, Canada, but raised in Naples, Fla. since the age of 4, and was an accomplished swimmer in high school and is a longtime parishioner of St. William Parish in Naples. He first seriously heard the call to the priesthood while at Florida State University. Since joining the Diocese as a seminarian, Deacon Chami graduated from St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami and then studied at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. Within the Diocese, he has served pastoral assignments at St. Leo the Great Parish in Bonita Springs, Incarnation Parish in Sarasota, Sts. Peter and Paul the Apostles Parish in Bradenton, and St. Francis Xavier Parish in Fort Myers. Father has been appointed as Parochial Vicar of Holy Cross Parish in Palmetto, effective July 18 until September 30. Father then returns to Rome to complete his Licentiate Studies at the Pontifical Atheneum of St. Anselm.

Father Portorreal, 51, grew up in Northeast Ohio and graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, before entering film school at Florida State University and then moving to Los Angeles to break into the film industry. However, the seeds of a priestly vocation were planted as early as grade school and Deacon Portorreal began his discernment with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles at St. John Seminary in Camarilla, California. But his parents are retired in Naples, so he eventually transferred to become a seminarian within the Diocese of Venice. As a seminarian, Deacon Portorreal graduated from St. Vincent de Paul regional Seminary in Boynton Beach and had pastoral assignments at St. William Parish in Naples and St. Leo the Great Parish in Bonita Springs. Effective July 18, Father has been appointed as Parochial Vicar of St. Leo the Great Parish in Bonita Springs.

Father Young, 56, was born in Atlanta, Georgia and grew up in Mississippi before settling in North Carolina. He too heard the call to the priesthood from a young age, but also pushed it to the back of his mind when he joined the U.S. Navy and served for four years, then became a law enforcement officer and special/enforcement agent. He later worked as a reentry program case manager for men and women transitioning from the Federal Bureau of Prisons back into society. He described his calling to the priesthood as a series of moments when he received reinforcement to move forward, first with a career and then to a life in service to the Lord. Deacon Young earned a degree from John Wesley College in North Carolina and was a member of a religious community who then transitioned to the Diocese of Venice. He recently graduated from Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Massachusetts, which caters to second-career vocations. Within the Diocese of Venice, he served pastoral summer assignments at Incarnation Parish in Sarasota and Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Venice. Father’s first Mass was celebrated at Our Lady of Lourdes, and effective July 18, he has been appointed as Parochial Vicar of St. John XXIII Parish in Fort Myers.

News Briefs for the week of July 15, 2022

Priestly Ordination to be Livestreamed

Bishop Frank J. Dewane invites the faithful to watch, via a livestream, the Ordination to the Priesthood of Transitional Deacons Christian Chami, David Portorreal, and Michael Young at 11 a.m., Saturday, July 16, from Epiphany Cathedral in Venice. The Ordination, presided over by Bishop Frank J. Dewane, will be livestreamed via the Cathedral at www.facebook.com/epiphanycathedral. Links will also be available via the Diocesan website, www.dioceseofvenice.org, or the Cathedral website, www.epiphanycathedral.org. The livestream will begin a few minutes before 11 a.m. and be accessible later for those unable to watch live. Please note that you do not need to have a Facebook account to watch the livestream.

 

Appointments

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

Father Anthony Armstrong, O.Carm., appointed as Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Osprey, effective July 1, 2022.

Father Frederick Tillotson, O.Carm., retired as Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Osprey, effective July 1, 2022, and thus, is relieved of his duties as Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish.

Father Patrick Wilson, S.A.C., retired as Parochial Vicar of St. Martha Parish, effective July 4, 2022, and thus, is relieved of his duties as Parochial Vicar of St. Martha Parish.

Father Alexander Pince, appointed as Parochial Vicar of Epiphany Cathedral in Venice, effective July 1, 2022, as he completed Licentiate Studies in Moral Theology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome.

 

Former Naples Pastor dies

Father John M. O’Neill, Oblate of St. Francis de Sales, former Pastor at St. Ann Parish in Naples, died July 9, 2022, at the age of 77. Ordained to the priesthood on June 9, 1973, Father O’Neill served at schools and Parishes in Ohio, New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Father was also assistant to the President of DeSales University and held several positions with the Oblates. Within the Diocese of Venice, Father O’Neill served as Parochial Vicar of Our Lady of Light Parish in Fort Myers from 2005-2008, and as Pastor of St. Ann Parish from June 2008 to March 2009. Father also served as a teacher at Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers. A Mass of Christian Burial was held Thursday, July 14, 2022, at the Oblate Community Chapel in Childs, Maryland. Please pray for the repose of the soul of Father O’Neill, and for the consolation of his family.

 

Food pantry needs help

The St. Joseph Food Pantry in Bradenton is in need of peanut butter. This staple is an important part of the pantry’s Family Bags and provides a key source of protein for children in need in Manatee County. The Food Pantry is happy to accept bulk, large, and small containers of peanut butter, as well as other non-perishable food items. If you wish to make a financial contribution, your donation can be doubled thanks to a partnership with the Flanzer Trust. Donations can be delivered to 2704 33rd Ave. W. Bradenton, FL  34205, Monday thru Friday 9 a.m. till noon. Please call 941-756 3732 or email directors@stjoepantry.com if you have any questions or if you need to make arrangements for drop off. For more information about how you can help, please visit www.stjoepantry.com.

 

Marking 60 years of religious life

Sister Maureen Carroll is a Missionary Sister of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (MSC) and is marking 60 years of religious life in 2022. A teacher at St. Ann Catholic School in Naples since 1989, Sister Maureen has taught grades 1 to 4 in Catholic schools in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Illinois and Florida. Sister is a Support Teacher and teaches 2nd grade Religion at St. Ann and says her greatest joy is to lead the children to Jesus through the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist. Congratulations Sister Maureen!

 

Parish hosts annual 4th of July Picnic

St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Port Charlotte hosted its annual Fourth of July Family Picnic which drew hundreds to celebrate our nation’s freedom and the opportunity to enjoy some good food made by the parishioners.

 

St. Andrew alumnus named MLB All-Star

Congratulations to 2012 St. Andrew Catholic School Alumnus Shane McClanahan on being selected to his first career MLB All Star game, as starting pitcher representing the Tampa Bay Rays. McClanahan went to Cape Coral High School and then University of South Florida. He was the 31st Pick overall in 2018 MLB Draft for the Rays. In his second season in the majors, the lefthander has a 9-3 record, with a 1.73 earned run average and 141 strikeouts.

 

Independence Day Bike and Golf Cart Parade

The Knights of Columbus Ave Maria Assembly 3862 hosted the 6th annual “God Bless America” Independence Day Bike and Golf Cart Parade in Ave Maria. The ceremony began in the Piazza on the steps of the Church and included patriotic songs, prayers for our country, then a “Blessing of the Bikes.” The parade, which drew more than 500 people of all ages, include motorcycles, bicycles, trikes, golf carts, skateboards, and strollers all led by a fire truck.

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