Throughout Scriptures we are reminded to care for widows and widowers who are protected by God. For this reason, the Bishop Frank J. Dewane is celebrating the annual Mass for all widows and widowers at 3 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 26 at St. John the Evangelist Parish, 625 111th North Avenue, Naples. A dinner will follow in the Parish Hall.
In 2019 hundreds of widows and widowers were recognized during the first Mass at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice. The response was overwhelmingly positive and was described by several as beautiful and touching.
Bishop Dewane said this Mass is an important opportunity to recognize those who have suffered the loss of a spouse. The Bishop called the widows and widowers an inspiration and gift to the community as they stand strong in their faith, even with the loss that may continue to strike them hard.
The concept for the Mass grew out of the annual Mass honoring couples celebrating significant wedding anniversaries. Those Masses, which will be held Feb. 1 at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice and February 29 at St. Leo the Great Parish in Bonita Springs, are extraordinarily popular. At the conclusion of one such Mass, a volunteer noted that she would have attended the anniversary Mass but for the fact that her spouse had recently passed away. This planted the seed for what has now become the annual Widows and Widowers Mass. (Registration for the Anniversary Masses is through your Parish.)
“Widows and widowers are not forgotten but are in fact recognized and in particular revered by the Church,” Bishop Dewane said. “The Holy Father has called upon widows and widowers to use their experiences to help the young and poor; showing them the tenderness of God and His closeness in love.”
The celebration will include a display of photos available for viewing during the reception. Should an attendee wish to share a photo for the display, they can either bring the image to the event, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail it to Diocese of Venice, Attn: Family Life Office, 1000 Pinebrook Road, Venice, Florida 34285.
To register, or for further information about the Widows and Widowers Mass with Bishop Dewane, please visit www.dioceseofvenice.org/calendar, or call 941-484-9543.