Retreats serve as reflection and evangelization

When given the opportunity to ask Bishop Frank J. Dewane a question, several young men and women directly inquired where they fit in today’s Catholic Church.

These questions came Nov. 24 during a visit by Bishop Dewane to a Spanish-language Youth Catholic Charismatic Renewal Retreat at the Lake Placid Camp and Conference Center. This was one of several retreats taking place during late November for Spanish-language participants in a number of movements.

 

John XXIII Parish Retreats Movement

On the weekend of Nov. 15-17, members of the John XXIII Parish Retreats Movement gathered at Campo San Jose Retreat Center in Lake Placid. About 25 men took part in the retreat with family and others taking part on the final day for the closing Mass.

The John XXIII Movement is a private international association of laity, with the goal of leading marginalized communities to God. After completing the retreat, participants are encouraged to attend faith-formation classes and weekly meetings to strengthen their faith and personal relationship with God. Rooted in Eucharistic Adoration, the ministry serves the Church and its people through love, surrender, and sacrifice.

MDS retreat

On Nov. 24, the MDS, (Matrimony, Dialogue and Accompaniment) group gathered at Campo San Jose for a retreat. This is a Catholic based enrichment program directed to all married couples; which is designed to improve communication and the conjugal life for the couple. About 60 couples participated in the retreat.

Bishop Dewane celebrated Mass, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, for the retreatants and praised the effort of the leadership in promoting the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony to others. The Bishop noted that by joining in the Sacrament the couples come together by sharing their life with each other and place themselves before Christ the King. “Let the Lord be the King of your marriage and put your focus there.”

Following the Mass, Bishop Dewane and Spiritual Director Father Pablo Ruani were presented with certificates of appreciation.

Hispanic Apostolate meeting

The Bishop also hosted a gathering of priests who serve the Hispanic community in the Diocese for a meeting at the Diocese Chancery in Venice on Nov. 26. This meeting provided the Bishop an update on the engagement of Hispanic Catholics, including success stories and the challenges faced in the Parishes, Diocese and on the national levels.

The group also spoke about implementing more of the ideas developed during the V Encuentro process, a nationwide initiative of the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops to discern ways for the Church in the United States to better respond to the ever-growing Hispanic presence. The ultimate goal is to strengthen the ways in which Hispanics/Latinos respond to the call of the New Evangelization as integral parts of the Church in the United States.

Answering questions from the young

In front of the youth participating the Catholic Charismatic Renewal retreat, the Bishop was asked questions related to the same issue, specifically about what he is doing to reach out to young Hispanics. The questioner noted that there is a real desire for many to become more involved in the Church, but they do not know where to turn for answers.

Emphasizing that this is an imperative issue for him, Bishop Dewane said more needs to be done to reach Hispanics throughout the Diocese. He is working to do that in a variety of ways, including increasing the number of Spanish-speaking clergy, and by having more Spanish-speaking presenters come to the Diocese and to parishes. The first part of that effort in the Diocese has been the rapid expansion of the Hispanic Apostolate.

While talking to the retreatants, the Bishop spoke about how they are at a critical time in the life with regards to their Faith. For this reason, he stressed the importance for them to limit their interaction with people and things that pulls them from developing their relationship with the Lord.

“You each know the people that turn you away from the Lord,” Bishop Dewane said. “You know better than anyone how that phone or that computer can take you to dark places. Only you can make the choice to put aside those distractions and focus on the Lord.”

Continuing, Bishop Dewane noted that each one of them have been given the strength to answer the call of the Lord and to be ‘A Disciple of Christ.’

“Learn what Jesus taught,” the Bishop added. “Use the saints and the apostles as examples of how to answer that call. Know that you will not always be perfect in your response to that call, but also know that the Lord will help pick you up so you can carry on this journey.”

The Bishop was also asked about his own discernment for a vocation to the priesthood; to explain the concept of predetermination; as well as how to balance in one’s life the perceived conflicts between science and religion.

Following his question and answer session, the Bishop had lunch with the young men and women. Several took that opportunity to ask their questions in private.

News Briefs from around the Diocese for late November

Advent begins at Catholic Center

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

 

 

Parish holds Children Festival

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

 

 

 

Rose Ball recognizes service of young ladies

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

Youth make Advent Wreaths

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

 

Students visit Veterans Nursing Home

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

Quiz Bowl Champs

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

 

 

 

 

Students enjoy time with women religious

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

Hispanic Festival draws thousands

Staff Report

The 17th Annual Hispanic Festival at St. Jude Parish was another rousing success as an estimated 14,000 descended on the Sarasota Parish on Nov. 9 for a day filled with food, fun and entertainment.

The annual festival is a celebration of both the individual nations and the unified culture of a diverse people. Held annually in early November, the day includes musical performances, ethnic dancers and food from many nations. Throughout the parish grounds were tents full of a wide variety of food that left many mouths watering.

Cooler temperatures energized everyone as the celebration of more than a dozen countries lasted from morning until after sunset. Many wore shirts proclaiming to everyone their country of origin.

Throughout the day, there were performances from a variety of countries, offering both modern and traditional music and dance.

Isabella Rios, 12, enjoyed her papas rellenas from the Cuban food tent, which is a meat-filled potato ball, while listening to one of the rock bands before watching flamenco dancers perform. “The food is great, but I like the music and the dancers best.”

Father Celestino Gutierrez, Pastor of St. Jude, officially opened the Hispanic Festival with a prayer. This followed a “Parade of Flags” when each country represented at the festival was announced, and the respective flags brought forward to cheers from the crowd.

Whether it was the food, the music, the dancing or the joy of being around so many happy people, the Hispanic Festival was rated a massive success by any measure.

Thousands attend the event annually from as far away as Naples and Clearwater. It has become a much-anticipated event for the ethnically diverse Sarasota Parish. All of the proceeds of the Hispanic Festival go to support the various outreach efforts of the Parish, including helping countless families throughout the year.

As a bilingual Parish, the members of both the English and the Spanish speaking congregation participated and volunteered to staff the booths.  This annual Festival is the oldest one in Sarasota County to feature authentic Latino food, music and culture.

Midpoint Rally held for 40 Days for Life

Bob Reddy – Florida Catholic

On the lakefront of Vineyards Community Park in Naples like-minded people gathered to celebrate the groundswell of support for the 40 Days for Life campaign which seeks to end abortion in the United States.

A rally was held Oct. 14 to bring together two groups working for the same cause. The first group is the pro-life prayer warriors who stand in front of abortion mills peacefully raising awareness regarding every life, which is precious from the moment of conception to natural death. Also stressed was how abortion can leave lasting scars for parents of aborted children that are not always visible. The other group represented the leaders of pregnancy clinics in the area which provide much needed resources for moms in crisis who are at risk of seeking an abortion.

Deacon Gary Ingold, CEO of Community Pregnancy Clinics Inc., which has facilities in Naples, Fort Myers, Sarasota and Gainesville, as well as two mobile medical clinics which go out into the community, spoke about the mission of everyone present.

“Only the mother can nurture and protect her unborn child,” Ingold said. “It is our job to nurture and protect the mothers. We can only save the babies if we can save the moms. The only way this is possible is if we can develop a culture of life.”

Other speakers stressed the need for a modern approach to the issues by treating every mother – no matter what choice they make – with dignity, compassion, mercy and respect.

Hadley Thompson, a student at Ave Maria University, spoke about her effort to be supportive of new moms on campus through the development of a “Pregnant on Campus” outreach. The group of student volunteers serves in a supporting role for the moms who are working toward a degree by attending classes but need babysitting and other support to care for their child.

“This started out as a way to help a friend,” Thompson explained. “Now it has grown to include dozens of people who volunteer their time to create a positive environment for both mother and child.”

The rally was organized by 40 Days for Life Naples Coordinator Crystal Gabbard and moderated by Ryan Neuhaus, regional coordinator in Florida of Students for Life in America.

The 40 Days for Life Fall Campaign continues through Nov. 3 locally in Naples, Fort Myers and Sarasota. Please visit www.40daysforlife.com and search for the closest vigil site. Participants are encouraged to spend as much time as they can to be a witness for life.

Diocesan news briefs late October 2019

White Mass and lecture held for medical professionals

St. Agnes Parish held its annual White Mass for medical professionals in Naples, on Oct. 18, the Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist and patron of doctors. A lecture titled “Spirituality and Health: Complete Doctoring” presented by Dr. Michael Gloth followed in the Parish Hall.

 

 

Mobile Medical Clinic blessed

Father Augustine Twum Obour, Parochial Vicar of Our Lady of the Angels Parish in Lakewood Ranch, blesses the new Mobile Medical Clinic of Community Pregnancy Clinics on Oct. 20. The van, which offers free ultrasounds to pregnant moms, was made possible by a donation from the Knights of Columbus and will be used throughout the region.

 

 

Verot earns Apple Distinguished School Certification

Bishop Verot Catholic High School has earned Apple Distinguished School Certification for 2019-2022. According to Apple: “Apple Distinguished School leaders, faculty, and the extended community have a clear vision for how their technology-rich environments support learning goals. School leaders have established elements for continuous innovation that include culture, team, capacity, community, finance, and measurement. Supporting their school’s vision is an ongoing process that requires thoughtful planning, practice, and improvement along the way. They use iPad and Mac products to inspire student creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking. And they cultivate environments in which students are excited and curious about learning.”

St. Mary Academy named Best Special Needs School in region

St. Mary Academy in Sarasota has been named by Family Living Magazine as the Best Special Needs School in Sarasota, Bradenton and Venice. The schools provide skilled teaching to students with learning disabilities. To mark this achievement, the school had a celebration that included outdoor games, food and fun.

 

 

Junior high students have fun in Wauchula

St. Michael Parish in Wauchula hosted an Oct. 5 festival for junior high students. The day includes lots of fun and games, but also include speakers who stressed the need to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, time for prayer and the Mass.

 

 

 

Mooney featured on Tampa morning TV show

Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota hosted FOX-13 Tampa Bay on Oct. 17. The honor coincides with the ongoing celebration of Mooney’s 60th Anniversary. The sports teams and cheerleaders led a pep rally, and the TV crew also showcased the newly renovated stadium and field.

 

 

Goldtones Tickets Now on Sale
San Antonio Parish Knights of Columbus announce that tickets are now on sale for Florida’s famous Doo-wop group the Goldtones’ concert. The concert will be 7 p.m.,  Jan. 31 in the Holy Trinity Hall, 24411 Rampart Blvd, Port Charlotte. General Admission tickets are $15. In addition to all the old familiar Doo-wop favorites, they will also be singing your favorite Motown hits. Last year sold out early, so get your tickets now at 800-838-3006, or online at: BrownPaperTickets.com

CCW Juniors gather for retreat

A group of young ladies received important last-minute lessons as they prepared to return to school – how to defend their faith and what the Venice Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (VDCCW) is all about.

A CCW Juniors Convocation took place Aug. 9-10 at Campo San Jose Retreat Center in Lake Placid. Organized by Iris Gomez, VDCCW Past-President of St. Michael Parish in Wauchula, girls from four different parishes spent time together before they had to return to school on Aug. 12.

“I want these girls to learn about how to defend their faith in the real world,” Gomez explained.

This is important, Gomez added, because when the young ladies are in school, or out with friends, they don’t have anyone physically standing beside them to explain why they are Catholic and what being Catholic is all about.

“We want them to grow in strength and confidence while being comforted by the companionship of the Lord,” Gomez concluded.

The girls, from St. Jude Parish in Sarasota, Sacred Heart Parish in Bradenton, Our Lady of Grace Parish in Avon Park, and St. Michael Parish, took part in a variety of activities. These tasks were sometimes a lot of fun, but very serious, with each helping them to understand the love the Lord has for them as women of God.

To help achieve this, Gomez and the chaperones stressed the importance of prayer, particularly of the rosary. After each prayer session, the girls would gather in smaller groups for talks.

One young lady from St. Michael Parish said she had fun during the convocation and felt confident that when she returned to high school, she would be a stronger woman who was not shy about her faith. “I never really talked about being Catholic to people who didn’t know I was already,” she said. “I am proud to wear my cross neckless and carry a rosary with me. It is part of who I am.”

This feeling was shared by many of the other girls who appreciated the frank talks that they rarely have about faith.

The first activities of the convocation included a living rosary, sharing a meal together, pep talks, campfire, a movie with popcorn, and the recitation of evening prayers.

When they arose in the morning, they participated in Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, celebrated by Fathers Juan Carlos Sack and Timothy Van Zee. This was followed by more talks and small group gatherings.

Following their lunch, the girls had some fun, by putting permanent stickers on t-shirts. Many of the girls chose “faith” or a heart that represented the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The group also took part in a service project, ironing on stickers to baby onesies and bibs. These would later be distributed to needy moms throughout Hardee County.

The young ladies from St. Michael Parish also did a skit on the story of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, a religious sister who lived a humble life to whom Jesus appeared. She was canonized by St. John Paul II in 2000, who at that time declared the Second Sunday of Easter is Divine Mercy Sunday, a celebration of the mercy of Jesus as reminded us by St. Faustina.

The final activity of the retreat was to spend some quality time in quiet and prayer with the Lord through the participation in Eucharistic Adoration.

When their convocation was completed, they returned home, ready and energized for a great school year while keeping Jesus first in their lives.

Diocesan news briefs from early August 2019

Missionary Discipleship Society starting

The Diocese is kicking off a new Missionary Discipleship Society beginning in the Naples and Fort Myers area this September. The Missionary Discipleship Society is a group of young adults (ages 21-39) who will dedicate a year to becoming Missionary Disciples of Jesus Christ as well as growing in fellowship with one another. The group will offer a full retreat once a month for all who are signed up as well as participate in a ministry/service project monthly.  Members will learn their faith like never before as they grow in a family environment with other members –then they will even be given the chance to attend a major Catholic Conference at the end of the year! For more information, please contact Joshua Mazrin at mazrin@dioceseofvenice.org .

Blue Mass in Venice on Sept. 8

Please join in honoring all active, retired and deceased first responders during the 9th annual Blue Mass, Sept. 8, 10 a.m., Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, 1301 Center Road, Venice. This event is free and is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus Council 9924. A procession into the Church starts at 9:45 a.m. A brunch will immediately follow.

Parish celebrates Feast Day

 

The Hispanic Mission Santiago, a mission of St. James Parish in Lake Placid, celebrated the Feast of St. James on July 25 with a Mass and a series of fun activities. Father Victor Caviedes celebrated the Mass which was followed by a fiesta in the hall. Outside, the youth made “snowballs” and had fun with them in the parking lot.

 

 

Verot student earns prestigious award

Congratulations to rising Bishop Verot Catholic High School Senior Connor Shovlin, who was recently awarded the Rensselaer Medal Award, a scholarship opportunity worth $100,000. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute awards the Rensselaer Medal to promising secondary school students who have distinguished themselves in mathematics and science.

 

Summer music camp a success

St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Naples hosted a summer music camp which culminated in the July 21 participation in the Mass. The children of all ages learned to sing, play the ukulele, the tin whistle and the handbells all for Jesus!

 

Florida Catholic Chamber of Commerce meeting Aug. 29

Please join the Florida Catholic Chamber of Commerce for their next networking/lunch meeting Aug. 29, 11:30 a.m., at Calusa Harbor, 2525 1st St., Fort Myers. The Florida Catholic Chamber of Commerce promotes Catholic businesses and ministries supporting one another! The Chamber’s purpose is to inform and unite Catholic businesses to encourage the use of Catholic values and a culture of life in the home, community and workplace. All Catholic businesses and ministries are invited to attend all networking meetings. The gatherings are free, and no membership is required. Please RSVP to toni@floridacatholicchamber.com or 239-980-0921.

Worldwide Marriage Encounter Sept. 20-22

Take time to give your marriage a well-deserved vacation. Take a break from the heat and plan to go on a Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend and come back with a marriage that is refreshed and full of energy! The next Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend in this area is Sept. 20-22 at the Hampton Inn in Oldsmar. Space IS limited, so please apply early! For more information about taking a private time away, check out flwc-wwme.org or call 813-270-7832.

News from Around the Diocese late July 2019

Seminarian admitted to Candidacy

Bishop Frank J. Dewane presided over the Rite of the Admission to Candidacy of Diocesan Seminarian Daniel Scanlan on June 27 at the Diocese Catholic Center in Venice. Scanlan recently graduated Valedictorian from St. Vincent de Paul College Seminary in Miami and is heading to Rome, Italy, to continue his priestly formation at the Pontifical North American College. Also present was Father Shawn Roser, Diocese Director of Vocations.

Youth take part in religious retreat in Georgia mountains

Youth from two different parishes took part in separate religious retreats in the Georgia mountains in late June. The Epiphany Cathedral group from Venice went to the Camp Covecrest retreat center for a week of fun activities and team-building exercises while also hearing inspirational talks and having time to reflect on their faith. Meanwhile, the boys and girls from St. Michael Parish in Wauchula went camping in the mountains of Georgia on consecutive weeks. The groups hiked to the start of the Appalachian Trail and took part in numerous other activities and were led by the religious sisters and priests from the parish.

Mooney student taking part in Ballet summer program

Lauren Garner, Class of 2022, is spending her summer at the Boston Ballet School Summer Dance Program. After an intense audition, she was accepted and will spend 5 weeks training 5-7 hours each day with internationally renowned faculty of the Boston Ballet School and prestigious collegiate dance institutions in the areas of ballet technique, choreography, improvisation and contemporary dance. She will be attending this program and living in college dorms with other students from the United States and around the globe.

 

 

Verot grad receives top Girl Scout award

Samantha Romero, who just graduated from Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Sarasota has earned Girl Scouting’s highest honor – the Gold Award. Following Hurricane Michael in 2018, she turned her passion for filmmaking to make a difference in the Florida Panhandle by documenting the damage and recovery at St. John Catholic School in Panama City. There was a local connection to that school in that the principal, Dr. Vikki Parks, previously served as Diocese of Venice Assistant Superintendent and a teacher at St. Andrew Catholic School in Cape Coral. Through the power of video, she was able to help the school share their story and spearhead their relief effort. Romero also created a video club at Bishop Verot, and through in-person workshops and online video classes she trained younger students in the art of film, editing, and techniques to create professional content. Romero was also a member of the Verot Catholics in Action Club and was very active in Pro-Life activities including a trip to the National March for Life in Washington, D.C. The Girl Scout Gold Award recognizes girls who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through take-action projects with sustainable impact in their communities. The Gold Award is so prestigious that some universities and colleges offer scholarships unique to Gold Award Girl Scouts, and girls who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces may receive advanced rank in recognition of their achievements.

Mooney grad receives national lacrosse recognition

MJ McMahon, a recent graduate of Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota, has been named to the 2019 All-LaxRecords Second Team. McMahon completed his career with the Cougars tallying 410 points, good for top ten all time throughout the state. He racked up 235 goals, the fifth most ever for a high school lacrosse player from Florida. This past spring, McMahon helped guide Cardinal Mooney to a 21-win season. McMahon will be attending the University of Utah in the fall.

Diocese news briefs for early July 2019

Sarasota Pastor receives Rotary honor

Father Celestino Gutierrez, Pastor of St. Jude Parish in Sarasota, was recently honored by the Rotary Club of Sarasota with their “Citizen of the Year” award. Father was presented the award by Rotary Club President Joe Devore, for service to the community, in particular his focus on helping the poor and the needy.  Father Gutierrez commented that, growing up in Spain, he never anticipated receiving such an award in the USA.

 

Mooney students go on Mission Trip to Jamaica

A group of Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School students from Sarasota went on a mission trip to Jamaica the week of June 17. During their trip the youth, who are all part of the Mooney Pivotal Directions mission club, worked in poor villages to help the needy of the area.

 

 

 

 

Immeasurable Mercy worship event July 25 on Sanibel

Take time to tend to your soul, for an Immeasurable Mercy worship event July 25, 7 p.m., St. Isabel Parish, 3559 Sanibel Captiva Road, Sanibel. The event will feature the music of Mark Shapic with vocals by Jennine Fuentes. There will be praise and worship, live music, adoration, confession, games, pizza and desserts. Please RSVP to Sue Ellen Nolan at239-472-2763 or sueellen.nolan@saintisabel.org.

Verot grad selected to MLB All-Star Game

Daniel Vogelbach, a graduate of Bishop Verot Catholic High School, and current Seattle Mariners designated hitter was selected to the 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star game, which was held July 9 in Cleveland. At the All-Star break, he had 20 home runs and a .244 batting average. Vogelbach help lead the Verot Vikings baseball team to the 2011 Florida Class 3A State Championship and shortly after graduation that same year was drafted 68th overall in the second round by the Chicago Cubs. Vogelbach set a Vikings single-season record with 17 home runs. He also led the team in batting average .459, hits (39), triples (4), walks (27), RBI (50), on-base percentage (.571) and slugging (1.224). After playing in the Cubs farm system, he was traded to the Mariners in 2016 and made his major league debut Sept. 12, 2016, earning his first hit the next night.

Knights on Bikes looking for riders

If you’re driving almost anywhere in Florida or the United States… you’ve probably seen or noticed a motorcyclist on a Harley Davidson, or another motorcycle, with a Knights of Columbus patch and a cross on their leather riding vests along with various other patches. Many Knights of Columbus have asked, “Who are these guys?” Well these are the Knights on Bikes and they are Knights of Columbus first and foremost dedicated to their roles of Knights of Columbus, the Dioceses of Venice, and the Holy Spirit! If you are a current, or planning to become a, Knight of Columbus with a positive passion for motorcycles and would like to ride with fellow positive minded Knights on Bikes, please consider joining. Knights on Bikes is always looking for properly formed good spirited Catholic men within the Diocese of Venice and other Dioceses for rides and fundraising. The motto is, ” In God We Trust and Ride.” For more information, please contact Venice Diocesan Knights on Bikes Chairman George Lopez for details at Knights1314@yahoo.com.

Arcadia senior housing opening soon

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice announces the completion of St. John Paul II Villas in Arcadia – a brand new development for Senior, Low-Income Housing. Apartments available consist of 1 or 2 bedrooms and are available for individuals 55 years of age and older, or handicapped or disabled. Income restrictions apply. For more information please call 863-884-2123.

Home Buyer Education Workshop

Catholic Charities offers a free Home Buyer Education Workshop every month in Bradenton and Sarasota in both English and Spanish. Potential home buyers receive important and useful information on how to purchase a home. For information, call Catholic Charities at 941-714-7829.

News for mid May 2019

Bishop blesses Knights on Bikes

The Knights of Columbus Knights on Bikes of the Diocese of Venice welcomed Bishop Frank J. Dewane as he blessed their motorcycles May 19 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center in Venice. Bishop Dewane first celebrated a Mass for the group and then led a prayer service and blessing. Organized by George Lopez of Ave Maria Parish, the motorcyclists came from across the Diocese. The Knights on Bikes is a worldwide organization consisting of members of the Knights of Columbus who are also motorcycle riders. The Knights on Bikes was formed in the United States in April 2005. Members proudly wear a vest that clearly promotes the Knights of Columbus organization.

Seminarians graduate from college

Diocesan Seminarian Daniel Scanlan gives the valedictorian address May 9 at St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami.

Three Diocesan Seminarians recently graduated from college. Transitional Deacon Carlos Encinas earned his Master’s in Divinity from St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach on May 9. The day before, Seminarians Daniel Scanlan and Juan Contreras graduated from St. john Vianney College Seminary in Miami. Scanlan graduated at the class valedictorian. Deacon Encinas will be ordained to the priesthood in the fall, while Scanlan and Contreras will next go on to St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary.

Food sorting from Post Office drive

A volunteer helps sort donations at St. Joseph Food Pantry in Bradenton on May 11 following the Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.

The St. Joseph Food Pantry in Bradenton received food deliveries from five U.S. Post Offices as part of a Letter Carries “Stamp Our Hunger Food Drive.” On May 11, some 300 volunteers helped sort the food in the St. Joseph Parish School gymnasium and stock the Food Pantry. The food pantry serves all of Manatee County and in 2018 the Food Pantry served more than 5,300 families with 12,772 family members of which 4,443 were children and 442 were veterans. These families visited the pantry and received food over 19,600 visits during the past 12 months. In addition, the Food Pantry distributed more than 550 bags of food and toiletries to the homeless of Manatee County during the year. An additional 1,000 bags of food are distributed Thanksgiving Week. For more information about the St. Joseph Food Pantry, call 941-756-3732, email directors@stjoepantry.com or send donations to St. Joseph Food Pantry, 2704 33rd Ave. W., Bradenton, FL 34205.

Sarasota school expands offering

Incarnation Catholic School, 2911 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota, will be expanding their early learning classes to include a PreK three program. The program will offer a monthly theme-based curriculum that will include math, science, language and basics of our Catholic faith. Our little learners will discover answers to big questions like “How do Plants Grow?” and “ Who lives in the Ocean?”. Small class sizes will allow for individual attention and differentiate instruction. Playground time will provide an opportunity to work on gross motor skills.  The program will offer full and part time options, perfect for every family. Children must be potty trained and three years old by September 1. For more information please call 941-924-8588.

Verot grad tapped to head ATF

Regina Lombardo, a 1981 graduate of Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers, was announced on May 1 as the new acting deputy director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the first woman to head the federal agency. Lombardo has served as the associate deputy director and chief operating officer for the agency since March 2018, with responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the agency. She has served as a special agent at ATF since 1992 and has risen through the ranks as a career employee, holding numerous management positions that include assistant director of Human Resources and Professional Development, deputy assistant director of Field Operations’ Central Region, special agent in charge of the Tampa Field Division, assistant special agent in Charge of the New York Field Division, and assistant country attaché in Toronto, Canada.

Youth event May 31 on Sanibel

Youth from across the Diocese are invited to take part in an event 7-10 p.m., May 31 at St. Isabel Parish, 3559 Sanibel Captiva Road, Sanibel. This event is open to everyone but the Youth Groups in the area are encouraged to participate. The event, titled “Immeasurable Mercy!” will feature our well-known local musician Mark Shapic and vocalist Jennine Fuentes! Also included is pizza, refreshments, games, Adoration and Reconciliation along with some praise and worship. It’s a time for music, fun, and fellowship! RSVP to Dr. Sue Ellen Nolan at @sueellen.nolan@saintisabel.org.

Taize Prayer service May 31 in Sarasota

St. Thomas More Parish, 2506 Gulf Gate Drive, Sarasota, invites people to a special Taize Prayer Service, 7 p.m., May 31. The feast of Pentecost commemorates the beginning of the Church in a new way, with the arrival of the Holy Spirit and with the disciples speaking so that many people heard the gospel in their own language. The prayer in the manner of Taizé is a good way to discover a shared gospel in many languages. Celebrate Pentecost with Song, Silence and Scripture in the style of Taizé monastery in France. The simple and beautiful chant music is dedicated to the renewal of spirits and the healing of our planet. The repetitive nature of the chanted prayer can promote a kind of inner unity of the person, allowing the spirit to be more open and more attentive to what is essential. Silence is a fundamental part of the Taizé service. For more details, please call 941-923-1691.

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