Bishop Dewane Consecrates the Diocese to the care and protection of St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus Christ. The Bishop designates “A Year of St. Joseph” in the context of the Coronavirus Pandemic through March 19, 2021. Pope Francis calls for a “A Year of St. Joseph” through December 8, 2021.
Blessing of St. John Paul II Villas of Catholic Charities affordable senior housing in Arcadia; new Church and conference rooms blessed for Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Immokalee; first Mass for Widows and Widowers at Cathedral; blessing of a new Hall for St. Cecilia Parish in Fort Myers; St. Peter the Apostle Parish office and rectory blessed in Naples; St. John the Evangelist Parish Church rededicated; Bishop joins group at World Youth Day 2019 in Panama City, Panama; Mercy Nights initiative takes place during Lent; second Walk to Mary includes Bishop; Frassati Society for young adults begins; Knights of Columbus Silver Rose visits Diocese; Missionary Discipleship Society begins for young adults.
Recovery from Hurricane Irma continued including St. Elizabeth Seton Parish and School in Naples both returning to their buildings; outpouring of support from Diocese for victims of Hurricane Michael in Florida Panhandle; blessing new Judy Sullivan Family Resource Center of Catholic Charities; blessing of new Church for Our Lady of the Angels Parish in Lakewood Ranch; one ordained to the priesthood; 20,000 rosaries blessed and distributed to students in Catholic Schools and Diocesan Religious Education programs; Diocese hosts 32nd Annual Statewide Florida Respect Life Conference in Punta Gorda; first Walk to Our Lady from Our Lady of Lourdes Parish to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center in Venice; V Encuentro Hispanic Catholic Outreach continues; new Spanish-language Faith Formation Certificate Program begins; Opioid Crisis Symposium held in Sarasota; Bishop reads for children during summer program in Arcadia; new apartments blessed for Our Mother’s House of Catholic Charities; St. John XXIII Parish Hall and Adoration Chapel blessed in Fort Myers; St. Raphael Parish in Englewood completes Church renovations; St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Cape Coral rededicated; St. John the Evangelist Family Life Center blessed; “Share the Journey” initiative about persecuted Christians includes Diocesan youth film festival and participation in Courage in RED, with students wearing red and the Cathedral illuminated; new Diocesan website launched.
Diocese struck by Hurricane Irma – serious damage to 33 parishes and eight schools in addition to other facilities; in the first three weeks following the hurricane, Catholic Charities assisted more than more than 80,000 individuals and families at 12 different Disaster Response Centers with food and water; as Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Bishop Dewane authors, or coauthors, a number of letters to the President and Congress and made public statements on a wide range of issues that impact the lives of millions, including health care, tax reform and much more; one ordained to the priesthood; Ave Maria and Christ the King (Latin Masses only) elevated to Parish status, the 60th and 61st Parishes in the Diocese; Corpus Christi Chapel erected for Latin Mass in Naples and Fort Myers; V Encuentro initiative for Hispanic Catholic Community expands; first Mission Immokalee youth retreat; Mission trip to Grenada; Apostolic Nuncio addresses Youth Rally; two-year “Share the Journey” campaign from Pope Francis begins; Golden Jubilee of Catholic Charismatic Renewal Conference draws 1,400; Opiate Crisis Clergy Conference; “Witnessing Faith with Bishop Dewane” monthly radio show on Relevant Radio begins; Vocations Awareness Days held for Catholic School sixth graders; Diocese formally consecrated the Diocese to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary; 33-day “Diocesan Advent Journey to Jesus through Mary.”
Years of Mercy continues throughout year, more than 15,000 pilgrims go through Mercy Doors at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice and Our Lady of Mercy in Boca Grande; 10th Anniversary of Bishop Dewane’s Episcopal Ordination; Bishop Dewane assumed a three-year term as Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development; three ordained to priesthood; “24 Hours with the Lord” confession initiative in Diocese; Ecumenical Prayer Service for Peace in Fort Myers; Salute to Veterans in Venice by Catholic Charities; blessing of Phase II of Casa San Juan Bosco farm worker housing of Catholic Charities; blessing of additional housing for North Port Family Haven of Catholic Charities; 140 join Bishop in Krakow, Poland for World Youth Day 2016; Youth Rally reaches 1,900; V Encuentro initiative for Hispanic Catholic Community begins; blessing of Zazarino Center for St. Martha Catholic School and St. Mary Academy in Sarasota.
Year of Consecrated Life continues and all Religious recognized at severe public and private events; TV Mass expands to include whole Diocese for first time; Vatican Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education visits Diocese, celebrates Mass for Polish Catholic community; Year of Consecrated Life continues and includes Mass in honor of all Religious men and women at Epiphany Cathedral; Jesus the Worker becomes 59th Parish in the Diocese; blessing of new Catholic Charities Family Haven Homeless Shelter for Families in North Port; STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Math) pilot program begins at St. Andrew Catholic School in Cape Coral; five Permanent Deacons ordained; Pope Francis visits U.S.; Bishop, other groups attend World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia with Pope; Bishop awarded the Guardian of the Holy Land Award from the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land; blessing of Knights Memorial following annual Veterans Day Mass at Sarasota National Cemetery; Year of Mercy begins and Mercy doors open at Epiphany Cathedral and Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Boca Grande.
Death of Diocese founding Bishop John J. Nevins; 30th Anniversary of the Diocese; one ordained to the priesthood; first Veterans Gala by Catholic Charities; first Bible Study Training Day; first Family Fun Day; Apologetics Conference expands; Youth Rally moves to Punta Gorda, grows and includes Eucharistic Procession through downtown streets; Theology on Tap expands to Naples and Fort Myers; new Chapel dedicated at St. John Neumann Catholic High School in Naples; private/public partnership in North Port Family Haven, a homeless portal which places the needy in temporary shelters and transitional housing; Year of Consecrated Life begins.
Pope Benedict resigns; Habamus Papum! Pope Francis elected; Year of Faith; three Volunteer Appreciation Masses; Religious Freedom stays on forefront of public debate; Bishop Dewane celebrates 25th anniversary of Ordination to the Priesthood; Youth Rally hits 1,200 mark at St. Leo Parish in Bonita Springs; Casa Maria Soup Kitchen in Immokalee dedicated; Phase I of Casa San Juan Bosco Inc. of Catholic Charities farm worker housing in Arcadia blessed and dedicated; first Apologetics Conference; Poor Clare Sisters on Fort Myers Beach mark 25 years in Diocese; new athletics facilities blessed at St. John Neumann Catholic High School in Naples; group of 50 go to World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro; three men ordained; Theology on Tap begins in Sarasota; Bishop Dewane battles illness for part of year.
July 17, Pope John Paul II erects the Diocese of Venice in Florida from parts of the Archdiocese of Miami, the Diocese of St. Petersburg and the Diocese of Orlando, naming Archdiocese of Miami Auxiliary Bishop John J. Nevins as the first bishop; Oct. 25 Bishop John J. Nevins is installed as first Bishop of the Diocese and Epiphany Church was dedicated as the Cathedral of the Diocese; Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. founded; Diocese has 116,495 registered parishioners. 11 schools; first chancery of Diocese in rented building in Capri Isles area of Venice.
Father Arthur William Hannaway is first priest ordained in the Diocese of Venice on May 25; St. Thomas More Parish dedicates new church; Council of Catholic Women founded for Diocese.