Diocese of Venice Crest


The Diocese of Venice in Florida

The Mustard Seed

  April 3, 2020


Exclusive Right of Use - All content on the websites of the Diocese of Venice, all Parishes and Schools, including the Mustard Seed publication, and social media accounts are for the exclusive use of the Diocese and its entities. It is unlawful for outside entities and organizations to use this content for promotion or other purposes without the express written permission of the Diocese of Venice. For more information, please contact the Diocese of Venice Communications Office at 941-484-9543.

Office of the Bishop  
2020 Easter Message

Christ is Risen, Alleluia, Alleluia!!

Christians today around the world proclaim the Good News of the Resurrection, a time of transformation from darkness to light. The face of the Risen Christ is that light, in my life, your life and the lives of those we love and know.

This Easter we are not in our Churches for Mass and that saddens me as I'm sure it saddens you as well. These are difficult times, no doubt, however, I ask you please do not allow fear to overshadow the joy of this day.  Jesus Christ is alive and remains with us.  The Risen Christ is the assurance that God will not abandon us as we deal with the challenges of our time. Christ's Resurrection and victory over sin and death provides the encouragement most desperately needed for all who are experiencing hardship, pain and deep sorrow.

May this Easter Season, beginning with the Resurrection, bring you the comfort, peace and knowledge that we are so greatly loved by God Our Father that He sent His only Son as our salvation.  

God bless you and your families!  Please know that you remain in my prayers!

Have a Happy and Blessed Easter!

+ Frank J. Dewane
Bishop of the Diocese of
Venice in Florida

Pope Francis Prayer Intention for April - We pray that those suffering from addiction may be helped and accompanied.

Masses Temporarily Suspended Due to Coronavirus - In addition to prayers for the safety of the Faithful of the Diocese of Venice in Florida, Bishop Frank J. Dewane has temporarily suspended Masses and Liturgical events in Parish Churches beginning Friday, March 20, 2020, and now until April 30.  This is in compliance with the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the order issued by Governor DeSantis for the State of Florida to minimize the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Once the health situation subsides, the temporary suspension of Masses will be revisited.  

Prayer Against Coronavirus - Prayer cards have been mailed to each Parish containing a Prayer against Coronavirus. Prayer cards in Spanish will follow shortly. Please find creative ways to communicate this prayer to the Faithful as we all work to contain this virus.  ( CLICK HERE for the prayer.)  

Mass for Victims of Child Abuse - April is Child Abuse Awareness Prevention Month, and in conjunction with the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the Diocese of Venice has held a Mass for Victims of Child Abuse for the past 12 years. The Mass this year will be celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Dewane via a live stream at 9:15 a.m. on April 21 from the Catholic Center. (Bulletin editors CLICK HERE for the prayer offered by the USSCB for healing of victims of abuse in English and Spanish.)

Year of St. Joseph - Bishop Dewane announced the Diocese of Venice will celebrate a "Year of St. Joseph" from March 19, 2020 through March 19, 2021.  St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus and protector of the Blessed Virgin, is the Patron of the Universal Church, as proclaimed by Pope Pius IX in 1870.  This year marks the 150th Anniversary of this Proclamation and on the Solemnity of St. Joseph Bishop Dewane celebrated Mass in which he consecrated the Diocese of Venice to the care and protection of St. Joseph particularly during this time of the Coronavirus pandemic.  St. Joseph is known as the saint of protection and we all need protection from evil during these difficult times. Throughout the coming months, there will be announcements as events are planned, as well as prayers and resources. During this coming year let us place our trust in St. Joseph through prayer and his example of humility and kindness. In doing so we will all grow in virtue and ever closer to Our Lord. Please visit www.dioceseofvenice.org to view the Mass for the Solemnity of St. Joseph and the Consecration.   

A Disciple of Christ Campaign - To celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the Diocese of Venice, Most Rev. Frank J. Dewane launched an initiative for all to become "A Disciple of Christ." The campaign will continue through Lent, Easter, and conclude with Pentecost. Disciple of Christ prayer cards have been mailed to all Parishes and Missions. For additional cards contact Gail at ardy@dioceseofvenice.org.

Communications Department
Holy Week Live-Streaming - The Diocese of Venice will be Live-Streaming the Holy Week Masses/Service from Epiphany Cathedral as follows:  The Chrism Mass at 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 7; Holy Thursday at 7:00 p.m., April 9; Good Friday at 3:00 p.m., and the Easter Vigil at 8:30 p.m.  The full schedule can be found at www.dioceseofvenice.org. For Parishes who do not have live-stream capabilities visit https://www.facebook.com/pg/DioceseofVenice/videos/?ref=page_internal to post on websites and social media pages. If graphics are needed to support the promotion of each Mass or Vigil, please CLICK HERE: Chrism Mass, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil.

Live-Streamed Mass from Catholic Center - Please join Bishop Frank J. Dewane at 9:15 a.m. daily in the celebration of the Mass from the Catholic Center at www.dioceseofvenice.org, or visit https://www.facebook.com/DioceseofVenice/.

Televised Mass - The Diocese of Venice in Florida airs the televised Sunday Mass each week.  The Mass can be viewed at 9:30 a.m. on the CW Network in Sarasota, Manatee, Desoto, Charlotte, Hardee and Highland counties, and at 10:30 a.m. on FOX4 in Charlotte, Lee, Collier, Hendry, Glades and Desoto counties. The Mass is also available on the Diocese of Venice website at www.dioceseofvenice.org/tvmass. Please  CLICK HERE for the Act of Spiritual Communion prayer.

Sunday Mass in Spanish - Epiphany Cathedral will live stream the Sunday Liturgy in Spanish on Saturday evenings at 6:00 p.m. The Mass can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/EpiphanyCathedral/.  Please CLICK HERE for the Prayer for the Act of Spiritual Communion in Spanish.

Exclusive Right of Use - All content on the websites of the Diocese of Venice, all Parishes and Schools, including the Mustard Seed publication, and social media accounts are for the exclusive use of the Diocese and its entities. It is unlawful for outside entities and organizations to use this content for promotion or other purposes without the express written permission of the Diocese of Venice. For more information, please contact the Diocese of Venice Communications Office at 941-484-9543.

Civilize It: Dignity Beyond the Debate - As Catholics, we have a long tradition of engagement in the political process as a means of putting our faith into action. We are called to bring the best of ourselves and our faith to the public square -- and yet today, many shy away from such involvement because our national and local conversations are filled with vitriol and harsh language. We must bear witness to a better way. You are invited to join the Civilize It! campaign launched by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), to promote civility, model love for neighbor, and build community. To take the pledge visit: https://dioceseofvenice.org/offices/other/2020-election-resources-english-and-spanish/ and to read the Election and Political Activities Guide released by the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops.

"Witnessing Faith with Bishop Dewane" - Join Most Reverend Frank J. Dewane, Bishop of the Diocese of Venice, for his monthly radio program on Relevant Radio. "Witnessing Faith with Bishop Dewane" can be heard at 8:30 a.m., Friday, April 24, on 1410 AM and 106.7 FM in Fort Myers. All can listen at https://dioceseofvenice.org/our-bishop/relevant-radio-podcasts. The program airs on the last Friday of each month.

Safe Environment Training - As part of the Safe Environment Program, the Diocese of Venice requires that all employees and those volunteers who work with children and/or vulnerable adults be fingerprinted and trained in Safe Environment. For further information, visit the Diocesan website at www.dioceseofvenice.org/safeenvironment. Report any abuse against minors to the Florida Department of Children and Families at 800-962-2873. To report abuse by Diocesan personnel or volunteers also notify the Diocesan Victims Assistance Coordinator, Susan Benton, at 941-416-6114. Please visit the Diocese of Venice website for scheduled training dates. (BULLETIN EDITORS: Please publish above text in parish bulletins.)

Catholic Charities
Response to Pandemic - In response to COVID-19, Catholic Charities is focusing efforts toward food services, financial assistance, and tele-mental-health support for the 10-county area for clients in need. Food pantries will continue to distribute food while taking measures to protect staff from the coronavirus. Financial assistance teams have been established in each region to assess and support persons who need help making ends meet during this challenging time. Also, tele-mental-health services are offered by behavioral health teams through video conferencing and telephone services.

Regional Catholic Charities Phone Numbers - Catholic Charities is currently offering food services, financial support or tele-mental health support throughout the Diocese of Venice. Three regional phone numbers have been established to help direct people to the aid they need:
*    Region 1 - Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto, Hardee and Highlands counties 844-385-2407.
*    Region 2 - Lee, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties, 844-385-2423.
*    Region 3 - Collier County, 844-385-2404.

How to Help - For those wanting to help support the good works of Catholic Charities Diocese of Venice Inc. during this current pandemic crisis, please visit www.catholiccharitiesdov.org.

Know Your Immigration Rights - The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has numerous resources outlining the rights of immigrants located on the website www.justiceforimmigrants.org. The USCCB, in partnership with CASA of Maryland, Detention Watch Network, and National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, offer a comprehensive "Know Your Rights!" brochure in English ( CLICK HERE) and Spanish ( CLICK HERE). (Editor's note: Parish staff is encouraged to print this brochure in English and Spanish to have as a resource.) Additionally, for a guide to better understanding immigrant rights in the workplace please visit: https://cliniclegal.org/resources/know-your-rights-workers.

Conozca Sus Derechos Migratorios - La conferencia episcopal de los Estados Unidos (USCCB) tiene diversos recursos detallando los derechos de los inmigrantes, los que podrá encontrar en la Web, www.justiceforimmigrants.org. La conferencia episcopal trabajando conjuntamente con CASA de Maryland, Detention Watch Network y National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, le ofrece un folleto comprensivo de "Conozca sus Derechos", en Inglés (Haga CLIQ AQUI) y en Español (Haga CLIQ AQUI). Adicionalmente, para obtener un mejor entendimiento de los derechos de los inmigrantes en el lugar de trabajo, por favor visite https://cliniclegal.org/resources/know-uour-rights-workers.

Respect Life 
Divine Mercy Sunday - On Sunday, April 19 we celebrate the Sunday of Divine Mercy. God's greatest desire is to forgive us, pouring out His infinite mercy upon us so that we may be healed. Women and men alike who have been involved in an abortion may feel deep grief, guilt, anxiety, depression, broken relationships and a sense of alienation from God and Church. They may experience reactions on the Anniversary of the date of the abortion or what would have been the baby's due date. For anyone struggling with this, the Church cares. It is never too late to seek the Lord's mercy and healing through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Consider confidential, compassionate help from our diocesan abortion healing ministry. It is open to those of any faith or no faith, offering hope and healing to women and men hurting from past abortions. Contact Sylvia at 941-412-5860 or project.rachel@dioceseofvenice.org or visit "Find Help" map on HopeAfterAbortion.org.

Spiritual Adoption Program - During this difficult time, please consider spiritually adopting an unborn baby. You can choose a name for your child and pray the simple prayer by Venerable Fulton J. Sheen each day through Christmas: "Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you very much. I beg you to spare the life of the unborn baby that I have spiritually adopted who is in danger of abortion."  Visit https://dioceseofvenice.org/wp-content/uploads/SPIRITUALADOPTIONS-.pdf for monthly fetal development information and Scriptures. For a prayer card in English, Spanish or Creole, contact Berdeaux@dioceseofvenice.org or 941-441-1101.

Hispanic Ministries
Sunday Mass in Spanish - Epiphany Cathedral will live stream the Sunday Liturgy in Spanish on Saturday evenings at 6:00 p.m. The Mass can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/EpiphanyCathedral/.  Please CLICK HERE for the Prayer for the Act of Spiritual Communion in Spanish.

Misa dominical en español - la Catedral transmitirá en vivo la Santa Misa dominical en español los sábados por la noche a las 6:00 p.m. La misa se puede ver en: https://www.facebook.com/EpiphanyCathedral/. HAGA CLIC AQUA.
Spiritual Exercises in Spanish - Ignatian Preached Retreats in Spanish at Our Lady of  Coronavirus guidelines. At the present time there is a Level 1 Retreat for Women scheduled to take place the weekend of August 7-9.

Ejercicios Espirituales En Español - Retiros Predicados Ignacianos en Español ofrecidos en Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center han tenido que ser reprogramados y/ó cancelados cumpliendo con las pautas establecidas debido al Coronavirus. A la fecha, solo tenemos el Retiro Nivel 1 para Mujeres que está programado para el fin de semana del 7 al 9 de agosto de este año.

Youth and Young Adults
Do You Know a Young Person with a Drug Problem? - Perhaps you know of a young friend, neighbor or classmate who suffers from drug addiction and does not know where to turn for help. Drug Addicts Anonymous believes all individuals suffering from addiction have a right to access recovery, be self-sufficient and independent. Drug Addicts Anonymous provides an opportunity for long term recovery and positive change through a no-cost service. Based on a 12-step program, the focus is on the physical, mental and spiritual condition as a whole person; contributing to the individual's social reintegration in a dignified and efficient way. For further information on the program and services available, please visit www.daamerica.org or call 561-420-0930.

¿Conoce A Alguna Persona Joven Con Un Problema De Drogas? - Quizás usted sepa de algún amigo joven, vecino ó compañero que sufre de una adicción a las drogas y no sabe a quién recurrir por ayuda. Drogadictos Anónimos considera que todo individuo que sufre de una adicción tiene derecho a iniciar una recuperación, ser independiente y auto-suficiente. Sin embargo, hoy en día hay mucha gente joven afectada por la drogadicción, privada de un sentido de autovaloración porque no puede pagar por tratamiento adecuado ó; no tiene acceso a recursos de recuperación y apoyo. Drogadictos Anónimos le proporciona la oportunidad de una recuperación a largo plazo y un cambio positivo por medio de un servicio sin costo alguno. Basado en un programa de doce pasos, el enfoque es en la condición física, mental y espiritual de la persona, contribuyendo a la integración social del individuo de una manera digna y eficiente. Para información adicional de este programa y los servicios disponibles, por favor visite www.daamerica.org ó llame al 561-420-0930.

Calling All Young Adults - The Diocese of Venice offers many opportunities for young adults to build community. Through programs like Theology on Tap, intramural sports teams, and Parish-organized social events, there is something available for everyone in the Diocese. Young Adults (18-39) are encouraged to participate in these opportunities to enrich faith and make friends! If you have any Young Adult activities planned or would like to learn about them in your area, please contact Joshua Mazrin at mazrin@dioceseofvenice.org. Please note that in adherence to the Coronavirus guidelines all Young Adult activities have been suspended until a later date.

Diocese of Venice Events and Activities - In adherence with the Coronavirus guidelines, all event and activities have been suspended through May 2 based on current guidance from the State of Florida. The situation for events will be reassessed depending on the Coronavirus condition at that time.
Free Rosary Repair Service - Send your broken rosaries in a padded envelope to Betty and Dick Holden, 7930 Estero Blvd. #502, Fort Myers, FL 33931. Rosaries will be repaired and returned within the week of receipt. Donations of old rosaries are also accepted which will be repaired and sent to missions. Include a note indicating repair or donation. For more details, please call 239-463-3993 or email holdenbnd@gmail.com.

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