- Tallahassee (January 8, 2015) – The Florida Catholic Conference urges Governor Scott to commute the sentence of Johnny Kormondy, scheduled for execution on Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 6:00 p.m., to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Mr. Kormondy deserves severe punishment for the 1993 murder of Gary McAdams and the brutal crimes against his wife, Cecilia McAdams. However, imposing a sentence of death as a consequence of killing perpetuates a cycle of violence.
Although the State has the right to carry out the death penalty in order to protect society, the unnecessary, deliberate taking of any life denies the dignity of all persons, contributes to an ever-growing disrespect for the sacredness of human life, and feeds a sense of vengeance rather than justice. Society remains safe when violent criminals are imprisoned for life.
The Conference appeals to all people of faith and goodwill to pray for both victim and aggressor, and their families, for our society which continues to impose violence in return for violence, and for an end to the use of the death penalty. Catholic faithful and members of the community will gather in solidarity at the following times and locations:
Archdiocese of Miami
A prayer vigil will be held following 11:45 a.m. Mass on Thursday, January 15 at St. Martha Catholic Church, 9401 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami Shores. Contact: Juan Di Prado, (305) 762-1046, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diocese of St. Augustine
Prayer vigils will be held on Thursday, January 15 at the following locations:
- In front of the St. Augustine Beach City Hall at the corner of A1A and 16th Street, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Contact: Nancy O'Byrne, (904) 461-9216 or email@example.com.
- In front of the new Duval County Unified Courthouse, 501 W. Adams Street, Jacksonville, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. Contact: Jackie Gunning, (904) 449-3328, firstname.lastname@example.org or Sr. Maureen Kelley, (904) 704-0313, email@example.com.
- In front of the Flagler County Courthouse, 5:00-6:00 p.m., 1769 E. Moody Blvd, Bunnell. Contact: Jackie Morelewicz, (386) 986-3146, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Across the highway from the Florida State Prison Execution Building, Starke, 5:00 - 6:30 p.m. Drive eight miles west of US 301 on Florida Highway 16 West. Contact: John Linnehan, (904) 504-1004
- A carpool will be leaving on Thursday, January 15 at 4:30 p.m. from the parking lot of St. Augustine Church and Catholic Student Center, 1738 W. University Avenue, Gainesville to attend a prayer service at Florida State Prison near Starke. Contact: Michelle Garcia, (352) 372-3533, email@example.com.
- Additional Contact: Kathleen Bagg, Office of Communications, Diocese of St. Augustine, (904) 262-3200.
Diocese of St. Petersburg
Spirit FM 90.5 WBVM Tampa will be praying on air Wednesday, Janaury 14 beginning at 5:50 p.m. Spirit FM is also available on the internet (www.spiritfm905.com).
St. Vincent de Paul Parish, 4843 Mile Stretch Dr., Holiday, FL will have a prayer service Thursday, January 15 at 5:30 p.m.
Contact: Sabrina Burton Schultz, Diocese of St. Petersburg, (727) 344-1611, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diocese of Orlando
A prayer service will be held at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, 526 North Park Avenue, Winter Park, FL on January 13 at 5:00 p.m. followed by the daily Mass at 5:30 p.m.
A prayer service will be held at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 6803 Old Hwy 441 South, Mt. Dora on January 14 at 11:00 a.m.
- A bus will be leaving from the parking lot of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 201 University Blvd., Daytona Beach on January 15 at 2:30 p.m. for a prayer service outside the prison in Starke at 6:00 p.m.
Contact: Office of Advocacy and Justice, (407) 246-4819, email@example.com.
Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee
A prayer service/holy hour will be held at St. Mary Catholic Church, 110 St. Mary Ave SW, Fort Walton Beach, on January 14 at 6:00 p.m. (CST). Contact: (850) 243-3742.
A holy hour will take place at Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel, 19 N Palafox St, Pensacola, on Friday, January 9 at 11:00 a.m. (CST). Contact: (850) 438-4985.
A holy hour will be held at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 1008 Fortune Avenue, Panama City, on Friday, January 9 at 7:00 p.m. (CST). Contact: (850) 763-1821, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- A prayer service to end the use of the death penalty is held at Immaculate Conception parish, 2750 South Byron Butler Parkway, Perry, every Thursday afternoon at 3:00 p.m.
A holy hour will be held at Good Shepherd Catholic Church, 4665 Thomasville Rd, Tallahassee, on Wednesday, January 14 at 7:00 p.m. Contact: (850) 339-7847.
Additional Contact: Dcn. Ray Aguado, Office of Advocacy and Justice, Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, (850) 435-3531, email@example.com.
Tallahassee Citizens Against the Death Penalty will sponsor an interfaith prayer vigil scheduled for Thursday, January 15 at 6:00 p.m. in front of the Governor's Mansion in Tallahassee and a service of remembrance in the Capitol Building Plaza Level Rotunda the day after the execution, Friday, November 14 at noon. Contact: Sheila Meehan, (850) 524-0080.
- Diocese of Palm Beach
Catholic Charities Respect Life Office in partnership with the Diocese of Palm Beach and Pax Christi will host a prayer service on Thursday, January 15 at 5:30 p.m. at the chapel in the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola, 9999 N. Military Trail, Palm Beach Gardens. The service will be followed by a procession and silent vigil in front of the Cathedral from 5:45 - 6:15 p.m. Contact: Dianne Laubert, (561) 313-2280,firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diocese of Venice
A prayer vigil will be held in the Chapel at St. Katharine Drexel Catholic Church, 1922 SW 20th Avenue, Cape Coral on January 14 at 7:00 p.m. Contact: Maria, (239) 540-7096, email@example.com.
- Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, 425 South Tamiami Trail, Osprey, will hold a prayer vigil on Thursday, January 15 at 5:00 p.m. Contact: Parish office (941) 966-0807
- San Pedro Catholic Church, 14380 Tamiami Trail, North Port, will hold a prayer vigil on Thursday, January 15, at 5:30 p.m.
- St. Joseph Catholic Church, 3100 26th St. West, Bradenton, will hold a prayer vigil on Thursday, January 15, at 5:00 p.m. in the Eucharistic Adoration Chapel.
- Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 1301 Center Road, Venice, will hold a prayer service on Thursday, January 15, at 9:30 a.m. prior to the Parish Respect Life Meeting.
- Contact: Jeanne Berdeaux, (947) 441-1101, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Florida Catholic Conference is an agency of the Catholic Bishops of Florida. The archbishop and bishops of the seven (arch)dioceses in Florida constitute its board of directors.