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The Florida Catholic

Jude Okeke, who was ordained a deacon for the Diocese of Palm Beach during the Mass at St. Joan of Arc Church in Boca Raton, said earlier that it was a special blessing to have his chief shepherd, Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito, be the ordaining prelate.

As the White House responds to Iran's attack against Israel, Catholic experts said U.S. officials should seek to prevent further escalation in the region.

"I make a heartfelt appeal for a halt to any action that might fuel a spiral of violence with the risk of dragging the Middle East into an even greater conflict," the pope said.

An annual baby shower drive by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach is being held in April to provide new and gently used items to expectant mothers and families in need. Items are being collected at sites throughout the diocese.

At least three Easter sunrise Masses were held on south Florida beaches in the Diocese of Palm Beach March 31, 2024

Every Friday morning at St. Vincent Ferrer Church, there is a children’s Mass, but April 5 was a special occasion. It was the feast day of the parish’s patron saint and a day of student recognition, with opportunities for veneration and outdoor refreshments.

Bishop Burbidge said the task now is to communicate "Dignitas Infinita" at the pastoral level, with love and compassion as the guiding principles, during a "privileged moment" for direct preaching on difficult topics.

The parish priest is the church's "point of contact and if we lose contact with our people through their priests, it disables the mission of the church," he told Catholic News Service April 10 at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, where he was to receive the annual Rector's Award April 11.

“The purpose of the preschool is to build a good faith foundation for young children as they grow up,” said Father Tri Pham, Holy Family’s pastor. “Our children need a good foundation in their faith and, as Jesus said to Peter, ‘On this rock, I build my church.’ The children are the ‘rock,’ the future of the church.”

At Easter Vigil Masses in parishes across the Diocese of Palm Beach on March 30, hundreds of people were formally accepted as members of the church.

In a message sent to the Chinese Regional Bishops' Conference of Taiwan, April 4, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, said the pope "was deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and damage caused by the earthquake in Taiwan."

"What I find particularly spiritual in an eclipse is that we can predict precisely when it will happen -- and plan accordingly -- but we cannot predict just what it will look like or how we will react," said Brother Guy. "In that way, it reminds me how God is forever reliable but still always able to surprise us."

For the Whitten family of St. Bernadette Parish in Port St. Lucie, the current deanery-level series of Eucharistic holy hours has been a unifying spiritual journey. The six family members have made it a priority to attend all five of the holy hours beginning last August with their home parish.

All are invited to the 11 a.m. Saturday, April 13, diaconate ordination Mass for Diocese of Palm Beach seminarian Jude Okeke at St. Joan of Arc Church, 370 S.W. Third St. in Boca Raton.

The parish's current youth minister is a year older than Josh, and the first year he played Jesus, in 2007, she played Veronica, who wipes the face of Jesus in the Sixth Station. She remembered the "sincerity" and "humility" he brought to the role. "This performance is so much more than a performance. It's really a prayer," she said.

As we prepare to enter into the most sacred days of the liturgical year, we have a prime opportunity to make up for any shortcomings that may have been part of our Lent this year. Blessedly, Holy Week offers us the chance to refocus, reflect and renew as we wind down our Lenten journeys and look ahead to the promise of Easter.

Women from the Diocese of Palm Beach and beyond attended the 13th annual Catholic Women of Faith, Women of Action conference March 16, 2024, at Our Lady Queen of the Apostles Parish in Royal Palm Beach.

The workshop will explore what it means to be a disciple of the Eucharistic Lord and learn how to do so in a way that “breathes with both lungs” — that is, through the traditions of both the Christian East and West.

On March 6, 2024, the first Cenacles of Love: Jesus and Mary prayer conference at Emmanuel Parish in Delray Beach featured parishioner and group founder Patti Schwartz, former national Hispanic director of the Flame of Love nationwide prayer group, who is presently a Catholic radio host evangelizing through media.

A musical progression is defined as “a passage or movement from one note or chord to another.” In many ways, the music program at St. Ann School is a progression, starting with students in pre-K 3 and 4 learning song structure (verses, refrains) and later grades experiencing choral singing and instrument use, all the way up the scale to middle school and beyond.

On March 18, the Roman Catholic Church honors St. Cyril of Jerusalem, a fourth-century bishop and Doctor of the Church whose writings are still regarded as masterful expressions of Christian faith.

The arrival of St. Patrick's Day always spotlights Irish culture, music, dance and language. Catholics, too, are involved in Irish cultural efforts on both sides of the Atlantic, and some say Irish culture continues to be a foundation for Catholic evangelization amid the trappings of secular celebration.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is offering a March 10-18 novena to the foster father of Jesus, ahead of the saint's March 19 feast day.

In dioceses throughout the United States, many Knights of Columbus councils host fish dinners at parishes during Lent. At Holy Family in Port St. Lucie, members of Knights of Columbus Father Omer H. Brauner Council 12159 kicked off their Lenten fish fry on Feb. 16, with the conclusion set for Friday, March 22.  

Even with children younger than a year old, there is no time like the present to begin teaching them the Catholic faith. A program to catechize young children has been adopted at four parishes in the Diocese of Palm Beach.

In different times and places and "each in her own distinct way," the 10 women "gave proof through initiatives of charity, education and prayer, of how the 'feminine genius' can uniquely reflect God's holiness in the midst of our world," the pope's text said. And "because the Church is herself a woman -- a daughter, a bride and a mother," he wrote, "who better than women can reveal her face?"

Ramona Treviño knows the difference that sidewalk counselors and 40 Days for Life can make in separating women and men from organizations such as Planned Parenthood. She spoke Feb. 13, 2024, about the impact that one praying woman had on her life.

The 34th annual Black Cultural Awareness Celebration and Mass was a joyous occasion Feb. 23, 2024, at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Riviera Beach. The theme for the day was “I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living” (Ps 116:9).

Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito celebrated Mass Feb. 16 and gave out awards to teachers in Catholic schools who have served at least 20 years in the Diocese of Palm Beach as of the conclusion of the 2022-23 school year. St. Peter Parish and All Saints School hosted the event.

Orbiting the sun nearly 1 million miles from Earth, the James Webb Space Telescope is reshaping the way scientists understand the universe and its origins, a number of astronomers said at a Vatican-sponsored meeting.

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, the innovative religious formation method for children as young as 3 years old, began in February at St. Clare Parish in North Palm Beach. The learning environment, called an atrium, is set up in the former choir loft inside St. Clare Church.

The 13th annual Catholic Women of Faith, Women of Action Conference, is scheduled for Saturday, March 16, at Our Lady Queen of the Apostles Parish, 100 Crestwood Blvd. S. in Royal Palm Beach.

"This is a good Lenten resolution: cultivating a welcoming outlook, becoming 'seekers of light,' seekers of the light of Jesus, both in prayer and in people," he told visitors in St. Peter's Square before praying the Angelus with them Feb. 25.

“The Passion of Christ,” to be performed at 7 p.m. Sunday, March 10, at the Sunrise Theatre, 117 S. Second St. in Fort Pierce began in 2006 in the St. Anastasia parish center. For the 18th time, members of St. Anastasia Parish and San Juan Diego Hispanic Pastoral Center are preparing to stage their popular Passion play that has grown from one performance during Lent to embody a ministry with more than 100 in the cast and crew.

The Catholic tradition of venerating relics is not worship but a way to honor and draw near to the saints and to petition for their prayers since they are with God. The arm of the apostle St. Jude Thaddeus, which is on a United States tour, is being brought to two parishes in the diocese: Saturday, Feb. 24, at St. Jude, 21689 Toledo Road in Boca Raton; and Monday, Feb. 26, at St. Peter, 1701 Indian Creek Parkway, Jupiter.

Father Mark-Mary Ames of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal had an atypical Ash Wednesday this year after celebrating an early morning Mass for actors Jonathan Roumie and Mark Wahlberg.

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna warned of schism as German bishops want to keep to their reform course despite the latest letter from Rome, which halted the vote on the statutes of a Synodal Committee.

Some 329 Catholics of all ages arrived by the busload to attend Catholic Days at the Capitol Feb. 6-7, 2024, in Tallahassee. Organized by the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops, the lobbying arm of Florida’s bishops, the annual event offers participants many opportunities, including seeing the legislative process in action and putting their faith and civic responsibility into action.

 World Day for Consecrated Life, which is marked Feb. 2 and tied to the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, was established by St. John Paul II in 1997. The special day of recognition will be celebrated in parishes Feb. 3-4 honoring those who have made commitments to consecrated life.

“The taking of the life of an unborn child, the disruption that that causes to families, the lack of respect for the gift of life is something that we pray for,” he said. “We’re making progress, but we haven’t made enough progress by any means in our country today, so we continue to pray and do all that we can to show our respect for the life of an unborn child.”

The Jupiter-Palm Beach Chapter of Legatus celebrated its fifth anniversary of chartering with an Advent social and 2023 award presentations Dec. 19, 2023, at the Pelican Club in Jupiter.

On January 21, 2024, in observance of the Sunday of the Word of God, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, through a grant from the American Bible Society, will offer a “Sunday Seminar Series” of four videos about Sacred Scripture in the life of the Church. These videos, available in English and Spanish, will feature some of the bishops and biblical scholars and will be accompanied by discussion/reflection questions.

“This truly is a vibrant, faith-filled community for which we give thanks,” the bishop said in his homily. “And as this morning we break ground for a new family life center, which will be used in order to continue to build up and strengthen this parish, what’s so important is our getting together, our supporting each other.”

Students preparing for the sacrament of confirmation at St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in Delray Beach created posters with an All Saints’ Day theme that represent the saints they have selected for their confirmation names. After all Masses Oct. 29, the students — many dressed as their saints —  gathered in the parish’s Kellaghan Hall to tell others about the heroic lives led by their saints.