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The Florida Catholic

Parish celebrates feast day

Teachers and Students

DELRAY BEACH  |  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.

Deacon Greg Osgood welcomed everyone and explained the importance of looking to the saints as role models. “Saints are our heroes. They did great things in the church, and they did great things for God,” he said.  “And for that reason, we are called to imitate them, to be like them, and to do the things that they did.”

The feast day Mass was officiated by Father David Carr, a retired priest who helps at the parish, and Father Dennis Gonzales, St. Vincent’s pastor, assisted by Deacon Osgood. Father Carr’s homily was directed at the schoolchildren.

“My message quite simply to you right now is never, never stop trying to do better, and that’s also a message some of the non-students need to take to heart,” he said. “Never stop trying to be better because, once you stop trying to be better, watch out,” warning that “you are on the road to nowhere.”

Father Carr explained, “You are to be not just fishers of fish, but fishers of men,” and you are to “go out into the world and seek out many people and introduce them to the Christian faith, to the person of Jesus Christ.” He added that “St. Vincent Ferrer did that all of his life and eventually was canonized a saint.”

After the Communion meditation, Father Gonzales addressed the soon-to-be eighth-grade graduating class. “In September, you are commissioned to be the leaders, the role models, the members of our school,” he said.

“Your words, actions and deeds can be a guide for all other students,” and “wherever you go, may you reflect on all the lessons you have learned at St. Vincent Ferrer,” Father Gonzales said.

Second-graders, who were prayer partners during the year with the eighth-graders, presented a pin symbolizing leadership to each of their prayer partners. In another ceremony for the Saint of the Month Award, St. Veronica was awarded to students who have exemplified the saint’s virtues.

“Today, the students that are being chosen are students that practice the virtues of humility, initiative, integrity and joy,” said Denise O’Loughlin, principal.

Following the liturgy, Father Gonzales and Father Carr spoke to the Florida Catholic about the parish and school. “St. Vincent Ferrer was a healer, and we are inspired by him as a parish,” Father Gonzales said. “Every third Saturday of each month, we have a healing Mass.” He added that his vision for the parish is “to make this church a place of healing and a place of spiritual nourishment.”

Father Carr, who serves at St. Vincent Ferrer and Emmanuel in Delray Beach, said, “I was assigned here at St. Vincent Ferrer from 1987 to 1993, and then I was at Cardinal Newman. It’s funny, when I see these kids now that go to St. Vincent, many of them I knew their parents who were students here when I was here.”

St. Vincent Ferrer was a Dominican priest who converted thousands of people to the Catholic faith during a period of political and spiritual crisis in Western Europe. He was born in Valencia, Spain, in 1357 and died April 5, 1419, in the city of Vannes in the French region of Brittany.

He was canonized by Pope Calixtus III on June 3, 1455. His feast day is celebrated April 5, and he is the patron saint of builders, business people and reconciliation.

For information on St. Vincent Ferrer Parish, call 561-276-6892 or visit For the school, call 561-278-3868 or visit To learn about all schools in the Diocese of Palm Beach, go to