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News and Notes


Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York is presently safe in Jerusalem amid Iran’s unprecedented attack on Israel, where air raid sirens in the late hours of April 13 alerted the country to incoming drones and missiles.

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.

Church leaders have expressed concern that some passages in the Bible or the Catechism of the Catholic Church could be deemed offensive under Scotland’s new Hate Crime and Public Order Act and that “vexatious” complaints under the law are now likely.

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.

A declaration published by the Vatican includes a section on how "digital violence" threatens human dignity.

In his series of talks about virtues, Pope Francis today looked at "fortitude" and how it is needed today.

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Peter J. Jugis, 67, from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Charlotte for health reasons, and has appointed Reverend Michael T. Martin, OFM Conv., as Bishop-elect of Charlotte.

The Vatican’s top doctrinal office issued a declaration on the theme of human dignity on Monday that addresses growing concerns such as gender theory, sex changes, surrogacy, and euthanasia in addition to abortion, poverty, human trafficking, and war. The declaration, titled Dignitas Infinita, which means “infinite dignity,” states that the Church highlights these concerns “with hope, confident of the power that flows from the risen Christ, who has fully revealed the integral dignity of every man and woman.”

April 9th is National Wear Blue Day in support of National Child Abuse Prevention Month! Throughout scripture there is evidence that we are called to be ambassadors of hope and healing.

When the moon passes between the sun and Earth creating a total solar eclipse on April 8, many Catholics in its path will be looking skyward to observe the phenomenon from a spiritual and scientific perspective.

“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."

The Heart of Priesthood is the Heart of the Priest

The great St. Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, spoke often of the heart. He is well known for his insight that “The heart speaks to the heart.” St. John Cardinal Newman took this phrase for his episcopal motto, as he was so influenced by St. Francis de Sales. The world today needs the human heart more than it needs anything else. The heart speaks to the heart, and in this dialogue we encounter God.

"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."

Pope Francis has appointed Monsignor Parsegh Baghdassarian, I.C.P.B., as Auxiliary Bishop of the Armenian Catholic Eparchy of Our Lady of Nareg in the United States and Canada.

The Diocese of Palm Beach is fortunate to be the home of local organizations who offer ministry to men and women impacted by pregnancy loss from abortion or miscarriage: Parents, Grandparents, other family members, or anyone suffering trauma as the result of this loss of life.

The Vatican’s top doctrinal office next week will unveil a new declaration on the theme of human dignity, one that is expected to address a range of contemporary moral issues including gender ideology and surrogacy.

"Amendment 4 would enshrine abortion through all trimesters in our state’s constitution and eliminate all laws that even modestly aMect abortion including parental consent laws, informed consent laws, and other safety regulations that protect women seeking an abortion." - Sara Johnson, Florida Voters Against Extremism’s Statewide Grassroots Director.

Pope Francis celebrated the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper at a women's prison, washing the feet of 12 inmates.

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.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Awareness month, let us come together to sustain safe and joyful environments for our children. “It is essential that we, as a Church, be able to acknowledge and condemn, with sorrow and shame, the atrocities perpetrated by consecrated persons, clerics, and all those entrusted with the mission of watching over and caring for those most vulnerable.” - Pope Francis

In his Easter message, Pope Francis called for a general exchange of prisoners between Russia and Ukraine as well as an immediate cease-fire in Gaza.

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.

In a message to Catholic young people around the world, Pope Francis marked the fifth anniversary of "Christus Vivit," the document he wrote after the synod on young people.

“Despite the war and everything going on around us this year, we have once again chosen to celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into the Holy City,” said Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, as the traditional Palm Sunday procession moved through the streets of the city.

Hong Kong’s legislature has fast-tracked a controversial new law that some observers claim could see priests imprisoned if they do not reveal to the authorities certain crimes confessed during the sacrament of penance.

As the liturgies of the Triduum approached, Pope Francis sent a letter to Catholics in the Holy Land, acknowledging their suffering and praising their witness of solidarity and peace.

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.

Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, and president of the U.S. Conference of Bishops (USCCB), and Bishop A. Elias Zaidan of the Maronite Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon, the chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on International Justice and Peace call on the faithful to renew their prayers during Holy Week for an end to the Israel-Hamas war.

St. John Paul II started the tradition in 1985 of asking different people to write the prayers and meditations on the Stations of the Cross for the annual Good Friday service at Rome's Colosseum. But the canonized Polish pope wrote them himself in the year 2000 and Pope Francis has decided to write them this year. The service is broadcast around the world.

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.

The Chrism Mass is a special celebration where the bishop consecrates the sacred oils used in the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and anointing of the sick. The Mass is also an occasion to honor and celebrate the dedicated service of priests who have committed their lives to serving their communities.

On March 26, 2024 the Supreme Court of the United States will hear oral arguments in a case that has the potential to make a major impact in the widespread accessibility of chemical abortion (abortion pills).

Archbishop Broglio and Bishop Burbidge have announced a nationwide invitation to prayer.

Cardinal Cantalamessa, who has served as preacher of the papal household since 1980, preaches to the pope and other Vatican officials on the Fridays of Advent and Lent.

Pope Francis begins Holy Week with Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square March 24.

Russia's Catholic archbishop has echoed condemnations of a March 22 terror assault which left dozens dead and injured at a Moscow concert venue, although a bishop from war-torn Ukraine warned the atrocity should also remind Russians of what his country was suffering at their hands.

In many Eastern European countries, it’s a tradi­tion to have a basket of food blessed on Holy Saturday. This Catholic ritual has been cherished for centuries among many families. It has now been ad­opted by people of all ethnic backgrounds who enjoy this richly symbolic custom.

We ask that you mark your calendars for the Diocese of Palm Beach Chrism Mass on March 26th, 11am - 1pm at the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola. All should witness this Catholic Mass as you will understand how oil is a significant part of our faith and what it means to be part of "the anointed".

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.

Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Bishop William Callahan, O.F.M., Conv. of Diocese of La Crosse; Appoints Bishop Gerard Battersby as Successor

Five U.S. priests will travel to Rome in April to share their experiences of parish life with the ongoing Synod of Bishops on synodality. The group — selected by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops as part of a 300-member worldwide delegation — also will speak with Pope Francis during the April 28-May 2 meeting.

Six women from 22 to 33 years old attended the first diocesan Women’s Come & See vocational discernment weekend March 1-3 in Delray Beach.

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 images of St. Patrick often portray him with a cross in one hand and a clover in the other. That is why the clover is now a symbol of St. Patrick's Day, which falls on March 17, the day of his death in 461 at Saul.

A letter announcing the retirement of Br. Dan Aubin, President of St. John Paul II Academy effective June 30, 2025. And congratulations to Ed Bernot who will be appointed as the next president at St. John Paul II Academy, effective July 1, 2025.

The October assembly of the Synod of Bishops will focus on "How to be a synodal Church in mission?" while 10 study groups will explore the theological, pastoral and canonical aspects of some of the thorniest questions raised during the synod listening sessions and discussed at the first synod assembly last October.

Pope Francis said the path to virtue is achieved by fully living out one's own vocation.

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.

Each person’s life is a unique gift and has immeasurable value from the moment of conception, and it is for that precise reason that the Catholic Church cannot condone procedures such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) that result in a loss of life at a massive scale.

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.  

President Joe Biden delivered his third State of the Union address March 7, calling for the protection of democracy in the U.S. and overseas, providing further military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine, expanded abortion access, and for bipartisan cooperation on immigration policy. A rebuttal by Sen. Katie Britt, R-Ala., was met with lackluster reviews, including from fellow Republicans.

Their routes — a combined 6,500 miles — will converge eight weeks later in Indianapolis for the July 17 opening of the five-day congress in Lucas Oil Stadium. Along the way, the pilgrims will go through small towns, large cities and rural countryside, mostly on foot, with the Eucharist carried in a monstrance designed particularly for this unprecedented event.

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?"

A grassroots team has come together to stop the extreme abortion amendment pushing for placement on the 2024 ballot.

The Catholic Committee on Scouting in the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, has announced the creation of the Venerable Father Augustine Tolton Activity Patch, which honors the first recognized Black priest in the U.S.

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 North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation announces the publication of a new agreed statement entitled, "The Pastoral Care of Mixed Marriages: Neither Yours nor Mine – but Ours."

Catholic theologian and professor Jennifer Newsome Martin is honored — but won’t deny that she’s also pretty excited — to have been recently named the next director of the University of Notre Dame’s internationally renowned de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture.

"The witness of the Basilian Sisters is reflected in their being “present to someone who is truly suffering,” Father Wall said, showing that “we are more than what is happening to us … and (to) stand up with courage against the powers of darkness.”

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.

As we express our sorrow to God this Lent for the ways that our lives do not reflect his plan for us, it can be important to make sure our “I’m sorrys” have all the components of sincere remorse. Researchers note that good apologies involve three ingredients: empathy, restitution and objective criteria.

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.

February 22nd, 2024 - the Feast of The Chair of Saint Peter the Apostle.

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.

Theologians, canon lawyers and other experts will be asked to study a variety of questions raised at the synod on synodality last October, and members of the synod will have a two-day retreat before the second assembly begins this fall.

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.

The key to the spiritual life, indeed to life in general, is to live in the present moment, which oftentimes seems so ordinary. This is a very good practice to concentrate upon during this season of Lent. To live in the past or to live in the future is to live in a graceless moment. While it is important to look to the past and to the future, God gives us His grace for today.

At his weekly general audiences, Pope Francis has been looking at the "capital sins" or vices that tempt people. Today he focused on "acedia," which is often translated as "sloth" but is much more than being lazy.

The 41-day period of Lent into which we will enter on Valentine’s Day is truly a time of conversion and freedom, as we pause to listen to God speaking to us in a particular way. The usual rhythm of the Church’s life changes. She retreats from the ordinary cycle of liturgical readings and celebrations. The joyful Glorias and Alleluias are not sung and proclaimed. The color purple is generally worn for the celebration of Mass. The liturgical readings are intensely focused, and more time is set aside for acts of penance and the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

The theme for this year’s celebration of National Marriage Week is “Love Beyond Words,” which recalls the self-sacrificing love in marriage that is rooted in the wedding promises that the couple makes in matrimony.

Initially, people fasted all 40 days of Lent. They ate one meal a day and only an amount of food that would sustain survival. But the church taught, and people believed (then as now), that fasting is not about what we eat, it is about changing hearts, interior conversion, reconciliation with God and others. It’s about living in an austere way, giving from our abundance to the poor.

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.

Fort Pierce- John Carroll High School, in the Diocese of Palm Beach, would like to announce that JCHS president, Rev. Thomas E. Barrett, will be stepping down from his role at the school in June 2024, and will certainly be missed. The diocese is grateful for Father Barrett’s outstanding leadership and faith-filled dedication to the school. Additionally, based on the recommendations of Gary Gelo, the Superintendent of Schools, and Father Barrett, Most Reverend Gerald M. Barbarito has appointed alumna Corey (Collins) Heroux as President effective July 1, 2024.

So essential is the life of consecrated persons to the Church that St. Pope John Paul II rooted consecrated life in the very life of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In his apostolic exhortation, Vita Consecrata, he explained how a consecrated person, living the Gospel in the most radical manner, proclaims, “what the Father, through the Son and in the Spirit, brings about by His love, His goodness and His beauty.”

“During our tough times, we never dreamed we’d share our story. We never thought we’d be on that stage telling our story. We never thought we’d be involved in leadership in this organization. We became local leaders, then regional leaders, and then served on the international marketing committee and now this,”

Pope Francis' Lenten message was released today at the Vatican. It focuses on God's call to leave behind the bonds of slavery and embark on a journey toward new life.

In preparation for the celebration of the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life by the Catholic Church on February 2, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations (CCLV) commissioned a study on newly professed men and women religious through the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University.

 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 USCCB Synod Team is happy to share these upcoming webinars as we continue through the Interim Stage of the 2021-2024 Synod.

This is an important week for our Catholic schools as we celebrate their importance in the life of the Church and in our Diocese. Certainly, we can refer to our Catholic schools as “the dream that makes you dream.” We are fully committed to our Catholic schools within the Diocese of Palm Beach as a priority in terms of the life of faith and education which they give to our young people. We live in a world where we see that wolves need to be turned into lambs, and it is only our faith that can realize this dream.

Pope Francis said in a new interview that he will never tire of calling for peace, especially to political leaders: "stop the bombs and missiles now, end hostile stances" everywhere.

Get ready to mark your calendars for an unforgettable Catholic Schools Week experience! Our Diocese of Catholic Schools has an incredible lineup of daily activities and themes that will leave you feeling inspired and rejuvenated. With our theme of "United in Faith and Community," you'll witness firsthand how we foster not only academic excellence but also spiritual and moral growth in our students. Come join us on this journey with the Lord, and discover the magic that happens when faith and education blend seamlessly together. Stay tuned for an unforgettable week ahead!

“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.”

Wednesday Feb 21, 2024 Luncheons4Life with Open Hearts for Orphans at the Cathedral St Ignatius, PBG

Please join in praying a novena for the Florida Supreme Court oral arguments concerning the validity of the abortion amendment language from January 30 - February 7. Our petition is for the abortion amendment to legalize abortion up until birth in Florida is rejected.

Pope Francis officially opened the Year of Prayer after Mass for the church's celebration of Sunday of the Word of God. The Year of Prayer is about preparing the groundwork so the Holy Year can spiritually enrich the life of the church and of the people of God, and become a concrete sign of hope for the world, said the head of the Vatican office in charge of coordinating the Holy Year.

FEBUARY 2ND, 2024 - In 1997, Pope Saint John Paul II instituted a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life. This Feast is also known as Candlemas Day; the day on which candles are blessed symbolizing Christ who is the light of the world.

The right to life of an unborn child is neither a federal nor state issue as it is a fundamental right given to us by God in accord with a very purpose for which our great nation was founded. Our country came into existence on the foundation, as stated in the Declaration of Independence, that the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is granted to all persons by God Himself. There is no legal authority that can authorize abortion as there is no legal authority which can authorize the taking of an innocent life for any reason.

Join St. Patrick Catholic Church in their Parish Lenten Mission with Fr. Simeon Gallahger, OFM. Cap. on February 5-8, 2024.

AIM, which stands for Achieve, Inspire and Motivate, welcomes individuals with physical disabilities and those who may be experiencing more limited mobility due to aging.

"A healthy society can only continue to flourish if based on a consistent recognition of the rights of each individual, especially the weakest and most defenseless. With this in mind, we remain committed to pursuing full legal protection of preborn children and continue to support efforts to offer practical assistance and accompaniment to women and their families experiencing difficulties during pregnancy and beyond. We invite all people of good will to join us in these endeavors."

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.

Please join us for fun in the park on Saturday, March 9th for Washington vs. Houston!

At the beginning of a new year, it is well to reflect upon those qualities which were at the core of Pope Benedict’s life. Indeed, they are myriad, but I would like to reflect upon them in the words of St. Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians when he urges us to “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks” (5:17-18). Prayer, joy and gratitude sum up the life and legacy of Pope Benedict XVI.

Each January thousands of people gather in Washington, D.C. to uphold the dignity of all human life and pray for an end to abortion. Nearly fifty years after the Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide in Roe v. Wade, the court overturned the 1973 decision by giving individual states the power to regulate abortion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. As Catholics across the country gather again this year in Washington for the March for Life, they are also invited to observe a nationwide prayer vigil January 18-19 to pray for an end to abortion and a greater respect for all human life.

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.

Martin Luther King, Jr., was a champion of civil rights. Dr. King used the Word of God to effect change of hearts and minds. Given the issues of migration, antisemitism and racial and religious discrimination touching our communities, we are reminded that the work of bringing people together in mutual recognition and cooperation is never really done. The Catholic Church is committed to this endeavor and willingly clasps hands and hearts with all others of like mind, faith, and hope.

Fr. Clem Hammerschmitt One Thousand Dollar ($1,000.00) Catholic High School Scholarship Award for the academic year 2024-2025. PBDCCW has been offering scholarships to outstanding young Catholic women for over fifteen years. Three scholarships are awarded each year to one young lady from each of the three Deaneries within the Diocese of Palm Beach who is planning to attend a Catholic High School in the Fall of 2024 as an incoming freshman.

“The Declaration issued today by the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF) articulated a distinction between liturgical (sacramental) blessings, and pastoral blessings, which may be given to persons who desire God’s loving grace in their lives. The Church’s teaching on marriage has not changed, and this declaration affirms that, while also making an effort to accompany people through the imparting of pastoral blessings because each of us needs God’s healing love and mercy in our lives.”

It is interesting to note that, on the same week that Pope Francis delivered his message on artificial intelligence, he spoke at his Wednesday audience on a new cycle of catechesis he will give on the theme of Vices and Virtues. His introductory presentation was on the theme of “Safeguarding the Heart.” As we reflect upon the matter of artificial intelligence, it is well to do so in the context of what Pope Francis spoke about in his audience. He refers to the account of Adam and Eve, who were forbidden by God to eat of a certain tree in the Garden of Eden. The pope explains that the prohibition was not to forbid humanity the use of reason but as a measure of wisdom. Pope Francis explains, “The story tells us God establishes the progenitors as lords and guardians of creation but wants to preserve them from the presumption of omnipotence, of making themselves masters of good and evil, which is a temptation — a bad temptation, even now. This is the most dangerous pitfall for the human heart.”

The Mass and the Birth of Christ are also intimately associated because of their simplicity. We approach the crèche in faith because of the wonder of God, who became present in our human nature. We can never get too comfortable with this reality, and its simplicity only enhances the mystery. The same is true of the Eucharist. The Eucharist is not an event at which we are entertained but the mystery in which we enter into the very life of Christ Himself in the most humble manner — through the transformation of simple bread and wine into His Body and Blood. St. Francis of Assisi had a great devotion to the Mass and to the Eucharist, which caused Him to cry before them just as he cried before the crèche. We need that faith within our lives as Catholics.

The Office of Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Palm Beach is pleased to announce that Charles S. Stembler has been appointed by Most Reverend Gerald M. Barbarito, Bishop of Palm Beach, as the next President of Cardinal Newman High School.

Diocese of Palm Beach, Most Reverend Gerald M. Barbarito, Bishop of Palm Beach County offers his 2023 Christmas Message to all.

Advent is a time of anticipation. We are looking forward to celebrating the birth of the Lord. We are also looking forward to the Lord’s coming into our lives each day and ultimately to the coming of His Kingdom. Anticipation is based on the virtue of hope. We need to believe that tomorrow will always be better than today and that something greater is going to happen to us. The joy of looking forward to Christmas is a good and holy anticipation. Christ’s birth brings us a joy as it reminds us of God’s infinite love and mercy for us as individuals. Christ’s birth celebrates that He became one of us and that He dwells among us now — not only when He came to this earth and not only when we are with Him in heaven — but now at each and every moment.

Join Most Reverend Gerald M. Barbarito on Friday, December 15, 2023, at 4:00 in the afternoon as he celebrates the joyous occasion of the Christmas Mass.

The message of Christ has not changed, and it is only the teaching of Christ that helps us to address the problems and needs of society as well as those of our own lives. Mary was keenly aware of this. With her gaze fixed completely on God, she was able to cope with the many challenges and difficulties she encountered, especially those which came to her as the mother of the Lord. With her gaze fixed on Christ, the Church has handed on the Gospel of Christ for 2,000 years in times that have revealed the difficulties and needs of humanity in new contexts. The unchanging Gospel always answers these difficulties and needs.

Thank you to our sponsors yesterday on Giving Tuesday for their generosity and love. This year, we are blessed to have the Frank & Vera Ferola Charitable Foundation, Inc., generously offer to match donations on Giving Tuesday up to $25,000!

November 24, 2023
Faith looks upon the cross of Jesus Christ and sees the King. The Gospel of St. John especially portrays Jesus as King as He reigns upon the cross. It is from the cross that He extends His arms over the world in an embrace of love. It is from this cross that blood and water flow upon the world from His wounded heart that we might be redeemed. As we look around the world and find war, so much strife and discord, division within our own nation, it is only God’s mercy extended to all which gives meaning and purpose. God’s power is revealed in His mercy. This is what we celebrate on the Solemnity of Christ the King, and it is for this that we are most grateful as we celebrate Thanksgiving.

“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.”

As we dive into the season of giving this month, let’s explore how the very action of giving can lead to a more altruistic life, improve our mood and even makes us happy.

The celebration of Thanksgiving gives us reason to reflect upon gratitude and to cultivate it more within our lives. It is a virtue of which St. Paul constantly speaks and asks us to cultivate as exemplified in his words, “Dedicate yourself to thankfulness. Whatever you do, whether in speech or action, do it in the name of the Lord Jesus. Give thanks to God the Father through Him” (Col 3:14-17). We have much for which we should be thankful, and we should give praise to God for it. May our thankfulness help us to realize more and more our dependency upon God, whom we praise for the gift of life.

Gratitude is about more than taking a second to say “Thanks.” Gratitude shows true appreciation. This Thanksgiving, we have some ideas for how you can give gratitude.

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.

November 10, 2023
Our Lord Himself was well aware of the dignity of working with the land as well as with the sacrifices that go with it. That is evident in the many parables He tells about farmers who often face significant difficulties. These parables include the sower who goes out to plant his seed and loses most of it, the landowner who leases out his land and is taken advantage of, and the parable in which a man plants his field only to have an enemy disrupt his work. In all of these parables, the one who works with the land always overcomes the obstacles and brings about a greater harvest.

Turns out, even the smallest steps can have an impact. This Earth Day, consider your ecological footprint and enact these seven green ways to embrace today.