Venice | Bishop Frank J. Dewane prayed the rosary with the students of Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School during the Month of the Rosary, on Oct. 24. The prayer was broadcast on Facebook Live so students for each Catholic School in the Diocese could watch and remotely join in the prayers.
At the start of the school year, Bishop Dewane gifted each student a blessed rosary so as to encourage them to learn the prayers while seeking the intercessions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Pope Francis has requested “the faithful of all the world pray that the Holy Mother of God place the Church beneath her protective mantle.”
More than 2,000 people have viewed the Facebook Live posting since Oct. 25. Among the comments made were: “Thank you Bishop for sharing this with us and giving us the opportunity to pray with you.” “How beautiful to hear the voice of those angels. God bless them!!”
At St. Martha Catholic School and St. Mary Academy in Sarasota, the students gathered as a group in the Zazarino Center to watch the broadcast. Meanwhile, at St. Ann Catholic School in Naples, the students gathered in their auditorium. The students at St. Catherine Catholic School in Sebring watched from their individual classrooms as did many other schools. No matter what the setting, the morning praying of the rosary united each student in prayer with the Bishop.
Bishop Dewane first celebrated the Mass for the Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School students prior to praying the rosary with them. During the Mass, the Bishop said that God gives grace to each one of us and we must live by it, one way to do that is to pray the rosary.
Before Bishop Dewane began the praying of the rosary, he reminded all of the students, present in the Cathedral and watching online, that they should be conscience of the graces they receive by joining together in prayer.
At the beginning of the school year, Bishop Dewane blessed and distributed 20,000 rosaries to each Catholic school and religious education student in the Diocese. Each student also received a card on how to prayer the rosary, At that time, the Bishop encouraged the teachers to incorporate the rosary into the classroom and use it as a tool to bring each closer to the Lord through the sacred prayers and intercessions of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Since that time, many Catholic schools recite at least one decade of the rosary during morning prayers and students at all levels have been encouraged pray the rosary at home with their families.
Within the past year, several events have taken place in honor of the Blessed Virgin. First, at the close of Advent 2017, the Diocese was consecrated to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The consecration was the culmination of the structured 33-day “Diocesan Advent Journey to Jesus through Mary.” By this Act of Consecration, the faithful confided the Diocese and all of its good works to Our Lady in order to fulfill more readily the will of her Divine Son for His Church.
Then in May, the first-ever Diocese of Venice “Walk to Our Lady: A Marian Pilgrimage” took place in Venice. The walk was intended to pray for Pope Francis, Bishop Dewane, the faithful of the Diocese of Venice, and for Persecuted Christians everywhere. To this end, each walker was provided with a blue and white wristband which said: “Pray for Persecuted Christians.” The next “Walk to Our Lady: A Marian Pilgrimage” is already in the planning stages and will take place May 4, 2019. Visit the Diocese of Venice website (www.dioceseofenvenice.org) at the date draws near to learn more details.