Category: Orlando

Mass of Solidarity gathers community to pray for Puerto Rico

Donations were collected by Catholic Charities ORLANDO | Tears began to flow for Delbert Rodriguez and Sonia Mendez, parishioners at St. Charles Borromeo in Orlando as they spoke of their family still in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, a devastating Category 4 storm that struck the island Sept. 20. Rodriguez had only just spoken to… Read more »

Refugee children celebrate start of school year

ORLANDO  |  The Khojas family of six arrived in Central Florida in May, escaping a dangerous situation in their homeland of Syria. With the help of Catholic Charities of Central Florida, they have been learning a new culture and a new language, and adjusting to having a stable home once again. For their 7-year-old son,… Read more »

Quinceañera tradition celebrates coming of age in faith

ORLANDO  |  Surrounded by family and friends, Yesenia walked down the aisle at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Apopka as a child July 29. According to her family’s Mexican tradition, she left the church that day as a young woman, following her quinceañera, a celebration treasured among Latin American families in which they accompany… Read more »

Orlando woman begins new life as Sister of St. Joseph

ORLANDO  |  On Pentecost Sunday, June 4, Sister Varada Grace Ford made her profession of first vows with the Sisters of St. Joseph. Sister Ford was a working single mom of three children. She taught honors class in the local inner-city high school. She was involved in ministry to the sick through home and hospital… Read more »

Pulse survivor sees blessings one year later

ORLANDO  |  Life has certainly changed for Luis Ruiz in the past year. There have been wonderful changes, especially in finding closer relationships with his family and attending Full Sail University in Orlando in hopes of earning a film degree. But the year has not been without challenges. There have been financial struggles, but even… Read more »

Mobile services for seniors introduced in Polk

  LAKELAND  |  For over three decades the Lakeland Activity Center for Seniors, a program of Catholic Charities of Central Florida, has provided a second home for the area’s seniors, giving them a place to participate in activities, meals, health screenings and, most importantly, to socialize with other seniors. Now the organization is introducing “Mobile… Read more »

Local groups respond to call to care for creation

ORLANDO  |  Earth Day is celebrated April 22 around the world, mobilizing and educating the global community around environmental issues. For Catholics, care for the environment has a moral and spiritual dimension as the faithful are called to be good stewards of their God-given home and to protect the poor who are most affected by… Read more »

St. Vincent de Paul Conference promotes mercy for former convicts

ORLANDO  |  Mykal Tairu grew up believing his father lived in Nigeria, and it wasn’t until after he graduated from high school that his mother told him the truth — that his father was incarcerated in a prison two hours away. Tairu began building a relationship with his father when he was released, but he… Read more »

President Trump visits Orlando Catholic school

ORLANDO  |  St. Andrew School in Orlando hosted several dignitaries, including the president of the United States, March 3. President Donald Trump, along with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Florida Gov. Rick Scott, toured two classrooms at the school and then participated in a roundtable discussion concerning the benefits of… Read more »

Community celebrates traditions of Lunar New Year

‘Hold onto your traditions, because if you lose them, you lose the heart of who you are.’ — Bishop John Noonan ORLANDO | The beating of the traditional drum and gong sounded the start of the Vietnamese New Year Mass, the Year of the Rooster, Jan. 28, at St Philip Phan Van Minh Parish in… Read more »