Category: Orlando

Illness does not dampen teen’s writing spirit

Editor’s note: The family’s last name was omitted to protect minor children. ORLANDO | Emma was diagnosed with hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy midway through her seventh-grade year while attending Holy Family Catholic School in Orlando. The young athlete’s life radically changed. What would she do without basketball, softball, track and dance? Despite the initial blow, Emma… Read more »

Leaders from different faiths gather in praise, harmony for 50th anniverary

ORLANDO | The 50th anniversary of the Diocese of Orlando was a time of remembrance, prayer and thanksgiving shared with many different religious leaders. Bishop John Noonan made that clear with his message of “we remember, we celebrate, we believe” at St. James Cathedral June 18. Bishop Noonan welcomed members of the Interfaith Council of… Read more »

CCCF offers hope to refugee family of 8

ORLANDO | When Burundian refugee Burakoze and his family arrived at Orlando International Airport in April, he was greeted by longtime friends from the refugee camp in Tanzania where he and his family lived for two decades. Carolina Toro, Catholic Charities of Central Florida program manager, and Alice Ngamije, case manager, who worked behind the… Read more »

3 students receive life-changing education

ORLANDO | Among the high school graduates in the Diocese of Orlando this year are three friends who have all been reading since they were 4 years old, took college-level courses in high school, were members of the National Honor Society, and received college scholarships. These remarkable students — Mercedes, Yamilka and Diomides — are… Read more »

Diocese of Orlando Day celebrates 50 years of faith

ORLANDO | On June 18, the Central Florida community celebrated Diocese of Orlando Day as proclaimed by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs. The day commemorated the 50th anniversary of the founding of the diocese in 1968. Over these five decades, the Catholic population has more than tripled, and what were… Read more »

Kairos gives hope, faith to inmates

ORLANDO | The first time Father Leo Hodges, pastor of St. Andrew Parish in Orlando, stepped into a prison he was in college. He accompanied his parents on a “prayer and share” at Union Correctional Institution located in Raiford in the northern reaches of the state. It was just the beginning of Kairos, an ecumenical… Read more »

Knights of Columbus shine brightly in Florida

ORLANDO | The Florida State Knights of Columbus Convention was held May 25-27 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and Conference Center in Orlando. In attendance were over 1,000 Knights and their families from across Florida and the Bahamas, along with six bishops and 12 priests. The theme, “Let Your Light Shine,” comes from the Gospel… Read more »

2018 Grads: Service and sports top student’s high school memories

LAKELAND | During her time in high school, Kourtney Jones played dozens of games of volleyball, basketball and softball, took classes including some for college credit and volunteered many hours with Special Olympics. But what the recent graduate of Santa Fe will most remember about her experience at the Lakeland high school is how much… Read more »

Family finds unexpected graces

ORLANDO | In 2013, Andrew’s family was fairly typical and not especially devout. They participated in the celebration of Mass every Sunday and their eldest was in faith formation at an early age. Then Andrew was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, “a tumor located inside the brainstem that is a lot like a spider… Read more »

Transitional deacons prepare for ordination

ORLANDO | Bishop John Noonan will ordain Deacons Matthew Hawkins and Blake Britton to the order of priesthood May 26, 10 a.m., at St. James Cathedral in Orlando. Here the two men share their vocation stories and their journey to the priesthood. Deacon Hawkins was born in Miami, but considers himself an Orlando native. His… Read more »