Category: Orlando

Family experiences hurricane of blessings

Editor’s note: The family’s last name is omitted to protect minors in the family. MELBOURNE | A united and merry Christmas didn’t seem like a possibility for Gilcer Marie, who, along with her family, witnessed devastation in her hometown of Bayamón, Puerto Rico, following Hurricanes Irma and Maria. But the kindness of her stateside family… Read more »

Catholic Charities helps Cuban family build new life in U.S.

ORLANDO | When Lisandra Bientz and Sadiel Polledo first came to Catholic Charities of Central Florida two years ago, their life looked very different. The couple, who arrived as refugees from Cuba with their two daughters ages 11 and 9, had little money, knew very little English and needed help to rebuild a new life… Read more »

Orlando Diocese to celebrate 50 years of life in the Eucharist

ORLANDO | The Diocese of Orlando will celebrate its 50th anniversary on June 18, 2018. Established in 1968, the diocese is comprised of 79 parishes and 12 missions, two basilicas, 37 schools, and hundreds of ministries. To commemorate the year, Bishop John Noonan has proclaimed a Jubilee Year of the Eucharist beginning the first Sunday… Read more »

Annual trip to sister diocese offers inspiration

ORLANDO  |  In mid-October, Bishop John Noonan travelled to the Diocese of San Juan de la Maguana in the Dominican Republic, along with Henry Fortier, superintendent of schools, two religious sisters and eight Bishop Moore Catholic High School students from Orlando for an education mission. The trip was a familiar one. Many have made the… Read more »

Agency encounters migrants and refugees through Share the Journey

Editor’s note: On Sept. 27, in an effort to break down barriers of fear and suspicion surrounding refugees and immigrants, Pope Francis launched “Share the Journey,” a worldwide campaign calling on all Catholics and the faithful to “build bridges of understanding and hospitality.” These are some of Catholic Charities of Central Florida’s stories about how… Read more »

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 »