Category: Orlando

Student begins school year with memories of Haiti

ORLANDO | Service hours requirements are not an issue for Elena Brace, a youth member of Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Indialantic. When she sees an activity such as Vacation Bible School, she doesn’t sign up to knock off a few notches from her school “must-do service hours” sheet. She does it because she… Read more »

Kairos changes lives of young adult prisoners

ORLANDO | The average adult makes more than 200 decisions per day: when to sleep, eat, pray and more. Those who are incarcerated make less than 30. This has a profound impact for troubled youths in prime developmental stages of maturity and it’s something Kairos Torch, part of Kairos Prison Ministry International Inc., hopes to… Read more »

Programs broaden horizons for refugees

Last names have been omitted to protect minors. ORLANDO | It’s 4 a.m. and 18-year-old Asende Alex is waking up to get to her job at Starbucks in the Florida Hotel in Orlando, but she’s not complaining. Until two years ago, Alex had spent her entire life living in a refugee camp in Tanzania after… Read more »

Educators witness live-saving efforts in Ghana

ORLANDO | Local educators witnessed how funds from Catholic Relief Services offer communities access to something the Florida residents would take for granted — clean water. Henry Fortier, superintendent of Catholic schools, and a handful of teachers were in Ghana for 10 days in early July as they joined a team from CRS in small… Read more »

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 »