Florida Bishops

The pastoral nature of the episcopacy inspires our three bishop publishers to use the Florida Catholic as a forum to shine a light on issues of importance to Catholic faith. Whether reflecting on the different liturgical seasons of the Church, delving into the inspirational lives of the saints, or highlighting the good deeds of the local church, Bishops John Noonan, Gerald M. Barbarito and Frank J. Dewane hope visitors will gain insight from the words offered in their columns.

Bishop Noonan

Diocese of Orlando

God meets us and walks beside us

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ,I don’t like the month of August. Lately, it is the bearer of bad news or serious concerns suddenly arise. During this month of August, we witnessed the death and injury of so many during fires in China, Bangladesh, and the Amazon Rainforest, flooding in India, and mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas. In the beginning of August, I was notified of a small fire in an apartment of a subsidized housing complex, Monsignor Bishop Manor Apartments of Catholic Charities of Central Florida, which displaced some families. During the month, five deacons died. At the end of August, we began preparing for Hurricane Dorian and are feeling her effects in numerous ways.


Bishop Barbarito

Diocese of Palm Beach

Diaconate ordination: Promises to keep

We are grateful to God for the safety we experienced this week as we escaped the fierce effects of Hurricane Dorian. We pray in a very special way today for all those so tragically affected by the storm which directly hit the Bahamas. We are all pleased to be present here this morning for the ordination of five men to the Office of Deacon for the Diocese of Palm Beach. Our ordinandi — Andre, Michael, Charles, Vincent and Edwin — with their wives and families, have discerned the Lord’s call to them in their lives and, in response to that call, have prepared very diligently over the past years to take up now their office of service to the Church. They have grown, through study, in the knowledge of their faith and, through prayer, in their relationship to the Lord. While they will still continue to grow, today the Church formally calls them to be public ministers through the conferral of holy orders. I wish to thank these men and all of my brother deacons for their willingness to follow the Lord’s call to them and for their service to our Diocese. I also thank Father Bob Pope and all those in our diaconate program at St. Vincent de Paul Seminary for the outstanding formation they have given these men. We are deeply grateful to their wives and families for all the assistance they have afforded in their preparation and for the continued support they will offer them in their ministry.


Bishop Dewane

Diocese of Venice

Bishop Dewane calls for action to address gun violence after mass shooting

In the wake of a mass shooting that left 12 people dead in Virginia Beach, Virginia, the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development called for American society to examine why such violent incidents continue to occur.”This shooting reminds us yet again that something is fundamentally broken in our society and culture when ordinary workplaces can become scenes of violence and contempt for human life,” Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, said in a statement June 1.


Florida Conference
of Catholic Bishops


Statement on Passage of State-Level Immigration Enforcement (SB 168)

“Today’s passage of state-level immigration enforcement legislation is disheartening. There are many, including members of the Florida Legislature, who are frustrated that Congress has not enacted needed immigration reforms. However, immigration law is, and should remain, in the purview of the federal, not state, government.