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

Gift of Christmas is learning how we are to live

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

What strong and beautiful words we hear proclaimed in Scripture on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Think of the imagery from the words of the prophet Isaiah — “I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people.” To grasp someone’s hand effects a sense of urgency, a desire for the person. God chooses us and forms us. We fulfill his covenant; that is, we carry forth his light for all the nations. How do we do that? At Baptism, we receive the light of Christ. He passes the torch to us: I formed you and set you as a covenant of the people … a light for the nations.


Bishop Barbarito

Diocese of Palm Beach

The new year — A journey of hope

We are already more than a week into the new year. As we planned for this significant year of 2020, we have made resolutions to improve ourselves as we journey through it. We know from experience that many of those resolutions will not come to pass. What is important for the new year is not so much the resolutions but our vision for the year based on our faith. The virtue of hope is an essential part in facing the new year as we encounter the many joys, difficulties, challenges, uncertainties, disappointments and all that will come to us in 2020.


Bishop Dewane

Diocese of Venice

You are called to be ‘A Disciple of Christ’

With Advent on the horizon, we ought to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus. This Season of anticipation and longing allows all of us to welcome God’s invitation to become A Disciple of Christ. This brings to mind the disciples in the early Church and the great sacrifice that they lived day in and day out. The call to be A Disciple of Christ thus requires a response from you! It may involve speaking out, giving up certain things in your life, or even taking on extra responsibilities. But the reality is, and Pope Francis has said this well, “We cannot be tepid disciples. The Church needs our courage in order to give witness to truth.”


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.