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

Thanksgiving stems from a love of God

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ:The season of autumn was officially declared on September 23. I personally am incredulous at how quickly the year seems to be moving. Autumn sparks in us a season of gratitude. This is naturally earthen-bound as the season of autumn is associated with harvesting of crops which symbolize the bounty of God’s feast upon the earth. It culminates with the celebration of Thanksgiving. The Scriptures often speak of a theme of thanksgiving. This thanksgiving stems from a love of God and for His goodness bestowed upon us. On the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Naaman thanks God for His cleanliness after he had been afflicted with leprosy. In Luke’s Gospel, a Samaritan, one of ten cured, also returns to thank Jesus for God’s goodness.


Bishop Barbarito

Diocese of Palm Beach

Choose Joy…Alive in the Spirit

Every September, I very much enjoy celebrating Mass for our three Catholic high schools in order to invoke the gifts of the Holy Spirit upon the new school year and to have the opportunity to welcome the students back to school. I also enjoy granting an extra holiday for the school year which has become a tradition during the past years. We are blessed in our Diocese with three outstanding Catholic high schools — Cardinal Newman in West Palm Beach, John Carroll in Fort Pierce and St. John Paul II Academy in Boca Raton. All three have different characteristics but they truly represent what the best of Catholic education is all about and are a model of why it is important to support Catholic education. We have very good reason to be proud of our Catholic high schools in the Diocese of Palm Beach, of the faculty and staff which take care of them and of the young people who represent the spirit of the schools, the promise of today and the hope for the future.


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.