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

We are all called to be holy

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

In Gaudate et Exsultate, an exhortation of Pope Francis, he writes, “With this exhortation I would like to insist primarily on the call to holiness that the Lord addresses to each of us, the call that he also addresses, personally, to you: “Be holy, for I am holy” (Lev 11:44; 1 Pet 1:16). We are called to be holy each in his or her own way. We do our very best to flourish the personal gifts that God has placed within our hearts.


Bishop Barbarito

Diocese of Palm Beach

Ashes help us find our direction

Ash Wednesday is upon us. There is something quite unique about this day. It marks the beginning of Lent as a solemn penitential season of 40 days for the Church. Yet, there is almost something mystical that surrounds Ash Wednesday. Churches are filled with people anxious to receive ashes and to wear that symbol throughout the day. It is a day when people, who may be otherwise reluctant to express their religious beliefs openly, are more than ready to express them in the darkened sign of the Cross on their foreheads which our Holy Father, Pope Francis, described as “a sign that will help us find our direction” in his homily for Ash Wednesday last year. Ash Wednesday and the sign of ashes seem to unite all Catholics, regardless of status within the Church, in one common bond. People actually seem happy to receive ashes. I certainly am one of them.


Bishop Dewane

Diocese of Venice

What it means to be ‘A Disciple of Christ’

After receiving the blessings of the Christmas Season, celebrating the birth of Christ Our Lord, many return to their ordinary schedules of prayer, work or family obligations. So too, the Church enters a portion of Ordinary Time. Throughout Advent and Christmas, we placed the emphasis of our prayers and attention on welcoming Christ into our hearts and homes while ever awaiting His triumphant return with the Second Coming. Now in this Ordinary Time, we take Christ with us and go forth living what it means to be “A Disciple of Christ”. Call to mind the lives of Christ’s early Disciples, of the Saints who lived heroically, and even of those great examples of holiness in our own lives. How might we follow these examples in everyday life in order to be “A Disciple of Christ?”


Florida Conference
of Catholic Bishops


Florida bishops praise passage of legislation requiring parental consent prior to a minor’s abortion

The bishops of Florida commend our state legislature for passing, with bipartisan support, legislation that ensures a parent provides consent before a minor can terminate her pregnancy.Parental consent is required prior to a minor’s medical treatment in most every instance, this includes simple medical interventions such as taking an aspirin or getting one’s ears pierced. This legislation is a common-sense measure that holds abortion to the same consent requirements as most every other medical decision involving a child.