Catholic Writers Guild, St. Johns Chapter monthly meeting

The St. Johns Chapter of the Catholic Writers Guild (CWG) invites aspiring writers, poets, composers, musicians & all interested other artists to join us for our monthly meeting on Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 10:00 am to noon at The Father Felix Varela Center, 5110 Lourcey Road, Jacksonville, Florida 32257. Featured Speaker – Walter Mattingly, speaking on Catholic leaning writing but non-Catholic.

Post expires at 1:00pm on Monday April 17th, 2017

Affordable Exposure in the DOSA Women’s Convention Booklet

DOSA Council of Catholic Women Convention is coming to Jacksonville, April 21-23. We invite you to support us with an ad in our Convention Booklet. The booklet will be printed and distributed to all members, guests, and clergy attending the Convention. If interested in supporting the ladies of our diocese with an ad acknowledging an individual, group, event (upcoming or past), with some affordable exposure reaching the 17 counties that comprise the Diocese of St. Augustine, mail attached form and check payable to DOSA CCW to: Donna Haddaway, 7650 Jeremy David Lane, Jax, 32244 and email your camera-ready copy in JPG, MS Word, Publisher, or PDF format to – we must receive your ad no later than April 12.

Post expires at 1:00pm on Monday April 17th, 2017

Living as a People of God in Unsettled Times – A pastoral reflection from the Administrative Committee of theUnited States Conference of Catholic Bishops

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Administrative Committee has issued the following pastoral reflection in solidarity with those who have been forced to flee their homes due to violence, conflict or fear in their native lands.  In the statement, the bishops encourage each of us to do what we can to accompany migrants and refugees who seek a better life in the United States.

The full text of the Bishops’ Administrative Committee statement can be found below:

The word of God is truly alive today.  “When an alien resides with you in your land, do not mistreat such a one.  You shall treat the alien who resides with you no differently than the natives born among you; you shall love the alien as yourself; for you too were once aliens in the land of Egypt” (Lev. 19:33-34).

To live as a people of God is to live in the hope of the resurrection. To live in Christ is to draw upon the limitless love of Jesus to fortify us against the temptation of fear.  Pray that our engagement in the debate over immigration and refugee issues may bring peace and comfort to those most affected by current and proposed national policy changes.

Let us not lose sight of the fact that behind every policy is the story of a person in search of a better life. They may be an immigrant or refugee family sacrificing so that their children might have a brighter future.  As shepherds of a pilgrim Church, we will not tire in saying to families who have the courage to set out from their despair onto the road of hope: “We are with you.” They may also be a family seeking security from an increased threat of extremist violence. It is necessary to safeguard the United States in a manner that does not cause us to lose our humanity.

Intense debate is essential to healthy democracy, but the rhetoric of fear does not serve us well.  When we look at one another do we see with the heart of Jesus?  Within our diverse backgrounds are found common dreams for our children.  Hope in the next generation is how the nation will realize its founding motto, “out of many, one.” In doing so, we will also realize God’s hope for all His children:  that we would see each other as valued sisters and brothers regardless of race, religion or national origin.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh (Jn. 1:14), strengthens us to bring our words to life.  How might we, as Catholics and in our own small way, bring our words of solidarity for migrants and refugees to life?

  1. Pray for an end to the root causes of violent hatred that force mothers and fathers to flee the only home they may have known in search of economic and physical security for their children.
  2. Meet with members of your parish who are newcomers, listen to their story and share your own. Hundreds of Catholic parishes across the country have programs for immigrants and refugees both to comfort  them and to help them know their rights. It is also important to reach out in loving dialogue to those who may disagree with us.  The more we come to understand each other’s concerns the better we can serve one another.  Together, we are one body in Christ.
  3. Call, write or visit your elected representative and ask them to fix our broken immigration system in a way that safeguards both our security and our humanity through a generous opportunity for legal immigration.

As Pope Francis said, “To migrate is the expression of that inherent desire for the happiness proper to every human being, a happiness that is to be sought and pursued.  For us Christians, all human life is an itinerant journey towards our heavenly homeland.”

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Pope Francis wants to hear from young people

In a letter to the youth of the world released on January 13, Pope Francis asked young people to tell him, their bishops and pastors about their hopes and struggles and even their criticisms. In preparation for a meeting of the Synod of Bishops focused on youth, the pope wants “to listen to your voice, your sensitivities and your faith, even your doubts and your criticism.

“Make your voice heard,” the pope told young people. “Let it resonate in communities and let it be heard by your shepherds of souls.”

Before the synod convenes in October 2018, Pope Francis also released a preparatory document for the synod. The document contains preliminary questions to be answered by national conferences of bishops and other church bodies. The responses, along with input from young people themselves, will form the basis of the synod’s working document.

Bishop Felipe Estévez has formed a committee in preparation of the synod that will study the preparatory document. The committee will conduct formal and informal surveys of young people (ages 16-29) and others between now and mid-April. To take the survey, click here or the button below. (Note: This survey is only for those residing within the Diocese of St. Augustine)

Youth and young adults (ages 16-39) – Catholic and non-Catholic alike – as well as mentors of youth, such as DRE’s and youth ministers, are encouraged to take the survey. For more details, contact your parish youth minister or email Father David Ruchinski at or Robin Shipley at or call (904) 262-3200, ext. 189.

Morning Star School Supports Children with Learning Disabilities with Charity Gala and Auction

On Saturday, April 8, Morning Star School will host its 6th annual “Gala & Auction – A Night on the St. Johns” event. This will be a fun event which helps fulfill the mission to provide children with learning disabilities the opportunity to attend school, and to thrive and succeed in a caring and loving environment.

All proceeds from the event will help fund classroom enhancements, educational tools, technology and specialized programs. Partial proceeds from this year’s gala will also benefit the “Building a Brighter Future” building campaign for our long awaited special education high school, which will open for the fall 2017-2018 academic year.

The gala will begin at 6:00 p.m. at the Haskell Building, located at 111 Riverside Avenue in Jacksonville. Tickets for the event are $75 per person and will include heavy hors d’oeuvres, auction, dancing, cocktails, and much more! Cocktail attire is suggested. Please RSVP by Friday, March 31 to Maria Johnson at

49th Annual Youth and Young Adult Golf Tournament

For the past 49 years the Diocese of Saint Augustine has sponsored one the oldest golf tournaments in our diocese, the Youth and Young Adult Ministry Golf Tournament. The proceeds from this tournament, together with diocesan funds, provide service to 17 counties, aid those that cannot afford to attend youth programs as well as help fund our Youth and Young Adult programming. Mr. John F. Lanahan and a few of his good friends ran this tournament for over 30 years; it is now named in his memory. Registration is now open for this year’s tournament which will be held on Monday, April 17, the day after Easter, at the San Jose Country Club. We are asking for you to help support the tournament by registering to play or by becoming a sponsor.

Click here to download flyer

Post expires at 2:00pm on Monday April 10th, 2017

DOSA Annual Young Ladies Retreat – “Priceless”

All young ladies in grades 9-12 are invited to attend our Annual Ladies Young Retreat being held April 28-30 at Camp Crystal Lake in Starke, Florida. Our theme this year is “I preferred her to scepter and throne, and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her, nor did I liken any priceless gem to her; Because all gold, in view of her, is a bit of sand, and before her, silver is to be accounted mire” (Wisdom 7:8-9). We have planned tons of activities and awesome liturgy. It is going to be a great retreat. Please contact your parish youth minister or the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for more information or to register.

Click here to download the flyer

Post expires at 1:30pm on Monday April 10th, 2017

High School Senior Day of Reflection

The Diocesan Youth Office would like to invite High School Seniors to a Day of Reflection. The purpose of this program is twofold. First, our goal is to evangelize. Our focus is to offer a day that invites and excites the young people to desire to become involved in campus ministry when they enter college in the fall. Second, we want to offer the young people an opportunity to see a larger church community as well as to make connections with seniors from across the diocese that are experiencing the same transition from high school to college life. This event will be held on Saturday, April 8 from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the University of North Florida. You can register through your campus minister, parish youth minister or through the diocesan youth office.

Post expires at 1:00pm on Monday March 27th, 2017

Biblical Musical Drama

A Biblical Musical drama, “Judith” will be presented by Anne R. Coyne on Saturday, April 1 at 7:00 p.m. and again on Sunday, April 2 at 3:00 p.m. Both presentations will be in Jordan Hall at Assumption Catholic Church located at 2403 Atlantic Blvd in Jacksonville. A love offering will be taken to aid the Sisters of the Home of the Mother rebuilding of their mission in Ecuador following the earthquake.

Post expires at 1:00pm on Monday March 27th, 2017

U.S. Bishops Chairman on Migration says New Executive Order Still Leaves Many Innocent Lives at Risk

The Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of Austin and Chair of the USCCB Committee on Migration, says that President Trump’s latest Executive Order still puts vulnerable populations around the world at risk. In a statement issued after the announcement of today’s travel suspension, Bishop Vásquez says that while we seek to maintain our values and safety, we must also exercise compassion in assisting and continuing to welcome the stranger.

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