U.S. Bishops Mark Nov. 26 as Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians

The USCCB in collaboration with the Knights of Columbus, Catholic Relief Services, the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) and Aid to the Church in Need announce the observance this Sunday, November 26, as A Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians.  The Day of Prayer also initiates “Solidarity in Suffering,” a Week of Awareness and Education that runs from November 26-December 3.  The Day of Prayer on the Solemnity of Christ the King, is a fitting time to reflect on religious freedom and Christians around the world who are being persecuted in unheard of numbers.

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“Living as Missionary Disciples” – 33rd Annual Faith Formation Day

The 33rd Annual Diocesan Faith Formation Day will be held on Saturday, October 7 at Bishop John J. Snyder High School. This faith formation opportunity is open to all and there is something to interest everyone. The early bird specials run through September 22. Also, you can save money by registering in a group from one parish or school. Payment can be made via PayPal, credit card, or check.

Schedule for the Day

8:00 a.m.   Doors open, check in, breakfast, and visit publishers

9:00 a.m.   Gathering prayer

9:30 a.m.    Keynote:  Kevin Dowd, Ph.D candidate, Boston College (courtesy of Pflaum Publishers)

10:45 a.m.   First set of workshops

12:15 p.m.  Lunch and visit publishers

1:15 p.m.    Second set of workshops

3:00 p.m.   Closing prayer

October 7, 2017 Speaker List

October 7 Group Registration  (for parishes and schools)

October 7 Individual Registration

For more information, contact Erin at emcgeever@dosafl.com or Rebecca at cformation@dosafl.com

Diocesan Ministry Formation Program continues 25 year tradition of forming lay leaders for the local church

On Sunday, June 11 at a 2:00 p.m. celebration in the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, Bishop Felipe Estévez will confer certificates of completion on the following 11 lay ecclesial ministers who have completed the three-year Ministry Formation Program (MFP):

  • James M. Flippin, Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine
  • Elizabeth A. Greene, Holy Family Parish, Jacksonville
  • Virginia Kell, Holy Spirit Parish
  • Jonel Laguerre, Prince of Peace Parish
  • Michael F. LeBlanc, San Juan del Rio Parish
  • Anita Maria Michaels, San José Parish
  • Miguel Ortiz, Epiphany Parish
  • Bonnie Palleschi, St. Mary, Mother of Mercy Parish
  • James M. Palleschi, St. Mary, Mother of Mercy Parish
  • Joseph Richards Riffe, Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine
  • Raymond L. Stiles, Holy Spirit Parish

The Ministry Formation Program shares in the ministry of leadership and service to the people and parishes in the Diocese of St. Augustine through a comprehensive program of spiritual, academic, and pastoral formation for lay leaders. It provides a three-year comprehensive program of study: the first two years focusing on the academic subjects of Scripture, Catholic Tradition, Catholic Beliefs, Morality, Sacraments and Liturgy; the third year combining Theological Reflection with a Supervised Practicum Project.

The celebration is open to the public. To learn more about the Ministry Formation Program, watch the promotional video below or contact Missy Parkison at layministry@dosafl.com or call (904) 262-3200, ext. 103.

Diocese Celebrates Religious Jubilarians

Religious Jubilarians pictured clockwise starting from top-center: Sister Elizabeth Marie Stoup, SSJ (65 years), Sister Florence Bryan, SSJ (60 years), Sister Elizabeth Ann McCormick, SSJ (60 years), Sister Joyce Marie Newton, SSJ (60 years), Sister Mary Loyce Newton, SSJ (60 years), Sister Lucy Clynes, DW (50 years), Sister Mary Adell Lininger, SND (50 years), Sister Dianne Rumschlag, SND (50 years), Brother Dominic O’Brien, FMS (65 years; Center)

The Diocesan Commission for Religious will host a Jubilee celebration for men and women religious serving in the Diocese of St. Augustine. The 9:30 a.m. Mass is Sunday, June 11, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Jacksonville. Celebrating 520 years of service to the people of God are:

65 years
Brother Dominic O’Brien, FMS
Sister Elizabeth Marie Stoup, SSJ

60 years
Sister Florence Bryan, SSJ
Sister Elizabeth Ann McCormick, SSJ
Sister Joyce Marie Newton, SSJ
Sister Mary Loyce Newton, SSJ

50 years
Sister Lucy Clynes, DW
Sister Mary Adell Lininger, SND
Sister Dianne Rumschlag, SND

The community is welcome to attend. For more information, call Sister Mary Victora at (904) 477-9047 or email bdrstaug@dosafl.com.

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 frdavid@catholicgators.org or Robin Shipley at rshipley@dosafl.com or call (904) 262-3200, ext. 189.


En una carta dirigida a los jóvenes del mundo publicada el 13 de enero, el Papa Francisco pidió a los jóvenes que les  dijeran a sus Obispos y Párrocos  sus esperanzas y luchas e incluso sus críticas. En preparación para la reunión del Sínodo de los Obispos centrada en la juventud, el Papa quiere “escuchar su voz, su sensibilidad y su fe, incluso sus dudas y sus críticas

“Haz oír tu voz”, dijo el Papa a los jóvenes. “Deja que resuene en las comunidades y que sea escuchado por tus pastores de almas.”

Antes de que el sínodo convoque a su reunión  en octubre de 2018, el Papa Francisco ha publicado un documento preparatorio para el sínodo. El documento contiene preguntas preliminares las cuales serán  respondidas por  las Conferencias Nacionales de Obispos y otras instancias  de la iglesia. Las respuestas, junto con la aportación de los propios jóvenes, constituirán la base del documento de trabajo del sínodo.

El Obispo Felipe Estévez ha formado un comité en preparación del sínodo que estudiará el documento preparatorio. El comité llevará a cabo encuestas formales e informales a los jóvenes (de 16 a 29 años de edad) y otros desde ahora y hasta mediados de abril.  Para tomar la encuesta, click here u oprima el botón a continuación. (Nota: Esta encuesta es solo para aquellos que residen dentro de  la Diócesis de San Agustín).

Invitamos a todos los  jóvenes y  jóvenes adultos (de 16 a 39 años de edad), tanto católicos como no católicos, así como a los Asesores de los jóvenes, tales como  DRE y los ministros de jóvenes, a participar en la encuesta. Para más detalles, comuníquese con su Párroco en  su parroquia o envíe un correo electrónico al Norma Garcia a ngarcia@dosafl.com o llame al (904) 262-3200, ext. 108.

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 development@morningstar-jax.org.

Bishop welcomes 625 Catechumens and Candidates into the Church

By Erin McGeever

“You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy people;
Praise God who called you out of darkness and into his marvelous light.”  1 Peter 2:9

Bishop Felipe J. Estévez will call 625 catechumens and candidates to the Easter sacraments at three celebrations of the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion. All three celebrations (March 5, 11 and12) will be held at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine with an estimated 2,000 attending.

These celebrations follow a ritual celebrated at parishes, called the “Rite of Sending” where the pastor questions godparents, the assembly, and even the candidates themselves as to their readiness to accept the Catholic faith.

If the responses are favorable, the the pastor and his RCIA team will bring the catechumens and candidates to one of the three Rite of Election ceremonies at the Cathedral for Bishop Estévez’ final approval.  As the shepherd of the diocese, the bishop will also question the godparents, the assembly, and the candidates themselves as to their readiness to receive sacraments. Bishop will meet each of the catechumens and candidates individually and give his approval for them to be received into the Catholic Church.

The Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion is one big step on the journey of faith for these catechumens (unbaptized) and candidates (baptized in another faith) as they begin their final period of preparation for initiation into the Catholic Church. During the 40 days of Lent, they will more fully participate in the life of their chosen parishes, using the 40 days as a retreat in preparation for reception of the sacraments at the Easter Vigil. During the 40 days, their preparation will focus on prayer, good works, and cleansing from all sin so to better receive the grace brought forth through the sacraments.

Please join all of us in the Diocese of St. Augustine as we pray for these 625 individuals as they embark on a new life in the marvelous light of God.