Ministry Formation Program Celebrates 25 Years!

In October, 1990, the Most Rev. Bishop John J. Snyder established a committee to assist him in the development of a comprehensive Ministry Formation Program (MFP) to assist in the formation of lay leaders for the diocese.  This committee reviewed similar programs and spoke with various leadership groups in the diocese including the Family Life Office, the Liturgical Commission, Hispanic Apostolate, Marywood Retreat Center, and the Presbyterate.

After more than a year of study, Bishop Snyder accepted the recommendations and mandated that all Diocesan Leadership personnel that had been professionally trained, but without Church background, would need to complete the program.

In February, 1992 Bishop Snyder appointed Fr. Michael Houle as the Interim Director of the Ministry Formation Program and Margaret McCully was hired to serve as the Administrative Assistant.  The Office of Christian Formation was given the task of staff and overseeing the MFP.  The MFP admitted its first participants in the fall of 1992, and the first certificates of completion were conferred in December, 1995.

In 1993, Father Houle formed an Advisory Board that would create long term plans for the Ministry Formation Program.  This board still operates today on a rotating basis giving guidance and leadership to the Office of Christian Formation.

In initiating a diaconate program for the Diocese of St. Augustine in 2003, it was determined that the MFP would be a first requirement from men feeling the call to ordained ministry.

In 1996, the MFP began the process of becoming an accredited program through the then active United States Catholic Conference Commission on Certification Accreditation. (USCCB/CCA).  This was fully achieved for the years 2001-2009 and reaffirmed in 2009- 2017.  The USCCB/CCA no longer exists as an agency of the Bishops.

There have been 359 graduates of the program who serve in a variety of capacities in the diocese as DREs, youth ministers, school teachers, RCIA Coordinators, etc.

A silver jubilee celebration is being held on Saturday, June 23 at Bishop Kenny High School, the original site of the MFP classes.  For more information, please contact Erin in the Office of Christian Formation at emcgeever@dosafl.com

Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

(Please print and recite prayer for the remainder of the month of June, for the intentions of our shepherd, Bishop Felipe Estévez and the needs of the Diocese of St. Augustine)

Lord, have mercy
Lord, have mercy
Christ, have mercy
Christ, have mercy
Lord, have mercy
Lord, have mercy

God our Father in heaven
have mercy on us
God the Son, Redeemer of the world
have mercy on us
God the Holy Spirit
have mercy on us
Holy Trinity, one God
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, Son of the eternal Father
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mother
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, one with the eternal Word
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, infinite in majesty
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, aflame with love for us
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, source of justice and love
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, well-spring of all virtue
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, worthy of all praise
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, treasure-house of wisdom and knowledge
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, in whom there dwells the fullness of God
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father is Well pleased
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, from whose fullness we have all received
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, desire of the eternal hills
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, patient and full of mercy
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, generous to all who turn to you
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, fountain of life and holiness
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, atonement for our sins
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, overwhelmed with insults
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, broken for our sins
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, obedient even to death
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, pierced by a lance
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation have mercy on us Heart of Jesus, victim of our sins
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, salvation of all who trust in you
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, hope of all who die in you
have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, delight of all the saints
have mercy on us

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world
have mercy on us
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world
have mercy on us
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world
have mercy on us

Jesus, gentle and humble of heart. Touch our hearts and make them like your own.

Let us pray.
Father, we rejoice in the gifts of love we have received from the heart of Jesus your Son. Open our hearts to share his life and continue to bless us with his love. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.

National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea, May 22

The National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea will be celebrated on May 22. The day is observed in conjunction with National Maritime Day in the United States of America, which has been celebrated since 1933 to honor those who serve as merchant mariners and to recognize the benefits of the maritime industry.

Most Reverend Brendan J. Cahill, S.T.D, Bishop of the Diocese of Victoria, Texas, and Apostleship of the Sea (AOS) promoter, is encouraging dioceses to mark the national day by remembering the men and women of the sea in homilies and by including special petitions during Mass. When Mass is celebrated on May 22, the text for the Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of the Sea, is also encouraged.

Bishop Cahill will celebrate a Mass in observance of Maritime Day on Saturday, May 19, at 12:10 p.m., in the Crypt Church at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC. The Mass is sponsored by the AOS national office and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church.

Apostleship of the Sea (AOS), is a worldwide Catholic maritime ministry that engages with seafarers, fishers, their families, port personnel and all who work or travel on the high seas, regardless of race, color or creed. The maritime ministry shows the Church’s care and concern to seafarers who are often away from home for many months because of the nature of their work and lifestyle. A network of AOS port offices and Catholic chaplains provide spiritual and practical assistance that accommodate a seafarer’s unique lifestyle and needs.

In the message addressed to chaplains, volunteers, friends and supporters of the Apostleship of the Sea, on Sea Sunday July 9, 2017, Cardinal Peter Appia Kodwo Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Integral Human Development Service, said, “In our daily lives, we are surrounded by and use many objects and products that at some stage of their journey towards us have been transported on vessels. It is difficult for us to imagine behind these objects the faces of the many seafarers who have secured a smooth sailing for the vessel to deliver these commodities to the port safely. We are invited to recognize and express our gratitude to this force of more than 1.5 million seafarers, who with their hard work and sacrifices are making our life more comfortable by transporting, between nations and across the seven seas, almost 90 per cent of the goods.”

In the United States, AOS is present in 53 maritime ports in 26 states and in 48 dioceses. Priest chaplains, deacons, religious and lay people extend hospitality by providing a “home away from home” for seafarers. AOS has 10 Stella Maris centers, and over 100 chaplains and pastoral teams, including priests, religious, deacons and lay ecclesial ministers providing many services including: Mass, communion, confession and other sacraments, assistance to seafarers in distress, ship visits, transportation to visit business centers, a place to relax while on the port, computers with internet connection at the center, cell phones and phone cards as well as facilitating seafarers’ access to services that others provide.

As we work and serve to protect the rights of those working at sea, let us join our prayers with that of Pope Francis, entrusting sailors, fishermen, and all those in difficulty on the seas far away from home, to the motherly protection of Mary, Star of the Sea.

To learn more about Apostleship of the Sea ministry in the Diocese of St. Augustine, contact Deacon Milton Vega at mvega@dosafl.com or call (904) 613-3489. More information is also available on the USCCB website at http://www.usccb.org/aos.

4th Annual Sister Celinie Joubert Catechetical Awards

The Fourth Annual Sr. Celine Joubert, SSJ Awards will be given on Wednesday, May 23 at a reception to be held at the Catholic Center starting at 4:00 p.m.  This year, three catechetical leaders will be honored who have served the Church a total of 61 years:

Charlie Chorman, of Sacred Heart Parish in Fleming Island, has taught 8th grade Religious Education for over 20 yrs.  He brings a care and concern for all of his students and believes that everyone should be engaged lifelong formation.

Karen Pabian, Palmer Academy and Our Lady Star of the Sea, has served in many capacities at the parish/school including:  RCIA with children, sacramental preparation, and is a retired teacher from Palmer Academy where she still serves as a substitute teacher and keeps active in the musical theatre of the school.

Joy Pichardo, of Bishop John J. Snyder High School, has served on the Campus Ministry team as leader for 22 years.  Joy is an ever “joyful” presence on campus, whether she is planning retreats, service opportunities, or planning Catholic Schools’ Week.

Click to Read the Award Criteria

The reception is by invitation of the nominees.

Registration is now open for 2018 Summer School of Theology

The 10th Annual Summer School of Theology will be held the week of June 18-22, 2018  in the Wisdom Center at Marywood.  This formation opportunity provides a full immersion experience into a particular area of theology.  This year, the Diocesan Office of Christian Formation is teaming with Catholic Theological Union of Chicago to bring a member of their faculty to present:  Encountering Paul:  His Life, Letters, and Theology. Sister Laurie Brink, O.P. will present the week.

The sessions will meet daily from 9:00 – 3:00 p.m. with the following presenters and daily focus:

  • June 18:  Picturing Paul and Exploring His World
  • June 19:  Ancient Letter Writing:  The First Christian Artifact (Thessalonians and Galatians)
  • June 20:   No Divisions Among You:  Conflict in Corinth
  • June 21:   Paul Theological Manifesto to the Romans
  • June 22:   The On-Going Influence of Paul (Ephesians, Colossians, Pastoral Epistles)

A text will be provided prior to the week.  All participants need to bring their own Bible.

Registration fee including materials and lunch daily:

  • Before May 25 – $175
  • Between May 25-June 15 – $225
  • Daily rate (not recommended) – $45
Click Here to Register Download Brochure

Call to Prayer and Action Urging Congress to Enact the Conscience Protection Act

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chair of the USCCB’s Committee for Religious Liberty urge the faithful to flood Congress with emails and calls asking for enactment of the Conscience Protection Act as part of the 2018 funding bill and to pray for this outcome. Congress is currently considering whether to include the Conscience Protection Act in must-pass government funding legislation, and a decision on the Conscience Protection Act’s inclusion will be made prior to March 23, 2018.

Read More

The Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion

Candidates sign the Rite of Election book with Bishop Felipe Estévez during the Rite of Election Mass at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jacksonville.

Those preparing to be baptized and fully enter into the life of the Catholic Church will participate in the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion at the early part of Lent.  The celebration of this Rite makes very clear the role of the local bishop in both approving and welcoming new Catholics.

During the Rite of Election, catechumens (not baptized in any Christian faith tradition) publicly express their desire for baptism to the bishop. Their names are recorded in the Book of the Elect, a designation which reflects that the bishop, in the name of the Lord and the local Church, is choosing or electing them to share in the Easter sacraments. Candidates (those already baptized) celebrate the Call to Continuing Conversion, publicly professing their faith and their desire to come into full communion with the Catholic Church.

3 Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion Celebrations are held in the Diocese of St. Augustine in the Cathedral Basilica:

  • Sunday, February 18
  • Saturday, February 24
  • Sunday, February 25

During the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion, pastors and their RCIA coordinators present the catechumens and the candidates to the bishop and the congregation. The catechumens and candidates affirm their desire to enter fully into the life of Christ through the Catholic Church. Godparents and sponsors are then asked by the bishop to affirm that the catechumens and candidates are sufficiently prepared to continue their journeys of faith. The assembly, along with the godparents and sponsors, follow this testimony by pledging their support and prayers for those in preparation.

The catechumens and candidates will spend the season of Lent reflecting and preparing to receive the initiation sacraments. The days of Lent are the final period of purification and enlightenment for catechumens and candidates, marked by prayer and study, and spiritual guidance from the priests and parish teams.

For information on the process of RCIA, please contact the parish nearest to you.

Catholic Schools, Diocesan Offices and Providence Center close due to cold and inclement weather

[UPDATE: 1/3/2017 @ 3:30 PM]

Catholic Schools in the Diocese of St. Augustine will be back in session Thursday, Jan. 4. The diocesan offices at the Catholic Center and Providence Center in Jacksonville will also resume business on Thursday.


With a strong potential of icy roads and bridges, Jacksonville Mayor, Len Curry will close all government offices except for essential employees on Wednesday, Jan. 3.  He is advising people to stay off of roadways if possible.

All Catholic Schools will close Wednesday, Jan. 3. Deacon Scott Conway, superintendent of Catholic Schools, will evaluate weather conditions on Wednesday to determine if the schools will remain closed for Thursday. An announcement will be made by 3 p.m. tomorrow for Thursday classes.

The Catholic Center and Providence Center, which includes Catholic Charities will close Wednesday.

For further updates, visit the diocesan website at www.dosafl.com.

 

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.

Read More