After a couple of months with no executions in Florida, a death warrant for Eric Scott Branch was signed by Gov. Rick Scott on Friday, Jan. 19. His execution is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 22, at 6:00 p.m. Branch was convicted of the murder of Susan Morris, a University of West Florida student, in 1993.

Before Branch’s scheduled execution, Catholic faithful and members of the community will gather for prayer vigils in five locations of the Diocese of St. Augustine. They will pray for the victims and aggressor, and their families, for an end to the use of the death penalty, and for Governor Scott as he confronts the decision to proceed with the execution.

Diocese of St. Augustine

Alachua County
Catholic Gators and GCADP carpool will leave from Emmanuel Mennonite Church, 1236 NW 18th Ave., Gainesville, Thursday, Feb. 22, at 4:30 p.m. to attend the prayer service at Florida State Prison near Starke. Contact: Miriam Elliott, (352) 278-4342.

Bradford County
Across the highway from the Florida State Prison Execution Building, Starke, Thursday, Feb. 22, at 5:00 p.m. Contact: Miriam Elliott, (352) 278-4342.

Duval County
In front of the new Duval County Unified Courthouse, 501 W. Adams Street, Jacksonville, Thursday, Feb. 22, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Contact: Jackie Gunning, (904) 449-3328, or Sister Maureen Kelley at (904) 704-0313,

Flagler County
In front of the Flagler County Courthouse, 1769 E. Moody Blvd., Bunnell, Thursday, Feb. 22, from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. Contact: Don Gregg, (386) 445-9637,

St. Johns County
In front of the St. Augustine Beach City Hall, corner of A1A and 16th Street, St. Augustine Beach, Thursday, Feb. 22, from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. Contact: Nancy O’Byrne, (904) 422-3618,

For additional information, call Kathleen Bagg, director of Communications for the Diocese of St. Augustine, (904) 262-1705 or email