Roman Catholic Diocese of Venice in Florida
|Diocese of Venice in Florida
Dioecesis Venetiae in Florida
|Territory||The counties of Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Lee, Manatee, and Sarasota|
|Ecclesiastical province||Province of Miami|
|Established||June 16, 1984|
|Patron saint||Our Lady of Mercy
St. Mark the Evangelist
|Bishop||Frank Joseph Dewane
Bishop of Venice in Florida
|Metropolitan Archbishop||Thomas Wenski
Archbishop of Miami
|Emeritus Bishops||John Joseph Nevins|
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Venice in Florida (Latin: Dioecesis Venetiae in Florida) is a Roman Catholic diocese in Florida, founded on June 16, 1984. The Diocese of Venice includes the ten counties of Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Lee, Manatee, and Sarasota.
As Bishop John Joseph Nevins resigned for reasons of age on January 19, 2007, he was automatically succeeded as ordinary, or diocesan bishop, by Bishop Frank Joseph Dewane who, as coadjutor bishop, was an assistant or auxiliary bishop with the right of succession to the office.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (July 2013)|
The first Spanish explorers came ashore in what is now the diocese in the 16th century. Their arrival brought the first Catholic missionaries, whose purpose was to set up permanent missions in the name of Spain and the Catholic Church.
Conquistador Juan Ponce de León was the first European to arrive in Florida, in 1513. He explored its west coast between 1513 and 1521.
Ponce de Leon encountered the resident Calusa tribe, who first welcomed the Spanish, but later objected because the explorers had desecrated their sacred places, and fought the invaders. The Calusa objected to the construction of missions, and frequently attacked them. When Ponce de Leon was injured in an attack the expedition and mission on the West Coast was abandoned.
Seven years later Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto brought priests to Florida in an attempt to evangelize the native tribes during an exploration of the coast from 1539-1542. DeSoto led an expedition of 10 ships and 620 men, which included 12 priests. They landed near what is now Bradenton on May 25, 1539. Mass was celebrated almost every day by the expedition priests. Later, when DeSoto landed at Shaw’s Point near the mouth of Tampa Bay, the men named it "La Bahia de Espiritu Santo," in honor of the Holy Spirit. The sheer number of DeSoto's forces caused the Calusa to abandon their settlements along the harbor entrance. (A memorial to the Eucharist and a Memorial Cross were built and dedicated in the area near DeSoto's landings by Bishop Emeritus John J. Nevins in 1994 at De Soto National Memorial in Bradenton.)
Other efforts to bring missionaries to Florida were unsuccessful until Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, founder of Saint Augustine and Governor of Spanish Florida, sought peace with the Calusa and founded a military outpost there in February of 1566. Pedro Menendez sought assistance from the Jesuits, who agreed to send a small contingent to Florida. Before leaving the San Carlos Bay area, Menéndez established a Jesuit mission at Mound Key near the mouth of the Estero River in what is now Lee County, and left a garrison of soldiers to guard it.
Father Juan Rogel and Brother Francisco de Villareal spent the winter studying the Calusa language, and proceeded to work among the tribe in southern Florida. The establishment there of a fort and settlement at Mound Key was the first such effort to colonize the area. A Jesuit mission, San Antonio de Carlos, where a chapel was built in 1567, was founded by Father Juan Rogel, the first such mission in the Spanish New World, and the first Catholic presence within the territory of the present Diocese of Venice in Florida.
After the end of the US Civil War in 1865, missionaries from Savannah, St. Augustine, and Tampa began visiting the areas south of Tampa Bay that later became the Diocese of Venice. In 1889 the care of the area within the Diocese fell under the jurisdiction of the Jesuit Fathers from Tampa, who made regular visits to Bradenton, Fort Myers, Arcadia, and adjacent missions. The first missions and Catholic communities within the current Diocese of Venice in Florida were located at Sacred Heart in Bradenton (1868), Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (later St. Francis Xavier) in Fort Myers (1878), St. Paul in Arcadia (1882), Sacred Heart in Punta Gorda (1888), St. Martha in Sarasota (1889), St. Michael in Wauchula (1915), St. Joseph in Bradenton (1915), and St. Catherine in Sebring (1918).
The Diocese of Venice in Florida was erected by Pope John Paul II in 1984 from parts of the Archdiocese of Miami, the Diocese of Orlando and the Diocese of St. Petersburg; Bishop Emeritus John J. Nevins was the founding Bishop.
Career of incumbent as of 2013
Frank J. Dewane was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 as the second Bishop of the Diocese, which has 227,000 Catholic inhabitants. He serves on a number of boards and committees, including the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum,” the charitable arm of the Holy See; the USCCB National Catholic Rural Life Committee as President of the Board of Directors which examines rural areas and determines what the Church is doing to help; the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace; and the Florida Catholic Conference Committee for Farmworker Justice and Immigration.
Dewane was born in Green Bay on March 9, 1950, the third child of Eleanor and Ben Dewane, devout Irish-Catholics who owned and operated a dairy farm. St. James Parish in Cooperstown, Wisc., was the center of community life for the Dewane family, which included four children. After high school graduation Bishop Dewane attended the University of Wisconsin where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences. He then earned a Master’s Degree in International Administration from The American University in Washington, D.C.
Prior to entering the seminary, he worked for the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) in Moscow, Russia, and then for a subsidiary of PepsiCo in New York City.
Dewane began his studies for the priesthood at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Ind., where he completed one year of philosophy. He then studied theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. While in Rome, he also completed advanced studies in canon law at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas.
On July 16, 1988, Dewane was ordained to the priesthood and appointed to the Diocese of Green Bay as assistant pastor. He also worked for the Diocesan Tribunal.
In 1991 he was appointed to serve as a member of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York City. He had been serving in the Diocese of Green Bay as assistant pastor at Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
From 1995 to 2001, Dewane served on the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum.”
In 2001, he was appointed Under Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, a post he had held at The Vatican until 2006. The primary responsibility of the Pontifical Council is to promote justice, peace, development and human rights world-wide. As Under Secretary, then-Monsignor Dewane was an official delegate of the Holy See to numerous international conferences and world summits.
On April 25, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI named him Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Venice in Florida. On July 25, 2006 he was installed as the second bishop.
1950-born in Green Bay, WI, to Eleanor and Ben Dewane.
1988-Ordained to the priesthood1988-1991 Assistant pastor at Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Green Bay
1991-1995 Member of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York City
1995-2001 Pontifical Council “Cor Unum,” Rome
2001-2006 Under Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, RomeApril 2006 Coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of Venice in Florida
July 2006 Ordained as Bishop of the Diocese of Venice in Florida
- Boards and Other Activities
Pontifical Council “Cor Unum,” Member
USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace, Member
Pontifical North American College in Rome, Board of Directors Treasurer
USCCB National Catholic Rural Life Conference, President of the Board of Directors
USCCB Advisory Group on Interreligious Relations to the Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Member
Catholic Legal Immigration Network Board of Directors, Member
Holy Land Foundation Board of Directors
Florida Catholic Conference Committee for Farmworker Justice and Immigration
Ave Maria University Board of Trustees
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from St. Leo University
Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem
Chaplain ad honorum to the Order of Malta
Episcopal Advisor to the Daughters of Isabella
Third Degree Knights of Columbus
- Other information
- 1992, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Conference on Environment and Development
- 1994, Cairo, Egypt – Conference on Population and Development, Cairo
- 1995, Beijing, China – Women and Development, Beijing (China);Copenhagen, Denmark – World Summit for Social Development
- 1996, Istanbul, Turkey – Conference on Human Settlements
- 1998, Rome, Italy – Diplomatic Conference instituting the International Criminal Court
- 2001, Durban, South Africa – World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, Durban
- 2002, Monterrey, Mexico – Conference on Financing for Development
- 2003, Kyoto, Japan – Third World Water Forum
- 2003, Cancun, Mexico – Fifth Ministerial Meeting of the World Trade Organization, Annual Meetings of the Board of Directors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
- 2006, Mexico City, – Fourth World Water Forum
- 2007 – Member of an international delegation of Church leaders on a mission to press G8 European leaders to honor commitments made to aid Africa.
Ave Maria Oratory Quasi-Parish
Blessed Pope John XXIII Parish
Christ the King Chapel
Epiphany Cathedral Parish
Holy Child Mission
Holy Cross Parish
Holy Family Mission
Holy Martyrs Mission
Jesus the Worker Parish
Our Lady of Grace Parish
Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish
Our Lady of Light Parish
Our Lady of Lourdes Parish
Our Lady of Mercy Parish
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish
Our Lady of the Angels Parish
Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Parish
Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish
Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish
Resurrection of Our Lord Parish
Sacred Heart Parish (Bradenton)
Sacred Heart (Punta Gorda)
San Alfonso Mission
San Antonio Parish
San Jose Mission
San Juan Diego Mission
San Marco Parish
San Pedro Parish
Santa Rosa De Lima Mission
Ss. Peter and Paul the Apostles Parish
St. Agnes Parish
St. Andrew Parish
St. Ann Parish
St. Bernard Parish
St. Catherine Parish
St. Cecilia Parish
St. Charles Borromeo Parish
St. Columbkille Parish
St. Elizabeth Seton Parish
St. Finbarr Parish
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish
St. Francis of Assisi Parish
St. Francis Xavier Parish
St. Isabel Parish
St. James Parish
St. John the Evangelist Parish
St. Joseph Parish
St. Joseph the Worker Parish
St. Jude Parish
St. Katharine Drexel Parish
St. Leo Parish
St. Margaret Parish
St. Martha Parish
St. Mary, Star of the Sea Parish
St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish
St. Michael Parish
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
St. Patrick Parish
St. Paul Parish
St. Peter the Apostle Parish
St. Raphael (Englewood)
St. Raphael Parish (Lehigh Acres)
St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Mission
St. Therese Parish
St. Thomas More Parish
St. Vincent de Paul Parish
St. William Parish
Diocesan high schools
- Bishop Verot High School, Fort Myers
- Cardinal Mooney High School, Sarasota
- St. John Neumann High School, Naples
- Rhodora J. Donahue Academy, Ave Maria
Diocesan elementary Schools
- St. Charles Borromeo School, Port Charlotte
- St. Ann School, Naples
- St. Elizabeth Seton School, Naples
- St. St. Catherine Catholic School, Sebring
- St. Andrew School, Cape Coral
- St. Francis Xavier School, Fort Myers
- St. Joseph School, Bradenton
- Epiphany Cathedral School, Venice
- Incarnation School, Sarasota
- St. Martha School, Sarasota
- Rhodora J. Donahue Academy, Ave Maria
Diocesan special needs Schools
- Dreams Are Free Catholic School at Bishop Nevins Academy, Sarasota
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Venice in Florida Home Page
- Bishop-designate Dewane to be ordained July 25