More than 1,000 people processed to various altars of repose to pray before the Blessed Sacrament. Each altar was uniquely adorned to reflect the culture it represented. Music and traditions of various ethnic communities in the diocese were highlighted, as all came together as the body of Christ.
June 1 – Mass for an End to Storms
During the Mass for an End to Storms, Bishop Noonan reminded us of our call to care for ourselves and our neighbors – “As we begin the hurricane season, let us be mindful of our own safety and the safety of others.” Pray with us for protection from the dangers of wind, fire and flood – that those in need of safe haven be led to helping hands and open hearts.
Pray with us as we celebrate and welcome our newest priests, Fr. Matthew Hawkins and Fr. Blake Britton. Father Hawkins has been assigned to St. James Cathedral in Orlando and Father Britton to St. Mary Parish in Rockledge.
March 28 – Chrism Mass
After the Chrism Mass, priests took the blessed oils back to their parishes to be used in Sacraments and other celebrations throughout the year.
Sponsored by the Diocese of St. Augustine, the Florida Eucharistic Congress was a celebration of the Eucharist with Living Stations of the Cross, Procession and Adoration. Featuring keynote speaker, Fr. Larry Richards, the event offered a variety of sessions for youth, adults and Spanish speakers.
Sixty-two parishes, basilicas and missions were represented in the journey to be initiated in the Catholic Church. They were invited to sign a book and were presented to Bishop John Noonan. “This is part of your journey,” explained Bishop Noonan. “From this day now until celebration of the Easter sacrament, you will be called the elect of God.”
Newlyweds, couples celebrating a milestone, and couples of all ages celebrated their faith and renewed their wedding vows at Mary Queen Of The Universe Shrine Catholic Church.
Through humor and personal anecdotes, keynote speaker, Father Ivan Olmo, pastor of St. Mary Parish in Rockledge stressed, “If you’re going to be missionary disciples, you have to know who you are… it’s personal. It’s intimate. Who are you really?” He noted, “If you don’t know who you are, you don’t know where you’re going and you don’t know what you’re doing. You are beloved children of God,” he added. “You need to understand that. You need to believe it. You need to live that.”
Feb 3 – White Mass
Medical and compassionate care professionals throughout the Diocese of Orlando celebrated the diocese’s annual White Mass at Holy Name of Jesus Parish, Indialantic. The White Mass recognizes the ministry of those who protect life and care for the ill and dying, such as physicians, nurses, compassionate care ministers, ministers of consolation, chaplains, mental health workers and all in the medical profession. Bishop Noonan thanked the men and women who serve the sick and poor, extending a blessing to the faithful who care for God’s people with compassion.
The small mission that started out of St. Ann’s Parish in Haines City in 1993, has grown to almost 1,300 faithful families.
Jan 27 – Mass of Thanksgiving for Consecrated Life
God bless all of the men and women in our diocese who have given their lives to the Lord!
“The ecumenical goal of the Catholic Church has always been carried out in fulfillment of the Lord’s prayer to the Father: ‘Ut unum sint’ – Let them be one,” Director of Ecumenism for the Diocese of Orlando, Father Martin Nguyen said. “On a human level, so often, we let ourselves stay focused on what separates us, what distinguishes us from others. While each Christian tradition is unique in its own practice, we share so much richness in the one faith in Jesus Christ.”
The new worship space holds 1,100 people, but the community came out in such numbers that the parish life center provided overflow seating while the events in the church were live-streamed to video screens. A relic of Blessed Moreau as well as one of St. André Bessette, the first Holy Cross saint, was installed in the altar which Bishop Noonan anointed with chrism. The walls of the church were anointed. The altar, the church and the community were censed as prayer rising to the Lord.
In his homily, Bishop Noonan shared “There is a deep concern that we are losing our Catholic identity, our relationship to one another. When we politicize others based on race, color, or where they are from. They are our brothers and sisters in Christ. We must seek for justice. Sometimes laws are not just, they are complicated. But you must listen to your heart, be aware, and ask our officials to make it fair and just, so that we can truly make our country good.”