The Florida Catholic Conference urges Governor Rick Scott to spare the life of Darius Kimbrough, who is scheduled for execution November 12. We deeply mourn the tragic murder of his victim, Denise Collins, and pray for her family’s comfort and healing.
The current practice of state-sanctioned killing in the name of Florida’s residents is not the answer to heinous crimes such as this. Rather than deter violent crime in our society, the death penalty perpetuates the cycle of violence and contributes to a growing disrespect for the sacredness of human life. Justice can be served without resorting to the deliberate taking of a human life. Just as God spared Cain’s life but banished him into exile, so too can lives be spared through the alternative of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
Catholic faithful and members of the community are invited to gather in solidarity at the following times and locations to pray for the victims of violent crimes and their families, for persons on death row awaiting execution, and for the end of the use of the death penalty:
Archdiocese of Miami A prayer vigil will be held following 11:45 a.m. Mass on Tuesday, November 12 at St. Martha Catholic Church, 9221 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami Shores. Contact: Juan Di Prado, (305) 762-1046, email@example.com.
Diocese of St. Augustine Prayer vigils will be held on Tuesday, November 12 at the following locations:
- In front of the St. Augustine Beach City Hall, corner of A1A and 16th Street, 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Contact: Nancy O’Byrne, (904) 461-9216, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In front of the new Duval County Unified Courthouse, 501 W. Adams Street, Jacksonville, 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Contact: Jackie Gunning, (904) 449-3328, email@example.com.
- In front of the Flagler County Courthouse, 1769 E. Moody Blvd, Bunnell from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Contact: Jackie Morelewicz, (386) 986-3146, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Across the highway from the Florida State Prison Execution Building, Starke from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Contact: John Linnehan, (904) 504-1004, email@example.com.
A carpool will be leaving on Tuesday, November 12 at 4:30 p.m. from the parking lot of St. Augustine Church and Catholic Student Center, 1738 W. University Avenue, Gainesville to attend a prayer service at Florida State Prison near Starke. Contact: Michelle Garcia, (352) 372-3533, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Contact: Kathleen Bagg, Office of Communications, Diocese of St. Augustine, (904) 262-3200.
Diocese of St. Petersburg Spirit FM 90.5 WBVM Tampa will be praying on air Tuesday, November 12 beginning at 5:50 pm. Spirit FM is also available on the internet (www.spiritfm905.com). Contact: Sabrina Burton Schultz, (727) 344-1611, email@example.com.
Diocese of Orlando Prayer services will be held at:
- St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, 526 N. Park Avenue, Winter Park on Tuesday, November 12 at 5:00 p.m. before the 5:30 p.m. daily Mass.
- St. Patrick Catholic Church, 6803 Old Hwy 441 South, Mt. Dora on Tuesday, November 12 at 3:00 p.m.
A bus will be leaving from the parking lot of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 201 University Blvd., Daytona Beach at 2:30 p.m. for a prayer service outside of the prison in Starke at 6:00 p.m.
For more information, contact the Office of Advocacy and Justice, Diocese of Orlando, (407) 246-4819, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee A prayer vigil will take place at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 140 Government Street, Pensacola on Monday, November 11 at 5:00 p.m. (CST). Contact: (850) 436-6461.
A holy hour will be held at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 1008 Fortune Avenue, Panama City on Monday, November 11 at 7:00 p.m. (CST). Contact: (850) 763-1821, email@example.com.
Additional Contact: Peggy DeKeyser, Office of Communications, Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, (850) 435-3528, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diocese of Palm Beach Catholic Charities Respect Life Office in partnership with the Diocese of Palm Beach and Pax Christi will host a prayer service on Tuesday, November 12 at 5:30 p.m. in the Chapel at the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola, 9999 N. Military Trail, Palm Beach Gardens. The service will be followed by a procession and silent vigil in front of the Cathedral from 5:45 – 6:15 p.m. Contact: Dianne Laubert, (561) 313-2280, email@example.com.
Diocese of Venice A prayer vigil will be held in the Chapel at St. Katharine Drexel Catholic Church, 1922 SW 20th Avenue, Cape Coral on Sunday, November 10, at 7:00 p.m. Contact: Maria, (239) 540-7096, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, 425 South Tamiami Trail, Osprey will hold a prayer vigil on Monday, November 11, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Contact: Janine Marrone, (941) 497-4917.
In addition, Tallahassee Citizens Against the Death Penalty will sponsor a community prayer vigil scheduled for Tuesday, November 12 at 6:00 p.m. in front of the Governor’s Mansion in Tallahassee and an interfaith Service of Remembrance in the Capitol Building Plaza Level Rotunda the day after the execution, Wednesday, November 13 at noon. Contact: Sheila Meehan, (850) 524-0080.
The Florida Catholic Conference is an agency of the Catholic Bishops of Florida. The archbishop and bishops of the seven (arch)dioceses in Florida constitute its board of directors.