St. Augustine Catholic
How open are you to finding God?
Catholic Schools – Embracing our future
St. Vincent’s Celebrates 90 Years
in this issue... 
editor's notes
saint of the month
bishop's message
from the archives
in the know with Fr. Joe
work life
theology 101
your marriage matters
the parenting journey
spiritual fitness
parish profile
around the diocese
calendar of events
around the diocese
Class of 2006 first graduating class of Bishop John Snyder High School

Four years ago this month, Jericho Sayoc, 18, was featured on the cover of St. Augustine Catholic magazine as one of 78 freshmen to begin classes at Bishop John J. Snyder High School on Jacksonville’s Westside. On May 25, Jericho and 61 of his classmates will walk down the aisle to receive their diplomas as the school graduates its first senior class.

Jericho Sayoc and 61 of his senior classmates will be part of history when they receive their diplomas May 25 as Bishop John J. Snyder High School’s first graduating class.

“Being in school (at BJJSHS) really opened things up for me,” said Jericho. “The facility and friends here really impacted me, it matured me more than if I had gone to public school.”

Jericho said that being part of a small group of students that first year allowed them to contribute to the future of the school.

“The students had a voice in what was working and what wasn’t,” he said.

He said that the teachers and curriculum “really pushed you in the classroom,” and helped prepare us for academic life after high school.

Jericho will attend Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale in the fall.

Of the original 78 freshmen students who entered Bishop Snyder High School in August 2002, 50 will graduate with their class. Nearly all graduates plan to attend college after graduation.

One Step Closer to Priesthood

Msgr. Keith Brennan (center), rector of St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Fla., stands with newly ordained transitional deacons for the Diocese of Saint Augustine, Robert Trujillo (left) and Steven Zehler. Deacons Trujillo and Zehler were among 10 Florida seminarians ordained as transitional deacons for their dioceses by Bishop John Ricard of Pensacola-Tallahassee during a ceremony on March 25.

Keep our deacons in your prayers as they prepare for ordination to the priesthood in 2007.

mission completed
Sisters take new skills to Myanmar

Sisters of St. Francis Xavier (from left) Mary Jude Mar Lar, Philomena Soe Maw and Emma Naw Phaw visited Bishop Victor Galeone at the Catholic Center in Jacksonville in March before returning to their native Myanmar following a three-year mission. The trio worked as certified nursing assistants at St. Catherine Labouré Manor, helping with the physical and spiritual needs of patients. Their mission in Jacksonville provided the sisters with an opportunity to learn new nursing skills they can use while ministering to patients in their homeland.

Bishop Victor Galeone visits with three sisters of St. Francis Xavier before their return home to Myanmar (formerly Burma) after a three-year mission assisting at St. Catherine Labouré Manor in Jacksonville.

run for life

Dozens of pro-life volunteers gathered March 4 to place more than 4,000 white wooden crosses in the “Cemetery of the Innocents” that was created on the grounds of the Prince of Peace Votive Church in St. Augustine. The crosses represent the number of abortions that are performed in the United States each day.

Bernadette Stocker, 15, (left) and Laura Zambetti, 16, both students at St. Joseph Academy, help assemble crosses for the “Cemetery of the Innocents” at Prince of Peace Votive Church in St. Augustine March 4.

The symbolic cemetery coincided with the 19th annual “Run For Life” with a group of three runners completing their nine-day, 365-mile journey from Homestead, Fla. at the Great Cross in St. Augustine. Pro-life activist Randall Terry from Operation Rescue spoke at a rally after a group of about 300 people from across the diocese spent the morning hammering the crosses into the ground. An interfaith candlelight service was held that evening.

On Sunday, the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus in St. Augustine greeted the runners with an arch of swords as they crossed the finish line and Father Christopher Liguori from the Cathedral-Basilica celebrated Mass for everyone in attendance. The run also raised funds to benefit St. Gerard Campus, an ecumenical home for unwed mothers in St. Augustine.

tragedy brings family together

It was a bittersweet family reunion of sorts for Benedictine Sister Mary Ruth Mustonen and her sister, Leane Mustonen Ross, both of Jacksonville. The frozen remains of a World War II airman discovered in Kings Canyon National Park, Calif., last year were identified as their long-lost uncle, Leo Mustonen.

Leo Mustonen was a 22-year-old Army Air Corps cadet when the AT-7 Navigator aircraft carrying him, two other navigator trainees and a pilot disappeared over the Sierra Nevada Mountains on Nov. 18, 1942. A large search-and-rescue operation commenced; after nearly a month it was abandoned, all on board officially listed as missing and presumed dead.

In 1947 hikers found the wreckage of the missing flight. Human remains were also found at the crash site, but they could not be individually identified and were buried as a group with full military honors.

Another a group of hikers crossing the site last October found a body encased in ice and alerted authorities. Sixty-three years after the crash, a team of forensic anthropologists positively identified Leo Mustonen through DNA evidence as the man in the ice.

Sister Mary Ruth ministers to the retired priests living at Casa San Pedro on the grounds of Marywood Retreat Center in Jacksonville.

For Sister Mary Ruth and her sister, the discovery gives them “emotional closure,” a chance to finally say goodbye to an uncle they knew only from a few faded photographs and recollections of other family members and friends.

“It’s wonderful,” said Sister Mary Ruth. “The family has been brought together by this tragedy. All we knew was that his plane went down and there’s been this hiatus of 64 years.”

The sisters attended their uncle’s funeral in his hometown of Brainerd, Minn., on March 25; he was cremated and his ashes interred next to his parent’s gravesite.

Pope John Paul II named Cardinal Arinze Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, one of the nine congregations of the Roman Curia through which the pope conducts regular administration of the church.

For more information, visit the Family Honor website at or call toll free: 1-877-208-1353.

Bishop meets with Legislators

Bishop Victor Galeone of St. Augustine joins the bishops of Florida, dressed in red – the traditional color of the Holy Spirit – to participate in the 31st annual Red Mass March 22 at the Co-Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Tallahassee, to invoke the Spirit’s guidance on the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. Bishop John J. Nevins of Venice was the principal celebrant and homilist for the Mass.

making music
2006 festival

 Ed Todd sings “Live and Learn in Catholic Schools,” a song he wrote and composed, with elementary schoolchildren providing chorus during the 2006 “We’re Making Music” Festival held at Lazzara Hall on the University of North Florida campus March 23. Sixteen Catholic schools participated in the annual event, now in its 15th year.

in the news...
diocesan highlights

Golfers Support Camp I Am Special Deerwood Country Club in Jacksonville was the setting for the “Camp I Am Special” golf tournament on Monday, March 13. Sixty golfers hit the links with a shotgun start shortly after noon for 18 holes of friendly competition. The golfers and corporate sponsors helped raise more than $10,000 to fund special needs children for a week’s recreation at “Camp I Am Special” held each summer at Marywood Retreat Center in Jacksonville.

Volunteers Alicia Burst (left) and Moira Rossi, 18, traveled the course at Deerwood Country Club to assist golfers in the “Camp I Am Special” tournament on March 13.

Scouts receive religious honors In March, 213 Catholic scouts representing 16 parishes in the Diocese of Saint Augustine received awards and recognition for their work in the scouting program. Both Boy and Girl Scouts were awarded their religious medals by Bishop Victor Galeone in a ceremony at the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Augustine.

“New and continuing Catholic scouting programs are being developed in the diocese for all age groups,” said Anne McGaugh, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the diocese. For information call (904) 262-3200, ext. 112.

Sister of Mercy Dorothea Murphy was honored by the Florida Department of Corrections with a regional Volunteer of the Year award at a banquet in Lake City on April 1. Sister Dorothea was also selected by Baker Correctional Institution in Sanderson as their Volunteer of the Year for “her commitment and devotion of 21 years of service to the prison ministry,” said Fred Priester, chaplain at BCI.

Sister of Mercy Dorothea Murphy