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Local Golfers help Morning Star Students ‘Shoot for the Stars’

Nearly 60 golfers participated in the second annual “Shoot for the Stars Golf Tournament” on Dec. 8, 2008. Proceeds of the fundraiser go to Morning Star School of the Diocese of Saint Augustine. Morning Star is a school for students with special needs. Dan Hicken, sports director of First Coast News, served as emcee for the awards luncheon that was hosted after the tournament. The winning foursome of the tournament was Mar Del Pezzo, captain, and teammates Doug Barrow, David Moore and Lloyd Archibald.

According to event organizers, the tournament at Deercreek Country Club raised more than $6,000 to help construct a “STAR Walkway” that will provide a covered walkway from the front of the school to buildings throughout campus.

Mark your calendars for next year’s fundraising tournament - Monday, Nov. 17 at Deercreek Country Club.

First Coast News sports director Dan Hicken, emcee of the golf tournament awards luncheon, is assisted by Morning Star students Emily Stoneking, left, and Brianna Nadeau.

St. Monica Parish Celebrates 150 Years

The small church of St. Monica’s in Palatka was packed full of parishioners on Sunday, Dec. 7 for the 150th anniversary celebration of the founding of the parish. Bishop Victor Galeone, along with 11 other priests of the diocese, concelebrated a special Mass for the jubilee anniversary. It was on Dec. 8, 1858 - the Feast of the Immaculate Conception - the parish community was officially formed.

“A parish church is not just a building. It is the people who gather here to worship and call this place home. It is where we are baptized, confirmed, married and buried. This is where we form friendships that last a lifetime and where we support one another on our journey. It helps us to live our ordinary lives in an extraordinary manner one day at a time, walking in the faith of our fathers,” said Carmelite Father Ignatius Plathanam, pastor.

A dinner was held after Mass in the parish hall with a pictorial presentation of the history of the parish, the unveiling of the Ladies Guild cookbook, a parish directory and the announcement of the Jubilee Memorial Educational Scholarship was made.

Some of the former pastors of St. Monica Parish were present for the jubilee celebration on Dec. 7. From left: Fathers Joseph Finlay, Tom Walsh, Bishop Victor Galeone and current pastor, Carmelite Father Ignatius Plathanam.

A New Evangelization
Matt Maher Performs in Jacksonville

Catholic singer-songwriter Matt Maher and his band from the Adore Worship 2097 Tour performed in Jacksonville on Dec. 12 at Christ the King Parish Kingdome. Sponsored by the Youth and Young Adult Ministry of the diocese, the concert drew crowds of more than 500 young people. Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (reference #2097) - Adore’s mission outreach consists of powerful worship and preaching that brings relate-ability to the good news of the Gospel.

Maher is a nationally acclaimed musician who has released three full-length albums. His songs have been recorded by award-winning Christian artists such as Kathy Troccoli and Chris Tomlin. Maher’s song, On the Third Day, was recorded by Michael Olsen, landing number two on the Christian inspirational charts.

Joining Matt Maher (front right) on stage for the Jacksonville concert at Christ the King’s Kingdome is Josh Blakesley on acoustic guitar with Kemi Ndolo and Kenny Butler in the background.

Bishop Speaks at Jacksonville Roe v. Wade Rally

The bishops of Florida’s seven dioceses issued their annual statement recognizing the Jan. 22, 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. The bishops lament that despite recent court cases that provide some limitation on the taking of innocent life, abortion is still the law of the land.

Bishop Victor Galeone gathered with about 500 marchers in downtown Jacksonville to mark the anniversary. He joined the Florida bishops in speaking to the role of Catholics addressing future legislation that would promote abortion by stating, “Faithful Catholics and responsible citizens must oppose any and all attempts to incrementally pass these destructive and evil laws.”

Bishop Victor Galeone joined hundreds of abortion protestors on the steps of the courthouse in downtown Jacksonville on Thursday, Jan. 22 marking the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Diocesan Mass Promoting Unity

The 24th annual Mass for Solidarity and Unity took place on Sunday, Jan. 18 at the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Augustine. Coordinated through the Multi-Cultural Ministry of the Diocese of Saint Augustine, the Mass commemorates the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This year marks the 41st anniversary of his assassination on April 4, 1968 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn.

Several deacons and four priests joined Bishop Victor Galeone for the celebration of the Mass that was attended by people representing several parishes in the diocese. Guest homilist this year was Deacon James Scott of Christ the King Parish in Jacksonville.

One of the highlights of this year’s Mass for Solidarity and Unity was the short choral program that preceded the Mass. Singing under the direction of David Cotton was the St. Francis of Assisi Gospel Choir of the Diocese of Palm Beach.

2009 March for Life Gathers Hundreds

Year in and year out, regardless of the administration or party in power, thousands of people journey to Washington, D.C. each January 22 for the March for Life.

In St. Augustine, hundreds of people gathered on Jan. 17 for their own March for Life walking from the Mission Nombre de Dios to the downtown Plaza de la Constitucion. They marched to witness to the dignity of human life, to protest the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, and to pray for an end to abortion.

Why has the pro-life witness remained so strong 36 years after Roe legalized abortion on demand? A major reason is that Roe v. Wade does not represent the views of the vast majority of Americans. In December the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops commissioned a nationwide survey of 2,341 U.S. adults representing the general public. Conducted online by one of the nation’s top pollsters, the poll found that four out of five surveyed (82%) think abortion should be illegal or restricted in some way.

Jennifer Kacerosky, founder and president of the University of Florida student group Pro-Life Alliance was one of five a guest speakers at the St. Augustine March for Life on Jan. 17.