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editor's notes
saint of the month
bishop's message
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theology 101
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Catholic Teens Help Survivors of Katrina

After Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, youth across the diocese answered the call for aid by opening their hearts and wallets to help. Several youth in Catholic schools and parish religious education programs contributed nickels, dimes and dollars raising more than $92,000 for relief efforts and several schools are hosting students from the ravaged storm area.

• Annunciation Interparish School, Middleburg: $6,490
• Assumption: $1,800
• Bishop Kenny High School’s Campus Ministry: $5,713.67 and the school is hosting four students.
• Blessed Trinity: $1,700
• Cathedral Parish School, St. Augustine: $5,914.78 and the school is hosting four students.
• Christ the King’s Friday Children’s Mass: $1,948.72
• Epiphany Parish, Lake City is hosting two students.
• Palmer Catholic Academy, Ponte Vedra Beach: $9,607.06 for Catholic Charities and $495 in gift certificates donated to displaced families in the area. They are also hosting five students.
• Queen of Peace is hosting three students from Louisiana and Mississippi.
• Resurrection: $14,000
• Sacred Heart, Jacksonville is hosting ten students and loaded three SUV’s with food they collected for displaced families.
• St. Francis High School, Gainesville is hosting one student.
• St. Joseph Academy is hosting one student.
• St. Luke Parish Youth Group, Middleburg: $1,600 from a parish bake sale and Sunday breakfast.
• St. Michael Academy, Fernandina Beach: $1,884
• St. Paul, Jacksonville Beach: $14,000 for Catholic Charities; also waived tuition and provided books and uniforms for students of displaced families in the area.
• St. Paul: $1,137
• St. Patrick, Gainesville: $25,900
• St. Patrick, Jacksonville is hosting three students.
• San Jose, Jacksonville is hosting three students.
• San Juan del Rio is hosting one student.

Summer “Soul”

Members of the youth group at Sacred Heart Parish in Jacksonville participated in an educational version of “Extreme Makeover” during the Orlando area “Soul in the City” mission, July 25-31.

About 300 youth from all over the state took turns entertaining children, repairing homes and schools. The Sacred Heart group spent the week revitalizing Grand Avenue Elementary school, an 80-year-old building located in the heart of downtown Orlando serving low-to-moderate income families. Each member was assigned to an early morning work crew and was responsible for setting up a breakfast bar, making lunches and cleaning the classrooms that were their makeshift dormitory rooms for the week.

After morning duties, the 21 youth members and their friends from the Cathedral of St. Luke fanned out across the school campus, sprucing up the grounds, cleaning library books and applying a much-needed new coat of paint to the interior.

The group plans to return next summer to undertake more remodeling projects and convert Grand Avenue Elementary into a top-notch school that students and faculty will be proud of.

World Youth Day 2005
Youth Dreams

Msgr. Vincent Haut led a group of teens from his parish, Resurrection, on a pilgrimage to Germany for World Youth Day, Aug. 16-21. The group waited for more than 10 hours to catch a front-row glimpse of Pope Benedict XVI waving to the masses as he passed through the streets in his “Pope Mobile.”

The group visited the Shrine of the Three Kings in the Kolner Dom, a spectacular Gothic cathedral in Cologne. They joined 10,000 other pilgrims in a catechesis and Mass at a stadium in Leverkusen on Aug. 18, celebrated by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop of Washington D.C.

Later, they gathered with hundreds of thousands of worshippers at a park in Marienfield for a Mass celebrated by the pope at the conclusion of the international gathering of young people. The group also toured St. Francis and St. Claire basilicas in Assisi, Italy and attended a private Mass held in the catacombs of St. Peter’s in Rome. 

Certificate for Youth Ministry program, “Justice and Service,” Marywood Retreat Center, Jacksonville. Call (904) 262-3200.

St. Francis High School annual Casino & Mardi Gras Carnival at the Reitz Union Grand Ballroom at the University of Florida. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the rebuilding of Holy Cross and Cabrini high schools in the Diocese of New Orleans. Call (352) 376-6545 or

4-5 Souper Bowl of Caring, a grassroots movement of young people joining together to fight hunger and poverty in our community. Feb. 4 – Service Blitz with youth groups assisting local soup kitchens and food pantries. Feb. 5 – youth will collect donations after Mass in each church for distribution to area charities. Call Emily Heeg at (904) 288-8414.

25 Annual Diocesan Youth Rally for 9th-12th graders at St. Catherine Parish, Orange Park. Presenter: Father Stan Fortuna.

26 Annual Diocesan Youth Rally for middle school youth at St. Catherine Parish, Orange Park. Presenter: Father Stan Fortuna.