By Janis Fontaine
Father Dennis Gonzales came to St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach a year ago. On Sept. 11, he was formally installed by Bishop Gerald Barbarito at a heartfelt ceremony.
The bishop came down from the altar to speak to and praise the congregation for its faith, energy and devotion to family. Then he said of Gonzales, “He is a quiet man. A gentle man. A loving man. A man who has a heart with the Gospel as the center of his life. But central to him is not himself but Jesus Christ.”
The bishop has known Gonzales for years. Gonzales was educated at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach and ordained in 2013, at age 39, at the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola in Palm Beach Gardens by Barbarito.
Since his ordination, Gonzales served at St. Helen in Vero Beach for four years, and St. Ann in West Palm Beach for another four years before coming to Delray Beach.
Gonzales considers himself a healer first. He’s a registered nurse who worked in hospice care and has studied questions of medical ethics. Father Dennis believes most people are wounded and he wants to help heal hidden trauma.
Gonzales also spoke at the ceremony, in his typically quiet voice. He said he was humbled that Barbarito had handpicked him to lead St. Vincent Ferrer parish. He thanked his predecessor, Msgr. Tom Skindeleski, for all his hard work. Gonzales said, “I inherited a parish on sound footing with a capable and dedicated staff.”
The bishop stressed the importance of depending on one another, telling the congregation that Father Dennis “considers each and every one of you as central to his ministry and his priesthood.”
Gonzales invites everyone to celebrate Mass with him and his family at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church at 7, 9 and 11 a.m. Sundays. A contemporary Mass is offered at 5:30 p.m.
St. Vincent is at 840 George Bush Blvd., Delray Beach. 561-276-6892; https://stvincentferrer.com.
Blessings of the animals
Each year local churches hold blessings of the animals around St. Francis of Assisi Feast Day on Oct. 4. St. Francis is the patron saint of animals.
Attend one of these blessings with well-behaved pets:
• St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church, 100 NE Mizner Blvd., Boca Raton. 11 a.m. Oct. 1. 561-395-8285; www.stgregorysepiscopal.org
• St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Children’s Garden, 188 S. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach. 4-5 p.m. Oct. 1. 561-276-4541; https://stpaulsdelray.org
• Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea, 141 S. County Road, Palm Beach. 9 a.m. Oct. 2. 561-655-4554; https://bbts.org
• St. Joseph’s Episcopal, 3300 S. Seacrest Blvd., Boynton Beach. 3 p.m. Oct. 2. 561-732-3060; www.stjoesweb.org
• Unity of Delray Beach, 101 NW 22nd St. 10 a.m.-noon Oct. 15. 561-276-5796.
St. Gregory’s doings
St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church will host a Capital Campaign Concert for a Cause from 3-5 p.m. Oct. 22.
The church women’s annual bazaar will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 29, for you to get started on your holiday shopping or just for fun.
The church is at 100 NE Mizner Blvd., Boca Raton. 561-395-8285 or www.stgregorysepiscopal.org.
Fall festival at St. Joe’s
St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church will host a free Happy Fall Y’all carnival and coffee hour following services on Oct. 30. It includes games, prizes, crafts and refreshments. www.stjoesweb.org.
Yoga at St. Paul’s
Patti Daniell leads Gentle Yoga with a spiritual component at 6 p.m. Tuesdays at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 188 S. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach. Classes meet for eight weeks beginning Oct. 4. The cost is $75 for eight weeks or a $10 drop-in fee. A portion of the proceeds supports St. Paul’s. Call 561-573-9326.
The VOCES8 vocal ensemble will perform Oct. 22 at the Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach.
VOCES8 in concert
The Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea presents VOCES8 in concert at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22, at the church at 141 S. County Road, Palm Beach.
The vocal ensemble will sing “Lux aeterna,” which features choral music by Byrd, Casals, Elgar, Gibbons, Mendelssohn, Monteverdi, Palestrina, Parry, Paulus and Rachmaninoff. Tickets are $25. A champagne reception at 6:30 p.m. and premium seating is $200. 561-655-4554 or https://bbts.org.
Send religion news to Janis Fontaine at email@example.com.