All posts by vocations

Seminarian Pictures

During the annual seminarian convocation, new pictures were taken of all our seminarians, as well as a group photograph.

We have printed pictures available for you to order for your parish.  Or, if  you prefer, pictures can be sent to you electronically.  There is no cost to you for the printed pictures.

To order printed pictures, please fill out this Picture Order Form and email to Heidi Varley at or fax to (727) 374-0208.

Come and See For Women


Tucked away in the lovely rolling hills of St. Leo, Florida, you will find the Benedictine Sisters of Florida. We are consecrated religious women and are hosting a very special event for Women 50 Something.  Please see flyer attached here

If you are free to consider a religious vocation, be with us on Saturday, September 2, 2017 at Holy Name Monastery from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. Located at 12138 Wichers Road, St. Leo, Florida (just off SR 52).

Register with Sister Mary David, OSB by August 29th at: or call (352) 588-8320.

For information about the Benedictine Sisters of Florida visit our web-site:


Holy Hour for Vocations

Our next Holy Hour for Vocations will be on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at 7:00 pm in the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle.  Fr. Carl Melchior will preside at this Holy Hour.

The October Holy Hour is on Wednesday, October 25, 2017.

Thank you to the Serra Club for continuing to host our monthly Holy Hours for Vocations.



Ordination to the Priesthood

Congratulations to Reverend Elixavier “Xavy” Castro who was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Gregory Parks on Saturday, May 20, 2017.

Fr. Castro will begin his first priestly assignment for the Diocese of St. Petersburg as Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Land O’Lakes, Florida.

Please continue to keep Fr. Xavy in your prayers.

World Day of Prayer for Vocations

This year we celebrate World Day of Prayer for Vocations on May 7, 2017.  The theme for this year is Led by the Spirit for Mission.

The purpose of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations is to publically fulfill the Lord’s instruction to, “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest” (Mt 9:38; Lk 10:2). As a climax to a prayer that is continually offered throughout the Church, it affirms the primacy of faith and grace in all that concerns vocations to the priesthood and to the consecrated life.  While appreciating all vocations, the Church concentrates its attention this day on vocations to the ordained ministries (priesthood and diaconate), to the Religious life in all its forms (male and female, contemplative and apostolic), to societies of apostolic life, to secular institutes in their diversity of services and membership, and to the missionary life, in the particular sense of mission “ad gentes”.

2017 marks the 54th Anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations

Pope Francis’ message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations, in English, can be found here and in Spanish here.




Mark Your Calendars

As you are planning your calendars for 2017/2018, please note the following dates for some of our upcoming events sponsored by the Office of Vocations.

Friday-Sunday, November 10-12, 2017, St. John Vianney College Seminary
Vocation Awareness Weekend

Saturday, February 3, 2018, 8am-2:00 pm, Bethany Center
Annual Vocation Promotion Workshop

Tuesday-Wednesday, February 20-21, 2018, Higgins Hall, St. Lawrence
Focus 11

Friday-Sunday, March 9-11, 2018, St. John Vianney College Seminary
Vocation Awareness Weekend

Sunday, April 15, 2018, 3:00 pm, Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle
Altar Server Appreciation Mass

Saturday, May 19, 2018, 11:00 am, Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle
Ordinations to the Priesthood

For any questions about the above events, or other information, please contact Heidi Varley in the Office of Vocations at (727) 345-3452 or via email


Ordination to the Priesthood

On Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 11:00 am Bishop Gregory Parkes will ordain Elixavier “Xavy” Castro to the Priesthood.

The ordination will take place at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle (5815 5th Avenue North, St. Petersburg) and is open to the public.

Following the ordination there will be a reception in the Parish Center where Reverend Castro will offer his first blessings.  All are welcome to attend the reception.


Transitional Diaconate Ordinations

Congratulations to our seminarians, Lou Turcotte, Tim Williford and Kyle Bell, who were ordained transitional deacons on April 1, 2017 by Bishop Parkes.

God willing, these three men will be ordained priests for the diocese on May 19, 2018 at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle.

Come and See Weekend at St. John Vianney College Seminary

Held at St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami twice a year, these weekends serve to provide opportunities for male high school juniors and older to get a first-hand experience of seminary life and the opportunity to interact with other young men who are discerning a vocation.

The Diocese will provide transportation and there is not charge for the retreat.

The next Come and See Weekend will be held from March 10-12, 2017.

To register please click here

If you have any questions, please call the Office of Vocations at (727) 345-3452.