Our ministries, programs and services are stretching boundaries and reaching out in new ways to bring ministry to life in the Diocese of St. Petersburg. Below are some more ways we are making an impact throughout our five-counties thanks to generous gifts to our Annual Pastoral Appeal:

Campus Ministry at USF

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Above: Catholic Student Center gathering this fall

2020-21 School Year Initiatives and Projects in Process:

  • Held 3 in person freshman welcomes during the summer
  • Catholic Bulls Nights peaked at 75 participants
  • 12 small bible study groups actively meeting during the week, virtually and in-person
  • celebrated Father Joshua Bertrand’s 1st Mass (Father Bertrand, a former Catholic Student Union president, was Ordained this past fall)
  • held 1st annual new student retreat for freshman and transfers for 11 participants
  • 50 students have been formed as intentional disciples to be ready to welcome and evangelize on campus
  • 2nd annual Welcome Home Weekend for approximately 100 students, families, alumni and parishioners
  • Ongoing source of evangelization and bringing young people to the faith. Click here to read more about one student’s journey.

Catholic Charities

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Above: Halloween celebration at San Jose Mission

For more than 75 years, Catholic Charities has built alliances within our five county diocese to offer social services that support and preserve families and promote self-sufficiency and social justice.

2021 Initiatives and Projects in Process:

  • To date, distributed Covid 19 assistance totaling $1.73 million for rent and utilities for 871 clients.
  • Two affordable housing facilities opened as of May 2021 – Las Villas in Ruskin (serving 13 families) and Vincent Oaks in Tampa (serving 10 families).
  • In March, opened one new affordable housing unit, La Tierra Verde in Tampa, assisting 47 families and individuals in establishing a home, and construction began on Mercy Oaks, a 20-unit affordable housing project. Bishop Parkes blessed the site with guests representing Hillsborough County and City of Tampa council members on April 18th. Click here to read more about this new project.
  • At Pinellas Hope, over 67,000 meals have been served and 460 new clients have been welcomed (July 1, 2020 to March 1, 2021)
  • Catholic Charities has helped over 1,000 clients with immigration needs from relative petitions and visas to naturalization processes (July 1, 2020 to March 1, 2021)
  • Foundations of life has –
    • distributed 48 baby car seats to assist 48 families.
    • planned a virtual Walk for Life Fundraiser running April 2 (Good Friday) – May 9 (Mother’s Day) – to date, $11,000 has been raised!
    • to better serve their clients, the ultrasound machines in the St. Petersburg, Tampa, Dade City and Spring Hill Pregnancy Centers were upgraded to 3-D machines, and the Knights Women’s Center with a 4D ultrasound machine. Since July 1, 2020 , 1,003 ultrasounds have been performed.
    • working in partnership with local Knights of Columbus Councils, raised $58,000 toward the $88,000 goal needed to purchase a mobile “Storks” bus with ultrasound

2020 Completed Initiatives and Projects:

  • Provided affordable housing for 12 families at Bethany Family Apartments in Pasco County
  • Planning for 18 new affordable housing units at St. Benedict in Citrus County
  • Hosted a Halloween celebration for the residents of San Jose Mission, providing 250 treat bags to the children who live there
  • Facilitated 7 adoptions

Catholic Schools

  • Since late May, the Covid-19 Task Force on Catholic Education has served as a central hub of information and resources for our 46 Catholic schools and centers of the Diocese
  • through FEMA, 22,000 face masks were secured, and arrangements were made for a mobile testing van to provide free testing for all school employees
  • our Catholic schools stand ready to transition 11,800+ students in our four diocesan Catholic high schools, early childhood centers, Catholic schools and two special-needs education centers to hybrid or virtual learning systems as needed to maintain the safety of students, family, faculty and staff

Communications Office

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Above: New podcast series on Spirit FM
Above: Ash Wednesday 2021 coverage
Above: Spirit FM collaborated with parishes and Catholic Charities to bring Easter to the residents of San Jose Mission in Dover.
Photo courtesy of Chris Zuppa for the St. Petersburg Diocese

Producing and airing uplifting, informational and relevant video and radio messages as well as social media posts reaching 150,000+ people with:

  • 232,028 engaged Facebook users
  • 52,000 Flocknote subscribers diocesan-wide
  • 56,000 viewers for the Easter Mass on April 12, aired on Channel 13
  • 76,000 unique visitors to the DOSP website homepage (March-May 2021)
  • 81,000 Spirit FM weekly listeners (March-August 2020)
  • 239,000 YouTube views (June 2020-2021)
  • 2,238 YouTube subscribers (June 2021)
  • 2,900 daily subscribers to Be Courageous Daily Reflection emails and text

2021 Initiatives and Projects in Process:

  • Spirit FM launched a new effort called Father Fridays, spotlighting our local priests sharing their vocational stories, thoughts on topics of the day, opportunities they have to witness, their hobbies, interests and more. This new segment serves as a way for our community to know their clergy and the good works they do.
  • Increased YouTube subscribers by 1,600 in the past 12 months, and engaged 43,000 unique viewers March – June 2021. On April 8th, the diocesan YouTube Channel earned the status of becoming a YouTube partner (1,000+ subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time in the past 12 months), which helps our diocesan YouTube videos to be suggested more frequently on the YouTube platform and enables new features to be available, such as hyperlinks added to videos, channel branding customization and customer support.
  • To invite and welcome all people who have been away from Mass:
    • created resources to assist parishes in welcoming parishioners back to Mass, with 700 unique page views.
    • videos were produced in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Portuguese, securing 3,500 views on YouTube.
    • advertising was purchased in May 2021 on Bay News 9, Hallmark Channel, HGTV and Nickelodeon and on Spanish channels Galavision and WAPA . The :30 second advertisement invited people to come to Mass to encounter Jesus who welcomes them with open arms, and achieved over 100,000 impressions.
  • Since the shutdowns in 2020, Spirit FM has carried Masses not only from the Cathedral of St. Jude, but also from Christ the King, Nativity, Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of the Rosary, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Ignatius, St. Timothy, and St. Stephen.
  • Working with the Offices of Evangelization, Hispanic Ministry and Multicultural Ministry, created promotional graphics, bulletin announcements, marketing emails and web content to encourage and invite the community to participate virtually in the Third Annual Marian Congress on May 8, and recorded and edited videos and organized livestream components. More than 18,000 joined in virtually through YouTube, Facebook and Boxcast.
  • In March and April 2021, Spirit FM partnered with area parishes to collect items for children at the Catholic Charities San Jose Mission in Dover. With the collaborated effort, they exceeded their goal of 500 baskets! Baynews 9 covered the event , and Spirit FM did live cuts and provided music and giveaways for the participants.
  • Fully utilizing a Google for Nonprofits Ad grant to promote and drive traffic to the DOSP website and YouTube channel March-April 2021 resulted in 12,000 unique visits by our parishioners and people across the country being encouraged to grow closer to Christ through our prayers, reflections and enriching videos, and helping them connect to a local community.
  • Consultation and guidance for the 38 parishes implementing the use of Flocknotes for ongoing, reliable communication and evangelization within their parish communities. This includes one-on-one training and virtual workshops on various topics such as the March 18th “Tips for Inviting People back to Mass” for 51 participants from 30 parishes. Click here to find out more about Flocknotes.
  • Working with media to cover newsworthy church events and happenings including the Teddy Bear Mass and collection organized by Blessed Sacrament Catholic School in Seminole (gaining coverage from Bay News 9, Channel 10 and Fox 13); Ash Wednesday 2021 (interviews and coverage by WFTS, WTSP, WFLA, Bay News 9, and Tampa Bay Times) yielding 100,000 impressions and views; and Easter 2021 (interviews and coverage by Bay News 9, Fox 13 and Tampa Bay Times) yielding between 239,000 to 390,000 impressions. Click here to view Good News stories about the Diocese of St. Petersburg that has been shared by local media.
  • On April 15th, “Welcoming People Back to Mass” was hosted for 41 attendees representing 25 parishes who shared best ideas for inviting people to Mass and new resources to assist.
  • Creation of a new series on Spirit FM 90.5 and on your favorite podcast app that provides inspiration and insights for living our Catholic faith.  Proclaim, Invite and Encounter is a daily reflection and commentary on Courageously Living the Gospel in our homes, parishes, communities and wherever God may lead us. Visit www.dosp.org/bishop/podcast to listen and subscribe.
  • Updated and relevant online resources including the January 2021 collaboration with the Office of Worship to create Guidelines for Visual Display Systems that foster active participation during Mass and promote the proper dignity of the liturgy.
  • Media Evangelization Guide to give practical suggestions for sharing the Light of Christ with others.

Construction Office

Above: Stained glass window at Most Holy Redeemer, Tampa

Advises, supports and assists parishes and schools in managing new construction projects, renovations, and capital maintenance projects.

Ongoing Initiatives and Resources:

2021 Projects in Process:

2020 Completed Construction Projects:

2 parish renovation projects

  • Christ the King, Tampa- project to expand the seating capacity of the church and renovate the interior and exterior finishes to better serve 4,000+ registered households.
  • St. Mary, Our Lady of Grace, St. Petersburg- refresh the interior of a 100-year old church with a limited budget to serve 300+ registered households.

2 school construction projects

  • Clearwater Central Catholic High School- replace 3 major classroom buildings and a field house/football field serving almost 600 students and staff members.
  • St. Raphael Catholic School, St. Petersburg- roof replacement for the main classroom building, early education pod, and multi-purpose building serving almost 200 students and staff members.

School system Covid-19 safety

  • Catholic Schools Office: collaboration and guidance for individual schools for Covid-19 safety initiatives; coordination of construction to enforce CDC recommendations to assist almost 1,000 faculty and staff, 12,000 students and their families.

Diaconate Office

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Above: Diaconate Rite of Admission to Candidacy, October 19, 2020
Above: Mass of Recommitment, March 27, 2021

The Office of the Diaconate serves the local diaconate community, providing support and supervision of the Deacon’s ministerial life in the local church, and the formation of permanent deacons. There are currently 115 Active Deacons (81 full-time, 24 active-retired and 11 seasonal).

2021 Initiatives and Programs:

  • 12 gentlemen are engaged in Diaconate Formation
  • Of the 12, 4 are scheduled for Ordination in October 2021, and 8 for Ordination in October 2023
  • Mass of Recommitment – 70 Deacons and their wives joined Bishop Parkes at the Cathedral of St. Jude on March 27, 2021 for the Mass of Recommitment.
  • Continuing Formation Day – 40 Deacons and their wives participated in a day of formation on March 13, 2021 at Bethany Center titled: The Stories of Scripture: How to Use Literary and Creative Writing Techniques to Craft Engaging Homilies.

2020 Completed Programs:

  • Rite of Admission to Candidacy – On October 19, 2020, 4 men participated in the Rite of Admission to Candidacy at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle. Bishop Gregory Parkes led the Evening Prayer. The Rite of Admission to Candidacy is part of the journey of becoming a permanent deacon, and is celebrated in our diocese during the beginning of the fourth year of formation.  In this rite, the men who aspire to ordination publicly expresses his will to offer himself to service to God and the Church as a deacon.  For the new Candidate, this is an occasion for committing to continued discernment of a diaconal vocation and preparation for ordination.
  • Discernment – 14 gentlemen attended the fall 2020 discernment event.

Evangelization & Missionary Discipleship

The Office of Evangelization & Missionary Discipleship has launched a new Virtual Learning Center in partnership with Revive Parishes to offer information, updates and insights into a variety of areas free of charge for:

  • 80 pastors and parochial administrators
  • 250 staff members
  • 1,000+ ministry leaders
  • 140,000 Catholic households
  • 400,000 Catholics

The resource provides information, updates and insights into many areas of ministry leadership formation, training for Evangelization and Missionary Discipleship, leadership team formation, post-pandemic recharging of ministries and parish-life on campus when it is safe to do so. Click here to learn more about the free training series and topics/sessions available and sign up for a free account to access them.

Faith Formation

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Above: Virtual orientation for new DREs.

Ongoing Initiatives:

Since May 2020, the Office of Faith Formation has transitioned to:

  • provide research and options for parishes exploring virtual religious education programs along with guidance through implementation (please see the video to the left)
  • new monthly virtual group meetings with the 3 regions (Pinellas, Hillsborough, Northern Counties) to provide support, collaboration, shared ideas and tips for parish staff involved in religious education

2020 Completed Programs:

  • Collaboration with the Office of Worship to hold a virtual RCIA Institute in August for 75 parish participants.
  • In partnership with Deacon Crall and our Youth & Young Adult staff, an online ALPHA program as an initial formation step for the Evangelization process
  • Virtual group orientation for Directors of Religious Education (DRE) for 8 new parish hires via Zoom and individual Zoom DRE orientation meetings with 5 new parish hires. Parishes served include:
    • St. Frances Cabrini, Spring Hill
    • Holy Cross, St. Petersburg
    • Our Lady of Lourdes, Dunedin
    • Blessed Sacrament, Tampa
    • St. Joseph, Tampa
    • St. Joseph, St. Petersburg
    • Incarnation, Tampa
    • Our Lady of Grace, Beverly Hills
    • St. Anne, Ruskin
    • St. Anthony the Abbot, Brooksville
    • St. Joseph, Zephyrhills
    • St. Thomas Aquinas, New Port Richey
    • St. Vincent de Paul, Holiday

Hispanic Ministry Office

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Above: Meeting with the pastor of St. Patrick in Tampa
Above: planning for the 2021 Hispanic Men’s Conference
Above: Ministerios con Familias 101 session

Works with lay commission to ensure all within the Hispanic community have access to grow in faith and actively participate in the life of their parishes and larger Church, and collaborates with all diocesan ministries to plan, translate, support efforts and offer bilingual training as needed to ensure we are communicating effectively with the Hispanic community.

Ongoing Initiatives:

  • Spearheading the alignment of the V Encuentro conclusions and recommendations with Courageously Living the Gospel
  • Hosts the Pastoral Juvenile Facebook page with 423 followers

2021 Programs and Initiatives in Process:

  • Working with the Offices of Evangelization and Communications, the Hispanic Ministry Office and Multicultural Ministry Office hosted the Third Annual Marian Congress on May 8. The event featured a keynote speaker, other local speakers and the Mass of Renewal of Consecration with Bishop Parkes, and drew 200 attendees from 56 parishes in person as well as 18,000 joining in virtually through YouTube, Facebook and Boxcast.
  • In collaboration with the Office of Marriage and Family Life, offered Ministerios con Familias 101, a series of leadership formation workshops for all whose ministry efforts impact families.
  • On April 10, 2021 the 3rd Annual Hispanic Men’s Conference took place at Resurrection Catholic Church in Riverview. The Hispanic Ministry Office, the Core Team and Suncoast Catholic Ministries worked together to bring back this popular formation event for Hispanic men after a cancellation in 2020 due to Covid. The theme of the conference was TRUST IN THE LORD, and the 120 attendees and presenters enjoyed Mass with Bishop Parkes, presentations from special speakers, and 30 men received the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
  • In collaboration with the Lay Pastoral Ministry Institute, a special Building Intercultural Competencies for Ministers Training took place on April 21, 2021 for 10 staff members of the Pastoral Center. This training was the first step in rolling out Goal #7 of Courageously Living the Gospel, in alignment with V National Encuentro recommendations and the Welcoming You initiative.

2020 Completed Programs and Initiatives:

  • Planning and execution of large diocesan events such as the 2020 virtual Marian Congress in May which reached almost 7,000 on Facebook and YouTube through two keynotes and Mass,
  • Hispanic Mass in October reaching more than 2,600 on Facebook and YouTube.

Lay Pastoral Ministry Institute (LPMI)

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Above: Bishop Gregory Parkes presented 13 people with a Certificate in Lay Leadership Ministry at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle on June 22, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Dana Rozance)

  • On June 22, 2021, Bishop Parkes commissioned 13 laypersons who successfully completed 4 years of discernment, academic study and spiritual preparation through the Lay Pastoral Ministry Institute Program to serve in ministry leadership throughout the diocese. The graduating class represented 10 parishes from around our diocese: Susan Lynn Arcand, St. Paul (Tampa); Tom Barrett, Nativity (Brandon); William L. Brown, III, St. Stephen (Riverview); Theresa V. McCain Cole, St. Clement (Plant City); Christine DeLieto, St Vincent DePaul (Holiday); Ophelia Hinton, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (Spring Hill); Elizabeth L. Huetteman, St. Stephen (Riverview); Paula M. Hurlock, St. Clement (Plant City); Dale P. Kennedy, St. Lawrence (Tampa); Christina Marie Kijanka, Espiritu Santo (Safety Harbor): Paul J. Laurence RN, Holy Family (St. Petersburg); Carol J. Ritter, St. Ignatius of Antioch (Tarpon Springs); Scott Samuels, St. Paul (Tampa).
  • Three individuals from three parishes received certificates from Bishop Parkes for completing Level 1 of the Southeast Pastoral Institute Escuela de Ministerios (SEPI) on June 22, 2021. Congratulations to Leila Castellanos, Nativity (Brandon), Theresa Hernandez (Most Holy Redeemer, Tampa) and Felicia Westbrook, Incarnation, (Tampa).
  • Adapted to hybrid formation (both in-person and virtual) to ensure safety of 67 lay persons training through both the LPMI program and Southeast Pastoral Institute (SEPI).
  • In collaboration with the Hispanic Ministry Office, a special Building Intercultural Competencies for Ministers Training took place on April 21, 2021 for 10 staff members of the Pastoral Center. This training was the first step in rolling out Goal #7 of Courageously Living the Gospel, in alignment with V National Encuentro recommendations and the Welcoming You initiative.

Ministry to Priests

Above: annual Mass for retired priests on April 13 to celebrate years of faith-filled ministry.

Ministry to Priests is dedicated to serving those who serve the people of this Diocese in their ongoing spiritual, fraternal and pastoral development.

2021 Programs and Projects in Process:

  • April 13, 2021, Bishop Parkes celebrated Mass for our retired priests in the chapel at Bethany Center, followed by lunch and fellowship. The priests in attendance represented 1,392 years of priestly service!
  • Days of Reflection are offered for the 57 veteran pastors (5+ years as a pastor), 18 new pastors (1-5 years as a pastor), 30 priests ordained 7 years or less, and 107 retired priests in our diocese in Advent and Lent.
  • Desert Days provide a chance to step away for a day of silent prayer and rest. In the past year, five (5) Desert Days have been hosted for 55 priests.
  • Seven Below Dinners is a program of support for priests ordained less than 7 years. These events are held every other month offering evening prayer, dinner, and an open forum for conversation for the 10-15 priests who attend each session.
  • The eight (8) Jesus Caritatas groups (with about 5-8 members per group) meet about once a month for dinner, prayer, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and a review of faith life.

Life, Justice & Advocacy

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Above: 40 Days for Life 2020

Ongoing initiatives:

Monthly Conversation about Race – a virtual series focused on timely and pertinent issues within our communities. Click here to view the recording of any of the sessions below.

  • October 29, 2020 – Race is a Life Issue.  Featured speakers were Msgr. Michael Carruthers, pastor of Resurrection Parish, Tampa and Gerri Drummond. The session drew about 80 live participants from 42 parishes. 77 YouTube views to date.
  • November 19, 2020 – The Result of No Action: Why We Need to Work Together for Justice.  Featured speakers were Dr. Moneque Walker-Pickett and Karla Solis. Over 40 live participants from 37 parishes. 60 YouTube views to date.
  • February 24, 2021 – Black History Month: Why It’s Important. Featured speaker was Dr. Ansel Augustine, Executive Director of Cultural Diversity for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Over 50 live participant from 40 parishes. 56 YouTube views to date.

2021 Programs and Projects in Process:

  • Catholic Days at the Capitol (Virtual) took place on February 2-3, 2021. Fifty registrants from 29 of our parishes conducted 16 virtual meetings with Florida Legislators between February 3rd and March 5th.  
  • Florida March for Life, St. Augustine. COVID precluded our annual bus trip but 45 pilgrims from the Diocese of St. Petersburg traveled independently and met at the March at the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche on January 17, 2021.

2020 Completed Programs and Projects:

  • Cities for Life Prayer Vigil – November 30, 2020 – virtual vigil joining our community with cities across the globe to renounce the death penalty and work for a more civil form of justice. The featured speakers were Bishop Parkes, Rev. Robert Scneider, Allison Ferber Miller, Coordinator of Capitol Cases for the 6th Judicial Circuit. 40 participants from 40 parishes attended live plus 92 Youtube views post event.
  • Lead the Way on Hunger Webinar, cosponsored with Catholic Relief Services  – November 9, 2020. Featured speakers: Holly Cantuba, and Vivi Iglesias, CRS Community Engagement Managers. The webinar focused on the ways that we, as missionary disciples, are called to lead the way on hunger and malnutrition during this global crisis that we currently face. Over 20 live participants from 21 parishes joined the session. 53 YouTube views to date.
  • 40 Days for Life  took place at three abortion centers in Tampa, Clearwater and St. Petersburg – September 23 – November 1, 2020. Hours were limited due to COVID, but about 700 people prayed at one of our three vigil sites during the fall campaign, and five babies were saved from abortion.
  • Mass of the Angels was hosted at St. Timothy Catholic Church in Lutz – October 3, 2020. This annual mass is for those families who have lost a child. In 2020, 70 people participated.
  • Forced Like Jesus to Flee, Virtual Townhall cosponsored with Catholic Relief Services -September 28, 2020. Event commemorating the 106th World Day of Migrants and Refugees. Featured presenters were Bishop Robert Lynch, Bishop Emeritus for the Diocese of St. Petersburg and Caroline Brennan, CRS Emergency Communications Director, Humanitarian Response Department. Over 60 live participants from 45 parishes joined the virtual meeting, and over 100 have viewed the recording of the event on YouTube to date. 
  • Being the Body of Christ in 2020: Solidarity Requires Fortitude. Online Retreat – June 20, 2020. This retreat reflected on the virtue of fortitude and its relationship to building community with all God’s people, how is fortitude a key to living out the core values of the Christian life in 2020? Over 60 live participants and, to date, it has 76 views on YouTube.
  • Catholic-Evangelical Dialogue on Laudato Si and Epidemics – May 13, 2020. Encouraging people of faith to come together in solidarity to confront the pandemic and climate change with 102 Youtube participants and 24 views on Vimeo, receiving support through the Catholic News Service, Crux and Tampa Bay Times.
  • Rediscovering Fortitude: Courage for Uncertain Times Online Retreat – April 25, 2020. Taking small, courageous steps toward love even in the most difficult situations. 125 live participants and, to date, it has 329 Youtube and 103 Vimeo views.
  • Legislative meeting with Representative Charlie Crist and Representative Gus Bilirakis.

Marriage & Family Life

Above: celebrating marriages in the pandemic
Above: Ministry with Families 101

2021 Programs and Projects in Process:

Ministerios con Familias 101 – a leadership formation workshop and training series in Spanish for those whose ministry efforts impact families. In January and February, 14 parishes and 30 participants took advantage of the six sessions offered.

Create an online process for Marriage Preparation to provide couples with a faster, modern option for registration. To date, 46 couples are registered for one of our preparation programs.

Maintain methods to keep our people and parishes in touch with free online faith sharing resources in English, Spanish and Vietnamese so that Small Christian Communities can meet online. 

2020 Completed Programs and Projects:

  • Since May 2020, we prepared more than 160 couples for the Sacrament of Marriage after making adjustments for social distancing and the safety of participants.
  • Ministry with Families 101 – an online leadership formation workshop series focused on formation for those whose ministries impact parish families. The virtual 6-part program served 32 participants from 21 parishes and 8 deaneries September – October, 2020.

Stewardship & Development

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Above: Faith, Hope & Courage offertory program.

2021 Projects in Process:

  • Production of 10 videos showcasing the good works of the ministries of the Diocese of St. Petersburg including 2 for Youth and Young Adult Ministry, 1 for Communications, 3 for Vocations, 1 for Faith Formation, 1 for Hispanic Ministry, 1 for Catholic Schools and 1 for Catholic Charities. Links to view these videos can be found in each office’s section of this page.
  • Production of a Youth Ministry video for Corpus Christi Parish to assist in spreading the word and increase participation.
  • Production of a promotional video for the 3rd Annual Hispanic Men’s Conference to promote registration and participation. For more information on the conference, click here.
  • Online registration acceptance for the 200-300+ couples who will be participating in the 2021 Marriage Preparation programs.

2020 Completed Programs and Projects:

  • Planned and executed offertory enhancement and outreach efforts for 21 parishes including material development, communication pieces, accountability reporting, messaging creation and direct communication with 25,000 households, generating:
  • 774 requests for prayer
  • 111 requests for contact from a parish priest
  • 1,148 commitments of prayer for their parish
  • 2,212 one-time gifts to assist parishes
  • 1,841 commitments or re-commitments to support parish life financially for the next year
  • Set-up and maintain e-giving for all parishes without online giving programs in place


Above: St. Andrew Dinner at St. Stephen Parish in Riverview

Ongoing Initiatives:

  • 15 men now in formation at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary and St. John Vianney College Seminary

2021 Projects and Initiatives in Process:

  • The Bishop’s BBQ, held at the Bethany Center on June 2nd, drew 9 priests, 2 deacons and 45 young men discerning a call to the priesthood.
  • The Altar Server Appreciation Mass took place on March 21st at the Cathedral of St. Jude, recognizing 1,022 servers and 43 altar servers of the year from 38 parishes.
  • Tools of Discernment – a 4 part series which started in November 2020 focused on a special topic. The series wrapped March 20th and served 31 participants from five parishes in expanding their knowledge of fostering vocations within their parishes.
  • Collaboration with the Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office on Abundance Holy Hours for Vocations and Encounter Adoration at St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Hudson on March 3rd. The six participating parishes representing three Deaneries included St. Michael in Hudson, St. Joan of Arc in Spring Hill, St. Theresa in Spring Hill, St. Anthony the Abbot in Brooksville, St. Joseph in Zephyrhills, and St. Francis Cabrini in Spring Hill. Click here to learn about upcoming events.
  • Re-focus for 9th Graders took place at St. Petersburg Catholic High School for 111 students, offering a return to the vocation discernment and formation event experienced in 6th grade.
  • Virtual Focus 11 for 6th graders at our 42 Catholic schools. In addition, another 40 groups and/or individuals logged on to participate. The event featured a video contest, key note speakers and engaged participants in various interactive games. Special congratulations to the first place winners of the video contest, the Cathedral School of St. Jude.
  • Presentations at all Masses at 10 parishes throughout 2021 to encourage and promote vocation discernment
  • Worked with St. Stephen Parish in Riverview to plan and execute a St. Andrew Dinner with Bishop Parkes. Five parishes and 6 priests worked together to offer this ongoing discernment and formation opportunity for 18 young men considering their vocation to the priesthood.

2020 Completed Programs and Projects:

  • 3 men Ordained August 2020
  • 7 new seminarians this year
  • implemented successful virtual discernment opportunities such as Zoom Chat With Seminarians, Facebook Live with Future Fathers (10,300+ people reached) and monthly live stream Virtual Abundance Holy Hours for Vocations (1,000+ views)
  • presentations at all Masses at 5 parishes in fall 2020 to encourage and promote vocation discernment
  • the Advent Men’s Retreat was held in December at Bethany Center with 18 lay attendees, 14 seminarians, 1 deacon and 2 priests representing 12 parishes and 6 deaneries.


Above: bilingual Guidelines for Holy Thursday

2021 Initiatives and Projects in Process:

  • Developed diocesan guidelines for Ash Wednesday, as well as the 2021 Lent and Easter guidelines to assist all all 79 parishes and missions with their 2021 Lenten celebrations. These guidelines were provided to 302 pastors, deacons and parish liturgy coordinators through the mail and electronically to ensure all had access to this vital information.
  • Developed updated diocesan guidelines for Holy Thursday in light of the current state of the pandemic. Provided by mail and electronically to 342 priests, deacons and parish liturgy coordinators.
  • Provided updated information for 650 initiation ministers through Mystagogia e-newsletter including celebrating the Scrutinies, downloadable bilingual ritual text, free webinars focused on celebrating rituals in a pandemic, continuing education about the catechumenate, and more.
  • Provided monthly updated and relevant resources to all 79 parishes and missions online and through the Gathered e-newsletter including a change to the ending of prayers, celebrating Holy Week in the pandemic, Communion to the Sick & Homebound and the January 2021 collaboration with the Communication Office to create Guidelines for Visual Display Systems that foster active participation during Mass and promote the proper dignity of the liturgy.

Click here to visit the Worship Office webpage and download any of the resources and guidelines noted above.

Youth and Young Adults

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Above: Corpus Christi young adults at Metropolitan Ministries West Pasco service site
Above: World Youth Day informational meeting
Above: Courageous Youth Ministry session at Christ the King, Tampa

Ongoing Initiatives:

  • Youth Ministry consultation and guidance for youth ministry staff and core volunteers throughout our diocese to share ideas and collaborate on individual needs for each parish. In addition to special programs and trainings, diocesan staff averages 5-10 meetings with parish youth representatives per staff member each month.

2021 Completed Projects:

  • Theology on Tap – partnered with St. Stephen Catholic Church to offer the event for young adults of East Brandon. This was the first time since before the covid shutdown that this event was able to take place.
  • In June, the Good Samaritan Project, our award winning service-based retreat for high school age children. 270 youth and young adults and more than 30 adult chaperones, participated in 8,100 hrs of community service and 4,860 hrs of faith formation over 6 days

2021 Initiatives and Projects in Process:

  • Risk Management training – collaborated with the Office of Risk Management to provide training on new website for 75 pastors, parish managers and Youth Ministers from 50 parishes and 9 deaneries
  • Emerging Ministries Dialog – a two-part program. Session 1 served 5 parishes in Hillsborough County who were able to reflect on how the Spirit might be leading us to re-imagine our ministries by refocusing on our values and vision. Session 2 featured Holy Hour, an update on Vocations and Youth Ministry, and one-on-one sharing for the 18 attendees from 13 parishes from Pasco, Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties.
  • Apostles of the Eucharist – facilitation of program at St. Paul in Tampa serving 3 parishes and 15 participants.
  • Collaboration with the Office of Vocations for Abundance Holy Hours for Vocations and Encounter Adoration at St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Hudson on March 3rd. The six participating parishes representing three Deaneries included St. Michael in Hudson, St. Joan of Arc in Spring Hill, St. Theresa in Spring Hill, St. Anthony the Abbot in Brooksville, St. Joseph in Zephyrhills, and St. Francis Cabrini in Spring Hill.
  • Plans have started for World Youth Day in 2023. The event will take place in Lisbon, Portugal with an option for a local pilgrimage for those who cannot travel that distance. The goal is have youth from all parishes represented at this amazing international event and our diocesan team is meeting with parish leaders now to begin sharing the information with their youth.
  • Diocesan Scout Sunday Mass took place on February 21st at Christ the King Parish in Tampa. More than 200 troops and leaders from Blessed Sacrament in Seminole, Christ the King in Tampa, Nativity in Brandon, St. Clement in Plant City, St. John Vianney in St. Pete Beach, St. Lawrence in Tampa, St. Mary in Tampa, St. Paul in St. Petersburg, St. Paul in Tampa, St. Stephen in Riverview, St. Thomas Aquinas in New Port Richey, St. Timothy in Lutz, Our Lady of the Rosary in Land O’Lakes and St. Raphael in St. Petersburg participated in Mass and the presentation of Catholic badges and awards.
  • In fall 2020, a brand-new effort called Courageous Youth Ministry (CYM) launched offering ongoing education and formation for all working with youth in our 79 parishes and missions. The program features timely topics such as adapting youth ministry in changing environments, developing a youth and family friendly culture, and developing methods to engage both active and inactive youth. To date 21 parishes have participated in virtual and in-person CYM Trainings. Corpus Christi Parish in Temple Terrace has participated in 4 different sessions to date! Click here to learn more about the Courageous Youth Ministry program, Corpus Christi’s experience and arrange a session for your parish today.

2020 Completed Projects:

  • In June, the Good Samaritan Project, our award winning service-based retreat for high school age children, transitioned to a hybrid 7 day event with 150 teens, 50 adult chaperones, 25 college student leaders and 500 remote attendees participating in service projects, spiritual formation and community building