“A Dwelling Place of Love” – New Affordable Housing Apartments Blessed by Bishop Parkes

Mary Perez has faced many challenges in her life. She is a cancer survivor, disabled and requires the assistance of a mobility scooter because she is unable to walk. She has also been homeless. Despite these and other difficulties, she never lost faith in God. “I always trusted in God,” said Perez. Her life changed …

Local Filipino Community Celebrates 500 years of Christianity in their Homeland

St. Paul Parish in Tampa serves as a hub for the Filipino community in the Diocese of St. Petersburg and the parish recently hosted a special Mass to mark the anniversary of the establishment of Christianity in the Philippines. Ed Bilbao and his wife, Susan, helped to organize much of the festivities. “It was a …

Third Annual Hispanic Men’s Conference Encourages Renewal

In collaboration with the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Suncoast Catholic Ministries and Resurrection Catholic Church, the Third Annual Hispanic Conference for Men was successfully held on April 10, 2021. The theme of the conference was “Trust in the Lord”. (Click here to view photos from the event.) Among the participants of the conference was the …

Scholarships Are Available to Attend Catholic Schools

We have good news for families to assist them with Catholic school scholarships. In Florida, there are scholarships available to qualified students that can be used to attend Catholic schools and these scholarships are managed by Step Up For Students. The Florida Tax Credit and Family Empowerment scholarships are just a few of the options …

Project Rachel: A Lifesaver for Men and Women Traumatized by Abortion

To receive help for healing after an abortion, contact Catholic Charities at 813-924-4173 or via email to projectrachel@ccdosp.org. All calls are confidential and non-judgmental. A St. Petersburg man openly discusses the devastating effects of abortion and how Rachel’s Vineyard retreats for post-abortive healing brought him peace and the experience of God’s infinite mercy and love. “There …

New Affordable Housing Property Under Construction in Tampa

One of Several in the Works Related to Courageously Living the Gospel Bishop Gregory Parkes joined Catholic Charities, as well as city and county leaders on April 28th to bless the construction site of the future Mercy Oaks Apartments, an affordable housing initiative of Courageously Living the Gospel. “We believe as a church that this …

A Family’s Journey to Ordination

When Deacon Israel “Izzie” Hernandez is ordained on May 15, the pews at the Cathedral will be filled with his mother, father, two sisters, and family from Puerto Rico, with even more across the country able to watch via livestream. Their support and prayers have meant so much to Deacon Izzie during the past seven …

Blue Mass for First Responders May 12

What: 4th Annual Blue Mass  When: Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 11:00 AM Where: St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, 2281 State Road 580, Clearwater Who: Fr. Ted Costello, Chaplain to the Clearwater Police Department and Associate Pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Parish will be the celebrant of the Blue Mass. Additional Info: The Blue …

Bishop Gregory Parkes to Celebrate Mass of Healing for Victims of Abuse

Bishop Parkes will celebrate a Mass of Healing for those in need of spiritual healing because of abuse in all forms, including sexual, physical or emotional, and those who wish to pray for victims/survivors of abuse, their family and friends. The community is invited to participate. The Mass will held on Saturday, April 24, 2021 …

Bishop Gregory Parkes Announces Catholic Mass Obligation To Resume May 22nd

General Dispensation is Currently in Place due to Health Concerns from COVID-19 Surrounded by priests, deacons and leadership staff from the Pastoral Center of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Bishop Gregory Parkes announced that the obligation for Catholics to attend Mass on Sunday will resume on May 22, 2021, the vigil of Pentecost. This announcement …

Monseñor Parkes consagrará la Diócesis de St. Petersburg a san José

Monseñor Gregory Parkes consagrará las parroquias, las escuelas, los ministerios y el pueblo de la Diócesis de St. Petersburg a san José, el padre terrenal de Jesucristo. Esto tendrá lugar en la Catedral de St. Jude the Apostle en St. Petersburg a las 12 del mediodía del sábado 1° de mayo, la memoria litúrgica de …

Bishop Parkes will Renew our Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

All are invited to join virtually for a livestream Mass with Bishop Gregory Parkes as he renews our diocesan consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, May 8, 2021 at 11:30 a.m. from the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle. Making a consecration is an act of love …

Bishop Parkes will Consecrate the Diocese of St. Petersburg to St. Joseph

Bishop Gregory Parkes will consecrate parishes, schools, ministries and the people of the Diocese of St. Petersburg to St. Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus Christ. This will take place at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle, in St. Petersburg at 12 noon on Saturday, May 1st, the Memorial of St. Joseph the Worker. …

Young Adult Becomes Catholic Before Leaving for Military Service

In spite of many obstacles caused by COVID-19, there are hundreds of individuals in the Diocese of St Petersburg who have been moved by the Holy Spirit to say “Yes” to becoming Catholic this year.  Everyone has a unique faith story, including Adam Finley. The 21-year-old was baptized, confirmed and received first Holy Communion on …

Invitation Leads to Life-Changing Experience

Caption: Jessica signs the Book of the Elect during the Rite of Election in Nativity’s Chapel on the First Sunday of Lent signifying her readiness to be fully initiated into the Body of Christ this Easter Vigil. Up until a year and a half ago, Jessica Spencer says the last place she thought she would …

“I Needed a Savior”

Caption: Joshua, 30, signs the Book of the Elect during the Rite of Election on the 1st Sunday of Lent. With him David Devore, RCIA Coordinator, St, Mark the Evangelist Parish. Joshua Jeffries says he remembers the exact moment he encountered Christ on a chapel floor in Kentucky while participating in a program meant to …

Becoming Catholic: A USF Student’s Conversion Story

Sharvil Verma was born in India to a Hindu family and as a child he started to have doubts about his faith and about the existence of God. From the age of 10 until he was 22, Verma said he became aggressive towards God and sought to prove He was not there. “I didn’t feel …

Teens Prepare for Consecration to St. Joseph

In recognition of Pope Francis declaring 2021 as the Year of St. Joseph, teens from St. Jerome Parish in Largo are preparing for consecration to St. Joseph. But just as St. Joseph was part of the Holy Family, this consecration is also focused on the family, with parents and children reading, praying, and discussing together. …

Local Student Organizes Easter Collection for Children in Need

Avery Thayer, a 21-year-old college student, is organizing a collection to help fill up Easter baskets for children of the San Jose Mission in Dover and your help is needed! “We are hoping to give joy to these families who have struggled through the pandemic. We want these families to feel loved and cared for. …

Courageously Saying “Yes” to God

Cheryl Jane Miller is an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion at St. Matthew Parish in Largo. She brings communion to the local nursing homes and she is a Bible study small group leader with SEASONS (Sisters Encouraging And Sharing ON Scriptures). But she wasn’t always so active in ministry and for many years she let …

Ministry Adapts to COVID-19 with Operation Smile and Birthday Splash

COVID-19 has been a challenging time for so many people mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Among the most vulnerable are seniors and those living in nursing homes and Assisted Living Facilities. Despite the challenges, St. Raphael Catholic Church has adapted during the pandemic to continue its long-time ministry to nursing home residents and seniors over …

Tampa Families Welcome St. Joseph into their Homes

As a member of the Holy Family, St. Joseph is a powerful intercessor when it comes to marriage, children and family life. And while many parishes are offering opportunities to learn more about this incredible saint during the Year of St. Joseph, the community at St. Joseph Parish in Tampa is quite literally inviting him …

Welcoming You to Mass

The Office of Communications has developed an initiative to welcome people back to Mass. Welcoming You invites each person to encounter the love and mercy of Jesus Christ. A priority for Courageously Living the Gospel is to welcome and accompany others like Jesus.   As Catholics, we are called to reach out to those not …

Pope Francis Releases Message for 55th World Communications Day

In his message for the 55th World Communications Day, Pope Francis says Jesus’ invitation to “Come and see” is the way by which the Christian faith is communicated. “The call to ‘come and see’… is the method for every authentic human communication,” says Pope Francis in his Message for the the 55th World Communications Day. The …

U.S Bishops Issue Statement on the Inauguration of Joseph R. Biden, Jr., as 46th President of the United States of America

From: Most Reverend José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles, President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, January 20, 2021 My prayers are with our new President and his family today. I am praying that God grant him wisdom and courage to lead this great nation and that God help him to meet the tests …

Students at St. Petersburg Catholic High School Benefit From New State-of-the-Art Learning Center

Students, faculty, families and supporters gathered on January 14, 2021 for the blessing of St. Petersburg Catholic High School’s newly remodeled, Learning Commons. This major renovation project advances the school’s mission to foster a 21st century teaching and learning environment, with state-of-the-art technology and teaching resources. The project was an extensive remodel of the preexisting …

Saint Leo University Holds Courageous Conversations on Justice and Redemption

Saint Leo University is presenting a free webinar series, “Courageous Conversations,” a six-part series examining social justice issues from different perspectives across multiple disciplines. The public is invited, and it is not necessary to attend all sessions, but everyone is invited to do so. The series is focusing on social justice issues and topics included …

Ministry Points the Way to Peace and Healing

When the pain of past hurts is weighing a person down, the Church invites the faithful to give their burdens to Christ and to experience true freedom. The ministry of Unbound provides a pathway for this type of healing. St. Lawrence Parish in Tampa is offering Unbound for the first time ever this month. Amy …

March for Life Goes Virtual

Bishop Gregory Parkes will celebrate the first-ever Diocesan Mass for Life with youth from around the Diocese of St. Petersburg on Friday, January 22 at 10:00 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle, St. Petersburg. January 22nd is the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in the U.S. Our youth will not …

Healing Ministry Seeks to Meet Emotional, Physical and Spiritual Needs

Throughout almost 50 years of nursing, Robyn Kremer had the desire to combine her work with her faith, to care for the body and the soul. Now she can live out this calling at her parish, Blessed Sacrament in Seminole with the launch of a new ministry, Faith Community Nursing. After her retirement two years …

U.S. Bishops Urge Peace Following Reports Warning of Plans for Additional Violence at State Capitols and U.S. Capitol

WASHINGTON —Following the violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, and reports of an FBI bulletin warning of “armed protests” in state capitals and Washington, DC, in the coming week, including groups urging participants to “storm” state capitols and other government buildings and threatening “a huge uprising,” as well as reports of threats against …

Diocese of St. Petersburg Urges Parishes to Spread Awareness of Human Trafficking

The Diocese of St. Petersburg has partnered with the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to encourage all parishes and Catholic schools to raise awareness about the dangers of human trafficking by becoming “Trafficking-Free Zones.” The goal is to end modern-day slavery and protect children and youth. Participating …

Announcements – December 21, 2020

DIOCESAN OFFICES Office of Communications New Video: Year in Review The Diocese of Petersburg invites you to take a look back at this unforgettable year and thank God for the grace to stand firm in the faith, courageous and strong. We’ve produced a video with some of the most compelling photos of 2020. To view …

Is the COVID Vaccine OK for Catholics?

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a statement on the new COVID-19 vaccines. Do these new vaccines align or conflict with the Church’s teaching on life? Were they developed using aborted fetal cells? It’s a complicated issue but this statement provides guidance for the faithful.  The statement in part reads: “The Congregation …

Celebrate Bishop Lynch’s 25th Anniversary with a Gift of Hope

In 2021, Bishop Emeritus Robert N. Lynch will celebrate the silver anniversary of his episcopal ordination, which was held on January 26, 1996 at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle, in St. Petersburg. Providing help and hope to those in need was a hallmark of Bishop Lynch’s episcopacy. One such project was the establishment …

Tampa’s Catholic Vietnamese Community Rejoices in a Spiritual Home of their Very Own

The Catholic Vietnamese community in Tampa celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving on November 25, 2020, in gratitude for their new church, located at 5601 Hanley Road, in Tampa. Previously, St. Joseph Vietnamese Mission shared space with Epiphany of Our Lord Parish in Tampa, but it now has a church home all its own. Despite being …

Training Puts the Focus on Strengthening Families

Dave and Lucy Snyder of Nativity Parish have been married 53 years and they have a large and loving family. But they still face challenges in this modern, fast-paced world that is plagued by a pandemic, culture-clashes and division. Recently, they joined more than 30 other participants for a national training on Family Ministry to …

Training is Courageously Equipping Parishes for Youth Ministry

Lily Hughson feels at home at Corpus Christi Parish in Temple Terrace and is working hard so that local teenagers feel at home too. “I am far away from my family in Colombia, but I have found a family here,” said Lily who joined the parish in 1989 and soon after became a volunteer catechist. …

Affordable Housing Project Provides a Home for the Holidays

Thanks to the dedication of the people at St. Vincent de Paul CARES, U.S. veteran Ed Merrick will have a home for the holidays. Merrick is one of the first residents of Ozanam Village II, an affordable housing community in New Port Richey for people who are homeless and in need of ongoing support and …

Community, Faith and Family are Celebrated Around the Fire

Brande Sanders looks forward to her monthly ‘Girls’ Night’ when she meets with friends, enjoys a glass of wine, shares stories of life and moments of laughter, worry, joy and prayer.   What makes this monthly gathering unique is that it takes place around the fire pit at St. Anthony the Abbot Parish in Brooksville …

Vatican launches website dedicated to “Fratelli tutti” encyclical

The Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development announces a new, intuitive website dedicated to Pope Francis’ encyclical “Fratelli tutti”. By Vatican News staff writer Beginning Tuesday, Pope Francis’ recent Encyclical Fratelli tutti, on Fraternity and Social Friendship, will be more readily accessible by the faithful. The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development announces a special website dedicated …

Helen Marie Ross

The Chancellor’s Office received word that Mrs. Helen Marie Ross, died on November 9, 2020.  Mrs. Ross was a former Music Director of St. Brendan Parish, Clearwater Beach and St. Cecelia Parish, Clearwater. Please keep all of her family members and loved ones in your prayers during this difficult time.   Complete obituary is available at …

Announcements November 16, 2020

DIOCESAN OFFICES Office of Communications Fit Faith Into Your Crazy Busy life with New YouTube SeriesFather Connor Penn brings a fresh perspective to the Catholic Church’s comprehensive calendar of celebrations, solemnities, and saints’ feast days through your Catholic Planner. Each episode will offer practical suggestions for encountering Christ in the week ahead! Visit the diocesan …

Organ Recital of Diocesan Music Directors – November 22, 2020

Heavenly Music Some of the finest organists from the Diocese of St. Petersburg will pull out all the stops to celebrate the Feast of Christ the King and inaugurate the largest church organ in the area. The newly renovated pipe organ at Christ the King Catholic Church in Tampa will be showcased in a first-of-its-kind …

Catholic Charities Celebrates 75 Years of Providing Hope & Opportunity with Virtual Extravaganza – November 20, 2020

In keeping with the times, Catholic Charities will gather virtually to celebrate its special 75th anniversary. All are invited to tune in to Facebook Live for uplifting stories of overcoming adversity, profiles in courage and musical entertainment. All are also invited to pledge their support for the mission of Catholic Charities through financial giving opportunities. …

Priests Minister to the Sick During Pandemic and Offer the Healing Love of Christ

(Photo above shows Father Mike Smith of Corpus Christi Parish in the protective gear that priests wear when ministering to the ill during COVID-19.) Being admitted to the hospital for an illness, surgery or procedure can be traumatic, especially during a pandemic when loved ones are prevented or restricted from visiting hospitals and recovery centers. …

Cancer Survivor Finds Hope and Shares Hope

Toni Martin was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago and one year later she founded the St. Mark the Evangelist Cancer Support Ministry.  She has gone through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation and she is still on medication to treat her illness. The 70-year-old was determined not to let cancer control her life but instead, …

St. Scholastica Rosary Makers Create Over 55,000 Rosaries in Nine Years of Loving Service

Rosaries from the St. Scholastica Rosary Makers have found their way to schools, hospitals, nursing homes, homeless ministries, army bases, and foreign missions around the world. The ministry, which began nine years ago, hit a major milestone at the beginning of 2020 with the completion of its 55,000th rosary. Ministry founder Ann Downer says that …