Marian Home Shrines Inspire a Life of Holiness and Prayer

Each morning, Jenny Noalsco wakes up, prepares for the day, and brings her coffee to a corner of her house where she sits before an image of the Blessed Mother, says her prayers, and consecrates her day. She writes down her joys, accomplishments, struggles and concerns and makes them an offering to Mary. Even now …

“God bless Zoom!” Bible Study Participants Continue to Gather in Spite of Pandemic

By the time Yvonne Nellum listens to the Gospel during Mass, it’s the third time she has heard it that week. Yvonne first reads the Gospel on Wednesday, then reads and discusses it during Thursday night Bible Study organized by her parish, St. Peter Claver in Tampa. Finally, she hears the Gospel proclaimed by the …

Spirit FM 90.5 is Bringing Community Together to Help Those in Need During the Pandemic

What:                   Spirit Service Week to Collect Food and Hygiene Items for Local Organizations Why:                     To Help the Hungry and Homeless When:                  Monday, October 26- Friday, October 30, 2020, 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Each Day Where:                 Five Locations Listed Below Oct 26th – Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle, 5815 5th Ave …

U.S. Takes Action to Ensure Access to Spiritual Care During COVID-19 Pandemic

Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Religious Liberty, applauded an announcement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (HHS OCR) that, in response to two complaints received, it has taken action to ensure that hospital patients have access …

Catholics Unite to Pray for Life Next to Abortion Facility

A small crowd recently gathered for the kickoff to 40 Days for Life at the Knights Women’s Center, a pro-life crisis pregnancy center on Fletcher Avenue in Tampa.  The September 24th event brought together those committed to advocating for life and praying for unborn children whose lives are tragically ended by legal abortion that takes …

Bishop Parkes Blesses New Pinellas Hope Medical Respite Facility

On October 20th, Bishop Gregory Parkes blessed a new medical facility that helps homeless men and women on the road to recovery. The BayCare Medical Respite Program located at Pinellas Hope of Catholic Charities, provides housing, medications and other health care services to support patients in need of medical care. After being discharged from one …

Diocese of St. Petersburg Remains in Compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People

An independent firm that specializes in investigatory and analytical consulting has found that the Diocese of St. Petersburg is in compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. Stonebridge Business Partners of Rochester, New York conducted an audit of the Diocese’s Safe Environment policies and procedures on September 8-9, 2020. Based …

Pope Francis Proposes New Ways to Foster Compassion in Third Encyclical

Pope Francis released his third encyclical, “Fratelli Tutti, On Fraternity and Social Friendship” on Saturday, October 3, 2020, in Assisi, Italy. An “encyclical” is a letter that is a teaching document by the Holy Father. This letter is addressed to all people who will accept it and reflect on the invitation to dialogue. Click here …

Catholic Charities Receives Grant to Prevent Homelessness in Tampa Bay Region

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Petersburg recently received a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant of $2 million dollars to increase its rapid rehousing program assistance offered through Pathways, a lifeline for families and individuals who are either recently homeless or on the verge of homelessness. The program is designed to …

A Unique Approach Encourages Missionary Disciples

On July 9, after attending Mass faithfully for the past twenty years, Dustin Johnson was received into Full Communion with the Catholic Church at St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Trinity.  During this celebration, he gave a profession of faith, received the Sacrament of Confirmation, and then received Holy Communion for the first time.  His …

Christ the King Ministry Guides Men to be Leaders for Christ

Christ the King Parish in Tampa is leading men “Into the Breach.” That’s the name of a formational program developed by the Knights of Columbus that urges Catholic men to wholeheartedly embrace masculine virtues in a world in crisis. The program is based on an Apostolic Exhortation written by Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix who …

American Priest to be Beatified on October 31, 2020

Fr. Michael McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus, will be beatified during a special Mass Oct. 31, 2020 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford. On May 27, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis, who met with the board of directors of the Knights of Columbus in February, had signed the decree …

St. Frances Cabrini Parish Welcomes Everyone into their Family

To a newcomer, it would be easy to feel lost in the crowd in a parish as large as St. Frances Xavier Cabrini in Spring Hill. That is even more true today, with masks hiding welcoming smiles and social distancing keeping friendly gestures at arm’s length. But for Father David DeJulio, pastor, the parish is …

Saint Leo University Partners with Sacred Heart Parish to Make Youth Ministry a Priority

Isabella Jacus is entering her senior year at Saint Leo University. In addition to carrying a full course load as a double major in biology and religion, she is also working 12 hours a week as a science tutor and has leadership roles in the Pre-Med Club, the National Leadership Honor Society and the Biology …

FDA Approves Ethical Polio Vaccines

The FDA recently approved Sanofi Pasteur’s request to switch from using an aborted fetal cell line (MRC-5) to using an ethical animal cell line to produce its polio combination vaccines Pentacel and Quadracel. The drug company has also chosen to discontinue production of its stand-alone polio vaccine, Poliovax, which also used MRC-5 for its production, …

Official Communication Channels

To help our diocesan family of clergy, religious, staff, parishioners and the entire community stay up-to-date with news and information about our bishop, our faith and our activities, please refer to the Diocese of St. Petersburg’s official communication channels listed below. We encourage you to subscribe, follow and stay connected. There are some groups who …

Diocese of St. Petersburg Sends Relief Money to Hurricane Laura Victims

Thanks to generous donors of the Diocese of St. Petersburg Disaster Relief Fund, Bishop Gregory Parkes is helping victims of Hurricane Laura, a Category 4 hurricane that made landfall in Louisiana on August 27, 2020 and killed at least 34 people. In early September, Bishop Parkes issued a check in the amount of $50,000 to …

Statement Regarding Father John B. Ramsay, a Deceased Priest Who Served in the Diocese of St. Petersburg Between 1983-1984

The Diocese of St. Petersburg has been made aware of an allegation of the sexual abuse of a minor by Rev. John B. Ramsay, a priest of the Diocese of Norwich, Connecticut, who retired from active ministry in 1977.  Following his retirement, Father Ramsay moved to Florida, where he was employed as a teacher at …

A Journey of Courage and Faith: Two-Year Update From Bishop Gregory Parkes

Shortly after Bishop Gregory Parkes was installed as the fifth bishop of the Diocese of St. Petersburg on January 4, 2017, people began to ask about his vision for the Diocese. Bishop Parkes set out to learn from the priests, religious, deacons, employees, and parishioners about their hopes and concerns. Through listening sessions, gatherings and …

After 76 Years of Ministry, Monsignor George W. Cummings, Leaves Important Legacy in the Diocese of St. Petersburg and Florida

The Diocese of St. Petersburg is remembering the legacy of Monsignor George W. Cummings who passed away in the Lord on August 8, 2020 at the Sturgill Hospice House in Brooksville at the age of 102. He was a retired priest of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, and Pastor Emeritus of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton …

Over 1,000 Subscribe to Parish YouTube Channel in Just One Day as “Stream Team” Keeps Community Connected

The ability to livestream at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Land O’ Lakes was no small feat. Prior to the shut-down, they didn’t even own the necessary equipment. It was thanks to a team of dedicated parishioners, the “Stream Team,” that in just over two weeks the parish was unveiling their new YouTube …

St. Raphael Parish Welcomes New Catholics into a Loving Community of Faith

On Saturday, July 25, Rosie Burton and two other individuals received the Sacraments of Initiation, (Baptism, Confirmation and First Holy Communion) at St. Raphael Parish and became Catholic. It was a joyous event, although the celebration looked different than what was expected. Their special day had been postponed from the Easter Vigil due to the …

Former Journalism Major Deacon Connor Penn Looks Forward to Sharing the Good News as a Catholic Priest

When Deacon Connor Penn was trying to decide if God was calling him to the priesthood, he asked for a sign. Later that day, a friend told him, “Have you ever thought about becoming a priest, because I think you’d make a great priest.”  At that moment and other times throughout his life, Deacon Penn …

Deacon Drew Woodke Has Thought About Priesthood Since Third Grade

When Deacon Drew Woodke was a third-grader at St. Thomas More Catholic School in Decatur, Georgia, one of the nuns asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. Deacon Drew recalls answering, “I want to be a priest when I grow up because girls are gross!” Well, fourth grade arrived and girls …

Path to Priesthood has Been a “Long Slow Road” for Deacon Joshua Bertrand

Becoming a priest might have been the last thing on Deacon Joshua Bertrand’s mind if you had asked him about it in middle or high school.  The only son of Robert and Marguerite Bertrand, Deacon Bertrand attended Catholic school at an early age but most of his education took place in public schools. He was …

U.S. Bishops Condemn Acts of Vandalism, Destruction at Catholic Sites

Acting on behalf of all bishops, Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Religious Liberty, and Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, issued the following statement in response to reports of increasing incidents of …

Parishes Find Creative Ways to Fulfill Mission

In 2019, parishes in the Diocese of St. Petersburg took the Disciple Maker Index survey and utilized the information they received to develop pastoral plans in union with the diocesan vision, Courageously Living the Gospel. Recently, I checked back with two of the parishes to see how they are doing today. I was not surprised …

Catholic Schools Are Scheduled to Start New School Year on August 24th

Bishop Gregory Parkes announced today that opening day for parish and diocesan Catholic schools in the Diocese of St. Petersburg will be postponed for two weeks, from August 10th to August 24th. In a letter to parents, he noted the recent rise of Covid-19 cases and stressed the importance of acting prudently. This decision was …

Media Center Transformation is Underway at St. Petersburg Catholic High School

St. Petersburg Catholic High School has officially begun construction on a beautiful new Learning Commons that will open in Fall 2020. The space will include a writing studio, a chapel, an innovation studio, and several collaborative workspaces and presentation areas. The goal of this project is to create a central hub on campus where students …

Brother Bishops: Pope Francis Names Father Stephen Parkes, Brother of Bishop Gregory Parkes, to Serve as Bishop of Savannah

For about a week now, Bishop Gregory Parkes has been keeping a pontifical secret that he was finally able to share on Wednesday, July 8, when he posted on social media at around 6:00 a.m., “A day of great joy as my brother, Fr. Stephen Parkes, is appointed Bishop of Savannah by Pope Francis!  Blessed …

Relevant Radio En Español Now Broadcasting in Tampa

As of July 1, Relevant Radio En Español is broadcasting on 1380 AM in Tampa. The network produces and broadcasts its own original Spanish-language programming 24/7, covering current events and news, marriage and family, faith, and more! Click here for a programming schedule. The network began in 2019 with stations in Texas and has expanded …

Catholic Charities Helps Families Financially Impacted by COVID-19

Due to COVID-19, Catholic Charities has expanded its ability to help people in need of rent and utility assistance. Approximately 500 more people will be assisted so they can keep on their lights and air conditioning and stay in their homes. “Our Pathways Program provides rent and utilities assistance. We have various funding sources that …

Homeless Find Housing Thanks to Hillsborough Hope

Faced with homelessness after a house fire, Catholic Charities’ homeless shelter in Tampa became a saving grace for Kishada. After living in her car for months, Kishada came to the shelter feeling anxious, but her experience there led her down a positive and restorative path. The 60-day emergency shelter dubbed “Hillsborough Hope” provided housing to …

U.S. Bishops Secretariat For Child and Youth Protection Releases Annual Report

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection has released the 2019 Annual Report – Findings and Recommendations on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The report is based on the audit findings of StoneBridge Business Partners, a specialty consulting firm headquartered in Rochester, …

Our Nation Prays for Religious Freedom

Religious Freedom Week takes place from June 22 – 29 each year. It begins with the feast day of Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher, includes the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, and ends with the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. While the free exercise of religion has long been enshrined in our …

St. Joseph Parish Holds a Community Forum on Race and Police Brutality in St. Pete

The horrific killing of George Floyd has reminded us that racism is a contemporary problem–on the streets, in our workplaces, in our schools, and in our churches. Though peaceful protests are often a necessary means to social change, coming together to build consensus and a clear path forward is also crucial. In order to assist …

St. Joan of Arc Teens Grow Closer than Ever during Pandemic

While the world has been practicing social distancing over the past several months, students at St. Joan of Arc high school youth group have been growing closer than ever. This is partly due to the creativity and adaptability of youth minister Nancy Lovelock who has taken to social media and virtual meetings to keep the …

First Chance to Receive Eucharist at Mass in Months Leaves Some in Tears

Father Kyle Bell of St. Ignatius of Antioch Parish in Tarpon Springs said he saw Mass-goers “in tears” as they received Holy Communion on Monday, May 11, 2020.  This was the first time they were able to receive Jesus in the Eucharist since parishes ceased public Masses because of the coronavirus pandemic. Parishioners have keenly …

Churches Are Helping the Unemployed

With millions of Americans out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic, Job Search Ministries at parishes in the Diocese of St. Petersburg are providing important resources and support. “Churches, in particular, have the opportunity and the obligation to help the unemployed because work is so important to the nature of humanity that when the …

Family Ministry Grows at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish – Even in the Midst of a Pandemic

In the past year, the Sunday Faith Formation program at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish was adding one to two new families each week and nearly 100 women signed up for the Walking with Purpose Bible Study – more than three times the attendance of previous years. There is a growing number of men joining …

Community Reacts with Joy and Tears to the News about Bishop-Elect David Toups

Following the pre-dawn announcement of Bishop Elect David Toups as the 6th bishop of the Diocese of Beaumont on June 9, 2020, reaction from his home Diocese of St Petersburg included both elation and sadness.  The 49-year-old Bishop-Elect will be the youngest non-auxiliary, diocesan bishop in the United States. Parishioners, seminarians and co-workers alike have …

New Marian Ministry Develops with Help of Lay Pastoral Ministry Institute

“My life has been completely transformed, 180 degrees. I can’t begin to tell you.” This is what Celina Okpaleke had to say when asked about the Lay Pastoral Ministry Institute. LPMI, which has been a pillar in the Diocese of St. Petersburg since 1998, was created to help people who are involved in parish ministry …

Catholic Bishops Issue Statement on Supreme Court Decision regarding Legal Definition of “Sex” in Civil Rights Law

WASHINGTON — The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, provided a statement on the decision issued today by the Supreme Court of the United States – combining Bostock v. Clayton County, Ga., Altitude Express v. Zarda, and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal …

President of U.S. Bishops’ Conference Appoints Four New Members of National Review Board for the Charter for Protection of Children and Young People

Four new members have been appointed to serve on the National Review Board (NRB) by Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The NRB advises the bishops’ Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People and was established as part of the Charter for Protection …

Pope Francis Appoints a Clearwater Priest to Serve as Bishop of Beaumont, Texas

On June 9, 2020, Pope Francis announced that Monsignor David Toups, 49, has been appointed a bishop and his first assignment will be bishop of the Diocese of Beaumont, Texas. He currently serves as Rector of the St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida, a position he’s held since 2012. There will …

Bishop Gregory Parkes to Lead Prayer Service for Peace, Healing and Change on June 7th

Find a Spanish version of this announcement here. In solidarity with all people of good will who seek racial harmony and an end to racial injustice, the Diocese of St. Petersburg will host a prayer vigil on Sunday, June 7th from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle, 5815 …

Statement from Bishop Gregory Parkes on the Death of George Floyd and Subsequent Protests

The manner in which George Floyd died is an atrocity to the humanity and dignity that each person has as a child of God. As a Church, we stand in solidarity with peaceful protesters who demand justice and respect for black individuals who have suffered the effects of racism for generations. As is stated in …

Sunday Mass for the Public to Resume May 30-31, 2020 in the Diocese of St. Petersburg

On May 20, 2020, Bishop Gregory Parkes announced that parishes could once again resume Sunday Mass with a congregation present starting the weekend of May 30-31, 2020. “We are called to be good stewards of our health and to take practical steps to avoid spreading illness.  Therefore, restrictions will be in place since we are …

Bishop Gregory Parkes Joined Ecumenical Dialogue on Caring for Our Common Home

Screenshot courtesy of In Solidarity. On May 13, 2020, the Diocese of St. Petersburg Office of Life, Justice and Advocacy hosted an ecumenical online forum to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the publication of the papal encyclical, Laudato Si, translated “Praise be to you,” subtitled, “On Care for our Common Home.” The dialogue featured a …

Public Masses to Resume in the Diocese of St. Petersburg

Initial Plans are to Start with Daily Mass After prayerful and careful consideration of the guidelines and recommendations put forth by local government and health officials, Bishop Gregory Parkes has announced that the public celebration of Mass will resume in the Diocese of St. Petersburg starting on Monday, May 11, 2020. Initially, parishes are permitted …

Bishop Parkes Hopes to Resume Public Masses During the Month of May

A Message from Bishop Parkes (PDF available in English and Spanish) In light of the governor’s recent announcement to begin the process of reopening Florida, I wanted to share with you an update on when we might gather together again for Mass. Please know that I would like nothing more than to resume gathering publicly …

Catholic Charities Providing Hope for the Homeless

For Joshua, who is unemployed and homeless, Catholic Charities represents the difference between hope and despair. “I feel safe here,” says Joshua, 23, who is a resident of the newly established Catholic Charities Hillsborough Hope homeless shelter, located in Tampa. Before arriving at the shelter, that some call a tent city, Joshua had been living …

Pandemic Moves Marian Congress Online and Highlights Need for Prayer

On May 6, 2018, when Bishop Gregory Parkes consecrated the Diocese of St. Petersburg to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Cathedral of St. Jude was standing room only, full of the faithful who gathered and joined their voices in prayer. This year, when Bishop Parkes celebrates the Consecration Renewal Mass, the Cathedral pews may …

USF Catholic Campus Ministry Goes Virtual

It’s possible that the Catholic Student Union at USF has never been more grateful for technology. When the coronavirus pandemic began to affect the U.S., face-to-face ministry was no longer an option. The CSU had to go virtual, shifting the entirety of their ministry to an online format. As with all that God has his …

In the Midst of a Pandemic, Local Churches Learn to Livestream

When asked if she had ever livestreamed before, Mary Chapman, Director of Faith Formation at St. Theresa in Spring Hill, answered with a humble and direct “no.” In recent weeks, churches everywhere have had to learn how to livestream Masses, prayers, and other events. Although she had no previous experience, Mary and her colleague, Bruce …