All posts by teresap

Creating and Maintaining Balance in Your Marriage

This reflection was written by Kathleen Billings for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Click here to download a PDF of this article.

As a family, one of our favorite summer activities is swimming in our pool. Having an inground pool within a few steps of our backdoor has been a sweet blessing. We splash, play, relax, and bond. My husband, Troy, works hard to maintain the pool and preserve the appropriate chemical balance, often referring to it as one big chemistry experiment! Now and then, the chemical balance is lost due to external factors such as a large amount of rain in a short time.

For the first time in 13 years, we have had an issue with nitrates eating our chlorine. It is so serious that after numerous attempts and way too much money spent on chemicals, we must now empty all 23,000 gallons of water and refill it with fresh water to fix the problem.

As I was lamenting our pool situation today, I thought about it in relation to marriage. I reflected on how sometimes outside influences seep into marriages and cause them to get completely off balance. Other times, our own marital neglect shifts the “chemical balance.” Maintaining a healthy, holy marriage requires diligence and a daily investment of time.

The first step to creating and maintaining balance in your marriage is ensuring that you have your priorities correctly ordered: God first, marriage second, children third, and work fourth. Rearranging the order causes imbalance, which leads to disorder and then eventually to chaos. Work is at the service of your family, while children find security in parents who have a strong marriage. A solid prayer life and a deep relationship with God are the foundations of a loving, stable marriage. As God is the source of the grace necessary to live the sacrament of marriage, maintaining this order is vital to the health of both your marriage and family life. Life circumstances might require a temporary shift in your focus, but not a rearranging of your priorities.

Do you have order in your marriage? Perhaps you need to “readjust the chemicals,” to maintain the proper balance. Maybe you need a completely fresh start and must drain the entire “pool” to recalibrate. To assess the pool water, Troy also uses test strips which tell him precisely where the chemicals are registering. Occasionally, when everything registers perfectly, but the pool water still looks off, he takes a sample to the local pool store to have it evaluated. This extra step usually uncovers the underlying issue that the test strip was not able to pick up. How do you gauge the health of your marriage? You can start by taking a good, clear look at it. Is your spouse happy? Are you happy? What is the tone of your home? Do you need outside intervention to honestly assess where you are? If this is necessary, do not be ashamed or embarrassed. Having the courage to seek help demonstrates strength of character and wisdom. Many couples are not fully equipped with the tools necessary to be in a life-giving marriage. Outside advice can help provide these essential tools.

On the other hand, if your marriage just needs some minor calculated changes to get back on track, then I encourage you to talk about it with your spouse. Come up with a game plan together to readjust your lifestyle to create stability in your marriage and peace in your home. Even if your entire pool needs to be dumped, do not lose hope. At first, we tried band-aids on our pool problem, thinking we could avoid a costly refill. We didn’t want to
deal with the underlying issue quite yet, but now we can no longer avoid it. When it comes to marriage, don’t do the same thing. Covering up your marital issues with band-aids and avoiding the underlying problems only wastes time. Be bold and brave. Empty yourself and allow Christ to completely refill you, so you can create and maintain balance in your life and in your marriage.

Are you ready to dive in and discover the joy that comes from living a well-ordered, Christ-centered life?


Monsignor James Bernard Caverly – May He Rest in Peace

We are sad to announce that Monsignor James Bernard Caverly, age 84, passed away in the Lord on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at Bon Secours Maria Manor, St. Petersburg.
All funeral services will be held on Tuesday, July 2, 2019 at St. Raphael Catholic Church, 1376 Snell Isle Blvd. NE, St. Petersburg.
Visitation: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Mass: 12:00 PM at the church

Most Reverend Robert N. Lynch, Bishop Emeritus, will be the Main Celebrant and Homilist.

Priests and deacons wishing to vest should bring alb and white stole. A reception will follow at the social hall.

Burial will take place at a later date in Ireland.

Born in Cork City, Ireland, Monsignor Caverly heard the call to the priesthood while attending high school. He followed a family tradition. From his mother’s side there were nine Father Davises. His older brother, P.J. Caverly, was then in the seminary. Monsignor Caverly was ordained at St. Patrick College, Carlow, Ireland, in June 1965. He was sent to serve the Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida.

His first assignment in the Diocese of St. Petersburg was as Assistant Pastor of St. Paul Parish, St. Petersburg, in April 1968. This was followed by appointments at St. Jerome, Indian Rocks Beach, Good Shepherd (now Mary Help of Christians), Tampa, Holy Cross, St. Petersburg, the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle, St. Petersburg and St. Raphael, St. Petersburg. He served as Rector of the Cathedral for 20 years and as Pastor of St. Raphael for 14 years. He also served as a teacher, Secretary to Archbishop Joseph Hurley, Defender of the Bond, Vicar Forane, and on other boards within the diocese. He was granted the title of Monsignor in February 1989 and granted retirement status in July 2010.

Monsignor Caverly was predeceased by his parents, James and Agnes (Hegarty) and brothers, Msgr. P.J. Caverly, Andrew (Shirley) and sister, Etna. He is survived by his brother, Vincent; Nieces and nephews: Kevin, Karen, Kim Caverly Molinaro (Mark), James (Sara) and Daniel (Lidza); Great nieces and nephews: Michael Molinaro, Kyle Caverly, Samantha, Daniel, Christopher, Eva and Ava.

Expressions of sympathy may be sent to Jim Caverly and family c/o Chancellor’s Office, P.O. Box 40200, St. Petersburg, FL 33743-0200.

May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in eternal peace!

New Papal Document Highlights Educational Crisis on “Gender Theory”

The Congregation for Catholic Education has published “Male and Female He Created Them: Towards a path of dialogue on the question of gender theory in education.” The new document is intended as an instrument to help guide Catholic contributions to the ongoing debate about human sexuality and to address the challenges that emerge from gender ideology.
The Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee for Catholic Education says he welcomes the release of the new document by the Holy See’s Congregation for Catholic education.
Bishop Michael Barber, SJ, of the diocese of Oakland, notes that “in a difficult and complex issue, the clarity of Church teaching, rooted in the equal dignity of men and women as created by God, provides the light of truth and compassion that is most needed in our world today.”
The document outlines both theological and scientific truths about the human person and will serve as a solid framework for those engaged in the ministry of Catholic education.
Click here to read the document.


New Website Highlights Steps to Confronting Clergy Sex Abuse

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has launched a new website to share information on prevention, protection and accountability relating to the clergy sex abuse crisis.

“The purpose of this website is to serve as a source of information and provide resources regarding the safety of children and vulnerable persons, victim assistance, and frequently asked questions,” said Monsignor Brian Bransfield, General Secretary, USCCB.

This website reinforces the importance of prevention, protection and accountability in response to the ongoing work to eradicate clergy sexual abuse. Visitors can browse through the pages of the Holy Father’s Motu Proprio, the 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and its progress, as well as the new reforms set to be discussed during the Spring General Assembly of bishops in Baltimore. Learn more at

U.S. Bishops to Meet June 11-14 in Baltimore

Public sessions of the general assembly discussions and votes will be available via live stream at

During the Spring General Assembly, the bishops will discuss and vote on bishop accountability measures to respond to the abuse crisis and will also hear reports from the National Advisory Council and an annual progress report by the National Review Board. The bishops will also discuss and vote on the National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States (2nd edition); and on the final approval of revisions made to the second typical edition of the ICEL Gray Book of the Ordination of a Bishop, of Priests, and of Deacons, among other items.

The USCCB has also launched a new website highlighting the importance of prevention, protection and accountability in response to the ongoing effort to eradicate clergy sexual abuse. As the American bishops prepare to meet in Baltimore for their Spring General Assembly next week, this new site serves as a resource detailing the steps the American bishops are taking to confront this crisis.

On the site, Readers can browse through the layers of the Holy Father’s Motu Proprio, the 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and its progress, as well as the new reforms set to be discussed in Baltimore. There are also numerous readily available resources to address any instance of clergy sexual abuse.

Explore the website by visiting:

Coverage of the meeting is open to credentialed media on Tuesday, June 11, Wednesday (partial day), June 12, and the morning of Thursday, June 13. Press conferences will follow open sessions of the meeting as time allows. Due to limited capacity, please note there will be no onsite credentialing due to security considerations.

A live stream and satellite feed is expected to run Tuesday, June 11 from 8:30am-6pm Eastern, Wednesday, June 12, 11am-6pm Eastern and Thursday, June 13, 8:45 am to 1:15 pm. The assembly will be live streamed on the Internet and will be available via satellite for broadcasters wishing to air it.

News updates, vote totals, texts of addresses and presentations and other materials will be posted to this page: as soon as possible during the general assembly.

Those wishing to follow the meeting on social media can use the hashtag #USCCB19 and follow on Twitter ( as well as on Facebook ( and Instagram (


U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Release 2018 Annual Report On The Protection Of Children And Young People

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection has released their 2018 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, New York, which provides forensic, internal, and compliance audit services to leading organization nation-wide.

A survey on allegations conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate is also included as part of the report. The 2018 report for audit year July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018, states that 1,385 adults came forward with 1,455 allegations. Compared to 2017, the number of allegations has increased significantly due to the additional allegations received in five New York State dioceses as a result of the implementation of their Independent Reconciliation and Compensation programs.

Additional data on allegations provided by CARA’s annual survey shows that more than nine in ten alleged offenders (92 percent) identified during the survey year were already deceased, already removed from ministry, already laicized or missing. Most abuse reported occurred between 1960 and 1990, with a peak in the 1970s.

Twenty-six new allegations involving current minors were reported during the audit period. As of June 30, 2018, three were substantiated and the clergy were removed from ministry. These allegations came from three different dioceses. Seven allegations were unsubstantiated as of June 30, 2018. Three were categorized as “unable to be proven” and investigations were still in process for six of the allegations as of June 30, 2018. For the remaining seven allegations involving minors, two were referred to a religious order, two were reported as unknown clerics, and three were not claims of sexual abuse, but were boundary violations.

During the audit period, dioceses and eparchies provided outreach and support to 472 victims/survivors and their families who reported during this audit period. Continued support was provided to 1,542 victims/survivors and their families who reported abuse in prior audit periods. Support may include counseling, spiritual assistance, support groups, and other social services.
The report also notes the ongoing work of the Church in continuing the call to ensure the safety of children and vulnerable adults. In 2018, over 2.6 million background checks were conducted on Church clerics, employees, and volunteers. In addition, in 2018 over 2.6 million adults and 3.9 million children and youth have also been trained on how to identify the warning signs of abuse and how to report those signs.

Regarding Charter Compliance, the report noted the following:
StoneBridge Business Partners, the auditor, visited 72 dioceses/eparchies and collected data from 122 others.
All dioceses/eparchies were found compliant except for the Diocese of Lincoln, who was found non-compliant with Article 7 of the Charter.
Three eparchies did not participate including the Eparchy of St. Mary Queen of Peace, the Eparchy of St. Peter the Apostle, and the Eparchy of Phoenix

The Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People continues to emphasize that the audit and maintaining zero-tolerance policies are two important tools in the Church’s broader program of creating a culture of protection and healing that exceeds the requirements of the Charter.

This is the sixteenth such report since 2002 when the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops approved the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, making a promise to protect and a pledge to heal.

The full Annual Report can be found here:

The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People can be found here:

Additional information on diocesan requirements can be found here: 

Two Catholic Universities Collaborate to Offer Online Master of Public Administration

 Notre Dame de Namur and Saint Leo universities now enrolling students for fall 2019

Two established Catholic universities have come together to make it easier for education, healthcare, law enforcement, and other public-service professionals to pursue a graduate degree for career advancement. Through a collaborative effort, Saint Leo University will provide prospective students with an easy-to-navigate admissions process, and Notre Dame de Namur University will offer a quality online master’s degree program in public administration that fits the career and lifestyle needs of adult students.

“One of the benefits of this partnership is that students now have two quality academic institutions working together on their behalf,” said Dr. Melanie Storms, senior vice president at Saint Leo University. “Our goal is to offer a program that is easy for the working professional to enter and access.”

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program prepares professionals for administrative and management positions in public, nonprofit, and service-related organizations. The MPA is the preferred degree for many public-sector leaders because it delivers a comprehensive overview of organizations that rely on government budgets, taxes, or grants for funding.

The updated, online program helps students develop competencies for dealing with individual differences in skills and behaviors, and learn about the basics of personality development as it relates to management.

Many of the professionals who have graduated from Notre Dame’s program hold leadership positions as county managers or police chiefs, as well as senior administrators in education, healthcare, and other public service organizations.

“Saint Leo and Notre Dame have produced strong graduates in these sectors,” said Dr. Hernan Bucheli, provost at Notre Dame de Namur University. “As Catholic higher-education institutions working together, we are making opportunities for career advancement accessible to more people through our collaboration.”

The fall 2019 term for the program begins on August 26, and applications will be accepted through mid-August. The GMAT requirement will be waived for new students.

To learn more about the Master of Public Administration program and admissions, visit or call (888) 875-8265.

 About Notre Dame de Namur University

Notre Dame de Namur University ( is a Catholic, not-for-profit, coeducational institution serving approximately 1,500 students from diverse backgrounds. Established in 1851 by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, NDNU is the third-oldest college in California and the first authorized to grant the baccalaureate degree to women. Notre Dame maintains a strong commitment to academic excellence, social justice, and community engagement. The university is fully accredited and offers a rich variety of undergraduate and graduate programs, including online MBA and MA TESOL programs, and a Criminal Justice BS ( Notre Dame has a historic California campus on the San Francisco Peninsula, and a satellite campus in Tracy, California, in the Central Valley.

About Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University ( is a modern Catholic teaching university that is firmly grounded in the liberal arts tradition and the timeless Benedictine wisdom that seeks balanced growth of mind, body, and spirit. Saint Leo is a private, nonprofit institution that creates hospitable learning communities wherever students want to be or need to be, whether that is a campus classroom, a web-based environment, an employer’s worksite, a military base, or an office park. Saint Leo welcomes people of all faiths and of no religious affiliation, and encourages learners of all generations. The university remains the faithful steward of the beautiful lakeside University Campus in the Tampa Bay region of Florida, where its founding monks created the first Catholic college in the state in 1889. Serving nearly 12,000 students, Saint Leo has expanded to downtown Tampa, to other sites in Florida and beyond, and maintains a physical presence in seven states.

Diane Kledzik Receives Prestigious Alumni Award

Diane Kledzik, the director of the Diocese of St. Petersburg Marriage and Family Life Office, recently received Clearwater Central Catholic (CCC) High School’s Distinguished Alumni Award for her accomplishments in the area of “Living Faith.”

Diane graduated from CCC in 1980 and she went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources with a minor in Religious Studies from Eckerd College and a Master’s in Pastoral Ministry from St. Thomas University. She also earned a Certificate in Youth Ministry Studies and a Certificate in Advanced Studies from the Center for Ministry Development.

“We are pleased to recognize Diane’s dedication to the Church by presenting her with the Distinguished Alumni Award for Living Faith,” said Jim Deputy, Principal, CCC.

For 20 years, Diane served as Director of Evangelization for the Diocese of St. Petersburg. In 2018, she was named Director for the Office of Marriage and Family Life. Prior to her role at the Diocese, she served as Director of Youth Ministry at St. Jerome Parish, Largo (1984-1993), Director of Youth Ministry for the Diocese of Venice (1993-1997) and Co-Director of Youth Ministry at St. Margaret Mary in Winter Park.

Nationally, Diane has served on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Evangelization Secretariat’s Executive Commission and the National Strong Catholic Families Team, and the boards of the North American Forum for Small Christian Communities (NAFSCC) and Paulist Evangelization Ministries. She also represents the NAFSCC on the Representative Council of the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership.

This past summer, Diane represented the Diocese on an immersion trip to Malawi with Catholic Relief Services. Previously, she helped develop several retreats and evangelization processes in the Diocese of St. Petersburg and the Diocese of Venice, including Teens Encounter Christ, Antioch, RENEW 2000, Disciples in Mission and Alpha.

A long-time member of a Small Christian Community at her parish, St. Patrick Catholic Church, Diane serves as an Infant Baptism Ministry catechist, a Youth Ministry Core Team member, and an occasional RCIA catechist and sponsor. At St. Patrick’s, she served as PTO President of St. Patrick Catholic School (2013-2015) and was a member of the St. Patrick Catholic School Strong Catholic Families team.

Catholic Bishops Urge Governor DeSantis to Spare the Life of Death Row Inmate

Floridians Pray for an End to the Use of the Death Penalty

Robert Joseph “Bobby Joe” Long is scheduled to be executed on Thursday, May 23 at 6:00 p.m. for the 1984 murder of Michelle Sims. Long additionally pled guilty to, and received life sentences for, seven other murders.

In a May 20 letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis, Michael Sheedy, executive director, Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops, asked the governor to commute Long’s death sentence to a life sentence without parole. “Although he caused much harm, society has been safe from his aggressive acts in the decades of his incarceration,” said Sheedy. “Without taking his life, society can be protected while he endures the alternative sentence of life without the possibility of parole.”

Sheedy encouraged DeSantis to promote a consistent pro-life ethic in our state. “The cycle of violence – to which Mr. Long’s acts have contributed – must end. His execution would only perpetuate it,” said Sheedy.

The Catholic Church has long advocated for an end to the use of the death penalty. Preceding each execution for nearly four decades, the Florida bishops have urged governors to commute the sentence of the condemned to life in prison. This is the first death warrant signed by Gov. DeSantis.

Prior to Long’s scheduled execution, Catholic faithful and members of the community will gather across Florida to pray for the victims of violent crimes and their families, for those on death row, for the governor as he confronts the decision to proceed with the execution, and for an end to the use of the death penalty.

• Full text of letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis
Locations and times of prayer vigils

We are Courageously Living the Gospel through the Annual Pastoral Appeal!

Over 19,000 donors from all 80 parishes and missions have committed to more than $6,726,953 to the 2019 Annual Pastoral Appeal (APA). Together we have achieved 57% of the shared diocesan goal of $11.8 million to date, which supports the vitality, strength and growth of our parishes, missions, schools and local Church. This generosity displays a message of hope to those in need and investment in the good works being done in the name of Jesus Christ.

Each day we are blessed with opportunities to deepen our faith and share our gifts with others, and supporting APA is one of the ways we can do this. Every gift allows the faithful to give a witness of His great love and mercy. By joining together, we help care for those who are poor and vulnerable, share Catholic social teachings and inspire lifelong faith formation. We promote vocations, see to the well being of retired priests, enhance worship experiences and support the administration of each parish and school.

Through participation in APA, we proudly proclaim the Good News and invite all people to encounter Jesus Christ. All are invited to take part, and Courageously Live the Gospel through the Annual Pastoral Appeal!

Click here to make your gift.