All posts by teresap

Diocese Introduces Guidelines for Building Intercultural Competencies

Our parishes are called to equip parishioners as missionary disciples and in order to do this, leaders need insight into how the Catholic faith and identity are connected to culture. That’s why the Diocese of St. Petersburg has introduced an initiative to help parishes improve how they welcome, receive, and encourage diverse cultures and invite them to assume roles of leadership in the Church.

This initiative is called “Building Intercultural Competencies for Ministers” (BICM) and it was first developed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church. The program focuses on training for intercultural competency to help parishes thrive by enabling them to tap into the vitality of emerging new groups.

On May 14, 2019, 44 local leaders received an overview of BICM during a Mentorship Session for Ministers hosted by the Department of Evangelization, Formation, Youth, & Family Life. The presenters were Carlos Flores, Director of Hispanic Ministry and Dale Brown, Director of the Lay Pastoral Ministry Institute (LPMI). Attendees were introduced to the five guidelines that have been developed into five learning modules recommended by the USCCB Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church:

  • Frame issues of diversity theologically
  • Seek deeper understanding of culture
  • Develop intercultural communication skills
  • Expand knowledge of the obstacles that impede effective intercultural relations
  • Foster ecclesial integration/inclusion

 “Building Intercultural Competencies for Ministers provides a basic level of awareness and proficiency in the area of intercultural competence and will help parishes in realizing the goal of evangelization in our vision, Courageously Living the Gospel,” said Flores.

This Fall, participants of LPMI will also receive an overview of BICM during their orientation session. The Diocese of St. Petersburg will launch a series of workshops in the Spring of 2020 (Dates TBD) that will provide in-depth training on the guidelines for BICM.

For more information about Building Intercultural Competencies for Ministers, go to


Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle Taps into the Power of Prayer

What started as a Lenten devotional opportunity has become a daily practice at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle. The Cathedral now offers Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament weekdays from 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and it has brought new blessings and graces upon the parish community.

The bold leap of faith to introduce daily Adoration was part of the parish planning process for Courageously Living the Gospel. Committee members explored what ministries or programs would be relevant to their community and a renewed emphasis on prayer was top on the list.

“One of our goals is to develop a real sense of devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, calling people together to pray at Mass and understanding that the Mass is the source and summit of our Christian life,” said Father Arthur Proulx, rector, Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle, St. Petersburg. “We also want to invite people to come to the cathedral to pray before Jesus’ Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament,” he added.

The parish implementation committee for Courageously Living the Gospel is made up of parishioners and staff from a variety of ages and stages of life. They are focusing on prayer because prayer helps us focus our attention on God and to grow in faith and holiness. They also believe a strong prayer life is necessary to equip their parishioners with the confidence to become a community of disciples living the Gospel.

Last year, the Cathedral also introduced Adore, Eucharistic Adoration that brings together young people, families and individuals from the parish and from across the Diocese.

“A success for our parish has been a holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament, which we call Adore. We have exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with prayer and praise music and our church is nearly full when we do this. Our committee has decided we want to continue this and to do this with even more enthusiasm and invite even more people to come to the cathedral, which of course is the mother church for the Diocese of St. Petersburg,” added Father Proulx.

The parish is also seeking to introduce more opportunities for communal prayer of the Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

“Communal prayer is important to foster a culture of accompaniment where together parishioners are supported and encouraged on their spiritual journey,” said Linda Barron, a parishioner who serves on the planning committee.

The parish also seeks to develop an outreach to pray for non-participating members of the parish and enhance opportunities for intercessory prayer.

“The act of praying for our brothers and sisters brings comfort and helps to carry one another’s crosses with persistence and love. This act of love brings hope and healing to those prayed for and renews our faith in our merciful God to answer our prayers according to His will,” added Barron.

They also seek to develop a prayer initiative to pray for priests and deacons in the parish

“Priests and deacons are on the front lines battling all societal challenges. Praying for our priests and deacons will provide them with spiritual support, help us grown in faith and unite as one Body in Christ,” said Barron.

Some of the Cathedral’s other prayer initiatives include:

  • Promote holy hour for vocations.
  • Focus on Prayer Warriors Ministry to track prayer requests, grow requests, recruit volunteers, and find new ways to obtain prayer intentions.
  • Recruit volunteer prayer coaches.
  • Guide parishioners on ways to pray.




Save the Date and Save a Life: Attend the Foundations of Life Gala on November 16th

Join Bishop Gregory Parkes and pro-life supporters from across the Diocese of St. Petersburg for the Foundations of Life Gala & Silent Auction on Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at the beautiful Higgins Hall (5225 North Himes Avenue, Tampa).

This extraordinary evening of hope will feature guest speaker Melissa Ohden, an abortion survivor who will share her amazing story.

All proceeds benefit the life-saving and life-changing ministries of Catholic Charities and their services to pregnant women and post-abortive women. These charities are the Foundations of Life Pregnancy Center, the Knights Women’s Center, Tampa, Project Rachel Post-Abortion Healing and Perinatal Comfort Care.

Bishop Gregory Parkes will offer the opening prayer and the Master of Ceremony will be Rob Marsicano of Spirit FM 90.5.

Sponsorship Opportunities:
Sponsors are the difference makers whose love and support are the keys to our success each year!  Sponsorship benefits include preferred seating, table for 10, sponsor signage, gala program & website recognition. The levels include:

Champion of Life: $10,000
Protector of Life: $2,500
Defender of Life: $5,000
Angel of Life: $1,000

Other Ways To Support the Cause:
Table Reservations: $650 (Includes a table for 10 guests)
Individual Tickets: $65

For sponsorships, reservations, and silent auction donor information, call 813-631-4393.

Make checks payable to Catholic Charities with Gala 2019 in the memo line and send to Foundations of Life Gala, 6515 N. Armenia Avenue, Tampa, FL 33604. For your convenience, online reservations are available at

Foundations of Life is a ministry of Catholic Charities Diocese of St. Petersburg, Inc., a non-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code. Federal Identification Number: 59-0875805

Summer of Service – Over 300 Catholic Teens Make a Difference

More than 300 teens representing 19 schools and parishes in Tampa Bay chose to spend part of their summer vacation serving others as part of the Good Samaritan Project organized by the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office. The students volunteered June 24-29 in Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando Counties and experienced a transformation in faith as well!

“There are countless examples from the week of people inspired by the hard work of these good Samaritans, but also stories of conversion to Christ and the Catholic Church. At least one teen made his first confession, one expressed desire for baptism, and many turned to Jesus in prayer, in adoration, Mass, or a Marian procession. Some stepped up into a leadership role in ministry for the first time, and others led by example in taking the lowliest jobs without complaint. The young church lived the Gospel courageously at GSP because Christ is alive in the young church,” said Michael Buckler, Regional Associate Director, Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry.

The name for this initiative comes from the biblical story of the Good Samaritan.  When Jesus tells the story, he tells us twice to go and do likewise. The Good Samaritan Project is an opportunity for the young church to go and do. Not only do they serve and show mercy to various persons and organizations, they also exemplify what a life in Jesus Christ can and should look like, both to those they serve and to one another.

“I’m courageously living the Gospel by doing God’s service, such as stocking a food pantry. It feels great to help families get the food they need,” said Jose Zamora, 18, a parishioner from St. Anne Parish, Ruskin. “I hope I can touch someone’s heart or brighten someone’s day.”

2019 Good Samaritan Project

Click on photo album above to view photos of the Good Samaritan Project! 

This year’s theme was Courageously Living the Gospel. During the week-long adventure, teens volunteered during the day and gathered for prayer and games in the evening. The event would not be possible without the support of young adult chaperones who guided the teens every step of the way.

Over 20 teens volunteered at the Homeless Empowerment Program in Clearwater sorting and tagging items in the thrift store and preparing meals for the homeless in the kitchen. Some teens painted fences at a horse therapy program that helps children with special needs. Teens and their adult chaperones helped out at other agencies, including Metropolitan Ministries, Volunteer Way, Youth and Family Alternatives (a foster care agency), Gulfside Hospice, ARC Nature Coast, and Sunshine Christian Homes.

Beatriz Lopez-Gomez, 14. also of St. Anne Parish, said she gladly she gave up one week of her summer to help those less fortunate. “I feel joy because I’m helping people who need it. We’re serving with passion and we’re happy to be here,” said Lopez-Gomez.

The Good Samaritan Project started in 2012 with summer service projects in Pasco and Hernando Counties. The program has grown in the number of participants and the number of service sites. The five pillars of the Good Samaritan Project are community, service, leadership, prayer and growth.

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: