Catholic Charities Receives Grant to Prevent Homelessness in Tampa Bay Region
September 22, 2020

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
September 22, 2020

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
September 17, 2020

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 […]

St. Frances Cabrini Parish Welcomes Everyone into their Family
September 16, 2020

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 […]

A Journey of Courage and Faith: Two-Year Update From Bishop Gregory Parkes
August 26, 2020

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 […]

St. Raphael Parish Welcomes New Catholics into a Loving Community of Faith
August 4, 2020

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 […]

Parishes Find Creative Ways to Fulfill Mission
July 23, 2020

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 Charities Helps Families Financially Impacted by COVID-19
July 1, 2020

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
July 1, 2020

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 […]

St. Joan of Arc Teens Grow Closer than Ever during Pandemic
June 16, 2020

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 […]

Catholic Charities Providing Hope for the Homeless
April 23, 2020

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 […]

USF Catholic Campus Ministry Goes Virtual
April 23, 2020

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
April 23, 2020

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 […]

Responding to God’s Extraordinary Call
April 23, 2020

“Just give it a year.” These are the words that Israel “Izzie” Hernandez clearly heard the Lord speak to him during Eucharistic Adoration the summer after he graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing. “Before I started thinking about priesthood, all I wanted was to find a good […]

Drive-thru Confession Offers Mercy and Peace to Parishioners
April 23, 2020

If Barb Caleca closes her eyes during the Prince of Peace livestreamed Mass and hears the familiar voices of the priests and cantor, she says she can almost imagine being present in the church, in the same pew where she and her husband have sat every week for the last six years. Though grateful for the […]

Nurturing the Domestic Church During COVID-19
April 23, 2020

Susana Caruso has been a parishioner at Our Lady of the Rosary in Land O’ Lakes for 11 years. Since she and her family are unable to physically go to church because of the pandemic, she has embraced the call to nurture the domestic church. What is the domestic church? In a 1995 homily, Pope […]

Parishes Join Efforts for Community Education Project
March 5, 2020

Mary Andrysiak has been at Sacred Heart Parish for five years and her notion of church has always revolved around her own parish community, until now. She has broadened her understanding of church by serving on a committee for Courageously Living the Gospel. “It’s not just within our own parish that we are called to […]

Locals Make the “Courageous Decision” to Become Catholic
March 5, 2020

More than 1,000 people gathered at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle on March 1 to support friends, family and loved ones who have made the life-changing decision to become Catholic during a 90-minute prayer service known as the Rite of Election. The Church formally recognizes individuals who have been preparing for the Sacraments […]

Nourished by the Eucharist, Young Adults Thrive in Faith
March 5, 2020

Every Friday, young adults from around Tampa Bay gather for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament to spend time with the Lord. These faith-filled Catholics are members of Apostles of the Eucharist, a ministry based out of St. Paul Catholic Church in Tampa. They also gather weekly for snacks, faith sharing, fellowship and formation. Most of […]

Local Women Step Out in Faith To Combat Human Trafficking
March 5, 2020

Mary Palamar has been a champion for anti-human trafficking efforts for over 15 years. Her passion for spreading awareness about the topic, coupled with her courageous faith, drove her to get involved with the Peace and Justice Committee at Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in New Port Richey. The ministry developed because of a […]

Catholic Charities Courageously Cares for People with Nowhere Else to Turn
March 5, 2020

Nothing stops Sister Sara Proctor from providing medical care to the poor of our community in the rural areas of Hillsborough and Pasco Counties. As the Program Coordinator for Catholic Charities Free Medical Clinics, she oversees four clinics that are focused on serving agricultural and seasonal workers who have severe challenges in obtaining the health […]

Holy Family’s Example Inspires Families Today
March 5, 2020

Dolores Mottle was moved to tears when she saw the new Holy Family statue at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Homosassa. The five-foot fiberglass statue arrived on January 7th as a shipment from Italy. It was donated by Dolores as a gift to the parish in loving memory of her husband Edward who passed […]

Bishop Parkes: “Let’s stretch the limits of what we can accomplish.”
February 5, 2020

In a large ballroom at the Hilton Downtown Tampa, 500 of the faithful of the Diocese of St. Petersburg gathered to bring ministry to life with their presence, prayers and generosity. Long viewed as the signature event of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, the 16th Annual Catholic Foundation Gala on February 1, 2020 inspired attendees […]

New Young Adult Ministry in St. Petersburg Mixes Faith and Friendship
February 5, 2020

A new group in St. Petersburg is providing opportunities for local young adults to stay connected to the Church and each other. In the past few months, they have hosted an All Saint’s Day bonfire, an Advent Young Adult Mission, Meals After Mass, and other monthly events where young people gather in fellowship and prayer. […]

Youth Courageously Stand Up for Life
February 5, 2020

When Liv, a freshman at Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School, attended the National March for Life in Washington D.C. last year, she saw something that she will never forget.  “At the March, people were showing images of babies after a failed abortion and that really opened my eyes,” said Liv. “It showed me what world […]

USF St. Pete Has a New Catholic Presence
February 5, 2020

College Freshman Eric Bright has only been Catholic about a month but he’s already showing others what it means to have courageous faith. He is currently serving as president of the newly established Catholic Bulls Club at USF’s St. Pete Campus. USF in Tampa has had a Catholic Campus Ministry for over 50 years and […]

Spirit of Giving
January 5, 2020

On December 21, 2019, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Petersburg partnered with St. Mary Catholic Church, Tampa, St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church, Tampa, Our Lady of The Rosary Catholic Church, Land O’ Lakes and St. Timothy Catholic Church, Lutz to bring gifts, food and joy to over 200 families and nearly 500 […]

New Youth Ministry is Helping Teens and Leaders Stay Grounded in Faith
January 3, 2020

Five years ago, Kristine Johnson returned to the Catholic Church after close to thirty years away. After taking classes to refresh her memory on Church teaching, she became a volunteer catechist. Now, she’s volunteering to lead Youth Ministry at St. Rita Parish in Dade City, which is a brand new initiative. In her work with […]

Husband and Wife Volunteer with Ten Ministries, Guided by the Holy Spirit
January 3, 2020

When Oscar and Ximena Calabi moved to Clearwater in 2010, they found a spiritual home at Light of Christ Parish in Clearwater. Today, the Calabis are involved in ten ministries at their parish strengthened by amazing grace! They are answering the call to Courageously Live the Gospel by using their gifts to serve as missionary […]

Serving at Church is a Family Priority
January 3, 2020

Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in New Port Richey has been a part of Richard Bekesh’s life for as long as he can remember. He grew up attending Sunday Mass there with his parents, played baseball on the field where the educational center stands today and attended religious education classes as a young boy. […]

Retired Principal Impacts Many Lives with Her Generosity and Faith
January 3, 2020

Janice Metz of St. Cecelia Parish in Clearwater is leading by example. She believes that the Church must proactively invite all to encounter the love and mercy of Jesus Christ and offer a warm welcome. “It is so important to look for opportunities to invite people to our Church and really make them welcome,” said […]

Local Parish is Equipping Missionary Disciples – One Faith Story at a Time
December 17, 2019

Equipping parishioners as missionary disciples is a major goal of Courageously Living the Gospel. To support this effort, St. Anne Parish in Ruskin launched a pilot program in the Fall of 2019 to teach people about sharing their personal faith stories, the type of encounter that moves hearts and leads people to Christ. The program […]

Pinellas Hope Celebrates New Hope Cottages and Hunger Heroes
December 4, 2019

In recognition of those who work tirelessly to end poverty, hunger and homelessness, Bishop Gregory Parkes of the Diocese of St. Petersburg shared a meal with the homeless residents of Pinellas Hope while honoring the volunteers who prepare and serve them meals.   He also blessed 20 new Hope Cottages™ that will provide shelter and security […]

Personal Invitation Leads to Transformational Faith
December 4, 2019

Richard Quinton believes strongly in the power of personal invitation. When he arrived at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Holiday eight years ago, another parishioner approached him about becoming an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion. Quinton agreed and has been serving in that role ever since. For the last year and a half, Quinton […]

Growing Youth Ministry Helps Teens Boldly Live their Faith
December 4, 2019

In less than a year, the youth ministry at St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Hudson has grown five times larger, going from an average of five teens each week to twenty-five. This is thanks in part to the efforts of youth minister Vincent Washburn who took over the program in December 2018. Washburn has […]

Local Church Launches Unique Evangelization Efforts
December 4, 2019

For more than 40 years, the Sacred Heart Fall Festival in Pinellas Park has been a local tradition enjoyed by residents near and far. This year, Father Kevin Yarnell also wanted to share the Catholic faith with festgoers. “Thousands from Pinellas Park and the surrounding area attend one or more days of the Festival to […]

Catholics Learn the Steps of Evangelization
December 4, 2019

As parishes throughout the Diocese of St. Petersburg seek to fulfill the goal of equipping individuals as missionary disciples, the Office of Evangelization held a workshop to train parish leaders on the “Call and Steps of Evangelization.” “We are all called to be evangelizers and we all know people we can reach,” said Jim Kissane, […]

Tampa Women Steps Outside Her Comfort Zone to Live the Gospel Courageously
November 13, 2019

After many years away from the Church, Angie Ducker returned to the faith renewed and eager to be a more faithful, dedicated follower of Jesus. What she didn’t expect was the invitation to become a leader. Initially hesitant, Ducker answered the call to head up Sacred Heart Parish’s Eucharistic Ministry at Tampa General Hospital. She […]

Major Push for Dynamic Parishes
November 11, 2019

If you are reading this article, you are probably one of the 7%! This is the number of Catholics who are highly engaged in the Church today. Research conducted by Dynamic Catholic and its founder Matthew Kelly, show that 7% of Catholics do 80% of the work to build up and grow the Church, which […]

Taking Courageous Steps to Evangelize
November 11, 2019

From starting a refugee ministry to welcoming back Catholics who have been separated from the Church, Claudia McIvor is living the priorities of Courageously Living the Gospel, to proclaim, invite and encounter. “God does not always show me exactly where I’m going in ministry,” said Claudia McIvor. “God points a direction and sends me, and […]

Bishop Gregory Parkes to Honor Parishioners for Selfless Service
November 11, 2019

Bishop Gregory Parkes will honor and thank parish representatives for distinguished and outstanding service to their church and community by presenting them the St. Jude the Apostle Medal Award on November 24, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle in St. Petersburg. The prayer service will be live video streamed […]

Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Inverness Launches New Youth and Family Ministries as Part of Courageously Living the Gospel
October 3, 2019

The Youth and Family Ministries of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Inverness aligned their missions for the launch of a dynamic family-centered program designed to connect Catholics of all ages through inter-generational events and family activities that build community and strengthen personal Catholic identity. Missionary Disciples, Youth and Family Ministries hosted the first “Bring […]

All Are Welcome
October 3, 2019

When Bishop Gregory Parkes asked Father Stephan Brown to serve as pastor of St. Joseph Parish in St. Petersburg, he asked him not to see the parish as it was, but as it could become. Since that day in 2017, Father Brown has been envisioning a bold new future for St. Joseph that includes embracing […]

Parishes Team Up for New Youth Sports Program
September 24, 2019

When it came to planning a Catholic Impact Initiative for Courageously Living the Gospel, the parishes of the North Central Deanery decided to think outside the box, or actually just outside. They chose to start an inter-parish sports league with the hope of attracting families and instilling values of faith on the field. Their first […]

Hispanic Leaders Receive Training on Missionary Discipleship
September 10, 2019

For the past three years, Hispanic leaders in the Diocese of St. Petersburg have been volunteering to serve on parish committees to bring the joy of the Gospel to the peripheries of our community. This process of encountering people in our families, neighborhoods and work places who don’t have a relationship with Jesus and taking […]

Courageously Living the Gospel: The Road to Sainthood
September 5, 2019

Day of Prayer and Reflection on Saturday, November 9, 2019 Many of the saints who came before us courageously lived the Gospel and they can inspire us to do the same! That’s why the Diocese of St. Petersburg is presenting a Day of Reflection that will focus on the lives of six American candidates for […]

New Family Ministry at St. Stephen is a Success
July 31, 2019

“Grown in Love, Strengthened by Faith and Protected by the Loving Hands of Jesus Christ” is how St. Stephen Parish in Riverview is describing their new Family Ministry that started as a response to the diocesan vision, Courageously Living the Gospel. Anthony & Cindy Basilicato, parents of two young children, are leading the initiative and have […]