Young Adult Becomes Catholic Before Leaving for Military Service
March 22, 2021

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

Invitation Leads to Life-Changing Experience
March 18, 2021

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

“I Needed a Savior”
March 18, 2021

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

Becoming Catholic: A USF Student’s Conversion Story
March 18, 2021

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

Celebrate the Year of the Family
March 18, 2021

Marking the fifth anniversary of the Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), Pope Francis has asked the Church to celebrate the family. The “Year of Amoris Laetitia Family” is meant to be an opportunity for reflection on the important role of families, which has been highlighted during the COVID pandemic. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ […]

Courageously Saying “Yes” to God
March 8, 2021

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

Tampa Families Welcome St. Joseph into their Homes
March 8, 2021

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

Welcoming You to Mass
March 3, 2021

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

Saint Leo University Holds Courageous Conversations on Justice and Redemption
January 20, 2021

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

Ministry Points the Way to Peace and Healing
January 20, 2021

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

March for Life Goes Virtual
January 20, 2021

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

Finding Purpose and Meaning
January 20, 2021

“What I found through Alpha is what my purpose is for my life,” said Kitty Whitehurst. “And I believe that for those who are open, that is what is revealed.” Although she had left the Church as a young adult, Kitty was a faithful, practicing Catholic when she heard about the Alpha ministry at St. […]

Healing Ministry Seeks to Meet Emotional, Physical and Spiritual Needs
January 20, 2021

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

2020 Highlight Video Captures Memorable Year
December 9, 2020

As 2020 comes to a close, the Diocese of St. Petersburg is taking a look back at this tumultuous year and thanking God for the grace to stand firm in the faith, courageous and strong. Click on video box above or here to view the video. Do you recognize the photos in the video? The […]

Training Puts the Focus on Strengthening Families
December 8, 2020

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

Training is Courageously Equipping Parishes for Youth Ministry
December 8, 2020

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

Affordable Housing Project Provides a Home for the Holidays
December 8, 2020

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

Community, Faith and Family are Celebrated Around the Fire
December 8, 2020

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

Priests Minister to the Sick During Pandemic and Offer the Healing Love of Christ
October 23, 2020

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

Cancer Survivor Finds Hope and Shares Hope
October 22, 2020

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

Marian Home Shrines Inspire a Life of Holiness and Prayer
October 22, 2020

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 […]

Bishop Parkes Blesses New Pinellas Hope Medical Respite Facility
October 21, 2020

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 […]

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 […]