First Chance to Receive Eucharist at Mass in Months Leaves Some in Tears
June 16, 2020

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 …

Community Reacts with Joy and Tears to the News about Bishop-Elect David Toups
June 16, 2020

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
June 16, 2020

“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 …

President of U.S. Bishops’ Conference Appoints Four New Members of National Review Board for the Charter for Protection of Children and Young People
June 15, 2020

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
June 9, 2020

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 …

Saint Leo University Offering Free Webinar Series to Help Small Businesses Recover from COVID-19 Pandemic Economic Woes
June 4, 2020

Businesses are navigating the re-opening of the economy following shutdowns prompted by the COVID-19 pandemics. To assist those facing challenges and looking for new opportunities, Saint Leo University will a free, four-part webinar series, Business Reimagined: Insights for Small Businesses in the COVID-19 Landscape, for Tampa-area businesses beginning at 11 a.m., Saturday, June 20. The …

Sunday Mass for the Public to Resume May 30-31, 2020 in the Diocese of St. Petersburg
May 20, 2020

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
May 14, 2020

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
May 6, 2020

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
April 30, 2020

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 …

Pandemic Moves Marian Congress Online and Highlights Need for Prayer
April 23, 2020

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 …

Church Strengthens Efforts to Protect Children and Vulnerable Populations
April 20, 2020

In the Diocese of St. Petersburg, the Safe Environment Program Office, which was established in 2003, oversees a comprehensive program of child abuse prevention that is focused on background checks and training of all adults entrusted with the care, responsibility and/or supervision of minors or vulnerable adults. The office was established in compliance with the …

Zoom Chat With Seminarians
April 6, 2020

During the Covid-19 crisis, many of us are asked to stay home, avoiding large gatherings and crowds, in order to help stop the spread of the virus. Having this time provides an opportunity for you to dive deeper into discernment. Fr. Chuck Dornquast, Director of Vocations, would like to invite you to a unique, weekly …

Bishop Gregory Parkes to Celebrate Holy Week Liturgies via Livestream
March 30, 2020

Normally Full Churches will be Empty as Public Gatherings are Restricted to Stop the Spread of COVID-19 Holy Week and Easter celebrations with Bishop Gregory Parkes can be viewed via Livestream, Sunday, April 5 – Saturday, April 12, 2020. These celebrations will be streamed from the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle in St. Petersburg …

Catholic Charities and City of Tampa Open Temporary Homeless Shelter to Aid in the Fight Against Coronavirus Crisis
March 30, 2020

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St.Petersburg, in partnership with the City of Tampa, opened a shelter (Hillsborough Hope) for homeless residents of Tampa on vacant land owned by Catholic Charities on March 30, 2020. Due to the risk posed by the coronavirus, city officials decided to relocate homeless residents in order to provide the …

Pope Francis announces extraordinary Urbi et Orbi blessing on Friday, March 27 at 1:00 p.m. local time
March 24, 2020

At the Angelus on Sunday, March 22nd, Pope Francis announced that this coming Friday, March 27th, at 6:00 pm Rome time (1:00 p.m local time), the Pope will preside over a moment of prayer on the sagrata of Saint Peter’s Basilica, before the empty square. He invites everyone to participate spiritually through the means of communication. There …

Bishop Parkes Shares a Message of Hope with the Faithful during this Difficult Time
March 23, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I realize that for many of you, Saturday evening and Sunday are times when you would normally go to your local parish for Mass.  Unfortunately, as we know, these days are anything but normal.  However, as your bishop, I want to assure you of a few things. First, even …

Supporting Your Parish
March 20, 2020

With the suspension of public Masses and social distancing in place to support community efforts to slow the spread of illness, a reality our parishes face is that basic operational expenses are addressed through active participation in offertory giving. The intent is for our parishes to continue ministering and serving our communities through this time, …

Public Masses are Temporarily Suspended in the Diocese of St. Petersburg
March 18, 2020

March 18, 2020 Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, As you are aware, because of the fluid and unprecedented nature of the Coronavirus crisis, our response to the threat posed by the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States has been to closely monitor the guidance of government leaders and public health officials, and to make …

Catholic Charities ‘United in Christ’: Response to the Corona Virus
March 16, 2020

Dear Friends of Catholic Charities: I am reaching out to our clients, our supporters (funders, donors, volunteers), vendors, colleagues and board members, community and government partners, parishioners, and members of the broader community, to share what Catholic Charities Diocese of St. Petersburg is doing in response to unprecedented health risk posed by the Corona Virus …

Diocese of St. Petersburg Catholic Schools will be Closed March 16-20
March 13, 2020

In an abundance of caution for students, employees and vulnerable populations Bishop Gregory Parkes has directed that all Catholic school and Early Childhood center buildings will be closed to students from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20, 2020. March 16-17 had previously been scheduled as days off for students.  Virtual learning will be conducted …

Bishop Gregory Parkes Issues Dispensation for Mass Attendance
March 13, 2020

Below is a letter distributed by Bishop Gregory Parkes on March 13, 2020, regarding a dispensation for Catholics in the Diocese of St. Petersburg from Universal Ecclesiastical Laws. Click here to view the letter as a PDF. (View Spanish PDF here.) Dear Faithful of the Diocese of St. Petersburg   As your Bishop, in collaboration …

Pope Francis offers prayer to Virgin Mary for protection during the coronavirus emergency
March 13, 2020

“[Pope Francis] offered a prayer to the Virgin Mary on Wednesday, [March 11, 2020], in a video message to mark the Diocese of Rome’s day of prayer and fasting for the coronavirus emergency. The video was broadcast at the opening of a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, the diocesan vicar, at the Sanctuary …

USCCB President’s Reflection and Prayer During Coronavirus
March 13, 2020

Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19): “With the worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus, we are confronted once more with the fragility of our lives, and again we are reminded of our common humanity; that the peoples of this world …

Saint Leo University to Move Classes Online to Avoid Spread of COVID19 (March 12, 2020)
March 12, 2020

Residential Students are to Remain Home, and Classes Resume Online March 23; Education Centers Move to Online-Only Classes on March 16 ST. LEO, FL – Saint Leo University has decided to make adjustments to university operations and move to online classes. The university is following guidance issued to the state universities in Florida regarding the coronavirus.  Saint Leo’s students at …

Bishop Larkin Catholic School in Port Richey is Closed March 12 and 13 Over Coronavirus Concerns
March 12, 2020

On March 11, 2020, Bishop Larkin Catholic School in Port Richey was notified that a parent of a student had tested positive for Coronavirus. The parent is isolated and will continue to remain isolated until cleared by public health officials. The child has not been present at school since last Friday, March 6. The family …

Bishop Parkes Issues New Temporary Directives in Response to Coronavirus Concerns
March 11, 2020

In light of new concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus and because of our Church’s fervent respect for the dignity and value of human life, Bishop Gregory Parkes has issued three new directives to protect the health and safety of churchgoers in the Diocese of St. Petersburg. (Spanish documents are available in Word or PDF.) Effective …

Diocese of St. Petersburg Issues a Faithful Response to Coronavirus (March 3, 2020)
March 3, 2020

In response to recent concerns over the spread of Coronavirus, the Diocese of St. Petersburg has prepared guidelines for parishes, schools and families to help our communities to take the necessary steps for the safety of all. Our response is focused on prevention, precautions and prayer. Many of these guidelines are based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention …

Reminded to be Salt of the Earth and the Light of the World this Lenten season
February 24, 2020

The 2020 Lenten season begins on Ash Wednesday, February 26, and ends with Easter Sunday on April 12. During Lent, we are encouraged to raise up the needs of the world in prayer, to sacrifice or fast by giving up food or material wants, and to offer our time, talent, and treasure as good stewards of the gifts God has given …

Spring 2020 Stewardship Workshop Series – 2 of 3 Announced!
February 10, 2020

The Office of Stewardship and Development is hosting three FREE ½ day workshops this spring open to anyone looking to make stewardship a way of life in their parish or school. Our focus is “hospitality”, one of the key elements of our diocesan mission, Courageously Living the Gospel, and one of the seven pillars of …

Suzanne Healy Named Chair of U.S. Bishops’ National Review Board
January 31, 2020

WASHINGTON – Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has appointed Mrs. Suzanne Healy, the former Victims Assistance Coordinator for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles as the next chair of the National Review Board (NRB). Mrs. Healy succeeds Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D., who concludes his term …

Catholic Bishops of Florida Honor Helen Aguirre Ferré with Distinguished Catholic Leader Award
January 29, 2020

Helen Aguirre Ferré was honored today by the Catholic bishops of Florida with the Thomas A. Horkan, Jr. Distinguished Catholic Leader Award. The Distinguished Catholic Leader Award is presented to a Catholic Floridian whose life and work has deepened respect for life and increased appreciation for the human dignity of the people of Florida. The …

New Video Series Inspires Catholics to be Ambassadors for Christ
January 23, 2020

The Diocese of St. Petersburg Office of Communications has produced a video series to help local churches equip individuals as missionary disciples, one of the goals of Courageously Living the Gospel. The video series begins with an introduction by Bishop Gregory Parkes sharing information on evangelization. All Catholics are called by their baptism to be …

10th Annual Tampa Bay Men’s Conference: Get Inspired, Informed, and Energized
January 15, 2020

Join a thousand other Catholic men from parishes around West Central Florida for a day of prayer, reconciliation, learning and fellowship! This conference will feature two dynamic, nationally-known speakers: DR. TIM GRAY: President of the Augustine Institute, plus, PETER HERBECK: TV/radio host, author and vice president of Renewal Ministries. Seize the opportunity to learn more …

Renewed Call to a Culture of Life on the Tragic 47th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade: A Statement of the Catholic Bishops of Florida
January 10, 2020

Bishop Gregory Parkes of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, in collaboration with the seven other bishops in Florida, has written the following statement: “January 22, 2020 marks a sad anniversary: the U.S. Supreme Court’s tragic decision legalizing the deliberate taking of unborn human life through elective abortion. Judicial sanction of the termination of life in …

Ten Things You Can Do to Accompany Undocumented Immigrants
January 8, 2020

This backgrounder from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s Migration and Refugee Services provides suggested actions that you can take to support undocumented migrants, in lieu of hosting or providing physical shelter. Included are links to further information, which will assist your effort to launch some of the suggested initiatives. For assistance with any …