2020 Seminarian Update!
September 3, 2020

The Diocese of St. Petersburg currently has 15 seminarians studying in our two Florida seminaries, St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami and St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach. Bishop Parkes, with the recommendation of the Seminarian Admission Board, accepted 7 new seminarians for the Diocese who began their studies in August. […]

Deacon Drew Woodke Has Thought About Priesthood Since Third Grade
July 28, 2020

When Deacon Drew Woodke was a third-grader at St. Thomas More Catholic School in Decatur, Georgia, one of the nuns asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. Deacon Drew recalls answering, “I want to be a priest when I grow up because girls are gross!” Well, fourth grade arrived and girls […]

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 […]

Buccaneers Team Priest is Drafted to Lead the Office of Vocations
August 23, 2019

For four years, Father Chuck Dornquast has served as “team priest” for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That means he often has a front-row seat to the nail-biting plays, passes and field goals that make up the game of football. Father Chuck now has a front-row seat to how God is working in the lives of […]

New Director of Vocations
July 3, 2019

July 1, 2019 – Today we welcome Fr. Chuck Dornquast  as our new Director of Vocations for the Diocese of St. Petersburg. Fr. Chuck has been serving as Parochial Vicar at St. Lawrence Parish in Tampa since his ordination on May 16, 2015.  Fr. Chuck’s was born and raised in Zephyrhills, Florida and his home parish […]

Brother Lucius Amarillas, O.S.B., to Profess Solemn Vows on July 14
June 14, 2019

Brother Lucius Amarillas, O.S.B., a junior Benedictine monk of Saint Leo Abbey, will profess solemn vows during Mass at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, July 14, 2019, at Saint Leo Abbey.  Professing solemn vows will bind Brother Lucius to the monastery and the Benedictine order for the remainder of his life. All are invited to attend […]

Newly Ordained Priests
May 31, 2019

Congratulations to Fr. Anthony Astrab, Fr. Ralph D’Elia and Fr. Joshua Hare who were ordained priests by Bishop Gregory Parkes on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle. Fr. Astrab’s first priestly assignment will be at Nativity Parish in Brandon as Parochial Vicar. Fr. Hare’s first priestly assignment will be […]

Bishop’s Annual BBQ
May 31, 2019

Please consider joining Bishop Parkes and the seminarians for the Diocese of St. Petersburg on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at 6:30 pm at the Bethany Center for the Annual Bishop’s BBQ. Are you interested in learning more about a vocation to the priesthood?  You are invited to join us for food, fun, fellowship and faith. […]

Three New Priests Are Ordained for the Diocese of St. Petersburg
May 19, 2019

After many years of preparation through prayer, study and discernment, Anthony Astrab, Ralph D’Elia and Joshua Hare were ordained to the Catholic priesthood on May 18, 2019 at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle in front of nearly 1,000 friends, family and supporters. All three were born in the Tampa Bay area. (Click here […]

Ordinations to the Priesthood on Saturday, May 18
May 15, 2019

Bishop Parkes will ordain Deacon Anthony Astrab, Deacon Ralph D’Elia and Deacon Joshua Hare to the priesthood on Saturday, May 18, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle. All are invited to attend this joyous occasion! Scroll to the bottom of this page to see videos of the three deacons […]

World Day of Prayer for Vocations
May 3, 2019

World Day of Prayer for Vocations is recognized on Sunday, May 12, 2019.  The message for the 2019 World Day of Prayer for Vocations is entitled “The Courage to Take a Risk for God’s Promise”  To read Pope Francis’ message, in its entirety,  in English, please click here and in Spanish please click here The purpose of the […]

Ordinations to the Priesthood
May 3, 2019

Please join us on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 11:00 am at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle as Bishop Gregory Parkes ordains Anthony Astrab, Ralph D’Elia and Joshua Hare to the Sacred Order of Priesthood. All are welcome and invited to attend.  If you cannot attend in person, the ordination will be live […]

Transitional Deacon Ordinations
April 1, 2019

On Saturday, April 6, 2019 at 11:00 am, Connor Penn and Drew Woodke will be ordained transitional deacons for the Diocese of St. Petersburg.  The ordination will take place at 11:00 am in Boca Raton!  All are invited to participate by watching the live video stream here. Please keep Connor and Drew in your prayers!

Women’s Discernment Day Postponed
April 1, 2019

The Women’s Discernment Day that was scheduled for Saturday, April 27, 2019 has been postponed. We hope to reschedule the date this fall in October or November.  More information will be forthcoming. If you have any questions, please contact Heidi Varley in the Office of Vocations at (727) 345-3452 or email.

Celebrating Women Religious During National Catholic Sisters Week
March 8, 2019

National Catholic Sisters Week (NCSW) is an annual celebration that takes place from March 8 through March 14. Created to honor women religious, it is a week to bring greater focus and attention to the lives of these incredible women and to recognize all they have done for their communities, the world, and the Church.  […]

900 Students Learn About Vocations at Fun, Focus 11 Event
February 25, 2019

Over 900 sixth graders from Catholic schools across the five counties of the Diocese of St. Petersburg participated in the annual Focus 11 program February 12 -13 at St. Lawrence Parish in Tampa. A major part of this vocations awareness retreat is hearing from men and women who have said yes to God’s call to […]

Annual Altar Server Appreciation Mass
February 19, 2019

Our Annual Altar Server Appreciation Mass will be held on Sunday, March 24, 2019 at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle at 3:00 pm.  A light reception will follow in the Parish Center.  All are invited to attend. Below is the memo and RSVP form that has been sent to all parishes, as well as the […]

Focus 11 2019
January 4, 2019

Focus 11 2019 will be held on Tuesday, February 12 and Wednesday, February 13, 2019 at St. Lawrence Parish in Higgins Hall.  We invite all religious orders in the Diocese of St. Petersburg to register to attend this event.  Please click here to register. We are happy to announce that our keynote speaker for this year […]

Annual Vocations Workshop (Date Has Changed!)
December 19, 2018

We have postponed the Vocations Workshop that was scheduled for Saturday, January 19, 2019.  The new date is Saturday, February 23, 2019!  The workshop will be at the Bethany Center in Lutz.  The day will begin with mass at 9:00 am in the St. James Chapel, followed by check-in.  The day will conclude at 2:00 pm. Our theme this […]

O Come Let Us ADORE Him!
December 7, 2018

On Monday, December 10 from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm, you are invited to take a break from your hectic schedule and rest in the Lord during an evening of Eucharistic Adoration with Bishop Gregory Parks  This special Advent ADORE event at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle will feature contemporary and traditional Advent […]

Vocatus Discernment Group
December 7, 2018

Vocatus is a group of men who feel that the Lord might be calling them to the incredible vocation of the Priesthood! All young men, juniors in high school and above, are invited to join us at the Pastoral Center (6363 9th Avenue North, St. Petersburg) on Thursday, December 20th from 6:30 pm-7:30pm.  You will […]

National Vocation Awareness Week
October 29, 2018

National Vocation Awareness Week is November 4-10, 2018. The theme for this year is Building a Vocation Culture in Today’s Church. Here are some resources for parishes to use, more are available online (see link below). Prayers of the Faithful: For young people in our community that they may respond generously with open hearts and willing […]

John 21 Discernment Group, November 24, 2018
October 29, 2018

The next meeting of the John 21 Discernment group is Saturday, November 24, 2018 beginning with mass at 8:30 am. This group meets at St. Lawrence Parish in Tampa (5225 N. Himes Avenue, Tampa, FL 33614). John 21 is a discernment group for young men who are reflecting on God’s call in their lives and are considering the […]

Family Faith Fest
October 2, 2018

Mark your calendar! Join Bishop Parkes to celebrate our 50th Anniversary at the Family Faith Fest at Al Lopez Park in Tampa on October 27, 2018! This FREE event will have live music, fun activities for kids and adults alike, opportunities for worship (Confession, Eucharistic Adoration, Mass) and fellowship! Visit http://www.familyfaithfest.org to plan your day and […]

Seminarian Ralph D’Elia Ordained a Deacon
October 1, 2018

Our seminarian Ralph D’Elia was ordained a deacon on Thursday, September 27, 2018 at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. He is called a transitional deacon, meaning that he will be ordained a priest, God-willing, in May of 2019. Deacon Ralph is from St. Timothy Parish in Lutz. He is a fourth generation Tampa native. After experiencing […]

Congratulations Deacon Ralph D’Elia
September 28, 2018

Congratulations to our seminarian, Ralph D’Elia, who was ordained a transitional deacon on Thursday, September 27, 2018 in Rome. Bishop Gregory Parkes, Fr. Carl Melchior, Director of Vocations, Fr. Ken Malley, Pastor, St. Timothy Parish (Ralph’s home parish) were present for the ordination, as well as Ralph’s family and several priests from the Diocese of St. […]

Sr. Helen Lange Continues to Be a Gift on her 105th Birthday
September 20, 2018

Sister Helen Lange, a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Florida in Saint Leo, Florida,  celebrates her 105th Birthday on Friday, September 28, 2018. She came to our community from Rowena, Texas in 1930 with cousins who would also join us – Sister Pauline and Sister Irma in 1930.  Throughout her life here, Sister Helen […]

U.S. Bishop Delegates Approved for Upcoming Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment
July 30, 2018

Pope Francis has ratified the members elected by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to represent the United States at the upcoming XV Ordinary General Assembly: Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment.  The Synod will take place October 3-28. The delegates are: Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, President of the United […]

The Diocese of St. Petersburg Establishes the Nazareth House of Formation
June 18, 2018

This summer, the Diocese of St. Petersburg is introducing the Nazareth House, a new summer residence for seminarians to grow in faith and community while serving others. The house is named after the town where Jesus lived during his youth and young adult years. “Nazareth is where our Lord grew and was formed for public […]

Vocation Awareness Workshop
January 5, 2016

VOCATION AWARENESS WORKSHOP The Office of Vocations would like to invite all who are interested in promoting vocation awareness to a special workshop, Creating a Culture of Vocations By Living a Life of Joy and Fulfillment. Location:    Bethany Center, 18150 Bethany Center Dr., Lutz, FL 33558 Date:            Saturday, January 23, 2016, from 8:00a.m. ? 1:30 […]