The Pinellas County Commission has announced that June 17, 2018 will be known as Diocese of St. Petersburg Day in honor of the 50thanniversary of the establishment of the Diocese. On June 17, 1968, a Mass was celebrated at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle to establish the Diocese of St. Petersburg and to install the area’s first Bishop, Most Reverend Charles B. McLaughlin.

Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long and County Administrator Mark Woodward presented a proclamation to Bishop Gregory Parkes in his office on June 8.

The proclamation shares seven reasons why June 17, 2018 should be recognized throughout Pinellas County as Diocese of St. Petersburg Day. The document highlights there are 74 parishes and 7 missions in the Diocese that serve 470,000 Catholics. There are also 48 schools and early learning centers that serve more than 12,000 students. The document also highlights the Diocesan commitment to reaching out to people who are vulnerable and on the peripheries of our community, as well harmonizing with people of all faith backgrounds, serving people from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds and contributing to the moral foundation of the area.

“The Diocese of St. Petersburg has had a positive impact on the local community and the whole Tampa Bay region over the past 50 years. An impact that goes beyond faith,” said Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long during the presentation.

For its 50th anniversary, Bishop Parkes has chosen the theme of Gratitude, Joy and Hope. He is asking everyone to remember the past with gratitude, celebrate the present with joy and look to the future with hope.

To view the proclamation recognizing June 17, 2018 as Diocese of St. Petersburg Day, click here. To read about the impact the Diocese of St. Petersburg has had on this community over the past 50 years, click here.

To read about diocesan history, click here.