Courageously Accompanying Youth & Young Adults

We believe young people are essential to the Church and to increase their encounters with Christ…

Youth and Young Adult Ministry

Original Goal: The Diocese will hire three diocesan Regional Associate Directors of Youth and Young Adult Ministry by July 1, 2019.

Why this is essential for our future: Statistics show young people are leaving the church at an alarming rate. However, young people are essential to the Church. We are called to accompany them on their faith journey so that each may encounter Jesus Christ and know that He is the Way, the Truth and Life.

What We Accomplished:  Mike Buckler was hired as the new Regional Associate Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the northern counties of the Diocese of St. Petersburg.

New Goals:  Mike Buckler’s territory will be expanded into Northern Hillsborough County effective immediately. The Diocese will hire a Spanish-speaking Associate Director for Youth and Young Adult Ministry by July 1, 2022, and the final Associate Director will be hired by July 1, 2023. The Diocesan Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office will continue to support parishes through training, mentoring and program development.

For example, the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry announced a new training program that is based on the needs expressed by youth ministry leaders. Courageous Youth Ministry Training is FREE and FLEXIBLE, can be offered ONLINE or IN-PERSON depending on your preference, and can even be offered in ENGLISH or SPANISH. The idea is to meet a parish’s specific needs in order to bring quality youth ministry training to our parishes

Campus Ministry

Original Goal: We will increase student participation by 1,000% (4,000 individuals) at established Campus Ministry communities and create new Catholic student communities for all local colleges and universities in the Diocese by Easter of 2021.

Why this is essential for our future: Young adults are increasingly claiming no religious affiliation. However, young adults are also more likely to experience the negative effects of isolation, fear and hopelessness. An encounter with Christ and a faith-filled community can set them on a positive path.

What We Accomplished: We are increasing our student community by approximately 100 new students per academic year at the University of South Florida Tampa Campus. During the pandemic year, all events and liturgies were offered on virtual platforms to keep the community engaged. Post-graduate and Praise & Worship ministries were added.

New Goal: Our Campus Ministry will be expanded to include Saint Paul’s Outreach missionaries in the Fall of 2021 academic year. Additional missionary resources will enable us to double our new student contacts each academic year at the University of South Florida Tampa Campus. 

Catholic Education

Original Goal: The diocese will establish a new Catholic elementary school (location to be determined) to open for the 2021-2022 school year.

Why this goal is essential for our future: Catholic schools are centers for evangelization that teach the whole child, intellectually, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

What We Accomplished: Due to COVID-19, the timing was not right to pursue the establishment of a new school. However, a feasibility study for a new Catholic school has been completed and submitted to Bishop Parkes.

New Goal: Planning for a new Catholic school will be initiated in 2023.