Father Carlos Rojas

Father Carlos Rojas was born in Boston, Massachusetts and raised in Puerto Rico. At age 15, he moved with his family to Tampa. He graduated from St. John Vianney Seminary in Miami, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and then St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, where he received a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Theology. Father Rojas was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Robert Lynch for the Diocese of St. Petersburg on May 20, 2006. He is a certified Spiritual Director and Retreat Director from the Institute of Priestly Formation from Creighton University. He completed a pontifical certificate in Marian Studies from the International Marian Research Institute from the University of Dayton, Ohio. He considers himself a Marian diocesan priest with the mission of raising children into Christ Jesus in partnership with Mary, in the spirit of St. Joseph, chaste spouse of Mary. Father Carlos Rojas is currently Pastor of St. Rita Parish in Dade City and is the Spiritual Director of Schoenstatt Tampa Bay, Inc.

Father Elixavier “Xavy” Castro

Home Parish: St. Lawrence, Tampa

Father Elixavier, or “Father Xavy,” as most people call him, loves to play sports, watch movies or TV shows, and travel, which usually includes some type of hiking. 

Father Xavy is one of four children (the rest being all women: Zul A., Aizuley M., and Jayrelix M.) born to Deacon Élix A. and Luz D. Castro. Fr. Xavy was born in Puerto Rico but has lived most of his life in the Tampa Bay area, where he attended school.  He graduated from East Bay High School and attended the University of South Florida for two years, after which he answered the call to the priesthood, becoming a seminarian for the Diocese of St. Petersburg.

He was ordained to the Transitional Diaconate in April 2016 and was ordained by Bishop Gregory Parkes as a priest for the Diocese of St. Petersburg on May 21, 2017.  He was the first priest ordained by Bishop Parkes as Bishop of St. Petersburg.  Father Xavy served as Parochial Vicar of Our Lady of the Rosary, Land O’Lakes, from 2017-2020 and served as Campus Chaplain of Tampa Catholic High School (2020-2022). He began his new assignment at St. Lawrence, Tampa, as Parochial Vicar in December 2022 and is currently Chaplain of Catholic Scouting for the Diocese of St. Petersburg and for Legatus Tampa Bay, Inc.

Deacon Élix and Lucy Castro

Deacon Élix and his wife Lucy Castro have been married for 36 years and from their union they have four children, Elixavier (Father Xavy), Zul, Aizuley and Jayrelix.

In their secular life, Deacon Élix works for the United States Postal Service and Mrs. Lucy works at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. The Castro’s are parishioners at Nativity Catholic Church in Brandon since Deacon Élix was ordained in this Diocese in 2015 where he serves as a Spiritual Director for the Christ Renews His Parish ministry. Deacon Élix and Lucy are founders and currently general coordinators of the Marriage Dialogue Support (MDS) marriage movement, a marriage support group that has served our Diocese of St. Petersburg since its inception in 2004 at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Seffner.

This ministry has been growing in our Diocese and is now established in sixteen additional parishes. Additionally, with God’s blessing, the MDS ministry has spread to four other dioceses in the United States and one in Mexico. Deacon Élix and Lucy have had the opportunity in the MDS ministry to provide support and guidance to many couples in our diocese. Deacon Élix collaborates with the Spanish radio station of our Diocese, Espiritu FM 90.5 HD3 along with Católico Hoy Radio. He produces and hosts with his son Father Xavy and two other brother parishioners of Nativity the talk show “Entre Hermanos”. In addition to this, Deacon Élix presents a meditation of the daily readings in the YouTube channel @CatolicoHoy.