The following announcements, presented by the Diocese of St. Petersburg, are in relation to Hurricane Irma, which made landfall in Florida on September 10, 2017.
- An early assessment of the 81 parishes and missions and 48 schools and early learning centers shows that only a few buildings sustained minor damage.
- Most parishes and all schools were closed during and after the storm for the safety of staff, students and parishioners.
- About half of the 48 schools and early learning centers in the Diocese of St. Petersburg have currently reopened. All schools are expected to reopen by Monday, September 18.
- Parishes without electricity have been asked to cancel liturgies, meetings or gatherings until power is restored. Parishes without power are being asked to celebrate Mass outdoors until electricity has been restored. Parishes have also been asked to relocate funeral Masses to funeral home chapels if there is no power.
- Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Petersburg has been assessing damage at all locations, including Pinellas Hope and their affordable, elderly and migrant housing properties. They are providing food, water and other resources on a priority basis to those most in need. Case managers in Pinellas and Hillsborough County are starting to see an increase in requests for emergency assistance since vulnerable residents are having difficulty coping with lost wages, spoiled food and home repairs.
To help with the massive immediate and long-term recovery efforts in communities devastated by Hurricane Irma, Harvey and other natural disasters, Bishop Gregory Parkes is asking all 81 parishes and missions in the Diocese of St. Petersburg to hold a special collection the weekend of September 16-17 or September 23-24. The Diocese is also requesting online donations for disaster relief. To learn more about how you can help visit https://www.dosp.org/disaster-relief-donations/ or http://www.ccdosp.org/disaster-relief-rebuilding-hurricane-irma/.
Pastors & Parochial Administrators: Please Check Your Email (9/13/17-2pm)
Most Rev. Gregory Parkes asks all pastors and parochial administrators to please check their emails for his post hurricane communication. If your email service is out, please contact Msgr. Morris, Vicar General, by phone.Most Rev. Gregory Parkes has made the following revisions to the re-opening of the Pastoral Center of the Diocese of St. Petersburg:
Pastoral Center Re-opening Thursday (9/13/17-2pm)
The Pastoral Center of the Diocese of St. Petersburg will reopen on Thursday, September 14, 2017. All diocesan staff working at the Pastoral Center are advised to please communicate with your supervisor if you are unable to return to work on Thursday. The safety and well being of you and your family is the number one priority.
Re-openings Announced (9/11/17-5:30pm)
The Diocese of St. Petersburg is making plans for re-opening our Catholic schools and the Pastoral Center. For information regarding the reopening of individual parishes and parish offices, please contact the parish directly.
Catholic Schools – Most Rev. Gregory Parkes has authorized Catholic schools to reopen on Wednesday, September 13. However, due to the widespread circumstances across our five county diocese, there may be individual schools that need to remain closed for more days.
Staff and school families are advised to please contact your local Catholic school for more information.
Pastoral Center of the Diocese of St. Petersburg – Due to telephone, power, internet, and other issues experienced due to Hurricane Irma, the Pastoral Center will remain closed on Tuesday, September 12, with plans to reopen on Wednesday, September 13.
All diocesan staff working at the Pastoral Center are advised to please communicate with your supervisor if you are unable to return to work on Wednesday. The safety and well being of your family is the number one priority.
Pastoral Center (9/9/17-8:30am)
As of 11am today, the Pastoral Center of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, located on 9th Avenue North in St. Petersburg, Florida, will be on lock down in preparation for the storm. Power will be shut down to take the center off the power grid, and the building will be closed until after the storm has passed.
Dispensation for Sunday Masses (9/8/17-11:30am)
Given the forecast of the potential impact and severity of Hurricane Irma, Most Reverend Gregory Parkes, Bishop of St. Petersburg, has granted a dispensation from the Sunday Mass obligation for this weekend, September 9-10 to all Catholics living within the five counties of the Diocese of St. Petersburg and to those who are traveling through the diocese. Click here to download the dispensation announcement.
Following the Storm – Insurance & Payroll (as of 9/7/17-2:30pm)
Once the storm passes, our diocesan properties will need to be surveyed for potential storm damage and possible claims to be reported. Click the links below to access documents/information designed to assist our parishes, schools and offices:
Hurricane Irma Following the Storm (Insurance Programs memorandum)
After the Storm (Catholic Mutual Facility Management sheet)