The community of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Dunedin will gather on Sunday, Feb. 4 at 11:30 a.m. to celebrate three significant events:
- Visit of Bishop Gregory Parkes for Confirmation Mass. Bishop Parkes has served as the spiritual leader of the Diocese of St. Petersburg for one year.
- 60th Anniversary of the establishment of the Parish. The community has grown from 600 parishioners in 1958 to more than 5,000 today.
- 70th Anniversary of the ordination of the founding pastor, Monsignor William DuBois, who served as first pastor from 1957-1979. He also served as founding principal of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School. He is 94 and still has a lively personality and a heart of mission!
Father Gary Dowsey, current pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes, was appointed in 2007. Father Gary is a well-known and much-loved leader in the community because of his caring and engaging personality, participation at various ecumenical events and his regular interviews on Spirit FM Radio 90.5. Father Gary is originally from the United Kingdom. The parish is involved in many outreach projects, including a mission in Haiti.
In the Spring 1957, founding pastor, Monsignor DuBois was given permission to construct a church on 34 acres of land in Dunedin. Before the church was built, Catholic Mass was celebrated on the stage of the Palms Theater and meetings/classes were held in the dining room of the Jersey House Hotel. On December 7, 1958, construction of the church was completed. In April of 2004, the parish completed and dedicated a special events building, the Conmy Center, which hosts sporting events and performances for the school and community groups.
About the Diocese of St. Petersburg
The Diocese of St. Petersburg is comprised of over 470,000 Catholics and includes 74 parishes, 7 missions, 48 schools and early childhood centers, a university, and a variety of social service, health care, housing and pastoral ministries located within the five counties of Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus. Mass is celebrated in 11 languages and we are led by our fifth bishop, Most Reverend Gregory Parkes who was installed on January 4, 2017. In 2018, the Diocese of St. Petersburg is celebrating 50 Years of Faith!