The Diocese of St. Petersburg includes all people in the counties of Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus. While many people identify as Catholic, it is also “mission territory.” For more information about Courageously Living the Gospel, go to https://www.dosp.org/courageouslyliving/
A Sacred Purpose
We, the Catholic Diocese of St Petersburg,
are a joyful community of disciples proclaiming the Good News and inviting all people to encounter the love and mercy of Jesus Christ. For more information about Courageously Living the Gospel, go to https://www.dosp.org/courageouslyliving/
What’s in it for me?
That depends. What are your personal goals, if any, for salvation? You cannot get there alone. (See Psalm 37:39. “The salvation of the just is from the Lord.”) You must seek and be open to God’s help. God’s help often comes through the Church and other people. If you dream of going to heaven and seeing God face-to-face after you die, then involvement in our parish version of Courageously Living the Gospel may be right for you. On the other hand, if you haven’t thought much about what comes after life on earth, then Courageously Living the Gospel could provide an opportunity to learn more about hope and the four Last Things. Contact the parish office and Father Erwin or the staff will help you discern a path to the future. This is not an opportunity to ignore. Check out https://www.dosp.org/courageouslyliving/
Characterized as a mutually-shared vision of the people of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Courageously Living the Gospel identifies nine goals. They are mission-oriented to inspire in each heart a “constant desire to go forth” (Joy of the Gospel). Achieving these goals will help us to achieve our vision of Courageously Living the Gospel and also foster new paths of collaboration between parishes, schools, ministries and all of the faithful. The goals are related to three main areas: Serving the Poor, Accompanying Youth and Young Adults, and Sharing Our Faith.
Courageously Living the Gospel: What are its specific goals?
Overall, nine goals are set for the diocese. Additional parish goals will be set in the action plan being developed by the parish committee. The nine goals of the diocese are as follows:
1. Each deanery will launch a Catholic Impact Initiative that addresses one local community issue and mobilizes cross-parish creativity to establish desired outcomes. Initiate implementation by December 31, 2019.
2. The Diocese will establish 8 – 10 new locations of affordable housing facilities for families and/or singles managed by Catholic Charities throughout the Diocese by the end of 2021
3. One hundred percent of parishes will establish and/or enhance youth ministry opportunities by July 1, 2020.
4. In support of this initiative, the Diocese will hire three diocesan regional Associate Directors of Youth and Young Adult Ministry by July 1, 2019.
5. The diocese will establish a new Catholic elementary school (location to be determined) to open for the 2021-2022 school year.
6. We will increase student participation by 1000% (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.
7. The Diocese will partner with pastors and parishes for successful assessment, training and implementation of effective evangelization and family ministry strategies, including hospitality and intercultural competency by Pentecost 2019.
8. Every parish will equip parishioners as Missionary Disciples who are inspired to invite and accompany others by Pentecost 2020.
9. All parishes will enhance or establish family ministries to respond to the diverse needs of families by Pentecost 2020.
For more information about Courageously Living the Gospel, go to https://www.dosp.org/courageouslyliving/
Living the Gospel courageously is something we can do daily. To help us do exactly that, the Diocese of St. Petersburg publishes a daily reflection. You can sign up to receive the daily reflections free by email or text. Sign up for email at http://www.dosp.org/reflection/ or text “Reflections” without the quotation marks to 84576.
Who are the parishioners involved?
The Pastor, of course, is in charge. Others are parishioners: Gloria McCune, Susan Salisbury, Mylene Taylor, Todd Cleaver, Olga Heineman, Rose Mary Jeselson, Ishmael Villafane and Virginia Villafane. This group is open ended and needs help, so if anyone wants to join them in this work, please call the office. They’re spending their time and using their own resources to drive to various locations in the diocese for necessary training so that they can bring it all home to our parish. They are truly Courageously Living the Gospel as in Hebrews 10:24: “We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works.” For more information about Courageously Living the Gospel, contact one of these parishioners or go to https://www.dosp.org/courageouslyliving/
What are our goals?
Our parish goals for Courageously Living the Gospel have been determined and remain to be approved by the Bishop of St. Petersburg. The goals are part of a parish action plan. It was submitted to Bishop Parkes on March 1. The plan incorporates goals for the Youth of the parish, for Families, and for Discipleship and Evangelization. For more information about Courageously Living the Gospel, go to https://www.dosp.org/courageouslyliving/.
Why are we involved?
We are involved because it’s a good thing. Father Erwin and the Pastoral Council, acting for the parish, volunteered to participate fully. Upon seeing the goals of the bishop’s effort and the leadership it provided, these parish leaders leaped at this opportunity for spiritual growth and to spread the Faith. For more information about Courageously Living the Gospel, go to https://www.dosp.org/courageouslyliving/
Does it Affect Us at Our Lady of Grace Church?
Yes it does. a committee of parishioners working on a plan right now. The plan they write is to bring the gospel to young people, to assist families in their spiritual growth, and to reach out to everyone – people in the pews, Catholics who have fallen away from the Church, and strangers to the Faith. For more information about Courageously Living the Gospel, go to https://www.dosp.org/courageouslyliving/