Last revised on March 16th, 2020.



 

 

Bishop Gregory Parkes has asked all parishes to develop strategies to enhance three areas that are important for growth and evangelization: Youth Ministry, Family Ministry and Missionary Discipleship.

In a spirit of accountability and open communication, we are pleased to share St. Catherine of Siena’s Parish Action Plan!



GOAL 1: St. Catherine of Siena Parish will establish and/or enhance youth ministry opportunities by September 1, 2021

Strategy 1: Develop a Faith Formation Youth/Young Adult Commission of 7-9 members by July 2021.

Strategy 1: Develop a Faith Formation Youth/Young Adult Commission of 7-9 members by July 2021.

STATUS: Completed as of July 27th 2019. We exceeded our goal and have 11 members on our Faith Formation/Young Adult Commission.

RELEVANCY: St. Catherine Siena's Life Teen program includes a diverse student population relative to configuration of their families, culture practices, maturity levels, motivation to involved in Faith Formation opportunities, and experiences with and knowledge/practice of their Catholic Faith, including the sacraments, scripture, and the Mass in general. The Core Team of Faith Formation leadership are primarily adults who feel the need for greater understanding of what is relevant to teens of this age and era, strategies that may more effectively and productively engage them in faith formation activities and facilitate their understanding of and yearning for more interactions and relationships with the Lord and their Catholic Faith.

 

This type of effort is: brand new for us & a major leap of faith

 

PROGRESS MILESTONES:

  1. Identify and send 1-2 active high school aged parishioners to attend a leadership camp by July 30, 2019. Status: Completed. Faith Formation Staff, Monsignor Morris and 4 high school youth attended Notre Dame Vision for June 17th - 21st. This is a national leadership conference which provided our youth and adults the education to explore how God is calling them to use their talents in service to the Church and world. During the Fall 2019, all the high school teens who attended ND Vision are actively serving in a leadership role in either our Children's Faith Formation, the Edge program in Youth Ministry, or our Confirmation sacramental preparation program.
  2. Identify 3-5 youth/young adults to serve on the Youth/Young Adult Faith Formation Commission by June 30, 2020. Status: Completed. July 27th 2019 was the inaugural Life-Long Faith Formation Commission with 8 attendants. The Commission will meet every other month to plan how to guide and direct various aspects of Faith Formation at the St. Catherine of Siena Parish Community. 
  3. Create a commission of 7-9 youth/young adults who will attend sessions with the teen core members in order to share information and recommendations for Youth Ministry by September 1, 2021.  Status: In Progress. The teen leadership grew from 1 to 4 as of Fall 2019. Since the 2019 ND Vision, 4 teen leaders have been working with our Youth Ministry about the direction of the program.The teens specifically provide feedback on the effectiveness of the relational ministry, programming, and effective evangelization of the ministry sessions. We project that our teen leadership team will increase with an additional 3-5 high schoolers who attend the next ND Vision program taking place in Summer 2020. 

Point person(s): Sherri Briand and Mandy Westrich

Strategy 2: Recruit an additional 20-30 Faith Formation Volunteers by September 2021

Strategy 2: Recruit an additional 20-30 Faith Formation Volunteers by September 2021

Status: In Progress

RELEVANCY: St. Catherine Siena currently has 100 plus students enrolled in the Kindergarten to 5th grade program on Sunday mornings, over 50 students enrolled in EDGE, the middle school program, and approximately 20 students enrolled in Life Teen, the high-school program. Additionally, St. Catherine's instituted a youth Faith Formation program that aligns with RCIA for those youth who have not received one or all sacraments of initiation.  Given the vast and divergent needs of the students and numbers of those participating, St Catherine's Faith Formation programs are in always in need of volunteers who can assist with programming and instruction in each of the Faith Formation programs.

 

This type of effort is: Building on current efforts

 

PROGRESS MILESTONES:

  1. Identify a minimum of 6-8 tasks essential for classroom management that will equip and empower volunteers/catechists by July 30, 2019. Status: Completed. We have utilized our team to serve more than 6 tasks; this includes serving our "Purpose" Confirmation Program, First Holy Communion Team, Edge Middle School Youth Ministry, Hall monitors, floating substitute catechists, and additional volunteers who support the Life Teen High School Youth Ministry behind the scenes.

    On Sunday August 11th, our Faith Formation staff members hosted a training for catechists and volunteers featuring a representative from Sadlier. Sadlier is our catechetical resource that we use for our religious education classes in Children's Faith Formation. This training included implementing classroom management strategies to make our programs effective in sharing the faith with our youth.We have implemented a special needs "cool down box" to serve our students who require specific behavioral accommodations. Another task we have implemented is that we have lengthened the class morning session time as a means to enhance our evangelization.

  2. Advertise in all social media available to the parish the need for Faith Formation volunteers including responsibilities and tasks expected of such volunteers by August 1, 2019. Status: Incomplete. Social media was not utilized to promote our need for Faith Formation catechists for volunteers. Our Faith Formation was able to recruit members to the team to fulfill the needs of the program through personal invitation as well as promoting in the weekly bulletin and Mass announcement slides. 
  3. Recruit, train and maintain 5-10 volunteers by August 1, 2020. Status: In Progress. In the 2018-2019 Faith Formation year our team retained 28 adult catechists and lost 4. For the 2019-2020 Faith Formation year we recruited an additional 13, a total of 41 current catechists. Our Faith Formation team plans to continue to grow our relationships with volunteers and families as we seek to complete this goal.
  4. Recruit, train and maintain an additional 5-10 volunteers by August 1, 2021.
  5. Recruit, train and maintain an additional 5-10 volunteers by August 1, 2022.

Point person(s): Sherri Briand and Mandy Westrich

 

Strategy 3: Hire a full-time Communications/IT individual by May 1, 2019

Strategy 3: Hire a full-time Communications/IT individual by May 1, 2019

STATUS: Completed; Nora Bourke was hired as Communications Coordinator in March 2019

 


RELEVANCY: St. Catherine of Siena had two part-time employees each of whom works independently to maintain St. Catherine’s web site and social media. The discrepancy between the work schedules of social media/technology staff and the other Parish staff have compromised opportunities to share information.  The hiring of a full time individual with expertise in both social media and technology who will work similar hours as the parish staff will alleviate current communication issues.

 

This type of effort is:  Brand new for us

 

PROGRESS MILESTONES:

  1. Establish a communication plan for the resourcing of photos, events and other information pertinent to the parish community by August 1, 2019 October 1st, 2019. Status: Completed as of August 12th, 2019. New Communication Request Form was created and distributed to ministry leaders and parish staff by June 1st, 2019. This new Communication Request Form is a more efficient way for ministry leaders, parishioners, and organizations within the diocese to request announcements through any of the parish's communication forums (bulletin, website, mass announcement slides, and social media).Click here to read the SCOS Parish Communication Plan.
  2. Establish a committee of volunteers to assist in the dissemination of photos and information for the various ministries of the parish by January 30, 2020.  Status: In Progress. The SCOS Communications Advisory Committee has 3 members, with varying ages and involvement in our parish ministries, who serve the needs of our Communications. As of September 2019, we have had three monthly meetings to analyze the social media communication, website, and will plan upcoming initiatives. In addition to meeting monthly, the team also has a text group chat as well as emails each other on a weekly basis. We are presently recruiting in order to expand the committee by January 30th 2020.
  3. Establish a “featured family/parishioner” program to run at various times throughout the year beginning October 2019November 1st, 2019. Status: Incomplete. Due to the issue of time commitment that is required of inviting participants and organize this initiative, we are currently re-evaluating the best course of action and will establish a new deadline soon.
  4. Increase social media presence of the parish by August 2020. Status: Complete. Presently making weekly posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Every monthly meeting, the Communications Advisory Committee will analyze our social media and website analytics to notice trends and statistical data; looking at our statistics will continue to give us a sense of direction as to which direction we need to go in as we increase our online presence.
  5.  Additional Update: Though this was not specified in the initial Parish Action Plan, a need was made present when our parish began to suffer many technology issues. Beginning September 1st, 2019 we began a 2-year contract with Data Integrity Services. This new IT support does a more preventative and hands-on approach to maintenance of our parish server, phone system, and computers. Data Integrity is a highly reputable company that is experienced in support for churches, as they are highly familiar with ParishSoft. As the parish grows and as technology continues to evolve, our IT support falls under Communications.

Point person(s): Monsignor Morris


GOAL 2: St. Catherine of Siena parish will enhance or establish family ministries to respond to the diverse needs of families by Pentecost 2020 (May 31, 2020)

 

Strategy 1: Engage parents by giving them tools to practice their faith by June 30, 2020.

Strategy 1: Engage parents more fully in the life of the parish by giving them the tools to practice their faith within the domestic church by June 30, 2020.

Status: In Progress.

Debbie Barry is a parishioner and student with the Lay Pastoral Ministry Institute, LPMI. Her practicum focuses on engaging parents more fully in the life of the parish. She is planning activities for the upcoming 2019-2020 year.    

 

RELEVANCY: Parents of the Parish have requested assistance with ideas and strategies so they can more fully engage their children in the Catholic Faith.  providing carry over into the home of concepts and activities discussed and implemented in Faith Formation classes.

This type of effort is:  Brand new for us

 

PROGRESS MILESTONES:

    1. Host two to four parent sessions by June 2020. Status: In Progress. Presently this is being planned with the Faith Formation staff and Debbie Barry as part of her LPMI practicum.

      September 9th, we hosted a Family Sacramental Preparation Meeting. This meeting was not only a practical way for families to learn about the required steps for their children to make a sacrament, but we asked them to reflect about the spiritual needs of their families. This part of the meeting involved small group discussion, inviting the parents to think about how to live out the mission of the domestic church in their homes. We filled out a survey from the parents about how the parish can support families in today's challenges, which we will use as a sense of direction moving forward with Debbie's LPMI practicum initiatives.

      At our Super Saturday sacramental session, we had the parents attend the morning mass with their children, followed by a parent's session once the children and teens began their sacramental preparation classes.

      We have three sessions planned for the coming year for parents: one for the parents of children in our sacramental preparation programs and four Family Faith Cafes. Free refreshments and coffee will be provided as families experience fellowship while participating in an interactive lesson about our faith. The first Family Faith Cafe was on the topic of the liturgical year and it took place on Sunday, October 20th during our Sunday morning Children's Faith Formation classes. The second Family Faith Cafe was themed towards the topic of prayer and the mass on Sunday, February 9th. Many parents commented that they enjoyed the this Family Faith Cafe more than the first session. It included rotating stations where both parents and children participated in catechetical activities such as a liturgy jeopardy game, prayer activity, and other stations working together while learning more about the mass.

  1. Establish a core team of leading families who will identify priorities of Parish families by January 1, 2020. Status: Presently, this is being planned by Debbie Barry as part of her LPMI practicum. As previously stated in Progress Milestone 1, we filled out a survey from the parents about how the parish can support families in today's challenges, which we will use as a sense of direction moving forward with Debbie's LPMI practicum initiatives.
  2. Implement identified priorities of the family core team with 30-50 additional families by June 1, 2021. Status: In Progress. Debbie Barry, as part of her LPMI practicum, is planning an information session in which she and her volunteer team can identify the needs of parents and families. This feedback will shape how this ministry will move forward. Our Faith Formation staff will continue to touch base on updates from Debbie Barry as she continues to plan for a recruit a core team.
  3. Provide parents with Faith Formation resources, activities and religious instructions so the faith can be nourished within the home life by September of 2019. Status: In Progress. Vacation Bible School, VBS, took place in June 2019, as it was re-introduced to the parish after taking a break for a year. The event was energetic and successful, with great feedback from our families. Parents, young adults, and teenagers served as leaders which helped equip sharing of the faith for the families involved. Our Faith Formation staff sent a daily email update about the VBS theme, allowing families to extend the catechetical message to their domestic church in the home after their children had the experience. 

Faith Formation Staff, Monsignor Morris and 4 high school youth attended Notre Dame Vision for June 17th - 21st. Monsignor Morris and Mandy Westrich, Faith Formation Coordinator, attended the track titled "Liturgical Formation: Forming Families for Full Conscious, and Active Participation."

Our Faith Formation is providing Book-of-the-Month Club through Dynamic Catholic to be distributed to adults. Beginning in September, the Book-of-the-Month club is being targeted to parents and adults within the parish to meet at 10:15 am on Sunday mornings to coincide with Children's Faith Formation classes. Not only is this an intentional way to invite parent participation in a ministry while their children are in religious education classes, but it is a priority that we provide opportunities for adults to deepen their faith. The simple format for this new Book-of-the-Month Club is meant to be approachable for busy adults to encounter the Lord alongside one another in prayer, fellowship, and candid conversation.  The first book  featured in this ministry on September 29th, 2019 was Resisting Happiness by Matthew Kelly. Our Director of Discipleship, Sherri Briand, ran out of free copies of the book for participants a week before the first Book-of-the-Month session due to the high volume of individuals interested.

On December 24th, Christmas Eve, a group of children and a couple of teens put on a living Nativity Reenactment at the 6 pm Mass. This went very well. Additionally Mandy Westrich worked hands-on with the parents to coordinate this through two rehearsals. One of the rehearsals brought a Parents Night Out where adult chaperones did activities with children, a time in which Mandy had the reenactment youth go with her in the Church to rehearse. The positive response led to Mandy and the families working together again for the children to do a Gospel Reenactment for the Epiphany of the Lord on January 5th.  We feel as though the families who did this within our faith formation community was an organic way for parents to personally reflect on the significance of these liturgies in support of their children's participation. 

Point person(s): Mandy Westrich, Sherri Briand and Debbie Barry

Strategy 2: Offer presentations that will meet the diverse needs of families by June 1, 2021

Strategy 2: Offer presentations that will meet the diverse needs of families by June 1, 2021 

Status: In Progress. 

Our parish staff and clergy are utilizing various programs in order to support the diverse needs of the families. These program include: Rite for Christian Initiation (RCIA), Children's Faith Formation, Youth Ministry, Parishioner Highlight Communications initiative, and the Parish Assistance Program through BayCare Behavioral Health. 

RELEVANCY: Families of St. Catherine of Siena reflect the diversity of the world in which we live.  Including, but not limited to, blended families, families of divorce, families with unique cultural traditions, families with members who have special needs/disabilities, widows/widowers, etc. SCOS families have expressed a desire to create family-based activities that are inclusive for all.

This type of effort is:  Building on current efforts

 

PROGRESS MILESTONES:

  1. Develop and implement three annual family activities by September 1, 2020. Status: In Progress. We will host or have hosted the events: Family Fall Festival, Caroling for Cans, Easter Egg Hunt, and the Living Rosary to commemorate the end of the Faith Formation year.

    The Fall Festival and Trunk-or-Treat event took place on October 26th at 5:30 pm. This new event featured carnival food, festival games, Haunted Hay Rides, a Not-So-Spooky Halloween Trail, and Trunk-or-Treating; this new parish family event has created a lot of buzz within our parish and local community. Our Facebook Event reached over 12,000 users and over 700 people have responded (either RSVP-ing as "Going" or "Interested"). We intentionally invited ministries to run carnival games as a way for them to organically promote their ministry to parishioners and non-parishioners who participate in the games. We planned to have enough food to accommodate the crowd who will walk over after 4:00 pm Saturday Vigil Mass. We extended the invitation of this event to the displaced members of Transfiguration Catholic Church as the following day was the first Spanish Mass. The event was a big success as it was well organized and was a joyful evening for all. About 400 people attended, making for a diverse group in both age and culture. Many parishioners as well as non-parishioners attended. Feedback was given in person as well as on our Facebook page that the event felt very welcoming. 

    Upon evaluating the event, it has been determined that next year we will change the time from 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm to 5:00pm - 7:00 pm as the event is more ideal with the sun still out and right after the 4:00 pm Vigil Mass. Next year we will also seek to enhance how we are to market more to the middle aged and elderly demographic of our parish as this event easily appeals to young families.

    Caroling for Cans happened on December 7th, promoted as a parish-wide event. Families in our programs were personally invited to this event, but it is also  by flyer, over social media, website, and Mass slides. 

    Coffee with a Counselor took place on February 7th 2020, promoted as a parish-wide event. About 25 adults attended this presentation by Dolores Mortimor. The mental health professionals who hosted this event from the House of Mercy expressed they would like to do another Coffee with the Counselor in the future. Sherri who coordinated the event agreed with the presenters. We will plan to have one more of these events to educate families about common challenges people face regarding relationships and mental health.

  2. Recruit six families to witness their faith in family life by July 1, 2021. Status: In Progress. This is already being planned and implemented by the Communications team. In July 2019, we highlighted 6 members who were involved in our RCIA programs as both candidates and sponsors, to highlight their experiences this the RCIA process. This video, inviting others to attend the RCIA inquiry sessions, was shown at all weekend Masses and distributed on all social media channels.

  3. Provide counseling opportunities through Baycare for 10-15 families by July 1, 2021. Status: In Progress. We are looking to BayCare Behavioral Health and other programs to provide presentations and resources for families. The first program, a Suicide Prevention presentation, happened on October 20th at 4 pm in the Family Life Center and was advertised to the rest of the diocese by the diocesan Office of Life, Justice, and Advocacy. Over 40 people attended both within the parish and in the local community. Our parish has invested in a Parish Assistance Program through BayCare Behavioral Health, which our parishioners have been made aware of through the website, social media, bulletin, and word-of-mouth within our ministries. Through this program, parishioners are entitled to 3 free professional sessions to help them in mental health counseling with anxiety/depression, stress, relationship issues, family issues, grief/loss, and addictive behaviors. This has been promoted in our website and bulletin, so that parishioners can continue to utilize this important resource.

Point person(s): Sandra Garcia-Olivares and Bethany Davis

 


GOAL 3: St. Catherine of Siena Parish will equip Parishioners as Missionary Disciples who are inspired to invite and accompany others by July 1, 2021.

 

Strategy 1: Provide ministry to Spanish-speaking residents of our parish by July 1, 2020

Strategy 1: Provide ministry and services to the Spanish-speaking residents of our parish by July 1, 2020.

Status: In Progress. 

Our parish presently has a part-time priest, Fr. Jesús Martinez effective July 1st, 2019. We have Deacon Paco Martinez-Pacini assigned to our parish and serves various parish ministries and faith formation. Both Deacon Paco and Fr. Jesús have been collaborating in completing the milestones of these strategy milestones.


RELEVANCYSt. Catherine of Siena has an increasing population of Parishioners whose primary language is Spanish however there is currently no priest in residence who can preside at a mass in Spanish. As the Spanish population continues to grow within our parish boundaries, the need for a weekly mass, faith formation, sacramental preparation, sacraments, etc. in Spanish is evident.

 

This type of effort is:  Brand new to us & a leap of faith

We are in partnership with:  Holy Cross for this strategy

 

PROGRESS MILESTONES:

  1. Establish a Sunday Mass (Saturdays at 6pm) in Spanish by July 1, 2019 October 27th, 2019. Status: Completed. On September 8th, it was announced to the parish that a regular Spanish Mass will begin the weekend of October 27th at 2:30 pm. The first Spanish Mass had an attendance of over 200 people. All deacons of our parish were present at the mass as well as Fr. Jack Marino, Fr. Jesús Martinez and Fr. Carlos Rojas (former pastor of Transfiguration Parish). The congregation included about 300 participants of a diverse age range, from infants to the elderly, of Spanish-speaking participants from both Transfiguration parish as well as St. Catherine of Siena. There was a reception afterwards in Resurrection Hall to further welcome our current and new parishioners. 
  2. Begin to offer various parish announcements and communication in both English and Spanish by November 1, 2019. Status: Complete. As of April 2019, the parish bulletin was featured a bilingual cover. As of September 2019 the parish staff collaborated on an improved and new parish registration form. Our staff members collaborated about a better solution to accommodate unique family situations, Spanish-speaking parishioners, and important criteria for our ParishSoft database. Our new parishioner registration form is designed to accommodate mixed families with varying last names, Spanish speaking parishioners, and families with adult children or other adult relatives living in the home. All promotional materials for the new Spanish mass time were bilingual. It has been determined that everything pertaining to our Spanish Mass and hispanic ministries will be bilingual as the event being promoted is in Spanish. As our Hispanic population increases at the parish we will continue to evaluate how to continue to incorporate Spanish in our bulletins and other communication forums. Our liturgical ministries have established a translation procedure in which Spanish speaking parishioners and volunteers to create our Spanish Mass powerpoint (used for announcements, mass responses, and worship songs). On November 18th, 2019 we added a new Spanish phone line (ext. 125) which has a voicemail in Spanish phone voice message so when there are no Spanish-speaking clergy or volunteers people who call may leave a message so that we may assist them in their needs.Currently, we are working on a Hispanic Ministry page and brochure. Deacon Paco has collaborated with Nora (Communications) about how this page will be linked on the parish homepage with "Hablas Espanol?" as the link. Many Spanish-speaking members of the community are calling and coming into the parish office for information on mass times, sacramental preparation, and faith formation. While we do welcome this, we want our website to be more accessible to them so that our Spanish-speaking communications is enhancing alongside our community.
  3. Invite 15 to 20 Spanish-speaking parishioners to serve in various liturgical ministries by September 1, 2020. Status: In-Progress. Multiple Spanish-speaking volunteers have stepped forward to serve as sacristans, readers, and altar servers have stepped forward to assist in our new Spanish Mass. We will continue to invite volunteers in our liturgical ministries as the new mass brings more involvement from our Spanish-speaking parishioners. The parish purchased new Spanish lectionaries and hymnals so as to enhance our Spanish liturgy.
  4. Work collaboratively with partnership parish in faith formation programs. Status: Completed. Deacon Paco has office hours at the parish on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 am - 12 pm. Not only does Deacon Paco meet one-on-one with Spanish speaking families, but assists the Faith Formation staff in how to serves the needs of our Latino and Spanish speaking community in our parish. As of November 2019, Deacon Paco will no longer be of service to St. Cecelia parish.
  5. Provide parish facilities for prayer groups and ministries by July 1, 2019. Status: Incomplete. Our Spanish groups and ministries will be established with the influx of a growing Spanish-speaking community with the addition of our Spanish Mass. We will provide a new deadline date soon.

Point person(s): Deacon Paco

Strategy 2: Invite 750 parishioners to invite a non-parishioner to attend a Mass/ event by January 1, 2020

Strategy 2: Invite 750 current parishioners to invite a non-parishioner to attend a Mass or parish event by January 1, 2020.

Status: Complete. 

Our Welcome Weekend took place on the weekend of February 29th - March 1st, 2020. The congregation at every Mass was encouraged and prepared to invite non-Catholics and/or non-practicing Catholics to events and opportunities of worship at the parish. In the months/weeks following, we will plan a follow up with the individuals who had been invited into various opportunities of parish involvement. As of March 8th, 2020 75 parishioners have signed the Ambassadors for Christ book, indicating they have invited someone to mass or parish event.

 

RELEVANCY: Our parish DMI survey indicated that 25% of survey respondents never invite someone to Mass.

This type of effort is:  Brand new to us & a leap of faith

PROGRESS MILESTONES:

  1. Create and distribute promotional parish invitation cards by June 2019 March 1st 2020 (revised date). Status: Complete. Our Welcome Weekend took place on the weekend of February 29th - March 1st. The invitation cards were distributed to parishioners to invite someone, which were designed by Nora Bourke and Fr. Jack Marino. In addition for the Welcome Cards for the dissociated Catholics/non-Catholics to receive, we also distributed Prayer Cards for parishioners to keep as they prayerfully consider who to invite.
  2. Promote the program at various masses and parish events by September 2019 March 2020 (revised date). Status: Complete. Fr. Jack preached at all English Masses about this initiative while Fr. Jesus Martinez preached at the Spanish Mass.The homily at each mass presented this challenge to live out the Gospel by encouraging the congregation to invite someone who is either not Catholic or is a disassociated Catholic. Each Mass also prayed tohe Ambassadors for Christ prayer. Once they give out the invitation cards, parishioners will write down their name on a sign up book available in the narthex so we can measure how many people in our parish have invited someone. We are presently brainstorming other options to follow up with the individuals who were invited.
  3. Invite ministry members to become ambassadors in extending the invitation to those outside the current parish community by September 2019 February 29th & March 1st, 2020 (revised date)Status: Complete. This goal was completed, as specified in the previous milestone. The cards were approved by ministry leaders at the January 18th Ministry Leaders meeting. 

2 Corinthians 5:20 – “We are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us”

Point person(s): Father Jack Marino and Nora Bourke

 

Strategy 3: Establish a ministry of support for divorced and separated parishioners (Deadline TBD).

Strategy 3: Establish an additional 12-Step Program as a service to the Community by January 1, 2020. Establish a ministry of support for divorced and separated parishioners

RELEVANCY: There is a growing need of 12-Step programs in Pinellas County.  We presently host weekly Narcotics Anonymous and Al-Anon meetings at St. Catherine of Siena Parish.

This type of effort is:  Brand new for us

Due to scheduling conflicts and other challenges in planning, we are changing our previous strategy for a new 12-Step program to establishing a new divorce/separated ministry. We have heard feedback from parishioners that support group for divorced individuals or families of divorce is a real need in our community. 

Anne Kawaiec is a parishioner who has come forward who would like to help establish a conference for the divorced and separated. We have discussed having Deacon Rick Wells speak about the canonical aspect of divorce or our priests speak on the church and divorce. The vision is to create a warm gathering for these individuals so that they may truly feel at home and asking them about how they would like this ministry to grow.

PROGRESS MILESTONES:

  1. Establish a committee by July 1, 2019 Status: Incomplete. 
  2. Research the demographics of the Clearwater/Largo area (Coral Heights communities). Contact National/Regional delegates.Status: Incomplete.
  3. Find locations and times of present meetings by October 1, 2019. Status: Incomplete. 

Point person(s): Walter Price


Proposal for Southwest Deanery Catholic Impact Initiative

What is Pinellas Hope?      

Pinellas Hope began as temporary solution for homeless adults in response to St. Petersburg’s increasingly visible homeless population. Eleven years later, Pinellas Hope has expanded from a small tent shelter to a facility that includes over 160 tents, 72 “Hope Cottages” made from shipping containers, 10 of which are set aside for medical respite residents and 156 supportive apartments.

More about Pinellas Hope...

The homeless resided in what was referred to as “tent city” and the mayor finally had ordered the police to slash the tents to put an end to the homeless camp. Formed as a partnership between Pinellas County, the city of St. Petersburg and Catholic Charities, Pinellas Hope was only a short term solution and was not to stay open more than 6 months. Bishop Emeritus Robert Lynch gave 10 acres of diocesan land to make this pilot project happen. 

In addition to providing emergency shelter, Pinellas Hope provides case managements, substance abuse programs, transportation, continued education classes through Pinellas County Schools, laundry and shower facilities as well as three volunteer provided meals each day when able to do so. Since the opening of Pinellas Hope in December 2007, it has assisted more than 10,000 people with about 3,800 moving to stable housing. The next four phases of Pinellas Hope began in 2011 and was completed in 2016. Pinellas Hope II-V is a 156 until Permanent Supportive Housing Program for the homeless of which, thirty percent of these units are dedicated to veterans. This program is a natural progression for homeless to transition from the shelter to permanent housing.

Pinellas Hope continues to mission to provide a safe living environment for homeless individuals as well as provide support for them to gain a sense of self sufficiency.

 

Deanery Commitment to Pinellas Hope

It is the conviction of the dean and pastors of the Southwest deanery that each parish should offer a regular commitment of the following:

1. Education

Education- each parish of the Southwest deanery will be provided an informational session of the mission for Pinellas Hope.

2. Service

Serving – it is the conviction of the dean and pastors of the Southwest deanery that each parish should provide a meal once a quarter to Pinellas Hope.

Status: Complete.

St. Catherine of Siena, through the leadership of Sr. Kathleen Beatty SSJ who prepares and serves one meal per month to the residents of Pinellas Hope.

3. Financial

Financial - each year the Southwest deanery will support a capital project that has a lasting and sustainable impact to Pinellas Hope and its residents.

4. Spiritual

Spiritual – each parish of the Southwest deanery will support the spiritual life of Pinellas Hope residents by hosting weekly masses to shelter and housing residents. In addition the Southwest deanery will provide support and further religious education for residents of Pinellas Hope I & II who desire to become a member of the Catholic Church.

Status: In Progress.

Deacon John Ustick, a parishioner of our parish and deacon assigned to St. Cecelia parish, currently does all planning and implementing of the spiritual ministry and various community events for the residents of Pinellas Hope. As of September 2019, Deacon Ustick and Monsignor Morris are planning how to build the team to serve which will serve under Deacon Ustick's leadership. The team will build upon the ministry and events he has already begun in order strengthen our efforts of evangelization.

5. Counseling/Wellness

Counseling/Wellness – it is required by Pinellas Hope that Deacon John Ustick continues his service to our shelter and housing residents. It is encouraged for more volunteers serve as mentors, counselors, etc. to help encourage and support Pinellas Hope’s residents.

Status: In Progress.

Deacon John Ustick and Monsignor Morris are working on recruiting his team of volunteers and mentors. Deacon Ustick is working with the Communications team to create cards of a saint (who is a patron of the poor) as well as a list of their weekly events. Deacon John worked with Nora on the design of these promotional prayer cards.