Welcome to the faith community of Espiritu Santo. We'd love to tell you about our vibrant, faith filled community. Take a few minutes to explore our website and learn more about our vibrant, faith filled community of catholic Christians. It is our hope that you will continue your faith journey with us.
Why become a member? As humans we desire to belong. Community is a vital aspect of our personhood. Within a faith community, membership enables you to take ownership and to invest yourself in the life of the Church in a new way.
How do I become a member? New Member Welcome gatherings for families wishing to beome members of our faith community are typically held on the second Saturday of each month. For up-to-date times, location and dates check the parish bulletin or website. No need to call ahead just come as you are. And, by the way, infants and children are always welcome. Meetings are held in the John Bosco Center on the east side of the church campus at 11:00 am.
Q & A
1) Why do I need to come to a meeting to register?
It’s a short gathering of 40-45 minutes with refreshments where you are able to meet, greet and get to know other newbies, existing members, the pastor and some of the staff. Here you will get orientated to the parish community and culture through a multi-media presentation and receive a folder of information about your new parish community. Infants and children are ALWAYS WELCOMED!
2) When will my envelopes start?
In about 2-3 weeks time.
3) Can I sign up for Automatic Offertory Giving then?
4) Can I get my child’s baptism process started then?
Yes. You can find out more information at the Baptism Preparation page.
5) Can I register my child for Religious Education then?
No. Simply call their office at 727.812.4656. Registering first in the community is a prerequisite. Find out more about Religious Education.
6) I’ve been asked to be a (Baptism/Confirmation) sponsor, can I get my letter of verification then?
Becoming a sponsor/Godparent is a very vital ministry within the Church and one which requires first, an understanding of that role, then to be “living” that life. By registering you are “refreshing “ that vow of your baptism to be active in your faith. Sponsorship letters are available in the office following registration and participation.
“This in not the parish we live closest to, but we were attracted to Espiritu Santo because it made us feel welcome and the parish is alive and has lots of activities and life! They start getting the kids involved early, and continue engaging them all through the years. It’s family oriented and its nice to see the kids and what they do in school.” -Sandy and David Brown, members since 2003
“You come to one mass here and you see the care they put into the liturgy and it makes it a wonderful experience.” –Frank McEwen, member since 1998
“I attended a daily Mass on a Wednesday. I was pleasantly surprised when the pews were filled with Espiritu Santo students. It brought tears to my eyes, watching the students perform all the assisting roles of the Mass.” -Cindy Hutzler, member since Nov 2010
“I had been away from the Church for awhile. Fifteen years ago the priest who offered my mother’s funeral mass was Fr. Schneider. I found it quite comforting and apropos that he shared my mother’s maiden name. My friend, Kevin, invited me to attend the Easter Vigil Mass at Espiritu Santo and the Fr. Schneider offered the Mass. I had been thinking about returning to Church and took this as a sign that this could be my parish. I met with Fr. Schneider and he made me feel welcome and accepted. So I registered as a new member today.” – Jill Mohan, member since May 2011
"It was a blessing and honor to be May's Faciliator for the New Member Welcome meeting in the Parish Center. I thank all of the NMW volunteers for doing an awesome job to make a special event.
And to all the new parishioners who came to learn about the history of our Parish, our Ministries and Organizations, and meet Fr. Bob Schneider, thank you for attending! Please get involved with a church ministry or organization as soon as possible to meet new friends and feel a part of the community! Take my advice being a pew sitter will not really engage you in our community...Listen to the words of Blessed Pope John Paul II, ...Be Not Afraid! God Bless You and Your Families..." -Ken Seguin, Hospitality Ministry Support Lead & Past Grand Knight Council 7190
We are Catholic-Christians.
We are Catholic or universal Christians, members of the Roman Catholic Church which was instituted by Jesus Christ and led by the apostles and their successors for over 2,000 years and strengthened through the gift of the Holy Spirit. We are called to go forth and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. We are united by our common beliefs which are set forth in our statement of beliefs, the Nicene Creed. This creed was established in 325 AD and is proclaimed as our statement of faith by the assembly during Sunday and Feast day celebrations of the Mass.
The Nicene Creed
I believe in one God, the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.
I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come.
The Parish Pastoral Council discerns the mission of the parish and envisions ways in which the parish membership is being called by God to carry out that mission. The Pastoral Council serves as a consultative leadership body to the pastor. The pastoral visioning and planning function of the council and the day-to-day administrative operations of the parish are two separate and distinct areas of responsibility. The pastor and parish staff are responsible for routine decision-making which needs to take place for the parish to function efficiently and effectively on a daily basis. These day-to-day operational decisions are not the responsibility of the Pastoral Council, whose role is to guide the community in the discernment, expression and fulfillment of its pastoral mission. This is accomplished through an ongoing cyclical process of Pastoral Planning, which is mission-motivated and involves: discernment, consensus, goal setting, developing objectives, implementation and evaluation.
One of the elements of this model of pastoral council is a discernment process that takes place each year. Instead of an annual Parish Council election, nominations of parishioners that you feel would be good leaders for our parish are put forth.
This past year, three new members joined the Pastoral Council. Current members of the parish Pastoral Council are: Rev. Robert J. Schneider, Rev. Frank Lubowa, Deacon Vincent P. Alterio, Sonia Dris, Kathy Kukulski, Christine York-Amstutz, Shaun Shea, Michelle Merz, Dennis Thelen, and Andy Szeltner.
Parish Pastoral Council Meeting Minutes
The History of Espiritu Santo begins with the history of the Catholic faith first being carried to Florida’s west coast in 1539 by Hernando Desoto. In his search for wealth, Desoto landed on the shores of what is now known as Tampa Bay on Pentecost Sunday, where he discovered five mineral springs near a large Tocabago Indian village. He named the body of water Bahia Espiritu Santo (Bay of the Holy Spirit) in honor of the holy day and because the inhabitants of the nearby Indian village believed the springs had healing properties, a legend that persists today.
|1539||Hernando DeSoto discovers Bahia Espiritu Santo (Tampa Bay)|
|1567||Pedro Menendez de Aviles came to Espiritu Santo Springs to establish a mission|
|1960||The mission church of Espiritu Santo was established in Safety Harbor.|
|1964||The first Mass was celebrated in Espiritu Santo Catholic Church.|
|1987||The first Mass was celebrated in the present-day church.|
|2001||Espiritu Santo Catholic School was dedicated.|
In 1567 Pedro Menendez de Aviles came to Espiritu Santo Springs, later to be known as Safety Harbor, where he negotiated with Carlos, a Calusa chief, in an effort to convert the natives to Christianity.
Menendez sailed on, leaving behind a blockhouse mission, a captain, thirty soldiers, and Father Rogel, a Catholic priest.
The Indians destroyed the mission, however, and drove the Spaniards out. Though their initial effort proved unsuccessful, the seed of faith had been planted at the springs, and in time would blossom and flourish, according to the will of God.
Over 400 years later, this seed of faith found expression in a mission begun under the direction of Monsignor John F. McNulty, V.G. Responding to the need for a Catholic parish in the growing community of Safety Harbor, a mission church was established in 1960 on the present site.
The mission thrived. It soon became apparent that a church building and parish hall were needed. On Christmas Eve, 1964, the first Mass was celebrated in Espiritu Santo Catholic Church.
Through the years the parish grew rapidly. The need for a new, bigger church was apparent, and on April 18, 1987 the first Mass was celebrated in the new church, which seats approximately 1,000 people. The original church building is now the Parish Center.
The Espiritu Santo Catholic School was dedicated on August 19, 2001. The mission of the school is to pass on the beliefs and teachings of the Roman Catholic faith, to teach students to reach out to each other in a caring, Christian way, and to offer students an academic, Christ-centered education in a disciplined environment. The school serves Pre-K 3 through the 8th grade, Sunday morning and weekday evening Religious Education, and Adult Education programs.
The former Education Building has been remodeled and named the St. John Bosco Center. It is available for a variety of parish uses. In the life of the Espiritu Santo Catholic Church community, the seed of faith planted by the Spanish missionaries in 1539 has borne much fruit and continues to flourish.
The following two videos describe Espiritu Santo's long history in becoming the thriving community it is today:
―Inspired by the Holy Spirit, we, the People of Espiritu Santo Catholic Church, commit ourselves to be a loving community of faith, grace, and good works through Jesus Christ. Nourished by the Word and the Sacraments, we strive to grow in Christ’s likeness and to spread God’s kingdom on this earth.
Many volunteer opportunities such as painting, landscaping, carpentry, maintaining the fountain, Adopt-a-Flower-Bed, and directing traffic in the parking lot during the busy holyday seasons are available for the qualified volunteer minister. Ifyou would like to assist, your name would be added to a list of volunteers who are called upon when the special projects arise.
Volunteer position: Assist with Maintenance/Landscaping.
Our Faith Community United in Christian Discipleship
TOGETHER WE ARE ONE BODY
|3,980||Registered households with 11,754 individual members|
|483||Students enrolled in our Espiritu Santo Catholic School, grades PreK3-8|
|664||Students enrolled in our evening and weekend Religious Education program, grades K-8|
|252||Children and youth in our youth ministries and organizations|
|73||Ministries and organizations|
|1,167||Volunteers working in 1,920 ministry positions|
TOGETHER WE MAKE IT POSSIBLE
|1,341||Eucharistic Liturgies, as well as other communal and private prayer and adoration|
|115||Sacrament of Baptism|
|192||Sacrament of First Holy Communion and Reconciliation|
|178||Sacrament of Confirmation|
|42||Sacrament of Holy Matrimony|
|384||Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick|
|83||Catholic Funeral Liturgies|
TOGETHER WE REACH OUT
|265||Sick and homebound visited each week in private homes, hospitals, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and retirement centers|
|979||Brothers and sisters in our local community helped with food and financial needs through our St. Vincent de Paul Society|
|8,505||Pinellas Hope brothers and sisters fed from meals prepared at parish and served on-site by our parishioners|
Funds provided for maintenance expenses in support of the Farm of the Child Mission in Honduras
|216||Pints of blood donated by parishioners through 4 parish Blood Drives|
"The life of a Christian steward, lived in imitation of the life of Christ, is challenging, even difficult in many ways; but both here and hereafter it is charged with intense joy.”
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Church Office volunteers help with various duties: reception desk, greeting visitors, answering phones, filing, typing, helping with mailings, making copies, issuing Mass cards, etc.
Volunteer position: Front Desk Receptionist.
The Parish Finance Council is a consultative leadership body, which makes recommendations to the Pastor to aid him in the administration of the parish goods (all parish financial resources, buildings, and grounds) through approving and monitoring the annual budget and other long-range financial planning. Members of the Finance Council must be active and participating parishioners that have some type of financial expertise. Recommendations for new members may be submitted by any existing council member. Upon approval and appointment by the Pastor, new council members shall serve a three year term. The 2012-2013 Pastoral Year membership of the Finance Council comprises the following: Rev. Robert J. Schneider (Pastor), Kelly Douglass (Chairperson), Sean Hoolihan, Maria McCarthy, , Diane Sullivan, John Carey, Robert Fontana, Seth Miller, Marie Kendall, Kelly Cruz and staff members: Deacon Vincent Alterio, Tim Bergevin, Tom Heironimus, and Leanne Voiland.
The Parish Vocations Committee (PVC) is committed to promoting vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and religious life by raising awareness of the dignity and need for vocations, as well as supporting those currently in church vocations. The committee seeks to foster vocations through programs such as the Elijah cup, Adopt-A-Seminarian, vocational talks to youth, etc. The committee meets on a quarterly basis for prayer, program planning and assessment.
Volunteer position: Committee Member
If you or a fellow parishioner are sick at home or going to the hospital, call the parish office so these volunteer ministers can either call or write a get-well note and place your name on the Parish Prayer List.
Lazarus Group is a program developed to accompany families who are alone during their time of grief.
Volunteer position: Parish friend; companion.
Our mission is to be living examples of our Christian faith. To bring love, joy, compassion and companionship to our brothers and sisters who are unable to leave the home, nursing home or facility where they live. St. Raphael’s Visitors is a spirit-based program. We are there to witness our faith in ways that may not be found elsewhere. Visitors are asked to be the presence of our Faith Community for those unable to come to the church grounds. We do this through prayer, reading scripture, or sometimes just simply sitting with the person.
Volunteer position: Companion to parishioners who are ill or alone.