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 | Teresa Peterson

New Diocesan Policy Provides Eight Weeks of Parental Leave

On January 22, 2024, the National Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children, Bishop Gregory Parkes demonstrated the Church’s commitment to mothers, fathers, and their children, by approving a new policy that provides eight weeks of paid leave to employees following the birth of a baby or an adoption. This benefit is available to eligible employees of diocesan parishes, schools, and institutions, such as Catholic Charities, Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Spirit FM 90.5, Our Lady of Good Counsel Camp and Bethany Retreat Center.

"We value God’s gift of life and promote the dignity and sanctity of life. This new policy supports our married employees in welcoming and nurturing life,” said Bishop Parkes.

Known as, “Forming the Family in the Faith,” the new policy provides families paid time away from work obligations during the first eight weeks after the birth of a child or after an adoption to cultivate a loving and spiritual relationship with their child(ren) and to form a family plan for spiritual development and formation. Additionally, the policy seeks to assist married couples deepen their relationship with God and each other as they embrace their growing family.

“We value the family taking the opportunity to form and grow in their faith and nurture the domestic church.  Providing paid parental leave for our married employees provides dedicated time for this spiritual formation,” said Dr. Lois Locey, Chancellor for Administration and Chief Operating Officer for the Diocese of St. Petersburg. 

In addition to eight weeks of paid leave, new parents will receive resources from the Diocesan Office of Marriage and Family to help them grow together in holiness and to form or reinvigorate the spiritual foundation of their family.

The Diocese of St. Petersburg employs more than 2,800 individuals and offers generous holiday, sick and vacation pay, excellent medical benefits and an earned pension.

To read the policy click here.