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 | Michelle Mesiano

Power in Numbers: A Testament of Faith, Generosity and Solidarity

The Catholic Ministry Appeal, coordinated by the Office of Stewardship and Development under Bishop Gregory Parkes’ leadership, serves as a crucial source of funding for the various ministries, programs, and charitable efforts within the Diocese of St. Petersburg. While the collective goal for 2024 is $9 million, each parish strives to achieve their individual goal in support of the broader mission and outreach efforts of the Church.

This year several parishes finished their Commitment Weekend efforts with strong participation from families. Within a short period of time, the question began circulating: which parish would be the first to exceed their individual goal?

That question has now been answered, it’s not one but two! Congratulations to Father Timothy Sherwood and the parishioners of St. Brendan Parish in Clearwater and Father Tim Cummings and the parishioners of Prince of Peace Parish in Sun City Center.

“Honestly, I can’t take any credit. We have generous people who are committed to the parish and to charitable work in our diocese,” said Father Sherwood, Pastor of St. Brendan Parish.

Supporting the Catholic Ministry Appeal ensures that all parishes of our Diocese can continue to fulfill our mission of spreading the love and teachings of Christ within our community and beyond.

“In Mark 16:15, Jesus went on to say to His Disciples before Ascending into Heaven: "Go into all the world and proclaim the Good News to the whole creation." Here at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Sun City Center, we too must accept Christ's invitation to share the Gospel message courageously across the Diocese of St. Petersburg,” shared Father Cummings, Pastor of Prince of Peace. “The Catholic Ministry Appeal is an opportunity for the clergy, the staff of the parishes and the parishioners, as a unified team, to come together and respond to Christ's invitation to feed His flock.”

While expressing profound gratitude and admiration for both parishes’ remarkable achievement, Meegan Wright, Executive Director of the Office of Stewardship and Development prays the success of St. Brendan and Prince of Peace serve as inspiration for other parishes. “This is the second time both of these parishes have hit goal first, but it isn’t about one parish alone,” she said. “Through the appeal we are also working as a diocesan team. We all need to finish strong to see the transformative power of larger ministry and services.”

As of March 18, 2024, the Catholic Ministry Appeal has raised $4.9 million in commitments. The dedication and generosity from more than 12,500 households representing all 80 parishes and missions are making a tangible difference in the lives of countless individuals and families. Contributions collected for the appeal is truly a testament to the faith, generosity, and solidarity of our greater Church, embodying the true spirit of what it means to courageously live the Gospel.

For more information and a complete list of the ministries funded by the Catholic Ministry Appeal, or to make a gift, visit