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Welcome to St. Therese of Lisieux Byzantine Catholic Church! We are located in beautiful St. Petersburg, Florida. We are a parish of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Passaic.
We welcome all new members and visitors to our parish family. We hope you will become an active part of our parish community by participating in our spiritual and social life. We are delighted to welcome you here.
Please be sure and stay for our coffee social each week after the Divine Liturgy to meet new friends!
Father Bob Evancho
We are a Byzantine Catholic Church; a part of the Eastern tradition of the Catholic Church. We are under the leadership of our Holy Father, the Pope. The Sunday Obligation is fulfilled when worshiping with us.
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Saint Therese Church was a hope and a dream for a group of Byzantine Catholics in St. Petersburg. For some time they worshiped in other places, but finally their prayers were answered. On December 20, 1964, they sang the first Divine Liturgy as a parish with their own home. At first they worshipped in what became the parish house; Father John Puskar was the first priest. Over a period of time, the parish grew and another building was constructed in 1973 which served as the church. Father Robert Ference was the priest at that time and the parish drew in new members.
In 1982 the large Branthoover Center was built-a hall for meetings, classes, celebrations, and other events. Later, two Sisters from the Order of St. Basil the Great brought their dedication and skills to St. Therese Church.
In 1992, the present church of St. Therese was dedicated. This very beautiful jewel is a gift to God thanking Him for His mercies and goodness. It is also a tribute to the many devoted parishioners who worked so hard to bring this to pass.
Father Edward Cimbala was the priest who followed Father Ference. Presently, we are blessed to have Father Robert Evancho (and his beloved Samoyeds) with us. Our beloved Sisters of St. Basil the Great have all returned to the Monastery in Uniontown, PA. We thank them for their many years of service to St. Therese.
Our Patroness: When asked how the Western saint, St. Therese, came to be our parish patroness, it was explained that when a church was being planned in this area, there were no Byzantine Catholic Churches south of New Jersey. This was considered "mission territory!" St. Therese, being the patroness of missions, was chosen to watch over the new parish.
What People Say about St. Therese:
St. Therese has been a very special place for me. I first visited for a Moleben (prayer) Service for a pro-life group which was to have prayers and a procession. Father Ed was the priest at that time and he welcomed our group. He celebrated the Liturgy for us and encouraged our efforts when few did. I was deeply moved by the sense of holiness and majesty of the Liturgy.
I came to St. Therese for a "learn about the Eastern Rite" weekend and was fascinated by the classes on icons, the Divine Liturgy, various customs, & the warmth of everyone in the parish.
This parish has felt like a family to me; it is small and warm.The Divine Liturgy surrounds one with a sense of stability and the nearness of the love of God. The Liturgy is celebrated with great seriousness. The voice of the cantor, John Magulick, lifts one away from earthly concerns to contemplation of the eternal. Thank you St. Therese!