Altar Linen Care Ministry
With deep love and reverence for the holy Eucharist, the altar linen care ministry cares for the sacred linens on a rotating schedule. Training is provided on how to care for these special linens that were used during the holy sacrifice of the Mass. This ministry is made up of team members who, behind the scenes in their own homes, reverently launder and care for the purificators and corporals used on the altar at Mass. They also care for the vestments worn by priests and altar servers.
Boys and girls, from third grade through high school, are invited to join this very important ministry of assisting the priest and deacon at the altar. The altar servers’ ministry is open to all (youth, young adults and seniors) who are willing assist at the Mass and sacraments by assisting the priest at the altar. Training is provided, and registration is open to all in the fall and spring.
Contact: Isabella Carrera [email protected]
Altar Society (Sacristan)
Sacristans are responsible for setting up the church for all liturgies. They ensure that the sacred vessels are placed on the credence table, they coordinate the cleaning of those vessels used during the holy sacrifice of the Mass on weekdays, weekends, and for special liturgies.
To enlist, one should be a member of the parish in good standing, have the desire to serve your fellow parishioners in this ministry, and previously been commissioned as an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist. The sacristan also coordinates with the parish manager to make sure the sacristy is adequately supplied. Training is provided as needed.
Contact (English): Rosemary Elliott [email protected]
Contact (Spanish): Norberto Vidro [email protected]
Art and Environment Ministry
The art and environment ministry plays a pivotal role in crafting a transformative liturgical experience that engages all the senses and fosters a deeper understanding of the sacred rites. With unwavering dedication, this ministry meticulously designs the church environment to align with each distinct liturgical season, and they bring their creative touch to the fore on special feast and holy days. This dynamic transformation involves a group of committed disciples who work diligently, both in setting up and taking down the decorations, ensuring that every shift in the liturgical calendar is accompanied by a visual and sensory “feast” within the church. If you possess a natural affinity for the artistry of flowers, plants, and interior decoration, this ministry provides an exceptional avenue to channel those talents for the greater glory of God and his house. Here, both adults and teens are encouraged to lend their creativity and passion, as all are welcome to contribute their skills in this shared endeavor. We believe that age knows no bounds in the realm of artistic expression, and as such, adults and teenagers alike are warmly encouraged to partake in this shared mission of adorning God's house.
Contact: Michele Williams [email protected]
The baptism preparation ministry coordinates our parish baptism program. This ministry is a part of our faith formation program. The goals of this ministry are to educate families about the sacrament of baptism, to welcome families to Holy Cross and familiarize them with the parish, to introduce families to resources/ideas for Christian parenting, to support parents through the baptismal process, and to assist at baptismal celebrations. If you are interested in helping prepare parents for the baptism of their children, then this ministry is right for you. The key quality needed for the baptism preparation ministry is a welcoming personality, as we are often one of the first contacts families have with their parish. Through discussions at gatherings, we share our Catholic faith and challenge parents to be good role models and catechizers of their children.
Contact: Milagros Haylock [email protected]
This Ministry strives to offer emotional and spiritual support to those who have just experienced the death of a loved one. Being present to those who have suffered a loss is a touching way to proclaim the love of Christ to others. Members of the bereavement ministry help families prepare for the funeral mass or other services. They contact the family on a regular basis following the death to make sure that their spiritual and emotional needs are being met, offering support and encouragement. Each year in November we celebrate a candlelight memorial Mass at Holy Cross and invite the families to attend.
Contact: Bunny Harmon [email protected]
Bingo is a beloved and timeless game of chance that brings people together for a thrilling combination of fortune and camaraderie. It has long been a tradition in parishes all across the country. This ministry provides a social outlet and support for people who enjoy having fun and making friends, therefore bingo plays a dual role, bolstering parish finances while also serving as a crucial social gathering for many.
Bingo offers an opportunity for members and non-members of our parish to come together in an informal atmosphere to share good times and laughter and perhaps go home a winner! Bingo is held every Monday in the parish center. Doors open at 4:00 pm, with games starting at 5:45 pm.
Contact: Michael (Mike) Hayek [email protected]
Buildings and Ground Committee
The Building and Grounds Ministry is concerned with the state and condition of parish facilities and property, their maintenance and upkeep. This ministry prioritizes and presents needs as part of the budget process and identifies any situations which require immediate action to the Pastor. Members should have knowledge and expertise in the areas of architecture, construction, landscaping, cleaning, and maintenance.
Contact: Matt Pullis [email protected]
Eucharistic Ministers & Homebound
Homebound: One of the most rewarding parish ministries is that of visiting the homebound. Each week, eucharistic ministers from Holy Cross bring holy communion to parishioners who are unable to attend Mass. Those parishioners greatly appreciate the opportunity and blessing of receiving holy communion at home. In addition to visiting parishioners in their homes, Holy Cross provides a communion service for Catholic residents at the different assisted living facilities within our parish boundaries.
We welcome you to join this ministry of bringing holy communion to our parishioners who are homebound, living at one of the assisted living facilities or in the hospital. In addition to regularly scheduled ministers, substitutes are on call to help periodically when a regularly scheduled eucharistic minister is unavailable on their scheduled day.
Eucharistic Ministers: Just as Jesus fed those who hungered, so he feeds us with his body and blood. Just as he gave the bread and fish to the disciples, who then gave them to the people (Mark 6:41), so the Church sometimes entrusts the body and blood of Christ to ministers, who then distribute it to the faithful. EMs assist in the distribution of holy communion during the holy sacrifice of the Mass. EMs must be actively participating in the sacramental life of the Church and approved by the pastor. Training is required. Rotating teams assist on Saturdays and Sundays.
Contact (English): Kenneth & JoAnn Hossley [email protected]
Contact (Spanish): Norberto Vidro [email protected]
The faith formation ministry provides a comprehensive pathway to spiritual growth and understanding. For children, it typically commences with Sunday School, where the foundational teachings of the Catholic faith are introduced. As they grow, children and youth are prepared for the sacraments of first Holy Communion and Confirmation through dedicated sacramental preparation programs. Adults and older children who may not have been baptized and who are seeking to enter the Catholic Church engage in the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults or the Rite of Christian Initiation for Children (RCIA and RCIC, respectively). This multifaceted approach ensures that all members of the faith community, whether from early childhood or later in life, receive the necessary guidance and preparation to live out their Catholic faith with depth and understanding.
Holy Cross Faith Formation Ministry also offers the Men’s Ministry, which seeks to provide men with a sense of purpose, discipleship, and accountability as followers of Christ. Alongside this is the Young Adults ministry, where young adults can find a place to belong, build strong friendships, and get connected with the life of the Church, through educational, formational, and social opportunities.
Contact: Andrew Johnson [email protected]
The finance council operating within Holy Cross Catholic Church represents a dynamic consortium of dedicated lay individuals who have been thoughtfully convened to serve in an advisory capacity, thereby extending their valuable counsel to the pastor. Their primary focus lies in the intricate realm of parish finances, and their multifaceted duties encompass a range of responsibilities aimed at fostering fiscal stability and transparency within the church's financial affairs. This consultative body acts as a is a part of the administrative machinery of the parish, contributing significantly to its fiscal health and prudent resource management.
The Parish Finance Council is composed of the pastor, as an ex-officio member, the parish manager, and not less than three reputable and practicing members of the parish knowledgeable and skilled in financial matters. Membership is by appointment of the pastor. Members serve for a three-year term and may be appointed to a second three-year term. The chairperson is appointed for a term of one year and may be reappointed. Principal responsibilities of the council include:
Contact: Rosemary Stogniew [email protected]
The Hispanic-Latino heritage ministry at Holy Cross celebrates the contributions of Hispanic-Latino people in our parish family. The ministry strives to live daily the richness of Hispanic countries and history, customs and devotions, the concept of unity, and everything that is part of Hispanic daily lives. This ministry represents a celebration of the unique flavors, traditions, and faith expressions that originate from the diverse Hispanic countries that enrich our community. Central to this mission is the concept of unity within the family, an enduring value that forms the cornerstone of Hispanic culture, fostering strong bonds of cross-culture togetherness.
Multiple activities are organized to celebrate and promote Hispanic-Latino heritage at Holy Cross:
Contacts: Angelica Banuelos [email protected]
Belen Georgina Pedro Ojeda [email protected]
The primary goal of the hospitality ministry is to greet all who enter the church and care for them during the liturgy. It is important that all who attend our liturgies feel welcome and comfortable. Hospitality ministers will assist anyone who may have special needs and take care of logistics as needed (taking up collections, handing out bulletins, etc.). In the event of an emergency, the hospitality ministry will ensure the safety and well-being of all in attendance.
Greeters create an engaging, welcoming environment from the parking lot to the Sanctuary. They help visitors feel welcome, contact new registrants to the parish, and assist with welcome baskets and welcome events.
Gift Bearers bring the gifts of bread and wine, and the collection, to the altar during the offertory.
Ushers assist members to their seats and provide for their physical needs and comfort.
Contact (English): Renee Hall [email protected]
Contact (Spanish): Rigo y Claudia Valles [email protected]
Keepers of the Cross
“Zeal for your house will consume me” (Psalm 69:9). The Keepers of the Cross is a ministry whose mission is to clean and care for the church. We strive to keep our hearts focused on the eternal purity of the love that the Father has for his children. Holy Cross Catholic Church is a home for the whole family of God and is built to fulfill the mission of Christ and his Church. Consider joining our community of disciples that maintains the cleanliness and overall appearance of our church which influences our sacramental experience in faith and worship. No experience needed. All are welcome!
Contact (English): Dinah Flexon [email protected]
Contact (Spanish): Martha Mendoza Castillo [email protected]
Lectors proclaim the readings during Mass so that the community of faith may hear the word of God. Lectors are members of the parish community who have excellent communication skills and the ability to pronounce the word of God to the whole community during the holy sacrifice of the Mass. Meetings: Training for this ministry is available throughout the year.
Contact (English): Chris Capista [email protected]
Contact (Spanish): Angelica Banuelos [email protected]
Loaves & Fishes
“Jesus said to them: ‘Give them some food yourselves.’ They replied, ‘Five loaves and two fish are all we have...’” (Luke 9:13). The loaves & fishes ministry of Holy Cross serves one of the biggest diocesan programs for the homeless, Pinellas Hope. As a community, we strive to reach out to those in need and provide hot food for them. Once a month, loaves and fishes ministry provides a Sunday dinner that is served to the residents of Pinellas Hope fulfillment of the Lord’s command to feed the hungry, which is a corporal work of mercy.
Contact: Angelica Banuelos [email protected]
Matrimonio, Dialogo y Seguimiendo (MDS)
(Marriage, Dialogue and Follow Up)
MDS is a Hispanic marriage ministry encourages a healthy and balanced marriage and engages couples and their families to participate in the life and liturgy of the Church. The weekly Wednesday night meeting is coordinated by a leadership couple that rotates every two years. The meetings are centered around testimonial presentations by one couple each week, informed by biblical and Catholic sources, and includes prayer and questions and answers sessions.
Contact: Augusto y Norant Leon [email protected]
Ministry of Mercy
The Holy Cross ministry of mercy strives to promote and defend the idea that human life is sacred and must be valued in all circumstances from the moment of conception until death. Members take an active part in the respect life campaign, but they also in visit prisons, pray for incarcerated people, and accompany families suffering from the absence of an incarcerated loved one.
The screen tech ministry plays a behind-the-scenes yet vital role in enhancing the worship experience. These dedicated individuals skillfully operate the projectors during Mass, seamlessly integrating technology to display liturgical texts, hymns, and visual aids, enriching the congregation's understanding and participation in the Mass. Their expertise fosters a more immersive and spiritually fulfilling environment for the parish community.
Contact: Matt Sisco [email protected]
Sleeping Mats for the Homeless
“If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it?” (James 2:15-16).
The sleeping mats for the homeless ministry at Holy Cross is a group of disciples who gather every Wednesday to make mats from plastic bags to provide warm and protective mats to help the homeless in our area as a witness to the faith. The ministry is nurtured and inspired by the life of Saint Tabitha (Dorcas) in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 9:36-43).
Prayers are offered as the mats are made in hope that the recipient will experience God's mercy, peace, strength, and healing power. The mats are blessed prior to distribution. Mats are distributed as needed. We respond to requests from anyone, as we see in every person nothing else but the person of Jesus Christ begging for help and in need. “I was naked and you clothed me...” (Matthew 25:36).
Join us in this beautiful ministry to bring comfort to the homeless while sharing fellowship and fun! No sewing experience required. We meet on Wednesdays in the small hall following the 12:00 pm Mass.
Contact: Pat Morrison [email protected]
Social Club (Coffee Crew)
The Holy Cross social club or coffee crew aims at providing a safe and comfortable place for the members of our parish family as we get together after the morning Mass in the Small Hall to share our faith and life experiences around a cup of coffee. The social club offers a warm and welcoming environment where the bonds of faith are strengthened, and the fellowship continues after the morning Mass has ended, fostering a sense of unity within our parish family. The social club offers a space where parishioners can extend the love encountered in the celebration of the holy Eucharist.
Contact: Marge Colravy [email protected]
Society of St. Vincent de Paul
“Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’” (Matthew 25:40).
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an international Catholic organization of lay persons founded in 1833 by Frederic Ozanam and his companions.
The Society helps those who are suffering and less fortunate. In a spirit of justice and charity, the involvement of its members is one-on-one with those in need.
The society is open to all who wish to live the Catholic faith by loving and serving God in their neighbors. No work of charity is foreign to the society, as we strive to see the face of Christ in the poor and suffering and in those in need. The society assists in a way that promotes human dignity and integrity. The society is concerned not only with relieving need, but also with redressing the situations that cause it. We serve people in need, regardless of creed, opinion, color, caste or origin.
Contact: Don Rigolo [email protected]
Weddings & Quinceaneras
Wedding and Quinceañera is a ministry of accompaniment and preparation for the celebration of some of the most important stages of the Christian life. Preparation for the sacrament of matrimony is of the utmost importance. To prepare a young woman for Quinceañera is to initiate her into a Catholic life of intentional discipleship.
Contact: Angelica Banuelos [email protected]
The Mission of the Women’s Club encompasses several areas:
The Holy Cross Church Women’s Club has always been a vital and flourishing ministry. The ministry is dedicated in its service to the parish family as its members strive to fulfill the requirements of true discipleship. All women of the parish are encouraged to join.
Contact: Mary Anne Watkins [email protected]
Worship (Music) Ministry
The Christian faithful who gather together as one to await the Lord’s coming are instructed by the apostle Paul to sing together in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Col 3: 16). Singing is the sign of the heart’s joy (Acts 2:46). Thus, Saint Augustine says rightly, “Singing is for one who loves”. And again, “One who sings well prays twice.”
The worship ministry (music) encompasses the voices and talents of all members of the congregation, the choir, musicians, and our dedicated music director. Within the liturgy, sung prayer holds a significant place, and the music ministry takes on the crucial role of uniting the congregation in this form of worship. Furthermore, it is our solemn responsibility to provide the musical expertise needed to uplift and enhance the active participation of the congregation, all while meticulously upholding liturgical guidelines, creating an environment where the power of music enhances the spiritual experience of all who gather in worship.
Contact (English): Vincent Sclafani [email protected]
Contact (Spanish): Vincente Vazquez [email protected]
Wedding and Quinceaňera
Wedding and Quinceañera is a ministry of accompaniment and preparation for the celebration of some of the most important stages of the Christian life. To prepare a young woman for Quinceañera is to initiate her into a responsible Christian life and intentional discipleship.
Contact: Angelica Banuelos [email protected]
The youth ministry program at Holy Cross serves as a beacon of faith and guidance, especially vital in the face of the current cultural climate. It recognizes that the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is not the endpoint but the beginning of a lifelong journey. Understanding the challenges young Catholics face today, it offers a comprehensive approach to ongoing faith formation. For elementary students, a nurturing foundation is built through an interactive program called Kindle, followed by a more in-depth exploration in middle school through our CrossWalk program. High school students are offered Called to Greatness, a space for profound reflection and engagement, ensuring that faith remains relevant as they transition into adulthood. Our Youth Ministry programs go beyond the classroom by encouraging service projects throughout the year, allowing our youth to tangibly express their faith through acts of kindness and compassion, thus forging a generation of Catholics equipped with a robust, lived faith to navigate the complexities of the world they inherit.
Contact: Andrew Johnson [email protected]