IN THE BEGINNING…
Fr. James Hoge, O.S.B., celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the
Mass on Easter Sunday, April 19, 1987, in the multipurpose Senior Citizen Center of Citrus County on County Road 491. St. Scholastica Mission was founded with seventy-five persons in attendance.
To accommodate the growth from 75 to 150 parishioners,
the Sunday Liturgy was moved to the Knights of Columbus
Hall #6168 on November 1, 1987.
IN THE CONTINUING GROWTH…
The community of over two hundred parishioners of St. Scholastica Mission moved to the new Central Catholic School (now Pope John Paul II Catholic School) in September, 1989 for the celebration of the Liturgy. In April of 1991, St. Scholastica Mission was raised to the status of St. Scholastica Parish. Fr. James Hoge, O.S.B., served as pastor from April 20, 1987 to January 14, 1992.
On January 15, 1992, the Most Rev. John C. Favalora, Bishop of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, appointed Fr. Thomas T. Morgan to his first pastoral assignment as
spiritual leader and guide to the community at St. Scholastica Parish, which numbered over 750 families and over 1800 parishioners. Fr. Anthony D’Angelo installed Fr. Thomas T. Morgan as pastor on Sunday, March 15, 1992.
Assisting our pastor in parish ministries are Deacon Terry Knox, Deacon Steve Sablone and Deacon Robert Smith. Other deacons who have assisted with the parish are
Deacon Stephen Kurylowicz, Deacon James Leonard, Deacon Leo Borkowicz and Deacon Rich Meyer. For the first time in the history of the parish, Bishop John C. Favalora
administered the Sacrament of Confirmation on September 19, 1992 to nineteen teens and two adults.
In 1992, the Women’s Guild of St. Scholastica (now the Council of Catholic Women) was established. Scripture classes were organized to meet in various homes, parish ministries were identified and the Mass schedule was expanded. The Parish School of Religious Education was rapidly growing, a building committee was formed, personal growth classes were inaugurated, RCIA/Inquiry Classes began and food and monetary gifts to the needy provided.
In addition, the Parish Council approved participation in Habitat for Humanity, a Prayer Group was formed, and Eucharistic Adoration on the first Friday of every month was
established. A special children’s Mass on Sunday morning at 9 a.m. was enhanced by the spiritual and visual teachings of Fr. Tom.
Various ministries were organized and improved upon over the years. These include our Parish School of Religious Education, and the High School Youth Ministry; Scripture
Classes, Prayer Line and many other ministries which are listed in this directory.
IN THE BUILDING PROCESS…
Fr. James Hoge, O.S.B., founding pastor of St. Scholastica Mission, received a $10,000.00 contribution for a future church building.
Fr. Thomas T. Morgan, under the direction of Bishop John C. Favalora, established a building fund and organized a building committee to work on plans for our first church
building. The process for choosing the final design for the church building continued for several years. Shortly after the Most Rev. Robert N. Lynch, D.D., was installed as Bishop of St. Petersburg, Fr. Tom Morgan sought and received the Bishop’s approval to begin building as soon as 50% of construction costs were in hand. After on-going consultations with the director of Construction and Facilities Management at the Diocese of St. Petersburg, the architectural firm of Aude, Shand and Williams, Inc. from Clearwater, Florida, was chosen as the architect. Hawkins Construction Company from Tarpon Springs, Florida, was later awarded the contract to build the church.
On February 13, 1999, ground was broken for the new St. Scholastica Church. Hundreds of parishioners and friends attended this historical ceremony. Fr. James Johnson, V.F. for Citrus County; Fr. Thomas Morgan, Pastor; Fr. James Hoge, O.S.B., founding pastor; Msgr.
George Cummings, Fr. Raymond Lettre; Fr. John Jadaa, B.S.O.; and other clergy, dignitaries, and parishioners turned the earth in the area where the sanctuary would
eventually be located.
Fr. Thomas Morgan also sought Bishop Lynch’s permission to plan for future growth of the parish through the purchase of ten acres adjacent to the parish property. On October 5, 1999, a contract to purchase this land was signed by the Bishop. Dedication for the new church took place on January 8, 2000. The Most Rev. Robert N. Lynch, D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, officiated at the blessing of the new church. Our parish is now in the process of saving for a future parish center. A special collection taken on the 2nd weekend of the month will help us to reach that goal.
On September 1, 2000, Fr. Thomas Morgan began his new assignment at Espiritu Santo Church in Safety Harbor, Florida. He is currently the pastor of St. Lawrence Church in
Tampa. Our parish family warmly welcomed Fr. Richard Jankowski as the third pastor of our parish. Bishop John C. Favalora ordained Fr. Jankowski to the priesthood on
December 5, 1992 for the Diocese of St. Petersburg. Fr. Jankowski served as shepherd of St. Scholastica until June 30, 2006, when he was assigned to St. Francis Cabrini
Church in Spring Hill, FL. On July 1, 2006, Bishop Lynch assigned Fr. Michael Smith as the fourth pastor of St. Scholastica. Under the guidance of Fr. Mike, our parish family numbering over 1400 families, now looks ahead to continued growth as we support our goal for a future parish center.
As Christian stewards, we are asked to
acknowledge God’s gifts, nurture their growth,
use them wisely and return a
portion back to the Lord to
further His work.