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On Friday, June 7, our pastor Father George Nursey will consecrate our St. Stephen parish to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on its feast day. Parishioners are invited to attend the 7:00 AM Mass in the chapel and stay for the prayers of consecration afterward.

When we consecrate something to the Sacred Heart, we place that thing (ourselves, our family, finances, etc.) totally under the loving care of Jesus. We trust that God will remain close to us, and become reminded of this special relationship we have made with consecration.

We invite you to also join in the 9-day novena to the Sacred Heart leading up to the feast day at your homes. For the novena, please pray daily the Act of Consecration linked below, starting on May 30 through June 7.

We are starting up a new feature to be included regularly in our bulletins called “Ask Father George!” Parishioners are invited to ask Fr. George Nursey any questions about the Catholic faith—pastoral, theological, spiritual. We will publish Fr. George’s answers in the bulletin.

“An extremely grave amendment has been placed on the November 2024 ballot that seeks to erase pro-life protections by inserting language into the Florida Constitution banning regulation of abortion. The amendment would allow late-term abortion, including when the baby is capable of feeling pain, and would eliminate laws requiring parental consent and safety protocols for women. The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops is working hard to oppose this dangerous and deception amendment and urges all Floridians to vote ‘no’ on Amendment 4.” (https://flaccb.org/abortion-amendment)

Image taken from https://flaccb.org/abortion-amendment

Our parish enjoyed a fun and relaxed evening at our first Spring Fling on Friday, April 19. Parishioners and their families got to listen to music as they ate over freshly served hot dogs, burgers, and pulled pork sandwiches. There were plenty of treats too—cotton candy, brownies, cupcakes, cookies, and other baked goods. The Knights of Columbus supported the event with their sale of beer and wine. Plus, there was a 50/50 raffle!

Kids were able to play games with a basketball hoop, cornhole, coloring activities, and a volleyball court set-up. They were also invited to join in on the Silly Hat parade, with Fr. George Nursey wearing his own silly hat! The small petting zoo was also a highlight, as people came to see the different animals and interact with them.

Thank you to all who came out for our Spring Fling and helped make it a fun and successful evening! We are very much grateful for all our volunteers who contributed to this wonderful parish event for all to enjoy.  

At our Town Hall meeting in March, we discussed the critical fixes and rejuvenation project that need to be done on the church building. As the project begins in mid-April, we will be keeping parishioners aware on the latest work and costs. Check our “Church Restoration Project” page (under the main menu tab “Our Parish”) on our parish website for new updates.

St. Stephen Catholic Church is holding a Town Hall Meeting in the church on Thursday, March 14 at 7:00 PM to discuss our upcoming building project. While parishioners are aware that we need a new roof, there is more to this project. Other work needs to be done in order to keep “the outside out, and the inside in”, in what we will call a Building Envelope Project. We will go into detail about the work, cost, and financing during this meeting.

The Town Hall meeting is of the greatest urgency to the whole parish, and Father George Nursey asks that as many parishioners attend so that we all know about the works and why we are doing them. We need the participation of all members of our parish family for this special meeting.

This year, parishioners are invited to bring in their own palms to be distributed and used in the celebration of Palm Sunday, March 23/24. Not only collecting palms from our local surrounding more economically beneficial, but it also brings us closer to the scene of Jesus’ own entry into Jerusalem, where the crowds picked nearby palms and used them to welcome their King. We will begin collecting palms Saturday, March 16, at the 5pm Mass, through Wednesday, March 20.

Please follow these guidelines for brining your palms:

  1. One family can provide one palm stalk, although they can bring 2 or 3 if they wish.
  2. Be sure that the palms are pure green and have no dead spots. We do not want to use browning or yellowing palms!
  3. Hose and wipe down the palms beforehand to remove any dirt or bugs. Please check twice for bugs!
  4. There will be water containers outside the church March 16-20 for you to drop off your palms.

We are also asking for volunteers to help cut palms on Friday, March 22 at 1:00 PM in the courtyard. Please bring a pair of utility scissors and gloves!

We hope that this will be a new, ongoing tradition in our St. Stephen community every Palm Sunday.

Pope Francis, in his 2024 Lenten message, tells us that “Lent is a season of conversion, a time of freedom.” In the Season of Lent, “God shapes his people, he enables us to leave our slavery behind and experience a Passover from death to life. Like a bridegroom, the Lord draws us once more to himself, whispering words of love to our hearts.”

Read more about Lent, including its meaning and practices, in the document below. You can also download and print this for your own personal use in the spiritual journey of Lent.

A BIG THANK YOU to all who helped make our St. Stephen Flea Market a huge success this year! Our three-day extravaganza was filled with great fellowship and thrifty shopping! People came in from opening hours to find all sorts of unique finds, from clothing to kitchenware to art to kids toys to bicycles. Those who came by were also able to get a meal from our volunteers who ran the snacks and grill tables! We are generously thankful to those who donated their items, for those who came out to support our Flea Market, and for the whole volunteer team that set up and ran the Flea Market with such energy and dedication.

Parishioners, join us for our Spring Fling on Friday, April 19, from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM outside the church and office courtyard spaces. We invite our parishioners to come as a church community to enjoy together a fun family evening.

Choose from a variety of activities for all ages:

  • 5:00 p.m. – Fr. George will open the festivities with a prayer and welcome.
  • 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. – Petting Zoo in the Field: Meet and pet some little and not-so-little farm animals.
  • 6:00 p.m. – Silly Hat Parade: Just for fun! Create a silly hat at home and wear it to join the parade in front of the church courtyard. All participants will receive a treat!
  • Food: $5 Pulled pork, grilled cheeseburgers, or hot dogs. Also for sale – chips, drinks, and treats!
  • Knights of Columbus: Beer and wine for sale and 50/50 Raffle.
  • CCW Bake Sale: Enjoy a home baked dessert and buy some extra goodies to take home for later.
  • DJ-Music: Enjoy music while eating and chatting with friends, or dance to the beat!
  • Open Games in the Field: Soccer Nets, Balls, Badminton, Corn Hole, and more.
  • Children’s Activities in the Church Courtyard: Basketball, parachutes, coloring, and more.