Community of Connections | From the Desk of the Pastor

Dear Parishioners,

Just over a week ago, on Thursday, August 24, we held a meeting of all parish ministries at the North Campus. Among the 50-plus in attendance were members from our parish leadership committees, staff, ministry leaders, and their members. The meeting served three purposes, with time allotted for our ministries to socialize and collaborate, an opportunity for the Parish Advisory Board to introduce newly crafted mission, vision and value statements, and for leadership to describe the role of the Outreach Committee and its policies.

The Parish Advisory Board spent quite a bit of time discerning these new statements following the completion of our recent parish survey. Their purpose is to serve as a new guiding light following the recent years of transition. I would like to thank the board, especially Lynda Marsh, for the wonderful job done in crafting and sharing these messages with the group.

Now we have the chance to share these statements with you. These statements will help us plan and determine where the parish can continue to grow from here. Our future plans will be predicated upon these statements.

Mission Statement: 

To cultivate a vibrant community of faith by creating meaningful connections with both God and each other.

Vision Statement:

To be the faith-filled heartbeat of Tampa, welcoming one another, supporting each other, and modeling Christ’s love to all those we meet.

Value Statements:

We are a joyful, loving, and vibrant Body of Christ, finding inspiration in our diversity and delight in our parish friends and family.

(Franciscan Value: appreciation for beauty, reverence for all creation)

We are welcoming, approachable, kind, and inclusive – not only to those within our walls, but also to those who live along the margins.

(Franciscan Value: affirmation of the unique worth of each person)

We are passionately compassionate and generous with our means – intentional in our service, driven in our actions, and devoted to our social responsibilities.

(Franciscan Value: service to the poor and marginalized)

We are proudly Franciscan in spirit, embracing our unique heritage and the traditions passed down through generations before us, yet always striving to change and evolve. We’re never done with our work or ready to give up.

(Franciscan Value: faith in a personal and provident God)

The Outreach Committee was created back in 2019 to be the network through which our parish’s volunteerism and philanthropy functions. The Outreach Committee’s mission is to represent all outreach ministries of Sacred Heart, to bring their individual missions, membership, and needs to the attention of each other and the parish as we seek to fulfill God’s Will in opening our hearts to the Tampa community (from the Parish Advisory Council, February 15, 2020). The goal of the committee is to aid the parish in working collectively, with ministries helping ministries so that we do not duplicate efforts nor over burden you, our parishioners, with constant asks. At this recent meeting, the Outreach Committee shared its decision and approval processes for outreach events, collections, etc. Several suggestions were given by parishioners during the meeting for future cooperative planning, and the Outreach Committee will be looking at the integration of those suggestions.

Pope Francis is quoted saying, “a prayer that does not lead you to practical action for your brother is a sterile and incomplete prayer.” Prayer leads to outreach and learning, which then leads to action. At the same time, action flows from prayer and its fruits of love, gratitude, forgiveness, compassion, hope, respect, hospitality, and humility (from USCCB’s We Are Salt and Light).

Peace and All Good,
Fr. Mike