Since 1994, St. Catherine of Siena Parish, has served the Catholic faith in the Kissimmee area and surrounding communities. We were founded as a Mission of Holy Redeemer Parish, under the pastoral care of the Servite’s Fathers, with Fr. Vidal Martinez as the Pastor.
Our home, at 2750 East Osceola Parkway, consisted of our multi-purpose worship building and temporary parish office structure. These facilities came into being in 1998, through the generosity of our parishioners and the Diocese of Orlando. Soon after, we grew to be a mission of nearly 3,200 registered families.
By August 12, 2000, we were established as a parish. In December of 2001, the parish began a capital campaign to build the church building. The following year, Fr. Vidal was transferred, and a year later the Servite Fathers returned the parish to the pastoral care of the diocese. Bishop Norbert Dorsey named Father José Bautista as the Pastor; effective June 10, 2003.
The parish continued to grow and work towards building the temple, taking some needed steps to meet the needs of the faithful. In February of 2009, we completed the expansion of the multipurpose building, adding nine rooms for the improvement of our ministry and a step towards building our much needed temple. We dedicated four of these rooms for specific purposes: a new Chapel for the Blessed Sacrament, a new Music Room, a Food Pantry, and a Religious Articles Gift Shop. The rest of the rooms are used for meetings and activities of the parish.
We continued to expand the parish facilities. On October 15, 2009, we finished the construction of temporary parking, as part of the necessary phase in order to work on the final and permanent parking, and the new entrances and exits. On March 26, 2010, we completed the installation of the moveable walls with the purpose of having more space and capacity during the weekend masses.
Gradually, with the efforts and contributions of all, we are moving forward with the goals of our parish. In the year 2013, we completed the site work new entrances and the parking lot. This was the last step before we could build the desired and much needed temple building.
On June 6, 2015 we saw the ordination of our first vocation ever. Rev. Mr. Pablo Laguna-Villegas was ordained by our Bishop John Noonan as permanent deacon and assigned to assist our ministry at St Catherine of Siena.
In July 2017, with the blessing of our Bishop John Noonan, we began the process of designing the New Church Temple. We worked very hard to fulfill the needs and desires of the parish, by the choices the construction committee made to give shape to the new Church. In September, during Sunday masses, the design of the new temple was presented to the congregation and ministries, it was received by all with great joy and enthusiasm. Later at a Town Hall meeting, we presented the designs and the process of construction in more details.
The Ground Breaking Ceremony took place on November 25, 2017, the Solemnity of Christ the King weekend; the actual construction project began in February of last year. In June 22, 2019 we celebrated the Dedication and Consecration of our Church and Altar. We had the honor of the presence of the Most Reverend John Noonan Bishop of the Diocese of Orlando, and most Reverend Mark J. Spalding; Bishop of the Diocese of Nashville.
Today, our Temple, with a total capacity of 850 people, is dedicated and consecrated to the greatest glory of God and of our Lord Jesus, the King of the Universe, under the patronage of St. Catherine of Siena. It is such a blessing that, by the grace of God, we are now hosting a relic of our patron saint. It will help us to continue our close relationship with her and to practice more intimately our devotion, as we are, by the presence of her relic, reassured of her constant protection and intercession.
We thank God for guiding us to this point. Our new Temple is now a reality. We thank all our brothers and sisters, that in some form or another, have contributed to this great project. And, I take this opportunity to acknowledge everyone who took part of the dedication and consecration ceremonies.
We count ourselves privileged to minister a community rich in diversity, united in faith, service and fellowship. Our parish continues to be a focus for important events in our lives. Here, we worship and honor God; here, we baptize new members into the community of Faith.
Here, people proclaim their life-long commitment to each other in love. In addition, our parish has ministers for the elderly, the sick, the poor, and all those in need of our help; here, we celebrate the gift of forgiveness; here we give thanks for the lives of our sisters and brothers who have complete their earthly journey into God’s loving embrace. Our Faith Formation program continues to be a beacon of hope in our community.
To add to all our blessings, in 2018 we saw the ordination of our two first priestly vocations: Fr. Blake Britton and Fr. Edwin Cardona; and also our second permanent deacon, Rev. Mr. Wilfrid Tilus; as we also, have now Mr. Julio Basabe and Mr. Jose Galarza in formation towards the permanent diaconate, while Mr. Guido Eugster has been accepted as a postulant for the same program. All these while several young men of our parish as seriously considering the vocation to the priesthood. May God continue to bless us with more vocations, workers to his abundant harvest.
This past year we continue to embellish the New Temple with religious art that enable us to experience more concretely the presence of God in our midst. Now we we have the angels flanking he tabernacle in adoration that not only reminds us of our proper disposition as we enter the sanctuary but also harkens to the original tabernacle in the wilderness as the realization that God has fulfilled His promise in His Son Our Lord Jesus Christ. We also have the image of the Divine Child at the entrance of the church building, and paintings in all the sacristies. Right now the Rose window for the front entrance of the church is being built and we hope to have install by the anniversary of the ground breaking, at the Solemnity of Christ the King.
This year in the midst of the pandemic we were able to minister to our parishioners through the miracle of technology, as from the beginning of the closing of the services with congregation we have been able to stream not only all our Sunday and daily Masses but also other activities like both of our Eucharistic Journeys, and the Eucharistic Evenings every Monday that we began in August.
And so we have celebrated the 20th anniversary of our parish, the 7th anniversary of our Perpetual Adoration (although the Blessed Sacrament Chapel is temporarily closed due the pandemic), The 5th anniversary of the ministry Hands of Mercy, and 5th Anniversary of the Prayer of Intercession for the Priest of the Parish. Parishioners have responded to the need or more hospitality ministers, sacristans team is also growing in numbers and commitment. As we prepare to open, hopefully soon, the other ministries of the parish.
STEWARDSHIP IN OUR PARISH
By emphasizing stewardship, St. Catherine of Siena seeks to create a community that consistently invites people to deepen their relationship with Christ and each other, and to express this through commitments of time, talent, and treasure.
A ) Stewardship of Time: Using my time on earth wisely; making time for personal prayer, family prayer, and quality time with friends and loved ones.
B ) Stewardship of Talent: Using my God-given abilities to strengthen the Church and help others, especially through parish ministries, groups and activities.
C ) Stewardship of Treasure: The wise and just management of my financial resources; giving back to God the first and best fruits of our labor by giving a proportionate amount of our income to the weekly parish offertory. St. Catherine invites parish members to tithe, that is to give 10% of our income to the parish ministry.