St. Matthew parish celebrates 30 Years: 1986-2016
St. Matthew's celebrates its 30th Year in 2016. The parish has grown from a small mission church that met weekends in Osceola Middle School's multi-purpose room into a vibrant community with more than 800 families with a bright future ahead for the next 30 years.
Below is a brief history of the beginnings of the parish:
• On Dec. 13, 1985 the Florida Catholic Newspaper announced that mid-Pinellas County would soon have a new Catholic parish. – The Bardmoor Mission.
• Fr. Joseph Pellegrino was named the first pastor by Bishop W. Thomas Larkin
• On January 4, 1986 the Mass was celebrated on the grounds of St. Matthew – more than 100 families registered that weekend.
• Temporary worship space was Osceola Middle School on the weekends and daily mass at the Cross Bayou Little League Complex. The parish office was located in a private home in the Bardmoor community.
• The new community donated to the parish books, a portable altar, a tabernacle, candlesticks, kneelers and vestments.
• Our beloved and beautiful tabernacle came from a private home in New Orleans and before that was in a basilica in Italy.
• On November 30, 1986 St. Matthew celebrated the groundbreaking for the new church where officials from the diocese and parishioners down to young children turned soil with shovels.
• In the fall of 1986 the first religious education classes were taught.
• In January 1988 Bishop Larkin and 25 priests from around the diocese dedicated the new church building. In addition we celebrated the confirmation of 28 young adults.