Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg appoints new leader at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle

ST. PETERSBURG — Bishop Robert Lynch has picked a man with local roots to head the most important church in the Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg.

Father Joseph Waters, now pastor at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Temple Terrace, has been appointed rector of the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle in St. Petersburg. He will replace Father Gregg Tottle, who is heading to St. Michael the Archangel in Clearwater.

The assignments are part of the normal rotation of duties in the diocese that follow retirements, ordinations and requests by priests for transfers. About a dozen priests will be affected this year.

Waters, 47, made news in January when he was charged with driving under the influence near Riverview. He pleaded no contest to reckless driving, received probation and community service. He says he's a humbler and more compassionate person as a result of the incident.

The priest apologized to his congregation, saying he was "terribly embarrassed" and "sorry for the poor judgment" he showed. He had been returning home from a social engagement, he said.

Frank Murphy, a spokesman for the diocese, said Waters is highly regarded.

"I think the one mistake that he's made should not override the fact that he was apologetic and he has served in leadership positions in our diocese," he said.

"He is known as a very forceful, very strong person and has done a very good job at Corpus Christi, and the bishop is very pleased that Father Waters accepted the appointment."

The cathedral is the bishop's church, so Waters will technically be second in command in the parish. St. Jude's includes a parochial school of 438 students and a congregation of about 1,800 families.

Waters also will be in a position to advise men considering priesthood. He said he knew Father Alberto Cutie, the Miami priest who recently reignited the debate about celibacy after intimate pictures surfaced of him with a woman. He said priests choose their vocation because they have found something worth sacrificing for.

"There are times when you miss not having a family," Waters said, adding that his advice to those seeking the priesthood is that God will give them grace to get through difficult times.

The new position will be a homecoming of sorts, said Waters, the ninth of 10 children. His family moved to the city from Long Island in 1973 and belonged to St. Paul's Parish. He graduated from St. Petersburg Catholic High, and five siblings still live here. He will begin his new position July 1.

Times researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report. Waveney Ann Moore can be reached at wmoore@sptimes.com or (727)892-2283.

Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg appoints new leader at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle 05/27/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 27, 2009 11:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 5 ways officials are trying to stop Pinellas' teenage car thieves

    Crime

    In the last week of June, bleeding into the first days of July, 20 cars went missing in the city of St. Petersburg.

     U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, left, takes notes as St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway, right, talks about car thefts in St. Petersburg during a meeting earlier this month.
  2. 'Deadliest Catch' captain talks reality TV, Snoop Dogg and Tampa Bay

    Outdoors

    Keith Colburn is best known as captain of the Wizard on the Discovery Network series Deadliest Catch. Colburn and crew go to battle in the Bering Sea working one of the deadliest jobs in America. A seasoned veteran, Keith has filmed 11 seasons of the show and is still going strong with his relief captain …

    Captain Keith Colburn is seen in this undated photo courtesy of the Discovery Channel. Courtesy of the Discovery Channel
  3. Police: Video shows teens watching, laughing as man drowns

    Accidents

    COCOA — Authorities in Florida say a group of teens watched and laughed as a man drowned in a retention pond last week.

    Jamel Dunn drowned in a retention pond in the city of Cocoa on July 9. Cocoa police say they later discovered a group of teens recorded the 31-year-old's drowning on video. [Florida Today]
  4. As Rubio avoids public settings on health care, disabled Tampa man's story gets attention

    Blogs

    Michael Phillips was hunting demons Monday night when the news broke: The Senate health care bill was dying.

    Michael Phillips at home in Tampa with his mother, Karen Clay
  5. Shark Week 2017: Michael Phelps races a shark and other must-see specials

    Blogs

    It's that time of year again. No, not back to school month or geek convention season -- it's Shark Week.

    For almost 30 years, Discovery Channel has brought a full week of special programs on the toothy underwater predators through Shark Week.