One Church ~ One Spirit

Built of Living Stones

We are blessed by a hardworking and dedicated group of people who are looking forward to getting to know you.

Our office is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM.

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Please meet our Staff......

Father Michael Suszynski

[email protected]


Date/Place of Birth: January 16, 1956, Chicago IL

Education: St. M. Magdalene Grade School

Mount Carmel High School

Bachelors of Arts, Mundelein College

Master of Divinity, St. Anthony on the Hudson Seminary, N.Y.

Foreign Languages: Polish, Celebrate in Spanish

Conventual Franciscan Order: Entered in 1975,

Novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, 1977-78

Ordained: May 24, 1986 by Bishop Howard Hubbard in Albany, N.Y.

For the Conventual Franciscans Friars, Province of Saint Bonaventure

Incardination: Into the Diocese of St. Petersburg April 1, 2003

Assignments with Conventual Franciscans:

Aquinas H.S., Fort Madison, IA - Teaching Religion/History 1980-82

Queen of Angels Church, Detroit, MI – Associate Pastor 1986-87

Marytown, Libertyville, IL – working within the Shrine and Mission Director 1987-92

St. Bronislava Parish, Province Mission Director 1992-94

Chaplain for Felician Sisters, Chicago, IL 1994-98

Provincial House, Chicago, IL, Mission Director, Secular Franciscan Director 1998-99

Came to DOSP: Nativity Parish, Parochial Vicar, September 1, 1999 - July 1, 2003

St. James the Apostle Parish, Port Richey, Parochial Vicar, July 1, 2003 – July 1, 2005

St. Benedict, Crystal River, Pastor, July 1, 2005 - July 1, 2009

Appointments: Chaplain, Bishop McLaughlin H.S., June 5, 2003 – June 30, 2019

Faithful Friar, Knights of Columbus, Francis Cardinal Spellman Assembly #1547 - November 21, 2005

Vicar Forane, Citrus County, Presbyteral Council Member 2006 - 2009

College of Consultors, 2006 - 2011

Incarnation Parish, Tampa, Pastor, July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2019

Presbyteral Council Member, 2009 - 2012

St. Peter the Apostle: July 1, 2019

Rowena Wilkinson

Music Director:  [email protected]

A native Floridian, Rowena is a lifelong resident of St. Petersburg/Tampa. She attended St. Paul’s school and St. Paul’s High School, and was active in the formation of the St. Paul’s Folk Group, which is still in existence today.

Rowena participated in yearly National Piano Playing competitions during middle and high school years. After graduating from Notre Dame Academy (now St. Pete Catholic High) and St. Petersburg Junior College, she moved to Tampa to complete a BA at the University of South Florida.

For 17 years, Rowena was the co-director of the Corpus Christi Folk Ensemble in Temple Terrace. During this time, she became involved in the Hillsborough County Mothers against Drunk Driving chapter, and this year will be providing the 30th year of music for the chapter’s annual December Candlelight Vigil.

The choirs have received numerous awards from MADD for their volunteer efforts throughout the years. In fact, this MADD Chapter is the only one in the country with its very own contemporary choir. During this time, the Corpus Christi Contemporary Choir celebrated its achievements by producing a musical album named, First Fruits: A Collection of Hope and Praise.

In 1996, Rowena became the founding co-director of the Music Ministry at St. Mark the Evangelist parish in New Tampa. As a full time accountant with over 25 years of experience in not-for-profits here in the Tampa Bay area, Rowena volunteered to start this music ministry at St. Marks, and due to volunteer efforts which included not only music, but serving as Finance Chair for several years, and for her service was awarded the St. Jude Medal by our Bishop in 2001.

Rowena assisted Blessed Sacrament parish in South Hillsborough County as its Music Director/Liturgist from 2002-2007. During this time from 2003-2007, Rowena completed studies in the Lay Pastoral Ministry Institute (LPMI) and was commissioned in 2007. Rowena continues her affiliation with the LPMI Alumni Association as Treasurer.

Rowena is a member of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians and was a person of noteworthy mention in the early 1980’s in a quarterly publication. She has attended numerous conventions, conferences for the North American Forum on the Catechumenate; Religious Education and National Catechetical Conferences to ensure that liturgy and music are at the forefront to enhance congregation participation as much as possible.

Rowena has been with St. Peter the Apostle since the day the parish celebrated its first set of weekend masses on Epiphany, 2008 and continues to gather additional choir members, cantors and instrumental talent.

For more information on how to become part of the growing music ministry, please contact Rowena via email (above).

Gyda DePeppe

Faith Formation Director:  [email protected]

Gyda M. DePeppe, MBA, PHR, SHRM-CP was born in Philadelphia, PA, where she earned two BA degrees (Psychology and Business Administration/Economics) from Holy Family University, and an MBA from St. Joseph University.

Working in the non-profit, public, and private sectors, for small companies and multi-national corporations, Gyda has followed several career paths, with job titles as diverse as Teacher (second and fourth grades), Credit Manager, Corporate Trainer, and Director of Human Resources & Corporate Compliance.

She lived most of her life in Southeast Pennsylvania, and moved to Florida in 1997 after spending five years in Maryland.

Gyda and her husband Harry have been St. Peter the Apostle parishioners since the first Mass at Trinity Memorial Gardens in January, 2008. She is a Eucharist Minister and a member of the Women’s Council.

Gyda has coordinated the Religious Education program at St. Peter the Apostle since 2015. Faith Formation has an important role to play in the mission of the parish and draws strength and encouragement from the community. It provides opportunities for families and children to develop their prayer life, deepen their understanding of the faith and become active participants in our community. In 2019 - 2020 school year, there are 19 Catechist and Assistant Catechist volunteers serving over 150 students in grades Pre-K thru 12.   

Our Team

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Karen Gerard

Business Manager:  [email protected]

Karen is a graduate of both Florida State University and the University of South Florida. Her past work experience includes managing 3 local businesses. She is also employed by another church in the Diocese as Communications Coordinator. She and her husband of 23 years enjoy traveling, spending time with their children and being outdoors.

Maria Smith

Custodial:  [email protected]

Maria was born in Prince Edward Islands, Canada and moved to Brooklyn, NY as an infant. She lived in New York with her family until 2000. She met her wonderful husband Bo, in 2002 and has been happily married for over 17 years. Their marriage has been blessed with 2 children. Maria and her family live near the parish and close to her parents.

Maria worked in retail most of her life. Her favorite employment was that of a Manager for a wedding and engagement jewelry store for over 10 years. After moving to Florida, she began working for St. Peter the Apostle for one day a week, helping when we were still located in the storefront in 2009. Since that time her position has grown to several days a week, working at both the church and the rectory. Maria says, “I have the great fortune to work with the most wonderful people. I feel very lucky and Blessed to be an intricate part of St. Peter’s.”