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 - 3:00 PM.

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Please meet our Staff......

Monsignor Dennis Hughes

[email protected]


Dennis Edward Hughes was born in Tampa to parents who moved there from the North. He has two sisters, one older and one younger.

From the age of 8, Dennis grew up in St. Petersburg, graduating from St. Jude Elementary School and Bishop Barry High School (now St. Petersburg Catholic High School) where, yes, he did play basketball!

He entered the seminary in 1967, immediately after high school and only 2 years after the close of the Church’s Second Vatican Council. The population of the state of Florida was growing rapidly, and the Diocese of St. Petersburg was created in 1968 from territory of the Diocese of St. Augustine and the Diocese of Miami.

Fr. Hughes was ordained as a priest for the Diocese of St. Petersburg in May 1975. Fr. Hughes has held a number of assignments as a priest. He was an assistant Pastor, Vocation Director of the Diocese, Vice-Chancellor and spent 2 years on faculty of St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida; he was appointed as the founding Pastor of St. Timothy parish in Lutz, FL (1985-1996),Pastor of St. Anthony of Padua parish in San Antonio, FL (1996-2000), Pastor of St. James the Apostle parish in Port Richey, FL (2000-2006), and following a sabbatical in Rome, founding Pastor of St. Peter the Apostle parish in Trinity, FL (2007-present).

Since his ordination, Fr. Hughes has been active in several inter-faith clergy groups, served on the Incardination, Vocation and Personnel Boards of the Diocese, and been active in the Knights of Columbus. Since 1986,Fr. Hughes has been involved as a presenting priest for Worldwide Marriage Encounter. He believes that it is the best thing that the Catholic Church does for married couples.

As he began the process of gathering the community that would become St. Peter the Apostle parish, along with the support of the pastors of the two parishes from whose territory the new parish would be carved, Fr. Hughes celebrated Mass and preached at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in New Port Richey and Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Land O’ Lakes.

At both Parishes, he announced that Bishop Lynch had sent him to establish a new Parish in the Trinity area. On the feast of Epiphany in 2008, Fr. Hughes celebrated the Parish’s first Mass in the chapel at Trinity Memorial Gardens Funeral Home.

In the summer of 2009, the community moved to a storefront rented in Trinity Village Shopping Center “between Five Guys Hamburgers and Cold Stone Creamery.”

Following a successful Capital Campaign, the parish broke ground for their Parish Life Center in December of 2011 and moved into the new building just before Christmas of 2012.

Father Hughes’ hobbies include travel, photography and genealogy.

Deacon Jim Paterson

Jim Paterson grew up in the Chicago suburb of Hillside, Illinois. He attended St. Lawrence Seminary, operated by the Capuchin, Franciscans in Mount Calvary, Wisconsin.

After graduation from St. Lawrence, he attended De Paul University (Chicago, Illinois) where he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. During his junior year, he met Ann Celeste, and they married in 1977.

A year later, they moved from Chicago to Tampa, where he worked as a biomedical researcher at the University of South Florida and the Tampa VA Medical Center for twenty-five years. In 2003, he and Ann Celeste moved to Detroit to work at Karmanos Cancer Institute, where they lived for eight years. Sudden unemployment brought them “back home” to Florida in 2011. They have four children, four beautiful granddaughters and great granddaughter.

Answering the Spirit’s promptings to diakonia, which began in 1998 with encouragement of Fr. Alan Weber. Fr. Alan urged Jim to enter the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Lay Pastoral Ministry Institute in 1998 and was certified as a lay leader of ministry in 2002 by Bishop Lynch. Then, while living in Detroit, Jim entered Diaconate formation in the Archdiocese of Detroit in 2006 and completed formation in the Diocese of St. Petersburg. On July 1, 2013 he left the University of South Florida, College of Medicine, Department of Pathology and worked as director of planned giving at St. Lawrence Seminary and as Assistant to Rector, Fr. John Holly, OFM, Cap. Fr. John and Jim have been friends since seventh grade. John also played a major role in his discerning God’s call to the permanent diaconate.

Jim was ordained by Bishop Robert Lynch on October 19, 2013 at the Cathedral of St. Jude. He could not have made his journey without the holiness, prayers and support of his beloved, Ann Celeste. God has poured out his grace on Jim, his wife and family. 

With God’s help, Jim has begun a humble diaconal ministry to God’s people serving at His Altar, proclaiming His Word and through works of charity here at St. Peter the Apostle.

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 2016, there are 19 Catechist and Assistant Catechist volunteers serving over 150 students in grades Pre-K thru 12.   

Maribeth Gaynor

Youth Minister:  [email protected]

Maribeth was born in Pittsburgh, PA to Ed and Janice Fuhs. She and her siblings attended St. Paul's Catholic School in Westerville, Ohio before the family moved to Florida. They continued their Catholic education at Our Lady of Lourdes in Dunedin and at Clearwater Central Catholic High School. Maribeth then went on to earn a Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology from the University of Florida. 

After college she worked for Eastern Airlines and then Innisbrook Resort. After marrying Morgan they moved to Jacksonville where she worked for American Express Platinum Travel until having her three sons. 

She became a stay-at-home mom and became active in her church in Jacksonville, San Jose Catholic. She was involved in various Bible studies and ministries, including being part of a group that started an Elizabeth Ministry. 

The family moved back to this area in 2004 and were members of St. Timothy's for many years. When her sons were in high school they expressed a desire to go to church where their friends went, so the family joined St. Peter the Apostle. When her middle son Evan became interested in going to World Youth Day in Poland she became involved with the youth group to help him and the other youth reach their goal of attending in 2016. 

She has been an Pasco County Election Worker for over 10 years. She has always been an active volunteer in her children's schools and was the Band Booster President at JW Mitchell High School for 5 years. 

She has been with the parish as Youth Minister since November 2016.

Our Team

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Karen Gerard

Bookkeeper:  [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.

Mary Hanlon

Parish Secretary:  [email protected]

Originally from Silver Spring, Maryland, Mary grew up in a family of nine. Mary was an active member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Silver Spring, grew up playing Catholic Youth Organization sports and became a confirmed Catholic. Mary went to Springbrook High School and graduated with a Bachelor of Science from University of Maryland, College Park. Mary played Varsity tennis for University of Maryland. Mary went on to get her Masters of Arts in Secondary Education from Trinity College in Washington, D.C. After meeting her husband, Joe, Mary relocated to Florida to get married in 1995 and raise her family, two girls and one boy. Mary accepted a teaching position in Tampa and worked there two years before her daughter, Julie, was born. A year later, her second daughter, Eileen, was born. Five years later, Joey, Jr. was born. Mary was an active volunteer at Bishop Larkin Catholic School where her children attended for many years. Mary taught Science at Seven Springs Middle School in Trinity and then started working here at St. Peter the Apostle as Parish Secretary in 2017. Mary loves tennis, horseback riding, boating, swimming, traveling, and crossword puzzles. Mary and her family have been active members of St. Peter the Apostle since 2013.  

Agueda Perez

Parish Secretary:  [email protected]

I visited St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church for the first time in 2009. I have participated in various charities including the St. Vincent de Paul Society to help families throughout. The food drive Feeding America was a special event among others. Currently, working as a Parish Secretary, I have the opportunity to assist parishioners and visitors. It is great to be part of the staff and I am happy to be here.