The History of Transfiguration Catholic Church

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“It is good for us to be here, Lord.”

Parcel Before the Church
1st Church - The Chapel
Inside the Chapel
Mass in the Uncompleted Church
Women's Club in Uncompleted Church
Men's Club in Uncompleted Church
Completed Church Altar
The New Church
Transfiguration School
Msgrs. John Bolger, Edward Mulligan & women
Unidentified Priest/Bishop - Can You Identify?
Our Church Today, 2006


Our parish community was formed under the pastoral leadership and vision of Archbishop Joseph Hurley of the Diocese of St. Augustine when he purchased ten acres of a citrus grove in northern St. Petersburg off of 38th Avenue in June of 1959. The first Sunday parish liturgy was celebrated in the auditorium of Lealman Junior High School on September 20, 1959. Father Salvatore Profeta was appointed administrator of this small faith community known as the “Catholic Mission of North St. Petersburg.”

Fr. Edward Mulligan was the first Pastor of Transfiguration serving from 1960-1979 and Monsignor John Bolger was his successor serving until his retirement in 1998. The parish then came under the leadership of the Mercedarian Order of Our Lady of Mercy until July 2006. Transfiguration Catholic Church is currently under the leadership of Fr. Avelino Garcia from the Diocese.

Archbishop Hurley designated the name of the parish, the Church of the Transfiguration, in November 1959 and the parish was canonically erected the following February. Ground was broken in November 1960 for the church. Until this time, weekday Masses were celebrated in a temporary chapel constructed of salvaged materials from materials from two-story frame house and Sunday liturgies were still celebrated at Lealman Junior High School auditorium. The new church was dedicated on Easter Sunday 1961 by Archbishop Hurley.

Under Father Mulligan’s leadership an eight classroom school was built in 1961 and a six bedroom convent in 1965. The Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Cork, Ireland) faithfully administered the parish school from 1965-1985. From 1985 to 1999, a lay faculty and administration served our school. The Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy began administration of the school and continued through the end of the 2005-2006 school year.

The parish lies in north central St. Petersburg: from 22nd Avenue North to 54th Avenue North and 28th Street North to 58th Street North. There are approximately 1100 households comprised of seasonal and year round parishioners, retirees, and working families. There are thriving Hispanic and Tongan communities within the parish.

The greatest blessing of Transfiguration Parish is its people who are eager to give of time, talent, and treasure for the needs and numerous ministries the parish. Transfiguration is people; it is family, witnessed by its loving embrace of its members and those in need; its dedication to its youth, its sense of self-effacing service and its genuine desire to be in the company of Jesus.

Click here to read the contents of a parish booklet entitled, "Church of the Transfiguration 1959-1984,  A History of the Church of the Transfiguration" compiled and researched by Col. Terence J. Smith."


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4000 43rd Street North, Saint Petersburg, Florida 33714
Church Tel.: (727) 525-0262 || ECC Tel.: (727) 527-2880