We are proud to showcase Holy Cross Parish in Vero Beach, which in 1984, became third parish in the Diocese of Palm Beach.
Father John O’Hare was founding pastor of Holy Cross, which has been a part of the Diocese of St. Augustine, Diocese of Orlando and the Diocese of Palm Beach. After his retirement in July 1997, Father Richard Murphy was appointed and has been service as Pastor since that time.
The parish went through a capital campaign in 1999, and expanded its facilities including a balcony extension with wings on both the north and south sides of the church, featuring beautiful stained-glass windows. Seating was added, and the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament was built and dedicated in 2001.
Today, Holy Cross is an active parish with nearly 2,500 families, an altar society, men’s group, women’s guild and 17 ministry programs including religious education for children and adults, a community service ministry, and grief support.
The parish mission statement points to what Jesus calls all to do, “We celebrate the Gospel when we encounter Jesus Christ in the sacraments and through prayer. We teach the gospel to strengthen each family in their knowledge of and in their relationship with God. We live the Gospel by seeking justice, granting forgiveness and through works of service which enhances the spiritual, emotional, social and physical well-being of the entire community.”
In 2006, the parish celebrated 25 years as a faith community steadfast in mission. As part of anniversary initiatives, a $5 million campaign was launched to assist Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission in Fellsmere, a rural community. The parishioners raised the money to help the mission build a church and facilities in less than a year.
During an interview with the Florida Catholic upon his 50-year anniversary as a priest, Father Murphy spoke not about himself, but rather he praised members of his parish family. "I have been on the Treasure Coast for close to 30 years," said Father Murphy who celebrates 53 years to the priesthood June 6. "I have found here on the Treasure Coast there is a greater sense among the people to reach out and meet the needs of others, more than I have seen anywhere. (Our community) is very good at reaching out to those people who are homeless and in need.”
Father Murphy expressed his delight with his flock. "It was an absolutely fantastic response," Father Murphy said. "And the way we approached it was to do so on the obligation of justice rather than on an obligation of charity, that parishioners should contribute becauseit was something they should be doing not something they have to be doing. And the parishioners responded. It was beautiful."
For more information, call 772-231-0671 or visit www.holycrossverobeach.org or visit Holy Cross on Facebook.