St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church - 12747 Interlaken Road, Trinity, FL 34655 | 727-264-8968


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.

Monsignor Dennis Hughes

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.

Assisting Priest
Fr. Carl Last:

After being ordained a Priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee on May 24, 1969, Fr. Carl served as Associate Pastor at St. Gregory the Great for two years.

He was then sent to the University of Notre Dame for a post-graduate degree in theology with emphasis on liturgical studies. He returned to the Archdiocese to establish and staff the Archdiocesan Liturgy Office, and to teach liturgical studies at St. Francis Seminary.

In 1976, he was appointed Executive Director of the National Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions, and served as a Consultant to the National Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy in Washington DC for five years. 
In 1981, he returned to the seminary and served as Director of Continuing Formation for Clergy. During that time, he served as the first moderator of the newly established Archdiocesan Council of Priests (a body that replaced the old Priest Senate) and organized and began the annual clergy overnights for the Priests of the Archdiocese, and established the Archdiocesan Sabbatical Program for Priests.
In 1986, after a study sabbatical in Rome, he was appointed to his first pastorate at Corpus Christi on the NW side of Milwaukee. Then, in 1992, he was appointed Pastor of St. Matthias on Milwaukee’s SW side. After seven and a half years, he was asked to oversee the renovation of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, and the Cathedral’s ancillary buildings and was appointed there, January 2000. After the successful conclusion of the renovation, he was appointed the thirteenth rector and pastor of the Cathedralin 2001. He served in that capacity until retiring from active ministry in July, 2011.  Then, on October 28, 2012, he was honored to be appointed pastor emeritus of the Cathedral.

He moved to Florida after retiring and currently assists at three parishes: St. Peter the Apostle, Trinity; St. Timothy, Lutz and St. Mark theEvangelist, New Tampa.

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 employment brought them “back home” to Florida in 2011. They have four children and two beautiful granddaughters.
Answering the Spirit’s promptings to diakonia, which began in 1998 with the encouragement of Fr. Alan Weber, and through the lay Pastoral Ministry Institute, continued in the Archdiocese of Detroit, and is being completed where it began in the Diocese of St. Petersburg.  On July 1, 2013 he left the University of South Florida, College of Medicine and Department of Pathology, and began distance work in the development office at St. Lawrence Seminary as the Assistant to Rector, Fr. John Holly, OFM, Cap, a man Jim has known since seventh grade, and one who also played a major role in his discernment of Jesus’ call to the permanent diaconate.
Jim was ordained October 19, 2013 at the Cathedral. He could not have made this journey without the holiness, prayers and support of Ann Celeste. God has poured his grace on Jim, his wife and the 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.


Office Manager
Brenda Pesce:

Music Director
Rowena Wilkinson:

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).

St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church
12747 Interlaken Road, Trinity, FL 34655
727-264-8968 || fax: 727-264-8969

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