• Fr. Thomas Morgan

    Fr. Thomas Morgan


    Fr. Tom Morgan was born in Thibodaux, LA to Joyce and Tom Morgan. The Morgan family moved to Tampa in 1961. Fr Tom attended St. Lawrence Catholic School from 1963-1972. He received his First Holy Communion in 1965 from Fr. Laurence Higgins and was Confirmed by Bishop Charles B McLaughlin in 1971. He attended Tampa Catholic High School and graduated in 1976. Fr. Tom attended Florida State University prior to attending St. John Vianney College Seminary and St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary.

    Fr. Tom was ordained by Bishop W. Thomas Larkin in May 1984. Fr. Tom's first Mass was celebrated at St. Lawrence in Tampa. His first pastoral assignment was at St. Jerome Catholic Church in Indian Rocks Beach and it was during this time that Bishop W. Thomas Larkin permitted Fr. Tom to serve as a Navy Reserve Chaplain. He served with the Marine Corp in Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm.

    He has served as parochial vicar at St. Lawrence in Tampa, St. Michael in Hudson, Holy Family in St. Petersburg, and Espiritu Santo in Safety Harbor. In January of 1992 Bishop John C. Favalora appointed Fr. Tom pastor of St. Scholastica in Lecanto. He served during this time also as chaplain and later as pastor to Pope John Paul II School, and as transitional director of Good Council Camp in Floral City. He was appointed pastor at St. Clement in Plant City in 2002 until being appointed as pastor of St. Lawrence on July 1, 2007.

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  • Msgr. Cesar Petilla

    Msgr. Cesar Petilla

    Parochial Vicar


    Msgr. Cesar Petilla was born on April 30, 1950, the only child of Gil Ma. Petilla and Maria O. Pamplona (now both deceased) in the town of Palo, on the island of Leyte in the central Philippines. He entered Sacred Heart Seminary, receiving a BA in Philosophy. After graduation, Msgr. decided to take a leave from the seminary to discern whether to proceed to his Masters in Theology and ordination or to pursue another vocation. He taught in a Catholic school for the next two years.

    Having completed his Catholic school teaching assignment in 1973, Monsignor Petilla returned to Seminario Mayor de San Carlos in Cebu City. After four years, Msgr. was ordained a transitional Deacon on September 27, 1976 and six months later to the priesthood on March 23, 1977. He was assigned as a Parochial Vicar for the next three years, serving in two parishes, St. Joseph’s in Dagami in Leyte and Holy Cross Parish in Carigara, Leyte.

    In November of 1979, Msgr. was appointed pastor of St. Francis of Assisi in Pastrana, Leyte. He was then transferred to the city parish of Sto. Nino in Tacloban City as Parochial Vicar for two years in order to finish a Civil Law course, graduating in April 1985. Having passed the Philippine Bar, and taking the oath of an attorney before the Supreme Court of the Philippines in June of 1986, Msgr. was assigned to the Chancery of the Archdiocese of Palo to eventually handle several offices, among them Treasurer of the Archdiocese. In the meantime, he was installed on August 16, 1991 as an Honorary Prelate with the title of Monsignor. Upon his request, the Archbishop installed Msgr. on December 2, 1994 as pastor in the urban Parish of St. Nino in Tacloban City, concurrent with being the Episcopal Vicar for Temporalities for the Archdiocese. Having concluded six years in these various capacities, Msgr. was transferred to become pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Palompon, Leyte where he served for another five years, until the last day of June 2006.

    Having served the Archdiocese for the past 30 years, Msgr. Petilla was granted a sabbatical leave upon the retirement of his Archbishop. During his sabbatical, Msgr. received an “invitation” from several priest friends to serve in the Diocese of St. Petersburg. Bishop Lynch granted permission to have Msgr. Petilla begin his service to the people of his Diocese. Since coming to the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Msgr. Petilla has served at Incarnation, St. Luke in Palm Harbor, St. Clement in Plant City and now at St. Lawrence.

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