St. Stephen Catholic Church, located at 10118 St Stephen Cir in Riverview, Florida, is a vibrant and welcoming faith community. Inspired by the Holy Spirit and nourished by Word and Sacrament, its mission is to grow together in Christ and spread the Light of Jesus Christ throughout the greater community.
The church’s history is closely tied to the development of its educational institution, St. Stephen Catholic School. The vision for this school began in the summer of 1999 with Father Irwin and Bishop Lynch envisioning a school on a 39-acre land donated to the Church of St Stephen. Mary Liddy, the first principal, spearheaded its opening in 2001. The school has since flourished, offering education from early childhood to 8th grade, and has been an integral part of the church’s growth and community service. The new church building on the property was completed in 2017, enhancing the community’s spiritual and educational experience.
St. Stephen Catholic Church is actively involved in various ministries and activities, reflecting its commitment to community involvement and spiritual growth. For those interested in participating in Mass, there are opportunities to serve as altar servers, part of the bereavement ministry, daily Mass liturgical ministry, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, readers, and in the music ministry, which includes a youth choir and contemporary group.
Beyond liturgical roles, the church encourages participation in a wide range of volunteer activities outside of Mass. These include arts and environment, the Blessed Stitches group, Catholic Moms Sharing, the Columbiettes, Community for Women, Consecrated Marian Ministry, Divine Mercy Cenacle, and involvement with the Knights of Columbus, among others. Additionally, there are ministries focused on community services such as Greater Brandon Meals on Wheels and homebound and nursing home visitation.
The church also places a strong emphasis on faith formation for all ages, with programs for children in kindergarten through 8th grade, middle and high school youth groups, young adult groups, and the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) for those interested in becoming Catholic. Additionally, St. Stephen offers lifelong faith formation for adults, vacation Bible school, and access to various online resources for spiritual growth.
Sacramental life is central to St. Stephen Catholic Church, with offerings that include Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Communion (Eucharist), Reconciliation, Sacrament of Matrimony, Anointing of the Sick, and Holy Orders. The church also provides support for marriage convalidations, readings & vows, as well as guidance on marriage, divorce, and remarriage.
Through its diverse range of services, ministries, and educational initiatives, St. Stephen Catholic Church demonstrates a profound commitment to fostering a strong, faith-filled community, serving the spiritual, educational, and social needs of its parishioners and the wider community.