Fr. John Blum is the oldest of eight children and attended St. Patrick Parish & School in Largo.  A graduate of Largo High School and St. Petersburg Junior College, Fr. Blum studied as a seminarian for the Diocese of St. Petersburg at St. John Vianney College Seminary (Miami) and St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary (Boynton Beach).  He was ordained a priest on May 18, 1996 at the Cathedral of St. Jude.  Fr. Blum’s pastoral assignments include serving as a Parochial Vicar at St. Ignatius of Antioch Parish, Tarpon Springs (1996–1999), Christ the King Parish, Tampa (1999–2002) and St. Frances Cabrini Parish, Spring Hill (2002–2007).  Fr. Blum was appointed Pastor of St. John Vianney Parish, St. Pete Beach, on July 1, 2007.

Father Justin, the oldest of four children, was born and raised in Virginia. He graduated from a small state college in Virginia with a degree in political science. Before joining the Mercedarian Friars, he worked for the Social Security Administration and interned for a prominent lobbying firm in Washington, D.C.  Father Justin joined the Mercedarian Friars in 2004 and was ordained a priest in 2010.

He previously served as the Catholic chaplain in a large inner-city hospital in Cleveland, Ohio and as parochial vicar for two rural parishes in western New York.

Dcn. Richard Santello is a native of New Haven, CT. He and his wife, Angela, were married on November 21, 1959 and is the father of four children and three grandchildren.  He served in the U.S. Navy and then completed his education in business and finance, working as a financial planner for more than 20 years. After his studies at St. Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield, CT, he was ordained to Diaconate on October 31, 1976 by the late Most Rev. John F. Whalen, Archbishop of Hartford.

Prior to moving to Florida and being assigned to St. John Vianney Parish, he served in 10 parishes

in the Archdiocese of Hartford, having been the co-founder of St. Elizabeth Seton Parish, Rocky Hill, CT.  He also served as the Director for Deacons, Archdiocese of Hartford, president of the National Association of Diaconate Directors (NADD), a consultant to the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishop’s Committee on the Diaconate, the Board of the International Diaconate Center (IDC/IDZ) Rottenburg, Germany.  He was an instructor of Liturgy and Homiletics for Diaconate Formation, and vice-president of the National Catholic Bereavement Association (NCBA)

Dcn. Santello and his wife have ministered to bereaved parents for more than 25 years founding several bereaved parents’ groups including Compassionate Friends.  He presently serves on the Advisory Committee for the Diaconate, Diocese of St. Petersburg.

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