Friday, November 17, 2017
News Roundup

Dignitaries, admirers flock to unveiling of Monsignor Higgins statue at St. Lawrence Church

RECOMMENDED READING


TAMPA — Carmen DeJesus, 76, never got the opportunity to meet Monsignor Laurence E. Higgins, who died last year in his Tampa rectory home. If she had, she would have thanked him for his part in founding the San Lorenzo Terrace I, an apartment complex built on church land for seniors who have "almost no money," she said.

The best she could do, she said, was come pay her respects during the unveiling of the statue of the monsignor.

"He was a great man," said DeJesus, who arrived an hour before the ceremony started. "I wish I could have met him."

More than 500 people attended the unveiling of a bronze statue honoring Higgins, founder and pastor of St. Lawrence Catholic Church.

Originally from Northern Ireland, Higgins traveled to Tampa in 1958 to found the parish. During his 49 years as pastor, he made a significant impact on the community, helping build Tampa's commercial and social service infrastructure and serving on numerous community and charitable boards.

Many of those in attendance described him as a leader who cared most for those he ministered.

Along with the statue, a section of Himes Avenue between Caracas Street and W Hillsborough Avenue was renamed Monsignor Higgins Avenue.

The event was attended by former and current politicians including Mayor Bob Buckhorn, City Council member Charlie Miranda, former Gov. Bob Martinez, former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco and Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister.

But few could claim to have known Higgins as long as Marie Pandolfo, 93, who was a founding parishioner at St. Lawrence.

Pandolfo sat in a wheelchair behind much of the crowd and said that she could not see the statue due to her poor eyesight, but that it was important for her to attend.

"He used to walk from his house to the church, and if I was outside he would ask me 'How are you doing? Do you need help? Are you sure you don't need help?' " Pandolfo said. "He always made sure that everyone was okay."

Father Tom Morgan, who replaced Higgins as St. Lawrence pastor and later became pastor at St. Jerome in Largo, said the former parish leader was a humble man who didn't expect statues in his honor. The monument would mean more to the living than it would have to Higgins.

"This is about us in a way, because each of us in the community of Tampa have been profoundly touched by a unique individual," Morgan said.

Contact Jonathan Capriel at jcapriel@tampabay.com.

     
Comments
Fennelly: If this is true, Jameis Winston is done in this town

Fennelly: If this is true, Jameis Winston is done in this town

TAMPA — Why should we believe this man?Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston is being investigated by the NFL concerning an allegation of him groping a female Uber driver in Scottsdale, Ariz., in March 2016.Winston denied the allegations Friday in a statem...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
Brayden Point becomes ‘the heartbeat’ of the Lightning

Brayden Point becomes ‘the heartbeat’ of the Lightning

TAMPA — A local TV crew set up shop in front of Brayden Point’s locker stall the other day, waiting for the Lightning forward to be ready.Then, captain Steven Stamkos walked into the room for his scrum. It didn’t take long for the TV crew to change c...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Jameis Winston accused of groping Uber driver

Jameis Winston accused of groping Uber driver

TAMPA — The NFL is investigating an allegation that Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston groped a female Uber driver in Arizona in March 2016.Winston called the allegations "false" and contested the unnamed female driver’s assertion that he was her only p...
Updated: 1 hour ago

10,000 more FBI records unsealed from JFK assassination files

DALLAS — Yet again, the National Archives released a trove of records from the Kennedy assassination files on a Friday afternoon, another strange stream of loose ends, dead ends and tangents with little apparent connection to the assassination of the...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs journal: DB Vernon Hargreaves will miss Sunday’s game with hamstring injury

Bucs journal: DB Vernon Hargreaves will miss Sunday’s game with hamstring injury

TAMPA — The Bucs will play Sunday against the Dolphins without Vernon Hargreaves, who has been their nickel defensive back the past two games.Hargreaves, the 2016 first-round pick out of Florida and a former Wharton High standout, has been ruled out ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Lottery resultsNumbers drawn after 9 p.m. are no longer available by our deadlines. For results, go to tampabay.com/lottery.Pick 2, 3, 4, 5Fri., Nov. 17, midday:15 614 9359e_SRit97440Fri., Nov. 17, evening:48 386 1619e_SRit48264Fantasy 5Fri., Nov. 17...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida jobs recover from Irma, unemployment rate drops

Florida jobs recover from Irma, unemployment rate drops

As economists predicted, the tough hit that Florida jobs took from Hurricane Irma was not long-lived. The state added 125,300 jobs in October, almost breaking even from the 127,400 jobs it lost in September. According to state figures released Friday...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Negative mailers trace back to campaign of state House candidate who denies them

Negative mailers trace back to campaign of state House candidate who denies them

An 87-year-old widow from Melbourne, a mysterious direct mail company in tiny Buffalo, Wyo., and a tangled web of political committees all were linked to the onslaught of negative mailers that helped Lawrence McClure win the Republican primary in Pla...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Apple will postpone release of  HomePod

Apple will postpone release of HomePod

The Washington PostApple said Friday that it’s pushing back its plans for a Siri-powered smart speaker until sometime early next year.The HomePod speaker was announced in June, with an initial launch date set for December. Apple said that its smart s...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Cyber firm accesses CentCom cloud information, gives command low security score

Cyber firm accesses CentCom cloud information, gives command low security score

Every day, military and civilian personnel stationed at the MacDill Air Force Base headquarters of U.S. Central Command use the Internet to reach out to foreign audiences in an effort to combat Islamic State propaganda.To help measure the success of ...
Updated: 2 hours ago