Father Don Amodeo (left) was ordained at the end of May and will join Nativity this summer. Father Mike Smith (right) will take on the role of pastor at Nativity after Father Tapp leaves.

This summer, Nativity Catholic Church will undergo changes to its pastoral staff as both Pastor Father John Tapp and Father Brad Reed leave the parish for new assignments within the Diocese of St. Petersburg. Nativity will retain two of their priests, Father Anthony Astrab and Father Belisario Rivero, and add the newly ordained Father Mike Smith and Father Don Amodeo.

Father Tapp joined Nativity in 2014 and has faithfully served his church congregation for eight years. His new assignment at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Dunedin will allow Father Tapp to work closer to his family as he nears retirement.

“It is with a good deal of sadness, though, that I leave this community,” said Father Tapp in a letter to his Nativity congregation.

Father Reed will transfer to Sacred Heart Parish in Pinellas Park, as he looks to gain more experience serving as a priest before, hopefully, taking on the role of lead pastor.

After parting with the guidance of Father Tapp and Father Reed, Nativity will welcome Father Smith and Father Amodeo. Father Smith, who will fill Father Tapp’s role as Nativity’s pastor, is a longtime friend of Father Tapp and is the current pastor of Corpus Christi.

“He is a respected priest of our diocese. He is holy, dedicated and wise. He will be a good fit for our parish and the Brandon community,” said Father Tapp.

Father Amodeo is also looking forward to joining Nativity on his first assignment as a newly ordained priest. He was ordained on May 21 and is hoping to learn from Nativity’s priests.

“Preparing to join Nativity simply means preparing for the priesthood,” said Father Amodeo. “While seminary cannot fully equip a new priest for every situation, one of the blessings of being at Nativity will be having three other priests serving alongside me, whose experience I’ll no doubt be looking to learn from.”

The changes at Nativity will take place over the month of July as Father Tapp and Father Reed move on to the next steps in their pastoral careers and Nativity welcomes Father Smith and Father Amodeo.

For more information on the changes to Nativity Catholic Church’s staff, visit nativitycatholicchurch.org.

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Lily Belcher is a writer for The Osprey Observer and Christian Voice Monthly. She started as an intern in the summer of 2020 and has continued to write for the Osprey since completing her internship. Lily plans to attend the University of South Florida and major in Communications while writing for The Oracle.