About Our Parish
In 1954, a petition to establish a Catholic Mission Church in Brandon was initiated and presented to Archbishop Joseph Hurley. He approved, and placed the new Mission of Nativity in Brandon, FL. Thanks to many Brandon area Catholics, money was quickly raised to purchase land where our current Church is located, and in 1955, on December 18, the first Mass was celebrated in the building that now serves as part of our parish Social Hall.
Over the years, the Church quickly grew and expanded, and in May 1960 we officially became a parish. Soon after, our parish school began, a convent (now our Church Office) was constructed for the Sisters of the Most Holy Trinity, later to house the Sister of the Holy Cross. Msgr. James Lara became pastor in 1969, and throughout his 30 years as pastor, Nativity saw a period of continued growth, construction of a new Church, Chapel, Social Hall, School expansions, and an increase in parishioners from just a few hundred to thousands and thousands of active families. We became known for our wealth of activities, notably our famous Novemberfest fall carnival.
Nativity established great outreach ministries like our Food Bank and Pantry, and our Mission in LaVictoria, Dominican Republic. Our ministries have grown to 68 strong meeting on a weekly basis.
As pastor from 2004-2014, Rev. Arthur J. Proulx led the transformation of Nativity into a modern model of a stewardship parish. He oversaw many new building projects, including our Youth Center and Gymnasium, and the renovation of our Church. His work led people back to Christ, his love for the poor helped thousands who needed a hand up, and he established Nativity as a beacon of the Catholic Church in central Florida before being transferred to the seminary to lead more young men through their journey to the priesthood.
Rev. John Tapp became our pastor at Christmas of 2014, and continues to lead Nativity in expanding our involvement in social justice ministries and a renewal of our stewardship commitment.
Nativity remains a vibrant place with families of varying backgrounds, experiences, ethnicities; all strong and sincere in the practice and sharing of their faith. Men and women, young and old, new or a seasoned Nativity veteran, our parish becomes like a second home to those who enter here.