Monsignor Ron Aubin, retired pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, has received the 2021 Father Luis de Cancer Distinguished Priestly Service Award.
The distinction was presented by Bishop Gregory Parkes during the annual convocation for priestly renewal, according to an item published by Gulf Coast Catholic.
Every year, since 1998, the Diocese of St. Petersburg, has honored one priest who best exemplifies selfless and dedicated service to the people of God.
This year, Aubin’s service was singled out.
During his active ministry in the St. Petersburg diocese, Aubin served as Parochial Vicar of Corpus Christi Parish, Temple Terrace (from 1986 to 1987); St. Jude Cathedral Parish, St. Petersburg (1987 to 1990); and Light of Christ Parish, Clearwater (1990 to 1994).
He was appointed pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, in Land O’ Lakes, on July 1, 1994, according to the Gulf Coast Catholic report.
He served at Our Lady of the Rosary for 27 years, until his retirement on July 1, according to a profile about the pastor published by The Laker/Lutz News shortly before Aubin retired.
In that story, the pastor talked about his time in the parish, which he led through two relocations, construction projects, rapid growth, the Great Recession and the COVID-19 pandemic.
During Aubin’s time there, Our Lady of the Rosary grew from about 830 families to more than 3,000. It reached its peak in membership before the Great Recession, when many families were forced to relocate to find work.
Beyond high-profile events, Aubin tended to the more intimate — and more regular rituals — of being a parish pastor.
The First Communions he distributed. The homilies he delivered. The marriages and funerals that he officiated.
There were the visits, too, to nursing homes, hospitals and to the jail — where Aubin offered words of comfort and spiritual guidance to others, in a time of need.
He also was involved in a variety of roles in the diocese.
Aubin told The Laker/Lutz News, shortly before his retirement, that his moments of greatest personal joy as a pastor came when three of his parishioners — Israel Hernandez, Kyle Smith and Bill Wilson — were ordained into the priesthood.
Apparently, based on the recent recognition bestowed by Bishop Parkes, Aubin’s work did not go unnoticed.
Published October 13, 2021