Dear St. James Family,
Greetings on the vigil of the Feast of the Presentation or Candlemas, as it is more popularly known. If you are free, come join us tomorrow evening for this one last Christmas like celebration of the baby Jesus, one that I would say is the most beautiful Candlemas anywhere around here. Also, I was talking with our beloved Fr. Jim a week or two ago and I believe that it this Sunday that he mentioned that he will be returning from Nova Scotia, where he has been visiting family for the past six months. On another note, Pope Francis has declared 2024 to be a Year of Prayer. In honor of this, I’m giving a back to the basics prayer presentation coming up on February 19. Learn more below along with the other things taking place at St. James.
Candlemas: Give Yourself Enough Time for Mandarin Traffic
I am looking forward to seeing you tomorrow (Friday, February 2) at Candlemas if you are joining us. Remember that traffic can be a bit bad in Mandarin between five and six, so give yourself an extra fifteen minutes to arrive. It is going to be a beautiful evening beginning at 5:30 PM. Don’t forget to bring the candles that you would like blessed. Candlemas or the Feast of the Presentation is truly a joyful celebration of that fortieth day after Christmas when Christ was presented in the temple. Here are the full details of tomorrow’s celebration.
Please bring old Blessed Palms for Burning this Year’s Ashes by February 11, 2024
I need your blessed palms from last year to burn and use on Ash Wednesday. Thanks.
After Mass all those who have entered into the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony are invited to stay and recite in remembrance their marriage vows and to receive a special priestly marital blessing. For more information ask Fr. Mayer in person or email office@StJamesCC.org
On February 13, 2024, beginning at 5:30 PM we will be celebrating Shrove Tuesday, a time to be shriven (forgiven) of your sins in preparation for a holy Lent and to eat some scrumptious food. This is your opportunity to get all of that tempting food out of your house before Lent! To help you with this, we will be having a pancake potluck. St. James will be supplying pancakes as the main course, and you are asked to sign up to bring a side (sausage, bacon, libations, and pancake toppings). The evening will begin with Evening Prayer, then comes the food and fun. I am hoping we can have a few games if I am able to wrangle up a games master (any volunteers?). Sign up for confession when you arrive and you will be called or texted when you are the next one up so that you can enjoy the food and festivities while you wait. Learn more about the evening over a the Events Calendar and how to sign up to bring a side.
Ashes are an outward simple of repentance and turning back to the Lord. Anyone can receive ashes. You don’t even need to be Catholic. So come and join us and be renewed.
You have two options here at the mission to receive Ashes as you begin Lent. At 5:30 PM we will celebrate the customary Ash Wednesday Mass, however if your time is short, you may prefer to attend the twentyish minute Penitential Office for the Blessing and Imposition of Ashes at 7 PM which starts with a simple song followed by an invitation to repentance given by the priest. Everyone then kneels and prays together a psalm of repentance (Psalm 51), then stands for the Our Father and the blessing of the ashes. The people then come forward to receive ashes on their foreheads. The liturgy then closes with a prayer, blessing, and recessional hymn.
Requirements for Lenten Fasting and Abstinence from Meat
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence from meat for Catholics. In addition, Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence from meat.
I’ll Teach You to Connect with God: Learn to Pray, Monday, February 19, 2024, 7:00 PM
Find that peaceful place of contentment and consolation. I’m looking forward to helping you get started in this ever deepening and enriching journey of prayer. We will be getting down to the basics, helping you to sanctify time, discern God’s voice, and to learn the first, second and third most powerful forms of prayer. I’ll be giving this presentation over at Assumption Catholic Church (2403 Atlantic Blvd) beginning at 7:00 PM. Will be finished by 8:00 PM.
Church Liturgical Teaching Tour, Monday, February 19, 2024, 8:00 PM
Join me for a fascinating exploration of the Mass with all of its symbols, history, and meaning. Enrich your ability to pray the Mass as you grow in your depth of understanding. Get an up close experience of the priest’s sacristy, vestments, and liturgical implements. The teaching tour will be taking place at Assumption Catholic Church (2403 Atlantic Blvd) and begin just after 8:00 PM. Will be finished by 9:00 PM.
News and Announcements
Magna Opera Domini!
Congratulations Bishop Lopes: Eight Years Ordained to the Episcopacy
On February 2, 2016 Steven Lopes was ordained as the first bishop of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Unlike a majority of the clergy of the Ordinariate he has no Anglican background and he is not a convert. He was raised in a Catholic family and went to all Catholic schools growing up. He was ordained as a priest for the Archdiocese of San Francisco and then served parishes, taught at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and worked for ten years in the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. It was there that he played a key role in bringing Pope Benedict XVI’s vision for the Ordinariate to fruition. Due to the growth of the Ordinariate in the States, a bishop was needed. So because of his experience and background of working with the Ordinariates, Pope Francis appointed him as our first bishop. Since that time he has played a key role in expanding our diocese and ordaining many priests, including myself. In 2021 he was elected to serve as the head of the Committee for Divine Worship by the United States Catholic Council of Bishops (USCCB), and he continues to serve in that role.
Tomorrow evening, February 2, at the end of Mass we will be singing a solemn Te Deum of Thanksgiving, the Church’s ancient song of celebration, in joyful remembrance of Bishop Lopes Ordination on this day eight years ago.
Click here to get to know Bishop Lopes by listening to his talk about the identity and mission of the Ordinariate.
With Your Help, St. James had a Record Breaking 2023. Check it out:
This past year has been a time of building a solid foundation for the mission and preparations for a bright future. Here are some of the things that took place this past year (in addition to the other ministries at the mission):
A great year for Sacraments!
And these other great things took place. We:
Building Discernment Update: Waiting for Landlord to Respond to Proposed Terms
If you are new to my newsletter I need to catch you up a bit on moving St. James into a more stable space. We have been looking at possible options over the past couple of years and have honed onto one that could very possibly work: six year lease of building in centralized location close to 95, 4,450 square feet, worship space, classrooms, offices. If all goes well, we could possibly get moved in by this summer or fall, but everything is up in the air until a lease is signed.
Last week I spent a good chunk of time going back and forth with our realtor and lawyer, getting all of the language and terms ironed out in the negotiated lease. As of Friday, we have now submitted the lease contract to the owner’s realtor and we are waiting to hear back from them.
We need your help to continue moving forward, especially in regular monthly gifts. I encourage you to give in proportion to your income, with the tithe (10%) as your goal, even if it takes a few years to get there. StJamesCC.org/Giving
The gospel is being preached and lives are being changed because of your generosity. The Lord is at work, drawing people to himself through the ministry of St. James. Thank you for being part of the family.
A Note about the 2023 Contribution Statements – May Be Slightly Late
You might have a few questions about your giving statement for 2023, especially if you have not received it yet. For this I apologize. Here’s the story. The diocese is now mandating that we use a difficult accounting program called Parishsoft. It has been challenging to get up and running, but it is worth it, as this increases transparency and allows the diocese to get a better view of our finances. However, we are still learning so your giving statement may reflect that. Next year we plan to get these to you sooner.
If you gave online and physically through the offering plate or mail, you will be receiving two separate giving statements. The online giving statements went out yesterday. The physical giving statements were mailed yesterday. If you have any issues, or have not received a statement and would like, one, please reach out firstname.lastname@example.org for an emailed copy. Thank for your prayers and patience as we work to come to great maturity as a mission parish. Thank you to Linda Salvatore and Michelle Nesmith who have put in many hours to strengthen our finances and get these systems up to speed.
Grow and Be Challenged in your Faith: Listen to a Homily
If you have been away from St. James for a while or have yet to join us, get a little taste of the experience and receive some spiritual nourishment by listening to one of the homilies given during Mass. You can listen here or by searching for “Fr. Mayer’s Preaching & Teaching” wherever you get your podcasts.
Delivered by Father Mayer on January 28, 2024
Requests for exorcism are on the rise. Learn the two most common reasons that people become possessed and why God sometimes allows this. Learn also how to stay protected and be inspired by the fearlessness of St. John Vianney
Delivered by Father Mayer January 21, 2024
Many people are afraid to share their faith because of awkwardness, inexperience, and fear. Learn what you need to get over these hurdles.
Be Ignited By Our Traditions & Patrimony This Lenten Season
The Three Purple Sundays: The Age old Way of Getting Ready for a Holy Lent
Within the Ordinariate, we have the privilege of being given the allowance of celebrating a custom that, since the 1960s, has fallen into disuse by much of the Church within the Roman Rite. The “Gesima Sundays” began this year on January 28 and they makeup a mini liturgical season of sorts (seventeen days long) that help us get ready for Lent. This period is also known as Shrovetide since it ends on Shrove Tuesday.
These Gesima Sundays are a rough countdown to Easter and serve to remind us to get ready. The Benedictine abbot and liturgical scholar, Dom Guéranger (d. 1875) wrote that, “The words Quinquagesima, Sexagesima, and Septuagesima, tell us of the same great Solemnity as looming in the distance, and as being the great object towards which the Church would have us now begin to turn all our thoughts, and desires, and devotion.” Let us use this time of preparation, well.
Be enraptured by the St. James Schola Singing the Lenten Prose
The St. James Schola will be singing the beautiful Lenten Prose on Ash Wednesday, the First Sunday of Lent, and the Fifth Sunday of Lent, also known as Passion Sunday. This is truly a beautiful music piece with roots going back to the tenth century. As best I can tell it was poetically translated into English in 1906 by W.J. Birkbeck as found in The English Hymnal.
Around the Local Diocese
Don’t Get Pope Francis? Come and Hear this Talk
Dr. Timothy Johnson, the Craig and Audrey Thorn Distinguished Professor of Religion at Flagler College has extended a special invitation to members of the Diocese of St. Augustine for the upcoming USDIN Judeo-Christian Lecture Series on Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. at Flagler College (Virginia Room, Ringhaver Student Center), 50 Sevilla, St. Augustine. The guest speaker is Bishop John Stowe who will share his insights on Pope Francis’s Vision for the Catholic Church. Bishop Stowe was appointed the bishop of the Diocese of Lexington in 2015 after completing his education in philosophy, history, divinity and church history. Attendees can look forward to a thought-provoking lecture. All are welcome to attend this free event.
February 5-7: Sacred Heart Parish Mission: The Presence of God
February 5-7 at 8:30am and 6:00pm – This parish mission is led by the Dominicans and is at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 7190 Highway 17, South Fleming Island. The event includes bilingual mission talks with a Eucharistic healing service and confessions. You can attend either the morning or evening sessions, and the main bilingual event is on Feb. 7 at 6:00 p.m. Click HERE for more informationor email Deacon Richard Hay at email@example.com
February 10: Sowing the Seeds of Love, a Day for Couples
RSVP by February 6th for this upcoming conference, “Sowing the Seeds of Love, a Day for Couples 2024.” The event is Feb. 10, from 2 to 8 p.m. at Resurrection Catholic Church, 3383 University Blvd N., Jacksonville. This annual pre-marriage and marriage conference is designed to inspire couples from all stages and ages of their relationship to live out God’s plan for their marriages. The conference includes uplifting presentations, quiet time with the Lord and time for fellowship. The conference includes a reconciliation service starting at 4 p.m., a 5 p.m. Mass and afterward, a ‘date night’ dinner with fellowship and fun. The registration feeis $70, and you can register by February 6th at A DAY FOR COUPLES If you have questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.Don’t miss this opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your partner and learn more about God’s plan for your marriage.
February 16-18: Annual Diocesan Youth Conference – Believe
The DYC IX, “Believe,” conference will be held at the beautiful Camp Kulaqua in High Springs. This is an incredible opportunity to connect with other high school people who share the same faith and values and to deepen your relationship with God. The keynote speakers are Rhyan Ramirez, Veronica Salgado and Ansley Anderson, who will be sharing their wisdom and insights with attendees. There will also be musical performances by Stella, and Bishop Pohlmeier will celebrate Mass. If you’re interested in attending, the cost is$160, but don’t worry if that’s outside your budget – scholarships are available! To learn more and register, contact Robin Shipley at email@example.com or Ana Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 17: Day for Men
Join us for a Day for Men during the Lenten season at Assumption Catholic Church on Saturday, Feb. 17. All men of the diocese are welcome to attend this event from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The event will feature exceptional speakers who will share their experiences and insights on navigating the complexities of living as a faithful man in a secular society. Donations to cover the costs of lunch are appreciated. To register, visit: Assumption Catholic Church Events
Rebuilding When Your Relationship Ends – Divorced, Separated and Widowed Ministry
Every Tuesday, February 20 – April 23, 2024 from 6:30pm – 8:30pm. This 10 week class is for anyone who has experienced the loss of a love relationship through divorce, death or break up of a long-term relationship. Individuals who participate in this program develop a better, more comprehensive understanding of how their relationship with God and the community can help them through tis very difficult journey.
This program will be held at Blessed Trinity Catholic Church | Family Life Center 10472 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32246. Registration of $50 includes textbook and materials. There are scholarships available if you’re unable to to afford the registration fee. To register visit REBUILDING
February 23-25: Retrouvaille Marriage Retreat
Registration for the upcoming Feb. 23-25 weekend is now open. Retreat weekends are held three times annually at Marywood Retreat & Conference Center. The retreat is designed to help couples reconnect with each other and learn how to communicate on a deeper level. Through the program, you’ll learn how to express your feelings in a way your spouse can better understand, resolve conflict in healthier ways and rebuild trust through forgiveness. The registration fee is $350 per couple. If you’re interested in attending, you can register by visiting HELP OUR MARRIAGE. For more information, contact Retrouvaille of Jacksonville at (904)662-8604 or email Jacksonville@retrouvaille.org.
Faithfully, your pastor,
St. James Catholic Church
A Community of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter
Worship Location: 12447 Mandarin Rd, Jacksonville, FL