Dear St. James Family,

Last week I flew to the Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham, in Houston, to be part of what is known as the Chrism Mass (see picture below that I took from my seat). It is called the Chrism Mass because of the focus on the oils that are consecrated at the Mass (the Latin cresme came into the English language as creme. Learn more about these oils or about their history in the Church). However, also at that Mass I renewed my priestly promises to be united more closely with Christ, to teach the Word of God, and to care for your souls. I am now happy to be back home with you and am looking forward to Easter Day with you (don’t forget about the Mass location change – details below)!


I’ll be preaching this Sunday, especially to those who are disenchanted with the institutional Church. If you are that person or know someone who has left the Church because of a bad experience, come or bring them with you to hear how the resurrection of Christ continues to be at work in the Church that he founded. This will be a joyous message of hope!

Upcoming Events


Attend Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday at a Local Parish

If you are able, I would encourage you to attend what is known as the Triduum Liturgy during Holy Week (begins March 28). This three part liturgy begins with Holy Thursday which commemorates the Lord’s washing of the disciples feet and his mandate to do the same for one another, Good Friday at which the veneration of the cross takes place, and Holy Saturday or the Easter Vigil which is the first commemoration of Easter and baptisms often take place. St. James is not hosting these liturgies this year because we are small mission and because we do not have access to the building that weekend due to the Mandarin Art Festival, however, this is a great opportunity to foster catholicity and join another parish for these liturgies as you are able. God willing, we will be hosting these liturgies next year!


Don’t forget to Fast Tomorrow on Good Friday, March 29, 2024

Good Friday is an obligatory day of fasting and abstinence for Catholics. This means that tomorrow, in addition to being meatless, you are asked to eat very little food, in remembrance of the day that Christ died for you, and to follow his example and to join him in his work, by making this small sacrifice of fasting in reparation for our sins and the sins of the world. However, if you find that you need to eat something, you are allowed up to a full meal and two small snacks.

This is only required of adults up to the age of 59. In other words, the old and the young are not required to fast, but are encouraged to do so if they are able. Also, those younger than 14 are allowed to eat meat tomorrow. Those who have medical conditions that would be exacerbated by these disciplines are also dispensed.


Our Easter Day Masses Will be at Hardage-Giddens Chapel | March 31

On March 31st we will be meeting for Mass at Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home Chapel located at 11801 San Jose Blvd, Jacksonville (Do not go to the wrong Hardage-Giddens since there are two of them located on San Jose Boulevard. We are at the one down in Mandarin.) at our normal times of 8:00am & 10:15am. The Mandarin Community Club, where we normally meet for Mass, is not available that weekend due to the Art Festival which has been held there on Easter weekend for over fifty years. We will be back at our normal location the following Sunday. The celebration being moved to a different location is just another reminder of how blessed we are that our little Mission is growing and yet another sign that St. James needs a more permanent home.


Divine Mercy Sunday | April 7

The Divine Mercy Novena begins on Good Friday, March 29 and leads up to Divine Mercy Sunday, April 7.  (novena is a nine day period based on the days of prayer offered by the disciples while awaiting Pentecost).  On Divine Mercy Sunday, we will be praying The Chaplet together at Mass.  This is a time to prayerfully gather and invite all those you are able, and bring fainting souls to the spring of Christ’s mercy so that he can heal and strengthen them. Learn more.


Evangelization Workshop: SuperSlow, but Highly Effective, Rock Solid Method

April 8 | 7:00pm

Join me for this interactive evening workshop in which you will learn about the most common mistake made when sharing the faith with others and how to share your faith in a way that is natural rather than awkward, in a way that is eagerly received by others.  The workshop will take place at the Salem Centre, Jacksonville. Space is limited and this event is expected to fill quickly, so please RSVP soon: or text 904-999-1423. This workshop will also include food which requires a headcount. Thanks.


Come and See the Future Site of St. James | Saturday, April 13 | 4:00 PM

I am inviting you to join me to bless the work that will be taking place in the building that we have leased. After the short blessing, you will have the opportunity to walk through the space and ask questions and get a better feel of the task that is before us to transform the space into that which befits the dignity of a church. 4427 Emerson St, Building 2-B, Jacksonville, FL.  


How the Bible Came Together | A Workshop Especially for Curious Christians  April 17  | 6:30 PM via Zoom

Are you curious to dig into the roots of belief? Learn how the Bible, the most influential book in our culture, was assembled and how this points to a united family of God. Dig deeply into history and consider many important events and questions often overlooked. Find hope and insight and a new way of seeing the world and the Church. This is a great opportunity to experience a highly praised, engaging presentation, led by Fr. Mayer, designed to bring us together around this Holy book that is so loved yet misunderstood by many.   Please RSVP by Sunday, April 14, to in order to receive the Zoom link. The number of participants is limited in order to allow for interaction and questions, so please RSVP as soon as possible to assure your spot.


Other Upcoming Dates



News and Announcements

Leased Building Buildout Update: Asbestos Testing, Architect Measurements

There is much to do in our new building. Last week samples were collected from the floor, ceiling, and walls for asbestos testing, a new requirement that the city has put into place within the last year or two, for renovation work. I expect to receive the results back early next week. Also last Saturday, I met with our architect so that he could collect a comprehensive series of measurements inside of the building. He will be stopping back by the building one more time this weekend to finalize these measurements. I am hoping to have the floor plans by next week sometime so that I can then get them to the various contractors in order to obtain accurate bids on the work that needs to be done. Once this takes place we can hire a contractor and submit plans to the city for permitting. Learn more about the overall project.  


Get an Inside Look into Plans for St. James: Council Meeting Minutes  


A couple of weeks ago I met with the St. James Parish Council on March 12, 2024 to discuss our plans for future events, review and approve going forward with the new space for the community and to review our finances among other business items. If you would like to learn more, be sure to check out the Meeting Minutes


New Members Admitted to to The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter

Congratulations to Tammy Bonkowski, Vahn Bonkowski, Vander Bonkowski and Vyncent Bonkowski, Mary Akenbauer, Blake Christopher Baumgartner, Haily Smith, Mary Ankenbauer, James Ankenbauer, Charlie Ankenbauer Ethan James Scherrer for having their canonical applications for membership approved. Their names are now listed in the Apposite Register of Members of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, with all the rights and obligations as a member of the Diocese. This means that they now have the rights to Ordinariate liturgies (baptism of their children, confirmation, marriage, ordinations, funerals), and the pastoral care and oversite of Bishop Lopes. Membership comes also with obligations: humble obedience to the bishop and the local Ordinariate priest, and supporting of the unique charism and mission of the Ordinariate.


My Most Recent Homily: Inhibitors to Advanced Prayer, Understanding and Battling Them

The biggest reason why people do not move on to advanced prayer and spiritual maturity is due to attachments. In this homily, learn what attachments are and are not and how to effectively deal with them. This homily is based on Jesus’ teaching along with help from St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross. This is the fourth homily in a series on prayer.


Around The Diocese of St. Augustine

Holy Week Moments: Reflections by Msgr. Haut

I would encourage you to read this piece written by our beloved Msgr. Vincent Haut, Senior Priest in the Diocese of St. Augustine on Holy Week. Msgr. Haut has been helpful and encouraging to me with his many years of parish ministry experience. In years past covered for me at St. James and celebrated Mass for us. Check out his article: Simplifying Big Concepts into Everyday Actions


Scott Hahn and the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology in Jacksonville

On Saturday, April 20 at Holy Family Catholic Church, you are invited to study Scripture from the heart of the Church with one of today’s most respected scholars. Go deeper into the riches of our Catholic faith—for more details and to register, visit:

Worldwide Marriage Encounter Retreat Opportunity

A Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend is like Springtime.  It’s a weekend of fresh air, the rebirth of romance and new beginnings.  If you’d like to make your marriage even more special than it already is – register to attend this weekend retreat on

July 19-21 in St. Johns.  For more information visit our website at