Dear St. James Family,

Today is the fortieth day after Easter, the Ascension of the Lord. St. James is one of the few parishes in this area where you get to celebrate the Ascension on the actual fortieth day that is referenced by Scripture (Acts 1:3, 9). This is a joyous celebration and it is normally well attended, so arrive early. More details below.  Also, Pentecost, May 19, is coming soon. This means a plenary indulgence opportunity, food, a new Catholic coming into the Church, a chance to wear read, and a week long celebration! Check out all of the details below.


Upcoming Events

Solemnity of the Ascension Mass today, May 8, 2024 at 5:30 PM

Holy Day of Obligation Today for Ordinariate Members

In celebration of our Lord’s ascension into heaven to the right hand of the Father forty days after his Resurrection, we will be celebrating Mass for this most holy solemnity, a day of obligatory attendance (grave reasons excepted) for all members of the Ordinariate. Unlike some dioceses this day is not moved to Sunday in the Ordinariate, but remains on its traditional Thursday date forty days after Easter Day (Acts 1:3, 9).

If you are an Ordinariate member you can fulfill your obligation by attending any Catholic Mass today at any parish. If you are not an Ordinariate member, then no worries. Today is not a Holy Day of Obligation for you, but still a great day to come to Mass and for this most holy solemnity.

TRAFFIC REMINDER: Traffic is bad this time of the day in the Mandarin area, so leave yourself plenty of time to arrive by 5:30 PM


Opportunity to Eliminate Time in Purgatory on Pentecost Sunday, May 19

The Church uses what are known as indulgences to encourage particular devotional practices. An indulgence is backed by the Church’s binding and losing authority and removes the temporary consequences for sins that have already been forgiven (Learn more about indulgences them here). On Pentecost, the Church wants to especially encourage your openness to the outpouring out of the Holy Ghost, so a plenary (a full purgatorial punishment removal) indulgence is provided to anyone who sings the ancient Veni Creator hymn with devotion on Pentecost (along with the normal indulgence requirements: confession, communion, prayers for the pontiff, no attachments to sin). You will have the opportunity to do just that at St. James on Sunday, May 19.


Pentecost Potluck: St. James Providing the Main Dish, May 19, 12:00 PM

Celebrate this great feast of the Church with us! St. James will be supplying hot dogs, brats, and buns (I also heard that one parishioner will also be bringing hamburgers :-). You are asked to bring a side: deserts, salads, drinks, toppings (onions, chili, ketchup, mustard, cheese), etc. Volunteers needed: hot dog cookers, table setup, cleanup crew. Please sign up with Brian at the hospitality table after Mass. For questions or to sign up via email contact


Yes, Pentecost is a Big Deal in the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter

Week Long Celebration: We continue the older tradition of celebrating Pentecost as a Octave, meaning an eight day celebration (similar to Christmas and Easter where the gloria is used all week at daily Mass). This helps us remember Pentecost as one of the three great feasts of the Church. Traditionally this octave is known as Whitsuntide.

Wear Red: show your Pentecost colors by wearing red on May 19th.

Celebrate our New Catholics: This past Easter a number of people became Catholic at St. James. Throughout Eastertide, they have completed their mystagogy (ongoing learning) classes with us, which means it is time to celebrate! Also, God willing, we will be welcoming one more new Catholic at the 10:15 Mass on Pentecost.

Whitsun: Yes, we even have a special nickname for this day. It is said that Whitsun comes from the fact that those who were baptized on this day wore white gowns. Others say that Whitsun refers to wit and wisdom, one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. Learn more.


Other Upcoming Dates



News & Announcements

Deepen your Prayers with the Holy Ghost Novena Leading up to Pentecost

Beginning tomorrow you are invited to participate in the Novena for the coming of the Holy Ghost, a powerful experience of nine days of prayer (May 10-18), inflaming your heart and being filled with the power Holy Ghost, strengthening your will, and growing in virtue. Though it is a Catholic custom to pray many other novenas, this is the Church’s original Novena, or nine days of prayer that was first directed by Christ himself. We will be using the Novena found in the St. Gregory’s Prayer Book, which contains many beautiful devotion gathered together from the rich treasury of Anglican patrimony now brought back into the Catholic Church.


Why I am Sprinkling People during the Fifty Days of Eastertide (Aspergies)

I have heard some of our Protestant brothers and sisters mistakenly refer to Catholics being baptized via sprinkling. The truth is that Catholics are not baptized by sprinkling, only pouring or immersion. However, it is a common practice during Eastertide for the priest to help the people remember their baptismal dignity by sprinkling them with holy water, which we are doing at St. James at this time of the year at the primary (10:15 AM) Mass.

The principal Mass throughout Eastertide begins with the blessing of the people with baptismal holy water. Easter, from the earliest days of the church, was the primary season for baptisms and you are sprinkled (asperged) to remind you of your baptism, your death in Christ’s death, and your rising to new life through his Resurrection. The versicles chanted by the schola during the aspersion are called the “Vidi Aquam” Latin for the first words of Ezekiel 47:

I saw water issuing out from the temple, on the right hand side, alleluia:

and all to whom that water came were saved, and they shall say: Alleluia. Alleluia.

This vision of the prophet Ezekiel is a most wonderful image of the mission of the Church: The Holy Spirit, flowing from the altar, through the worship and out into the world for life and healing. May the grace of the Lord flow through you and out into the world as you are asperged throughout this festive season


Monthly Giving Update — Thank you for your Open Hearted Generosity!

  • April Giving: $11,063.82 (general $4,335.52, capital $6,728.30). This does not include smaller funds.

  • April Expenses: $6,034.49 Covers quarter of priest’s support, half of pension, travel, liturgical supplies, music, building rent and liability insurance, advertising, bishop’s tax, almsgiving, hospitality


Leased Building, Latest Update

  • Asbestos Removal: We have hired a remediation company who is tentatively scheduled to take care of the asbestos in the building, beginning this Tuesday.  They will be removing the popcorn ceiling which, according to testing is made of ten percent asbestos. The drywall mud tested five percent positive for asbestos so they will also be removing all of the drywall that is part of our demolition.

  • Contractor Pricing: I have received pricing from two general contractors and I am waiting on two more, which I hope will be back to me this week or next. Once I receive these, the hope is to be able to hire one of this contractors.

  • Bathroom Repairs: old toilets have been removed. New toilets have been purchased and tile repair is almost complete.


Building Faith Campaign Update | New Home for St. James  

Rough Goals (numbers may change once we get the finalized contractor numbers):

  • Phase 1 Complete: $126,188 raised for walls, plumbing, electrical, floors, chairs, lights. (note: low number is if we do our own painting,  flooring, and trim work which saves $35,000)

  • Phase 2 Complete: $19,620 raised for signage, counters, landscaping, sacristy, advertising,

  • Phase 3: $13,634.71 of $25,320 raised for warming oven, advertising, votive stands and vestibule beautification


How Can I Support the Renovation of the New home for St. James?  

  • Visit

  • Check payable to St. James Catholic Church and drop it in the collection plate or

  • Mail to:  St. James Parsonage, 3725 Lilly Road N., Jacksonville, FL 32207.


Around the Wider Church

Protect Both Mother and Unborn Child | Vote “NO” on Amendment 4

An extremely grave amendment has been placed on the November 2024 ballot that seeks to erase pro-life protections by inserting language into the Florida Constitution banning regulation of abortion. This amendment to the Florida constitution would allow abortion up through the third trimester, including when the baby is capable of feeling pain, and would eliminate laws requiring parental consent and safety protocols for women. The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops is working hard to oppose this dangerous and deception amendment and urges all Floridians to vote ‘no’ on Amendment 4. Statement: Florida Bishops Oppose Extreme Abortion Amendment: “We urge all Floridians of goodwill to stand against the legalization of late-term abortion and oppose the abortion amendment. In doing so, we will not only protect the weakest, most innocent, and defenseless of human life among us but also countless women throughout the state from the harms of abortion.” The full statement from the bishops of Florida is available at


Mary’s Divine Motherhood Presentation |  May 11

Father Mac Hill will delve into Marian Dogma related to Mary’s divine motherhood. The public is invited to this free event as part of the Shrine Speaker Series on Mary. The Shrine Church opens at 9 a.m. with the presentation beginning at 9:30 a.m., followed by a question-and-answer session. There will also be a rosary at 11:15 a.m. and Mass at noon. For more details, visit

Luncheon for Life

Hear a great speaker, network and learn how to stand up for the vulnerable among us. The next event is a Marywood on May 15. Learn more.


Camp I Am Special Buddies

High School youth, you are invited to an incredible volunteer experience this summer. For over 40 years, Camp I Am Special has been changing the lives of children and adults with special needs, offering them a wonderful hands-on experience. This opportunity depends on young volunteers like you to guide them as Buddies. As a

Buddy, you will receive professional training and support while sharing your life with someone precious to God.

Camp I Am Special is a powerful way to serve and follow in Jesus’ footsteps by extending a hand to a person in need. To learn more about becoming a Catholic Charities Camp I Am Special Buddy, please call (904) 230-7447 or visit