Dear St. James Family,

I had a great time this past Sunday as we launched the 2023-2024 family ministry! The experience was beyond my expectations. It was pervaded by a hopeful spirit of joy and welcome, clear signs of the presence of the Holy Spirit and his work in and through this ministry.


What is it like to be part of the family ministry?

This past Sunday we began with everyone eating pizza and getting to know the leadership team. Then there was a split into age appropriate groups. The elementary kids went outside and played a game before returning for a craft and lesson in the kitchen. The middle school children used the back stage area, which was quite warm, though I did not hear a word of complaint because they were having too much fun. I was especially impressed when one boy, who has never had a good thing to say about the kids ministry in the past, told me that this gathering was the single greatest thing that he experienced that day. I got to sit in on the parent group and listen to them laugh and share about the worst hair cuts they experienced, but also to share about the vision of family ministry at St. James and how we want to support and equip them. It was a lot of fun being with the parents and the kids.


The Secret Sauce to Great Family Ministry?

I have been pondering why the family ministry is so full of life this year. Over the past couple of years, the wonderfully talented Christine Coots began to give this ministry form and structure. This year, we are working on taking this structure and giving it a special focus on being welcoming to neurodiverse individuals, that is people with ADD or ADHD or those on the autism spectrum, people with wonderful gifts and abilities who may interact and function differently than you. What I am discovering is that when we make the ministry more inclusive of neurodiversity, it becomes more welcoming and better for everyone. Does your child need to move around during the lesson or need to get away and take a break or need earplugs or sunglasses or need to fidget or flap about? No problem. We are working to make the ministries at St. James ever more Catholic, that is all embracing, and the family ministry is taking the lead on this. As a priest, I can clearly see the Holy Spirit moving and I am doing my best to keep up :-).


Thanks to Our Family Ministry Leaders

We have a wonderful leadership team. Thank you to Colleen Kelley who was the major organizing force and our new director of family ministries at St. James. She loves the Catholic Church and the mission of the Ordinariate and is a devoted wife and mother with many years of experience as an educator. She is assisted by Tina, a retired school teacher; Susan, a neurodiversity specialist; and Doug, who is currently discerning the deaconate. We have been blessed by the Lord with a great team.

Learn more about the the Family Ministry at St. James and the date of our next gathering



Moving to a Bigger Space? Help us Discern by Sending me this Information…

Last week I spoke on the phone with the lawyer for the Ordinariate and Monsignor Perkins who is our Vicar General (right hand to the bishop), about the exciting opportunity that we have to move to a bigger, more centralized space. Msgr. Perkins said that an important part of our discernment is assuring that we are together in this and that we have the financial means to cover the cost of this space by confirming with you about your giving.

If you would reply to this email with your estimated giving for 2024, as best you can predict, I would be most grateful. I would like to sign the lease for this property sooner rather than later, lest this opportunity gets snatched away from us. Thanks for taking the time to prayerfully discern what the Lord is calling you to for your planned St. James giving for 2024. Your discernment is a big part of our discernment as a community. Please send me your estimate as soon as possible, no later than the end of this month. Thanks :-).


Other Upcoming Dates

Check out More Upcoming Events at the Website


Jesus’ Method for Healing Anxiety Disorder – Most Recent Homily

Discover the most effective cure for anxiety, something that scientists are just now discovering, but that has been used in the Catholic Church for two millennia. Learn about the roots of anxiety and a highly effective way of working through and responding to panic attacks, anxiety, and anxiety disorders.

Listen to this and my other homilies at or by searching “Fr. Mayer’s Preaching & Teaching” wherever you get your podcasts


Grief Share – Fall Session, Sept. 5 – Dec. 5

Coping with the loss of a loved one is one of the hardest challenge you face in life. Emotions and challenges can seem too hard to bear. All too often, you are only beginning the work of healing after family and friends have already returned to their normal life routines. Join the weekly seminar and support group on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Cody Enrichment Center, 4152 Loretto Road, in Jacksonville. For more details, contact Gail at (904) 318-9308 or visit


Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends Is Back!

Rebuilding is for anyone who has experienced the loss of a love relationship – through a divorce, death/widow or from a breakup of a long-term relationship. Individuals who participate in this class develop a better, more comprehensive understanding of how their relationship with God and the community can help them through this very difficult journey. More than 1,000 people in the diocese have benefitted from this course over the years.

Rebuilding classes will be held in the Community Room at San José Catholic Church, 3619 Toledo Road, Jacksonville, on Thursday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. The class lasts for 10 weeks and starts on Sept. 14.  The cost is $50 per person and includes the textbook (Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends) and all handouts, which will be provided at each class. There will be light refreshments as well. To sign up, contact the Family Life Office at (904) 262-3200 or email Mike Day at They can take your reservation and process your payment. For questions, call Father Tony Palazzolo at (904) 280-5422.

Faithfully, your pastor,

Father Mayer