Dear St. James Family,
This Sunday I am preaching on hospitality in the home as inspired by Ecclesia domestica or the Domestic Church. Ecclesia domestica was a common concept familiar to the early Church which was brought back to light by the Second Vatican Council back in the 1960s. Come and learn why Christian homes are considered Ecclesia domesticas and how your home can be a place of good food and warmth for others to be able to experience the light of Christ.
We also enter into Pre-Lent as a reminder to be getting ready for that soon coming holy season. Keep reading for more information.
Get to know our Bishop who is Celebrating His Seventh Year since Episcopal Ordination!
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.
Although he does not come out of Anglicanism, he confidently propounds the evangelical beauty and richness of Anglican Patrimony now back in the Catholic Church where it is flourishing. As such he is a respected liturgist and currently serves as the elected head of the Committee for Divine Worship by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). As a priest I have experienced him as an excellent bishop with a strength for setting forth a compelling vision and bringing stability and a solid foundation for the thriving growth that our new diocese has been experiencing. Learn more about Bishop Lopes.
This evening, 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 seven years ago.
- Candlemas: Thursday, February 2, 5:30 PM. Candle blessing and Mass
- Throat Blessings: February 2, 6:50-7:15 PM, following Candlemas
- Marriage Sunday: February 12 encouraging marriage homily, blessings and vow remembrance after Mass for couples united in Holy Matrimony
- Catholic Beliefs Class: Mon, 7-9 PM, Feb 13, 20, 2023.
- Chair of St. Peter: Sunday, February 19, 2023, diocesan feast day, champagne and drinks after Mass
- Children’s Religious Ed: Sunday, February 19, 2023, 11:45 AM, ages 4-13. Meets third Sunday of the month through May 2023.
- Shrove Tuesday: February 21, 5:30 PM. Pancakes, Fun, Confessions.
- Ash Wednesday Mass: February 22, 5:30 PM Mass, 7 PM
- Ashes outside of Mass: February 22, 7:00 PM, shorter liturgy with ashes
- Penitential Procession: February 26, 10:15 AM 1st Sun. of Lent begins with Great Litany prayers
Check out All Upcoming Events at the Website
Going Purple this Sunday, February 5, 2023
This Sunday we enter into what is known as Pre-Lent, a time of beginning to take on a more somber tone of reflection and examination in order to get ready for a good and Holy Lent. This pre-lenten custom is unfamiliar to many Catholics, however it was the norm for most of Church history up until the liturgical revision of 1969. At that time the period of Pre-Lent was eliminated for those who celebrate the Ordinary form of the Mass, but continued to be celebrated in the Extraordinary (Traditional Latin Mass) and now also in the Divine Worship (Ordinariate) form of the Mass.
Beginning this Sunday you will observe purple vestments. You will also notice that there is no Gloria during Pre-Lent and Lent, though the Gloria will return for a brief Sunday when we celebrate our diocesan patronal feast, the Chair of St. Peter, on February 19, 2023.
Goodbye Alleluia until Easter
If you are joining us for Mass tonight, February 2, enjoy the alleluias since this is the last time that they will be used at St. James until Easter. Going back to the regulation of Pope Alexander II in 1073, the alleluia ceases to be used beginning on the first Sunday of Pre-Lent until Easter when it arises once again in a glorious proclamation of Easter joy. So say your goodbye for now: “We part from the Alleluia as from a beloved friend, whom we embrace many times and kiss on mouth, head and hand, before we leave him” (Bishop William Duranti writing in 1296 AD).
The word alleluia, which means “Praise the Lord!” has been used by the Church from apostolic times. Its use has been encouraged in private prayer, sung by pious farmers and tradesmen at their toil, and by mothers who taught their babies to pronounce alleluia before any other word. It was a favorite song of oarsmen and used as a battle cry and war song. Learn more about the glorious history of this proclamation.
Fr. Mayer is Moved by Experiencing the Mass of Unity
I forgot to mention in my last newsletter that I enjoyed being part of the Mass for Unity organized by Fr. Ernie Davis upon the occasion of his ordination 40 years ago as an Episcopal priest and twenty years ago as a Catholic priest. On January 22, 2023 I drove to St. Michael Catholic Church, Fernandina, and preached at this afternoon Mass. The church was filled and included the local Episcopal priest, the Anglican priest, the Methodist minister and his deacon, and the Anglican choir led the music. It was a great experience that stirred within me the importance and fruitfulness of this work of bringing together the separated children of God.
Mark your Calendar for Food and No-wait Confessions!
On February 21, 2023, 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. This will also be a breakfast potluck. The Church will be supplying the main course, pancakes, and you are asked to sign up to bring a side (sausage, bacon, libations, pancake toppings). The evening will begin with Evening Prayers, 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. 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 at the Events Calendar and how to sign up to bring a side.
What is so Great about Humility? – Listen to my most recent homily
There is much confusion around what humility means and how it can be helpful. So, you must ask, “What is the big deal with humility?” “Why does God like it so much? Learn how this virtue can free you from the pain of criticism, change how you see others, and draw the graces of God into your life.
Listen to this and my other homilies at StJamesCC.org/Homilies or by searching “Fr. Mayer’s Preaching & Teaching” wherever you get your podcasts
Candlemas Evening Traffic
I am looking forward to seeing you tonight at Candlemas if you are joining us. Remember that traffic can be a bit bad in Mandarin around that time during the week so give yourself a few extra minutes to arrive. It is going to be a beautiful evening. 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.
Faithfully, your pastor,