Is St. James Roman Catholic? Does attendance fulfill my Catholic Mass obligation?
Yes, St. James is fully Roman Catholic and as a Catholic community, attendance at Mass fulfills your Mass obligation.
St. James is part of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, which was established by the Vatican in 2012 (see decree of erection) in response to Anglican communities asking to come back into the Church, but is now made up of people of all backgrounds, including lifelong Catholics.
The Complementary Norms was promulgated by Pope Francis to provide additional information about the establishment of Personal Ordinariates and to broaden who could become an Ordinariate member.
The Apostolic Constitution, Anglicanorum coetibus (Groups of Anglicans) was originally promulgated by Pope Benedict XVI to create the framework of Personal Ordinariates.
All three of these documents show clearly that St. James and the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter was established by the authority of the Catholic Church and that it is fully Catholic.
Why does Mass at St. James look and sound a little different than the other Catholic parishes I’ve been to?
The Mass is according to our liturgical book Divine Worship: The Missal which was given to us by Rome and contains elements of the Anglican patrimony. Most people are more familiar with Mass according to the liturgical book The Roman Missal: 3rd Edition, which is used in most Catholic parishes.
What is the relationship of St. James to the Diocese of St. Augustine?
St. James would not be in existence without the support of the Bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine and the local parishes.
- See Saint James listed as a mission by the Diocese of St. Augustine
- Fr. Mayer, our pastor, can be found in the Diocese of St. Augustine, Priest Directory, meaning that he has full faculties to function as a priest anywhere in the Diocese.
- Fr. Mayer assists from time to time with the 6:30 AM daily Mass at Assumption Catholic Church and when not presiding, often concelebrates at this Mass.
However, while there is a healthy working relationship between St. James and the Diocese of St. Augustine, St. James is not structurally or financially part of the local diocese. Rather, St. James is a mission community of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter which functions as a non geographic diocese in the same way that the military ordinariate functions as a non geographic diocese (see Archdiocese for the Military Services). The ordinariate has over 40 missions and parishes scattered throughout the U.S. and Canada which are overseen by Bishop Stephen Lopes.
What is the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter?
St. James is a community of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter is a new structure, similar to a diocese, that was created by the Holy See in 2012 to help former Anglicans become Roman Catholic, to evangelize and welcome all who wish to be in full communion with Rome, and to share its particular liturgical, pastoral, and spiritual tradition with all Catholics. The Ordinariate brought back many aspects of the Anglican Patrimony into the Catholic Church: traditional liturgy, beautiful sacred music, and a pastoral custom that especially focuses on strong community.
Since its founding, the Ordinariate has been thriving and has established missions and parishes throughout North America. Based in Houston, Texas, the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter as of 2022 has:
- 1 Bishop
- 69 Priests
- 14 Permanent & Transitional Deacons
- 5 Seminarians
- 11 Candidates for Priesthood
- 41 Parishes & Communities
Watch this talk by Bishop Lopes talk on the Ordinariate
Watch this talk by Bishop Lopes talk on the identity of the Ordinariate.
Do you have a daily Mass?
As a mission parish, we do not currently have the budget to be able to provide a regular daily Mass although this is planned for the future. Fr. Mayer, our pastor, does occasionally celebrate daily Mass at a parishioner’s home (see Events for schedule). He also concelebrates the 6:30 AM daily Mass at Assumption Catholic Church on most weekdays.
Who is the Bishop of the Ordinariate?
The Most Reverend Stephen J. Lopes was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of San Francisco where he served in parishes prior to being assigned to the Vatican to work for the Congregation or the Doctrine of Faith (CDF) for ten years. During this he was intimately involved with much of the behind the scenes work required to realize Pope Benedict xvi’s desire to erect the Ordinariate. He was appointed by Pope Francis as the first bishop of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter and consecrated in 2016. In addition to his responsibilities for the Ordinariate, he was elected to serve as the head of the Committee for Divine Worship by the United States Catholic Council of Bishops (USCCB), a position he has served in since 2022.
Learn more about Bishop Lopes.
Can anyone join St. James Catholic Church? Do I need to be a former Anglican?
You do not need to be a former Anglican. Anyone is welcome and can join! Learn More about the proecess of becoming a parishioner of St. James.
All of our parishioners — whether diocesan or Ordinariate Catholics — are full members of our parish community. To become a “canonical” member of the Ordinariate, however, is to officially put yourself under the care of the Ordinariate’s bishop. Any person who receives their sacraments of initiation, any protestant who has been converted by the ministry of the Ordinariate, or any Catholic whose faith has been enriched and deepened by participation in the life of the Ordinariate may become a member of the Ordinariate. Learn More about next steps to become a member of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.