Dear St. James Family,
Greetings to you on the Memorial of Good King Wenceslas.
This Sunday during my homily I will be answering the question: Can those who Appear to Be in Mortal Sin Receive Communion? I am asking this question for two reasons. First, this is a bit controversial and I am hoping to use your curiosity to lure you on out to St. James this Sunday if you have been away for a while:-). I guarantee that it will be a thought provoking homily solidly based on the teaching of the Church. Second, however, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has been leading the Church with a strong focus on inclusivity. The chant that he led at the recent world youth day was “Todos! Todos! Todos!” meaning “Everyone! Everyone! Everyone!” So, what exactly does this mean when it comes to those who have historically been excluded due to grave sins? I will be sharing with you about a theological development that has taken place over the last few hundred years in the understanding of what exactly is mortal sin and how this is opening a merciful way for people who you would not ordinarily think, to be admitted to Holy Communion.
For those of you not familiar with the term mortal sin, this means the more serious type of sin which separates you from God for all eternity, if it is not taken care of prior to death. People in mortal sin are not normally allowed to receive Holy Communion without first being absolved (forgiven) by a priest (this is the purpose of the binding and loosing that Jesus talked about Matthew 18:18 and this is also the reason why Protestants need to become Catholic and go to confession before receiving Holy Communion). A mortal sin is a grave sin that has been knowingly and deliberately committed. This understanding is based on 1 John 5:16, 17 which says that there are two types of sin: mortal and that which is not mortal (the Church calls these less serious sins venial, that is those you committed unknowingly or without full freedom). All of this to say that mortal sin is that which causes spiritual death.
News and Happenings
Back to English Creed (instead of Latin) Beginning this Sunday
Over the summer we have been working on learning to sing the Nicene Creed in Latin since according to the Church all Catholics should know at least some of the parts of the Ordinary of the Mass in Latin, at the minimum, the Lord’s Prayer and the Creed. This is so that when the faithful come together from different countries, they can sing together You can read more about this in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (see number 41), which is found in the beginning of every Roman Catholic altar missal and contains instructions for the Mass. Next summer we will practice singing the the Lord’s Prayer in Latin.
Grab a Rake and Help us Lend a helping hand at L’Arche, Saturday, October 28, 2023, 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Join the first quarterly service gathering hosted by the Children and Family Ministry at L’Arche Jacksonville a worldwide federation of communities founded by Jean Vanier, a Canadian Catholic philosopher and theologian, for people with developmental disabilities and those who assist them. We will assist staff and residents with fall planting and yard work at the facility located at 700 Arlington Rd. N., Jacksonville, FL 32211 Please contact Colleen Kelley @ firstname.lastname@example.org or text 408-306-6280 to sign up and receive additional information.
The number of people who signed up for this class turned out to be higher than expected, forcing us to move to a larger room. This gives us a few extra spots if you would like to jump on board this foundational opportunity. The next class is scheduled for October 9 at 7 PM if you would like to give it a try. Learn more.
Curious Story behind the Baby I am Baptizing this Sunday, October 1, 2023 at the 10:15 AM Mass
John and Natalie Boozer, who I consider to be part of our extended St. James family, were recently gifted with the safe birth of their son Joel Isaac Boozer. Though St. James is their pilgrimage parish, they often attend attend Queen of Peace for Mass since it is closer to their house. So, why baptize little Joel at St. James? A little over nine months ago I stopped by the Boozer home to get to know them and blessed the house while I was there. Following the house blessing, Natalie found herself suddenly pregnant! This was a joyful surprise after years of infertility. So, in gratefulness to God, they have chosen to have Joel baptized at St. James. I look forward to their rejoicing with us this Sunday as Joel is welcomed into the family of God through baptism (Curious to learn why the Catholic Church baptizes infants?).
I’ll be Away at the Priest Convocation, October 2-5, 2023 – Please Pray for Me
On Monday, I’ll be flying up to Chicago and then heading to beautiful Mundelein Seminary where I will be gathering with Bishop Lopes and the priests of the Ordinariate for a time of connection, training, and prayer. I’ve always found these yearly gatherings to be inspiring and energizing. I’ll be returning to Jacksonville on late Thursday evening. Please pray that I will return a better priest for you and all those in Jacksonville who the Lord is calling to St. James.
The Vile Sin of Complaining, and its Remedy – Last Sunday’s Homily
Most people do not realize the deadly plague that complaining is. Learn not only what God really thinks about this vice, but also three practical remedies to deal with the temptation of grumbling.
Listen to this and my other homilies at StJamesCC.org/Homilies or by searching “Fr. Mayer’s Preaching & Teaching” wherever you get your podcasts
Welcome the fall season with us by celebrating Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels Feast. Experience evensong, a sung version of evening prayer, followed by a potluck (traditional foods for this fall feast include roast goose with apples, mutton pies, blackberry crumble, Sruthan Mhìcheil, St. Michael’s Bannock, and nuts to be cracked). During the potluck I am planning on giving you a peak into the vast unseen world of angels. During this time there will also be games for the kids outside that will include the likes of foot racing, sword fighting, and jousting. There will be prizes :-). Check out the full details.
As you know, you are normally required to exercise an act of penance on most Fridays (giving up meat is the one most favored by the Church), however, I am providing a dispensation for anyone attending Evensong with us tomorrow! This is a time of feasting, a happy and joyous gathering. Part of our patrimonial tradition is always looking for any excuse for a party! Come and join us. Check out the full details.
Check out More Upcoming Events at the Website
Other Local Catholic Events
This weekend retreat will be held at Marywood Retreat & Conference Center, 235 Marywood Dr., in St. Johns. It is for couples with marital problems that want marriage help. Those who are considering marriage separation and those who are already separated or divorced are encouraged to consider this program as well. The cost is $350 per couple. For more information, visit https://helpourmarriage.org/ or contact Jan Albers at email@example.com.
Are You a Young Adult Who Has Been Hurt by Your Family? Check out the Life-Giving Wounds Retreat, Oct. 14-15
The Life-Giving Wounds retreat will be held at Mission Nombre de Dios, 101 San Marco Ave., in St. Augustine. This is a unique opportunity for young adults (18+) and adult children of divorce, separation or family brokenness to reflect intentionally on the wounds caused by their family’s breakdown, together with others who know this pain and knowledgeable, compassionate retreat leaders. With the help of God, retreat attendees learn to see how their life-draining wounds can become a life-giving mission of love for themselves, their relationships and others. For more details
Exhibition of the Eucharistic Miracles, Sept. 29 – Oct. 10
Join us at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, 4600 Belle Terre Parkway, in Palm Coast for this traveling display of photographs and historical descriptions of Eucharistic miracles recognized by the Catholic Church that have taken place throughout history. The times are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sept. 29 through Oct. 8 and 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 9-10. For more details, call (386) 445-2246.
Theology on Tap – October 2
Join young adults in fun and fellowship with solid church teaching in a welcoming environment at Mellow Mushroom, 3611 St. Johns Ave., in Jacksonville at 7 p.m. The guest speaker is Joseph West, director of evangelization for the Diocese of St. Augustine. Check out the flyer.
Life Fest Live Catholic
The Diocese of St. Augustine will host a Life Fest Live Catholic event at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios in St. Augustine on Saturday, Nov. 4. This event begins with an outdoor Mass celebrated by Bishop Erik Pohlmeier at 9:00 a.m. The diocesan Christus Vivit awards will be held immediately following Mass. The day will include speakers, Dr. Jason Phillips, Bob Perron and more along with praise and worship music with the band Stella. There will be games for all ages, a petting zoo, a dress-up-as-your-favorite saint costume party, not to forget food trucks, vendors and much more. Workshops will be held for college-age and above students with a guest panel and Theology of the Body teen workshops offered in English and Spanish. The day will conclude with a Eucharistic procession and rosary ending at 4:00 p.m. Keep your eyes on the sky for a special surprise. (This event is weather permitting)
Faithfully, your pastor,