Dear St. James Family,
Greetings on the memorial of St. Leo the Great who died today back in 461. He had a big influence on the quarterly Ember days that we celebrate (next ones are coming up on December 6 and 9), especially associating the practice of fasting with charity on these days. Also, prior to Leo, most bishops used the term “Pope,” but following his papacy the term became exclusive to the Bishop of Rome. He was also known for fighting heresy and his leadership and caring for the poor and immigrants amidst a time of famine and war.
Happy Veterans Day. Thank you to all those who have served our country through the armed forces. We are grateful.
Image above: The Meeting between Leo the Great (painted as a portrait of Leo X) and Attila by Raphael
Grow and Be Challenged in your Faith: Listen to a Homily
If you have been away from St. James for a while or have yet to join us, get a little taste of the experience and receive some spiritual nourishment by listening to one of the homilies given during Mass. You can listen here or by searching for “Fr. Mayer’s Preaching & Teaching” wherever you get your podcasts.
Jesus warned that there are certain people within the Church, people who exert great influence, who you should also be careful of, lest you take on their poisonous way of living. Learn how to easily identify these people and how to avoid their perilous contagion.
Nearly all of the popes over the past century have held up for the Church the teaching on sanctity proposed by St. Thérèse of Lisieux. This child like saint was proclaimed a doctor of the Church because of her straight, short, new little way, as she described it, of entering into the happiness found in God alone. Her way is one of hope, to poor sinners. Listen and be encouraged.
How do you know if your family or career or reputation is more important than God?
News and Past Events
Last Week’s Festivities: Potluck, All Saints and All Souls
We had fun last week celebrating the All Saints Mass with a full church of guests and regulars. Thank you to everyone who brought food for the potluck. Thank you especially to Tammy Bonkowski and her family for organizing and leading the potluck and activities for the kids.
Thank you also to Dan and Christine Lucas who hosted the All Souls Mass in their home and to those who contributed special offerings on behalf of the Masses that are being offered for our faithful departed.
Fun Service Day for the Disabled at L’Arche, Jacksonville
Thank you to Collen Kelley who organized a fun day of weeding and planting flowers on October 28. The weather was gorgeous and our hosts were most welcoming and friendly. We did our best to tidy up the landscaping, added dirt and flowers to some flower pots, and enjoyed lemonade and snacks from our friendly hosts. T
his was the first 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. If you would like to be part of the next service day please let Colleen Kelley know so that she can add you to the list of those to invite: firstname.lastname@example.org or text 408-306-6280.
Full Room of Attendees at Church History Talk this Past Monday
On November 6 I presented the historic evidence for how Christ structured his Church and how this Church has thrived and grown through even difficult challenges on up to the present time. I was pleased that we had an excellent attendance.
The next presentation, which will be on Relics, Saints, Mariology, will be taking place on November 20, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM at The Salem Centre, 7235 Bentley Rd, Jacksonville. Come and join us.
This Sunday’s Homily: Readiness for the Great Tribulation
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in the end, before the final victory of Christ, we will go through a difficult trial, the faith of many will grow cold, and the Church will seem to some to have been defeated. However, our Lord has provided preparation for this time and for all times of testing and hardship. I’ll be sharing in my homily about what is coming and how to be prepared this Sunday, November 12.
Women’s Prayer and Breakfast: November 18, 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Connect and enjoy a morning out with the women in our parish. The monthly Women’s Prayer and Breakfast meeting will be taking place at Beach Diner Mandarin, 11362 San Jose Blvd Jacksonville, FL 32223. Come and learn more about the life of St Gianna Beretta Molla. Please text or call Cathy Messina if you plan to attend, 415-205-9705.
Get an insider look on neurodiversity (different ways of thinking and processing: autistic, ADHD, OCD, dyslexia/dysgraphia, Tourette’s, Down Syndrome), and find encouragement and practical helps for being a better parent to your neurodiverse children. Great opportunity to be enriched and equipped by the wisdom of Susan Miller, one who has researched and studied and has much to share from her own experiences as a coach, teacher, wife, and mother. Learn more.
I’ll be Presenting on Relics and the Saints, Monday November 20, 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Come and learn about the often misunderstood Catholic understanding of the saints and why God still works through them, including through their relics (a piece of hair or bone or blood). We will be looking a the biblical and historic grounds for these historic Christian practices including why Mary is revered so highly within the Catholic Church. Location: The Salem Centre, 7235 Bentley Rd, Jacksonville. Come and join us.
I Found a Possible Building for St. James: Learn more after Mass on November 26, 2023
As you know, we have been continuing to look for building possibilities to better accommodate our growing family and I have found one that would work and which I would like you to consider and pray about with me.
I didn’t even want to look at this location and because of my doubts had decided not to see it. However, something within was nudging. So with reservations, and the thought that I was probably wasting my time, I met last week with the realtor at the property. I saw the property possibility and was pretty much unmoved. Over the next few days, for some reason I felt nudged again and so I decided to write out a list of pros and cons for this location and found myself astounded at the long list promising possibilities in comparison to the not so attractive elements. I have come to believe that this may well be a diamond in the rough. We are still in the research phase as it will take a bit of work to transform the space. I’m meeting with a contractor next week to get an initial estimate and consider our options.
I would like to share this possibility with you in a short presentation after each of the Masses on November 26, 2023, Christ the King Sunday.
We are looking forward to the honor of having Bishop Lopes in town with us soon and he is going to be helping us raise money for the future building for St. James. On Saturday evening, December 9, enjoy excellent food, and fun company. I’ll be sharing about the good things that have taken place through the mission of St. James and then Bishop Lopes, who is an excellent speaker, will be sharing about the evangelization and growth taking place through our diocese, the Ordinariate, all over North America. It’s going to be a fun evening designed to assist in laying the groundwork for the mission of St James to develop a stable presence here in Jacksonville, from which to joyfully share the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ. Learn more.
We are excited to have Bishop Lopes, flying in from Houston, to be with us next month! He will be administering the Sacrament of Confirmation at the 8:00 AM Mass and also presiding at the 10:15 AM Mass. In between the Masses, from 9:30 AM – 10:00 AM he will be presenting on the growth and development that is taking place through the Ordinariate across North America.
I expect seating to be tight with some folks ending up standing. So, please arrive early. Also, there will be a marathon that is taking place that Sunday morning which will slow your commute. I would recommend giving yourself plenty of time to arrive.
Check out More Upcoming Events at the Website
Around the Local Diocese
Theology on Tap
Mary Soha, M.D. will present, “Let’s make our past a pilgrimage – the Florida Martyrs,” at the next Theology on Tap on Nov. 11, at 5:30 p.m. at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios, 101 San Marco Ave., St. Augustine. Join young adults ( ages 21+) from across the diocese for a lively faith-filled discussion, pizza and drinks, provided by Young Catholic Professionals of Jacksonville. Click here for flyer.
Walking Pilgrimage from Jacksonville to St. Augustine: Baby Steps Camino
Dec. 8-11 Journey with the Order of Malta American Association during the annual Baby Steps Camino™, a three-day beach-walking pilgrimage from Jacksonville Beach to the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios in St. Augustine. The pilgrimage will take place from Dec. 8 until Dec. 10. Pilgrims are welcome to join for one, two or three days of the pilgrimage. A guided “mini-pilgrimage,” the Bambino Camino™, a two mile walk from Vilano Beach to the shrine, is available on the final day of the pilgrimage, Dec. 10. It is an easy walk for pilgrims of all abilities. Non-walkers are also welcome on the last day of the events at the shrine. To register and for more details, such as the schedule of the event and items to bring, visit babystepscamino.com.
Faithfully, your pastor,