Dear St. James Family,


My Favorite Catholic News Source

Last Sunday I mentioned in my homily the importance of discernment when it comes to your Catholic news intake and avoiding divisive reporting. My favorite source is which is the most centrist reporting of Church happenings that I have found. I trust, John Allen, who runs Crux, as a person who strives for accurate, well researched, and intelligent reporting. He is an American that lives in Italy and has a mission of helping Americans understand what is going on in the Vatican. I also read a few other news sources that lean to the left or right in order to get a somewhat balanced idea of how the various sides see things. However my favorite is Crux, especially the show Last Week in the Church in which John brings together and helps me understand the key happenings over the past week. Crux is not perfect, but good, honest, reporting and so I commend it to you.


This Sunday: Embracing Suffering to Find Joy?

The governing ethos of modern life is the maximization of pleasure and the minimization of pain, yet in this Sunday’s gospel, Christ talks about coming alive by embracing your cross. Christ was the master at teaching people how to transform suffering into joy. If you sometimes find yourself having a bad day and getting grumpy and irritable, learn this Sunday from our Lord about why a person might consider embracing suffering and experience transformation.

News and Happenings


Almost Have Enough to Afford Our Own Place!

Based on the 2024 household giving estimates that I have received so far, we are at 90% of our needed monthly giving to consider seriously moving into a leased space which will allow us to expand the growing ministries of St. James in a more centralized location. I am grateful to the Lord for the unity and support of the people of St. James as we discern together. Thank you.


Are You on the List of those who have Shared their 2024 Giving Estimates?

If not, drop me an email so that I can add you to the list :-).

Thank you to the following families who have shared their giving estimates: Anna and John Brown, Brian Burch, Ruby Burch, Robin Cooper, Sierra and Caleb Gibson, Dan Lahey, Dan Lucas, Melissa and Philip Mayer, Catherine and Robert Messina, Susan and Bart Miller, Charles Morgan, Michelle and Douglas Nesmith, Tina Newman, Rachel and Jeremy Dobbs, Carol and Jim Patton, Missy and Dan Rindge, Andrew Salvatore, Linda and Joseph Salvatore, Nancy and Rex Setzer,   


Meet People and have Fun by Helping to Put out Chairs for Mass on September 10 and 24, 7:00 – 7:30 AM

Our setup crew is a bit short on a couple of Sundays in November due to our normal setup folks being out of town. If you have thirty minutes to spare on Sunday morning 9/10 and or 9/24 7:00 AM – 7:30 AM, we need you :-). Please let me know if you can help us out. Thanks.


Record Breaking Giving for August! Thank you for your Generosity to the Mission

Giving for August was $14,764 which is excellent! This by far bypasses the $10,000 in monthly giving that we will need once we get into the storefront and is the highest month that we have had so far as a community. Here is some context to let you know how we are doing in consistently hitting the 10k mark: July $11,372; June $9,352; May $8,036; April $10,045; March $8,650.

  • Giving for August: $4,792 general, $9,972 capital. This does not include the smaller funds (Mass intention, Catechesis, Alms, etc.). Average giving for last 12 months $8,734 (compared to August 2022 $6,244)

  • August Expenses: $5,967.54 | Covers quarter of priest’s support, half of pension, travel, liturgical supplies, music, building rent and liability insurance, advertising, bishop’s tax, almsgiving, hospitality

  • St. James Financial Goals (Set by Bishop Lopes): 1. Move into stable Lease/Location 2. Provide 50% of priest’s support.


Wendy Cruff is is Having Surgery: Sign up to Bring her a Meal

Our beloved Wendy is going to be having an operation this coming week so please keep her in your prayers. I would also encourage you to sign up to bring her a meal if you are able, which would be most appreciated during her recovery. She will be needing meals beginning the week of September 11, 2023. For questions, please contact or 415-205-9705.


Decline to Sign Petitions for Florida Pro-Abortion Ballot

An dangerous initiative is underway in Florida that seeks to erase pro-life protections passed by our state legislature governing abortion in the state constitution. Abortion activists are working throughout the state to gather 900,000 petition signatures to have a pro-abortion constitutional amendment placed on our statewide ballot for the November 2024 election. This would allow abortions up to 24 weeks and beyond at the discretion of the “healthcare provider.” Florida Catholics should not sign this petition and please keep in prayer the protection of the unborn. Lean more.  


Struggling to Support Pope Francis? – Most Recent Homily

There has been an increase of resistance to Pope Francis from a small but vocal segment of the Catholic Church. Some have even been spreading suspicion that he is preparing for a big change which will cause outright heresy and schism. If you share these concerns, find encouragement in the foundational bedrock upon which Christ structured his Church and why you have nothing to fear from these media stirrings. Learn how to be free of these unsettling worries and find hope.

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



Upcoming Events


Catholic Night at the Ballpark, Saturday, September 16, 2023

Special price through the sponsorship of a St. James parishioner, $30 includes your ticket and all-you-can-eat buffet or $14 per person for ticket only. Starts at 5:05 p.m. Doubleheader between the Jumbo Shrimp and the Gwinnett Stripers sponsored by the Diocese of St. Augustine Office of Communications. 121 Financial Ballpark, 301 A Philip Randolph Blvd., in Jacksonville. Reserve your spot by paying Brian Burch who can be found at the hospitality table after Mass.


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

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. Coping with the loss of a loved one is the hardest challenge we face in life. Emotions and challenges can seem too hard to bear. All too often, you only begin the work of healing after family and friends have returned to their normal life routines. For more details, contact Gail at (904) 318-9308 or visit


Would you Like to Serve at St. James? Learn more on Serve Sunday

Are you interested in getting involved with music and singing or Children and Family Ministry or Hospitality or Setup and Put-away Teams or Catholic Initiation or Leading or assisting with Divine Office Prayers or Altar Boys or Tech Skills (photography, social media, website, videography)? Father is asking individuals from these various ministries to be available on September 17 after both Masses so that you can learn more about finding a good fit for the gifts that the Lord has given to you. More information.


New Attender’s Orientation Dinner, Sunday, September 17, 4:00 – 7:00 PM

This dinner is a great opportunity for those who are interested in learning more about the history, vision, and people of St. James: simple meal and introductions, hear Father Mayer’s story, presentation on the history and vision of St. James, and opportunities to learn how to become more involved. This event normally fills quickly, so please reserve your spot as soon as possible: or text 904-440-6673. Location: home of Tracey Moley 12590 Del Rio Drive, Jacksonville.


Serious Marriage Issues? Retrouvaille Retreat Weekend, Sept. 29 – Oct. 1

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 or contact Jan Albers at


Other Upcoming Dates

Check out More Upcoming Events at the Website

Faithfully, your pastor,

Father Mayer