Parochial Administrator (Pastor)
Philip Mayer grew up as a devout Pentecostal and developed a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and a love of the Bible at a young age. During college, in response to a calling to ordained ministry, he began studying theology and Christian history, which led to searching for the denomination that held the fullness of what he was discovering. He got married to an adventurous woman and found himself drawn to the rich liturgical traditions, history, and warmth that he discovered in the Episcopal Church and went on to be ordained.
However, his studies into the Fathers of the Church and the development of doctrine led him to the Catholic faith. It was then that he discovered the Lord’s foundation of the Church was in Catholicism and that the fullness and true flourishing of the faith was still to be found. He entered the Church in 2012 along with his wife, and after receiving a special dispensation from Pope Francis, was ordained as a Catholic priest in 2019 and sent to Jacksonville to assist in fostering the growth and establishment of the mission of St. James Catholic Church. Father Mayer can often be found concelebrating at the 6:30 AM Daily Mass at Assumption Catholic Church. He also works as a chaplain for Promedica Hospice. He and his wife Melissa have three children.
Fr. Jim O’Neal
Currently serving as a senior priest of the diocese of St. Augustine, Fr. Jim is fun loving and enjoys sharing his gift of gab and traveling around the world, including staying in Nova Scotia for most of the fall and winter season. He originally studied for the priesthood with the Jesuit Fathers in New Orleans and then served in the Florida National Guard. He was ordained as a priest for the Diocese of St. Augustine in 1980 and served for most of his career as a National Guard chaplain, though he was also assigned to a number of parishes for a short time.
Music Director and Cantor
Al has been a parishioner at St. James since it moved to Jacksonville in 2019 and enjoys directing the St. James Schola. He studied music at Rhode Island College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, completed an M.A. in Counseling from Franciscan University of Steubenville, where met his wife, and has been in private practice for the last twenty years. He is an active long-distance cyclist and loves to read, hike, go to the beach, attend symphony concerts, and hang out with friends and colleagues. He has been happily married for over twenty years to his wife and best friend, Diane, who is also a parishioner at St. James.
Jeremy Dobbs has been working steadily as a choir director and organist since discerning out of seminary in 2001. He served as music director at a Catholic school in Minnesota and for a Fatima apostolate outside Buffalo. He has been at work at one or more Latin Masses since moving to Jacksonville in 2007. He has been happily married to Rachel since 2008. For fun, he plays bass in a band and has a music review show on YouTube: The Classic Rock Beagle.
Director of Family Ministry
Colleen grew up in Southern California and graduated from Mount St Mary’s College with a degree in Nursing. Soon after, she met Michael Kelley and they were married in 1980. They moved to Northern California where they raised their growing family of three sons. Colleen has always treasured her Catholic faith and was active in RCIA and as a lector in their parish. She enjoyed many years of practice as a critical care nurse, and later realized her love for teaching at San Jose State University. Upon retirement, she and Michael relocated to Florida and were impressed with the reverence and fellowship they found in the St. James community. As a member of the Family Ministry team, she is eager to share her joy and love of the Lord and his Church, and in supporting parents as the first and best teachers of their children.
John is from Mobile, Alabama, retired from the Marine Corps and State of Florida. He is married to Ana Brown and has two children and two grandchildren. He enjoys gardening, fishing and traveling. While in the Military John met his wife Ana in Spain while stationed throughout Europe, to which he hopes to return one day to complete the Camino de Santiago. John has a passion to help and lend a hand has been blessed to find and grow in his faith through the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. When not traveling he and Ana enjoy meeting with friends and engaging in meaningful discussion.
Michelle is a cradle Catholic who attended Holy Trinity Academy Catholic girls school until tenth grade. She came to the USA to join her parents when her step-father was stationed in Pensacola Florida. After graduating high school she attended Pensacola Junior College majoring in Fashion Merchandising and design. Little did she know God had been planting a seed in her heart and that she would soon be on a different path. She met a God fearing man named Doug Nesmith who was also Catholic and they got married. They now have two grown children and four grand children.
Michelle enjoys volunteering her time to serve the community. She and Doug have fed the homeless at the Sulzbacher Center, Catholic soup kitchen downtown, helped at Habitat for Humanity, Hubbard House for bettered women and children, participated in Autism fund raising, and taught children at St Joseph Catholic Church for seventeen years. They have also lectored regularly.
St. James Council
The Council works with the priest to foster pastoral activity and to assist in the administration of the goods of the community. Members commit to serving for a three year term. The Council normally meets every other month on the second Tuesday of the month. Current members:
- Robin Cooper serving until January 2024
- Carol Patton serving until January of 2024
- John Brown serving until January of 2025
- Brian Burch serving until January 2026
- Cathy Messina serving until January 2026