Dear St. James Family,

This August 6 we have a unique experience that most people only get to participate in every five to six years: the Feast of the Transfiguration falling on a Sunday which will not happen again until 2028. In honor of this somewhat rare occasion I will be delivering a spiritually advanced teaching on how to navigate the pitfalls and blessings of a divine encounter. God is telling you one thing and the Church is telling you another, so what do you do? Much harm has come to the body of Christ from those who have found themselves in this situation and were not prepared to respond. I’ll be sharing this essential lesson during my homily this Sunday from the wisdom of our Lord as he taught some of his closest disciples following their experience of the Transfiguration.

Why is the Transfiguration Celebrated on August 6?

There are two reasons why the Feast of the Transfiguration is celebrated every year on August 6. The first is that while the Transfiguration has been celebrated in various forms since the 9th century, it was made into a universal feast until August 6, 1456. On this date Pope Callixtus III raised this celebration to a universal feast to commemorate a miraculous defensive victory from the oncoming Ottoman Turkish Muslims. The Turks attempted to take out the strategic city of Belgrade (Hungarian: Nándorfehérvár) which was very weak at the time due to divided leadership. If Belgrade had fallen, this would have opened up the gateway to European invasion. Pope Callixtus asked everyone to pray and to ring the church bells at noon. Amazingly, the small untrained force gathered at Belgrade was able to drive back the much larger, professionally trained invaders. To this day churches throughout Europe ring their bells at noon to commemorate this astounding victory. It was also because of this victory that in celebration, Pope Callixtus made the Transfiguration a feast for the entire Church.

Secondly, the Feast of the Transfiguration (August 6) is also very nicely situated forty days prior to the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (September 14), another feast with a fascinating story behind it.


Hanna Park Summer Fun – Today is Last Day to RSVP

Saturday, August 5, 2023, 10:30 AM – 2:00 PM. Join the St. James crew for a picnic under our reserved pavilion 5: splash pad, playground, trails, beach. Pack a picnic meal so that we can all eat together and then head on over to the beach or anywhere in the park that you would like. Please let me know if you are coming by today, August 3, 2023. Parking is $5. Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park, 500 Wonderwood Drive, Jacksonville, FL


Time to Register Your Child

If you have an elementary or middle school child (or a number of them 🙂 and would like help in the religious formation of your son or daughter, please register as soon as possible for our monthly gatherings: times of fun and connection, growth and learning. We are here to come alongside you as parents, assisting you in passing on values and lessons to your children that will form them for the rest of their lives. I have been working with the St. James family ministry team and we are excited about our first gathering with you and the kids, which is scheduled for Sunday, August 13, 12:00 – 1:45 PM. Lunch is included and the plan is to especially help to get you as parents oriented for this year’s plans. Learn more and please register as soon as possible so that we can be sure to have the necessary materials in place.  


How the Bible Came Together Workshop for Seekers – Still a Couple of Spots Left – This Monday is Last Chance this Year

Know a non-Catholic Christian who is who is curious to learn about how the Bible came together? Or a Catholic Christian who never really received much of a religious education? Maybe this is you. This presentation has been rated ten out of ten by all those who completed the feedback form after experiencing the class. There are still a few spots left if you or someone that you know would like to jump on board. Please let me know soon. August 7, 2023, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM at the Catholic Store. Here are all of the details.


Guys’ Night: Bonfire at the Parsonage. Be inspired by the Life of St. Philip Neri

Friday, August 18, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM.

Relax, catch-up and connect, and get ready to delve deeply into the life of St. Philip Neri, a man who transformed his city and is still rousing souls today. Bring a snack or a drink to share or just bring yourself and join me at my place: 3725 Lilly Rd. N., Jacksonville. Please let me know by Wednesday, August 16 if you will be coming. Can’t make this one? The next one is scheduled for Friday, September 22, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM. Mark your calendar.


Responding to the Crazy in the Church – Most Recent Homily

How should you respond to the wide variety of disconcerting happenings in the Church? Jesus warned us ahead of time that the Church was going to be a mixture of good and bad people and that they would not be sorted until the end. This of course has resulted in a great deal of scandal and suffering. So how should you respond?

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


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

Giving for July was $11,372 which is excellent! This 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: June $9,352; May $8,036; April $10,045; March $8,650.

  • Giving for July: $11,372 ($8,802 general, $2,570 capital). This does not include the smaller funds (Mass intention, Catechesis, Alms, etc.). Average giving for last 12 months $7,916 (compared to ‘22 $6,444)

  • July 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.


Help us Move to the New Space by Designating Your Giving to the Capital Fund

We are required to pay a 13% cathedraticum (a tax assessed by the bishop) on all general fund giving. However, if your giving is instead designated toward a particular fund, then 100% of that money goes toward that fund. Capital Fund monies are designated toward long term purchases such as buildout in space we plan to lease and other long term purchases such as a tabernacle, altar, better chairs, speakers, signage, art and statues.

Other Upcoming Dates

Check out More Upcoming Events at the Website

Faithfully, your pastor,

Father Mayer