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As members of the Body of Christ, the parish of St. James, Lake Placid, Florida proclaims our belief in the message and mission of Jesus Christ. 

"Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age." (Matt 28:19-20)

With God's Grace, the example of Jesus, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we seek to live out that belief as a community of worship, of shared faith and of service where each member shares with others the gifts and talents received from God.


Covid-19 Guidelines

  • If you have a fever or flu like symptoms, please do not enter Church
  • You must wear a mask before entering Church
  • Please let Ushers take you to your seats
  • Please maintain social distancing – Individual or Family Groups space 6 feet apart in pew.
  • Please stay behind blue line when receiving Communion
  • Communion will be received “in hand” only
You can read updates from the Diocese of Venice as they become available here.

You are invited to share in the Mass celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Dewane from the Catholic Center each day at 9:15 a.m. at: https://www.facebook.com/DioceseofVenice/. (Note, you do not need a Facebook account to view the Mass.) Also, the Mass is accessible on the homepage of the Diocese website at www.dioceseofvenice.org.

Please look to official sources like the World Health Organization, the CDC and the Florida Department of Health for ongoing details regarding Covid-19. Thank you.

You can see the Pope's Prayer to the Virgin Mary regarding Covid-19 here.

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Mass Times

Saturday Vigil - 4:00 PM
Sunday (June 9th through September) - 9:00 AM
Sunday (October through May) - 8:00 AM, 10:00 AM

Weekdays (M - F) - 9:00 AM
First Saturday of Every Month
9:00 AM (with Anointing of the Sick)
Holy Days
7:00 PM Vigil, 9:00 AM Morning

Office Hours - For emergencies call 863-465-3215

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
9:00 am to 12 noon
12:30 pm to 3:00 pm

9:00 am to 12:00 noon

3380 Placid View Dr.
Lake Placid, FL 33852

 Fr. Vincent Clemente

Pastor, Fr. Vincent Clemente

Father Vincent came to the United States from Italy at the age of 15, where his family settled in the Cleveland, OH area. He has one sister. Father was ordained to the priesthood on May 8, 1976 and has previously served at St. Martha’s in Sarasota, FL and as pastor of St. Michael in Wauchula and St. Paul in Arcadia.

WELCOME, FATHER! We look forward to continued spiritual growth with you here at St. James!    

 Fr. Felix Gonzalez

Parochial vicar Fr. Felix Gonzalez

Fr. Felix Gonzalez, our newest parochial vicar, was born in Venezuela on September 18, 1953. He studied philosophy in Trinidad & Tobago, West Indies and theology at the Seminary “Santa Rosa de Lima,” Caracas, Venezuela. He was ordained on July 18th, 1981 at the .Archdiocese of Barquisimeto. He came to the United States 20 years ago and studied monastic spirituality in Worcester, MA and worked in different parishes in the Archdiocese of New York— Manhattan and the Bronx. During those years he studied in IONA College and graduated with a Masters in Science, majoring in pastoral counseling. After serving St. Leo for almost two and a half years, he is happy to embark on this new part of his spiritual journey.


Our commitment to a Safe Environment

As Christian adults, we have a moral and legal responsibility and are entrusted by God with the spiritual, emotional and physical well-being of minors and vulnerable adults. St. James adheres to the Diocese of Venice's Safe Environment program. To learn more, visit: https://dioceseofvenice.org/offices/programs/safeenvironment/

Pope Francis' Letter to the People of God, regarding sexual abuse in light of the outcome of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury.


My Dear People,

Before Jesus was arrested, He was in the garden of Gethsemane, a Hebrew word which means “olive press.” The garden is on the western slope of the Mount of Olives, the same setting where Jesus had given His end times discourse (Mark 13:3-37).  Arriving there after the Last Supper, Jesus asks His Disciples to wait while He prays. This is the third time Mark has shown Jesus at prayer (see 1:35; 6:46). What Mark reveals each time is a key moment for defining the nature of Jesus’ mission. 

On previous occasions Jesus prayed in solitude, but now He brings with Him his closest companions, Peter, James, and John. These three witnessed His divine glory in the raising of the daughter of Jairus (2:37) and in the Transfiguration (9:2). Now they will see His human fragility.  Significantly, all three have pledged to share in Jesus’ sufferings (10:39; 14:31). 

Jesus begins to be troubled and distressed. The Greek verbs are forceful and could be translated “alarmed, distraught, and in anguish.” Jesus’ distress recalls the psalms of lament in which an innocent man cries out to God: “My heart pounds within me; death’s terrors fall upon me. Fear and trembling overwhelm me; shuddering sweeps over me” (Ps. 55:5-6; see 88:4’ 116”3).  Jesus makes His own lament and fulfills, the prayer of Israel.  His sorrow is so intense it even threatens His life (see Ps. 31:10-11; 42:6, 12).  In His moment of agony in the face of impending death, Jesus seeks the human solace and support of His friends. He asks them to keep watch, that is, stay awake, be spiritually alert, and pay attention—the same admonition He gave them in the end of times discourse (Mark 13:34-37). It is the disposition needed in a time of testing. 

Jesus moves away from the presence of His companions. In His supreme moment of decision, He is alone with the Father.  So great is His inner torment that He collapses to the ground. In the ancient world it was customary to pray out loud. By recording this prayer, Mark gives his readers a privileged glimpse into the relationship between the Son and the Father. Jesus’ prayer is an acknowledgment that the entire passion is in the Father’s control, and a plea that, if possible, the Father might somehow  spare his Son such horrendous suffering. 

Only Mark records the Aramaic word, Abba, the word used to address one’s father (“Dad”). Although the Old Testament sometimes refers to God as the Father (Ab) of Israel (Deut 32:6; Ps. 103:13; there is no evidence of anyone, prior to Jesus, addressing God within this word of daring intimacy. Abba appears elsewhere in the New Testament in Rom: 8:15 and Gal 4:6, where Paul declares that through the Spirit Jesus has now brought us into His own filial relationship with the Father. Translated as Father, it is the same word that begins the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9). With this term of affection, Mark accentuates the fact that Jesus’ obedience is no mere resignation but an act of unbounded trust, commitment, and love for His Father. Jesus affirms, as He has previously said to His disciples (Mark 10: 27), that all things are possible to God. He pleads:


                                                  “Take this cup away from me.”

The cup, like the hour (14:35), signifies the passion and evokes the Old Testament image of the cup of devastation that will fall on the wicked in punishment for their sins (Ps 75:9; Isa 52:17; Ezek. 23:33).  At the Last Supper, Jesus spoke of the cup of his “blood of the covenant, which will be shed for man” (Mark 14:24), indicating that his suffering will be transformed into a source of immeasurable blessings. Jesus, aware of his saving role in God’s plan, nevertheless recoils in trembling and horror from His approaching death. The temptation that had been present throughout His ministry (see1:13)—to be a Messiah other than that willed by the Father—reaches its climax.  But precisely in this culmination of his anguish, He surrenders unconditionally to the Father, reversing the whole history of human rebellion:  “not what I will but what You will.”

Returning to the disciples Jesus finds them asleep, the antithesis of the vigilance He had asked of them (v.34).  On a natural level they are overcome by the lateness of the hour and perhaps the distress of witnessing Jesus’ ordeal.  But spiritually they are oblivious to the eschatological drama that is unfolding and thus are unable to respond properly. Jesus addresses Peter as the leader: “Could you not keep watch for one hour?”  That Jesus has been praying for an hour suggests that His prayer was not instantaneous but a prolonged struggle to confirm that the way of the cross really was what the Father was asking of Him, and to bring His human will into perfect submission to the Father. 

His command: “Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test,” echoes the sixth petition of the Lord’s Prayer: “Lead us not into temptation.” The Disciples are to pray that God would protect them from a trial greater than their human weakness can bear, like the trial that is about to come upon them at Jesus’ arrest. 

This last admonition of Jesus is addressed to his future Disciples, to be constantly on guard  via prayer against the temptations that could cause them to “fall away” and overcome them. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. In the New Testament, the flesh often signifies the weakness of human nature, which easily inclines toward sin. The spirit is our aspiration toward God and our capacity to relate to Him. Paul emphasizes, we are caught in the perpetual conflict between the two. The disciples desire to be faithful to Jesus, but their flesh is liable to fall into cowardice, complacency, or selfishness. Jesus’ word of warning is also a word of encouragement, implying that his victory is the prototype for all Christians in their struggle against the flesh. “Because He Himself was tested through what He suffered, He is able to help those who are being tested” (Heb. 2:18).

Upon returning the third time, Jesus declares, It is enough. The Greek could also be translated, “it is settled,” meaning that the threshold has been fully crossed, the decision has been made. The rest of the passion narrative will be unfolding the implications of Jesus’ resolve. The hour has come:  the hour of Jesus’ passion and of the culmination of the Father’s plan of salvation.  On the human level, Jesus is handed over by Judas. But in God’s unfathomable plan, God has handed over His only Son to sinners out of love for them (Rom. 8:32).  

Jesus now speaks with serenity and resolve: Get up, let us go. He does not wait passively but goes forward to meet those who will unknowingly carry out the Father’s plan.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Vincent Clemente 

Upcoming Events

Parish Events are cancelled or postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Holy Week Schedule



Lent begins

Pope Francis on Twitter

Pope Francis smiling

March 25th. I would like once more to invite everyone to witness to the “Gospel of Life”, to promote and defend life in all its dimensions and at every stage. The Christian is the person who says “yes” to life, who says “yes” to God, the Living One. #EvangeliumVitae (Pope on Twitter)