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We celebrate Philip Szabo’s Ordination to the Diaconate

Click on Philip’s photo to view the PDF of the Liturgy Sheet for the Ordination on Saturday, May 30 at 11 am.

Dear Parishioners of Saint James the Greater Catholic Church,

I miss you all very much and I hope that you are doing well.

Thanks to God’s grace and your prayers, I will be ordained as a transitional deacon on Saturday, May 30th in your very own home parish! God is good! After five years of seminary formation, I can hardly wait to begin my service to God’s Church as a deacon.

I am sorry that I cannot invite everyone to join us in person for the ordination. As you can imagine, the COVID-19 restrictions have significantly limited the number of guests that are allowed to attend. However, the ordination ceremony will be broadcasted live on the diocesan website and on their Facebook page for those who would like to view the ordination in the safety of their homes.

Lastly, I promise to come visit St. James some weekend as soon as I am able. If I am really good, maybe Fr. Leonard will even let me preach!

Thank you again for all of the prayers and support that you have given me over the past 5 years. Your work has paid off! Now, I look forward to serving the Catholic Church in West Virginia for the rest of my life!

May God bless you all!

Phillip Szabo

Phillip’s ordination will be broadcasted live on Saturday, May 30th at 11:00 AM on either of the following websites:

Saint James Catholic Church YouTube Channel:

Diocesan Website

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Queridos feligreses de la Iglesia de Santiago Apóstol el Mayor,

Les extraño mucho y espero que estén todos bien.

¡Gracias a Dios y a sus oraciones, seré ordenado como diacono transicional el sábado, el 30 de mayo, en su iglesia! ¡Qué bueno es el Señor! Después de cinco años en el seminario, tengo muchas ganas de empezar mi servicio como diacono en la Iglesia Católica.

Lamento mucho no poder invitar a todos ustedes a asistir a la ordinación en persona. Como pueden imaginar, las restricciones por el virus COVID-19 han limitado bastante el numero de personas que podemos permitir dentro de la iglesia. Sin embargo, la ceremonia de la ordenación será transmitida en vivo en la pagina web de la diócesis y en Facebook para quien quiera verla en su propia casa.

Finalmente, les prometo que vendré a Saint James para visitarles algún fin de semana tan pronto como pueda. Quizás, si estoy muy bien comportado, ¡el padre Leonard aún me permitirá predicar la homilía!

Gracias a todos ustedes de nuevo por todas las oraciones y el apoyo que me han dado tras los últimos cinco años. ¡Tu trabajo valió la pena! ¡Ahora, tengo muchas ganas de servir a la iglesia católica en West Virginia para el resto de mi vida!

¡Que Dios les bendiga!

Phillip Szabo

La ordenación de Phillip será transmitida en vivo el sábado, el 30 de mayo, a las 11:00 en cualquiera de estos sitios web:

Canal YouTube de Saint James Catholic Church:

Sitio de web de la diócesis


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Reopening of our Parish Home

Click here to link to our YouTube channel video “A Guide to Returning to Mass at Saint James”

On Friday, May 6, the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston released to the public, the Diocesan Directives which guide the protocols for parishes to reopen for public worship during the time of the COVID-19 crisis.  The clergy and staff of the Saint James the Greater are looking forward to resuming the public celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the opening of our doors for daily prayer.  We will continue to offer the Sunday Mass every Sunday via live-stream on our YouTube channel.  Beginning Monday, May 18, we will begin to live-stream daily Mass at the regularly scheduled time.

On Friday, May 15, a mailing was sent to our registered families with further information about the reopening protocol.  Please keep in mind that the reopening only includes the resumption of public Masses and daily public prayer in the Nave.  The work in the Adoration Chapel has not been completed, therefore Perpetual Adoration will resume at a later date.  We expect the Adoration Chapel to reopen in the near future.  Information about the reopening and blessing of the new Adoration Chapel will be provided as soon as it is available.

It is important to note that no other aspect of parish life is to resume at this time.  All space reservations remain suspended until further notice and no meetings can take place in any of our meeting spaces.  Ministry leaders will be notified when ministry activities may resume within our parish spaces. Please call the Parish Office should you have any questions about any part of the reopening protocols.  We are happy to answer your questions.

We are grateful for your response to the efforts of the Saint Roch Outreach and its volunteers.  It has been a blessing to those who have received the assistance of the Saint Roch volunteers.  It may have been a greater blessing to those who have volunteered and those who have contributed in so many ways, as we strive to live and practice the works of mercy by helping our brothers and sisters in need.  Your love of the Eucharist has guided your actions and has shown every corner of our county and surrounding areas the heart of Saint James.

During this time of reopening, Saint Zita continues to serve you by offering the merchant card program as curbside or pick up service.  Please call the Parish Office between 9 am and 12 pm and we will transfer you to a Saint Zita volunteer to place your order for merchant cards.  If able to pick up between 9 am and 12 pm, the Saint Zita volunteer will bring your cards to you.  If picking up between 1 pm and 5 pm, your cards will be waiting for you in the Parish Office.  Just knock on the door and we will bring them to you.

Please know that each of you has been missed.  The halls have been dark and quiet for far too long.  The sounds of laughter and tears that fill our hearts are not there.  Yet, we remain in the hope that fills us, knowing that the day will come when we will hear them once more and we will together worship our Lord and live the life of community that is the heart of every Christian.

We look forward to seeing you soon…

Click here to read  Father Leonard’s Letter

Click here for Saint James Reopening information

Click here to read the Diocesan Directives, May 6, 2020






Maintenance Team’s Landscaping Wish List

Our Maintenance staff has committed to planting those flowers around our campus. We are working on a list of those flowers most desirable for planting purposes on the Saint James campus.  Please click on the image below for a PDF version of the Wish List.

Thank you for making this weekend a special one for all of our mothers and Our Lady!

Make a mom’s day a little brighter!

Saturday, May 9, our St Roch volunteers will be going out to our community to deliver a Mother’s Day box and help a mom in need have a brighter day on Sunday, May 10, Mother’s Day.  Please join your parish in celebrating Mother’s Day for all our moms.


Click on the image for a PDF of this document.

We are also inviting you to support our group of Young Adults as they seek to bring Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati to Saint James!  Their efforts are bringing us donuts, ice cream, cold brew coffee, and now Mother’s Day flowers!  You can order the flowers using their google form and they’ll deliver the flowers on Saturday before Mother’s Day.  Bring a smile to your friends and family!

Click here to visit Dynamic Do-nuts! You can order donuts, ice cream, AND Mother’s Day flowers!

Pope Francis is encouraging the faithful to rediscover the “family” aspect of the Rosary.

Pope Francis has written a short note to the faithful for the month of May 2020, offering the text of two prayers to pray at the end of the Rosary. “I myself will pray [them] in the month of May, in spiritual union with all of you,” he said.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The month of May is approaching, a time when the People of God express with particular intensity their love and devotion for the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is traditional in this month to pray the Rosary at home within the family. The restrictions of the pandemic have made us come to appreciate all the more this “family” aspect, also from a spiritual point of view.

For this reason, I want to encourage everyone to rediscover the beauty of praying the Rosary at home in the month of May. This can be done either as a group or individually; you can decide according to your own situations, making the most of both opportunities. The key to doing this is always simplicity, and it is easy also on the internet to find good models of prayers to follow.

I am also providing two prayers to Our Lady that you can recite at the end of the Rosary, and that I myself will pray in the month of May, in spiritual union with all of you. I include them with this letter so that they are available to everyone.

Dear brothers and sisters, contemplating the face of Christ with the heart of Mary our Mother will make us even more united as a spiritual family and will help us overcome this time of trial. I keep all of you in my prayers, especially those suffering most greatly, and I ask you, please, to pray for me. I thank you, and with great affection I send you my blessing.

Rome, Saint John Lateran, 25 April 2020

Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist

Pope Francis

Click here for a PDF of Prayer 1

Click here for PDF of Prayer 2

Renewing our Nation’s Consecration to Mary, Mother of Our Church

Renewing the Consecration of the United States to the Care of Our Blessed Mother

As the world continues to face the ongoing effects of the global pandemic of the coronavirus, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and president of the USCCB has announced that the U.S. bishops will join the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on May 1 in renewing the consecration of the two nations to the care of our Blessed Mother.

Liturgy Aids for the Consecration
Through a collective dedication or entrustment of a nation to Mary, an act of consecration is meant to be a reminder to the faithful of the Blessed Mother’s witness to the Gospel and to ask for her effective intercession before her Son on behalf of those in need.

The consecration on May 1. . . follows a similar action of the bishops’ conference of Latin America and the Caribbean (CELAM) who consecrated their nations to Our Lady of Guadalupe on Easter Sunday. This prayer reaffirms and renews previous Marian entrustments, and it unites us in solidarity with our Holy Father, who recently established the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, as a source of protection and strength.

Archbishop Gomez will lead a brief liturgy with the prayer of re-consecration on Friday, May 1 at 3:00 pm EDT and has invited the bishops to join in from their respective dioceses and asked them to extend the invitation to the faithful in their dioceses for their participation. A liturgy guide will be available to assist the faithful who may join in by tuning into the USCCB’s social media platforms: FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. . . .

The Liturgy Sheets for the Consecration (English, Spanish) can be found by clicking on the links below.

Liturgy Sheet (English)

Hoja de Liturgia (Espanol)



Confirmation Class KofC Essay Contest


Knights of Columbus Essay Contest

Confirmation 2020

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it; you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39).

Each year, the Knights of Columbus hold an essay contest to encourage young members of the Church to be more connected to their community and their faith.  This year, members of the Saint James the Greater Confirmation Class of 2020, participated through our Council, Saint Teresa of Calcutta #12036. This year’s essay topic was based on the quote above and the following statement from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1822:

“Charity is the theological virtue which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.”

Religious Education teachers at Saint James and their parents provided instruction to our Confirmandi as it relates to the Corporal Works of Mercy. Thank you to the writers for the time and thought in completing the essay. Our Council would also like to thank the parents and teachers of these students for their work with the essayists.

Our Knights of Columbus Council would like to recognize the participants. Each participant will be presented with a Certificate, and the top three Essays are also awarded a cash prize (First: $75.00, Second: $50.00, Third: $25.00). Listed below are the five participants, essay topics, and place awards. Each essay follows.

Damien Cleveland: “The Joys of Feeding the Poor”

Click here to read Damien’s essay

Ryan Noll: “The Role of Catholics Living in a Free Society”

Click here to read Ryan’s essay

Thomas Schau: “You Shall Love the Lord” (Second Place)

Click here to read Thomas’ essay

Kat Spotts: “Why is Feeding the Hungry Important?” (Third Place)

Click here to read Kat’s essay

Margaret Swerda: “Manifesting Charity Through Visiting the Sick” (First Place)

Click here to read Maggie’s essay



You are invited to take a tour into the heart of Saint James!  Every day at 8 pm a new video is released in this series that takes a closer look at the small pieces of glass that make the mosaic of Saint James.  In these complex times, where the news feed can feel overwhelming or confusing, take a few minutes and take a look around at the people of your parish.  This is your family.  This is your home.

Roch-umentary… a video series on thriving spiritually in a time of crisis

Brought to you by the people of Saint James Catholic Church in Charles Town, WV

And inspired by the life and ministry of Saint Roch.

Part 1: Coming Home

Part 2: Mission Territory

Part 3: Children of God

Part 4: Loving the Church

Part 5: Full of Grace

Part 6: The Work of Our Hands

Part 7: An Abundant Grace

Part 8: Taking Back Sunday

Part 9: Waiting for the Lord

Saint Zita’s Virtual Pizza Party!

Earlier today, a post made you think of hot delicious pizza.  Now, this post gives you the why for that earlier post.  Mark your calendars for our first-ever, Virtual Pizza Party!  This event is an effort to support a local community initiative to feed our out of school youth at no charge to them.  Give Pizza City a call on Monday, April 27, the feast of Saint Zita, and be like her.  Help feed your brothers and sisters!

Just to be clear… You order your pizza for delivery at your home or pick up from Pizza City and the Ranson Elementary kids who receive a pizza delivery will receive it in their own home.  Effective social distancing in place!

Click here for details about this delicious VIRTUAL event!