St. John Paul II Mission church to open new Nocatee parish center


The Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine will officially open its new parish center in Nocatee with a Mass and blessing ceremony next week.

To be held June 23 at the new 12,000 square-foot center located at 127 Stonemason Way, Jacksonville – west of Nocatee’s Kelly Pointe neighborhood – the event will begin at 7 p.m. with Mass, followed by a blessing ceremony conducted by Bishop Felipe J. Estévez. The public is invited to attend the inaugural Mass and blessing ceremony, which will be followed by a reception.

The new center will serve as a worship space, with auditorium-style seating for 450 until the mission can afford to build a church. With a fully equipped commercial kitchen, administrative offices, conference rooms, stage and chapel, the building will serve a variety of purposes.

St. John Paul II is a mission of Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Ponte Vedra Beach under the leadership of Msgr. Keith Brennan. A mission is a congregation too small or too new to be established as a separate parish. Mission churches are usually administered to by a priest or priests of a nearby parish designated by the bishop. Bishop Estévez appointed Father Edward Shaner to serve at Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish as a parochial vicar in March 2014. Father Shaner oversees the mission at Nocatee.

Effective Friday, June 24, daily Mass will be celebrated at the parish center Monday through Friday at 8:30 a.m.; and Saturday at 5 p.m., with confession at 4 p.m. Sunday Mass will be celebrated at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

“This is an exciting time for Catholics living in the Nocatee community,” said Msgr. Brennan, noting that St. John Paul II has grown from 136 families in 2012 to more than 232 families today. “Due to the rapid growth of this area, I fully expect St. John Paul II will become a parish that can support a resident priest in the near future.”

The faith community of St. John Paul II broke ground Aug. 8, 2015 on the new parish center, which is located on 35 acres donated to the Diocese of St. Augustine by the Davis family. The $5.5 million project included $3.5 million for the building and another $1.5 million for road work, fees and furnishings.