The Story of a Mission
St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Mission has its own pastoral council and finance council and established all the ministries proper for a parish. It is currently organized into fourteen pastoral areas: Development and Volunteers, Altar Servers, Respect Life, Facebook, Ushers, Education (Children and Adults) Spirituality, Liturgy, Charities, Family and Youth, Events, Men’s and Women’s Activities, and Hispanic Ministry.
The Building of the Mission...
In 2007, there was an evident need to develop the Catholic community in Yulee as St. Michael Catholic Church in Fernandina Beach grew from 300 to 1700 registered families in the last 30 years. Due largely to that growth, arrangements were made to hold a weekly Saturday Vigil mass in the Yulee United Methodist Church. In the beginning, attendance averaged 70 people per mass.
In 2010, the Diocese of St. Augustine purchased 15 acres of land for a future church site. Average attendance at that time had risen to approximately 145 people per mass. By 2014, the debt on that land had been retired, and Bishop Estevez approved the name for the new Yulee church to be St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Mission.
In September 2014 we created the Finance Council of the Mission Church and in January 2015 our Pastoral Council. We were able to present the guidelines of our future in the Pastoral Plan 2015-2020. Make sure you get a copy from our secretary or one of our volunteers at Mass.
In March 2015, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Mission received yet another blessing. Bishop Estevez appointed Fr. Daniel Guindon as Administrator for St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Mission, effective March 1, 2015. Average attendance to the Saturday Vigil Mass has grown to around 220. An additional Mass has been added on Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m. at the Yulee United Methodist Church with already 100 attendees.
The Diocese of St Augustine decreed that St. Francis of Assisi will serve the faithful in the general area of Nassau County west of the Intracoastal Waterway and east of interstate 95. With a lot of work and determination, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Mission continued to take steps in their journey.
On Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 11:00 am, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Mission hosted a Groundbreaking Ceremony, as they began the process of building the first place of worship of the Catholic Community in Yulee. The Groundbreaking was well attended by parishioners, members of the Catholic clergy and Christian clergy, as well as by many authorities of Nassau County, Florida. The groundbreaking was presided by Bishop Felipe Estevez, accompanied by Father Dan, Tim Young the General Contractor, Jose Miranda the Architect and the Rodriguez family, representing the future of the church.
On Thursday, March 17, 2016, the long awaited St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Mission was dedicated. The one-story, 7,700-square-foot multi-purpose facility is located along US Highway A1A. It seats 300 parishioners and is expandable to seat 400. The new facility includes a space to celebrate Mass and the sacraments, in addition to several areas for meetings, offices, a kitchen, and an adoration chapel.
Establishing a Catholic Mission in Yulee creates a tremendous opportunity for outreach and evangelization to young families who now live in and around the area – and to serve those who will come later. As Yulee continues to grow, St. Francis will also grow to become a center of spirituality for all people of good will.