About St Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church
Northeast Florida is one of the fastest growing areas in the United States, especially the communities in St Johns, FL which is situated between the cities of Jacksonville and St Augustine. It was in response to this growth that San Juan del Rio Catholic Church formed a mission church to serve the St Johns, FL communities.
The parishioners celebrated their first Mass at St Therese Early Learning Center on February 25, 2018 and quickly outgrew that location. With the expansion, parishioners moved to Patriot Oaks Academy located at 475 Longleaf Pine Pkwy, St Johns, FL 32259 to celebrate Mass and continue to grow the faith community. Plans are in the works for the site acquisition and building of the permanent church for St Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church.
From those first days to now, we have been blessed with continual growth in so many ways. As we gather on the Lord’s day, and every day, let us give thanks to God for his guidance and blessings.
Father Tom Willis was ordained to the priesthood in 1984 and served in parishes throughout the Diocese of St Augustine, including his most recent assignment as pastor of the Cathedral Basilica located in Father Tom’s hometown of St Augustine – our nation’s oldest city. When he was asked by the Bishop to be the pastor of the Cathedral Basilica in 2008, it seemed to be a unique blessing as Father Tom managed the historic restoration and renovation of the Mother Church of the Diocese – a jewel with an intriguing history.
Now, Father Tom turns his attentions to building a new jewel for the Diocese and creating a new history in developing our community of St Mark the Evangelists Catholic Church. While Father Tom is our pastor, he will also continue to maintain his Diocesan roles as Director of Liturgy and to serve on executive boards and councils representing the Diocese of St Augustine.
We invite you to join us for Mass so you can hear the word of God in a way that will speak to your heart through Father Tom’s homilies.
Our Patron Saint
Mark the Evangelist learned of Jesus Christ through the preaching of the Apostles. Mark and Apostle Peter traveled to many countries after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ to spread our Lord’s message of the importance of learning and living a spiritual life. It is from these lessons, stories, and parables that it is believed Mark based the Gospel of Mark in the Bible.
It is important to recognize the Gospel of Mark continually asks the reader to ponder one question:
“Who is Jesus to me?”
This is the most important question any person is going to answer for himself/ herself in life – because that answer is going to mean the salvation of their own soul ultimately.
St Mark the Evangelist is most often depicted holding his gospel and is symbolized as a lion, which is why we have chosen the lion symbol for St Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church located in St Johns, Florida.