Welcome to St. James Church!

St. James

Welcome to St. James Roman Catholic Church in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.   Please take the time to check out our various ministries St. James has to offer.   
We hope you will visit us!

Rev. Efren V. Esmilla, Pastor

Visit Us:
8320 Brookside Road
Elkins Park, PA 19027 

Rectory Phone: 215-635-6210
Rectory Fax: 215-635-3346
Rectory Email: stjameselkinspark@comcast.net

Weekend Mass Schedule:
Saturday 5:00 p.m., 
Sunday 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m.

Daily Mass:
Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m

Holy Day Masses
8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Sacrament of Reconciliation:
 Saturdays 4:00 - 4:45 p.m.

First Friday Devotions:
6:00 p.m. Exposition and Adoration
Sacred Heart Divine Mercy Chaplet Rosary
Sacrament of Reconciliation
7:00 p.m. Mass

St. James Stock's Pound Cake Fundraiser


St. James Parish is sponsoring a Stock’s Pound Cake fundraiser for the weekend of October 24 and 25, 2020.  Standard Stock’s Pound Cake comes with vanilla or chocolate icing.  Also, marble pound  cakes are available with chocolate icing.

Please download the order form below and either place it in the box in the vestibule of Church, drop it in the collection basket, or place it in the basket on the back porch of the rectory on or before Sunday, October 11.  All orders must be prepaid and checks may be payable to “St. James Church”.


Please help make this fundraiser a success for our Church.  Thank you so much for your participation.  You will not be disappointed – these cakes are delicious and they freeze very well.  Any questions, please call Dolores Wlodarczyk at 215-379-5696.

If you are unable to participate in this fundraiser, please consider making a monetary donation.  Thank you!

Download the Order Form here:
Download Stock's Pound Cake 2020

Join Us for the Installation of Fr. Efren Esmilla


Father Efren’s instillation will be on September 27 at 1 p.m. Please pray the following prayer every day for the success of his ministry and for all of us that we may be a community of love, mercy and joy.

A Message from Fr. Efren: A Mass of Thanksgiving Wednesday Night!

This is your lowly servant Rev. Efren V. Esmilla. I am your friend, so call me Father Efren. Know that I come here to serve you and not to be served. I look forward to knowing you, loving you and serving you.
As your pastor on July 8, 2020, I will celebrate a Thanksgiving Mass at 7:00PM. Every morning, Monday-Friday, there will be 7:30AM Morning Prayer followed by 8:00AM Mass. All weekend Masses will remain as scheduled. Saturdays: 4:15-4:45 PM Adoration/Confession – 5:00PM Mass -- Sundays: 8:30AM Mass, 10:30AM Mass.
Please note that all services will be live-streamed on St. James Facebook page. Kindly follow and like our page for updates and notifications.
Please feel free to call me at the rectory 215-635-6210. You may also email me at st.jthegreatpastor@gmail.com.
God bless you and your family.
Your friend,
Fr. Efren

Rev. Efren Esmilla is Named Pastor of St. James Parish

FrEfren(Photo: CatholicPhilly.com)

Archbishop Nelson Pérez has appointed the Rev. Efren V. Esmilla the next pastor of St. James Parish in Elkins Park.  Fr. Efren comes to St. James from Our Lady of Hope Parish on Broad Street, where he has been pastor since December 2006.   While serving as Pastor of Our Lady of Hope, Fr. Efren has also served as Chaplain to the Filipino Apostolate, Spiritual Director to the Legion of Mary, Adjunct Spiritual Director at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, and Dean of Deanery 12 in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Fr. Efren was ordained in 1993 and served for eight years as Parochial Vicar at St. John Chrysostom in Wallingford, Pennsylvania.  He then served two years at Maternity B.V.M. parish in Northeast Philadelphia before becoming Assistant Director of Pastoral/Apostolic Formation at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary for a year, followed by Director of the Spiritual Year in the Seminary.  Fr. Efren then spent just under a year and a half as Parochial Vicar at St. Martha in Northeast Philadelphia before being named Pastor at Our Lady of Hope.

Fr. Efren earned a bachelor's degree from San Beda College in Manila, Philippines as well as a Master of Divinity degree from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.

As Fr. Efren streamed his farewell mass at Our Lady of Hope on the parish's Facebook page, parishioners had many kind words for their outgoing pastor.   Parishioner Cyra wrote, "Thank you Father Efren for being a friend to me, my family and friends. God BLESS".  Hazel wrote, "Wishing Fathet Efren a successful transition. We will miss you 💖". 

As he heads to St. James, Fr. Efren already expressed excitement that St. James Parish approaches a big milestone: in 2023, St. James Parish will be 100 years old.

Fr. Efren moves into St. James Rectory on Wednesday, July 8.  May God bless him in his new ministry!

Father Lange's Parting Words: One Year of Joy


One year of joy. Except for the pandemic, that's how I feel about being at St. James. Unfortunately, like all good things, it's coming to an end. The Archdiocese has other plans for me. And for you, too!

Fr. Efren, your new pastor, is a terrific person, Christian, and priest. With him you'll be well pleased.

I hope you'll pray for me as I'll pray for you. And pray for the people of Visitation BVM in Trooper. That's where I'll be going as an assistant. They'll  need plenty of prayers putting up with their new assistant!

July 8th is moving day. Fr. Efren will be moving in while I'll be moving my stuff out. I'll have the chance to see and greet you before I leave.

God bless us, everyone.
Fr. Lange

Help Us Bid Farewell to Fr. Lange


Father Lange, Parochial Administrator at St. James Parish since last June, has been appointed by Archbishop Nelson Pérez to serve as Parochial Vicar at Visitation B.V.M. Parish in Trooper.  We are most grateful for Father Lange's leadership this past year, particularly as we found ourselves in unprecedented times. 

Please join in as we wish Father Lange all the best with his new assignment.
Refreshments will be served after the 8:30 and 10:30 Masses on Sunday, July 5 in the vestibule of church.
Thank you!
Event Planning Committee

Happy Daddy’s Day!

Happy Daddy’s Day! Scripture scholars tell us that when Jesus gave us the Lord’s Prayer the title he gave us for our Father is technically closer to “Daddy” than the more formal “Father.” It informs us that His Father and Our Father is a loving God that might correct us in our needs, but ultimately just adores us.   This weekend, as we think of our earthly fathers, let us be grateful to them, but also our heavenly father who always adores us – even when we don’t deserve it!
Pray for those fathers still with us and for those awaiting to welcome us into our eternal home with God, our Father.
Pax Vobiscum,
Fr. Lange

The End of an Era, as a New One Begins


Our first “Yellow Phase” weekend for Mass went well, I think.  Thanks to all of you for making it so!

It is with great sorrow that I announce the closing of our St. James Nursery School.  It has served our parish well for 38 years, but with an extremely small incoming class this coming year and for the foreseeable future, it does not seem feasible to continue to make something happen where it cannot work well.  This is mostly due to demographics more than anything else.  It has nothing to do with do with the wonderful program that this has been. Mrs. Judy Coughlin founded the program 38 years ago and it has been a very sweet aspect of our parish life ever since.  Mrs. Lori Hegarty took over in 2009 and has also maintained it as a wonderful program since then, along with her most recent helpers: Grace Gallagher, Angela Burke, and Gina Foell.  It has been a program that touched the hearts and lives of many families and little ones and the world has been a better place for it.  We thank everyone involved, especially Lori, for the work and LOVE that has been integral to this program.

Fortunately, we have a new tenant that while serving a different ministry is indeed still a ministry that should help the lives of others.  The Breathing Room Foundation will move in immediately to provide assistance to individuals and the families of those dealing with cancer.  Their stated mission is as such:

Provide those affected by cancer with personal, individualized support to alleviate the emotional, physical, and financial strain that a cancer diagnosis brings. It is our goal to ensure our families have the “breathing room” they need to allow them to concentrate their efforts on regaining their health.

More can be found at their website at https://breathingroomfoundation.org.

Congratulations to all of our graduates from grade school, high school, college, and trade schools.  You are our hope in a world that seems to have dwindling hope.  Take our prayers for you and help our world and yours to rejoice.  May any celebration that seems to be lacking now be more than made up for by your futures!

I am happy to inform you that our business manager, Mr. Greg Garrison, brings us good news in that our parish is doing well despite the struggles we have had all had to face in these strange times.  This is true for two reasons.  Firstly, the generosity of our parishioners has been nothing short of magnificent!  All have given from their hearts while some (those who have been personally able to do so) have also given tremendously in very large amounts from their wallets.  The Lord repays everyone according to their hearts regardless.

But our business manager has also been successful in obtaining a special loan to pay our employees’ salaries that will enable the loan to become a kind of grant under certain conditions.  It seems that we will be able to meet these conditions!

For these and all of your great gifts, Lord, we are most grateful.

Deo gratias,

Fr.  Lange