The Rev. Raymond J. Himsworth


It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of the Rev. Raymond J. Himworth. Father Himsworth served as pastor of Saint James Parish from 1989 until he was named pastor emertius upon his retirement in 2009.
Funeral arrangements are as follows:

Saturday, December 12, 2020:
9:00 a.m.: Reception of the Body
9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.: Viewing
11:00 a.m.: Funeral Mass
The Most Reverend Nelson Pérez, D.D., will be the celebrant.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

St. James 2020 Christmas Wreath and Poinsettia Plant Sale


St. James Parish is once again sponsoring a Christmas Wreath/Poinsettia Plant Fundraiser for Christmas.

Fresh 12” Fraser Fir Christmas Wreaths will be available for purchase and they will cost $8.75 each.   Our 6” Potted Poinsettia Plants will cost $5.50 each.

Please complete the order form below and put it in the box in the vestibule of Church, place it in the collection basket, or drop it off at the rectory on or before November 29, 2020.  All orders must be prepaid, and checks may be made payable to “St. James Church”.


Please help us make this fundraiser a success for our Parish.  Thank you so much for your cooperation.  We are certain these wreaths and poinsettia plants will add a festive touch to your home this Christmas.   Any questions, please call Dolores Wlodarczyk at 215-379-5896.

If you cannot join this fundraiser, please consider making a monetary donation.

Download 2020 Wreath Poinsettia Sale Order Form

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
God bless you and your family.
Your friend,
Fr. Efren

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


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