LAKE PLACID — For over a year now, Reverend Vincent Clemente has been the administrator of St. James Catholic Church in Lake Placid. Having been transferred from a parish in Arcadia, Father Clemente took over the role of leading the parish. But it wasn’t until June 2 that he was officially installed as the pastor.
During the 10 a.m. Mass, Bishop Frank Dewayne of the Diocese of Venice presided over a concelebrated Mass at St. James. During the Mass, Dewayne formally invested Clemente with his new title. As the congregation looked on, church members Bob and Carol Muir were called up to the altar to witness and sign the paperwork involved in this transition.
St. James has more than 780 members, including seasonal snowbirds. The church is in the Placid Lakes section of the Town of Lake Placid, at 3380 Placid Lakes Blvd. In addition, Clemente will also oversee the Spanish language parish known as Mision Catolica Santiago Apostol at 685 County Road 621 East in Lake Placid. Parochial Vicar, Father Victor Caviedes, assists at both churches.
To make the event even more colorful, the Knights of Columbus members were present, dressed in their traditional period uniforms. Following the service, those in attendance headed to the parish social hall and were treated to a delicious catered dinner prepared by Chicane’s Restaurant in Sebring. When it was time for dessert, Clemente happily began slicing a huge decorated cake.
St. James Catholic Church is a very active parish, with 28 individual ministries, including Bible study, Respect Life, St. Vincent De Paul, Helping Hands, Homebound, and many more. The parish is very involved in the community as well, and is represented at events like the Arts & Crafts and Caladium Festivals.
During the summer months when the snowbirds are gone, Mass is celebrated at 4 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m. Sundays. For more information, call the church office from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays (only until noon on Wednesdays) at 863-465-3215.