THIRD WEEK OF ADVENT

Our Pastor’s Message
Finding Joy in Uncertainty

By Father Jim

As most fellow parishioners and friends already know, my term as pastor of Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish expires next spring. Although I have asked Cardinal Sean O’Malley for another six year term as pastor of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, an appointment process is underway that will continue for several more weeks. Ultimately, Cardinal Sean makes the final decision about my future & our future as parish communities.

Part of this process was a parish visitation by the Most Reverend Mark O’Connell, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Boston for the North Region. Two weeks ago, Bishop Mark met with our pastoral team, pastoral council, and finance councils. And last week, Bishop Mark celebrated our Vigil Mass in Saint Ann Church and met with interested parishioners from both parishes about where we’ve been, where we’re at, and we go from here as two parishes working together to serve the people of God in Gloucester and Rockport.

I am deeply grateful for Bishop Mark’s kind words of encouragement and support for me and for our work together. I am also grateful to him for challenging us to begin the coming new year with renewed energy and focus. While we have accomplished some miraculous things together with limited resources, we can do more. We can do it better. We can grow closer in prayer, fellowship, and service. And we can more faithfully live the Gospel, share God’s love and mercy, and rebuild the Church in our small corner of the world. In the coming weeks, I will share with you some exciting ideas for the coming year — and beyond.

I am also sincerely thankful for our pastoral team. They are a small but dedicated group of lay ministers who oversee our adult and youth faith formation programs; manage our parish offices and keep our records; maintain and repair our historic church buildings; sing God’s praises at Masses and special events; and bring the Light of Christ into our lives through their hard work, deep faith, and boundless love for the Church and its people. Without Betsy, Cliff, Jane, Melissa, Sheila, Tom, and Wally, I could not do everything that I am called to do as the one full-time priest for our parishes. Without them, we would be lost.

We would also be lost without you. Whether you give one dollar or one hundred dollars each week, your gift is a priceless treasure to us. Whether you can volunteer in one of our ministries or service organizations or whether you can help us only by your prayers, we are who we are as a community because of your generosity, love, and ongoing support. Indeed, every single person who worships with us is a precious and irreplaceable gift from the Lord! Whether you are young or old, rich or poor, married or single, gay or straight, a lifelong resident or a newcomer from down the line, God loves you! We love you! And your pastor loves you, too!

Whatever happens next, let us walk together into the future, arm in arm, step by step, prayer by prayer. Let us move forward together with open arms, open hearts, and open minds. Working together, let us make room for the Christ Child in our homes and workplaces. Let us bring his love to our families, friends, neighbors, and the newcomers we meet along the way. Let us comfort the sick, serve the poor, and welcome the stranger. Let us fix what may be broken, build up and make better what works, and open wide the doors of our churches to anyone who longs for the Lord. Most of all, let us find joy in uncertainty!

Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Contact: frjim@ccgronline.com

CCGR Weekly Newsletter (12-15-19) 
Bringing Home the Word (12-15-19) 
Watch: The Pope Video (December 2019)

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Call to Prayer
To Be Born in Winter
A Prayer for the Third Week of Advent

Lord of all Light,
when my days are filled with doubt,
something in me still believes.
When I feel despair,
something in me still hopes.
When I see hatred,
something in me is moved to love.
I am not Mary:
sinless, blameless, always virtuous.
But something in me wants to be born in winter.

Teach me to nourish it, protect it,
and give it life.
Teach me to say “yes!”
to faith, to hope, and to love;
and to your coming to live among us
in this troubled world.

Sometimes I feel broken,
fragmented, and shattered.
But something in me wants to be born in winter.
And in that “yes”
beyond any mercy that I can imagine,
I am made whole by you.

Glory to the Father,
to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever.
Amen! Amen!

Source: Catholic Relief Services

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Pastor’s Note
Mass Intentions Book
Thursday, December 19th

The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s Mass Intentions Book (January 2020 through June 2020) will be opened on Thursday, December 19th from 11:00am until 1:00pm in our parish office . On that day, all parishioners are welcome to book one Sunday Mass and one weekday Mass at Saint Ann Church, Saint Joachim Church, and Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. All Mass intentions must be booked in person. No email, fax, text, or phone requests will be accepted. No exceptions. Any remaining daily and weekend Masses can be booked on or after Monday, December 23rd. For more information, please contact Father Jim at frjim@ccgronline.com. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and ongoing support! Peace and blessings! — Father Jim

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Welcome Home!
Our Christmas Worship Schedule

The Celebration of Holy Mass is the source and summit of our community’s joy and its life of prayer, fellowship, and service. All are welcome to gather with us for Mass and to participate in Holy Communion in accordance with a personal examination of conscience and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. In a spirit of radical welcome to all people, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport joyfully invites you and your family to join us for Mass in celebration of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ at Christmas!

  • Christmas Eve – Tuesday, December 24th
    Saint Ann Church at 4:00pm
    Our Lady of Good Voyage Church at Midnight
  • Christmas Day – Wednesday, December 25th
    Saint Ann Church at 8:15am
    Saint Joachim Church at 10:00am
    Our Lady of Good Voyage Church at 11:45am

At Christmas and always, are doors are open to every saint and every sinner. Our doors are open to the rich and the poor, to the young and the old, and to everyone in between. Our doors are open to married couples and single people, to straight people and gay people, and to all who are discerning their way in the world. Our doors are open to every citizen and every non-citizen, and to all who seek a community of prayer, fellowship, and service. Our doors are open to healthy people and sick people and to all who long for the Lord’s healing presence in their lives. Again and again and again, you and your family are welcome! At Christmas and beyond, let us open wide the doors! Let us open our arms! Let us open our hearts and minds! And let us cry out together, forever and always: “Welcome Home for Christmas!”

Video: Peace at Christmas

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Youth Christmas Pageant
Special Event for Families & Children
Saturday, December 28th

Each year, the Catholic Church celebrates the Season of Christmas from December 25th through the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord on January 5th. During Christmastime, we commemorate the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ; the choir of angels praising God in heaven; the call of the shepherds; and the adoration of the Magi with their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

As part of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s celebration of the Christmas Season, we invite children from Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish to participate in our Youth Christmas Pageant on Saturday, December 28th at 4:00pm in Saint Ann Church. This dramatization of the Nativity of the Lord depends on the participation of young angels and shepherds, along with those children interested in portraying the Magi and the Holy Family.

Being a part of this special holiday event is an excellent way for children to participate in the life of their home parish and learn about the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church. If your child, grandchild, or godchild would like to participate in this year’s Christmas Pageant, please contact Betsy Works at bworks@ccgronline.com. Please join us! Spread the word! All are invited! All are welcome!

Video: The First Nativity Scene

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Youth Choir & Music Ministry
Tuesdays at 5:00pm

As parishes across the country reimagine their youth faith formation programs, it is important to remember that all children and teenagers are invited to fully participate in the life of our parishes as altar servers, volunteers, participants in our Christmas Pageant, or as members of our Youth Choir and Music Ministry. These programs are formative opportunities for children of all ages to gather in prayer, learn about the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church, make new friends, and live their faith in a spirit of prayer, fellowship, and service.

Our Youth Choir & Music Ministry meets for fellowship and rehearsal every Tuesday at 5:00pm in Saint Ann Church. The youth choir, along with an ensemble of talented young instrumentalists, performs every weekend. It’s a great way to learn about music, make new friends,and participate in the life of our parish communities! New members ranging in age from elementary school through high school are welcome to join us! For more information, please contact Patty Natti at pnatti@comcast.net. All are invited! All are welcome!

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WeShare
Electronic Giving Made Safe & Easy
Available at Both Parishes

Electronic giving is available at both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. It is easy, simple, and safe to make online donations to your home parish using a credit card, debit card, or electronic check. Donations can be made on a one-time-only or ongoing basis. And it takes just a few minutes to set up a secure personal account. Just choose the appropriate link below and click “Make a Donation.” Please prayerfully consider supporting your parish by giving electronically! For more information about electronic giving in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Father Jim at frjim@ccgronline.com. Thank you for your generous and ongoing support!

Support Holy Family Parish
Support Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish

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About Us

Established in 2014, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport is a collaborative of two historic parishes: Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. Working together as a Roman Catholic community united in prayer, fellowship, and service, we are committed to living the Gospel of Christ, sharing God’s love and mercy with all people, and rebuilding the Church in Gloucester & Rockport. All are invited! All are welcome! Always!

Follow us on Twitter: @CCGRonline