Our Pastor’s Message: “Discovery, Grace, and Conversion”

Last week, I challenged everyone (myself included) to take some time during Advent to pause, breathe, and reflect upon the coming of Christ at Christmas. And I challenged all of us (again, myself included) to spend some time in spiritual preparation for the Nativity of the Lord. Well, here’s our chance!

This coming week, all are welcome to join the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport for an Advent Retreat from Tuesday, December 9th through Thursday, December 11th from 6:30pm until 8:00pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Each evening, we will begin with Advent Vespers from the Liturgy of the Hours. After Vespers, Cliff Garvey, our Minister of Evangelization, will offer a brief spiritual reflection on the themes of discovery, grace, and conversion. Each evening will culminate with the celebration of Mass.

Advent is a time during which we are called to open our hearts and minds to discovery, grace, and conversion: a time to discover (or re-discover) the miracle of the Lord’s birth; to embrace the powerful grace that comes when God humbles himself to be born cold and poor in a stable; and to be wholly transformed by God’s love which was given to us in the form of a defenseless child.

During our recent pilgrimage to Assisi and Rome, our pilgrims focused on these themes of discovery, grace, and conversion as we literally walked in the footsteps of Saint Francis and Saint Clare. Now, as our parish communities continue their Advent journeys, everyone will have an opportunity to explore these spiritual themes in preparation for Christmas. So, let us pray together that each of us may open our hearts and minds to spiritual discovery, to God’s amazing grace, and to His challenging invitation to ongoing conversion. And let us pray again that each of us may better appreciate the true meaning of Advent and ultimately the true meaning of Christmas!

In addition to our Advent Retreat, all are welcome to join Tom Misuraca and the Holy Family Parish Music Ministry for the 10th Annual Advent & Christmas Concert on Sunday, December 7th at 2:00pm in Saint Ann Church. As always, this year’s music has been chosen to help us prepare for and celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. Holy Family’s Adult Choir and Children’s Youth Choir will sing to the accompaniment of our talented instrumentalists. The Brazilian Community Choir will sing, too. And Annette Dion will perform her own Christmas composition. Please join us as we share the gift of music this holiday season! Finally, all are welcome to join Deacon Bill Kane for Advent Vespers & Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament on each of the  Sunday evenings of Advent at 7:00pm in Saint Joachim Church. Please join us in prayer throughout the Advent season!

Peace and blessings to all,
Father Jim

Holy Family Parish
First Penance & Reconciliation 2014

Father Jim wishes to thank our staff, volunteers, parents, godparents, and grandparents for preparing our students so well for First Penance & Reconciliation, which was celebrated on Saturday, December 6th in Saint Ann Church. This year, thirty-nine of our young fellow parishioners (all second graders) participated in the Sacrament of Penance & Reconciliation (Confession) for the first time. As they continue to prepare for First Holy Communion, please pray for them, their catechists, and their families! Thank you! Peace and blessings to all!

Holy Family Grand Annual Collection
Goal: $75,000 | Donations to Date: $69,215 | 92.3%

Each year, we ask all parishioners to contribute what they can to Holy Family’s Grand Annual Collection. This collection is a vitally important component of our annual budget. It helps us balance our budget by bridging the gap between the weekly collection and our financial obligations. The Grand Annual helps us to pay for the benefits and salaries of our priests and pastoral team. It helps us to pay our insurance and utility bills. It helps us to maintain our historic buildings and plow our parking lots. It helps to fund essential parish programs like adult and youth faith formation. And all contributions go directly to Holy Family Parish. If we do not achieve our goal, then it becomes almost impossible for us to balance our annual budget! So far, we have received 92.3% of our goal! We hope to reach 100% of our goal by Christmas Day! Please pray that each of us, according to our means, will give generously to the Grand Annual Collection!

Christmas Mass Schedule

The Celebration of Mass is the source and summit of our community’s life of prayer, fellowship, and service. All are welcome to join us for Mass and to participate in Holy Communion in accordance with personal conscience and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. In celebration of Christmas, we will celebrate Mass according to the following schedule. Come and pray with us!

Christmas Eve | Wednesday, December 24

4:00pm     Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
4:00pm     Saint Ann Church
6:00pm     Saint Joachim Church
6:00pm     Saint Ann Church (Bilingual)
12:00am   Midnight Mass at Our Lady of Good Voyage Church

Christmas Day | Thursday, December 25

8:00am     Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
9:30am     Saint Joachim Church
10:45am   Saint Ann Church
12:00pm   Our Lady of Good Voyage Church

Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish
Celebrating 125 Years | 1889-2014

In 1989, in a beautiful booklet commemorating the centennial anniversary of Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, Father Eugene Alves, our pastor emeritus, wrote: “As we begin this important centennial year in our history, we place our lives and our parish under the protection and care of our patroness, Mary, the Mother of God, under the title of Our Lady of Good Voyage, lifting our voices praying: ‘O Mary, protect us on our journey, for all of your ways are beautiful, and all of your paths are of peace.'” As Our Lady’s celebrates its 125th anniversary, let us give God thanks and praise for the continued gift of Father Alves in our lives; let us pray for Father Jim, our new pastor, and let us renew our prayer to the patroness of our parish: Our Lady of Good Voyage, pray for us — now and always! Amen!

The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport

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. Our collaborative is comprised of Saint Ann Church in Gloucester, Saint Anthony’s Chapel in Gloucester, Saint Joachim Church in Rockport, and Our Lady of Good Voyage Church in Gloucester. We are a Roman Catholic faith community united in prayer, fellowship, and service. For more information, please contact Father Jim at Please join us! All are welcome!

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