Our Pastor’s Message: “Making Room at the Inn”
At Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, we hear the familiar story of the Lord’s birth from the Gospel of Luke. We will hear again that Mary “wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them at the inn (Luke 2:7).” All too often, amidst the hustle and bustle of Christmas Eve, we may not properly focus as we should on the importance of this passage and its implications for us – here and now. We may be thinking about the last minute wrapping of presents, the final preparations for our Christmas meal, or the safe travels of family and friends. But this passage presents a challenge to us, whether we come to Mass every day, every week, or whether we come to Mass just a few times each year.
If you are a regular churchgoer, then you know well that our churches are more crowded at Christmas than on any given Sunday in “Ordinary Time.” We may not recognize the person beside us or the family behind us. We may feel “crowded” or we may feel some resentment that someone we don’t know is sitting in “our pew.” God forbid!
If you are not a regular churchgoer, if you are new to our faith community, just visiting, or just making your way back to Mass for Christmas, then you may feel alone, isolated, or even unwelcome. You may even feel some of that resentment for sitting in the wrong pew!
Either way, we know in our bones that there is something wrong in our world when a pregnant mother must give birth to her child in a manger alongside the livestock. Someone should have sacrificed their own comfort and given up their own room at the inn! Someone should have welcomed Joseph and Mary into their home! Someone should have done something so that the Christ Child – the Son of God and Savior of the World – would not be born in a stable! But perhaps it was God’s plan that His Only Son should be born humble and poor. Perhaps it was God’s plan that the Christ Child’s birth should teach us something about the call to welcome others into our community. Perhaps it was God’s plan to remind us – year after year – that a guest or visitor or even a stranger may bring abundant grace and blessings, but only if we sincerely welcome them into our lives!
This Christmas, whether you are a regular churchgoer or not, let us greet and truly welcome the person beside us, behind us, and in front of us at Mass! Let us genuinely open our hearts to the possibility of new faith and new friendships! And when the time comes, let us wholeheartedly share the Lord’s sign of peace with those we love and with those we do not yet know! In short, let us make room both at the inn and in our lives for Christ at Christmas and throughout the coming new year!
May God bless you and your family with a Merry Christmas! Peace and blessings to all,
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 (English & Portuguese)
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
On behalf of Father Jim, Father Alves, Father Gariboldi, Father Pucinelli, and our pastoral team, we hope and pray that you and your family will join us for Mass as we celebrate the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ! Merry Christmas!
Holy Family Grand Annual Collection
Goal: $75,000 | Donations to Date: $71,225 | 94.96%
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 93.3% 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!
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!
Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish
Commemorative Anniversary Calendars
As a way of celebrating the parish’s 125th anniversary, Our Lady’s Guild has produced a limited edition 2015 commemorative anniversary calendar. These calendars feature professional photographs of our historic church’s stained glass windows. Proceeds of the sale of these calendars benefit Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. And they make great Christmas gifts! A donation of $10 is requested. If you would like to purchase one (or more) of these beautiful commemorative anniversary calendars (while supplies last), please contact Linda Galvin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com. Please join us! All are welcome!
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