Alert: Saint Joachim Church

JANUARY 31 | 10:00am: Due to the recent blizzard, the final installation of new boiler-heating system at Saint Joachim Church has been delayed for a few days. On Sunday, February 1st, Mass will be celebrated at the Rockport Community House (next to the church). Thank you in advance for your patience and prayers!

This Week’s Message:
Becoming “Fishers of Men”

By Cliff Garvey
Minister of Evangelization

Earlier this month, our pastoral team attended two full days of training in the “New Evangelization” at the Archdiocese of Boston’s Pastoral Center in Braintree. During these fourteen hours of prayer, presentations, and discussions, we learned much about expert strategies for reaching out to those who may not be practicing our shared Catholic faith. At the end of these two days, however, I was left somewhat awed about where and how to begin. But then I began praying with this Sunday’s reading from Mark’s Gospel!

Mark tells us that as Jesus passed the fishermen who would become his disciples, he paused and invited them to join him. He said: “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men (Mark 1:17).” We should always remember that Jesus did not command them to go to temple. He did not threaten them with hellfire. He did not guilt them into following him.

Jesus just invited the fishermen. Of course, something special about Jesus compelled them to join him. Perhaps it was the sense of peace that pervaded his words. Perhaps it was the joy that emanated from his whole being. Whatever it was, Jesus communicated it through a simple invitation: “Come…” It’s that invitation that prompts me to share a personal experience.

Although I received the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation) as a child, I was not raised in a church-going family. But as a young adult, while attending graduate school at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., a priest who lived in the same dormitory passed by my open door and invited me to Mass. It was a straightforward invitation offered without any expectation or judgment and it forever changed my life. The priest simply said: “Come…”

For me, the journey of faith began with a simple invitation. For some of our fellow parishioners, the journey of faith has been a life-long endeavor. For others, the journey is fresh and new. But for too many more, the journey is hard or non-existent. Each of us has friends and family members who choose not to join us week after week. Each of us knows someone who desperately needs the peace and joy that comes with making the hard journey of faith.

So, what can we do? How can we become “fishers of men” like Jesus and the fishermen in Mark’s gospel? How can we fill our churches with our friends and loved ones? The experts had two days worth of good ideas. Father Jim and our pastoral team have some good ideas, too. In reality, however, the “New Evangelization” is as old as the Church itself!

It’s all about invitation and welcome – not preaching, not guilt, and not hellfire. It’s about giving witness to our own peace and joy and sharing it with others. It’s about seeing what’s good in our parish community and inviting our neighbors to join us. It’s about passing that open door or knocking on the door of a closed heart and saying with love: “Come…” All are welcome!

May the Lord give you peace!


An Evening with Leo Buscaglia
Valentine’s Day | February 14th

All are welcome to join Father Jim for “An Evening with Leo Buscaglia” on Saint Valentine’s Day, Saturday, February 14th, from 5:15pm until 7:15pm in Our Lady’s Hall. Dr. Leo Buscaglia (1922-1998) was an internationally famous author, educator, and motivational speaker. His books sold more than ten million copies worldwide and his lecture raised millions of dollars for public television nationwide. Throughout his long career, Dr. Buscaglia told his audiences over and over that love is the basic and essential ingredient in all human relationships — families, friendships, marriages, and communities.

On Saint Valentine’s Day, let’s share a glass of wine, enjoy some light refreshments (cheese, crackers, and fruit), watch and discuss one of Dr. Buscaglia’s classic and entertaining lectures on the power of love in human life. Come alone! Come with your Valentine! Come with friends or family! This special event is free but donations will be gratefully accepted. Please RSVP by contacting Father Jim at Please join us!


Ash Wednesday | February 18th
Mass & 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 join us for Mass and to participate in Holy Communion in accordance with personal conscience and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. This year, the Holy Season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 18th. In the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, Masses will be celebrated (with the distributions of ashes) according to the following schedule:

7:00am     Saint Joachim 8:30am     Our Lady of Good Voyage 12:00pm   Saint Ann 7:00pm     Our Lady of Good Voyage

In addition, we will also celebrate a Service of the Word (with the distribution of ashes) at 5:30pm at Saint Joachim Church. For more information about Lent in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Father Jim Achadinha at or Cliff Garvey at; or click here for our Lent page. Please join us as we begin our Lenten journey! All are welcome!


The Assisi Project
Saint Francis of Assisi: The Beginning
Sunday, February 22nd

Founded in 2007 by Father Jim Achadinha and Cliff Garvey, the Assisi Project is an international fellowship of “Franciscans in Spirit” that is dedicated to helping adults of all ages to more faithfully live the Gospel of Christ in the spirit of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi. Each month, we gather for Mass, a community meal, and a period of faith formation and discussion.

Our first meeting of the year is scheduled for the First Sunday of Lent, February 22nd beginning with Mass at 12:00pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. After Mass, Cliff Garvey will offer a reflection entitled “Saint Francis of Assisi: The Beginning” which will focus on the early life and times of the man who would become the world’s most beloved and perhaps most misunderstood saint. After Cliff’s reflection, we will adjourn to the parish hall for a light lunch.

If you would like to join us, please contact Cliff Garvey at c.garvey@ymail no later than February 15th (so that we can plan appropriately for food and drink). For more information about the Assisi Project and our upcoming opportunities for prayer, fellowship, and pilgrimage in the Franciscan spiritual tradition, please visit our website at Please join us! All are welcome! May the Lord give you peace!


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. 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 about becoming a member of one of our parishes, please contact Father Jim at Please join us! All are welcome!

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