This Week’s Message
Christ in Majesty!
By Cliff Garvey
As a young graduate student at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., I was just beginning to appreciate and understand the depth and beauty of our shared faith. As Advent approached during my first semester at the university, I had begun attending Daily Mass in the Crypt Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, but I had not yet ventured upstairs into the main upper church. So, I was understandably stunned to see the mosaic of “Christ in Majesty” which appears above and on the cover of this weekend’s bulletin.
This powerful image looms over the sanctuary of the Basilica. Some people love it; some do not. For some, Jesus seems angry, perhaps even threatening. But nothing could be further from the truth. Christ’s eyes are blue and symbolize the glory of heaven. His arms are outstretched and invite us to meditate on the wounds of his crucifixion. He is clothed in red which symbolizes his martyrdom on the cross for the sake of our salvation. Indeed, this image of “Christ in Majesty” is consistent with the earliest images of Christ that can be found in the Roman catacombs.
As we commemorate the Solemnity of Christ the King, journey through the last week of Ordinary Time, and prepare for the Holy Season of Advent, this awesome mosaic should remind us that Christ is both King of the Universe and a humble servant of God who embraced his vocation, his mission, and ultimately his cross. And through these acts of extreme humility, God raises Christ Jesus from death, exalts him among the angels, glorifies him in the heavens, and entrusts him with an everlasting kingship.
The mosaic of “Christ in Majesty” covers more than 3,600 square feet and contains more than 3 million tiles, but it is not just a magnificent work of religious art. It is an instrument of evangelization and a teaching tool. In a culture that preaches that each individual’s ambitions and desires are the center of the universe, this mosaic reminds us that we are mere mortals and creatures of the Creator God. It reminds us that humility (the virtue of having a modest view of one’s own importance) is at the core of our Christian vocation and the foundation of the Gospel Life.
Finally, this breathtaking image of “Christ in Majesty” is a call to prayer. It calls us to reflect deeply on this Sunday’s Mass Readings and to heed Saint Paul’s admonition to the Philippians “that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bend of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10-11)!” As Advent approaches, let us resolve to walk with humility under the gaze of Christ the King, Christ in Majesty. Amen!
May the Lord give you peace at Thanksgiving and always!
Thanksgiving Mass Schedule
All parishioners, friends, and visitors are welcome to join the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport as we gather for Holy Mass in celebration of the Thanksgiving Holiday. On Wednesday, November 25th at 7:00pm, Father Jim will celebrate Mass in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. And on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26th at 8:00am, Father Jim will celebrate Mass in Saint Joachim Church. Please join us as we give thanks and praise for God’s great goodness and abundant blessings! All are welcome!
Congratulations Mary Ann Fittro
Bishop Cheverus Medal Recipient
On behalf of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, Father Jim congratulates Mary Ann Fittro who will receive the Bishop Cheverus Medal during a Solemn Vespers Service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Sunday, November 29th at 3:00pm. All parishioners and friend are invited to attend!
For more than fifty years, Mary Ann has worked in Saint Ann Rectory where she serves as our cook and helps with laundry, maintaining our altar cloths, and other important chores that often go unnoticed by most parishioners. Mary Ann is a person of deep faith and prayer who works hard and gives witness to Christ’s love for his people in all that she does and says.
The Bishop Cheverus Medal was created in 2008 to recognize exemplary service given in the name of the Lord by parish staff or volunteers. This award is often given in grateful appreciation for the unsung heroes of God’s Church. In his letter announcing Mary Ann’s award, Cardinal Sean wrote: “I have learned of your selfless dedication and commitment and your many contributions to advancing Christ’s mission. We are blessed by your service to the Archdiocese and we are privileged to name you for this honor.”
Please join Father Jim, our pastoral team, and all of our fellow parishioners in congratulating Mary Ann Fittro for receiving the Archdiocese of Boston’s Bishop Cheverus Medal! Please thank her for all that she does with love and good cheer for our parish communities! And please pray for Mary Ann and her ministry! Mary Ann, may God bless you always!
Mass Intentions Book
Opens Thursday, December 3rd
The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s Mass Intentions Book (January 2016—June 2016) will be opened on Thursday, December 3rd from 10:00am until 2:00pm at our Pastoral Office (74 Pleasant Street). On that day, all parishioners are welcome to book one Sunday and one weekday Mass at Saint Ann Church, Saint Joachim Church, or Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. A donation of $10 per Mass intention is requested.
Please note that on December 3rd, all Mass intentions must be booked in person. No email or phone requests will be accepted; no exceptions. Any remaining Masses can be booked on or after December 4th. If you have questions or need more information, please see Father Jim or contact Linda Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-281-4820. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and generous support of our parishes.
Advent Mass for Families
Weekend of December 5th-6th
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says: “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs (Matthew 19:14).” In response to the Lord’s call, all parents, grandparents, godparents, and children are invited to join Father Jim for an “Advent Mass for Families” on either Saturday, December 5th at 4:00pm in Saint Ann Church or Sunday, December 6th at 11:45am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church.
During Mass, Father Jim will offer a special homily about Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker (the patron saint of children) and a special blessing for all families. In addition, all children (under age 12) will receive a special gift from Father Jim in celebration of the Feast of Saint Nicholas. For more information, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com.
Let us reaffirm these timeless truths about sharing the Catholic faith with our children: Mass is our class! Jesus is our Teacher! Every child in our pews is a gift from God! And every family in our pews is a gift from God! So, please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Tuesday, December 8th
In honor of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Tuesday, December 8th, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport will celebrate Masses according to the following schedule:
- Monday, December 7th· Vigil Mass
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church· 4:00pm
- Tuesday, December 8th· Holy Day Masses
Saint Joachim Church· 8:00am
Saint Ann Church· 12:00pm
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church· 7:00pm
Since late antiquity, the People of God have believed that the Blessed Virgin Mary was sinless & conceived immaculately in the womb of Saint Ann. However, this belief was not defined as doctrine until 1854. Since then, Our Lady has been named patron of many causes & nations, including the United States. So, please join us as we hon- or our Blessed Mother and beg her intercession for our families, our parishes & our country! All are welcome!
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 worship sites include Saint Ann Church in Gloucester, Saint Anthony 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are welcome!
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