Our Pastor’s Message
Season of Hope, Year of Mercy
Not long after becoming our Holy Father, Pope Francis (who is now masterful at delivering one liners filled with timeless wisdom) tweeted: “Let the Church always be a place of mercy and hope, where everyone is welcomed, loved, and forgiven.”
This week, the Church begins the Holy Season of Advent: our four-week journey of penance, prayer, and preparation for the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ at Christmas. And next week, on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (Tuesday, December 8th), the Church begins the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Let us prayerfully consider what these beginnings mean for us in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport.
First, Advent is a Season of Hope. Despite darker days and the coming of colder weather, Advent is the time of year when we wait expectantly for the bright light that dawns upon the world on Christmas morning. And despite an increasingly uncertain and violent world, Advent is the season of the year when we hope and pray for better days and more peaceful times.
During this Holy Season of Advent, let us pray and work together to live the Gospel, share God’s love, and rebuild our Church — financially, physically, and spiritually. Let each one of us, according to our ability and means, give what we can and do what we can to reveal the beautiful light of Christ to our darkened winter world. If we can give our time, talent, or treasure, then let’s do it! If we can give our humblest prayers, then let’s do that, too! Also, hope is not about daydreams, pipedreams, or fantasies of what could be or should be. Hope is about having faith in what we can and will accomplish together as a people united in prayer, fellowship, and service.
Second, the Jubilee Year of Mercy is a time for each one of us to open our hearts and minds to God’s boundless capacity for love, friendship, and forgiveness. Above all things, God calls us to grow closer to Him — for his sake and for ours! And we grow closer to God by practicing what we preach: by reaching out to those who hunger for love and friendship; by welcoming new parishioners; and by building bridges over troubled waters in our families, with our friends and neighbors, and among our colleagues and co-workers.
For more information about upcoming programs and events during this holy season, please visit our website’s new Advent page. And during the coming Year of Mercy, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport will offer a series of programs and events that invite all parishioners, friends, and visitors to learn about, experience & share God’s merciful love. I hope and pray that you will walk with me during this blessed season of hope and this holy year of mercy.
Peace and blessings to all,
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
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!
Holy Family Women’s Guild
Azorean Restaurant Fundraiser
Thursday, December 3rd
The Women’s Guild at Holy Family Parish invites you to join them on Thursday, December 3rd for our Azorean Restaurant Fundraiser. Between 4:00pm and 9:00pm, the Azorean Restaurant will donate a portion of all dinner checks to Holy Family Parish. Please support our parish by inviting family and friends to enjoy delicious Portuguese cuisine with us! For more information, please contact Lydia Bertolino at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are welcome!
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!
Our Lady’s Guild
Annual Christmas Fair
Saturday, December 5th
All are welcome to join Our Lady’s Guild for their Annual Christmas Fair on Saturday, December 5th from 9:00am until 1:00pm in the Parish Hall. Highlights include a fried dough breakfast, linguiça & hot dog lunch, soft drinks, along with all the fixings! Sale tables will include the general store, religious items, jewelry, cookie swap & fudge, Christmas decorations, plants, homemade sweetbread and other baked goods. In addition, we’ll have a Mega Raffle Table featuring many wonderful items including a painting by Theresa Wonson! Volunteers are needed to help set-up the parish hall on Friday, December 4th at 4:00pm! Donations are welcome! For more information, please contact Linda Galvin at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Advent & Christmas Concert
Sunday, December 6th
All parishioners, friends, and visitors of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join the Holy Family Parish Music Ministry for its Eleventh Annual Advent & Christmas Concert on Sunday, December 6th at 2:00pm in Saint Ann Church.
As always, this year’s musical selections have been chosen to help prepare our hearts to celebrate the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ at Christmas. Our Adult Choir and Youth Choir will perform with our team of talented instrumentalists. In addition, members of our Brazilian Community’s music ministry will perform for us! So, please join us as we share the gift of music this holiday season! For more information, please contact Tom Misuraca at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! 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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