THE NATIVITY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

Our Pastor’s Message
Merry Christmas! Welcome Home!

As a child, I grew up in a household infused with religious belief and practice. As a family, we attended Mass on a weekly basis. We said grace before meals. We even prayed the Rosary together. And as a high school and college student, I volunteered with my home parish’s youth faith formation program. For me, the Church has always been a place of peace, a consolation during times of trial, and a second home.

Sadly, we know that many people of faith and goodwill do not feel this way. During the past few decades, all too many people have left the Catholic Church behind. Some feel unable to join us for Mass for cultural, family, financial, or personal reasons. Others simply feel unwelcome for reasons related to their marital status, sexual orientation, or simple lack of knowledge about the Church and its teachings and traditions.

At Christmas, however, many of our brothers and sisters in faith come home to the Church to experience again the miraculous joy of that holy night when God humbled himself and was born among us as a child. Even if for just one Christmas Mass, they come in search of peace, consolation, and meaning in their lives. They come in search of something that the world cannot offer: God’s endless love, intimate friendship, and boundless mercy. Whether they know it or not, they come — called by the Lord —to find their place in the Church, our spiritual home.

To those who join us this week for the first time or for the first time in a long time: I welcome you with open arms and an open heart on behalf of all of your fellow parishioners. We welcome you back to Mass with the fervent prayer that you will join us again and again as often as you can. And we say to you with love and all sincerity: Welcome Home! You are always welcome here!

To those who join us regularly for Mass and for the many opportunities for prayer, fellowship, and service that are offered at our parishes, I welcome you as always with a handshake, a hug, and a goofy smile on behalf of all of your fellow parishioners. We welcome you back with the fervent prayer that we will together practice what we preach; that we will welcome the stranger; truly live the Gospel; share it with love; and work together to rebuild and strengthen the Church, which is now and always our second home. Welcome home!

At Christmas and always, be assured of my humble and sincere prayers for all who live, work, and worship in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, and for all who join us to celebrate the Nativity of the Lord. And I beg you to pray for me and for our pastoral team.

Peace and blessings to all for a Merry Christmas!
Father Jim

Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Contact: frjim@ccgronline.com

CCGR Weekly Bulletin (12-25-15)
Bringing Home the Word (12-27-15)
Assisi Project Christmas Raffle

__________

Our Christmas Mass Schedule
Come Home for Christmas!

The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport at Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish cordially invites you and your family to “come home” and join us for Holy Mass in celebration of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. During the upcoming Christmas Holy Days, Masses will be celebrated according to the following schedule:

  • Christmas Eve
    Thursday December 24th
    4:00pm       Saint Ann Church
    4:00pm       Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
    6:00pm       Saint Ann Church
    Midnight     Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
  • Christmas Day
    Friday, December 25th
    8:15am       Saint Ann Church
    10:00am     Saint Joachim Church
    11:45am     Our Lady of Good Voyage Church

All are also invited to join us as we commemorate the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God with the celebration of Masses according to the schedule below. All parishioners and friends are reminded that the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God is a Holy Day of Obligation for Roman Catholics. It is also the World Day of Peace in the Catholic Church.

  • New Year’s Eve
    Vigil for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
    Thursday, December 31st
    4:00pm      Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
  • New Year’s Day
    Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
    Friday, January 1st
    8:15am      Saint Ann Church
    10:00am    Saint Joachim Church
    11:45am    Our Lady of Good Voyage Church

Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome! On behalf of our priests, deacons, and pastoral team, we hope and pray that you and your family will join us for Mass and enjoy a very Blessed and Merry Christmas! All are invited! All are welcome! May God bless us, everyone!

__________

Pastor’s Note
Calling Young Disciples!

As we begin to reimagine and rebuild our youth faith formation programs, it is important to remember that all children and teenagers are invited to participate in the life of our parishes: as altar servers, as players in our dramatization of the Epiphany, and as singers or instrumentalists in our Youth Choir. These are not just seasonal events but faith formation opportunities for children of all ages to gather in prayer, to learn about the teachings and traditions of the Church, and to live their faith in a true spirit of prayer, fellowship, and service. For more information about youth faith formation in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Father Jim at frjim@ccgronline.com or Betsy Works at bworks@ccgronline.com.

Feast of the Epiphany Youth Pageant
Saturday, January 2nd

During the Season of Christmas, the Catholic Church will celebrate the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord during the weekend of January 2nd-3rd. Traditionally, the Epiphany commemorates the coming of the Magi from the East who pay homage to the newborn Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. These wise men paid tribute to the Lord by bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

As part of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s celebration of the Solemnity of the Epiphany, we invite the children of our parishes to participate in a dramatization of the coming of the Magi during the 4:00pm Vigil Mass on Saturday, January 2nd in Saint Ann Church. We are seeking children for the roles of angels, shepherds, the Magi, and the Holy Family. If your child or grandchild would like to participate in this annual holiday tradition that celebrates the Adoration of the Magi, please contact Sue Demetri at sdemetri2000@yahoo.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!

Celebration of First Penance & Reconciliation
Saturday, January 9th

This year, sixty-four of our youngest fellow parishioners from both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish are preparing for their First Holy Communion. On Saturday, January 9th at 11:00am in Saint Ann Church, those young disciples will participate in the Sacrament of Penance & Reconciliation (Confession) for the first time. All parents, grandparents, godparents, friends, and family members are also invited to join us for this special celebration in the lives of these young disciples of Christ Jesus. As First Penance approaches, please pray for all of our students and their families, and for all of our catechists and volunteers! For more information about our youth faith formation program, please contact Betsy Works at bworks@ccgronline.com! May God bless our children at Christmas and always!

CCGR Youth Choir

Tuesdays at 5:00pm

The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s Youth Choir meets for practice and rehearsal every Tuesday afternoon at 5:00pm in Saint Ann Church. The Youth Choir, along with an ensemble of talented young instrumentalists, sings every weekend during Mass at one of our three churches: Saint Ann Church, Saint Joachim Church, and Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. The Youth Choir welcomes new members (ranging in age from kindergarten through eighth grade). Singing in the choir is a great way to make new friends and participate in the life of our parishes! For more information, please contact Patty Natti at pnatti@comcast.net. All are welcome!

__________

Holy Family Parish
Grand Annual Collection
Goal: $75,000 | Donations: $53,419

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 offerings and our financial obligations. The Grand Annual Collection 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. All contributions to the Grand Annual Collection 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 approximately 71% of our goal! Although we have much work to do, we still hope to reach our goal of $75,000 by the First Sunday of Lent. Please pray that each of us, according to our means, will give generously to Holy Family’s Grand Annual Collection! For more information, please contact Father Jim at frjim@ccgronline.com.

__________

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 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 frjim@ccgronline.com. Please join us! All are welcome!

Follow us on Twitter: @CCGRonline