This Week’s Message
Memories of Mount Tabor

By Cliff Garvey

In this weekend’s Gospel, we experience a miraculous event in the life of Christ and his disciples (Luke 9:28-36). We follow Jesus with Peter, John, and James to the summit of Mount Tabor where after a period of prayer, the Lord is transfigured and visited by Moses and Elijah. But what does it mean to be transfigured? Luke tells us only that Jesus’s face is changed; his clothing becomes dazzling white; and he converses with the famous prophets. We also know that Peter, John, and James wanted to remain with Jesus on the mountain and to rest in the blessings and consolations of their awesome vision. But Jesus, inspired by the prophets and the Holy Spirit, lead them down from Mount Tabor to Jerusalem, where he will soon fulfill his mission as our Lord and Savior.

In November 2009, Father Jim and I led a memorable pilgrimage during which we, along with a group of forty pilgrims from the United States and Canada, literally walked in the footsteps of Christ throughout the Holy Land. Among the places we visited was Mount Tabor and among our pilgrims was Patrick, a teenager from Ottawa and his mother, Joanne. During our pilgrimage, Patrick served as the conscience of our group. When others grew impatient, restless, or weary, Patrick encouraged us to pray and to linger longer at the holy sites where Jesus had lived, suffered, and died for our sake.

Patrick is now a young adult and an engineering student at Waterloo University in Canada. He remembers our experience on Mount Tabor and how closely it reflected the experience of Christ and his disciples. About the church where we celebrated Mass, Patrick writes: “The church had a luminous glow and the altar was bathed in a golden light.” Patrick also remembers the homily, during which the priest spoke about how we felt close to God on Mount Tabor and desired to remain there, much like the disciples, but that God calls home: to leave the mountain and to fulfill our Christian vocation in our daily lives.

During that Mass on Mount Tabor, some pilgrims experienced amazing blessings. One woman, recently widowed and moved to tears of profound joy, said that she felt the angelic presence of her late husband. Another pilgrim, still grieving the loss of his grandparents, haltingly described seeing them dressed in glowing garments of dazzling white. As for Patrick, he was deeply moved by the profound peace, humility, and simplicity of Mount Tabor. He did not want to leave and he made that abundantly clear to all of us. But like Christ and his disciples, we did leave Mount Tabor: forever blessed, forever changed, and forever inspired to love and serve the Lord and each other. This Lent, may each one of us be transfigured so as to descend from the mountain and fulfill our destiny as disciples of Christ. Amen!

May the Lord give you peace during Lent and always!

Cliff Garvey
Associate Minister
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport

CCGR Weekly Newsletter (2-21-16)
Bringing Home the Word (2-21-16)


Youth Mass & Right of Candidacy
First Year Confirmation Students
Sunday, February 28th

All first-year Confirmation students and their families (parents, grandparents, siblings, and sponsors) are invited to join Father Jim for a Youth Mass & Rite of Candidacy on Sunday, February 28th at 11:45am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. During Mass, Father Jim will offer a special homily and blessing for all of the high school students who have recently begun their preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation. Please note that there will be no classes on Sunday, February 28th. For more information, please contact Father Jim at Please join us! All are welcome!


The Light Is On For You!
Confessions & Eucharistic Adoration
Wednesday, February 24th

During the Holy Season of Lent, all Catholics are invited to experience Christ’s love and mercy through the Sacrament of Penance & Reconciliation (Confession). On six consecutive Wednesdays during Lent (February 17th through March 23rd), at Our Lady of Good Voyage Church from 6:00pm until 8:00pm, all are invited to join us for “The Light Is On For You!” These special evenings of prayer will include Evening Prayer and Night Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours; Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament; and two full hours of confessions for those who feel called to participate. Please note that this program will be preempted on Wednesday, March 9th for our Lent Mission & Retreat. For some, this may be a time for sacramental reconciliation. For some it may be a time for silent prayer and reflection. And for some, it may be a time to begin or renew a life of faith. Wherever you are on your faith journey, please join us! All are welcome! For more information about the Sacrament of Penance & Reconciliation in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please visit our website:; or contact Father Jim at

Learn More: Guide for Making a Good Confession


The Parables of Mercy
A Year of Mercy Scripture Study
Friday, February 26th

During the Holy Season of Lent, all are invited to join Father Jim for a weekly lunchtime scripture study based on the “Parables of Mercy.” As part of our community’s commemoration of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, each Friday during Lent (February 12th through March 18th) in Our Lady’s Hall, Father Jim will lead a one hour discussion on various parables of Jesus that focus on God’s love and mercy for his people, including the Two Debtors & Their Creditor; the Good Samaritan; the Widow & the Judge; the Rich Man and Lazarus; and the Lost Sheep.

Father Jim’s next scripture study session is scheduled for Friday, February 19th at 12:00pm! Interested friends and parishioners are welcome to bring their own lunch and to join us for as many sessions as they can. If you would like to join us for this special scripture study series, please contact Father Jim at A donation of $20.00 per person is requested from those who can afford it for the entire series. All participants will be provided with a copy of the book, “The Parables of Mercy” by Father Mitch Pacwa, SJ, along with coffee, hot tea, or bottled water. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!


Stations of the Cross
Friday, February 26th

The Stations of the Cross are one of the most enduring and moving devotions of the Roman Catholic Church. By uniting our prayers with the sufferings of Christ through both word and imagery, we make a spiritual pilgrimage with Lord on his way to the Cross. During Lent, all are invited to join us in praying the Stations of the Cross on six consecutive Fridays (February 12th through March 18th) according to the following schedule:

Saint Ann Church
Fridays at 3:30pm

Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
Fridays at 7:00pm (Begins with Mass)

Please note that Mass will be celebrated at 7:00pm before we pray the Stations of the Cross at Our Lady of Good Voyage on Friday evenings. For more information about the Holy Season of Lent in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Father Jim or see a member of our pastoral team. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!


Jubilee Year of Mercy
Lent Mission & Retreat
March 8th-March 10th

All are invited to join us for the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s Lent Mission & Retreat from Tuesday, March 8th through Thursday, March 10th at Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Each evening will begin with Evening Prayer at 7:00pm, followed by Mass. Each evening will also feature a reflec- tion centered on the themes of Lent and the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Our special guest and spiritual director will be Sister Ellen Dabrieo, SND. Sister Ellen is a member of the Sisters of Notre Dame. For many years, she has served the Church in both parish ministry and as a missionary in Brazil. Sister Ellen currently serves as a hospital chaplain in Salem and as a lay minister to the Brazilian Communi- ty of Saint Thomas Church in Peabody. The Lent Mission & Retreat is free but donations will be gratefully accepted at Mass during each evening of the retreat. For more information, please contact Cliff Garvey at Please join us! Bring a friend or neighbor! All are welcome!


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 Please join us! All are welcome!

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