FOURTH WEEK OF LENT

Our Pastor’s Message
The Loving Father

This weekend at Mass, we hear the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:1-3, 11-32). In sparse and simple language, Saint Luke relates the story of a son who leaves home with his inheritance, wastes it on the pleasures of the world, and returns home in search of forgiveness for his profligate and sinful lifestyle. The son is embraced by his father, forgiven his excesses, and warmly welcomed back into the family.

A prodigal is defined as someone who spends money in reckless or extravagant ways. In this scriptural context, however, we might understand the prodigal son as a lost soul, as a person who has lost his way, as one bruised and broken by sin, as one who has hit the proverbial rock bottom. Inside each of us, there is a prodigal son. Inside each of us, there is a person who sometimes cannot resist the selfish pleasures of the world. Inside each of us, there is a person who may not acknowledge his sins until we have confronted the darkest depths of sin and despair. After all, we are all children of Adam and Eve. We are all capable of great charity and good works, but we are also capable of great malice and destruction.

At the same time, we are also children of a Loving Father. We are children of the God who is perfect friendship, perfect love, and perfect mercy. We are children of the God, who like the father in the gospel parable, searches the horizon and hopes that we will return home. We are children of the God, who like the father in the gospel parable, sees us, is filled with compassion and love, runs to us, embraces us, and kisses us.

No matter where we have been, no matter how long we have been away, no matter what we have done, God longs for and listens for our prayer of contrition. Like the prodigal son, we cry: “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son (or daughter).” Our God hears us. Our God forgives. Our God forgets. He washes clean our hearts and our souls. He feeds us, nourishes us, and strengthens us with his love and his merciful spirit. Our God helps us to begin again and again and again. He never tires of welcoming home his prodigal children.

Brothers and sisters, we must never be afraid of coming home to God’s house. We must never be reluctant to ask for His love and mercy. God longs to see us. He longs to embrace us. He longs to free us from the bondage of a world that offers us only passing pleasures. Wherever you are on your faith journey, please remember always that our God is a loving father who stands ready to wel- come you home. Amen!

Peace and blessings to all,
Father Jim

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

CCGR Weekly Newsletter (3-6-16)
Bringing Home the Word (3-6-16)

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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 Community 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 see Father Jim before or after Mass; or contact Cliff Garvey at cgarvey@ccgronline.com. Please join us! Bring a friend or neighbor! All are welcome!

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Stations of the Cross
Fridays Afternoons & Evenings During Lent

The Stations of the Cross is one of the most beloved, enduring, and moving devotions of the Roman Catholic Church. By uniting our prayers with the sufferings of Jesus Christ through both word and imagery, we make a spiritual pilgrimage with Lord as he suffers his passion and death on the Holy Cross. During this Holy Season of 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 Afternoons at 3:30pm

Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
Fridays at 7:00pm
Begins with the Celebration of Mass

On Friday evenings in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church, Father Jim will celebrate Mass at 7:00pm before we pray the Stations of the Cross. For more information about Lent in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please join us at ccgronline.com/lent; or contact Father Jim at frjim@ccgronline.com. As our Lenten journey continues, please join us for the Stations of the Cross! All are invited! All are welcome!

Learn More: Stations of the Cross

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Palm Sunday Mass for Families
Come & Meet Cardinal Sean!
Saturday, March 19th

All parents, grandparents, godparents, and children are invited to join Father Jim for our Palm Sunday Family Mass on Saturday, March 19th at 4:00pm in Saint Ann Church. Our special guest celebrant and homilist will be His Eminence Seán Cardinal O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston. During Mass, Cardinal Seán will offer a special Palm Sunday homily and blessing for all of our families and children in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport.

In addition to bringing your family and friends, please bring the Campaign Cans for the Saint Vincent de Paul Society that were distributed to our parish children at the beginning of Lent. All donations from the Campaign Cans will be given to the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, a service organization in our parishes that provides food and financial assistance to local families in need. We hope to raise $1,000 during Lent for this worthy cause!

For more information, please contact Father Jim at frjim@ccgronline.com; or Betsy Works at bworks@ccgronline.com. Please pray for our young disciples, for their families, and for all who live, work, and worship in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport! Together, let us reaffirm that Mass is our class! Jesus is our Teacher! Every child and every family in our pews is a gift from God! Please spread the word! Please join us! Come and meet Cardinal Seán! All are welcome!

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ParishPay
Safe & Easy Electronic Giving
Available at Both Parishes

Electronic giving is available at both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. It is easy, simple, and safe to make online donations to your home parish using a credit card, debit card, or electronic check. At parishpay.com, donations can be made on a one-time or ongoing basis. And it takes just a few minutes to set up a secure personal account. So, please prayerfully consider supporting your parish by giving electronically! For more information about electronic giving in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please visit parishpay.com or contact Father Jim at frjim@ccgronline.com. Thank you for your generous and ongoing support of our parishes!

Learn More: ParishPay.com

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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.com