FIFTH WEEK OF LENT

Our Pastor’s Message
Our Upward Calling

On his second journey as an apostle, Saint Paul established Europe’s first Christian community in Philippi, a city in northern Greece. Because of their fervent faith, the Philippians were dear to Saint Paul and he writes to them with encouragement and enthusiasm for their progress in living according to the Gospel of Christ. In this weekend’s reading from the Letter to the Philippians (Phil 3:8-14), Saint Paul offers a lesson about humility, the spiritual life, and the nature of our vocation as disciples. That vocation is our “upward calling” to be always and ever focused on our life with Christ both here on earth and ultimately in heaven (Phil 3:14).

Saint Paul reminds us that we can envision the ultimate reward for a life lived well: a share in Christ’s resurrection and the gift of eternal life. At the same time, however, we cannot ever expect perfection in this life. After all, we are imperfect beings. We are prone to sin and weakness. We need God’s grace and mercy. Despite our weakness, Saint Paul encourages us to remain hopeful because like him, we are disciples, children of God, and adopted brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ (Phil 3:12). Paul writes that this hope is deepened and strengthened by persevering in fidelity to the Gospel and by the mystical reality that Christ embraces those who strive to follow him with their whole heart (Phil 3:13).

The Letter to the Philippians has been described as a letter of joy because of Saint Paul’s love and concern for all who seek to live as disciples of Christ. And yet Paul writes this letter from prison, jailed for his faith, preaching, and zeal for the Gospel. He knows and well understands that his evangelical life could and would lead to martyrdom. Paul’s faith in Christ and his hope for eternal life transcend any concern about his mortal life. In the final verse of this weekend’s reading, Paul writes: “Just one thing, forgetting what lies behind, but straining toward what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus (Phil 3:14).”

Again, that upward calling is a life of faith and discipleship. That upward calling is our vocation to look beyond the stumbles and suffering of this life and to eagerly anticipate the ultimate joy of eternal life with Christ Jesus. It is precisely this upward calling that inspired Jesus to persevere in the wilderness, along the road to Jerusalem, at the pillar, and finally on the Cross. Let us follow the Lord wherever he leads us. Let us pray for the courage to persevere in prayer, fellowship, and service to God and to each other. And let us pray for the grace to fulfill our upward calling to look beyond this life to the bliss of life in heaven. 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 (3-13-16)
Bringing Home the Word (3-13-16)

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Our Lady’s Guild Penny Sale
Monday, March 14th

All parishioners and friends of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join Our Lady’s Guild for a “Penny Sale” on Monday, March 14th at 7:00pm in Our Lady’s Parish Hall. As always, the “Penny Sale” will feature great prizes, a 50-50 raffle, delicious homemade sweet bread, along with other delicious food and snacks. Donations will be accepted at Our Lady’s Rectory from 9:00am until 2:00pm, Monday through Friday. For more information about the Penny Sale, please contact Linda Galvin at lingalv2010@gmail.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!

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The Light Is On For You!
Confessions & Eucharistic Adoration
Wednesday, March 16th

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.

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: ccgronline.com; or contact Father Jim at frjim@ccgronline.com.

Learn More: Guide for Making a Good Confession

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Stations of the Cross
Friday, March 18th

The Stations of the Cross is one of the most beloved, en- during, and moving devotions of the Roman Catholic Church. By uniting our prayers with the sufferings of Je- sus Christ through both word and imagery, we make a spiritual pilgrimage with Lord as he suffers his passion and death on the Holy Cross. Our final commemorations of the traditional Stations of the Cross are scheduled for Friday, March 18th at 3:30pm in Saint Ann Church; and at 7:00pm (beginning with Mass) in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. For more information about the Holy Season of 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!

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

All parents, grandparents, godparents, and children are invited to join Father Jim for our Palm Sunday Mass for Families 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 families and children in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. 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! Let us reaffirm that Mass is our class! Jesus is our Teacher! Every child and 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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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