Our Pastor’s Message
Growing Young Disciples, Part II
As you know, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport has embarked on a journey to reimagine, rebuild, and restructure our youth faith formation programs. After much prayer, research, and consultation with parents and catechetical leaders from across the country, we concluded that the traditional way of teaching our children and grandchildren about Christ and His Church (the classroom model) is no longer the most effective way of sharing the faith or forming young disciples. We also learned that a consensus is growing throughout the Catholic Church that we should focus our energies and resources on sacramental preparation, family-friendly liturgies, lifelong faith formation, and creative ways of welcoming people of all ages and generations back into our parishes. Earlier this month, I shared with you that we have reimagined the way that we will prepare children for the Sacraments of First Penance & Reconciliation (Confession) and First Holy Communion. It is now time to share our program of preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation.
For too many teenagers, Confirmation has sadly become a kind of graduation from the Church, rather than the joyful beginning of life as an adult disciple in the Church. We hope to end this tragic ambivalence by transforming sacramental preparation into an engaging process for the whole family. First, we will continue to place primary focus on attending Mass. For more than a century, the Church has required every parish to provide some kind of religious education for children. During recent decades, we have asked parents to dedicate one hour each week to their child’s religious education by enrolling them in a classroom-based faith formation program. Unfortunately, we failed to remind parents of their baptismal promise to be the first teachers of their children in all matters related to faith and morals; and that the most important component of that responsibility is attending Mass as a family. In our increasingly busy, stressful, and over-scheduled world, its has become common for parents to entrust their children to us for an hour of instruction but not join us for Mass each weekend. So, we will continue to ask parents to dedicate one hour each week to their child’s religious education — by bringing them to church!
We also will no longer ask teenagers to spend countless hours in a classroom in preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation. Beginning in the ninth grade, all high school students will be invited to participate in our two-year program of formation that will prepare them to receive the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit at Confirmation. During the first year, our students will participate in a series of interactive workshops about the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church. These sessions will be scheduled on Sunday mornings to coincide with our weekend Mass schedule. During the second year, our students will participate in six additional workshops (and a four hour mini-retreat) designed to help them grow in prayer, fellowship, and service; to prepare them to receive the Gifts of the Holy Spirit; and to jumpstart their lives as faithful and faith-filled young adult disciples.
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus gives his disciples the Great Commission and says to them: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20).” Ever mindful of the Lord’s promise, let us renew our dedication to the Great Commission by celebrating the sacraments, teaching our children and grandchildren, and growing new generations of disciples that will pass on on the beliefs and traditions of God’s Church until the end of the age.
Change is never easy. I truly appreciate and understand that this new approach to youth faith formation may be difficult for some parishioners to accept. In my heart, however, I am convinced that our mission is not to make “theologians” by teaching our children about just the doctrines and practices of the Church. Our mission must be to make, grow, and nurture “disciples” by engaging our children in new and creative ways, by teaching them to pray, and by helping them to build lifelong relationships with Jesus Christ, with God’s Church, and with their brothers and sisters in faith. Thank you in advance for your ongoing encouragement, prayers, and support of our youth faith formation programs at Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. Please continue to pray for me and our pastoral team, for our children and grandchildren, and for all who live, work, and worship in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport!
Peace and blessings to all,
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Summer Carillon Recitals
An Our Lady of Good Voyage Tradition
Saturdays at 5:00pm
An annual tradition continues this summer at Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish! Our Summer Carillon Recitals are scheduled for this Saturday, August 27th at 5:00pm and next Saturday, September 3rd at 5:00pm (rain or shine). Once again, LuAnn Pallazola, our own very talented organist-keyboardist has prepared programs that include familiar classical and international pieces, popular hymns, patriotic melodies, and even children’s tunes! Installed in 1922, the carillon bells in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church were the first toned set of carillon bells in the United States. Although our bells can be heard from several blocks away, the sound is best near the church. These recitals are free and open to the public! So, bring a cold drink or coffee! Bring a friend! Enjoy this wonderful summer tradition! Don’t forget that Mass begins at 6:00pm! And please remember that the final carillon recital of the summer season is next Saturday, September 3rd at 5:00pm! For more information, please contact LuAnn Pallazola at 978-281- 4820 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Youth Faith Formation
Father Jim’s Summer Art Contest
Calling Young Disciples!
All young disciples (ages 5 through 11) are invited to participate in Father Jim’s Summer Art Contest by creating an original work of art based on the theme that “Jesus Is Our Teacher!” Submissions should be no smaller than 8 by 11 inches and no larger than 18 by 24 inches; created, colored, drawn, or painted by hand; and depicting one of the following images of Jesus: Christ the Teacher, Christ the Good Shepherd, the Divine Mercy, or the Face of Christ. All original art projects are now due by Friday, September 23rd and will be judged by Father Jim and a committee of judges! The winning submission will be professionally framed and displayed prominently in our pastoral office! Coloring sheets (for younger children) and suggested icon images (for older children) can be found on our web- site at ccgronline.com/formation. For more information, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com. Please join us! All are welcome!
Youth Faith Formation
Grade 2 Sacramental Preparation
Registration Now Underway!
The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport is now offering a creative and innovative way for young children to prepare for the Sacraments of Penance & Reconciliation (Confession) and First Holy Communion. Our program is designed to prepare both children and their parents for the sacraments, encourage lifelong relationships with Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church, and help families grow in prayer, fellowship, and service. Our program is simple and family friendly! First, we will continue to place primary focus on inviting families to attend one of our seven weekend Masses. Second, all second grade children and their parents are asked to attend two 90 minute workshops during the fall season; and three 90 minute workshops during winter-spring seasons. Each “Faith & Family Workshop” is offered at three different times, so each family can choose which option works best for them! Our program begins in October! Registration for all “Faith & Family Workshops” is now underway! All calendars and registration materials are now posted on our website: ccgronline.com/formation. If you have questions or need assistance, please see Father Jim before or after Mass; or contact Betsy Works at 978-281-4820 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are welcome!
A Monthly Vigil of Prayer
Friday, September 2nd
In the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, we will celebrate the Jubilee Year of Mercy with many special programs and events throughout the year. For example, our next “Mercy Friday: A Monthly Vigil of Prayer” is scheduled for September 2nd in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Our vigil will begin at 12:00pm with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament & Daytime Prayer. At 3:00pm, we will pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet. From 5:00pm until 6:00pm, confessions will be heard. And at 6:30pm, we will conclude with Evening Prayer (with homily) and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. For more information, please see Father Jim before or after Mass; or contact Cliff Garvey at email@example.com! Please join us for all or part of this special day of devotion and prayer! All are invited! All are welcome!
Adult Faith Formation
RCIA & Adult Confirmation
Begins Sunday, October 2nd!
If you are an adult (age 18 and over) and have not received the Sacraments of Baptism, Penance & Reconciliation (Confession), Holy Eucharist, or Confirmation in the Roman Catholic Church, then please consider joining our adult faith formation program which will meet on Sunday mornings after our 8:15am Mass beginning on Sunday, October 2nd in Saint Ann Parish House. The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) is a seven month program that prepares adults to be received into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil. Our group will meet approximately twice each month to learn about the basic beliefs, teachings, and traditions of the Catholic Church. As part of this same process, our Adult Confirmation Program prepares adults for the Sacrament of Confirmation and focuses on the challenges of living a life of faith in the modern world. If you would like to join us for this journey of faith and become part of a unique fellowship in preparation for the Sacraments of God’s Holy Church, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com. Please join us! All are welcome!
Follow us on Twitter: @CCGRonline