Our Pastor’s Message
Jesus Is Our Teacher!
In this weekend’s Gospel, Jesus teaches his disciples a lesson about honesty and integrity (Luke 16:1-13). By my count, Jesus is addressed directly ninety times in the gospels. On those occasions, he is called “Teacher” sixty times either by the disciples or by the faithful people who followed his ministry in the hills and valleys of Judea. Jesus is a teacher who serves and sacrifices for his students. Jesus is a teacher who speaks with wisdom in the temple. Jesus is a teacher who preaches with compassion on the mountain. And before his ascension into heaven, Jesus is a teacher who instructs his followers to teach the world everything that he has taught them.
As we gather this weekend for Mass, parents and grandparents, catechists and missionaries, priests, bishops, and religious brothers and sisters on every continent are fulfilling Christ’s commandment to teach and to make disciples. Of course, the question is this: How? How do we make disciples? How do we share our faith with others? How do we pass on the beauty and richness of our Catholic faith to our children, grandchildren, and godchildren?
For much of the Church’s history, the celebration of Mass was the instrument for instructing the faithful (including children) in the Church’s basic beliefs and traditions. In the thirteenth century, the Apostle’s Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Ten Commandments were the basis for almost all religious instruction and were explained within the context of the Mass. In the fourteenth century, priests were called upon to offer additional instruction four times each year and on various feast days. And in the sixteenth century, the Church decided that faith formation should begin at a young age. But since then, the format varied by parish, diocese, country, and culture.
Overall, two things about faith formation remain timeless and true. First, the celebration of the Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith. So much of what we should learn about Christ and the Christian life can be learned from a devotion to the Eucharist and from regular Mass attendance. And second, parents, grandparents, and godparents are called to be the first teachers of their children in all matters related to faith and morals.
Here in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, we stand ready to assist each and every family with its sacred responsibility to share the faith with our young disciples. We welcome every family into our churches with open arms and open hearts. We believe that Mass is our class and that Jesus is our teacher. And we joyfully thank God for every family that joins us in search of the Lord’s friendship, love and mercy.
Peace and blessings to all,
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Youth Faith Formation
Padre Pio Faith & Family Mass
Sunday, September 25th
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says: “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs (Matthew 19:14).” In response to the Lord’s call, all parents, grandparents, godparents, and children are invited to join Father Jim for our “Saint Padre Pio Faith & Family Mass” on Sunday, September 25th at 11:45am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. During Mass, Father Jim will offer a special homily about Saint Padre Pio and a special blessing for all families and children. All children (under at 18) will also receive a special gift. Mark your calendars!
During the coming school year, we will celebrate three more “Faith & Family Masses” on Saturday, December 17th at 4:00pm in Saint Ann Church; on Sunday, March 5th at 11:45am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church; and on Saturday, May 13th at 4:00pm in Saint Ann Church. For more information about our upcoming Saint Padre Pio Faith & Family Mass, please see Father Jim or contact Betsy Works at email@example.com. Let us reaffirm that Mass is our class! Jesus is our Teacher! Every child in our pews is a gift from God! Every family in our pews is a gift from God! So, please spread the word to family and friends! Please join us! Every family is invited! Every family is welcome!
Youth Faith Formation
Grade 2 Sacramental Preparation
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 these sacraments, to encourage lifelong relationships with Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church, and to help families grow together 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 (or guardians) are asked to attend two 90 minute workshops during the fall season; and three 90 minute workshops during the winter-spring season. Each “Faith & Family Workshop” is offered at three different times, so each family can choose which option works best for them!
Our program begins next month. Calendars and registration materials are posted below. If you have questions or need any assistance with youth faith formation in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please see Father Jim before or after Mass; or contact Betsy Works at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Youth Faith Formation
Confirmation Preparation Program
Registration is now underway for our Confirmation Preparation Program. Beginning in the ninth grade, all high school students are invited to participate in our two-year program 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. During the second year, our students will participate in a series of special events and workshops designed to help them grow in prayer, fellowship, and service; to prepare them to receive the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and to stimulate their lives as faithful and faith-filled young adult disciples. Our program begins later this month. Calendars and registration materials are posted below. If you have questions or need any assistance with youth faith formation in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please see Father Jim before or after Mass; or contact Betsy Works at email@example.com. Please join us! All are welcome!
Youth Faith Formation
Youth Choir & Music Ministry
Tuesdays at 5:00pm
The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s Youth Choir & Music Ministry 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, will soon begin performing each weekend during Mass at one of our three churches: Saint Ann Church, Saint Joachim Church, and Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Our Youth Choir & Music Ministry welcomes new members (ranging in age from kindergarten through middle school). Singing in the choir is a great way to make new friends, learn about the rich musical traditions of the Catholic Church, and participate in the prayer life of our parishes! For more information, please contact Patty Natti at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Adult Faith Formation
RCIA & Adult Confirmation Preparation
If you are an adult (age 18 and over) and have not re- ceived the Sacraments of Baptism, Penance & Reconciliation (Confession), Holy Eucharist, or Confirmation in the Roman Catholic Church, then please prayerfully consider joining our adult faith formation program which will meet on Sunday mornings after the 8:15am Mass beginning on Sunday, October 16th 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 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 (or someone you know and love) would like to join us for this journey of faith and become part of a unique fellowship in preparation for receiving the sacraments of God’s Holy Church, then please contact Cliff Garvey at email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are welcome!
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