Our Pastor’s Message
Praying for Our Parishes
Since 1844, the Apostleship of Prayer has encouraged Roman Catholics around the world to pray each day for their own intentions and to offer prayers for the intentions of our Holy Father. Every month, Pope Francis asks us to pray for a different special intention. This month, the pope asks us to pray for our parishes and fellow parishioners. He asks us to pray for the grace to grow in prayer, fellowship, and service. And he asks us to pray for the courage to live the Gospel, to share God’s love, and to build and strengthen the Church in our own corner of the world. Pope Francis does not necessarily ask us to preach or proselytize on street corners. Rather, he challenges us to give witness to our faith in all that we think, say, and do each and every day.
In his introduction to this month’s prayer request, Pope Francis said: “Parishes must be in contact with homes, with people’s lives, with the life of society. They must be houses where the door is always open, so as to go forth toward others. And it is important that this going forth follows a clear proposal of faith. The doors must be opened so that Jesus can go out with all of the joy of his message. Let us pray for our parishes, that they not be simple offices, but that animated by a missionary spirit, they may be places where faith is communicated and charity is seen.”
Amen! These beautiful words are indeed a call to prayer and a summons to live our shared vocation as disciples today, tomorrow, and always. In our hearts, we know well that a life of discipleship is not easy. The world offers comfort, ease, and a seemingly never-ending array of sensual and technological distractions. But with God, all things are possible. We find the strength to love God and to love others through prayer. We find God and we grow closer to God by praying together, by working together, and by serving others as a family of fellow disciples. And we find ways to express our love through the ministries and good works of the Church, through our parish ministries and service organizations.
In union with Pope Francis and the Apostleship of Prayer, let us join together in prayer for the Holy Father and his monthly intention. Let us pray for the pope, for his good health and safety, and for his global ministry of love, mercy, and peace. Let us pray for parishes all around the world: large and small, rich and poor, in our country, and across vast oceans and continents. Let us pray for open doors, joyful hearts, a clear-eyed faith, and a missionary spirit that will inspire others to join us. In addition to his monthly prayer intention, Pope Francis produces a so-called “Pope Video” which introduces his prayer request. I encourage you to watch the “Pope Video” every month by visiting our website: ccgronline.com/prayer or by clicking on the link below; and I invite you again to pray for our Holy Father, who loves us, prays for us, and leads us ever closer to our Risen Lord. Thank you for your prayers, your good works, and your ongoing generous support of our parishes! May God bless you and your family!
Peace and blessings to all,
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Holy Family Women’s Guild
Christmas Fair Planning Meeting
Wednesday, September 20th
Although it may seem early, the Holy Family Christmas Fair is coming soon! Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 18th! The Christmas Fair is Holy Family Parish’s biggest fundraiser of the year! And there’s much work ahead to ensure its continued success! The Holy Family Women’s Guild will hold its next Christmas Fair Planning Meeting on Wednesday, September 20th at 7:00pm in Saint Ann Church Hall. Everyone has a special gift or talent! Let yours shine at the Christmas Fair! All parishioners are invited to help us make this year’s fair our best ever! We are seeking donations for our basket wheel and raffles; and volunteers to help with various sale tables: arts & crafts, jewelry, books, cookies, food, set-up, and clean-up. For more information, please contact Lydia Bertolino at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish
Our Lady’s Guild Penny Sale
Monday, September 25th
All parishioners, friends, and guests of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join Our Lady’s Guild for a “Penny Sale” on Monday, September 25th at 7:00pm in Our Lady’s Hall. As always, the Penny Sale will feature great prizes, a 50-50 raffle, delicious homemade sweet bread, along with other homemade food and snacks. Donations will be accepted at our pastoral office (located at 74 Pleasant Street). For more information, please contact Beth Fosberry at firstname.lastname@example.org; or leave a message for Julia Garcia at 978-281-4820. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Fall Day of Prayer
Learning to Love with Saint Francis
Saturday, September 30th
Nights are growing cooler. Gardens are fading. Leaves are beginning to show a hint of fall color. One season ends, another begins. Autumn is a great time to refresh and renew our spiritual lives. This year, in celebration of the Assisi Project’s 10th Anniversary (2007-2017), Father Jim and Cliff Garvey are offering a series of adult faith formation programs designed to help us better understand the life and legacy of Saint Francis of Assisi, his influence on Pope Francis and the Catholic Church, and the timeless traditions of Franciscan prayer and spirituality.
In this spirit, all parishioners, friends, and guests of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join Father Jim, Cliff, and the Assisi Project for a Fall Day of Prayer & Reflection: “Learning to Love with Saint Francis of Assisi” on Saturday, September 30th in Saint Anthony Chapel. During this four-hour mini-retreat, we will explore what Saint Francis of Assisi, who lived eight centuries ago, can teach contemporary Christians like us how to love God and love others in an increasingly troubled world. This special morning of prayer and reflection will proceed according to the following schedule:
9:00am Morning Prayer & Reflection
10:00am Eucharistic Adoration & Rosary
11:00am Daytime Prayer & Reflection
12:00pm Angelus & Closing Prayers
Throughout the morning, there will be breaks, times for silent prayer, and periods for faith sharing and fellowship. Coffee, tea, and bottled water will be served. After our closing prayers, all are invited to remain for a picnic lunch. During Mass, a free-will donation will be taken in support of our adult faith formation ministry. If you would like to join us for this special adult faith formation program, please contact Cliff at email@example.com. It is important to register in advance so that we can plan adequately for food and drink. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Youth Faith Formation
Holy Angels Faith & Family Mass
Sunday, October 1st
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 and guardians, grandparents, godparents, and children of all ages are invited to join Father Jim for our “Holy Angels Faith & Family Mass” on Sunday, October 1st at 11:45am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. During Mass, Father Jim will offer a special homily about the Holy Angels and a special blessing for all families and their children. In addition, all children (under age 18) will receive a special gift from our pastor.
This school year, we will celebrate four more “Faith & Family Masses” on Saturday, December 2nd at 4:00pm in Saint Ann Church; Saturday, January 6th at 4:00pm in Saint Ann Church; Sunday, February 18th at 11:45am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church; and Saturday, May 12th at 4:00pm in Saint Ann Church. So, mark your calendars! Invite your family! Invite your neighbors! For more information about this special event, please see Father Jim or contact Betsy Works at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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! Please join us! All families are invited! All families are welcome! Always!
Clare of Assisi: Light from the Cloister
Book Study & Faith Sharing for Adults
Begins Wednesday, October 4th
This year, in celebration of the Assisi Project’s 10th Anniversary (2007-2017), Father Jim and Cliff Garvey are offering a series of adult faith formation programs designed to help us better understand the life and legacy of Saint Francis of Assisi, his influence on Pope Francis and the Catholic Church, and the timeless traditions of Franciscan prayer and spirituality. Our year-long focus on the Franciscan spiritual tradition concludes with “The Fall Read”, a four week book study and faith sharing program during which participants will read and share their reactions to Bret Thoman’s wonderful new book: “Saint Clare of Assisi: Light from the Cloister.” This intimate but easy-to-read biography of Saint Clare will lead us closer to Christ by introducing us to the best friend and perhaps most devoted follower of Saint Francis.
All adult parishioners are invited to join Father Jim and Cliff Garvey for this special program on four consecutive Wednesday evenings: October 4th through October 25th in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Each session will begin at 7:00pm with Evening Prayer. Cliff will then briefly introduce the readings for the week, which will be followed by discussion, questions, and faith sharing. Our gatherings will conclude at 8:30pm with Night Prayer. Books will be provided. A donation of $25.00 per person is requested from those who can afford it, along with a commitment to read the book and come prepared to ask questions and offer personal insights about the life and times of Saint Clare. If you are interested in joining us, please contact Cliff at email@example.com. All are invited! All are welcome!
Youth Faith Formation
Grade 2 Sacramental Preparation
Begins October 13th
The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport offers a creative and innovative way for 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, our top priority is to invite all families to attend of one our seven weekend Masses. Second, all second grade children and their parents, grandparents, and/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 of these “Faith & Family Workshops” is offered at different times so that each family can choose which option works best for them.
Our sacramental preparation program for second graders and their families begins during the weekend of October 13th-October 14th. A calendar of events and registration form are available from our office or by clicking on the link below. Registration forms can be returned by mail; hand-delivered to our parish offices (which are located at 74 Pleasant Street in Gloucester); or completed at our walk-in registration day on Saturday, September 23rd from 9:00am until 11:00am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Hall (which is located 142 Prospect Street in Gloucester). If you have questions or need assistance with youth faith formation, please contact Betsy Works 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. Working together as a Roman Catholic community united in prayer, fellowship, and service, we are committed to living the Gospel of Christ, sharing God’s love and mercy with all people, and rebuilding the Church in Gloucester & Rockport. All are invited! All are welcome! Always!
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