This Week’s Message
A Prayer for Advent
Almighty God and Father,
all over the world,
the children of your Church are singing:
‘Send down dew from above, you heavens,
and let the skies pour down upon us
the rains we long for — Jesus, the Just One.
May our merciful Savior
spring from the closed womb of the earth!’
We know, Lord, and we have seen,
what drought does to the land.
We know, too, and we have seen,
the ravages of frost and cold.
We have walked in barren fields,
and we have hiked up dry hills,
through dead, silent woods and lifeless valleys,
and along thirsty beds of once – flowing streams.
We have clearly seen enacted upon the land
what our lives would be like without you.
We understand now
that we should long for your coming.
Come, our Lord and Savior! Do not delay!
Rise up in your power and come!
Let the gentle rain of your grace
water the parched soil of our souls.
Let the warmth of your love
thaw the coldness of our indifference.
Let the life of your Body and Blood
revitalize our deadened energies,
and inspire us to faithful work in your vineyard.
awaken our hearts from the sleep of sin,
so that we may clear the path
of your Son into our souls.
Each year during Advent,
you gladden us with the promise of salvation.
Grant that as we welcome your Son
as our Redeemer now,
we may one day confidently and gladly
meet him as our kind and loving Judge.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever. Amen!
Advent & Christmas Concert
An Annual Holiday Tradition
Sunday, December 3rd
All parishioners, friends, and guests of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join Tom Misuraca, LuAnn Pallazola, and our adult and youth music ministries for our Thirteenth Annual Advent & Christmas Concert on Sunday, December 3rd at 2:00pm in Saint Ann Church. All of this year’s musical selections have been chosen to help prepare our hearts to celebrate more fully the Holy Season of Advent and the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ at Christmas. As always, our adult and youth choirs will perform along with talented instrumentalists. In addition, members of our Brazilian Community will perform with us, too! For more information about this popular holiday tradition, please contact Tom Misuraca at email@example.com. Please join us as we share the gift of music! All are invited! All are welcome!
Advent Mission & Retreat
with Sister Elizabeth Wagner
December 6th-December 8th
All are invited to join us for the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s Advent Mission & Retreat from Wednesday, December 6th through Friday, December 8th in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Each evening will begin with Evening Prayer and Mass at 7:00pm. We will be blessed to welcome back Sister Elizabeth Wagner as our special guest and spiritual director, who will lead us in prayer and reflection each evening after Mass.
Sister Elizabeth lives a contemplative life at Transfiguration Hermitage in Windsor, Maine, which she founded as a semi-eremitical community devoted to prayer and soli- tude according to the Rule of Saint Benedict. She is a hermit, award-winning writer, spiritual director, and retreat leader. Sister Elizabeth is also formation director, garden- er, and groundskeeper of the hermitage.
In addition to Sister Elizabeth’s nightly reflections during our mission and retreat, she will sign copies of her book, “Seasons In My Garden.” This beautiful book intricately weaves insights from her own spiritual journey with observations about the passing of seasons. It offers readers spiritual guidance and understanding that the patient tending of the soul can transform our lives into flourishing gardens that God can use to reflect his glory. Copies of the book will be available for $16.95 per copy.
Sister Elizabeth and Sister Bernadette (the hermitage’s baker and cook) will also tempt us with their famous homemade fruitcakes, cookies, jams, and sauces (all of which will be available for purchase after each evening of the mission and retreat). All proceeds will benefit Transfiguration Hermitage which depends on the generosity of benefactors and friends from around the world. Please note that the Advent Mission & Retreat is free but donations will be gratefully accepted during Mass to support our adult faith formation programs. For more information, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Mass Intentions Book
Opens Wednesday, December 6th
The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s Mass Intentions Book (January 2018 through June 2018) will be opened on Wednesday, December 6th from 9:00am until 10:30am in our parish offices (located at 74 Pleasant Street in Gloucester). During that time, all parishioners are welcome to book one Sunday Mass and one weekday Mass at Saint Ann Church, Saint Joachim Church, or Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Please note that on December 6th, all Mass intentions must be booked in person. No emailed, faxed, or phone requests will be accepted. No exceptions! Remaining Masses can be booked on or after Monday, December 11th during regular business hours. For more information, please contact Melissa Unis at email@example.com. Thank you!
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
A Holy Day of Obligation
Friday, December 8th
In honor of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Friday, December 8th, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport invites you and your family and friends to join us for Mass according to the following schedule:
- Vigil Mass
Thursday, December 7th
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church at 7:00pm
- Holy Day Masses
Friday, December 8th
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church at 8:00am
Saint Ann Church at 12:00pm
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church at 7:00pm
Since late antiquity, the People of God have believed that the Blessed Virgin Mary was sinless and conceived immaculately in the womb of her mother, Saint Ann. This ancient devotion was not defined as doctrine until 1854. Since then, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception has been patroness of many causes and nations, including the United States of America. So, please join us as we honor our Blessed Mother Mary and beg her powerful intercession for our families, our parishes, and our country. All are invited! All are welcome! Always!
The Assisi Project
10th Anniversary Advent Gathering
Sunday, December 10th
In celebration of our tenth anniversary, all are invited to join Father Jim, Cliff Garvey, and the Assisi Project for a special Advent gathering on Sunday, December 10th beginning with Mass at 11:45am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. After Mass, we will move to Our Lady’s Hall for a homemade meal of bread, soups, and holiday desserts. In addition, Father Jim and Cliff will share reflections about the group’s ten years together as a “Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit” and our exciting plans for the future of our group. We will conclude at 3:00pm with Daytime Prayer, Eucharistic Adoration, and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. All parishioners, friends, and guests of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited! If you plan to join us, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, December 8th so that we can plan adequately for food and drink. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome! May the Lord give you peace!
Saint Vincent de Paul Society
Christmas Giving Trees
Help Us Help Others!
This year, the Saint Vincent de Paul Society will once again sponsor the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s Annual Christmas Giving Trees which help share the blessings of Christmas with local families in need. The Giving Trees will be placed at the entrances of Saint Ann Church, Saint Joachim Church, and Our Lady of Good Voyage Church during the weekend of November 25th-November 26th.
Each tree will be decorated with colored stars that include a particular Christmas wish. If you can fulfill this wish, please take the star! Each gift should be donated new, unused, and unwrapped; and placed under the tree with the original star attached or delivered to our parish office. The Christmas Giving Trees will remain at our church entrances through Sunday, December 10th. All gifts should be returned no later than Tuesday, December 12th at 12:00pm. For more information, please contact Barbara Frontiero at email@example.com. Thank you!
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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Source: “A Prayer for Advent” from the Rural Life Prayer Book