Our Pastor’s Message
The Real Work Begins Now!
This year, forty-two high school students from Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish successfully completed the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s Confirmation Preparation Program. As we celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation, it is important to remember that Confirmation is not a form of graduation. Rather, it is the beginning of a mature person’s lifelong spiritual journey. It is the beginning of one’s work as a faithful and faith-filled disciple of Christ. In short, the real work begins now!
As our young fellow parishioners receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, I am mindful of the life and example of Dr. Howard Thurman (1899-1991). Dr. Thurman was an influential African-American educator, philosopher, and theologian who influenced Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights leaders of the twentieth century. I first learned about Dr. Thurman during my undergraduate years at Boston University. What I remember most is this short poem that Dr. Thurman wrote about “The Work of Christmas.”
Now the work of Christmas begins:
when the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with their flocks.
The work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost, to heal the broken,
to feed the hungry,
to release the prisoner,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among the people,
to make music in the heart.
In this beautiful poem, Dr. Thurman reminds us that the real work of Christmas begins after the holiday celebrations are over and after all of the decorations have been packed away. Likewise, the real work of discipleship for our Confirmation students (and for all of us) begins anew every time we share the Sign of Peace; every time we receive the Eucharist; and every time we are called to welcome the stranger, forgive our neighbor, or share our time, talent, and treasure with God’s family. The work of discipleship is lifelong and culminates when Christ himself asks us to account for our lives. Did we help the Lord find the lost sheep? Did we help him feed the hungry? Did we help him bring consolation to prisoners? Did we help him bring peace to our families, our neighborhoods, and our workplaces? Did we help him make beautiful music in a world so often filled with the chaotic voices of anger and prejudice? Let us remember that the work of Christ begins now!
Howard Thurman once wrote: “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” My prayer for our newly Confirmed fellow parishioners is that they will fully embrace the Gifts of the Holy Spirit; continue to grow in faith, hope, and love; continue to join our community in prayer, fellowship, and service; and come alive to live the Gospel, share God’s love, and rebuild the Church. Please join me in praying for our candidates, their parents, sponsors, and catechists. And throughout this new year, let us pray 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
Sacrament of Confirmation
Welcome Bishop Mark O’Connell!
On behalf of Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, we welcome the Very Reverend Mark O’Connell, Auxiliary Bishop for the North Region of the Archdiocese of Boston who joins us this weekend for our first celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation on Saturday, January 13th at 4:00pm in Saint Ann Church. Bishop Mark, we warmly welcome you to the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport! May God bless you and your ministry! — Father Jim
Sacrament of Confirmation
Special Message of Thanks
As the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport celebrates the Sacrament of Confirmation on Saturday, January 13th and Saturday, February 3rd, let us join together in a heartfelt prayer of thanksgiving for those who prepared our students to receive this important sacrament: Peter Brau, Jennifer Dort, Mary Duran, and Doug Greenfield. Let us also pray in thanksgiving for Betsy Works, Associate Minister for Youth Faith Formation. Their dedication and hard work ensure that all of our Candidates for Confirmation are ready to receive the Gifts of the Holy Spirit! Thanks to all for a job well done! May God bless you! — Father Jim
Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish
Holy Name Society Penny Sale
Monday, January 15th
All parishioners, friends, and guests of the Catholic Com- munity of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join the Holy Name Society of Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish for a “Penny Sale” on Monday, January 15th 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 good food and snacks. Donations are being accepted at our parish office (located at 74 Pleasant Street in Gloucester). For more information about this fun fundraising event, please contact Matt Parisi at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Winter Weather Cancellations
For the latest information about weather related cancellations during the winter months in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please join us here at ccgronline.com. Announcements will also be made on WBZ1030 and cbsboston.com. All parishioners should note that if the public schools are closed during the week due to inclement weather, then our weekday Mass and all adult and youth faith formation programs will be canceled on that day. Peace and blessings to all for a Merry Christmas and a very safe winter season! — Father Jim
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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