Our Pastor’s Message
A Prayer for Confirmation
Along with Baptism and Holy Eucharist, Confirmation is one of the three Sacraments of Initiation in the Roman Catholic Church. The Sacrament of Confirmation completes the grace of Baptism through the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Courage, Knowledge, Reverence, Right Judgment, Understanding, Wisdom, and Wonder & Awe. These gifts seal or “confirm” the mystical union between the candidates and Christ, and prepare them to actively participate in the prayer, worship, and ministry of the Church. This year, forty-two high school students from Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish have successfully completed our Confirmation Preparation Program. During the past two years, these students attended Mass and participated in formation. They attended a “New Spirit Evening of Reflection.” They completed service projects. And they prayed together as a community of young disciples. They are now well-prepared to publicly renew their Baptismal vows, profess their faith, and live as faithful and faith-filled Roman Catholics.
Living as a Christian disciple is not easy in today’s world. Indeed, choosing to live as a devoted follower of Jesus Christ may be the most radical choice that these young men and women may ever make. But they are not alone. Discipleship has never been easy. For centuries, Christians have been mocked and martyred for choosing to live according to the gospel. More than fifteen centuries ago, a young man named Augustine made the radical decision to live as a Christian: to love God, to love others, and to live in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Augustine’s life was not easy, but he prevailed through faith, prayer, and perseverance. We know him today as Saint Augustine! As our young fellow parishioners receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, let us offer this prayer by Saint Augustine to encourage them on their faith journeys:
Breathe into me, Holy Spirit,
so that my thoughts may be holy.
Move in me, Holy Spirit,
so that my work may be holy.
Attract my heart, Holy Spirit,
so that I may love only what is holy.
Strengthen me, Holy Spirit,
so that I may defend all that is holy.
As always, the success of our youth faith formation program depends on our volunteers and pastoral team members. On behalf of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, let us offer heartfelt prayers of thanksgiving for those who prepared our students to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation: Peter Brau, Jennifer Dort, Mary Duran, Doug Greenfield, and Betsy Works. Their amazing work ensures that all of our Can- didates for Confirmation are ready to receive the Gifts of the Holy Spirit! Let us also pray for the Very Reverend Mark O’Connell, Auxiliary Bishop for the North Region of the Archdiocese of Boston who will join us for our second celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation on Saturday, February 3rd at 6:00pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Welcome, Bishop Mark!
Finally, let us pray for our newly confirmed fellow parishioners: 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. May God bless these young disciples and their parents, sponsors, and catechists. May God bless 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
Mass & Worship Schedule
Wednesday, February 14th
The Holy Season of Lent is a time for prayer, penance, and almsgiving during which all Catholics are called to renew their faith in preparation for the celebration of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ at Easter. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 14th, which is a Holy Day of abstinence and fasting for all Roman Catholics. In the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, we will celebrate Mass and distribute ashes according to the following schedule:
- 8:00am Mass in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
- 12:00pm Mass in Saint Ann Church
- 7:00pm Mass in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
In addition, we will celebrate a Service of the Word (with the distribution of ashes) at 5:00pm in Saint Joachim Church. For more information about the Holy Season of Lent in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please see Father Jim or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. As our Lenten journey begins, please join in prayer and worship! All are invited! All are welcome!
Adult Faith Formation
A Simple Life-Changing Prayer
Begins Thursday, February 15th
The winter season is a great time to curl up with a warm drink and a good book. It is also a great time to refresh and renew our spiritual lives. This year, as part of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s “Year for Vocations”, Father Jim and Cliff Garvey will offer a series of adult faith formation programs designed to help us pray about, discern, and respond to God’s plan for each of our lives.
We will begin with “The Winter Read”, a four-week book study and faith sharing program during which participants will read and share their reactions to Jim Manney’s book: “A Simple Life-Changing Prayer: Discovering the Power of Saint Ignatius of Loyola’s Examen.” This compelling little book about a 500 year old way of prayer will introduce us to a time-tested method of discerning God’s presence in our lives. In short, it will introduce us to a potentially life-changing process of recognizing and responding to our individual vocations, regardless of our age, gender, or life experience.
All adult parishioners are invited to join us for this special program which will run on four consecutive Thursdays: February 15th, February 22nd, March 1st, and March 8th in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Each week, participants will be asked to read approximately 35 pages from the book. Each session will begin at 7:00pm with Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. After this period of shared prayer, Cliff will briefly introduce the reading for the week, 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 sincere commitment to read the book and come prepared to ask questions, share their faith, and offer insights about Saint Ignatius of Loyola’s Examen Prayer. If you are interested in joining us for this special program for adult disciples, please contact Cliff at email@example.com. All are invited! All are welcome!
Youth Faith Formation
Lent & Family Mass
Sunday, February 18th
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 (Mt 19:14).” In response to the Lord’s call, all parents, grandparents, godparents, and children are invited to join Father Jim for a Lent Mass for Families on Sunday, February 18th at 11:45am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church.
During Mass, Father Jim will offer a special homily about the Holy Season of Lent and a special blessing for all families and children. In addition, because Lent is a season for prayer, penance, and almsgiving, every child and their family will be asked to help us raise $1,000 during Lent for the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, a service organization in our parishes that provides food and financial assistance to local families in need. During Mass, each child (and any interested adult parishioner) will be given a “campaign can” to collect coins for this most worthy cause.
As our Lent Mass for Families approaches, let us reaffirm these basic principles of our youth faith formation programs: Mass is our class! Jesus is our teacher! And every family in our pews is a gift from God! For more information about our Lent Mass for Families, please contact Betsy Works at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please spread the word! All are invited! All are welcome!
Special Message of Thanks
During the Advent and Christmas Seasons, the Assisi Project sold raffle tickets for a beautiful hand painted icon that depicts the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This icon was handcrafted in Greece and was blessed by Father Jim on the altar of Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. All proceeds from the raffle have been donated to the Grand Annual Collection at Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. The raffle raised just over $1,000! On behalf of Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, Father Jim wishes to thank the Assisi Project for its generosity and good work; and to congratulate Barbara Devlin of Gloucester who purchased the winning ticket. Special thanks to all visitors, friends, and fellow parishioners who purchased raffle tickets in support of the parish! Peace, blessings, and sincere thanks to all!
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!
Follow us on Twitter: @CCGRonline