Our Pastor’s Message
A Simple Life-Changing Prayer
The Holy Season of Lent is a time for prayer, penance, and almsgiving during which all of us are called to renew our faith in preparation for the celebration of the Resurrection of the Our Lord Jesus Christ at Easter. As we begin our Lenten journey, it is important to emphasize that prayer is the foundation of all that we do as a community of disciples. Among our values of prayer, fellowship, and service, prayer is first among equals. Prayer is the energy that empowers us to fulfill our mission to live the Gospel, share God’s love, and rebuild the Church here in Gloucester and Rockport. And needless to say, prayer is also at the center of all of our adult and youth faith formation programs.
During Lent, parishioners are gathering on Thursday evenings to read and reflect on Jim Manney’s book: “A Simple Life-Changing Prayer: Discovering the Power of Saint Ignatius of Loyola’s Examen.” Others are reading the book on their own. Either way, all are learning about a time-tested method of prayer that enables us to recognize God’s presence in our lives; to discern our individual vocations; and to respond to God’s call regardless of age, gender, background or life experience. Whether you read the book or not, you can still practice this simple and potentially life-changing prayer that has endured for more than five centuries. The Examen is a way of reviewing today and preparing for tomorrow. It has five basic steps that can be completed in just fifteen minutes.
1. Ask God for light.
Ask God for the grace to see your day through His eyes;
beneath the light of his love.
2. Give thanks.
Ask God for the grace to see this day as a gift of love.
Give God praise and thanks for it.
3. Review the day.
Ask God for the courage to look back on today.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you look back with honesty.
4. Face your shortcomings.
Ask God for the gift of discernment:
to acknowledge your failings and shortcomings.
5. Look forward to tomorrow.
Ask God for the gift of discernment:
to recognize and respond to God’s plan for your life.
If you are interested in learning more about the Saint Ignatius of Loyola’s Examen Prayer, please feel welcome to join us on Thursday evenings (through March 8th) at 7:00pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. If you are unable to join us but would like to read the book on your own, copies are available for purchase in our parish office. As our Lenten journey continues, let us pray for each other and for the grace and courage to pray, discern, and respond to God’s plan for our lives.
Peace and blessings to all,
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
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 email@example.com. Please spread the word! All are invited! All are welcome!
Catholic Kids Camp
Jesus, Lent & Me
Begins Tuesday, February 20th
The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport is pleased to announce that all children (ages 5 through 11) are invited to participate in our next Catholic Kids Camp: “Jesus, Lent & Me” from Tuesday, February 20th through Friday, February 23rd from 8:00am until 12:00pm at Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. During this exciting week of prayer, fun, and fellowship, children will learn about the Holy Season of Lent and the Lord’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday through active and engaged participation in games, music, skits, and craft projects. Here’s our schedule for the week:
- Day I: Tuesday, February 20th Our Lenten Journey
- Day II: Wednesday, February 21st Praying with Jesus
- Day III: Tuesday, February 22nd Fasting with Jesus
- Day IV: Friday, February 23rd Almsgiving with Jesus
Each day of our Catholic Kids Camp will begin with Mass at 8:00am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. All parents, grandparents, and guardians are encouraged to join us! After Mass, Betsy Works and a team of volunteers will lead the children to Our Lady’s School for a faith-filled and fun-filled morning of activities, learning, and good times with friends both old and new. Catholic Kids Camp is an exciting and educational program that your children and grandchildren will love!
The tuition for this innovative youth faith formation program during the winter school vacation is just $25 per child for the entire week! Scholarships are available for those families that cannot afford tuition. Also, adults and older children (ages 12 and up) are welcome to join us as volunteers and will be much appreciated! Registration forms are available below. For more information about our next Catholic Kids Camp, please contact Betsy Works at firstname.lastname@example.org. All are invited! All are welcome!
The Light Is On For You!
Confessions & Eucharistic Adoration
Wednesday, February 21st
During the Holy Season of Lent, all Catholics are invited to experience Christ’s love and mercy through the Sacrament of Penance & Reconciliation (Confession). On four consecutive Wednesday evenings during Lent (February 21st through March 14th), all are invited to join us for “The Light Is On For You!” from 6:00pm until 8:00pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. These special evenings of prayer will include Evening Prayer and Night Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours; Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament; and two full hours of confessions for those who feel called to participate.
For some among us, this may be a time for confession and sacramental reconciliation. For some, it may be a time for silent prayer and reflection. And for some, it may be a time to begin or renew a life of faith. Our “Guide for Making a Good Confession” is available online and at the entrances of all of our churches. For more information, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com. Wherever you are on your faith journey, the light is on for you! Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Stations of the Cross
A Traditional Lenten Devotion
Friday, February 23rd
The Stations of the Cross are one of the most enduring and moving devotions of the Roman Catholic Church. By uniting our prayers with those of the suffering Christ through both word and imagery, we make a spiritual pilgrimage with our Lord as he experiences the Passion of the Cross. During Lent, all are invited to join the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport in praying the Stations of the Cross on six consecutive Fridays (February 16th through March 23rd) according to the following schedule: Fridays at 3:00pm in Saint Ann Church and Fridays at 7:00pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage 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. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
The Assisi Project
Saturday Morning with Saint Francis
Saturday, February 24th
Founded in 2007 by Father Jim and Cliff Garvey, the Assisi Project is a “Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit” with friends and followers in the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa, and South America. Our mission is to help adults of all ages more faithfully live the Gospel of Christ and grow closer to the Church through the inspiration and intercession of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi. The Assisi Project meets on the last Saturday of every month in Saint Ann Church for Mass, formation, fellowship, and faith sharing. Our next monthly mini-retreat is scheduled for Saturday, February 24th beginning at 8:00am. This month, we will continue to pray and reflect on the Catholic Church’s teachings and traditions about peacemaking and social justice.
All are reminded that you do not need to travel with us to Assisi in order to join the Assisi Project! All parishioners, friends, and guests of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join us each and every month! In addition, as part of our ministry, members of our fellowship all around the world, ranging in age from 15 to 92, also pray for those who ask for our prayers. If you would like more information about the Assisi Project and its good work in our parishes; join us online at assisiproject.com. If you would like us to pray for you or your special intention, please contact Cliff Garvey at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome! May the Lord give you peace – now and always!
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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