Our Pastor’s Message
Welcome Home for Christmas!
By Father Jim
As a child, I grew up in a household infused with religious beliefs and practices. As a family, we attended Mass on a weekly basis. We said grace before meals. We even prayed the Rosary together. And as a young adult, I volunteered with our parish’s youth ministry programs. For me, the Catholic Church has always been a place of peace, a consolation during times of trial, and a second home. Sadly, many people of faith and goodwill do not feel this way anymore. All too many good people have left the Church behind. Some are justifiably angry or hurt by the actions of bishops and priests. Others simply feel unwelcome because of their marital status, sexual orientation, or lack of knowledge about the teachings and traditions of our faith.
At Christmas, however, many of our brothers and sisters come home to the Church to experience again the miraculous joy of that holy night when God humbled himself and was born among us as a poor child. Even if for just one Christmas Mass, they come in search of peace, hope, and meaning in their lives. They come in search of something that the world cannot offer: God’s endless love, intimate friendship, and boundless mercy. Whether they realize itor not, they are called by the Lord to join us and to hopefully find a place in our spiritual home. The Celebration of Holy Mass at Christmas (and every day during the year) is the source and summit of our community’s life of prayer, fellowship, and service. All are welcome to join us for Mass and to participate in Holy Communion in accordance with a personal examination of conscience and the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church.
Like Pope Francis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) was blessed with the heart of a true shepherd of souls. During the 1930s and 1940s, Pastor Bonhoeffer spoke out against bigotry, fascism, and hatred in Nazi Germany. His brave witness to the Gospel of Christ cost him his life. In a meditation written from prison before his death, Bonhoeffer challenges us to engage in aradical welcome to all who seek comfort and consolation during dark times. He writes: “Jesus stands at the door knocking (cf. Revelation 3:20). In a very real way, Jesus comes to us asking for help in the form of a beggar or a poor child in ragged clothes. He confronts us in every person we meet. As long as there are people, Christ will walk the earth as our neighbor, as the one through whom God calls us, speaks to us, and asks something of us…Christ is standing atthe door. He lives among us. Will we close the door or open it?”
In this spirit, our doors are always open to every saint and every sinner. Our doors are open to the rich and the poor, to the young and the old, and to everyone in between. Our doors are open to married couples and single people, to straight people and gay people, and to all who are discerning their way in the world. Our doors are open to every citizen and every non-citizen, and to all who seek a community of prayer. Our doors are open to healthy people and sick people and to all who long for the Lord’s healing presence in their lives. Again and again and again, you and your family are welcome here! So, this Christmas and beyond, let us learn from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, from Pope Francis, and from all who courageously give witness to the Good News of Christ. Let us live the Gospel, share God’s love with compassion and mercy, and rebuild our wounded Church from the bottom to the top. Let us open wide the doors! Let us open our arms! Let us open our hearts! Let us open our minds! And let us cry out joyfully for the glory of God, forever and always: “Welcome Home for Christmas!”
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Our Christmas Mass Schedule
December 24th & December 25th
The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport joyfully invites your family to join our parish families for Holy Mass in celebration of Our Lord Jesus Christ at Christmas. On Monday, December 24th and Tuesday, December 25th, Mass will be celebrated according to the following schedule:
Christmas Eve – December 24th
Saint Ann Church at 4:00pm
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church at 6:00pm
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church at Midnight
Christmas Day – December 25th
Saint Ann Church at 8:15am
Saint Joachim Church at 10:00am
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church at 11:45am
On behalf of Father Jim, our senior priests, and our pastoral team, we hope and pray that you will join us in prayer on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day! All are invited! All are welcome! Always! Peace and blessings to all for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! God bless us, everyone!
Annual Christmas Pageant
A Special Event for Families
Saturday, January 5th
Every year, the Catholic Church celebrates the Season of Christmas from December 25th through the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord on January 13th. During Christmastime, we commemorate the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ; the choir of angels praising God in heaven; the call of the shepherds, and the adoration of the Magi with their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
As part of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s celebration of the Christmas Season, we invite children from Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish to participate in our Youth Christmas Pageant on Saturday, January 5th at 4:00pm in Saint Ann Church. This dramatization of the Nativity of the Lord depends on the participation of young angels and shepherds, along with those interested in playing the role of the Magi and the Holy Family.
If your child, grandchild, or godchild would like to participate in this wonderful annual holiday tradition, please contact Betsy Works at email@example.com; or Sue Demetri at firstname.lastname@example.org. Betsy and Sue can also be reached by phone at 978-281-4820. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Brain Teasing Special Event
Trivia Night with Father Jim
Saturday, January 19th
All parishioners, friends, and guests of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join us for a brain-teasing, mind-blowing, and fast-paced special event: “Trivia Night with Father Jim” on Saturday, January 19th from 7:00pm until 10:00pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish Hall. Throughout the evening, Father Jim (who is secretly a quiz master and aspiring game show host) will ask a series of questions on a wide array of topics ranging from music and sports, movies and television, books and history, religion and good, old-fashioned trivia.
Tickets are $20 per person. Participants will be organized into teams of eight, so all are welcome to organize a team in advance or take your chances at the door! Tickets will be available at the door, in our parish office, or by contacting Father Jim. All are invited to bring food and snacks. Coffee, tea, bottled water, and soft drinks will be offered for sale (along with a cash bar). Father Jim promises cool prizes and raffles, too!
Don’t miss this chance to impress your friends and neighbors with your knowledge of facts, figures, and trivia! Don’t miss this chance to share a few laughs with family and fellow parishioners! Don’t miss your chance to win a great prize! And don’t miss this chance to raise somemuch needed funds for Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish! For more information, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome! Merry Christmas!
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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