Our Pastor’s Message
By Father Jim
An apostolic exhortation is a form of communication from the pope that usually encourages the People of God to some form of action or prayer. Last spring, Pope Francis published an apostolic exhortation entitled Christus Vivit or Christ Lives! It was addressed to young people and also to all people of faith and goodwill. It is a document of great beauty and a serious invitation for renewed prayer, discernment, and discipleship. As we begin a new year together, let us reflect upon the opening passage of this crucial call to prayer and action:
Christ is alive!
He is our hope,
and in a wonderful way,
he brings youth to our world,
and everything he touches
becomes young, new, and full of life.
The very first words that I wish to say
to every Christian are these:
Christ is alive and he wants you to be alive!
He is in you, he is with you,
he never abandons you.
However far you may wander,
he is always there, the Risen One.
He calls you and he waits for you
to return to him and start over.
When you feel that you are growing old
out of sorrow, resentment,
fear, doubt, or failure,
he will always be there
to restore your strength and your hope.
Pope Francis appreciates and understands the challenges associated with living a life of faith in the modern world and the particular challenges associated with passing that faith along to our children, grandchildren, and godchildren. At the same time, the Holy Father reminds us of three important truths that we should keep close to our hearts and share with others, both young and old. First, God loves you! Second, Jesus sacrificed himself on the cross for you and for all people everywhere! And finally, Christ is alive!
With these truths rooted in our hearts and minds, we can have confidence that “goodness will have the upper hand” in our lives and that “all of our struggles will prove worthwhile” because all things are possible, all challenges can be overcome, and all will be well because Jesus is alive and ever present in our world. Such confidence is the product of our dedication to prayer, our diligence in good works, and our sincere love for God and for each other.
Without question, Christus Vivit is one of the most compelling church documents of our time. And even though the winter season has barely begun and summer seems like a distant dream, please mark your calendars! I am pleased to announce that our Sixth Annual Summer Retreat, August 24th through August 28th, will focus on the beautiful message and powerful spirituality that calls us to meditate on this single miraculous truth: “Christ lives!” Peace and blessings to all!
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Call to Prayer & Worship
The Epiphany Proclamation
While Christmas Day is fixed in our minds and on our calendars as December 25th, many of the important feast days of the Church Year move based on the date of Easter Sunday. Each year, Easter is scheduled for the First Sunday following the “Paschal Full Moon” and can occur between March 22nd and April 25th.In ancient times, before calendars were commonplace, most people did not know the dates for the feasts of the new liturgical year. On Epiphany Sunday, the dates were proclaimed during the celebration of Holy Mass. After the proclamation of the Gospel, a cantor, deacon, or lector, in keeping with the ancient practices of the Church, may announce from the ambo the moveable feasts of the new year.
Dear brothers and sisters,
know that we have rejoiced
at the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ,
so by leave of God’s mercy,
we announce to you also the joy of his Resurrection,
who is our Savior.
On the Twenty-Sixth Day of February
will fall Ash Wednesday,
and the beginning of the fast
of the most sacred Lenten season.
On the Twelfth Day of April,
you will celebrate with joy Easter Day,
the Paschal Feast of our Lord Jesus Christ.
On the Twenty-First Day of May
will be the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
On the Thirty-First Day of May,
the Feast of Pentecost.
On the Fourteenth Day of June,
the Feast of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ.
On the Twenty-Ninth Day of November,
the First Sunday of the Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ,
to whom is honor and glory for ever and ever.
Youth Faith Formation
First Penance & Reconciliation
Saturday, January 11th
As the new year begins, sixty of our youngest fellow parishioners from both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish are preparing for the Sacrament of First Holy Communion in our youth faith formation program. On Saturday, January 11th at 9:00am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church, our community of young disciples will continue their preparation by participating in the Sacrament of Penance & Reconciliation (Confession) for the very first time.
First Penance is an important milestone on a child’s journey of faith. It teaches them (and reminds all of us) about conscience, humility, forgiveness, and God’s boundless gifts of love and mercy for each and every person. As preparations for First Holy Communion continue, please pray for all of our students and their families, and for all of our catechists and volunteers.
For more information about all of our youth faith formation programs in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Betsy Works at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Sacrament of Penance & Reconciliation, please see Father Jim or a member of our pastoral team or check out easy-to-use guide at the link below. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Youth Faith Formation
Call for Altar Servers
Help Father Jim Serve God’s Family!
Father Jim is full of energy and excitement, but he some- times needs our help! He is continuing to build a team of youth altar servers to help him at Mass. All young disci- ples, age 8 through 17, are invited to participate on a weekly or monthly basis. Parents are welcome to serve, too! Training is available! Being an altar server is a great way to grow in discipleship and to learn about the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church! For more information, please see Father Jim before or after Mass; or contact him at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Trivia Night with Father Jim
Saturday, February 8th
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 “Trivia Night with Father Jim” on Saturday, February 8th from 7:00pm until 10:00pm in Our Lady’s Hall. Throughout the evening, Father Jim (who secretly longs to be a game show host) will ask a series of questions on a wide array of topics including music and sports, movies and television, books and history, politics and religion!
Participants will be organized into teams of eight. Tickets are $20 per person and are available at the door, in our parish office, or by contacting Father Jim. All are invited to bring their own food and snacks. Coffee, tea, bottled water, and soft drinks will be offered for sale (along with a cash bar). Father Jim also promises raffles with some very cool prizes!
Don’t miss this opportunity to impress your friends andfellow parishioners with your knowledge of facts, figures, and trivia! Don’t miss the chance to share a few laughs! Don’t miss the chance to win a great prize! And don’t miss the chance to raise some much need funds for Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish! For more information, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! Spread the word! All are invited! All are welcome!
Electronic Giving Made Safe & Easy
Available at Both Parishes
Electronic giving is available at both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. It is easy, simple, and safe to make online donations to your home parish using a credit card, debit card, or electronic check. Donations can be made on a one-time-only or ongoing basis. And it takes just a few minutes to set up a secure personal account. Just choose the appropriate link below and click “Make a Donation.” Please prayerfully consider supporting your parish by giving electronically! For more information about electronic giving in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com. Thank you for your generous and ongoing support!
Winter Weather Cancellations
For the latest information about weather related cancella- tions during the winter season, please visit our website: ccgronline.com. Announcements will also be made via WBZ1030 and cbsboston.com. All parishioners of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are reminded that if public schools are closed due to inclement weather on a particular day, then our weekday Mass and all parish programs (including all adult and youth faith formation programs) will be cancelled, too. Peace and blessings! Stay safe! Stay warm! —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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