Our Pastor’s Message
Living Gospel, Living Jesus
By Father Jim
Ever since the founding of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, we have prayed every day for the Holy Spirit to help us come together as a community in “prayer, fellowship, and service.” And ever since Cardinal Sean’s approval of our pastoral plan, we have prayed over and over again for the courage, grace, and perseverance to “live the Gospel, share God’s love, and rebuild the Church.” After countless prayers, untold hours of hard work, and abundant guidance from above, we have made much progress in putting our values to work and making our vision a reality in both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish.
In 2016, we celebrated the Jubilee Year of Mercy with Pope Francis as the Church around the world renewed her focus on God’s gifts of forgiveness, mercy, and reconciliation. In 2017, we confronted the towering challenge of repairing the east front of Saint Ann Church, faced the costs associated with maintaining our church buildings, and balanced our parish budgets. In 2018, we asked each and every parishioner to prayerfully discern how God calls us as individuals to live as disciples in the modern world. And in 2019, in the midst of a seemingly endless crisis of abuse, corruption, and denial, we focused on healing God’s family and rebuilding our Church — brick by brick and soul by soul.
This year, we will pray with, reflect upon, and talk seriously with each other about the scriptures, the Living Gospel and the Living Jesus. During the coming months, all of our adult and youth faith formation programs will seek to engage parishioners of all ages in a year-long discussion and study of the scriptures and the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ — our Merciful Redeemer, Friend, and Brother — who was born among us, walked among us, worked miracles in our midst, died as we will someday die, and rose from darkness to save the world. Our goal is to grow closer to Christ, to the Church, and to each other through prayer, faith sharing, and hearts that are open to conversion, friendship, reconciliation, and good works.
Throughout the year, Cliff Garvey and I will host a series of two-night mini-retreats based on the sacred scriptures that will include Evening Prayer & Eucharistic Adoration, along with exegesis (or interpretation) of a bible passage, followed by comments, questions, and faith sharing from our fellow parishioners. Our first “Living Gospel, Living Jesus” is scheduled for Thursday, February 6th and Friday, February 7th beginning with a Holy Hour at 6:00pm and our reflection and discussion at 7:00pm. Copies of the “Catholic Prayer Bible” by Paulist Press will be provided without cost to our parishioners (although donations will be gratefully accepted).
In addition to these mini-retreats, we have scheduled three Days of Prayer & Reflection on Saturday, February 29th; Saturday, May 2nd; and Saturday, October 3rd from 8:00am until 12:00pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. And of course, we look forward toour Sixth Annual Summer Retreat: “Christ Lives!” from August 24th through August 28th in Saint Anthony Chapel. So, mark your calendars, save the dates, brace yourselffor a few surprises, and plan to join us for “Living Gospel, Living Jesus!” Spread the word! All are invited! All are welcome! Always!
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Living Gospel, Living Jesus
Our Prayer for the Year
Pope Francis once said: “Listen to the Word of God. Walk together as one. Take our faith to the outskirts.” As this new year begins, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport will embark on a journey to grow closer to Christ, to the Church, and to each other by praying with, reflecting upon, and discussing sacred scripture, especially the Holy Gospels (see above).
Throughout the year, fellow parishioners and friends will be invited to gather around God’s altar, venerate the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist, and learn more about the Living Gospel and the Living Jesus. This is not just a series of bible study programs. It is a commitment to learn the Gospel, love the Gospel, and live the Gospel in our homes, neighborhoods, and workplaces. As we begin this spiritual quest, let us pray together and carry in our hearts this ancient prayer attributed to Saint Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109):
My God, teach my heart
where and how to seek you,
where and how to find you.
You are my God
and you are my all,
and I have never seen you.
You have made me and remade me.
You have given me all the good things that I have.
But still, I do not know you.
I have not yet done
that for which I was created.
Teach me to seek you.
I cannot see you unless you teach me.
I cannot find you unless you show yourself to me.
Let me seek you in my desire.
Let me desire you in my seeking.
Let me find you by loving you.
Let me love you when I find you.
Glory to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.
Saint Ann, pray for us!
Saint Joachim, pray for us!
Our Lady of Good Voyage, pray for us!
Brain-Teasing Special Event
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 email@example.com. Please join us! Spread the word! All are invited! All are welcome!
Youth Faith Formation
Confirmation Preparation Program
Year 1 Begins on February 9th
For many teenagers, the Sacrament of Confirmation has become a kind of graduation from the Catholic Church, rather than the joyful beginning of life as an adult disciple within the Church. We hope to end this sad situation by transforming our sacramental preparation program into an engaging process for the whole family.
First, we place primary importance on attending Mass. For more than a century, the Church asked every parish to offer sacramental preparation programs for children and teenagers. During recent decades, however, we neglected to remind parents of their baptismal promise to be the first teachers of their children in all matters related to faith and morals; and that the most important part of that responsibility is attending Mass as a family. In our increasingly busy world, it has become common for parents to entrust their children to us for an hour of instruction, but then not join us for Mass at the weekend. We will continue to ask parents to dedicate one hour each week to their child’s religious education by joining us for one of our seven weekend Masses!
Second, all high school students (beginning in the ninth grade) are asked to actively participate in our two-year preparation program for the Sacrament of Confirmation. During the first year, students will attend seven interactive workshops about the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church. These sessions begin on Sunday, February 9th. During the second year, students will attend seven additional workshops and a mini-retreat that are designed to help them grow in prayer, fellowship, and service; prepare them to receive the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit; and jumpstart their spiritual lives as faithful and faith-filled young disciples.
If your child is now in high school and sincerely wants to prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation, please complete a registration form and return it to us as soon as possible! Registration forms are available at the link below. For more information about youth faith formation in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Betsy Works 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!
Follow us on Twitter: @CCGRonline