This Week’s Message
Movements of Prayer

By Phyllis Zagano

First we need to believe that prayer — any type of prayer — is real and that God knows our needs and always answers our prayers. When we think about prayer, the prayer of petition usually comes to mind. It is common to say that sometimes God’s answer to our prayerful pleas is no, but come to think of it, the no we hear is actually a yes.

God always affirms who we are as human beings. That is, when we pray in petition for things we want, God kindly teaches who we are by supplying what we truly need. In other words, we may want a new car to impress others, but what we need is secure knowledge that we are God’s beloved. Once we accept this gift, then the rest becomes easy. So the first petition we must present to the Lord is a petition to see ourselves as God sees us. And God always sees us as perfect for what we do and how we are — as long as we cooperate with God’s plan.

People often want to know the best type of prayer. I do not believe that there is any best prayer, provided that every prayer is rooted in an understanding of our dependence on God and his unconditional love for us. There are four essential movements of the heart that follow our acceptance of God’s existence and love for us. They are adoration, petition, contrition, and thanksgiving. Each is a separate movement of the heart and mind, and each one is best for certain times.

Adoration is the easiest and hardest type of prayer. It requires that we do nothing but love and be loved. This means giving up control, which most of us do not like. But think of the wonder in a baby’s eyes as she looks at you. Think of the wonder in your eyes as you look at her. This is how you are with God and how God is with you in the prayer of adoration. Few words and just a sharing of love between two beings for whom there is nothing and no one else in the world at that moment.

Contrition is another familiar type of prayer. With contrition, we acknowledge that we have made mistakes, denied God’s perfect creation of us, and tried to remedy the pain of that denial. Sometimes we do this with excessive food or alcohol. Sometimes we misuse our sexual faculties. Sometimes our insecurities cause us to live, cheat, or steal. These are real forces in everyone’s life, and we need to apologize to God for denying who we are and forgetting that our real security is with God, not with worldly comforts. So, we sincerely say that we are sorry and move on.

Petition, as stated previously, involves simply asking God for a favor. Sometimes the favor cannot be granted — the loved one dies, the job ends, the illness returns. We can feel angry with God. This is actually very healthy because we have the right as God’s beloved to complain and to complain loudly. As we do, we may hear more clearly how God has answered our prayers in love and how God wants us to have lives that mirror his love for the world.

Thanksgiving is the final movement of prayer and one that deserves more attention. Thanksgiving is more than simple manners like thank-you notes after birthdays and holidays. Thanksgiving is a minute by minute attitude that brings us to a place of conscious dependence on the Lord and joyful acceptance of God’s will. Thank you must always be in our hearts. This attitude of gratitude makes sense of adoration, contrition, and petition; and it brings us to a joyful understanding that everything we have is given by God in love. So when we pray, we find God’s gift of joy in life — without ever asking for it.

About the Author: Phyllis Zagano is a Catholic author, activist, and academic who served in the United States Navy for thirty years. She is also a contributor to Bringing Home the Word. A new edition is posted every week at the link below.

CCGR Weekly Newsletter (9-10-23)
Bringing Home the Word (9-10-23)
The Kids Bulletin (9-10-23)

Art Credit: Prontiwa Siriwong Ayutthaya – 138417883 – Dreamstime.com


Call to Prayer
Making Our Souls Great

A Prayer of Gratitude
By Abraham Joshua Heschel

To pray is to regain a sense
of the mystery that animates all beings,
the divine margin in all attainments.
Prayer is our humble answer
to the inconceivable surprise of living.
It is all we can offer in return.
Who is worthy to be present
at the constant unfolding of time?
Here we are amidst the meditation of the land,
the songs of the water,
the humility of the flowers,
flowers wiser than all alphabets.
Suddenly we feel embarrassed,
ashamed of our complaints and clashes
in the face of tacit glory.
How strange we are in the world!
Only one response can maintain us:
gratefulness for the gift of our unearned chance to serve,
to wonder, to love life, and to love each other.
It is gratefulness that makes our small souls great.


Our Lady of Good Voyage
Our Lady’s Guild

Monday, September 11th at 6:30pm

Each day, all are invited to join us for a few moments of prayer Since 1944, Our Lady’s Guild has worked to build community among women of all ages in Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish through prayer, good works, fundraising, and social events. The Guild’s first meeting of the fall season is scheduled for Monday, September 11th at 6:30pm in Our Lady’s Hall. Dinner will be catered and served by the officers. An offering of $10 per person is requested. For more infor- mation about Our Lady’s Guild and its good work in our parish, please contact Beth Fosberry at jcbf33@yahoo.com. Spread the word! New members and friends are always welcome! Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!


Youth Faith Formation
First Holy Communion Preparation

Begins Sunday, September 24th

The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport offers a creative and innovative way for children to prepare for the Sacraments of Reconciliation (Confession) and First Holy Communion (Eucharist). Our program is designed to prepare both children and their parents for the sacraments, encourage lifelong relationships with Jesus and the Catholic Church, and help each and every family grow together in prayer, fellowship, and service.

First, we focus on inviting families to attend one of our six weekend Masses. Second, all second grade students and their parents or guardians are asked to attend six Faith & Family Workshops and six Young Disciples Workshops. Our Faith & Family Workshops will be held in Our Lady’s Hall; and our Young Disciples Workshops will be held at Our Lady’s School.

During the Young Disciples Workshops, the children will gather with Betsy Works and a team of dedicated catechists and volunteers. At both workshops, the children and their parents will learn about the Bible, the Mass, and the Eucharist by reading children’s literature and engaging in hands-on activities like arts and crafts, food and music, dance and prayer.

All students (beginning in the second grade) are invited to participate in our program. And all families with children eligible for our program are encouraged to attend our Family Mass & Meeting on Sunday, September 24th begin- ning at 11:00am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. At this meeting, parents can submit a registration form and receive our full workshop schedule.

If you have questions or need more information about youth faith formation in Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, please contact Betsy Works at bworks@ccgronline.com. Please pray for our young disciples and their families! Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!

First Holy Communion Registration 2023-24


Youth Faith Formation
Faith & Family Masses

Begins Sunday, September 24th

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 (Matthew 9:14).” In response to the Lord’s call, all children, parents, grandparents, godparents, and guardians are invited to join Father Jim and the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport for our Monthly Faith & Family Mass!

One weekend each month during the school year, Father Jim will offer a special homily especially for families with children and a special blessing for all of God’s children and their parents and families. In addition, every child will receive a small gift to encourage them on their journey of faith. Here’s our upcoming schedule:

  • Fall Faith & Family Mass
    Sunday September 24th at 11:45am
    Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
  • All Saints Faith & Family Mass
    Sunday, October 29th at 11:45am
    Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
  • Christ the King Faith & Family Mass
    Sunday, November 26th at 11:45am
    Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
  • Advent Faith & Family Mass
    Sunday, December 3rd at 11:45am
    Our Lady of Good Voyage Church

For more information, please see Father Jim or contact Betsy Works, Associate Minister for Youth Faith Formation at bworks@ccgronline.com. We hope and pray that you and your family will be able to join us for our Monthly Faith & Family Masses! Mass is our class! Jesus is our teacher! Every child is precious gift from God! Every family is invited to join us! Spread the word! Bring a friend! Bring your family! All are invited! All are welcome! Always!


Adult Faith Formation
The Way
Sacramental Preparation for Adults

Begins Sunday, October 1st at 8:15am

“The Way” was the among the earliest names for the followers of the Risen Christ. The Way also appears as a biblical reference for the earliest Christian communities in the Acts of the Apostles. In addition, tradition teaches that both before and after his conversion, Saint Paul referred to the disciples of Christ as part of the Way. More than two thousand years later, Catholic Christians are still part of the Way of Jesus Christ. But as we all know, a life of discipleship is not a hobby or pastime. It is a vocation, a way of life that lays claim to our whole heart, mind, and strength. As disciples, our lives should be focused on and inspired by our faith in Christ, who is our merciful redeemer, friend, and brother. And as his disciples, we are called to reach out to those who need our help in growing closer to Christ and the Church.

If you are an adult (age 18 and over) and have not received all of the Sacraments of Initiation in the Roman Catholic Church (Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation), then please consider joining “The Way”, a new adult faith formation program that will begin this fall. The Way (typically called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) is a seven month program that prepares adults to be received into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil. As part of this same program, we will prepare adults for the Sacrament of Confirmation (to be received at either the Easter Vigil or at a regional archdiocesan celebration). Other parishioners who have received the Sacraments and are interested in renewing their spiritual lives are also very welcome to join us!

Beginning on October 1st, our group will gather on the first and second Sunday mornings of each month for Mass at 8:15am in Saint Ann Church, followed by fellowship, formation, and faith sharing. As a community of disciples, we will learn together about the basic beliefs, teachings, and traditions of the Church; and we will explore the methods of prayer and spirituality that have brought centuries of believers closer to Christ Jesus and to the Church. In addition, we will talk openly and honestly about the challenges of living an authentic life of faith, hope, and love in the modern world. If you would like to learn more about this journey of faith and become part of a unique fellowship in preparation for the sacraments of God’s Church, then please contact Cliff Garvey at cgarvey@ccgronline.com. Please join us! Spread the word! All are invited! All are welcome!


The Holy Rosary
Let’s Pray Together!

Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays

All are invited to join the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport as we pray the Holy Rosary be- fore our Weekday Masses: Wednesday evenings at 5:00pm; and Thursday and Friday mornings at 7:30am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. We also pray the Rosary on the First Saturday of each month at 7:30am. By praying the Rosary as brothers and sisters united in prayer, fellowship, and service, we grow closer to Jesus by meditating on his life, death, and resurrection. We also grow closer to the Blessed Mother by asking for her powerful intercession for ourselves, our parishes, and our sick and suffering world. For more information, please contact Father Jim at frjim@ccgronline.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!

Watch: The Holy Rosary with Father Jim


Safe & Easy Electronic Giving

Give and it will be given to you. — Luke 6:38

Electronic giving has become an essential component of parish support in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport; and it is available in both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. It is safe and easy to make online donations to your home parish using a credit card, debit card, or electronic check.

Donations can be made on a weekly, monthly, or one-time-only basis; and it takes just a few minutes to set up a secure personal account. In additional to the weekly offering, you can also give electronically to our church restoration funds which helps us plan for the repair and maintenance of our beloved and historic churches.

During these challenging times, Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish need your support more than ever before! Please prayerfully consider enrolling in our ‘We Share!’ electronic giving program! For more information about setting up a new account or for assistance with your existing account, please contact Father Jim at frjim@ccgronline.com. Thank you for your generous support for our parishes! May God bless you and your family, now and always!

Support Holy Family Parish
Support Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish


About Us

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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In Memory of Lindsay Osier