Online Advent Retreat
The Franciscan Spirit for Advent & Christmas
Begins Sunday, November 29th
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s twin goals have been to do whatever we can to protect the health and safety of our parishioners and provide high quality spiritual nourishment online. We are grateful for your kind words of support and encouragement for our efforts so far! Over the years, our Annual Advent Retreat has been among our most popular adult faith formation programs. Unfortunately, because of necessary restrictions on large gatherings, all of our in-person programs and ministries remain suspended. In our disappointment, we turned to Saint Francis for Assisi for advice and consolation:
when the times were growing cold,
God sent you into the world
as a witness of his burning love
for all people and all creation.
Pray for us now,
so that we may become
instruments of peace and healing
in our sick and suffering world.
We make this prayer
through the Holy Name of Christ Jesus,
the Prince of Peace,
our Merciful Savior. Amen.
This prayer inspires us to announce our first-ever Online Advent Retreat: The Franciscan Spirit for Advent & Christmas. For five consecutive weekends, from November 29th through December 27th, we will gather in a virtual but powerful spiritual communion by reflecting on the miracle of the Incarnation of the Christ Child at Christmas through some of the timeless voices of Franciscan Spirituality: Saint Francis, Saint Clare, Saint Charles Borromeo, Jacopane of Todi, and Thomas of Celano. Every Saturday, Cliff Garvey will post a new podcast (ten minute audio recording) with a prayer for the coming week.
In addition, as the days grow short and nights grow long, all are invited to join us online in praying the Assisi Project’s Franciscan Night Prayer for the intention of God’s mercy, healing, and protection from the coronavirus. All of these free podcasts will be posted at assisproject.com. Finally, on Sunday, December 27th, Father Jim will renew the Solemn Consecration of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, this placing again both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish under the Blessed Mother’s powerful protection for the coming new year. Please join us! Let’s pray together!
Youth Faith Formation
First Holy Communion
Grade 2 Preparation Program
All all fellow parishioners already know, our program of preparation for First Holy Communion was interrupted last spring by the coronavirus pandemic. But since the celebration of public Masses resumed in July, forty-seven young disciples have received their First Holy Communion. We congratulate these young disciples and sincerely thank their parents and families for their cooperation and support.
All new second grade students are now invited to participate in a hybrid model of youth faith formation that will prepare them to receive their First Holy Communion on schedule sometime during the coming spring season. This year’s program will combine online videos and family home study as the primary methods of teaching our young disciples about the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. And if health and safety guidelines allow it, we will meet in small groups for Faith & Family Workshops (with Mass) in February, March, and April 2021.
Upon receiving the registration form and tuition, parents will be given a copy of Dynamic Catholic’s Blessed First Communion. For six months, parents and their children will be asked to watch and online video and review a chapter together according to the following schedule:
- November: Sunday is Special
- December: The Greatest Event on Earth
- January: The Word of God
- February: The Eucharist
- March: Your First Communion
- April: God’s Family
In addition, all parents and young disciples are asked to watch (at their own pace) Father Jim’s Monthly Faith & Family Videos on our YouTube Channel which will be posted on these dates:
- November 15: Jesus Welcomes Us Through Baptism
- December 15: Jesus Calls Us to Follow Him
- January 15: Jesus Invites Us to Reconciliation
- February 15: Jesus Feeds Us
- March 15: Jesus Invites Us to Supper
- April 15: Jesus Is Always With Us
Last but not least, if health and safety conditions allow, each student and one parent (only) will be asked to attend one Faith & Family Workshop (with Mass) in February, March, and April. Each family will be asked to choose one option per month: February 5, 12, or 19 at 6:00pm; March 5, 12, or 19 at 6:00pm; and April 9, 16, and 23 at 6:00pm.
Dates for our celebrations of First Penance and First Holy Communion will be announced later this fall. Until then, if you have questions or if you have not yet registered your child for our program, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com. We hope and pray that you and your child will join us as we forge ahead, make the best of unusual circumstances, and do our best to both protect your family and prepare your young disciples for First Holy Communion. Please join us! All are welcome!
Youth Faith Formation
Sacrament of Confirmation
Year 2 Preparation Program
As all fellow parishioners know so well, the first year of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s Confirmation Preparation Program was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, it remains our fervent hope and prayer that we will be able to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation on January 23, 2021 and February 6, 2021 (with limited attendance in accordance with all archdiocesan and state government safety guidelines). In order to do all that we can to protect our parishioners and ensure that our young disciples are prepared to receive the Gifts of the Holy Spirit at Confirmation, the second year of our program is simple, user-friendly, and video-based. All students who wish to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation this coming winter are expected to complete all requirements of our program of preparation:
- Watch & Pray
Sunday Mass with Father Jim
CCGR YouTube Channel
- Watch & Pray
New Spirit Virtual Retreat
Wednesday, October 14, 2020
6:45pm-8:45pm via Zoom
- Watch & Pray
Metanoia: Ten Part Video Series
- Pray & Reflect
Complete Metanoia Weekly Journal Questions
- Pray & Reflect
Complete All Confirmation Forms
- Pray & Serve
Raise $100 for Your Home Parish
In lieu of a community service project, all students are expected to raise $100 from family, friends, and fellow parishioners in support of either Holy Family Parish or Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. Our students can raise these funds through a single generous benefactor or multiple small donations. Our goal here is to impress upon our young disciples and their families the vital importance of supporting their home parishes during these difficult times.
In addition, a registration fee of $50 is requested to cover costs associated with the New Spirit Virtual Retreat. Please note that the Metanoia video series is currently available online for free (with registration). If for some reason the series becomes pay-per-view during the course of our program, the student’s family is responsible for the cost. If you have questions or need more information, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please pray for all of our young disciples, their sponsors, and their parents! Trust in God! Believe in science! Wear a mask! Come, Holy Spirit!
Sacramental Preparation for Adults
I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).
Among the earliest names for the earliest Christian communities was The Way. It appears in the Acts of the Apostles; and tradition holds 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 the life of discipleship is not a hobby or pastime. It is a vocation. It is 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 Jesus Christ, who is our merciful redeemer, friend, and brother. And as disciples, we are called to reach out to those who need our help in growing closer to Christ and the Catholic 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. Typically called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, The Way is an a faith formation program that prepares adults to be received into the Roman Catholic Church during the Easter Season. As part of this same program, we also prepare adults for the Sacrament of Confirmation. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, participants in this program will meet one-on-one in person and-or online.
Working together, we will learn about the basic beliefs, teachings, and traditions of the Catholic Church. We will explore the methods of prayer that have brought generations of believers closer to Christ and his Church. And 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 The Way and begin your preparations for the Sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church, then please contact Cliff Garvey at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
The Living Rosary
A Virtual Retreat
Jesus says: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have love you, you also should love one another (John 13:34).” During this pandemic, when so many of us are sick and suffering and when so many of us are self-isolating to protect ourselves and the people we love, it seems difficult to put Christ’s New Commandment into action.
For more than six months, our parish ministries that build community, serve the poor, share the faith, and raise much needed funds have seen their activities curtailed or suspended. In accordance with archdiocesan and state government guidelines, we were unable to throw open our doors and cry out: “All are welcome!” And concern for the deepening divisions in our country seem to seep into every conversation. These are difficult times, indeed, to live the Gospel and share God’s love!
And yet, our parishes have rose above the shadows of these dark times. More than 100 friends and fellow parishioners recently participated in our first-ever virtual retreat. This retreat featured praying the Holy Rosary, from dawn until dusk, in half-hour blocks, for five consecutive days, for the special intention of God’s mercy, healing, and protection from the coronavirus. When we pray the Rosary, alone or in community, we are part of a powerful spiritual communion that spans the globe and transcends time. Even if you and your family were unable to join us when we prayed the Living Rosary as a community, you can still make the retreat by praying the Rosary for five consecutive days and by listening to each day’s audio reflection:
- The Living Rosary: Introduction
- The Living Rosary – Day 1: A Journey Begins
- The Living Rosary – Day 2: A Journey Continues
- The Living Rosary – Day 3: A Prayer for Hope
- The Living Rosary – Day 4: A Prayer for Tomorrow
- The Living Rosary – Day 5: A Prayer for Joy
Our pastor, pastoral team, and fellow parishioners are grateful to each and every person who takes the time to participate in this virtual retreat and prays for God’s mercy, healing, and protection during these difficult times. Our special thanks goes to the Assisi Project, the Legion of Mary of Gloucester & Rockport, the Rosary Group from Saint Charles Borromeo Parish in Woburn, the Sisters of Saint Bridget of Sweden in Assisi, Italy, along with hundreds of other people from Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, and New York who have already made this special retreat!
Please read our weekly newsletter or visit this page for information about upcoming opportunities for adult faith formation. For more information about adult faith formation in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now more than ever, let’s pray together!
The Assisi Project
Free Podcast Series
Founded by Father Jim and Cliff, the Assisi Project is a Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit that is dedicated to helping believers of all ages to more faithfully live the Gospel of Christ in the spirit of Saints Francis and Clare. In response to the pandemic, Father Jim asked Cliff to look back on nearly two decades of ministry as a catechist, spiritual director, and leader of retreats and pilgrimages; and to create a regular series of podcasts (audio recordings) as a way of continuing his adult faith formation ministry. As of this weekend, Cliff has already created eleven podcasts with more on the way! These podcasts are free and always available! Just click on the links below:
- New! A Farmer’s Son
- Good Pope John: Patron of Peace
- Love Is The First Fact
- A Franciscan Rosary
- Making the Ground Green
- Servants & Subjects
- If God Can Work Through Me…
- The Buoy in the Road
- Choose Love
- Mad As Hell?
- Mary, Mother of All Peoples (Parts 1 & 2)
- Saint Damien of Molokai: Martyr for Charity
- The School of Mary: Praying with Our Lady of Lourdes
- Our Daily Prayers
- Our Mission: Becoming Franciscans in Spirit
Members of the Assisi Project range in age from 12 to 95 and live in Holy Family Parish, Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, throughout the Archdiocese of Boston, all across the United States, Canada, Brazil, Italy, Spain, and Angola. Part of our work together is our prayer together. So we pray each day for all who ask for our prayers all around the world. If you would like the Assisi Project to pray for you, your family, your special intention, or the soul of a deceased friend or loved one, please contact Cliff at email@example.com.
During this time of pandemic, when we are encouraged to remain at home, all are invited to pray and reflect on the Gospel Life by making use of the many resources on our website (click link below). These resources include our Daily Prayers, Franciscan Rosary, Way of the Cross, our new podcasts, and more than fifty reflections and stories about Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi. Come and pray with us online! May the Lord give you peace — now and always!
Adult Faith Formation
In addition to our adult faith formation programs that focus on preparation for the Sacraments of Initiation, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport also offers the following programs for adults seeking to deepen their relationship with Christ and His Church:
- Assisi Project
- Advent Mission & Retreat
- Lent Mission & Retreat
- Summer Evening Retreat
- Spring & Fall Days of Prayer & Reflection
- Seasonal Book Study Groups
- Individual Spiritual Direction
- Other Special Events
Please read our weekly newsletter or visit this page for the dates and times for these and other upcoming opportunities for adult faith formation. For more information about adult faith formation in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Cliff Garvey, Associate Minister, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are welcome! 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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