LIFELONG FAITH FORMATION

The Assisi Project
Saint Elizabeth of Portugal
Saturday, June 4th

A Morning of Prayer & Reflection
Crowning Feast of the Holy Spirit

Elizabeth of Portugal was born in 1271 into the Royal House of Aragon (Spain). After a lengthy engagement, she was married to King Denis of Portugal, who was eventually converted by her prayers, quiet devotion, and humble care of the poor and the sick. As a sign of her love for the poor, Queen Elizabeth would remove her crown and place it upon the heads of the poorest people. By this gesture, she reminded the world that we are all God’s children; and that we have all been blessed by the Holy Spirit at Baptism.

After the death of her husband, Queen Elizabeth took vows as a Secular Franciscan and lived her remaining years in seclusion and in service to those in need. She died in 1336 and is buried at the Monastery of Saint Clare in Coimbra, Portugal. She was canonized in 1625 and is still venerated as a patron of the poor and peace in families.

Centuries later, the Crowning Feast of the Holy Spirit at Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish in Gloucester, Massachusetts is a living tribute to the good works of Saint Elizabeth of Portugal and all who seek to serve the People of God with dedication and humility. Indeed, the Crown is still placed upon the head of anyone who prays for healing and guidance from the Holy Spirit.

On Saturday, June 4th, all are invited to join the Assisi Project for a Morning of Prayer and Reflection on the life of Saint Elizabeth of Portugal and her enduring influence on the spiritual life of the Church. We will begin with the celebration of Holy Mass at 8:00am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. After Mass, Father Jim will speak about Saint Elizabeth, the Crowning Feast, and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

For more information about the Assisi Project and its good work in our parishes, please contact Cliff Garvey at cgarvey@ccgronline.com. Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us! Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us! Saint Elizabeth of Portugal, pray for us! Our Lady of the Angels, pray for us! Spread the word! Bring a friend! All are welcome! May the Risen Lord give you peace!

Learn More: Crowning Feast of the Holy Spirit

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The Way for Kids
Sacramental Preparation for Older Kids
Now Underway!

If your child, grandchild, or godchild has completed the second grade but has not received the Sacraments of Baptism and-or First Holy Communion, we have a special program just for them! It’s called The Way for Kids!

Beginning on Saturday, May 21st from 4:00pm until 5:45pm in Our Lady’s School, Betsy Works and a team of volunteers will lead a four-week series of workshops for young disciples who have not received the first two Sacraments of Initiation. After each workshop, the children and their families are invited to attend our 6:00pm Mass.

For more information about The Way for Kids and other ways that your children can learn about the faith and be involved in the life and work of our parishes, please see Father Jim or contact Betsy Works at bworks@ccgronline.com. God bless our young disciples!

Learn More: Sacrament of Holy Eucharist (Short Video)

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Youth Faith Formation
Confirmation Preparation
Year 1 Registration Underway!

The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport offers a two-year program of preparation for high school students who feel called to the Sacrament of Confirmation. Our program is designed to engage teenagers in creative and innovative ways; encourage them to build lifelong relationships with Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church; and help them grow in prayer, fellowship, and service. The first year of preparation begins on Sunday, March 6, 2022. All students who want to prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation are expected to complete the following basic program of preparation:

  • Attend & Pray
    Sunday Mass & Mini-Workshops with Father Jim
    See Schedule Below
  • Watch & Pray
    Metanoia – 10 Episode Online Video Series
    See Link Below
  • Complete & Pray
    Weekly Reflection Questions in Metanoia Journal

A donation of $100 per student is requested to cover costs associated with purchasing Bibles and Metanoia Journals for every candidate.  Scholarships are available for families who cannot afford tuition. Please note that the Metanoia video series is currently available online for free (with registration). If the series becomes pay-per-view during the course of our program, then the student’s family is responsible for the cost.

A registration form is available at the link below. Please complete this form and return it in person (with tuition) to Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish Hall on either Saturday, February 19th from 1:00pm until 2:30pm; or Saturday, February 26th from 11:00am until 12:30pm. Confirmation schedules, journals, and bibles will be distributed at that time. Please remember that all who visit our campus are required to wear a face mask and maintain a safe social distance at all times. Thank you for your cooperation and support! Come, Holy Spirit!

Confirmation Registration Form – Year 1
Confirmation Preparation Schedule – Year 1
Register & Watch: Metanoia Video Series

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Youth Faith Formation
First Holy Communion
Now Underway!

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

In an effort to do what we can to ensure the health and safety of our parishioners during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, all second grade students and their families are invited to participate in a hybrid model of youth faith formation that combines engaging online videos, family homework, and six Faith & Family Workshops (which include a teaching Mass with Father Jim). Our primary goal is to share the Good News of the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. 

Our program is simple and family-friendly! No special training or preparation is necessary! Just print and complete a registration form and return it to us as soon as possible. Tuition of $100 is requested at the time of registration. Scholarships are available for families in need. When we receive your registration form and tuition, parents (or guardians) will be given copies of Dynamic Catholic’s Blessed First Communion. Over the course of six months, all parents and children are asked to watch an online video and review a chapter in the book according to the following schedule:

  • November 2021: Sunday is Special
  • December 2021: The Greatest Event on Earth
  • January 2022: The Word of God
  • February 2022: The Eucharist
  • March 2022: Your First Holy Communion
  • April 2022: God’s Family

In addition, all parents and young disciples are asked to join Father Jim for three monthly Fall Faith & Family Workshops (with Mass) on the following days and times. Choose one from each session:

  • Session 1: October 22nd at 6:00pm or October 29th at 6:00pm
  • Session 2: November 12th at 6:00pm or November 19th at 6:00pm
  • Session 3: December 3rd at 6:00pm or December 10th at 6:00pm

Finally, all parents and young disciples are asked to join Father Jim for three monthly Winter-Spring Faith & Family Workshops (with Mass) on the following days and times. Choose one from each session:

  • Session 1: February 4th or February 11th at 6:00pm
  • Session 2: March 4th or March 11th at 6:00pm
  • Session 3: April 1st or April 8th at 6:00pm

Dates for the celebration for the Sacraments of First Penance and First Holy Communion will be announced later this fall. Until then, if you have questions or need more information, please contact Father Jim at frjim@ccgronline.com. As we forge ahead under unusual circumstances, please pray for all of our young disciples and their parents. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome! Peace and blessings to all!

Second Grade Registration Form 2021-2022

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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 more than 50 podcasts with more on the way! These podcasts are free and always available! Just click on the links below:

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 cgarvey@ccgronline.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!

Learn More: Assisi Project Resources

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Virtual Retreat with Pope Francis
Let Us Dream

Since the beginning 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 to provide free and high quality spiritual nourishment via ccgronline.com, assisiproject.com, and our YouTube channel. We are grateful for your kind words of encouragement and support for our efforts!

Over the years, our annual summer retreat has been our most popular adult faith formation program. For six consecutive summers, under the direction of Cliff Garvey, we gathered and prayed together over a wide variety of topics: Desert Spirituality, Benedictine Spirituality, Franciscan Spirituality, Eastern Monastic Spirituality, Discipleship & Mission, and the Universal Call to Holiness.

This year, the ongoing pandemic and Cliff’s unexpected surgery and long recovery prompted us to postpone, then cancel our plans for an in-person summer retreat. In our disappointment, Cliff and I read and talked together about a compelling new book: Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Futureby Pope Francis. Written during the worst of the pandemic, the Holy Father reflects on this and other worldwide crises, the dark voices that divide us, and a way forward that can bring us together around a common mission to care for each other and for our common home.

In Let Us Dream, produced in collaboration with his friend, Austen Ivereigh, Pope Francis writes: “This is a moment to dream big, to rethink our priorities — what we value, what we want, what we seek — and to commit to act in our daily life on what we have dreamed of. What I hear at this moment is similar to what Isaiah hears God saying through him: Come, let us talk this over. Let us dare to dream. God asks us to dare to create something new…We need to slow down, take stock, and design better ways of living together on this earth.” In this spirit, we are happy to announce that all four episodes our Virtual Fall Retreat: Let Us Dream are now available! Just click on the links below:

All are invited to join us on retreat! Our podcasts are always free! You do not need to read the book in order to fully appreciate the depth and richness of the Holy Father’s insightful and though provoking work. But a limited number of copies are still available for $26.00 each. If you would like to purchase a copy, please contact Cliff at cgarvey@ccgronline.com. Let’s pray together! Spread the word! All are welcome!

Learn More: Let Us Dream (Video)

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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:

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 cgarvey@ccgronline.com. Now more than ever, let’s pray together!

Learn More: Pray the Rosary

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The Assisi Project
A Franciscan Night Prayer
Let’s Pray Together!

Saint Paul writes: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of the God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:16).” For centuries, Christians have puzzled over what it means to pray without ceasing. But one ancient practice provides an answer: the Liturgy of the Hours. Since the Middle Ages, the Church has used a daily practice of prayer called the Divine Office or the Liturgy of the Hours to mark and sanctify the various hours of the day: morning, afternoon, evening, and night. It is based on a four week cycle of psalms, canticles, and scripture readings that calls us into a deeper relationship with Christ and the Church bringing us together through prayers of praise, petition, intercession, and thanksgiving.

At ordination, deacons and priests make a solemn promise to pray the Liturgy of the Hours every day, using a book called the Breviary. But the Divine Office is not just for the clergy and those consecrated to religious life. Countless lay people around the world make the Liturgy of the Hours part of their daily prayer and worship. Indeed, when we pray these prayers, whether alone or in community, we are united in a powerful spiritual communion that helps to heal, redeem, and consecrate our sick and suffering world.

Unlike the other hours of the Divine Office, Compline (or Night Prayer) works on a seven day cycle. Every Sunday, the prayers are the same. Every Monday, the prayers are the same. And so on. According to the General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours: “Night Prayer is the last prayer of the day, said before retiring, even if that is after midnight.” And about this form of prayer, Pope Francis says: “I am very attached to the Breviary…It is the first thing I open in the morning and the last thing I close before going to sleep.”

In this spirit, in solidarity with Pope Francis, and in communion with Christian disciples around the world, the Assisi Project invites you to join us in offering A Franciscan Night Prayer. This newly created version of Night Prayer includes the traditional psalms, readings, and canticle of the day. It also includes antiphons, readings, and a Marian devotion from the spiritual tradition founded by Saint Francis of Assisi. A Franciscan Night Prayer can be prayed by listening to one of our free podcasts or by praying with the printable version. See links below! Let’s pray together! It’s a great way to end the day! Each podcast is less than ten minutes!

For more information about the Assisi Project and its good work in our parishes, please see Father Jim or contact Cliff Garvey at cgarvey@ccgronline.com. Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us! Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us! Our Lady of Angels, pray for us! May the Lord give you peace!

Learn More: The Assisi Project

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The Way
Sacramental Preparation for Adults
Now Underway!

I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).

‘The Way’ was among the earliest names for followers of the Risen Christ. ‘The Way’ also appears as a reference for the early 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!’ But a life of discipleship is not just a hobby. 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. As disciples, we are called to reach out to those who need help in growing closer to Christ and the Church.

In this spirit, all adults (age 18 and over) who have not received all of the Sacraments of Initiation in the Roman Catholic Church (Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation) are invited to join ‘The Way.’ Typically called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA), the Way is a seven month program that prepares adults to be received into the Catholic Church at Easter. In addition, as part of this same program, we will prepare adults for the Sacrament of Confirmation. Other fellow parishioners who have received the Sacraments are also welcome to join us!

Our group will gather for fellowship, formation, and faith sharing twice each month. 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 Jesus, closer to the Church, and closer to each other. 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.

Our first gathering will be in-person on Saturday, October 9th at 8:00am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. If you would like to become part of this unique fellowship in preparation for the Sacraments of Initiation, please contact Cliff Garvey at cgarvey@ccgronline.com. Please join us! Spread the word! Bring a friend! All are invited! All are welcome!

Learn More: Baptism (One Minute Video)
Learn More: Eucharist (One Minute Video)
Learn More: Confirmation (One Minute Video)

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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 cgarvey@ccgronline.com. Please join us! All are welcome! Always!

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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!

Follow us on Twitter: @CCGRonline