Advent Mission & Retreat
Discernment Day By Day
Begins Wednesday, December 5th
SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKER: SISTER ELIZABETH WAGNER
All parishioners, friends, and guests of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockportare invited to join Father Jim and Sister Elizabeth Wagner for our “Advent Mission & Re- treat: Discernment Day By Day” from Wednesday, December 5th through Friday, December7th in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Each evening will begin with Mass at 7:00pm. We are blessed to welcome back Sister Elizabeth Wagner as our special guest and spiritual di- rector, who will lead us in prayer and reflection each evening after Mass.
What is God’s will for our lives? How can we be sure? How do we make sound decisions?Questions like these can both tantalize and torment us throughout our lives! As we con- clude our year-long focus on discernment, our three-night mission and retreat will seek to unfold some basic principles about good discernment; offer guidance about making every- day decisions; and share sound wisdom about making major life decisions. Sister Elizabeth will also be selling and signing copies of her best-selling book, “Seasons in My Garden”,along with homemade fruit cake, jam, and hot sauce.
Sister Elizabeth Wagner lives a contemplative life at Transfiguration Hermitage in Windsor, Maine, which she founded as a semi-eremitical community devoted to work, prayer, and solitude in accordance with the ancient Rule of Saint Benedict. Sister Elizabeth is a hermit, award-winning author, spiritual director, and retreat leader. She is also the formation direc- tor, gardener, and groundskeeper of the hermitage. Our Advent Mission & Retreat is free but donations will be gratefully accepted during Mass to support our adult faith formation ministry. For more information, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! Spread the word! All are invited! All are welcome!
Advent Scripture Study
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Begins Friday, November 30th
During the Holy Season of Advent, all adult parishioners, friends, and guests of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join Father Jim and Cliff Garvey for a weekly lunchtime scripture study based on Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” On four consecutive Fridays from November 30th through December 21st at 12:00pm in Our Lady’s Church, Father Jim and Cliff will lead a one-hour discussion on this Christmas classic and related scripture passages about compassion, forgiveness, transformation, and redemption.
In preparation for each week’s gathering, participants will be asked to read from “A Christmas Carol: Book & Bible Study Guide” by Alan Vermilye. All are welcome to bring their own lunch and join us for as many sessions as possible. A donation of $25.00 is requested from those who can afford it. Coffee, tea, bottled water, and copies of the book will be provided. If you plan to join us for this special series, please contact Cliff Garvey at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Advent Faith & Family Mass
Saturday, December 1st
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 19:14).” In response to the Lord’s call, all children, parents, grandparents, godparents, and guardians are invited to join Father Jim for our Fourth Annual Advent Faith & Family Mass on Saturday, December 1st at 4:00pm in Saint Ann Church. During Mass, Father Jim will offer a special homily about the Advent Wreath and a special blessing for all of God’s children and their families. In addition, every child will receive a small gift.
Please save these dates for these upcoming Faith & Family Masses: Saturday, January 5th at 4:00pm in Saint Ann Church; Sunday, March 10th at 11:45am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church; and Saturday, May 11th at 4:00pm in Saint Ann Church. For more information about our Advent Faith & Family Mass, please contact Betsy Works at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us affirm that Mass is our class! Jesus is our Teacher! Every child is a precious gift from God! And all families are always welcome to join us for Mass! Please spread the word! Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Youth Faith Formation
First Eucharist Preparation Program
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; to encourage lifelong relationships with Jesus Christ and the Roman Catholic Church; and to help families grow together in prayer, fellowship, and service.
Our program is simple and family-friendly! First, our top priority is to invite all families to attend one of our seven weekend Masses. Second, all second grade children and their parents, grandparents, or guardians are asked to attend two 90 minute workshops during the fall season and three 90 minute workshops during the winter-spring seasons. Each of these “Faith & Family Workshops” is offered at three different times so that each family can choose which option works best for them.
Our program begins during the weekend of October 13th-October 14th! Calendars and registration materials are posted below. Registration forms can be returned by mail or hand-delivered to our parish offices (located at 74 Pleasant Street in Gloucester). If you have questionsor need assistance with youth faith formation in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Betsy Works at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Youth Faith Formation
Confirmation Preparation Program
Year 2 Now Underway!
For too many teenagers, the Sacrament of Confirmation has sadly become a kind of graduation from the Catholic Church, rather than the joyful beginning of life as an active adult disciple within the Church. We hope to end this tragic transition from enthusiasm to ambivalence by transforming sacramental preparation into an engaging process for the whole family. First, we will continue to place primary focus on attending Mass. For more than a century, the Church has required every parish to provide some kind of religious education for students who seek the Sacrament of Confirmation. During recent decades, we have asked parents to dedicate one hour each week to their child’s religious education by enrolling them in a youth faith formation program. Unfortunately, we failed 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 component of that responsibility is attending Mass as a family. In our increasingly busy, stressful, and over-scheduled world, it has become common for parents to entrust their children to us for an hour of instruction each week but not join usfor Mass each weekend. So, we will continue to ask parents to dedicate one hour each week to their teenager’s faith formation — by bringing them to church!
We will also no longer ask teenagers to spend countless hours in a classroom in preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation. Beginning in the ninth grade, all high school students are invited to participate in our two-year program of formation that will prepare them to receive the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit at Confirmation. During the first year, our students will participate in a series of seven interactive workshops about the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church. These sessions will be scheduled on Sunday mornings to coincide with our weekend Mass schedule. During the second year, our students will participate in nine additional workshops (including a four-hour mini-retreat) designed to help them grow in prayer, fellowship, and service; to prepare them to receive the Gifts of the Holy Spirit; and to jumpstart their lives as faithful and faith-filled young adult disciples. Registration forms and schedules for each year are posted below. For more information, please contact Betsy Works at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Adult Faith Formation
Sacramental Preparation for Adults
I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).
“The Way” was among the earliest names for the followers of the Risen Christ. Indeed, the Way appears as a scriptural reference to the earliest Christian communities in the Acts of the Apostles. In addition, both before and after his conversion, tradition holds that 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 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 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, our adult faith formation program that will meet on Sunday mornings after our 8:15am Mass beginning on October 14th. Typically called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, the Way is a seven month program that prepares adults to be received into the Roman 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 our local Easter Vigil Mass or at a regional archdiocesan celebration).
Our group will meet twice each month for fellowship, formation, and faith sharing. As a community of disciples, we will learn together 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 this journey of faith and become part of a unique fellowship in preparation 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 Assisi Project
Saturday Morning with Saint Francis
Saturday, December 22nd
Founded in 2007 by Father Jim and Cliff Garvey during their first pilgrimage and retreat in Italy, the Assisi Project is a “Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit” with members, friends, and followers in the United States, Canada, Europe, and South America. Our mission is to help adults of all ages more faithfully live the Gospel of Christ and grow closer to the Church through the inspiration and intercession of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi. On the last Saturday morning of every month, the Assisi Project meets in Saint Ann Church for Mass, formation, fellowship, and faith sharing. Our next “Saturday with Saint Francis” mini-retreat is scheduled for December 22nd from 8:00am until 10:00am. For more information about this month’s formation topic, please click on the link below. Here’s our schedule for the coming months:
- January 26, 2019: Begins with Mass at 8:00am
- February 23, 2019: Begins with Mass at 8:00am
- March 30, 2019: Begins with Mass at 8:00am
In case of inclement weather, please check our website for possible cancellations and schedule changes. For more information about the Assisi Project and its good work in our parishes, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome! 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!
Youth Faith Formation
Youth Choir & Music Ministry
The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s Youth Choir & Music Ministry meets weekly for fellowship and rehearsal at 5:00pm in Saint Ann Church. Each weekend, the youth choir sings at one of our three churches: Saint Ann Church, Saint Joachim Church, or Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. The Youth Choir & Music Ministry welcomes new members, ranging in age from kindergarten through high school. Young musicians are also welcome to join us! Being a part of this ministry is a great way to make new friends. In addition, it is a great way to participate more fully in the life of our parishes and to learn more about the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church! For more information, please contact Patty Natti at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Youth Faith Formation
Call for Youth Altar Servers
Help Father Jim Serve God’s People!
Father Jim is full of energy and excitement, but as the only full-time priest assigned to the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, he sometimes needs our help! He is still hoping to create a team of youth altar servers to help him at Mass. All young disciples, age 8 through 17, are invited to participate on a weekly or monthly basis. Parents and adult parishioners 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. All are invited! All are welcome!
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:
- 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 email@example.com. 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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