New Podcast Series

Summer is a good time of year to step back from the business and busyness of daily life and focus on our relationships with Jesus and those we are called to love. Unfortunately, few among us are able to leave behind home, work, and family for a real retreat from the responsibilities of the world. For this reason, the Assisi Project is pleased to announce a special series of summertime mini-retreats called Saints for All Seasons.

Throughout his long priestly ministry, Pope Francis has called people of all ages and backgrounds to learn about and pray with the saints. The Holy Father believes in his heart that the saints bring us closer to Christ, closer to the Church, and closer to each other. He says: “The saints are still here, not far from us; and their images [and relics] in our churches evoke the ‘cloud of witnesses’ that always surrounds us (cf Hebrews 12:1)…The saints remind us that even in our lives, however weak and marked by sin, holiness can unfold (4-7-21).”

In this spirit of unfolding holiness, all were invited to join us in July, August, and September for a series of two-hour mini-retreats. These mornings of prayer, reflection, and adoration will focus on the lives of three amazing saints: Saint Veronica Giuliani, Saint Mary Major, and Saint Teresa of Calcutta. Each mini-retreat began with the celebration of Holy Mass in Saint Anthony Chapel in Gloucester, Massachusetts. After Mass, Cliff Garvey offered a reflection on the life, inspiration, and veneration of a saint whose life of holiness has inspired men and women all around the world. Each of these reflections is now a free podcast! Listen by clicking the links below!

True Image – Saint Veronica Giuliani
An Assisi Project Podcast
Listen Now!

Our Mother & Protector – Saint Mary Major
An Assisi Project Podcast
Listen Now!

With Great Love – Saint Teresa of Calcutta
An Assisi Project Podcast
Listen Now!

For more information about the Assisi Project and its good work in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Cliff Garvey at May the Lord give you peace!

Learn More: The Assisi Project


Youth Faith Formation
First Holy Communion
Grade 2 Preparation Program

Family Mass & Meeting – Sunday, September 24th

Holy Family Parish, Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, and 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, especially our Faith & Family Masses throughout the school year. Second, all second grade children and their parents or guardians are asked to attend six Faith & Family Workshops and six Young Disciples Workshops. Our Faith & Family Workshops (for parents and children) will be held in Our Lady of Good Voyage Hall. Our Young Disciples Workshops will be held in Our Lady’s School (which is located at 13 Mount Vernon Street in Gloucester). During these second workshops, the children will gather with Betsy Works and our team of catechists and volunteers. In both cases, the children and their parents will learn about the Bible, the Mass, and the Eucharist by reading from children’s literature and engaging in hands-on activities like arts and crafts, food and music, dance and prayer.

All students (second grade and up) are invited to participate in our program. Parents and guardians are encouraged to attend our First Holy Communion Family Mass & Meeting on Sunday, September 24th beginning at 11:00am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. At this meeting, parents can submit a registration form and receive the workshop schedule and other important materials. If you have questions or need more information, please contact Betsy Works, Associate Minister for Youth Faith Formation, at Please join us! All are welcome!

First Holy Communion Registration 2023


Youth Faith Formation
Monthly Faith & Family Mass
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 (Mt 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 a Monthly Faith & Family Mass.

One Sunday each month (September through May), Father Jim will offer a special homily especially for families and a special blessing for all of God’s children and their parents. In addition, every child will receive a small gift. Here’s our schedule for the next four months:

Fall Faith & Family Mass
Sunday September 24th at 11:45am
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church

All Hallow’s Eve 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 at We hope and pray that you and your children will be able to join us for one or all of our Faith & Family Masses! Mass is our class! Jesus is our teacher! Every child is a precious gift from God! And every family is invited to join us! Spread the word! Bring a friend! Bring your family! All are welcome! Always!


The Way
Sacramental Preparation for Adults
Begins Sunday, October 1st!

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

The Way was the among the earliest names for 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!

Over the course of our program, we will be reading and reflecting on Being Catholic – How We Believe, Practice & Think by Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk. In addition, members of our group are encouraged to listen each day to Sharing the Word — Archbishop Pilarczyk’s brief audio reflections (2 minutes) on the daily scripture readings by clicking on the link below:

Beginning on October 1st, our group will gather on the first and second Sunday mornings 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 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. Our first gathering will be scheduled sometime soon. 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 Please join us! Spread the word! All are invited! All are welcome!

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


The Assisi Project Podcast
Always Free! Always Available!

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

Assisi Project Podcasts

Members of the Assisi Project range in age from 15 to 99 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

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: The Assisi Project


Let Us Dream
A Virtual Retreat with Pope Francis

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,, 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 Let’s pray together! Spread the word! All are welcome!

Learn More: Let Us Dream (Video)


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 Now more than ever, let’s pray together!

Learn More: Pray the Rosary


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 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


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 Please join us! All are welcome! Always!


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