Advent Mission & Retreat
Holes in the Darkness
December 11th-December 13th
Especially at this time of year, darkness is all around us. Days are short. Nights are long. Too many days seem bleak and gloomy. And in the world around us, darkness abounds. Divisions are deep. Too many people suffer. Too many people seem ambivalent and cynical. Too many people seem hunkered down, hoping beyond hope that the darkness will pass away all by itself.
Father Jim and Cliff recently read a little book called “Punching Holes in the Darkness” by Robert Benson, a Christian author and retreat leader. He writes: “Where there is darkness, we are to raise our fists and punch holes in it — as hard as we can, as often as we can. The size of the hole does not matter, the fact of it is what counts more than everything.” Benson means that each one of us, inspired by the Holy Spirit, can transcend the darkness and bring the Light of Christ into our world with every thought, word, and deed. By punching holes in the darkness, we bring brightness back into our world and our good works shine like stars in the night!
In this spirit, all parishioners, friends, and guests of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join us for our “Advent Mission & Retreat: Punching Holes in the Darkness” from Wednesday, December 11th through Friday, December 13th beginning with Mass at 7:00pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Each evening will also feature a reflection, followed by comments, questions, and faith sharing. Although we will not read all of Robert Benson’s book, copies will be available for purchase. For more information, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! Spread the word! Bring a friend! All are invited! All are welcome!
Youth Christmas Pageant
Special Event for Families & Children
Saturday, December 28th
Each year, the Catholic Church celebrates the Season of Christmas from December 25th through the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord on January 5th. During Christmastime, we commemorate the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ; the choir of angels praising God in heaven; the call of the shepherds; and the adoration of the Magi with their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
As part of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s celebration of the Christmas Season, we invite children from Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish to participate in our Youth Christmas Pageant on Saturday, December 28th at 4:00pm in Saint Ann Church. This dramatization of the Nativity of the Lord depends on the participation of young angels and shepherds, along with those children interested in portraying the Magi and the Holy Family.
Being a part of this special holiday event is an excellent way for children to participate in the life of their home parish and learn about the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church. If your child, grandchild, or godchild would like to participate in this year’s Christmas Pageant, please contact Betsy Works at email@example.com. Please join us! Spread the word! All are invited! All are welcome!
The Assisi Project
Saturday Morning with Saint Francis
Saturday, January 25th
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 almost every month, the Assisi Project meets in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church (located at 142 Prospect Street in Gloucester) for Mass, formation, fellowship, and faith sharing. Our next “Saturday Morning with Saint Francis” mini-retreat is scheduled for January 25th from 8:00am until 10:00am. For more information about our programs and events, please click on the link below. Here’s our schedule for the coming months:
- January 25, 2020 | Begins with Mass at 8:00am
- March 28, 2020 | Begins with Mass at 8:00am
- April 25, 2020 | 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 at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that you do not need to travel with us to Assisi to become part of the Assisi Project! All parishioners, friends, and guests of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join us! Bring a friend! Spread the word! All are welcome! Saint Francis, pray for us! Saint Clare, pray for us! Our Lady of Angels, pray for us!
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!
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 12th-October 13th! 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! Spread the word! All are invited! All are welcome!
Youth Faith Formation
Confirmation Preparation Program
Year II 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 email@example.com. Please join us! Spread the word! All are invited! All are welcome!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com. 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 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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