Our Pastor’s Welcome
The Holy Season of Lent is a season for prayer, penance, and almsgiving; a time for abstinence, charity, and personal reflection. Lent is also a season for renewal: a time for good works and for deepening our personal relationship with Jesus. It is a time to prayer ourselves to commemorate the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. In this spirit of prayer, penance, and love for God and neighbor, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport invites you to join us during this blessed season to find, strengthen, or renew your life of faith and discipleship.
In addition to participating in the sacramental life of our parishes, all Catholics are called to holiness through daily prayer, reflection, and a personal examination of conscience. Throughout the Holy Season of Lent, we offer special programs, events, and liturgical celebrations to help our parishioners answer God’s call to holiness. And as a way of encouraging members of our community to grow closer to Christ through prayer, we recommend the following online resources for daily prayer and reflection that can be accessed by clicking on the links below:
For more information about the Holy Season of Lent in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport at Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, please contact me or a member of our pastoral team. Wherever you find yourself on life’s journey of faith, we welcome you in Christ’s name with open arms and open hearts. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Peace and blessings to all,
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Holy Season of Lent
Prayer, Penance & Almsgiving
The Holy Season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 1st, and concludes with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, April 13th. During this forty-day journey of prayer, penance, and almsgiving, all Catholics are called to observe practices of fasting and abstinence according to the following guidelines:
- All Catholics (age 14 and over) are bound to abstain on Ash Wednesday and on all Fridays during Lent. To abstain is to refrain from eating meat (beef, chicken, or pork). Abstinence is an act of penance: a sacrificial act that enables us to grow in holiness and in freedom to make larger sacrifices in our lives. For those who are vegan or vegetarian, one might choose to observe this practice by abstaining from a favorite meatless meal on Fridays during Lent.
- All Catholics (between the ages of 18 and 59) are bound to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday in commemoration of the Lord’s Passion. On these solemn days, one should consume one full (but meatless) meal. Two smaller meatless meals, sufficient to maintain one’s health and strength, may be consumed. Keep in mind, however, that these smaller meals should not equal another full meal. According to tradition, eating between meals is not permitted (except for liquids such as juice, milk, and water).
- Like penance, and almsgiving, fasting is an exercise that strengthens our ability to sacrifice larger things for the sake of God’s kingdom. When we fast, even for a short time, we become hungry. In our hunger, we become more aware of our own needs; we become more aware of the needs of others; and hopefully, we become more aware of how God calls us to serve in his vineyard. Over the course of many centuries, the disciple of fasting has helped countless disciples to grow closer to Christ Jesus and to our brothers and sisters in need.
All Catholics should prayerfully consider abiding by these Lenten disciplines; and should not lightly excuse themselves from these penitential practices (except for reasons of age or infirmity). By participating in the threefold disciplines of prayer, penance (fasting), and almsgiving (charity), the Church sanctifies this holy season and gives witness to our love for God and for each other. All are encouraged and invited to undertake these practices which serve as the foundation of a good and holy Lent. For more information, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com or see a member of our pastoral team.
Wednesday, March 1st
The Holy Season of Lent is a time of prayer, penance, and almsgiving during which all Catholics are called to renew their faith in preparation for the celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. This year, Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on March 1st, a holy day of fasting and abstinence. In the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, we will celebrate Mass and distribute ashes according to the following schedule:
- Our Lady of Good Voyage Church | Mass at 8:00am
- Saint Ann Church | Mass at 12:00pm
- Our Lady of Good Voyage Church | Mass at 7:00pm
In addition, we will celebrate a Service of the Word (with distribution of ashes) at 5:00pm in Saint Joachim Church. For more information about the Holy Season of Lent in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org or see a member of our pastoral team. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Stations of the Cross
Fridays During Lent
The Stations of the Cross are one of the most enduring and moving devotions of the Roman Catholic Church. By uniting our prayers with the sufferings of Christ through both word and imagery, we make a spiritual pilgrimage with Lord on his way to the Cross. During Lent, all are invited to join us in praying the Stations of the Cross on six consecutive Fridays (March 3rd through April 7th) according to the following schedule:
- Saint Ann Church | Fridays at 3:00pm
- Our Lady of Good Voyage Church | Fridays at 6:30pm
Please note that on Friday evenings at Our Lady of Good Voyage Church, Mass will be celebrated at 6:30pm before we pray the Stations of the Cross. For more information about the Holy Season of Lent in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Father Jim email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
The Light Is On For You!
Confessions & Eucharistic Adoration
Wednesdays During Lent
During the Holy Season of Lent, all Catholics are invited to experience Christ’s love and mercy through the Sacrament of Penance & Reconciliation (Confession). On Wednesday evenings during Lent (March 8th through April 12th), all are invited to join us for “The Light Is On For You!” from 6:00pm until 8:00pm at Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. These special evenings of prayer will include Evening Prayer and Compline; Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament; and two full hours of confessions for those who feel called to participate. For some, this may be a time for sacramental reconciliation. For some, it may be a time for silent prayer and reflection. And for some, it may be a time to begin or renew a life of faith. Wherever you are on your faith journey, please join us! All are invited! All are welcome! For more information, please contact Father Jim firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that this program will be preempted on Wednesday, March 22nd for our Lent Mission & Retreat.
Lent Mass for Families
Sunday, March 5th
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 19:14).” In response to the Lord’s call, all parents, grandparents, godparents, and children are invited to join Father Jim for a Lent Mass for Families on Sunday, March 5th at 11:45am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. During Mass, Father Jim will offer a special homily about the Holy Season of Lent and a special blessing for all families and children.
Because Lent is a season for prayer, penance, and almsgiving, every child and their family will be asked to help us raise $1,000 during Lent for the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, a service organization in our parishes that provides food and financial assistance to local families in need. During the Family Mass, each child (and any interested adult parishioner) will be given a “campaign can” to collect coins for this most worthy cause. As our Lent Mass for Families approaches, let us reaffirm these basic principles: Mass is our class! Jesus is our teacher! And every family in our pews is a gift from God! For more information, please contact Betsy Works at email@example.com. Please spread the word! All are invited! All are welcome!
Lent Scripture Study
Jesus’ Life Giving Death
Thursdays During Lent
During Lent, all parishioners, friends, and guests of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join Father Jim for a weekly lunchtime scripture study based on the book, “Matthew 26-28: Jesus’ Life-Giving Death” by Amy Wellborn. Every Thursday during Lent (March 9th through April 6th) in Our Lady’s Hall, Father Jim will lead a one hour discussion and reflection on the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus that focuses on the Gospel of Matthew. Each session will begin at noon. All interested friends and fellow parishioners are welcome to bring their own lunch and join us for as many sessions as possible during the Holy Season of Lent. A donation of $20.00 is requested from those who can afford it. Participants will be provided with a copy of the book, along with coffee, hot tea, or bottled water. If you would like to join us, please contact Father Jim before at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Lent Mission & Retreat
Seasons of the Heart
March 22nd-March 24th
All are invited to join us for the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s Lent Mission & Retreat from Wednesday, March 22nd through Friday, March 24th at Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Each evening will begin with Evening Prayer & Mass at 7:00pm. In addition, we will be blessed to welcome Sister Elizabeth Wagner as our special guest and spiritual director, who will lead us in prayer and reflection each evening after Mass. Sister Elizabeth lives a contemplative life at Transfiguration Hermitage, which she founded in Windsor, Maine, as a semi-eremitical community devoted to prayer and solitude according to the Rule of Saint Benedict. She is a hermit, award-winning writer, spiritual director, and retreat leader. Sister Elizabeth also serves as formation director, gardener, and groundskeeper of the hermitage.
In addition to Sister Elizabeth’s nightly reflections during the mission and retreat, she will sign copies of her book, “Seasons in My Garden.” This captivating book intricately weaves insights from her own spiritual growth with the passing of the seasons. It offers readers spiritual guidance and an understanding that the patient tending of the soul will help us grow into a tranquil garden that God can use to reflect his glory. Copies of the book will be available for sale at $16.95 per copy. The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s Lent Mission & Retreat is free but donations will be gratefully accepted during each evening’s celebration of Mass. For more information, please contact Cliff Garvey at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Franciscan Stations of the Cross
Palm Sunday, April 9th
On Palm Sunday, April 9th, all are invited to join the Assisi Project for its Annual Palm Sunday Prayer Vigil. We will gather for the celebration of Mass at 11:45am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. After Mass, we will adjourn to the Parish Hall for a light lunch. After lunch, we will return to Our Lady’s Church for a Holy Hour of Eucharistic Adoration that will include praying the Franciscan Stations of the Cross. Founded in 2007, the Assisi Project is a fellowship of “Franciscans in Spirit” with friends and followers in the North America, Europe, and Africa. Our mission is to help adults of all ages to more faithfully live the Gospel of Christ in the spirit of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi. On the last Saturday of each month, we gather for Mass, formation, and faith sharing. Each year, we also sponsor a pilgrimage and other opportunities for prayer and fellowship. For more information, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
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. Our worship sites include Saint Ann Church in Gloucester, Saint Anthony Chapel in Gloucester, Saint Joachim Church in Rockport, and Our Lady of Good Voyage Church in Gloucester. We are a Roman Catholic faith community united in prayer, fellowship, and service. For more information about becoming a member of one of our parishes, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com. Please join us! All are welcome!
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