SECOND WEEK OF ADVENT

Our Pastor’s Message
Advent Mission & Retreat
Holes in the Darkness

A Personal Invitation from Father Jim

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.

Along with a few friends, Cliff Garvey and I 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 holesin 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 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 will shine like the stars!

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: “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. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!

As if our Advent Mission & Retreat wasn’t enough to keep you busy this week, I hope and pray that you and your family will join Tom Misuraca and our Adult & Youth Music Ministries for the 15th Annual Advent & Christmas Concert on Sunday, December 8th at 2:00pm in Saint Ann Church. Each and every year, Tom, Lucy, and Patty put together a program that excites and inspires us to prepare for the coming of the Christ Child at Christmas. This annual holiday tradition is among the most beautiful and prayerful experiences of the year! All are invited! All are welcome!

Finally, you may have heard that my term as your pastor expires next spring. I have asked Cardinal Sean for another six year term as pastor of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. And part of the reappointment process is a visit by the Most Reverend Mark O’Connell, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Boston for the North Region. Bishop Mark has already met with our pastoral team, pastoral council, and finance councils. This Saturday, December 7th, Bishop Mark will celebrate our 4:00pm Mass in Saint Ann Church. After Mass, he will meet with interested parishioners about where we have been, where we are at, and where we go from here. Your voices count! Your prayers matter! All are invited to join Bishop Mark for this special evening of conversation and fellowship! Peace and blessings! — Father Jim

Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Contact: frjim@ccgronline.com

CCGR Weekly Newsletter (12-8-19) 
Bringing Home the Word (12-8-19) 
Watch: The Pope Video (December 2019)

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Pastor’s Note
Welcome, Bishop Mark!
Saturday, December 7th

As many parishioners and friends already know, my term as pastor of Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish expires next spring. I have asked Cardinal Sean for another six year term as pastor of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. Part of the reappointment process is a visit by the Most Reverend Mark O’Connell, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Boston for the North Region. Bishop Mark has already met with our pastoral team, pastoral council, and finance councils. On  Saturday, December 7th, Bishop Mark will celebrate our 4:00pm Mass in Saint Ann Church. After Mass, he will meet with interested parishioners about where we have been, where we are at, and where we go from here. Your voices count! Your prayers matter! All are invited to join Bishop Mark for this special evening of conversation and fellowship! Thank you! Peace and blessings! — Father Jim

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Call to Prayer
There is Light in the World!
A Prayer for the Second Week of Advent

Loving Jesus,
in your name, we mark this season:
As we bring forth light
to defy the claims of darkness.
As we bring forth joy and song
to defy the claims of sadness.
As we bring forth a spirit of generosity
to defy the claims of want.
As we bring forth peace
to defy the claims of violence and war.

That in the darkest, saddest,
most wanting, most warring corners of the world,
all people may look to Bethlehem,
where in the most humble circumstances,
during a time of repression,
from the womb of a poor refugee woman,
in the filth of a stable, in the form of a poor child,
you came among us to say:
“There is light in this world!”

Let us be this light to others.
Let us be the fruit of the branch of Jesse’s tree.
Let us be the gift bearers of your amazing grace,
and so defy all false claims
on your people and their dignity.
May you be born anew into every season,
into every age, into every land,
and into every human heart.
Amen! Amen!

Source: Catholic Relief Services

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Advent & Christmas Concert
An Annual Holiday Tradition
Sunday, December 8th

All parishioners, friends, and guests of Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish are invited to join Tom Misuraca, Lucy Pallazola, Patricia Natti, and our Adult & Youth Music Ministries for our Fifteenth Annual Advent & Christmas Concert on Sunday, December 8th at 2:00pm in Saint Ann Church. As always, this year’s musical selections have been carefully chosen tohelp prepare our hearts to celebrate more faithfully the Holy Season of Advent and the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ at Christmas. For more information about this beautiful holiday tradition in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Tom Misuraca, Associate Minister of Music, at tmisuraca@ccgronline.com. Please join us as we share the gift of sacred music during the upcoming holiday season! Spread the good news! Bring your families and friends! All are invited! All are welcome!

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Advent Mission & Retreat
Punching 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 cgarvey@ccgronline.com. Please join us! Spread the word! Bring a friend! All are invited! All are welcome!

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Saint Vincent De Paul Society
Christmas Giving Trees
Help Us Share the Gift of Christmas!

This year, the Saint Vincent de Paul Society will once again sponsor the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s Christmas Giving Trees and share the Gifts of Christmas with local families in need. The Giving Trees are now placed at the entrances of our three churches. Each tree will be decorated with stars that include a special Christmas wish. If you can fulfill the wish, please take a star! Every donated gift should be new, unused, unwrapped, and placed under the tree or delivered to our parish office by Tuesday, December 10th. The Giving Trees will remain in our churches through Sunday, December 8th. For more information, please contact Barbara Frontiero at barbara.frontiero@gortons.com. Thank you in advance for your generous support! May God bless us, everyone!

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WeShare
Electronic Giving Made Safe & Easy
Available at Both Parishes

Electronic giving is available at both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. It is easy, simple, and safe to make online donations to your home parish using a credit card, debit card, or electronic check. Donations can be made on a one-time-only or ongoing basis. And it takes just a few minutes to set up a secure personal account. Just choose the appropriate link below and click “Make a Donation.” Please prayerfully consider supporting your parish by giving electronically! For more information about electronic giving in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Father Jim at frjim@ccgronline.com. Thank you for your generous and ongoing support!

Support Holy Family Parish
Support Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish

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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!

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