Welcome to St. Joseph Catholic Church in Ellsworth, Maine! We are happy you found us online.
Through these pages we seek to introduce you to our active faith community. Our Parish is a Catholic community of hopeful and loving people, schooled in compassion, who support one another on our journey of faith. As disciples of Jesus Christ, in lifelong ministry with the poor of the world, we are being made new through God's spirit. As bread is broken open and shared, we freely witness to the Reign of God.
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Beginning the Church's liturgical year, Advent (from, "ad-venire" in Latin or "to come to") is the season encompassing the four Sundays (and weekdays) leading up to the celebration of Christmas.
The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ’s second coming at the end of time and also to the anniversary of the Lord’s birth on Christmas. The final days of Advent, from December 17 to December 24, focus particularly on our preparation for the celebrations of the Nativity of our Lord (Christmas).
Advent devotions including the Advent wreath, remind us of the meaning of the season. Our Advent calendar above can help you fully enter in to the season with daily activity and prayer suggestions to prepare you spiritually for the birth of Jesus Christ. More Advent resources are listed below.
Signs of Holiness in Today’s World
When we live apart from others, it is very difficult to fight against concupiscence, the snares and temptations of the devil and the selfishness of the world. Bombarded as we are by so many enticements, we can grow too isolated, lose our sense of reality and inner clarity, and easily succumb.
Growth in holiness is a journey in community, side by side with others. We see this in some holy communities. From time to time, the Church has canonized entire communities that lived the Gospel heroically or offered to God the lives of all their members. We can think, for example, of the seven holy founders of the Order of the Servants of Mary, the seven blessed sisters of the first monastery of the Visitation in Madrid, the Japanese martyrs Saint Paul Miki and companions, the Korean martyrs Saint Andrew Taegon and companions, or the South American martyrs Saint Roque González, Saint Alonso Rodríguez and companions. We should also remember the more recent witness borne by the Trappists of Tibhirine, Algeria, who prepared as a community for martyrdom. In many holy marriages too, each spouse becomes a means used by Christ for the sanctification of the other. Living or working alongside others is surely a path of spiritual growth. Saint John of the Cross told one of his followers: “You are living with others in order to be fashioned and tried.”
Contrary to the growing consumerist individualism that tends to isolate us in a quest for wellbeing apart from others, our path to holiness can only make us identify all the more with Jesus’ prayer “that all may be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you” (Jn 17:21).
This commission nourishes and gives direction to the liturgical and communal prayer life of the community. The members collaborate with the pastor and staff in this area of mission on liturgy preparation, the training and formation of various liturgical ministers and the formation of the assembly about sacraments and liturgy.
This commission discerns and responds to the needs of persons in the parish, the wider community and the world by identifying resources to meet their needs and enlisting the active cooperation of parishioners. The members collaborate with the pastor, staff and other organizations and agencies in service, advocacy, justice education and empowerment of people. The commission may have committees such as pro-life, meal program and food pantry.
This commission promotes and develops opportunities for lifelong faith formation aimed at personal conversion and growth in faith. The members collaborate with the pastor and staff in this area of mission on all programs of evangelization and catechesis. The commission may have committees such as evangelization, child ministry, youth ministry, young adult ministry, adult and family ministry and vocations.
This commission educates and promotes the giftedness of all parishioners and the responsibility of disciples to steward all resources. The members collaborate with pastor and staff to develop strategies and practices which invite all parishioners and the parish organization itself to share time, talent and treasure.
Evangelization – In the Service of the Transmission of Faith
That people, who are involved in the service and transmission of faith, may find, in their dialogue with culture, a language suited to the conditions of the present time.