Our Pastor’s Message: Divine Mercy Sunday
On January 9, 1984, Time Magazine published a cover story entitled “Why Forgive?” about Pope John Paul II’s meeting with Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turkish terrorist who attempted to assassinate him three years earlier. The cover featured a remarkable photograph of the pope with his arm around the shoulder of the assassin along with a caption that read: “The Pope Pardons the Gunman.” More than thirty years later, Saint John Paul II’s sincere gesture of Christian love and mercy toward an assailant remains one of his great gifts to the People of God. No one doubted then and no one doubts now that Pope John Paul truly forgave Mehmet Ali Agca. In fact, after the attempted assassination, the pope wrote: “Pray for my brother Agca…whom I have sincerely forgiven.” And just last December, Agca visited Saint Peter’s Basilica and placed a bouquet of white roses at the tomb of the new saint.
Why forgive? Unlike Saint John Paul II, we may not be victims of violent crime. But each of us knows the sting of betrayal, gossip, and insult. Each of us knows the pain of lasting conflict or disagreement with family, friends, and colleagues. And each of us knows something about the sadness of a broken heart. We may not be called back into relationship with those who hurt us, but like Saint John Paul II, we are called to reach out to reach out to them. We are called to love them and pray for them. And we are called to forgive them with our whole heart and soul. This is the true foundation of the Christian life: to imitate the Risen Lord and his saints through acts of sacrificial love and mercy.
This weekend throughout the world, the Catholic Church celebrates the Second Sunday of Easter and the Feast of Divine Mercy. We rejoice again over the Resurrection of the Lord as he appears to his astonished disciples. And we reflect again on the Lord’s boundless love for us — that he lived, suffered, died, and rose for our sake and for our eternal salvation. This is God’s mercy made flesh and recognizable in the word for us, for all people, and for all time! Alleluia! Alleluia!
This Sunday, April 12th, all parishioners and friends of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join us for “Divine Mercy Sunday: A Celebration of God’s Love & Mercy” from 2:00pm until 3:30pm in Saint Ann Church. Our celebration will include ninety minutes of Eucharistic Adoration, the Holy Rosary, and the Divine Mercy Chaplet, Daytime Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours, and finally, Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Please join us for all or part of this beautiful celebration. All are welcome!
Peace and blessings to all,
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Holy Family Parish | Saint Joachim Church
Celebration of First Holy Communion
Sunday, April 12 at 9:30am Mass
All parishioners, friends, and guests of Holy Family Parish are reminded that our community will celebrate First Holy Communion at Saint Joachim Church on Sunday, April 12th at our 9:30am Mass. After two years of prayer and formation, fourteen of our youngest fellow parishioners will receive the Holy Eucharist for the first time. And so, we wish to congratulate Joseph, Jackson, Lassen, Amiyah, Christopher B., Christopher D., Morgan, Julia, Ivana, Cosima, Liliah, Julia, Samanta, and Grace for all of their dedication and hard work in preparing for this special moment in their lives of faith! As we make final preparations for First Holy Communion, please pray for all of our students, parents, and catechists. For more information about the youth faith formation program at Holy Family Parish, please contact Dawn Alves at email@example.com. Happy Easter!
Divine Mercy Sunday
A Celebration of God’s Love & Mercy
All parishioners and friends of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join us for Divine Mercy Sunday on April 12th from 2:00pm until 3:30pm in Saint Ann Church. Our program of prayer will include Eucharistic Adoration at 2:00pm; the Holy Rosary at 2:30pm; and the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3:00pm. We will conclude with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at 3:30pm. Please join us for all or part of this annual celebration of God’s love and mercy! For more information, please contact Jane Russo at 978-430-7196 or firstname.lastname@example.org. All are welcome!
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
Congratulations & Thanks
On behalf of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, Father Jim congratulates the following fellow parishoners who received the Sacraments of Initiation at last week’s Easter Vigil Mass: Andrea Ando, Meghan Arnold, Bridget Ernest, Colleen Gorman, Kaitlin Guardino, Samantha Spinola, and Ryan Whittemore. Since last October, these seven young adults have met almost every week. They prayed and studied together. And they grew in appreciation for and knowledge of the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. We congratulate them for their accomplishment and thank them for sincere commitment to their faith formation. Finally, Father Jim also thanks Cliff Garvey, our Minister of Evangelization, for his dedication and hard work in coordinating this adult faith formation program. If you are an adult and you have not received all of the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation) in the Roman Catholic Church, please contact Cliff at email@example.com. Our next program will begin in the fall! Please join us! 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 collaborative is comprised of Saint Ann Church in Gloucester, Saint Anthony’s 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are welcome!
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