Our Pastor’s Message
Remembering the Rock: Viva San Pietro!
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says: “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it (Matthew 16:28).” In this passage, Christ identifies Saint Peter as the leader of the disciples and the head of his church — a church that will stand the test of time and ultimately prevail over the powers of darkness.
This weekend, we commemorate and pay tribute to Saint Peter as a revered patron of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. We celebrate with amusements and games; good food and drink; much laughter and sportsmanship; and good old fashioned community pride and spirit. This is as it should be! We have every right to rejoice in our heritage and history! And yet, throughout this weekend of celebration, let us also be mindful of the singularly important and unique role that Saint Peter plays in the life of the Catholic Church. Let us remember that Saint Peter loved Christ, left his life’s work (as a fisherman) to follow Christ, and ultimately sacrificed his life for Christ and the Church.
If you are ever blessed enough to make a pilgrimage to Rome and Vatican City, Saint Peter’s Basilica is among the top attractions. Beneath the gold and glitter of the basilica is the tomb of a simple fisherman. Like us, Peter was like us: capable of great devotion and love, but also capable of great fear and betrayal. But unlike most of us, Peter was also a saint who overcame his sins, led the Church in its earliest days, and was martyred for his faith. Saint Peter is the rock and foundation of the Church that was built upon the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And his prayers continue to lead, guide, and defend the Catholic Church throughout the world.
When pilgrims visit the subterranean tomb of Saint Peter, they aren’t impressed by pomp and circumstance. Rather, they are struck by the silence; by the quiet stillness of a soul at rest in heaven’s endless peace. So, amidst the sometimes noisy celebrations of the fiesta, let us remember Saint Peter as venerable patron and foundation of our apostolic faith. Let us ask him to pray for us, for our parishes, and for all of those friends, neighbors, and guests that we will meet this weekend.
Tradition holds that Saint Peter was the first of the apostles to perform miracles after the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. This weekend, let us pray that through his prayers, he will perform a new miracle that will bring all of the fiesta’s revelers into our churches to join us in prayer, fellowship, and service! Amen! Viva San Pietro!
Peace and blessings to all,
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Prayer for the Intercession of Saint Peter
As part of the celebrations associated with Saint Peter’s Fiesta, let us join our hearts and voices in prayer for the intercession of Saint Peter the Apostle:
O Glorious Saint Peter,
in return for your strong and generous faith,
your profound and sincere humility, and your burning love,
you were rewarded by Christ with singular privileges,
leadership of the Apostles and of the whole Church,
of which you were made the foundation stone.
By your prayers,
obtain for us a lively faith that will not fear to profess itself openly to the world,
in its entirety and in all of its manifestations,
even to martyrdom if occasion should demand it.
By your prayers,
obtain for us a sincere loyalty to God’s Holy Church.
Grant that we may always remain closely united to our Holy Father, Pope Francis,
who is the heir of your faith and authority,
and the one true and visible head of the Catholic Church,
the mystical ark of our salvation.
Grant that we may follow the Church’s teachings
in all humility, meekness, and obedience,
so that we may enjoy a secure peace on earth
and one day attain everlasting happiness in heaven.
Saint Peter the Apostle, pray for us!
Saint Ann, pray for us!
Saint Anthony, pray for us!
Saint Joachim, pray for us!
Our Lady of Good Voyage, pray for us!
Summer Retreat for Adults
“A Good Life”
Begins Sunday, July 26th
Summer is a great time of year for retreat; for stepping back from the business and busy-ness of life in order to focus on our personal relationship with Christ and His Church. Unfortunately, few among us have an opportunity to leave work, family, and friends for a real retreat from the world. For this reason, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport is happy to announce its Second Annual Summer Retreat! Beginning on Sunday, July 26th and concluding on Friday, July 31st, all are invited to join Father Jim and Cliff Garvey for a unique chance to experience the peace and quiet of a week-long retreat without leaving home.
Our retreat will be based on Robert Benson’s book, “A Good Life”, which offers a modern interpretation of the ancient rule of Saint Benedict of Nursia, the founder of western monasticism. This little book provides practical wisdom for achieving a real balance in our increasingly busy lives through work, rest, prayer, and community. Each evening of our retreat will begin promptly at 7:00pm in Saint Anthony Chapel with Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. After that, Father Jim and Cliff will lead the group in a spiritual exercise, discussion, and faith sharing. We will conclude at 8:30pm with Night Prayer.
Between meetings, participants will be asked to read and reflect upon five selections from Benson’s book (approximately 25 easy pages each day). Also, during each day of the retreat, Saint Anthony Chapel will open at 12:00pm for silent personal prayer and study. If you feel called to join us on our second annual summer retreat, then please contact Cliff Garvey at 978-281-4820 or firstname.lastname@example.org. A donation of $25.00 is requested from those who can afford it. Copies of the book, along with coffee, tea, and cold water, will be provided. Please join us! All are welcome!
Legion of Mary
Tuesdays at 4:00pm
The Legion of Mary is an international fellowship of lay men and women who volunteer their time, talent, and prayer under the banner of the Blessed Virgin Mary in order to practice the spiritual works of mercy in our parish communities. Their primary ministry is to visit and pray with the disabled, homebound, and sick. Every Tuesday at 4:00pm, the Legion of Mary meets in our parish center to pray the Rosary, share their faith, and participate in a period of faith formation under the guidance of their spiritual director. New members are always welcome! For more information about the Legion of Mary, please contact Joan Foster at email@example.com or Sue Demetri at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com. Please join us! All are welcome!
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