Our Pastor’s Message
Praying & Rejoicing with Our Patrons
This weekend’s responsorial psalm reminds us: “The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs!” This beautiful verse from Psalm 145 encourages us to always remember that God provides for us, that God loves us beyond all measure, that God forgives our sins, and that God continually reaches out to us in friendship and mercy no matter where we find ourselves on life’s journey.
Our patrons, Saint Ann and Saint Joachim, were faithful Jews and devoted to practicing the teachings and traditions of their religion. And yet, tradition holds that they were met with disappointment and despair because they could not conceive a child (see below). But instead of turning their backs on God (as so many of us do when our prayers seemingly go unanswered), Saint Ann and Saint Joachim turned toward God. In a true spirit of faith, hope, and love, they prayed even more fervently that God might answer their prayers, provide for their needs, and bless them with a child.
One can only imagine Saint Ann and Saint Joachim rejoicing when the angels informed them that their prayers had been answered and that their child would be known throughout the world! One can only imagine their gratitude and love for God’s mighty power! One can only imagine them uniting their hearts and voices in prayer: “The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs!”
As we celebrate the Feast of Saint Ann and Saint Joachim on Sunday, July 26th and as we continue to build and strengthen our parishes in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, let us unite our hearts and voices and ask for the prayers of our patrons. Let us ask Saint Ann, Saint Joachim, and Our Blessed Mother to pray that we are blessed with the gifts of charity, discernment, generosity, and wisdom. Let us ask Saint Ann, Saint Joachim, and Our Blessed Mother to guide us on our shared journey of faith. And let us ask them to bless us, bless our work together, and bless everyone who comes to our churches in search of God’s friendship, love, and mercy!
All parishioners, friends, and guess of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join us for the Holy Family Parish Picnic after the 4:00pm Mass (Saint Ann Church) on Saturday, July 25th; and for the Ceremonial Crowning of the Statue of Saint Ann and Our Blessed Mother on Sunday, July 26th after the 8:15am Mass (Saint Ann Church). As we celebrate the Feast of Saint Ann and Saint Joachim, let us ask for their powerful prayers and rejoice: “The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.” Amen! Amen!
Peace and blessings to all,
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Daily Mass Reminder
Week of Monday, July 27th
All parishioners are reminded that during the week of Monday, July 27th, all daily Masses will be celebrated at 8:00am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church so that the children and volunteers who are participating in our vacation bible school can join us for the celebration of Mass. On Saturday, August 1st, the daily Mass will be celebrated at 8:00am in Saint Ann Church. We will resume our regular schedule next week. Thank you!
Feast of Saints Ann & Joachim
Sunday, July 26th
The Story of Our Patrons
Each year on July 26th, the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of Saint Ann and Saint Joachim. An ancient story dating from the first centuries of the Church’s existence recalls how Saint Ann and Saint Joachim, like Abraham and Sarah, were scorned by their neighbors because they had no children. Years of disappointment and longing did not weaken their trust in God, but grief eventually drove Saint Joachim into the desert wilderness to fast and pray. Saint Ann remained at home, dressed in mourning clothes, and wept because she had no child of her own. A young girl saw Saint Ann’s distress and reminded her to put all of her trust in God alone. So Saint Ann washed, dressed in her bridal clothes, and went into the garden to plead with God for a child. During this time of prayer, angels appeared to Saint Ann in the garden and to Saint Joachim in the wilderness. The angels promised that despite their old age, they would conceive and give birth to a child who would be known throughout the world. That child, of course, was the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. Saint Ann and Saint Joachim ran to meet each other at Jerusalem’s Golden Gate where they kissed and rejoiced in the new life that God had promised them.
More than two thousand years later, Saint Ann and Saint Joachim are powerful patrons for married couples; married couples who are having difficulty conceiving a child; expectant mothers; parents, grandparents, and the elderly. Saint Ann is also venerated as patroness of sailors, homemakers, and single women. In addition, the Basilica of Saint Ann de Beaupre (near Quebec City, Canada) is regarded as a place of miracles, especially for those suffering from physical disabilities and paralysis. As we celebrate the feast of our patrons, let us united our hearts and voices in prayer for the intercession of Saint Ann and Saint Joachim and their child, the Blessed Virgin Mary! Saint Ann, pray for us! Saint Joachim, pray for us! Our Lady of Good Voyage, pray for us!
A Novena to Saint Ann & Saint Joachim
Saint Ann and Saint Joachim,
you are the good parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary
and blessed grandparents of our Lord Jesus Christ.
When we are afraid: Help us to trust in the Lord.
When life seems barren: Help us to trust in God’s mercy.
When we are confused: Help us to find the way to God.
When we are ashamed: Remind us that we are God’s children.
When we are selfish: Teach us to cling only to what lasts.
When we sin: Lead us to do God’s will.
When we are lost in the desert: Lead us to those God has called us to love.
You know God’s will for the family: Keep all families close to you.
You know God’s will for husband & wife: Help us to live in chastity & fidelity.
You trusted God’s will: Help us to respect the gift of fidelity.
You suffered without children: Intercede for married couples who seek to conceive.
You gave birth to the Blessed Mother: Inspire married couples to be co-creators with God.
You taught Mary, the Mother of God: Teach us to nurture children in faith, hope, and love.
You trusted in God: Pray for all married couples.
You trusted in God: Pray for all parents.
You trusted in God: Pray for all grandparents.
Almighty God and Father,
you bestowed on Saint Ann and Saint Joachim this singular grace:
that their daughter, Mary, should become the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Through their intercession, grant us the salvation that you promised to your people.
We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever.
Saint Ann, pray for us!
Saint Joachim, pray for us!
Our Lady of Good Voyage, pray for us!
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
Liturgy of the Hours
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 by practicing 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 in the Holy Family Parish Center, the Legion of Mary gathers to pray the Rosary, share their faith experiences, and participate in a period of faith formation under the guidance of a spiritual director. New members are always welcome! For more information, please contact Joan Foster at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sue Demetri at email@example.com; or leave a message by calling 978-281-4820. Please join 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. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are welcome!
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