Our Pastor’s Message
A Mother’s Prayers: The Story of Saint Monica
Since my ordination to the priesthood more than twelve years ago, I have counseled countless husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, and godparents about loved ones who have either fallen away from or rejected their faith. Most often, people ask what they can do or say to convince someone to accept the faith, return to church, or prepare themselves or their children for the sacraments. And most often, I advise these often heartbroken people that the best thing that they can do is to pray for their loved ones; to pray for them every day; and to persevere in praying for them for the rest of their lives if necessary. A friend recently reminded me that “God is good. God is good all the time. And in the end, God always wins.” This reminder should inspire us to offer our loved ones in prayer to God; because in his infinite goodness, love, and mercy, God will bless them, protect them, and walk with them on life’s journey.
On Thursday, August 27th, the Catholic Church commemorates the Memorial of Saint Monica (322-387) who is venerated as patroness of difficult marriages, difficult children, and victims of abuse, adultery, and unfaithfulness. In addition, Saint Monica is patroness of the conversion of loved ones. She was also the devoted mother of Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430), a Bishop and Doctor of the Church, who was raised as a Christian but left the Church as a young adult in pursuit of worldly passions and pleasures. Sound familiar? Despite years of disappointment and near despair, Saint Monica prayed and cried for her unfaithful son for seventeen long years. At one point, she visited a bishop who consoled her with these famous words: “The child of those tears will never perish.” Finally, Augustine experienced a conversion and found true peace and reconciliation with his mother during the final months of her life.
Although we believe that God hears all of our prayers, we also know that God does not always answer those prayers in the ways that we want. Therefore, when we pray for the conversion of our loved ones, we must also pray that all of our hearts and minds may be opened to God’s love, mercy, and will in whatever form it takes. If the story of Saint Monica resonates in your family’s life, it is because her story is the story of the Church. It is the story of miracles; the story of perseverance in prayer; the story of countless tears shed for those we love; and the story of conversions that occurred centuries ago and conversions that might occur today or tomorrow or even seventeen years from now. Saint Monica, pray for us!
Peace and blessings to all,
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
An Our Lady of Good Voyage Tradition
Begins Saturday, August 22nd
A summer tradition returns this weekend to Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish! The first in our annual series of Summer Carillon Recitals is scheduled for this Saturday, August 22nd at 5:00pm (rain or shine). This summer, Luann Pallazola, our own very talented organist-keyboardist, has prepared programs that include familiar classical and international pieces, popular hymns, patriotic melodies, and even some children’s tunes.
Installed in 1922, the carillon bells in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church were the first toned set of carillon bells in the United States. Although our bells can be heard from several blocks away, the sound is best close to the church. So bring a coffee, cold drink, or snack and enjoy this wonderful Gloucester tradition! Other recitals are scheduled for the following Saturday afternoons at 5:00pm: August 29th, September 5th, and September 12th. These recitals are free and open to the public! For more information, please contact LuAnn Pallazola at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are welcome!
Holy Family Cevicos Mission
Second Collection This Weekend!
Who are we? The Holy Family Parish (Cevicos) Mission provides medical dental, eye care, and other services for the people of the Town of Cevicos and surrounding villages (campos) in the Dominican Republic. The Mission started sixteen years ago at Saint Joachim Church (Holy Family Parish) when we joined with the Nuestra Senora Del Pilar in Cevicos and began working with the Dominican Sisters of Fatima of the Holy Rosary to provide needed medical assistance and other services to poor people in Cevicos.
What do we do? Each year, we travel to Cevicos and hold three medical, dental, and/or eye clinics where doctors, dentists, optometrists, nurses, parishioners, and friends volunteer their time (and pay their own travel expenses) to provide much needed services. Since the Mission was founded, we have built a clinic, where we hold the medical, dental, and eye clinics and treat from 500-700 people per trip. This number includes our Elderly Home Visitation Program for those who cannot travel to the clinic in Cevicos. In addition, we helped the Sisters build a Training Center where they train men and women in sewing, electrical, and plumbing skills. And we also provide scholarships for children who want to attend college (currently eight students); fund and help grow small businesses through our micro-finance program; and help with a home repair program (roofs, windows, etc.). Most importantly, during the past year, we paid for special medical cases including successful surgeries for two young burn victims at Shriners Hospital in Boston.
How can you help? This weekend (August 22-23), a second collection will be taken at Holy Family Parish for the Cevicos Mission. All donations (100%) will go directly to purchasing medicines, medical supplies, scholarships, micro-financing of small businesses, and related mission services. All checks should be made payable to Holy Family Parish Mission. Donation envelopes are also located at the entrances to both Saint Ann Church and Saint Joachim Church. Thank you in advance for your generous support!
Finally, most of our doctors, nurses, and volunteers have returned time and again to Cevicos because of their wonderful experience in helping the poor. For more information about becoming a part of the Holy Family Parish (Cevicos) Mission, please contact Phyllis (Smithers) Campbell at email@example.com; contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit our website at holyfamilycevicos.com.
Heartsavers CPR Course
Saturday, September 12th
Irene Kerr, a certified CPR instructor, longtime friend of our pastor, and member of the Assisi Project has generously offered to teach the American Heart Association’s Heartsavers CPR Course to parishioners and friends of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport on Saturday, September 12th at Holy Family Parish Center (First Floor Conference Room). Upon completion, participants will receive a certification from the American Heart Association in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and other lifesaving techniques. Two courses are available! A morning session will begin at 8:45am and conclude at 11:45am. An afternoon session will begin at 12:45pm and conclude at 3:45pm. Pick one! The Heartsavers CPR Course is free but limited to just six participants per class session. Please note that both of these courses are now full. However, the Heartsavers CPR Course will be offered again in October. Fore more information, please contact Cliff Garvey at email@example.com. Thank you!
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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