Our Pastor’s Message
Saint Francis of Assisi, Pray for Us!
Shortly after his papacy began, Pope Francis explained why he had chosen to be named after the beloved saint from Assisi. He said: “Thinking of the poor, I thought of Francis of Assisi. Then I thought of all the wars. Francis is also the man of peace. For me, he is the man of poverty, the man who loves and protects creation. How I would like a Church which is poor and for the poor!” All of us learned that Pope Francis is a man of his word. During his recent Apostolic Journey to the United States, he preached about peace, the plight of the poor, and the threat to our planet resulting from pollution and climate change. And during the past two years, Pope Francis has shown us that the Church can give powerful witness to the Gospel by being humble, simple, and welcoming to all people no matter who they are or where they are on life’s long journey.
For the past few months, some parishioners have noticed that I have been praying for the intercession of Saint Francis during the celebration of Holy Mass. I do not do this because of my own personal devotion to the saint, but because I have seen first-hand the grace that comes with praying for the intercession of Saint Francis of Assisi. Through my ministry with the Assisi Project, I have seen friendships forged, lives changed, and parishes renewed by asking for the intercession of the “Poor Man of Assisi.”
As part of our pastoral planning process in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, our team was asked to suggest a vision for the future. And after much prayer and consideration, we drafted a simple yet powerful vision statement by which we can measure all that we do and say in our parishes: “Live the Gospel! Share God’s Love! Rebuild the Church!” These three statements encompass both the enduring spirit of Saint Francis of Assisi and the ongoing ministry of Pope Francis. Both the saint and the pope exhort us to follow Christ, to give witness to His life, death, and resurrection, and to rebuild and renew our churches by reaching out to the poor: both to those who hunger for food and shelter and those who hunger for God’s love and mercy.
More than 800 years ago, Christ hastened the conversion of Saint Francis when He said from the Cross: “Go! Rebuild my Church!” As our own faith journeys continue, let us work together to rebuild and renew our parishes. Let us walk hand-in-hand with our Holy Father in humility, fraternal love, and simplicity. And let us pray together: Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us!
Peace and blessings to all,
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Every Life Is Worth Living!
Respect Life Month | October 2015
Each October, the Roman Catholic Church prays in a special way for the respect of all human life. As Pope Francis reminds us: “We are called to reach out to those who find themselves in the existential peripheries of our society and to show particular solidarity with the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters: the poor, the disabled, the unborn and sick, migrants and refugees, the elderly and the young who lack employment.” This year, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has chosen “Every Life Is Worth Living!” as the theme of this year’s “Respect Life Month.” Throughout the month of October, all are invited and encouraged to join in praying the following prayer for the protection of all human life from the moment of conception until natural death:
thank you for the precious gift of life.
Help us to cherish and protect this gift,
even in the midst of fear, pain, and suffering.
Give us love for all people, especially the most vulnerable,
and help us to bear witness to the truth
that every life is worth living.
Grant us the humility to accept help when we are in need,
and teach us to be merciful to all.
Through our actions and our words,
may others encounter the outstretched hands of Your mercy.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever. Amen.
Every Life Is Worth Living: A Prayer Vigil for Life
Thursday, October 15th | Begins at 12:00pm
In communion and solidarity with Pope Francis, Cardinal Sean, and the teachings and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, all parishioners, friends, and guests of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join us for “Every Life Is Worth Living: A Prayer Vigil for Life” on Thursday, October 15th in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. We will begin at 12:00pm with Daytime Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.
Throughout the afternoon, all are welcome to join us in silent prayer and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. At 3:00pm, we will pray a Holy Rosary for Life in honor of the Pope’s call to reach out and respect our most vulnerable brothers and sisters. Our “Prayer Vigil for Life” will conclude with Evening Prayer (with homily) and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at 6:45pm. We pray that you and your family will be able to join us for all or part of this special day of prayer for life! If you are unable to join us, please pray with us at home or at work throughout the day with certain knowledge that God hears and answers our prayers for all human life.
Call for Donations!
Baby Items Needed!
In addition to our community’s prayers this month, we will collect donations of basic baby items (blankets, diapers, onesies, sleepers, toiletries, and disposable wipes) that will be donated to “A Woman’s Concern.” This Catholic, non-profit organization provides medical, mentoring, and ministry services to pregnant women and new mothers. Donation can be left in the sacristies of our churches before or after Mass or delivered to our pastoral office during regular business hours. For more information, please see Father Jim or visit their website at awprc.org.
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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