Our Pastor’s Message
The Blessings of Assisi
Lives begin. Lives end. In between, there are many blessings to enjoy and many crosses to carry. And we are called to give God praise and thanks for both. Likewise, journeys begin. Journeys end. In between, there are many blessings to share, many hills to climb, many paths to cross. And we are called to give God praise and thanks for all of them.
Last week, I was truly blessed to lead thirteen friends and fellow parishioners on a unique journey: the Assisi Project’s Eighth Annual Fall Pilgrimage & Retreat to Assisi, Italy. Throughout the week, our dedicated group of pilgrims prayed together, broke bread together, and literally walked together in the footsteps of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi. Upon my return, a friend asked what was unique about this year’s pilgrimage and retreat. I answered simply: “our pilgrims.” Indeed, each year’s group of pilgrims has its own set of blessings, challenges, and personalities. But this year, for the first time, a majority of our pilgrims joined us from the parishes of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. And that was very special!
During our week together, Saint Francis taught us that we are called to live a Gospel Life, a life built on love, friendship, forgiveness, generosity, sacrifice, simplicity, and true poverty — the wisdom to acknowledge and understand that all that we have, all that we are, and all that we might become depends on our all good and gracious God. On our last evening in Assisi, many of our pilgrims were openly sad about leaving that blessed place. Although each of us was exhausted by our long journey, we knew that the hardest work would begin upon our return home: the work of living the Gospel Life. Although we left Assisi with tearful eyes, we returned home with joyful hearts, ever grateful for each other and for God’s abiding love.
During each day of the pilgrimage, we prayed for each and every one of our fellow parishioners here in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. So, please join me in thanking all of this year’s pilgrims for their prayers: Fred Alaris, Patricia Bertero, Carol Burns, Maureen Cusumano, Irene Kerr, Caroline Laprise, Sandra Lucero, Jean Madruga, Rudy Macchi, Ann Marie Noble, Linda Pietraszek, and Betsy Works.
In a special way, I wish to thank Cliff Garvey for his hard work during our pilgrimage. Cliff’s devotion to Saints Francis and Clare, his knowledge of Assisi and his friendships there, and his experience and expertise as a spiritual director and guide were invaluable to each and every one of our pilgrims (including me). Saint Francis, pray for us! Saint Clare, pray for us! Our Lady of Angels, pray for us!
Peace, blessings, and sincere thanks to all,
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Month of All Souls
Mass of Remembrance
Sunday, November 15th
During November, the Month of All Souls, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport has celebrated three Masses of Remembrance for the souls of those parishioners who have journeyed home to the Lord during the past year and whose funerals were celebrated in our parishes. This year’s final Mass of Remembrance will be celebrated this Sunday, November 15th at 11:45am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. At this Mass of Remembrance, the names of our dearly departed loved ones and friends will be read aloud. Throughout this Month of All Souls, all are encouraged to pray for all of our beloved family members, friends, colleagues, neighbors, and benefactors who have passed away during the past year. Please pray also for their grieving families. May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace! May God bless all who grieve and keep them close to His most merciful heart! Amen!
Liturgy of the Hours: A Reprise
Wednesday, November 18th
Earlier this fall, Father Jim and Cliff Garvey introduced a large group of parishioners to the Divine Office during our three-night mini-course entitled: “Learning the Liturgy of the Hours.” On Thursday, November 18th (6:30pm-8:00pm) in Saint Anthony Chapel, all are welcome to join us for a one-night “reprise” of that mini-course. This special evening of prayer, faith formation, and sharing is an opportunity for those who missed the mini-course to learn about the Liturgy of the Hours; and a chance for those who are praying with it to ask questions and share their experiences.
Since the middle ages, the Church has used a daily practice of prayer called the “Divine Office” or “Liturgy of the Hours” to mark and sanctify the various hours or times of the day: morning, afternoon, evening, and night. It uses a four-week cycle of psalms, canticles, and scripture readings to draw us into deeper relationship with Christ and the Church by uniting us with the Lord and each other through prayers of petition, praise, and thanksgiving.
At ordination, our deacons and priests solemnly promise to pray with the Divine Office each and every day. However, the Liturgy of the Hours is not just for deacons, priests, and those consecrated to religious life. Countless lay men and women around the world make the Liturgy of the Hours the foundation of their daily prayer and wor- ship. Indeed, in Canticum Laudis, the Apostolic Constitution of the Church, we read: “The purpose of the Divine Office is to sanctify the day and all human activity. The Divine Office is the prayer not only of the clergy but of the whole people of God.”
We will begin our time together with Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. After praying together, Father Jim and Cliff will offer some basic instruction on how to pray the Divine Office alone or in groups. In addition, there will be time for discussion, faith sharing, and questions. Finally, we will conclude with Night Prayer.
This special event is free but one volume editions of the Liturgy of the Hours will be available for purchase. If you would like to join us, please contact Cliff Garvey at 978- 281-4820 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are welcome! For those parishioners who may be unable to join us for this special event due to family or professional obligations, our own website includes links to use-friendly sites for praying the Liturgy of the Hours. All are welcome to join at ccgronline.com/prayer.
Holy Family Parish
Annual Christmas Fair
Sunday, November 21st
All are welcome to come and support Holy Family Parish during our annual Christmas Fair on Saturday, November 21st from 9:00am until 2:00pm in the Parish Hall. The Holy Family Women’s Guild and the Christmas Fair Committee are working overtime to make this year’s event another great success! This year’s fair will feature various sale tables including books, homemade cookies and baked goods, Christmas decorations, Santa’s Corner, a Chinese Raffle, and a White Elephant Table. In addition, raffle tickets will be sold for an 8GB Wi-Fi Galaxy Tablet, a Garmin Vivofit 2 Tracker, and three $500 cash prizes. So, please support this important parish fundraising event by joining us next Saturday, November 21st for the Holy Family Christmas Fair! Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Our Lady of Good Voyage
Annual Turkey Giveaway
Monday, November 23rd
All are invited to join us for Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish’s Annual Turkey Giveaway on Monday, November 23rd beginning at 7:00pm in the Parish Hall. This year, we have 52 turkeys for raffle, along with our famous homemade sweet bread, cider, and vegetables. For more information, please see Father Jim or contact him at email@example.com. Please join us! All are welcome!
Thanksgiving Mass Schedule
November 25th-November 26th
All parishioners, friends, and visitors are welcome to join the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport as we gather for Holy Mass in celebration of the Thanksgiving Holiday. On Wednesday, November 25th at 7:00pm, Father Jim will celebrate Mass at Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. And on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26th at 8:00am, Father Jim will celebrate Mass at Saint Joachim Church. Please join us as we give thanks and praise for God’s abundant goodness and blessings! All are invited! 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 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!
Follow us on Twitter: @CCGRonline