Our Pastor’s Message
A Call to Joy & Prayer
The Gospels record the birth of Jesus but offer few details about his childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. Biblical scholars remind us that the Lord’s “public life” begins when he is found fervently praying in the temple, the place of prayer for his people. The Gospels then record his public ministry: the healings, miracles, preaching, and call of his first followers. The Gospels then recount his passion, death, and miraculous resurrection. And later this week, Saint Luke gives his account of the Lord’s glorious ascension into heaven (Luke 24:46-53).
Luke tells us that the Risen Jesus leads the disciples to Bethany, not far from Jerusalem, where he had previously dined with lepers and raised Lazarus from the dead. He brings them there, blesses them, and promises that God will sanctify them with “power from on high (Luke 24:49).” Jesus is then taken up into heaven and seated at the right hand of the Father. The disciples are astonished, awestruck, and overcome with great joy. They return to Jerusalem, dedicate their lives to prayer and worship, and await the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Two thousand years later, we are called to imitate Jesus and the disciples. Whatever our vocation (whether it’s marriage, diaconate, priesthood, or the single life), we are beckoned by God to make our relationship with him the center of our lives; to make it the relationship upon which all other relationships depend for their love, sustenance, and strength; and finally to humbly love and serve the Lord and each other.
Like the disciples, we are beckoned to respond with joyful praise and thanksgiving for the miracle of the Lord’s resurrection, his ascension into heaven, and the coming of his Holy Spirit. And like both Jesus and his disciples, we are called to prayer: to praise, petition, and thank the God who created us, loves us, forgives us, fortifies us, and heals us. And we are called to the joy that comes in knowing that we too will be raised up into heaven.
This Thursday, May 5th, the Church celebrates the Solem- nity of the Ascension of the Lord. This annual commemoration is a holy day of obligation for all Catholics. It is also a moment to remind ourselves of God’s call to joy and prayer. So wherever we find ourselves on the journey of faith, let us pause this week to remember the disciples, who despite their imperfections, dedicated themselves to joyful prayer, fellowship, and service to God and to each other. Let us remember our Risen Lord who gave his life for us. And let us always remember that he intercedes for us at the right hand of God, our Father in heaven. Amen!
Peace and blessings to all,
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
The Ascension of the Lord
Holy Day of Obligation
Thursday, May 5th
The Celebration of Holy Mass is the source and summit of our community’s joy and its life of prayer, fellowship, and service. All are welcome to join us for Mass and to participate in Holy Communion in accordance with personal conscience and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. In commemoration of the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, a holy day of obligation for all Catholics, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport will celebrate Masses according to the following schedule: Wednesday, May 4th at 7:00pm in Saint Ann Church; Thursday, May 5th at 8:00am in Saint Joachim Church; and Thursday, May 5th at 12:00pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. For more information, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are welcome!
Year of Mercy Special Event
Friday, May 6th
In the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, we are celebrating the Jubilee Year of Mercy with special programs and events throughout the year. For example, our next “Mercy Friday” is scheduled for Friday, May 6th in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Our vigil of prayer will begin at 12:00pm with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Daytime Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. At 3:00pm, we will pray the Divine Mercy Chap- let. From 5:00pm until 6:00pm, Father Jim will hear confessions. And at 6:30pm, we will conclude with Evening Prayer (with Homily) and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Please join us for all or part of this special day of devotion, prayer, and worship. All are welcome!
Throughout the year, other programs and special events will include opportunities for scripture study, group spiritual direction, a fall mini-course, and a summer retreat all focused on offering our fellow parishioners and friends opportunities to deepen their personal relationships with the Lord and to experience God’s love and mercy in their own lives. Throughout the year, let us pray for each other and for our parish communities: that the Lord will bless us with his boundless love and mercy. For more information about the Jubilee Year of Mercy in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Cliff Garvey at email@example.com. May God have mercy on us all!
Mother’s Day Mass for Families
Saturday, May 7th
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says: “Let the little chil- dren come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs (Mt 19:14).” In response to the Lord’s call, all parents, grandparents, godparents, and children of all ages are invited to join Father Jim for our Mother’s Day Mass for Families on Saturday, May 7th at 4:00pm in Saint Ann Church. During Mass, Father Jim will offer a special homily about Our Blessed Mother and Mother’s Day; and also offer a special blessing for all families and children. In addition, those who gather for this Mass for Families will join the Legion of Mary in the Annual May Crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This celebration will be a beautiful way to honor Our Blessed Mother and all mothers! As our Mother’s Day Mass for Families approaches, let us reaffirm that Mass is our class! Jesus is our teacher! And every family that joins us is a gift from God! For more information, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. All are invited! All are welcome!
Magnificat: Mary’s Song of Mercy
Day of Prayer & Reflection
Saturday, May 14th
All are invited to join the Legion of Mary and its spiritual director, Cliff Garvey, for “Magnificat: Mary’s Song of Mercy” on Saturday, May 14th at Saint Anthony Chapel. During this four hour mini-retreat, we will explore the meaning and spiritual significance of the Magnifact (see Luke 1:46-55), Our Blessed Mother’s beautiful hymn of praise and thanksgiving, and its message of humility, love, and mercy. This special day of prayer and reflection will proceed according to the following schedule: Holy Mass at 8:00am; Morning Prayer & Reflection at 9:00am; Eucharistic Adoration & Rosary at 10:00am; Daytime Prayer & Reflection at 11:00am; and Angelus & Closing Prayer at 12:00pm.
Throughout the morning, there will be scheduled breaks and also time for faith sharing, fellowship, and refreshments. Coffee, tea, and bottled water will be available throughout the morning. And after closing prayers, a light lunch will be served. Although there is no registration fee for this event, a free will donation will be collected during the celebration of Mass. Also, please note that there will be no morning Mass at Saint Ann Church on Saturday, May 14th. If you would like to join the Legion of Mary for this special day of prayer and reflection, please contact Cliff Garvey at email@example.com by Thursday, May 12th so that we can plan adequately for enough food and drink. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Special Message of Thanks
to Some Very Special People
Last week, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport sponsored its first ever Spring Vacation Catholic Kids Camp called “The Vatican Express.” During this week-long program, eighteen young disciples learned about the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church through interactive activities and crafts. Everyone involved in this special program (children, parents, and volunteers) agree that it was a great success!
The success of this special program depended on a team of dedicated ministers and volunteers. Our young disciples wish to sincerely thank the following parishioners who volunteered their time and talent to this program: Carol Burns, Jennifer Dort, Grace Figuerido, Michael LePenna, Sean Lilly, Jean Madruga, Mary Ellen McLeod, Diane Story, and Deacon Raymond Wellbank. In addition, special thanks go to Betsy Works, Rizza Anderson, and Fernanda Brown for their incredible devotion and hard work in planning this program and bringing it to fruition for our young disciples and their families. In particular, Rizza is just twelve years old, but served her parish family with great dedication and distinction!
The Vatican Express is part of our ongoing work to reimagine, rebuild, and restructure our youth faith formation program. For more information, please see Father Jim or contact Betsy Works at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our next Catholic Kids Camp is coming soon! Stay tuned for more information! Peace and blessings to all!
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 email@example.com. Please join us! All are welcome!
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