This Week’s Message
A Mother’s Day Reflection

By Cliff Garvey

Last year at this time, Father Jim asked me to write a message about Mother’s Day for the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s weekly newsletter. In that message, I wrote about my parents, their fiftieth wedding anniversary, and their dedication to each other during both good and bad times. I also wrote about my mom’s amazing ability to maintain lifelong friendships, about her boundless love and support for me, and about the un- breakable bond between a mother and her only child.

This year, Father Jim asked me again to write a message for Mother’s Day. And during the past few weeks, I have been thinking a great deal about my parents and the past year in our lives. As many fellow parishioners know already, my uncle and godfather passed away last summer after a brave battle with cancer. Needless to say, my uncle’s loss was keenly felt by my dad (his older brother) and by mom (who had known him for more than five decades). Their grief was deep, lasting, and especially difficult for my father.

Being busy with my ministry here in our parishes and my teaching at a local university, I haven’t been much help to my dad this past year. We talk often and see each other frequently. But in all honesty, it has been hard to see him so sad and sometimes so tearful. Despite my prayers and my experience and training as a spiritual director, I couldn’t seem to find the right words of consolation for my dad. So, like so many other things over the years, that responsibility fell to my mom.

Unlike my dad and me, my mom doesn’t brood over the big things. She doesn’t get bogged down or wallow in anger, sadness, or worry. When something bad happens in our lives, she rises to the occasion by keeping busy, making plans, offering kind words to family and friends, and always looking ahead. My mom is not unemotional, but she has an unusual quality of looking beyond the anger, sadness, or worry of the present moment. She focuses on what comes next, on tomorrow, on the light of the coming sunrise.

Because I struggle to share this quality, I have not always valued it. But as the years pass and as we all get older, I see that my mom is an incredibly strong person. In my eyes, she remains young and beautiful. And despite suffering with chronic pain, she continues to look always to the future. For this and for so much more, I admire her, love her, and thank her. This Mother’s Day, let us again thank God for our mothers! Let us ask God to bless them, protect them, and strengthen them. And let us ask God to help us love our mothers as they love us — forever and always! Amen!

May the Risen Lord give you peace, now and always!

Cliff Garvey
Associate Minister
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport

CCGR Weekly Newsletter (5-8-16)
Bringing Home the Word (5-8-16)


Mother’s Day Mass for Families
Saturday, May 7th

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says: “Let the little children 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 All are invited! All are welcome!

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Assisi Project Spring Raffle
Loving Kindness Handpainted Icon
Tickets Now Available!

Beginning this weekend through Sunday, June 5th, the Assisi Project is sponsoring a Spring Raffle for a beautiful handpainted icon of our Blessed Mother and the Child Jesus, often referred to as the “Loving Kindness” or “Sweet Kisses” icon because it depicts the love and tenderness between Our Lady and her son (see above). Throughout the Christian world, icons are venerated as windows into heaven and are known to be instruments of God’s grace and divine miracles. The icon was blessed by Father Jim and crafted in Greece using traditional tempera paint, gold leaf, and covered with a protective varnish. It was donated by a member of the Assisi Project. Proceeds from the Assisi Project’s Spring Raffle will be shared with the Saint Vincent de Paul Society. A donation of $1.00 per ticket is requested. Tickets can be purchased after various weekend Masses in both Holy Family Parish or Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish; in the parish office; or by contacting Cliff Garvey at The winner will be drawn on Sunday, June 5th. Thank you for your generous support!


Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish
Crowning Feast of the Holy Spirit
Begins Monday, May 9th

All are invited to join Father Jim, Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, and the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport in celebrating our Annual Crowning Feast of the Holy Spirit from Monday, May 9th through Pentecost Sunday, May 15th. Crowning Week will begin on Monday, May 9th in Our Lady’s Church when the crown is entrusted to this year’s Imperator, Bart Piscitello, and his wife, Mary, as part of a special ceremony. The festivities will continue according to the following schedule of events throughout the week:

Monday, May 9th
Imperator Ceremony & Rosary
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church; 6:30pm
Supper in Our Lady’s Hall; 7:00pm

Tuesday, May 10th
Holy Rosary in Our Lady’s Hall; 6:30pm
Supper in Our Lady’s Hall; 7:00pm

Wednesday, May 11th
Celebration of Mass in Our Lady’s Hall; 6:30pm
Supper in Our Lady’s Hall; 7:00pm

Thursday, May 12th
Rosary in Our Lady’s Hall; 6:30pm
Supper in Our Lady’s Hall; 7:00pm

Friday, May 13th
Rosary in Our Lady’s Hall; 6:30pm
Supper in Our Lady’s Hall; 7:00pm

Saturday, May 14th
Rosary in Our Lady’s Church; 5:30pm
Celebration of Mass in Our Lady’s Church; 6:00pm
Penny Sale in Our Lady’s Hall; 7:00pm
No Supper; Refreshments Served

Pentecost Sunday, May 15th
Celebration of Mass & Crowning Ceremony
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church at 11:45am
Luncheon in Our Lady’s Hall at 1:00pm

Tickets for Sunday’s Luncheon are available at our pastoral offices; and also before and after we pray the Rosary each evening. Donations for our annual auction, which will take place right after the luncheon, will be much appreciated! For more information about tickets or donations to the auction, please contact Father Jim at All are parishioners, friends, and guests of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join us for this beautiful annual celebration of the coming of God’s Holy Spirit! All are welcome! Come Holy Spirit!


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 by Thursday, May 12th so that we can plan adequately for enough food and drink. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!


About 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 Please join us! All are welcome!

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