This Week’s Message
The Adventure of God’s Mercy
By Pope Francis
We are gathered here to help each other because we do not want to be robbed of the best of ourselves. We do not want to be robbed by fond illusions of our energy, our joy, and our dreams. So I ask you: Are you looking for empty thrills in life? Or do you want to feel a power that can give you a lasting sense of life and fulfillment? Empty thrills or the power of God’s grace? To find fulfillment and to gain new strength: there is a way! It is not a thing or an object. It is a person. And he is alive! His name is Jesus Christ! Jesus can give us a true passion for life. Jesus can inspire us to not settle for less, but to give the very best of ourselves. Jesus challenges us, encourages us, and helps us to keep trying whenever we are tempted to give up. Jesus pushes us to keep our sights high and to dream of great things.
In the Gospel, we learn how Jesus, on his way to Jerusalem, stopped at a home and was welcomed. It was the home of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. He stopped, went inside, and visited. The women welcomed him because they knew that he was open and attentive. Our many jobs and responsibilities can make us like Martha: busy, scattered, and constantly bouncing from place to place. But we can also be like Mary. When we see a beautiful landscape or watch a video from a friend on our cellphones, we can stop, think, and listen. In these days, Jesus wants to stop and enter our homes. He will look at us hurrying about with all our concerns (as he did with Martha); and he will wait for us to listen to him and to make space for him amid the bustle of life (like Mary did). May these days be given over to Jesus and to listening to each other. May these days help us to welcome Jesus in all those with whom we share our homes, neighborhoods, offices, and schools.
Whoever welcomes Jesus learns to love as Jesus loves. So he asks us if we want a full life. Do you want a complete life? Start by letting yourself be open and attentive! Happiness is sown and blossoms in mercy! Mercy is his answer, his offer, his challenge, and his adventure! Mercy always has a youthful face. Like that of Mary of Bethany, who sat as a disciple at the feet of the Lord and joyfully listened to his words because she knew that she would find peace in this way. Like that of Mary of Nazareth, whose daring ‘Yes!’ launched her on the adventure of mercy. All generations call her blessed because she is the ‘Mother of Mercy’ to everyone.
All together, then, we ask the Lord: Launch us on the adventure of mercy! Launch us on the adventure of building bridges and tearing down walls, barriers, and barbed wire. Launch us on the adventure of helping the poor, the lonely and abandoned, and those who no longer find meaning in their lives. Like Mary of Bethany, send us to listen attentively to those we do not understand; those of other countries and cultures; and even those whom we fear. Lord, make us attentive to our elders, like Mary was to Elizabeth, in order to learn from their experience and wisdom. Lord, here we are! Send us to share your merciful love! We want to welcome you! And we want to affirm that our lives are fulfilled when they are shaped by your mercy for that is the better part, and it will never be taken from us!
On Thursday, July 28th in Krakow, Poland, Pope Francis spoke to hundreds of thousands of young pilgrims who gathered there to celebrate World Youth Day. Although the Holy Father’s words (excerpted here from a longer reflection) were addressed to young people (mostly teenagers and young adults), they are relevant to people of goodwill of all ages who seek to live lives of faith, hope, and love in our troubled world. Here in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, as we continue to grow in prayer, fellowship, and service, let us pray for the grace to reflect on the pope’s words and to put them into action. And let us pray for the courage to live the Gospel, to share God’s love and mercy, and to rebuild the Church! Amen! – Father Jim
Summer Carillon Recitals
An Our Lady of Good Voyage Tradition
Begins Saturday, August 6th
An annual tradition returns this summer to Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish! Our Summer Carillon Recitals are scheduled to begin on Saturday, August 6th at 5:00pm (rain or shine). Once again, Luann Pallazola, our own very talented organist-keyboardist has prepared programs that include familiar classical and international pieces, popular hymns, patriotic melodies, and even 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 near the church. Other recitals are scheduled for the following Saturday afternoons at 5:00pm: August 13th, August 20th, August 27th, and September 3rd. These recitals are free and open to the public! So, bring a cold drink or coffee! Bring a friend! Enjoy this wonderful summer tradition! And don’t forget that Mass begins at 6:00pm! All are invited! All are welcome! For more information, please contact LuAnn Pallazola at email@example.com.
Third Annual Summer Retreat
The Jesus Prayer
Begins Monday, August 8th
The summer season is a great time of year for stepping back from the business and busy-ness of daily life in order to focus on our personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, few among us are able to leave work, family, and friends for a real retreat from the world. For this reason, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport is pleased to announce our Third Annual Summer Retreat! From Monday, August 8th through Friday, August 12th, all are invited to join Father Jim and Cliff Garvey for a unique opportunity to experience the spiritual peace and renewal of a week-long retreat without leaving home! Our retreat will be based on John Michael Talbot’s book, “The Jesus Prayer: A Cry for Mercy, A Path for Renewal.” For centuries, the Jesus Prayer (Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!) has led countless disciples toward a deeper and more intimate experience with Christ and his gifts of love and mercy. Talbot’s book offers readers a step-by-step and word-by-word approach for understanding the Jesus Prayer and for making it a central component of our spiritual lives.
Each evening of our retreat will begin promptly at 7:00pm in Saint Anthony Chapel with Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. After that, Father Jim and Cliff will lead our community in a period of reflection, discussion, and faith sharing. We will conclude each evening at 8:30pm with Night Prayer. Between each retreat session, participants will be asked to read brief selections from John Michael Talbot’s book and to engage in a daily prayer exercise. During each day of the retreat, Saint Anthony Chapel will open at 12:00pm for silent personal prayer and reflection. In order to adequately plan for the retreat, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to join us. A donation of $25 is requested from those who can afford it. Copies of the book, along with coffee, tea, and cold water will be provided. Please join us! All are welcome!
Youth Faith Formation
Father Jim’s Summer Art Contest
Calling Young Disciples!
All young disciples (ages 5 through 11) are invited to participate in Father Jim’s Summer Art Contest by creating an original work of art based on the theme that “Jesus Is Our Teacher!” Submissions should be no smaller than 8 by 11 inches and no larger than 18 by 24 inches; created, colored, drawn, or painted by hand; and depicting one of the following images of Jesus: Christ the Teacher, Christ the Good Shepherd, the Divine Mercy, and the Face of Christ. All original art projects are due by Friday, September 2nd and will be judged by Father Jim and a committee of judges! The winning submission will be professionally framed and displayed prominently in our pastoral office! Coloring sheets (for younger children) and suggested icon images (for older children) can be found on our website at ccgronline.com/formation. If you have questions or need more information, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com. Please join us! All are welcome!
Summer Catholic Kids Camp
The Vatican Express, Part 3
Begins Tuesday, August 23rd
The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport is pleased to announce that all children (ages 5 through 11) are invited to participate in our next Summer Catholic Kids Camp: The Vatican Express, Part 3 from Tuesday, August 23rd through Friday, August 26th from 8:00am until 12:00pm at Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. During this exciting week of prayer and fellowship, children will learn about the traditions and treasures of the Catholic Church through active and engaged participation in games, music, skits, and easy-to-make crafts. Each day, we will explore a different theme: Day I, Tuesday, August 23rd: The Miracles of the Holy Eucharist and the Saints; Day II, Wednesday, August 24th: The Eucharist Miracle and Saint Clare of Assisi; Day III, Thursday, August 25th: The Eucharist Miracle and Saint Francis of Assisi; and Day IV, Friday, August 26th: The Eucharist Miracle and Blessed Imelda Lambertini.
Each day of the Vatican Express, Part 3 will begin with Mass at 8:00am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. All parents, grandparents, and guardians are welcome to join us! After Mass, Betsy Works and a team of volunteers will lead the children to Our Lady’s School for a faith-filled and fun-filled morning of activities, learning, and good times with friends both new and old. The Vatican Express, Part 3 is our latest fun, exciting, and educational program that your children and grandchildren will love! The tuition for this innovative summer vacation youth faith formation program is just $25 per child for the entire week! Scholarships are available to those who cannot afford tuition. Also, adults and older children (ages 12 and up) are welcome to join us as volunteers and will be much appreciated! For more information about our Summer Vacation Catholic Kids Camp: The Vatican Express Part II, please contact Betsy Works at bworks@ccgronline. Please join us! 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!
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