Our Pastor’s Message
Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, Pray for Us!
Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, known universally as Padre Pio, was born in 1887; took solemn vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience as a Franciscan friar in 1907; was ordained a priest in 1910; died in 1968; and was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2002. As a young friar, Padre Pio had no ambition other than to be a good priest. He maintained particularly deep devotions to the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of Penance & Reconciliation. Indeed, he soon gained a well-deserved reputation as a merciful confessor who dispensed God’s forgiveness to sinners who came from far and wide to benefit from his good advice and counsel.
On September 20, 1918, while hearing confessions, Padre Pio first experienced the bleeding, pain, and suffering that would later be confirmed as the stigmata: the five wounds of the Crucified Christ on his hands, feet, and side. In the years that followed, countless people testified to Padre Pio’s gifts for healing, prophecy, and miracle-making. Some even attested to his experience of transverberation, a form of faith-filled ecstasy whereby one is stricken by an angelic seraph, wounded in the soul, and experiences a profound awareness of God’s boundless love and mercy.
Fourteen years after his canonization, Padre Pio is reverenced throughout the world. His shrine at San Giovanni Rotondo in Italy is one of the most visited Christian pilgrimage sites on earth. And yet, it may seem difficult for us (as average people) to identify with a cloistered friar, a priest, and a stigmatist who experienced divine consolations that we can hardly imagine. At the same time, Padre Pio identifies with us. He is venerated as the patron of civil servants, teenagers, and those suffering from anxiety, depression, or stress. As a man and priest, Padre Pio understood the struggles of people like you and me who work long hours, love our families, and struggle to make ends meet. He understood the hardships of daily life; and throughout his priesthood, he extended a bandaged hand of friendship to all who sought God’s love and forgiveness.
As a saint, Padre Pio still understands our struggles. He looks upon us with compassion and love. He prays for us at the foot of our Risen Lord who loves us beyond all measure. He reassures us that our faith in God can transcend all anxiety, stress, or worry. And he calls out to us: “Pray, hope, and do not worry! Worry is useless! God is merciful and will hear your prayer!” With this assurance from heaven, let us call to him: Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, pray for us and for our troubled world!
Peace and blessings to all,
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Youth Faith Formation
Padre Pio Faith & Family Mass
Sunday, September 25th
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 (Matthew 19:14).” In response to the Lord’s call, all parents, grandparents, godparents, and children are invited to join Father Jim for our “Saint Padre Pio Faith & Family Mass” on Sunday, September 25th at 11:45am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. During Mass, Father Jim will offer a special homily about Saint Padre Pio and a special blessing for all families and children. All children (under at 18) will also receive a special gift. Mark your calendars!
During the coming school year, we will celebrate three more “Faith & Family Masses” on Saturday, December 17th at 4:00pm in Saint Ann Church; on Sunday, March 5th at 11:45am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church; and on Saturday, May 13th at 4:00pm in Saint Ann Church. For more information about our upcoming Saint Padre Pio Faith & Family Mass, please see Father Jim or contact Betsy Works at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us reaffirm that Mass is our class! Jesus is our Teacher! Every child in our pews is a gift from God! Every family in our pews is a gift from God! So, please spread the word to family and friends! Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Youth Faith Formation
Grade 2 Sacramental Preparation
The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport is now offering a creative and innovative way for young children to prepare for the Sacraments of Penance & Reconciliation (Confession) and First Holy Communion. Our program is designed to prepare both children and their parents for these sacraments, to encourage lifelong relationships with Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church, and to help families grow together in prayer, fellowship, and service. Our program is simple and family friendly!
First, we will continue to place primary focus on inviting families to attend one of our seven weekend Masses. Second, all second grade children and their parents (or guardians) are asked to attend two 90 minute workshops during the fall season; and three 90 minute workshops during the winter-spring season. Each “Faith & Family Workshop” is offered at three different times, so each family can choose which option works best for them!
Our program begins next month. Calendars and registration materials are posted below. If you have questions or need any assistance with youth faith formation in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please see Father Jim before or after Mass; or contact Betsy Works at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Youth Faith Formation
Confirmation Preparation Program
Registration is now underway for our Confirmation Preparation Program. Beginning in the ninth grade, all high school students are invited to participate in our two-year program that will prepare them to receive the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit at Confirmation. During the first year, our students will participate in a series of interactive workshops about the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church. During the second year, our students will participate in a series of special events and workshops designed to help them grow in prayer, fellowship, and service; to prepare them to receive the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and to stimulate their lives as faithful and faith-filled young adult disciples. Our program begins later this month. Calendars and registration materials are posted below. If you have questions or need any assistance with youth faith formation in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please see Father Jim before or after Mass; or contact Betsy Works at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are welcome!
Our Lady of Good Voyage
Our Lady’s Guild Penny Sale
Monday, September 26th
All parishioners and friends of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join Our Lady’s Guild for a “Penny Sale” on Monday, September 26th at 7:00pm in Our Lady’s Hall. As always, the “Penny Sale” will feature great prizes, a 50-50 raffle, delicious homemade sweet bread, along with other homemade food and snacks. Donations will be accepted at Our Lady’s Rectory until the beginning of the Penny Sale. Since 1944, Our Lady’s Guild has worked to build community among women of all ages in Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish through prayer, good works, social activities, and fundraising events. The Guild meets on the first Monday evening of each month in the Our Lady’s Parish Hall at 6:30pm. New members are always welcome! For more information, please contact Linda Galvin at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Adult Faith Formation
RCIA & Adult Confirmation Preparation
If you are an adult (age 18 and over) and have not received the Sacraments of Baptism, Penance & Reconciliation (Confession), Holy Eucharist, or Confirmation in the Roman Catholic Church, then please prayerfully consider joining our adult faith formation program which will meet on Sunday mornings after the 8:15am Mass beginning on Sunday, October 16th in Saint Ann Parish House. The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) is a seven month program that prepares adults to be received into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil. Our group will meet approximately twice each month to learn about the basic beliefs, teachings, and traditions of the Church. As part of this same process, our Adult Confirmation Program prepares adults for the Sacrament of Confirmation and focuses on the challenges of living a life of faith in the modern world. If you (or someone you know and love) would like to join us for this journey of faith and become part of a unique fellowship in preparation for receiving the sacraments of God’s Holy Church, then please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! 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 email@example.com. Please join us! All are welcome!
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