Our Pastor’s Message
The New Beatitudes
Earlier this month, Pope Francis visited Sweden as part of his ongoing outreach to Christians from other denominations and traditions. Although the number of Roman Catholics in Sweden is small (approximately 115,000 people or 1 percent of the country’s total population), local bishops believe that number is now much higher due to recent immigration by Chaldean Catholics from Iraq and other parts of Asia and the Middle East.
At the close of this latest ecumenical journey, Pope Francis celebrated Mass on the Solemnity of All Saints and he preached about Saint Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373) and Saint Elizabeth Hesselblad (1870-1957), who worked tirelessly for Christian unity during their lifetimes. In addition, the pope proclaimed that the Beatitudes from Christ’s Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) serve as an “identity card” for anyone who professes the Christian faith. Pope Francis also said that these unsettled times require a new energy and a new commitment among Christians around the world; and he humbly offered a list of new Beatitudes for today’s believers:
Blessed are those who remain faithful
while enduring evils inflicted on them by others
and forgive them from the heart.
Blessed are those who look into the eyes
of the abandoned and the marginalized
and show them friendship.
Blessed are those who see God in every person
and strive to help others discover Him.
Blessed are those who protect and care for our common home.
Blessed are those who renounce their own comfort
in order to serve others.
Blessed are those who pray and work
for full communion among Christians around the world.
The pope said that modern disciples who practice these new beatitudes are truly “messengers of God’s mercy and tenderness” in a world torn apart by bigotry, climate change, inequality, terrorism, violence, and war. Needless to say, it is not easy to remain faithful, to forgive, to sacrifice, to welcome the stranger, or to work for unity during a time of such deep divisions both at home and abroad. And yet, as disciples, this is our vocation: to grow in prayer, fellowship, and service with both friends and adversaries; to live the Gospel and share it with love in our homes, neighborhoods, and workplaces; and to work for peace and justice in our hometowns, parish communities, and throughout the world.
In communion with our Holy Father and with our brothers and sisters in faith in every nation and culture, let us spend some time praying with these “new beatitudes.” Let us pray for the courage to integrate them into our lives of faith and discipleship though our every thought, word, and action. Let us pray for those we love and for those whom we find so chal- lenging to accept. And as the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy comes to a close at the end of this week, let us pray always for Pope Francis, who leads us forth with profound dedication, humility, and grace.
Peace and blessings to all,
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Holy Family Parish
Annual Christmas Fair
Saturday, November 19th
All are invited to join Holy Family Parish for its Annual Christmas Fair on Saturday, November 19th from 9:00am until 2:00pm in the newly renovated Saint Ann Church Hall. This year’s fair will feature various sales tables, including homemade baked goods and cookies, Christmas decorations, Santa’s Corner, Chinese Raffle, White Elephant Table, and our famous Basket Wheel! In addition, raffle tickets are now available for cash prizes, an IPad, and a Red Sox Game Package. We are very grateful for all donations! We are especially grateful to Greely Funeral Home and Pike-Newhall Funeral Home for their donation of our raffle prizes. The Christmas Fair Committee and the Women’s Guild are working overtime to make this year’s fair another great success! So, please support this important parish fundraising event by joining us on Saturday, November 19th! For more information about the Christmas Fair, please contact Lydia Bertolino at email@example.com. All are welcome!
Month of All Souls
Mass of Remembrance
Sunday, November 20th
During November, which is also known as the Month of All Souls, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport will celebrate three Masses of Remembrance for those from our parishes who have journeyed home to the Lord during the past year and whose funerals were celebrated in our churches. So far this month, Masses of Remembrance were celebrated on Saturday, October 29th in Saint Ann Church and on Sunday, November 13th at 10:00am Saint Joachim Church. Our final Mass of Remembrance for this year will be celebrated on Sunday, November 20th at 11:45am Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. At each Mass of Remembrance, the names of our dearly departed loved ones, friends, and fellow parishioners will be read aloud. During this upcoming Month of All Souls, let us unite our hearts and voices in prayer for those we have lost. For more information, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org or see a member of our pastoral team. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish
Annual Turkey Giveaway
Monday, November 21st
All are invited to join Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish for its Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway on Monday, November 21st at 7:00pm in Our Lady’s Hall. Once again, there will be turkeys for raffle, along with our famous homemade sweetbread, cider, vegetables, and all the trimmings for a delicious Thanksgiving Feast! In addition, we’ll have a 50-50 raffle. Pizza and soft drinks will be available, too! So, please join us for this fun and exciting holiday tradition! For more information, please see Father Jim or contact him at email@example.com. Please join us! All are welcome!
Thanksgiving Mass Schedule
All parishioners, friends, and guests are welcome to join the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport as we gather for Holy Mass in celebration of the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday. All are welcome to join us for Mass on Wednesday, November 23rd at 7:00pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church; and on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 24th at 8:00am in Saint Joachim Church. Please join us as we gather to give praise and thanks for God’s abundant blessings! Peace and blessings to all for a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Saint Vincent de Paul Society
Christmas Giving Trees
Begins November 26th-27th
This year, the Saint Vincent de Paul Society will once again sponsor the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s Annual Christmas Giving Trees which help share the blessings of Christmas with local families in need. The Giving Trees will be placed at the entrances of Saint Ann Church, Saint Joachim Church, and Our Lady of Good Voyage Church during the weekend of November 26—November 27th. Each tree will be decorated with colored stars that indicate a particular Christmas wish. If you can help fulfill this wish, please take a star! Each donated gift should be new, unused, and unwrapped; and placed under the tree with the original star or delivered to our parish offices. The Christmas Giving Trees will remain at our church entrances through Sunday, December 11th. All gifts should be returned to our parish offices by Tuesday, December 13th at noon. Gifts will be wrapped and delivered to families in need on Thursday, December 15th. For more information about the Saint Vincent de Paul Society’s Giving Tree Program, please contact Barbara Frontiero at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you in advance for your generous support of the Christmas Giving Trees! May God bless us, everyone!
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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