Our Pastor’s Message
Transfigured for Love & Service
Each year on the Second Sunday of Lent, the Catholic Church joyfully proclaims the gospel reading of the Transfiguration of Jesus. In this year’s reading from the Gospel of Matthew (17:1-9), God reveals the true glory and divine nature of Jesus to Peter, James, and John on Mount Tabor. From the brightest of clouds, God speaks to the disciples: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him (Matthew 17:5).” By doing so, God gives these three disciples a glimpse into heaven; he strengthens their faith for the challenges to come; and he foretells the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ. Peter desires to remain on the mountain, to remain in the comfort and peace of the Lord’s presence. But Jesus tells the disciples to rise, to descend from the mountain, to resume their labors, and to be not afraid.
More than two thousand years later, this passage offers us these same gifts: a glimpse into heaven; strength for the journey; and knowledge of the Lord’s ultimate triumph over sin and death. And more than two thousand years later, this passage calls us to go into the world, to love God, to keep his commandments, and to love others without reservation and without counting the cost. Just as God calls the disciples to see Jesus as his Beloved Son and to listen to him, God calls us to love and serve the Lord and each other. He calls us to do the Lord’s work in the world, in the vineyard of souls; and to do this work without fear, and with all our heart, and with all our strength.
But how? Where do we start? How do we “listen to him?” How do we do the Lord’s work in a world that seems so cold, so cruel, and so closed to the Good News of Christ? Of course, we already know the basics. As disciples, each of us is called to love God and to love neighbor. We are called to support our parishes with generous gifts of time, talent, and treasure. We are called to live the Gospel, to share God’s love, and to rebuild the Church right here in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. And we are called to embrace the teachings and traditions of the Church with regard to human life, human rights, and the common good. For more than a century, the Church has offered the world wise counsel about how to love and serve. This wisdom is embodied by these seven basic principles of Catholic social teaching:
- A Respect for the Life & Dignity of Every Human Person
- A Call to Participate Fully in Family & Community Life
- A Call to Promote & Protect Basic Human Rights
- A Commitment or Preferential Option for the Poor & Vulnerable
- A Commitment to Safeguard the Dignity & Rights of Workers
- A Commitment to Global Solidarity and the Common Good
- A Commitment to Care for God’s Creation
Whether we work for the Church, volunteer for a parish ministry or community service organization, or humbly offer prayers for peace and justice in our troubled world, we can take guidance, inspiration, and strength from this sevenfold commitment to doing God’s will in our homes, neighborhoods, parishes, and workplaces. As we continue our Lenten journey, let us join the disciples in being awestruck by the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us worship him as God’s Beloved Son. Let us go forth without fear into the world. And let us listen for and answer his call to love God and each other in a true spirit of prayer, fellowship, and service.
Peace and blessings to all,
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
The Light Is On For You!
Confessions & Eucharistic Adoration
Wednesdays During Lent
During the Holy Season of Lent, all Catholics are invited to experience Christ’s love and mercy through the Sacrament of Penance & Reconciliation (Confession). On Wednesday evenings during Lent (through April 12th), all are invited to join us for “The Light Is On For You!” from 6:00pm until 8:00pm at Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. These special evenings of prayer will include Evening Prayer and Night Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours; Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament; and two full hours of confessions for those who feel called to participate. For some, this may be a time for sacramental reconciliation. For some, it may be a time for silent prayer and reflection. And for some, it may be a time to begin or renew a life of faith. Wherever you are on your faith journey, please join us! All are invited! All are welcome! For more information about the Sacrament of Penance & Reconciliation, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com. Please note that this program will be preempted on Wednesday, March 22nd for our Lent Mission & Retreat.
Lent Mission & Retreat
Seasons of the Heart with Sister Elizabeth Wagner
March 22nd-March 24th
All are invited to join us for the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s Lent Mission & Retreat from Wednesday, March 22nd through Friday, March 24th at Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Each evening will begin with Evening Prayer & Mass at 7:00pm. In addition, we will be blessed to welcome Sister Elizabeth Wagner as our special guest and spiritual director, who will lead us in prayer and reflection each evening after Mass. Sister Elizabeth lives a contemplative life at Transfiguration Hermitage, which she founded in Windsor, Maine, as a semi-eremitical community devoted to prayer and solitude according to the Rule of Saint Benedict. She is a hermit, award-winning writer, spiritual director, and retreat leader. Sister Elizabeth is also the formation director, gardener, and groundskeeper of the hermitage.
In addition to Sister Elizabeth’s nightly reflections during the mission and retreat, she will sign copies of her book, “Seasons in My Garden.” This captivating book intricate- ly weaves insights from her own spiritual growth with the passing of the seasons. It offers readers spiritual guid- ance and an understanding that the patient tending of the soul will help us grow into a tranquil garden that God can use to reflect his glory. Copies of the book will be available for sale at $16.95 per copy. The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s Lent Mission & Retreat is free but donations will be gratefully accepted during each evening’s celebration of Mass. For more information, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
The Assisi Project
Lent Icon Raffle
Our Lady’s Grand Annual Collection
The Assisi Project is a fellowship of “Franciscans in Spirit” who seek to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the inspiration of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi. Our mission is to serve the Church and to give witness to the Good News of Christ by means of formation and prayer, pilgrimage and retreat, and educating others about our way of life. Beginning this weekend through Easter Sunday, the Assisi Project is sponsoring a Lent Raffle for this beautiful hand painted icon of the “Pieta” which appears on the front cover of this week’s newsletter. All proceeds from the Assisi Project’s Lent Raffle will be donated to Our Lady’s Grand Annual Collection. A donation of $1.00 per ticket is requested. Tickets can be purchased after various daily and weekend Masses in Our Lady’s Church; at our parish offices; and by contacting Cliff Garvey at email@example.com. The winner will be drawn on Easter Sunday, April 16th. Thank you for your generous support!
Safe & Easy Electronic Giving
Electronic giving is now available at both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. Via ParishPay, it is easy, simple, and safe to make online donations to your home parish using a credit card, debit card, or electronic check. Donations can be made on a one-time-only or ongoing basis. And it takes just a few minutes to set up a secure personal account. So, please prayerfully consider supporting your parish by giving electronically! For more information about electronic giving in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please visit parishpay.com or contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need any assistance with setting up an account, please contact Claire Murphy at email@example.com. Thank you for your generous and ongoing support of our parishes!
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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