Our Pastor’s Message
A Celebration of God’s Endless Love
This weekend throughout the world, the Catholic Church celebrates the Second Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday. This weekend, we rejoice again over the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ as he appears to his astonished disciples. And we reflect again on the Lord’s boundless love for us: that he lived, suffered, died, and rose for our sake and for our eternal salvation. This is God’s mercy made flesh and recognizable in the world for us, for all people, and for all time.
This Sunday, April 23rd, all parishioners and friends of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join us for “Divine Mercy Sunday: A Celebration of God’s Endless Love” from 2:00pm until 3:30pm in Saint Ann Church. Our celebration will include ninety minutes of Eucharistic Adoration, the Holy Rosary, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, Daytime Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours, and finally, Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. I hope and pray that you and your family will be able to join us for all or part of this beautiful afternoon of prayer and devotion.
The Divine Mercy Chaplet is based on the visions of Saint Mary Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938), a member of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy who was can- onized as the “Apostle of Divine Mercy” by Pope John Paul II in 2000. During a mystical vision, Jesus asked Sister Faustina to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet and to encourage others to do so as well. According to Sister Faustina, the chaplet has three purposes: to ask for God’s mercy, to trust in that mercy, and to show mercy toward others.
Whether or not we choose to cultivate a devotion to the Divine Mercy Chaplet is a matter of conscience and discernment. But Sister Faustina’s life and writings are instructive for all of us as we strive to both individually and as a community to grow in prayer, fellowship, and service; and to live the Gospel, share God’s love, and rebuild the Church. In her diary, still widely published and read throughout the world, Sister Faustina emphasizes “acta non verba” or “actions not words.” She calls us to practice our faith, not just preach it. She asks us to pray for God’s mercy and to put it into practice in our lives.
Part of Saint Faustina’s diary takes the form of a mystical encounter with Christ Jesus. When she writes, she is transcribing messages that came to her from the Lord. In one such vision, Jesus says: “I demand from you deeds of mercy, you must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it. I give you three ways of exercising mercy: the first by deed, the second by word, and the third by prayer. In these three degrees are contained the fullness of mercy, and it is an unquestionable proof of love for Me. By these means, a soul glorifies and pays reverence to My mercy (Diary of Sister Faustina, 742).”
In this way, the purpose of one’s devotion to the Chaplet of Divine Mercy is threefold: to obtain God’s mercy; to trust in God’s mercy; and to show God’s mercy to others. It is for us, then, to prayerfully consider how we are asked by the Lord to practice His kindness, love, and mercy to all people: those we love and those we find it difficult to love. As we strive to do so, let us remind ourselves again and again of Sister Faustina’s simple words: “Lord Jesus, I place my trust in you.” Happy Easter! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Peace and blessings to all,
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Pastor’s Note: On behalf of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, Father Jim wishes to sincerely thank Jody Cole of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania for allowing us to use her beautiful icons on the cover of our weekly newsletter and on our website. This week’s image is a detail of an icon entitled “Divine Mercy.” For more information about Jody’s work, please visit her website: jcoleicons.com.
Divine Mercy Sunday
An Afternoon of Prayer & Devotion
Sunday, April 23rd
On April 23rd, all are invited to join the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport for Divine Mercy Sunday from 2:00pm until 3:30pm in Saint Ann Church. This special afternoon of prayer and devotion will proceed according to the following schedule: Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at 2:00pm; The Holy Rosary at 2:30pm; The Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3:00pm; and Daytime Prayer & Benediction at 3:30pm. Please join us for all or part of this special celebration of God’s love and mercy! For more information, please contact Jane Russo at email@example.com. All are invited! All are welcome!
Our Lady of Good Voyage
Our Lady’s Guild Spring Fair
Saturday, April 29th
All are invited to join Our Lady’s Guild for its annual Spring Fair on Saturday, April 29th from 9:00am until 1:00pm in Our Lady’s Hall. Highlights include our famous fried dough breakfast and our equally famous linguiça and hot dog lunch! Sale tables will include jewelry, religious items, and the general store. We’ll have homemade sweet bread, baked goods, and fudge for sale! And we’ll also have raffles and prizes throughout the day! Donations and volunteers are always welcome! For more information, please contact Joyce Lacerda at 978-283-3465 or Jean Madruga at 978-281-4820.
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 about Our Lady’s Guild and upcoming events, please contact Linda Galvin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Youth Faith Formation
Celebration of First Holy Communion
Begin Saturday, April 29th
The Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith community’s joy and the center of our life of prayer, fellowship, and service. This spring season, after a year of prayer, preparation, and study, sixty children in our youth faith formation program will receive the Body and Blood of the Risen Lord for the first time. As our annual celebrations of First Holy Communion approach, all are encouraged to be mindful of our upcoming schedule:
- Saint Ann Church Saturday; April 29th at 4:00pm
- Saint Joachim Church Sunday; April 30th at 10:00am
- Our Lady of Good Voyage Church Sunday; May 7th at 11:45am
- Our Lady of Good Voyage Church Sunday; May 14th at 11:45am
For more information about youth faith formation in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Betsy Works at email@example.com. As we make final preparations for First Holy Communion, please pray for all of our young disciples, their parents, families, and catechists. Thank you for your ongoing prayers and support!
The Joy & Power of the Rosary
A Day of Prayer & Reflection
Saturday, May 6th
All parishioners, friends, and guests of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join the Legion of Mary, the Assisi Project, and their spiritual director, Cliff Garvey, for “The Joy & Power of the Rosary” on Saturday, May 6th at Saint Anthony Chapel. During this four-hour mini-retreat, we will explore the spiritual significance of the Holy Rosary, with particular emphasis on the Franciscan “Crown Rosary” which focuses on seven joyful events in the life of Our Blessed Mother. This special morning 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; Angelus & Closing Prayer at 12:00pm.
Throughout the morning, there will be scheduled breaks and time for faith sharing, fellowship, and refreshments. Coffee, tea, and bottled water will be available throughout the morning. And after our closing prayers, all are invited to remain for a picnic lunch. During Mass, a free will donation will be taken in support of our adult faith formation ministry. If you would like to join us for this special day of prayer and reflection, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org (so that we can adequately plan for food and drinks). 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. Working together as a Roman Catholic community united in prayer, fellowship, and service, we are committed to living the Gospel of Christ, sharing God’s love and mercy with all people, and rebuilding the Church in Gloucester & Rockport.
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