SIXTH WEEK OF EASTER

This Week’s Message
The Joy & Power of the Rosary, Part II

By Cliff Garvey

Last week, I wrote that my personal journey with the Blessed Mother and the Rosary has been the proverbial long and winding road, full of bumps and ruts, full of fits and starts. These days, however, I turn to the Rosary more and more often. First, I began turning to the Rosary during long drives back and forth to Cambridge and to Maine. This is a practice that I am convinced has saved many lives on Route 128! Second, the work here is diffi- cult. And it’s not just the hard work of helping to bring two parishes closer together. It’s about need: the sometimes desperate and heartbreaking needs of the good people who ask for help — including spiritual help.

At least four times each weekend, I am privileged to welcome people to Mass at the doors of our churches. And at least as many times each weekend, one of our fellow parishioners asks me to pray for a particular intention: an ailing spouse, an autistic child, an addicted grandchild, a faltering marriage, or a lost job. Each week, the list of prayer requests grows longer. In the beginning, some of these requests were lost in the shuffle of a busy week. But over time, I realized that an important part of my ministry is to pray for the people that I am called to serve. I began to take very seriously that part of my vocation that calls me to pray for people in need. This led me to the Rosary; and in my mind, at least, to a series of small miracles. More and more, I am convinced that miracles happen when we ask the Lord to make them happen. And more and more, I am convinced that miracles happen more often when we ask the Blessed Mother to ask the Lord to make them happen!

“Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death!” Each time we pray for Our Lady’s intercession during the Rosary, we pray for miracles. We pray that she will pray for us: you and me, no matter who we are, no matter where we are, no matter what we have done, no matter what we might do, now and forever. Each time we pray for Our Lady’s intercession, we pray for miracles: for the audacity to hope, for the courage to change, for the strength to carry on in the face of addiction, divorce, illness, infidelity, or unemployment; for the strength to persevere in our family situations, our jobs, and our vocations; for the grace to love our neighbor even when we don’t like our neighbor and even when they don’t like us; for the grit to face every challenge head-on (with love) in our homes, parishes, and workplaces.

“Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death!” Each time we pray for Our Lady’s intercession, we pray for miracles. We pray for the joy of knowing that we are not alone, that we are never alone, that our Blessed Mother is as near as the rosary we keep in our pocket or purse; for the joy of knowing that we are loved beyond measure; for the joy of knowing that prayer can change a life; for the joy of knowing that prayer can change many lives; for the joy of knowing that prayer (especially Mary’s prayers) can change the world!

Miracles happen every day. On the internet (while not always a reliable source for news and information), there are blogs and websites that offer space for people to share their experiences with the joy and power of the rosary. I recently read a series of blog posts with titles like these: Car accident survived! Better grades! Husband’s con- version! Mother’s recovery! Delivered from temptation! Healed from an eating disorder! Saved from migraine headaches! Engaged to the love of my life! Going back to church after years away! And here’s my favorite: Prayers answered! School canceled today! Each of these bloggers credits their personal miracle, however small or out- landish, to the Rosary. Why do we believe in the power of the Rosary? We believe because of testimonies like these. We believe because of our own experiences as believers and disciples. We believe because the power of the Rosary has been proven over long years. We believe because it works! But how?

Archbishop Fulton Sheen once wrote: “The Rosary is the book of the blind, where souls see and there enact the greatest drama of love the world has ever known; it is the book of the simple, which initiates them into mysteries and knowledge more satisfying than the high education of others; it is the book of the aged, whose eyes close up- on the shadow of this world, and open on the substance of the next.” And then Archbishop Sheen says what we know to be truest of all: “The power of the Rosary is beyond description.” True enough.

But again, how does it work? Pope Francis suggests an answer to this difficult question. He said recently: “You pray for the hungry. Then you feed them. That is how prayer works.” Therefore, when we pray for the Blessed Mother’s intercession, we are hungry, she prays for us, and we are fed. We are thirsty, she prays for us, and our thirst is quenched. We are sick, she prays for us, and we are comforted. We are sinful, she prays for us, and we are led to penance and reconciliation. We are divided, she prays for us, and we are then united in prayer, fellowship, and service. This is how prayer works! This is the joy and power of the Rosary! Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!

Cliff Garvey
Associate Minister
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Contact: cgarvey@ccgronline.com

CCGR Weekly Newsletter (5-21-17)
Bringing Home the Word (5-21-17)

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Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish
Crowning Penny Sale
Monday, May 22nd

All parishioners and friends of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish for the next “Penny Sale” on Monday, May 22nd at 7:00pm in Our Lady’s Hall. As always, we’ll have great prizes, delicious home-made sweet bread, delicious food and snacks, and a 50-50 raffle. All proceeds from the Penny Sale benefit Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. Donations are being accepted at our parish office (located at 74 Pleasant Street in Gloucester) during regular business hours. For more information, please contact Linda Galvin at lingalv2020@gmail.com. Please join us! All are welcome!

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Solemnity of the Ascension
Holy Day of Obligation
Thursday, May 25th

On Thursday, May 25th, the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, which commemorates Christ’s elevation into heaven in the presence of the disciples on the fortieth day after his resurrection. On this holy day of obligation, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport will celebrate Masses according to the following schedule:

  • Saint Ann Church Wednesday, May 24th at 7:00pm
  • Saint Joachim Church Thursday, May 25th at 8:00am
  • Our Lady of Good Voyage Church Thursday, May 25th at 12:00pm

For more information on the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, please contact Father Jim at frjim@ccgronline.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!

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Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish
Crowning Feast of the Holy Spirit
May 29th through June 4th

All are invited to join Father Jim, Father Alves, Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, and the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport in celebrating our Annual Crowning Feast of the Holy Spirit from Monday, May 29th through Pentecost Sunday, June 4th. Crowning Week will begin on Monday, May 29th in Our Lady’s Church, when the Crown is entrusted to this year’s Imperator, Jaime Faria, and his wife, Conceição, as part of the traditional ceremony that began many decades ago. The festivities will continue according to the following schedule of events throughout the week:

  • Monday, May 29th
    Imperator Ceremony & Rosary
    Our Lady of Good Voyage Church at 6:30pm
    Supper in Our Lady’s Hall at 7:00pm
  • Tuesday, May 30th
    Rosary in Our Lady’s Hall at 6:30pm
    Supper in Our Lady’s Hall at 7:00pm
  • Wednesday, May 31st
    Rosary & Mass in Our Lady’s Hall at 6:30pm
    Supper in Our Lady’s Hall at 7:30pm
  • Thursday, June 1st
    Rosary in Our Lady’s Hall at 6:30pm
    Supper in Our Lady’s Hall at 7:00pm
  • Friday, June 2nd
    Sung Rosary in Our Lady’s Hall at 6:30pm
    Supper in Our Lady’s Hall at 7:00pm
  • Saturday, June 3rd
    Rosary in Our Lady’s Church at 5:30pm
    Mass in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church at 6:00pm
  • Pentecost Sunday, June 4th
    Mass & Crowning in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church at 11:45am
    Luncheon in Our Lady’s Hall at 1:00pm

Tickets for Sunday’s Luncheon are available in our parish offices (located at 74 Pleasant Street in Gloucester) during regular business hours. Tickets are also available before and after the Rosary each evening during Crowning Week. Donations for our Annual Auction & Grand Raffle, which will take place right after the luncheon, will be much appreciated! For more information about tickets and donations to the auction, please contact Father Jim at 978-281-4820 or frjim@ccgronline.com. All parishioners, friends, and guests of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to participate in this beautiful annual celebration of the coming of God’s Holy Spirit! Please join us! All are welcome! Come Holy Spirit!

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Holy Family Parish
Strawberry Festival
Saturday, June 3rd

On Saturday, June 3rd, the Holy Family Women’s Guild will host the Annual Strawberry Festival from 9:00am until 2:00pm in Saint Ann Church Hall. This year’s theme is “Life on Cape Ann” because everyone who lives here knows that there isn’t a better or more beautiful place on earth to live, work, worship, or raise a family!

This year’s Strawberry Festival will feature art, home- made baked goods and preserves, crafts of all kinds, and all things related to the garden (including annuals and perennials)! We’ll have a “Mug Up” with hand-made ceramic mugs and a snack bar featuring pulled-pork sandwiches, Italian Cookies, Mickey’s Muffins, Papa’s Biscotti, Cindy’s Scones, Jam from the Jam Ladies, and our famous strawberry shortcake. Mahroussie Jabba will also be serving middle eastern food. And as always, vintage treasures will be offered for sale in our “Granny’s Attic!”

Whether you’re a crafter or a carpenter, a knitter, baker, or basket-weaver, we need your help! Whether you’re an artist, gardener, or handyman, we need your help! And if someone is willing and able to volunteer with setting up or cleaning up, we need your help, too! All proceeds from the Strawberry Festival benefit Holy Family Parish. For more information, please contact Jane Marshall at 978-283 -5111. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!

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About Us

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.

Follow us on Twitter: @CCGRonline