This Week’s Message
The Mystery at the Center of Our Salvation
By Pope Francis
Today, I wish to speak with you about the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the heart of Christian initiation; and together with Baptism and Confirmation, it constitutes the source of the Church’s life. From this Sacrament of love flows every authentic journey of faith, communion, and witness. What we see when we gather to celebrate the Eucharist at Mass gives us an intuition of what we will someday experience in heaven. At the center of the space intended for the celebration is an altar, which is a table covered with a simple tablecloth. This prompts us to think of a banquet. On the table is a cross to indicate that what is offered on this altar is the sacrifice of Christ. He is the spiritual food that we receive under the species of bread and wine. Beside the altar is the ambo, the place from which the Word of God is proclaimed. It is here that we gather to listen to the Lord who speaks through Sacred Scripture. Therefore, the food that we receive is also His Word.
Just as at the Last Supper, the Word and Bread become one at Mass. The words of Jesus and all the miracles that he performed are condensed into the gesture of breaking the bread and offering the chalice (in anticipation of the sacrifice of the Cross) with these simple words: “Take, eat; this is my body…Take, drink of it; this is my blood.” The Lord’s gesture at the Last Supper is the ultimate thanksgiving to the Father for his love and mercy. In Greek, “thanksgiving” is expressed as “eucharist.” For this reason, the Sacrament is called Eucharist: it is the supreme thanksgiving to the Father, who so loved us that He gave us His Son. This is why the Eucharist includes the fullness of that action, which is the act of God and man together, the act of Jesus Christ, who is true God and true Man.
Therefore, the Eucharistic celebration is much more than a simple banquet. It is exactly the memorial of the Paschal Sacrifice of Jesus, which is the mystery at the center of our salvation. Memorial does not simply mean a remembrance. Rather, it means that every time we celebrate the Mass, we participate in the mystery of the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ. The Eucharist is the summit of God’s saving action: the Lord Jesus, by becoming bread broken for us, pours upon us all of His mercy and His love, so as to renew our hearts, our lives, and our way of relating with Him and with our brothers and sisters. It is for this reason that when we approach the Eucharist, we speak of “receiving” or “taking” Communion. This means that by the power of the Holy Spirit, participation in Holy Communion conforms us in a singular and profound way to Christ and gives us a foretaste of the full communion that characterizes the heavenly banquet, where together with all the saints, we will have the joy of contemplating God face to face.
Dear Friends, we do not ever thank the Lord enough for the gift that He has given us in the Eucharist! It a very great gift that is so important to attend Mass on Sun- day. Go to Mass, not just to pray, but to receive Communion, which is the bread that is the Body of Jesus Christ who saves us, forgives us, and unites us with the Father. It is a beautiful thing to do! And we go to Mass because this is the day of the Lord’s resurrection! For this reason, Sunday is so important to us. In the Eucharist, we belong to the Church, to the People of God, to the Body of Christ. We will never completely grasp the value and richness of this blessing! Let us ask Christ Jesus that this Sacrament continue to keep His presence alive in the Church; and to shape our community in charity and communion, in accordance with the Father’s heart. Amen! — General Audience (2-5-14)
Mass Intentions Book
Opens Thursday, June 22nd
The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s Mass Intentions Book (July 2017 through December 2017) will be opened on Thursday, June 22nd from 11:00am un- til 1:00pm in our parish offices (located at 74 Pleasant Street in Gloucester). On that day, all parishioners are welcome to book one Sunday Mass and one weekday Mass at Saint Ann Church, Saint Joachim Church, or Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Please note that on June 22nd, all Mass intention must be booked in person. No email, fax, or phone requests will be accepted. No exceptions! Any remaining Masses can be booked on or after June 26th. For more information, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and support! Please and blessings to all!
Instruments of Christ
Book Study & Faith Sharing for Adults
Begins June 22nd
The summer season is a great time to stretch out on your favorite lawn chair with a cool drink and a good book. It’s also a great time to refresh and renew our spiritual lives. This year, in celebration of the Assisi Project’s 10th Anniversary (2007-2017), Father Jim and Cliff are offering a series of adult faith formation programs designed to help us better understand the life and legacy of Saint Francis of Assisi, his influence on Pope Francis and the Catholic Church, and the timeless traditions of Franciscan prayer and spirituality.
This series continues with “The Summer Read”, a three-week book study and faith sharing program during which participants will read together and share their reactions to “Instruments of Christ: Reflections on the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi” by Father Albert Haase, OFM. This little book (only 81 pages) offers a brief but powerful introduction to the deep spirituality of the so-called “Peace Prayer.” It also challenges readers to truly become peacemakers in our homes, parishes, and troubled world.
All adult parishioners are invited to join us for this special program which will run on three consecutive Thursday evenings: June 22nd, June 29th, and July 6th in Saint Anthony Chapel (located on the corner of Saint Louis Avenue and Farrington Avenue in Gloucester). Each evening will begin with Eucharistic Adoration at 6:00pm, followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at 6:45pm. Our “Summer Read” sessions will begin promptly at 7:00pm with Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. After our time of prayer, Cliff will briefly introduce the readings for the week. This format will provide our group with plenty of time for discussion, questions, and faith sharing. Our gatherings will conclude with Night Prayer and a Final Blessing.
A donation of $20.00 is requested from those who can afford it, along with a sincere commit- ment to read the book and come prepared to ask questions and offer personal impressions and insights about one of the most powerful prayers ever composed. If you are interested in joining us, please contact Cliff Garvey at email@example.com. In order to ensure that we have an adequate number of books on hand, please register by Monday, June 19th. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Saint Peter’s Fiesta
Weekend of June 24th-June 25th
This year, the Saint Peter’s Fiesta runs from Wednesday, June 21st through Sunday, June 25th. On Sunday, June 25th, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport will celebrate Mass according to the following schedule:
- Our Lady of Good Voyage Church at 7:00am
- Saint Ann Church at 8:15am
- Saint Joachim Church at 10:00am
- Saint Peter Park Outdoor Mass at 10:00am
- Our Lady of Good Voyage Church at 11:45am
This year’s Saint Peter Park Outdoor Mass will be cele- brated by the Most Reverend Mark O’Connell, Auxiliary Bishop of the North Region of the Archdiocese of Boston. Please join Father Jim and our pastoral team in welcom- ing Bishop Mark back to the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport! Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
The Assisi Project
Saturday, June 24th
Founded in 2007 by Father Jim and Cliff, 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 through prayer and formation, pilgrimage and re- treat, and educating others about our way of life. The Assisi Project meets on the last Saturday of each month at 8:00am for Mass, formation, and fellowship. Our next meeting is scheduled for Saturday, June 24th. If you are interested in growing closer to the Lord and in learn- ing more about Saint Francis of Assisi, please join us! New members are always welcome! And you do not need to travel with us to Assisi to be part of the Assisi Project! All are invited! All are welcome! For more information, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. May the Lord give you peace!
Catholic Kids Camp
The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Begins June 27th
The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport is pleased to announce that all children (ages 5 through 11) are invited to participate in our next “Catholic Kids Camp: The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus” from Tuesday, June 27th through Friday, June 30th from 8:00am until 12:00pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. During this exciting week of prayer and fellowship, our children will learn about the Catholic Church’s devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the gift of the Lord’s boundless love through active and engaged participation in games, music, skits, and craft projects. Here’s the schedule for the week:
- Day I: Tuesday, June 27th
The Sacred Heart: Love One Another
- Day II: Wednesday, June 28th
Jesus & Saint Margaret Mary: Love Finds Joy in God
- Day III: Thursday, June 29th
Jesus & Saint Peter: Feed My Sheep
- Day IV: Friday, June 30th
Jesus & Saint Paul: The Meaning of Love
Each day of our Catholic Kids Camp will begin with Mass at 8:00am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. All parents, grandparents, and guardians are invited and encouraged to join us! After Mass, Betsy Works and a team of dedicated volunteers will lead the children to Our Lady’s School for a faith-filled and fun-filled morning of activities, hands-on learning, and good times with friends both old and new! Catholic Kids Camp is a fun, exciting, and educational program that your children and grandchildren will love!
The tuition for this innovative youth faith formation program is just $25 per child for the entire week! Scholarships are available for those families who cannot afford tuition. Also, adults and older children (ages 12 and up) are welcome to join us as volunteers and will be most appreciated! For more information about our next Catholic Kids Camp, please contact Betsy Works at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Learn More: Catholic Kids Camp Registration
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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