Our Pastor’s Message
The Five Finger Prayer
Earlier this week, more than fifty parishioners and friends of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport joined Cliff Garvey and me for our Fourth Annual Summer Retreat: The Little Flowers of Saint Francis and Pope Francis. This five-night retreat focused on the lives and good works of two men called “Francis” who through their deep faith, fervent prayer, and dynamic personalities inspired exciting eras of renewal in the Roman Catholic Church. Throughout the week, Cliff led us in a series of reflections that brought us closer to Saint Francis and Pope Francis, closer to Christ and his Church, and closer to one another through open and honest faith sharing and discussion. On behalf of this large group of very grateful parishioners, I wish to thank Cliff for his dedication, good work, and strong commitment to the ministry of adult faith formation and spiritual direction in our parishes. Well done, my friend!
One of the highlights and most light-hearted moments of our retreat week was sharing the so-called “Five Finger Prayer” which was written by Cardinal Jorge Bergolio before he became Pope Francis. It is a short, simple, but deeply compelling way to develop the spiritual discipline of praying for the needs of others before we pray for ourselves. In a world so twisted by self-interest, this prayer is needed now more than ever. So, please join me in praying in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit:
1. The Thumb: Pray for Loved Ones
The thumb is the finger closest to your heart.
So, begin by praying for those who are closest to you:
family, friends, neighbors, colleagues and deceased loved ones.
Praying for those you love is considered a “sweet duty.”
2. The Index Finger: Pray for Healers & Teachers
The index finger is the finger used to point and touch.
So, pray for those who heal, preach, and teach:
doctors and nurses; priests and ministers; teachers and catechists.
They need support and wisdom to carry out their sacred work.
3. The Middle Finger: Pray for Leaders
The middle finger is the tallest finger and reminds us of our leaders.
So, pray for those who govern, legislate, or exercise authority.
They need guidance and good judgment to serve the common good.
4. The Ring Finger: Pray for the Weak
The ring finger is the weakest finger and reminds us of the poor and sick.
So, pray for those who suffer from grief, illness, or want.
They need our prayers both day and night.
5. The Pinkie Finger: Pray for Yourself
The pinkie finger is the smallest finger and reminds us of ourselves.
After we pray for others, we should pray for our own needs.
Each of us is small and weak in our own way. Each of us needs prayer.
Needless to say, I never thought that I would write the words “middle finger” in a weekly message! Life is full of surprises! But this prayer perfectly embodies the ministry of Pope Francis with its emphasis on putting others before oneself. Moreover, this prayer reflects a truly Holy Father who communicates with his children in ways that they can appreciate and understand on a practical level. Pope Francis is a man of the people and for the people. This prayer literally brings his spirituality to our fingertips. So, pray hard, pray well, and pray often! Amen!
Peace and blessings to all,
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Note: On Saturday, August 12th and Sunday, August 13th, Father Jim delivered a homily that focused on the tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia. Our pastor’s homily can be read at assisiproject.com.
Summer Carillon Recitals
An Our Lady of Good Voyage Tradition
Saturday, August 12th
Our Summer Carillon Recitals, an annual tradition at Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, will begin next Saturday, August 5th at 5:15pm (rain or shine)! LuAnn Pallazola, our own very talented organist-keyboardist will perform programs that include classical works, sacred hymns, patriotic melodies, and even children’s tunes! Installed in 1922, the bells at Our Lady’s Church were the first set of toned carillon bells in the United States. Summer Carillon Recitals are also scheduled for August 19th, August 26th, and September 2nd at 5:15pm. All recitals are free and open to the public! So, please join us for this wonderful summer tradition! All are invited to join us for Mass at 6:00pm! For more information, please contact LuAnn Pallazola at email@example.com. All are invited! All are welcome!
Solemnity of the Assumption
Holy Day of Obligation
Tuesday, August 15th
Since the fifth century, God’s faithful people have believed that upon her death, the Blessed Virgin Mary was raised body and soul into heaven. But this ancient tradition was not defined as an official teaching of the Catholic Church until 1950. In celebration of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport will celebrate Masses according to the following schedule:
- Vigil Mass
Monday, August 14th
Saint Ann Church at 7:00pm
- Holy Day Masses
Tuesday, August 15th
Saint Joachim Church at 8:00am
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church at 12:00pm
All are reminded that the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport prays the Holy Rosary every morning after our Daily Mass: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8:00am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church; Tuesday and Thursday at 8:00am in Saint Joachim Church; and Saturday at 8:00am in Saint Ann Church. For more information, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome! Always! Saint Ann, pray for us! Saint Joachim, pray for us! Our Lady of Good Voyage, pray for us! Our Lady of the Assumption, pray for us!
Catholic Kids Camp
Mary, Mother of Jesus
Begins Tuesday, August 22nd
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: Mary, the Mother of Jesus, from Tuesday, August 22nd through Friday, August 25th from 8:00am until 12:00pm at Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. During this exciting week of prayer and fellowship, children will learn about Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary through active and engaged participation in games, music, videos, hands-on learning, and craft projects. Here’s the schedule for the week:
- Day I: Tuesday, August 22nd
- Day II: Wednesday, August 23rd
- Day III: Thursday, August 24th
- Day IV: Friday, August 25th
The Finding of Jesus in the Temple
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 welcome to join us! After Mass, Betsy Works and our team of dedicated catechists will lead the children to Our Lady’s School for a faith-filled and fun-filled morning of activities, 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 generously available for those families who cannot afford tuition. Also, adults and older children (ages 12 through 17) are welcome to join us as volunteers and are much appreciated! For more information about our next Catholic Kids Camp, please contact Betsy Works at email@example.com. Registration forms are available by clicking the link below. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Youth Faith Formation
Father Jim’s Summer Art Contest
Through September 3rd
All young disciples, ages 5 through 12, are invited to participate in Father Jim’s Second Annual Summer Art Contest by creating an original work of art based on the theme of “Mary, Mother of Jesus.” Submissions should be no smaller than 8 by 11 inches and no larger than 18 by 24 inches; created, colored, drawn, or painted by hand; and depicting an image of Our Blessed Mother. All original art projects are due by Sunday, September 3rd and will be judged by Father Jim and a committee of judges! The winning submission will be professionally framed and displayed prominently in our parish offices. For more information about our Second Annual Summer Art Contest for Children, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Calling young disciples! 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. All are invited! All are welcome! Always!
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