Our Pastor’s Message
I will hear what God proclaims;
the Lord, for he proclaims peace.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
The Lord himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and prepare the way of his steps.
(Psalm 85:9, 10, 11-12, 13-14)
Last weekend, in churches across our country and around the world, we heard the psalmist proclaim God’s justice. We heard the psalmist proclaim God’s truth. We heard the psalmist proclaim God’s peace. But last weekend, we also heard another voice in Charlottesville, Virginia. We heard the voice of darkness, the voice of division, and the voice of violence. All around us, it seems, we hear too many of our fellow citizens trumpeting bigotry, hatred, and racism. We see too many of our leaders bullying, threatening, and acting more like war-mongers than peacemakers. And sadly, we wonder why so many of our leaders, including some of our own pastors, remain silent in the face of these sins.
But not me. Not now. Not anymore. The teachings of the Gospel of Christ and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church are clear: Racism is hateful. Racism is sinful. Racism is evil. In 1979, nearly forty years ago, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) forcefully declared: “Racism is a radical evil that divides the human family and denies the creation of a redeemed world.” And more recently, Pope Francis said: “Racism today is the ultimate evil in the world.” Bigotry and hatred and racism and violence of any kind, toward anyone, anywhere, is completely and wholly inconsistent with the Gospel of Christ. Period. Bigotry and hatred and racism and violence of any kind, toward anyone, anywhere, is completely and wholly inconsistent with our shared vocation to live the Gospel, to share God’s love and mercy, and to rebuild the Church.
In the gospels, Jesus teaches us that the entirety of God’s law can be fulfilled by observing two great commandments: to love God and to love each other (see John 13:34-35). Clear. Concise. Undeniable. No exceptions. Not yesterday, not today, and not tomorrow. We are called to love God and to love our neighbor: no matter who they are; no matter where they are from; no matter what color they are; and no matter what they might have done. Despite the unfolding nightmare of racism in Charlottesville and elsewhere, we are encouraged by Saint Paul who writes: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).”
Let us, then, as a community of disciples, renew our commitment to the Lord’s commandment to love. Let us renew our determination to work for justice in our community, in our commonwealth, in our country, and in our world. Let us pray for the courage to speak out against racism. Let us pray for the courage to speak instead for goodwill between all peoples and nations. Let us pray for the grace to overcome the evil of racism with random acts of mercy, kindness, and understanding. Let us pray for the victims of bigotry, hatred, racism, and violence. And most of all, let us pray for peace in our troubled world.
Peace and blessings to all,
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
A Prayer for Peace
O Lord our God,
in your mercy and kindness,
no thought of ours is left unnoticed,
no desire ignored.
You have proven that blessings abound
when we fall on our knees in prayer,
and so we turn to you in our hour of need.
Surrounded by violence and cries for justice,
we hear your voice telling us what is required:
‘Only to do justice and to love goodness,
and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).’
Fill us with your mercy,
so that we, in turn, may be merciful to others.
Strip away pride and suspicion and racism
so that we may seek
peace and justice in our communities.
Strengthen our hearts
so that they beat only to the rhythm of your holy will.
Flood our path with your light
as we walk humbly toward a future
filled with encounter and unity.
Be with us, O Lord, in our efforts,
for only by the power of your grace
can we progress toward justice and virtue.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever. Amen.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration forms are available by clicking the link below. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
The Assisi Project
Saturday with Saint Francis
Saturday, August 26th
Founded in 2007, the Assisi Project is a Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit that seeks 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 formation and prayer, pilgrimage and retreat, and educating others about our way of life. In 2017, in celebration of our 10th anniversary year, we will lead our annual fall pilgrimage to Assisi; meet monthly for Mass, faith formation, and faith sharing; and offer adults opportunities to experience a Franciscan-style days of prayer and reflection. Our next “Saturday Morning with Saint Francis” is scheduled for August 26th at 8:00am. For more information, please contact Cliff Garvey at email@example.com. All are invited! All are welcome!
Summer Carillon Recitals
An Our Lady of Good Voyage Tradition
Saturday, August 26th
Our Summer Carillon Recitals, an annual tradition at Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, will begin next Saturday, August 26th 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. Our final Summer Carillon Recitals for this season is scheduled for Saturday, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com. 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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