Our Pastor’s Message
A New Path of Self-Giving
This weekend, the Roman Catholic Church commemorates the World Day of the Sick: a moment to pray, discern, and reflect on our response to the needs of our brothers and sisters who cope with illnesses of body, mind, and spirit. In this year’s message for the World Day of the Sick, Pope Francis writes that the Christian community’s obligation to care for the sick began with the Crucifixion, when the Lord entrusted the Blessed Mother and the Beloved Disciple into each other’s loving care (See John 19:26-27). The Holy Father writes: “The unspeakable pain of the Cross pierces Mary’s soul (Luke 2:35), but does not paralyze her. Quite the opposite. As the Lord’s mother, a new path of self-giving opens before her. On the Cross, Jesus showed his concern for the Church and for all people; and Mary is called to share in that concern…The Acts of the Apostles show that Mary began to carry out this role in the earliest Christian community. It is a role that never ceases.” In this way, caring for the sick and the suffering are among the oldest and most sacred ministries in the history of the Catholic Church.
In Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, we reach out to care and comfort the sick everyday. As your pastor, I celebrate the Sacrament of the Sick with our fellow parishioners who are homebound, with patients in our hospitals and nursing homes, and with those preparing for surgeries or other medical treatments. In addition, a small but dedicated group of volunteers assists me in this ministry by bringing the Holy Eucharist to our friends and family members who are unable to join us for Mass due to age, illness, or disability. And last but not least, the deeply devoted members of the Legion of Mary visit the sick and homebound, bless them with holy water, pray the Rosary with them, and sometimes just sit and talk with them. By praying with those who are sick, these ministries reenact the dramatic moment when Mary and John knelt beneath the Cross and prayed for our Suffering Savior.
The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s ongoing outreach to the sick and homebound is humble, imperfect, and done without fanfare. It often goes unnoticed and unappreciated. It is sometimes hard and heartbreaking work. At the same time, our pastoral care of the sick is essential to the life of our parishes because it enables us to share the Good News of Christ with those who suffer in our own neighborhoods. It brings consolation, hope, and some small joy to those who are sometimes alone and forgotten. Therefore, in order to better fulfill our vocation to live the Gospel and share God’s love with the sick and the suffering, our parishes always welcome new volunteers with a sincere commitment to help us help others. If you are able and willing to share in this ministry and to make a real difference in the lives of our sickest brothers and sisters, please contact me.
This weekend is devoted to praying for and reflecting on the needs of those among us who are unwell in body, mind, or spirit. Finally, let us pray together with Pope Francis who writes: “May the Virgin Mary intercede for us on this Twenty-Sixth World Day of the Sick. May she help the sick to experience their suffering in communion with the Lord Jesus. And may she support all who care for them.” Amen! May God bless those who are sick and suffering in Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. May God bless those who minister to them with love, compassion, and understanding. And may God bless all who live, work, and worship in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. Amen!
Peace and blessings to all,
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Mass & Worship Schedule
Wednesday, February 14th
The Holy Season of Lent is a time for prayer, penance, and almsgiving during which all Catholics are called to renew their faith in preparation for the celebration of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ at Easter. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 14th, which is a Holy Day of abstinence and fasting for all Roman Catholics. In the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, we will celebrate Mass and distribute ashes according to the following schedule:
- 8:00am Mass in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
- 12:00pm Mass in Saint Ann Church
- 7:00pm Mass in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
In addition, we will celebrate a Service of the Word (with the distribution of ashes) at 5:00pm in Saint Joachim Church. For more information about the Holy Season of Lent in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please see Father Jim or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. As our Lenten journey begins, please join in prayer and worship! All are invited! All are welcome!
Adult Faith Formation
A Simple Life-Changing Prayer
Begins Thursday, February 15th
The winter season is a great time to curl up with a warm drink and a good book. It is also a great time to refresh and renew our spiritual lives. This year, as part of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s “Year for Vocations”, Father Jim and Cliff Garvey will offer a series of adult faith formation programs designed to help us pray about, discern, and respond to God’s plan for each of our lives.
We will begin with “The Winter Read”, a four-week book study and faith sharing program during which participants will read and share their reactions to Jim Manney’s book: “A Simple Life-Changing Prayer: Discovering the Power of Saint Ignatius of Loyola’s Examen.” This compelling little book about a 500 year old way of prayer will introduce us to a time-tested method of discerning God’s presence in our lives. In short, it will introduce us to a potentially life-changing process of recognizing and responding to our individual vocations, regardless of our age, gender, or life experience.
All adult parishioners are invited to join us for this special program which will run on four consecutive Thursdays: February 15th, February 22nd, March 1st, and March 8th in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Each week, participants will be asked to read approximately 35 pages from the book. Each session will begin at 7:00pm with Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. After this period of shared prayer, Cliff will briefly introduce the reading for the week, followed by discussion, questions, and faith sharing. Our gatherings will conclude at 8:30pm with Night Prayer.
Books will be provided. A donation of $25.00 per person is requested from those who can afford it, along with a sincere commitment to read the book and come prepared to ask questions, share their faith, and offer insights about Saint Ignatius of Loyola’s Examen Prayer. If you are interested in joining us for this special book study and faith sharing program for adults, please contact Cliff at email@example.com. All are invited! All are welcome!
Stations of the Cross
A Traditional Lenten Devotion
Fridays During Lent
The Stations of the Cross are one of the most enduring and moving devotions of the Roman Catholic Church. By uniting our prayers with those of the suffering Christ through both word and imagery, we make a spiritual pilgrimage with our Lord as he experiences the Passion of the Cross. During Lent, all are invited to join the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport in praying the Stations of the Cross on six consecutive Fridays (February 16th through March 23rd) according to the following schedule: Fridays at 3:00pm in Saint Ann Church and Fridays at 7:00pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. For more information about the Holy Season of Lent in the Catholic Com- munity of Gloucester & Rockport, please see Father Jim or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Youth Faith Formation
Lent & Family Mass
Sunday, February 18th
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says: “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs (Mt 19:14).” In response to the Lord’s call, all parents, grandparents, godparents, and children are invited to join Father Jim for a Lent Mass for Families on Sunday, February 18th at 11:45am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church.
During Mass, Father Jim will offer a special homily about the Holy Season of Lent and a special blessing for all families and children. In addition, because Lent is a season for prayer, penance, and almsgiving, every child and their family will be asked to help us raise $1,000 during Lent for the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, a service organization in our parishes that provides food and financial assistance to local families in need. During Mass, each child (and any interested adult parishioner) will be given a “campaign can” to collect coins for this most worthy cause.
As our Lent Mass for Families approaches, let us reaffirm these basic principles of our youth faith formation programs: Mass is our class! Jesus is our teacher! And every family in our pews is a gift from God! For more information about our Lent Mass for Families, please contact Betsy Works at email@example.com. Please spread the word! All are invited! All are welcome!
Safe & Easy Electronic Giving
Available at Both Parishes!
Electronic giving is available at both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. It is easy, simple, and safe to make online donations to your home parish using a credit card, debit card, or electronic check. Donations can be made on a one-time-only or ongoing basis. And it takes just a few minutes to set up a secure personal account. Just choose the appropriate link below and click “Make a Donation.” Please prayerfully consider supporting your parish by giving electronically! For more information about electronic giving in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your generous and ongoing support!
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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