This Week’s Message
Lent with Pope Francis
LIVE THE GOSPEL.
Jesus invites us to choose between two opposing ways of life: the way of the world and the way of the Gospel. The worldly spirit is not the spirit of Jesus. This is a matter of departing from the worldly spirit and its values, which the devil favors, in order to live according to the Gospel. How is worldliness manifested? Worldliness is manifested by attitudes of corruption, deception, and subjugation; and it constitutes the most ill-chosen road, the road of sin, because one leads you to the other! It is generally the easiest road to travel. Instead, the spirit of the Gospel requires a serious lifestyle: serious but joyful, serious and challenging. It is marked by honesty, fairness, respect for others and their dignity, and a sense of duty. The journey of life necessarily involves a choice between two roads: between honesty and dishonesty, between fidelity and infidelity, between selfishness and altruism, between good and evil. You cannot waver between one and the other because they move on different and conflicting forms of logic. It is important to decide which direction to take; and then, once you have chosen the right one, to walk it with enthusiasm and determination, trusting in God’s grace and the support of the Holy Spirit.
SHARE GOD’S LOVE.
We cannot escape the Lord’s words to us and they will serve as the criteria upon which we will be judged. Did we feed the hungry? Did we give drink to the thirsty? Did we welcome the stranger? Did we clothe the naked? Did we visit the sick or the imprisoned? Moreover, we will be judged by our answers to further questions. Did we help others to escape the doubt that causes them to fall into despair and which is often a source of loneliness? Did we help to overcome the ignorance in which so many people live, especially children deprived of the necessary means to free them from the bonds of poverty? Were we close to the lonely and the afflicted? Did we forgive those who have offended us? Did we reject all forms of anger and hate that lead to violence? Did we have the kind of patience that God has with us? In each of these little ones, Christ is present. His flesh becomes visible in the flesh of the tortured, the crushed, the scourged, the malnourished, and the exiled in order to be acknowledged, touched, and cared for by all of us.
REBUILD THE CHURCH.
A heart troubled by the desire for possessions is a heart full of desire but empty of God. That is why Jesus frequently warned the rich, because they risk placing their security in worldly goods. But security, the final security, is in God. In a heart possessed by wealth, there is not much room for faith. However, if one gives God his rightful place, the first place, then his love leads one to share even one’s wealth and to set it at the service of projects of solidarity and development. God’s providence comes through our service to others and our sharing with others. If each of us accumulates not for ourselves alone but for the service of others, in acts of solidarity, then God’s providence is made visible. But if one accumulates only for oneself, then what will happen when one is called home by God? No one can take his riches with him because a shroud has no pockets! It is better to share because we can take to heaven only what we have shared with others.
ABOUT THIS WEEK’S ART
Marc Chagall’s “White Crucifixion” is Pope Francis’s favorite painting. In order to call attention to the persecution and suffering of European Jews, it was the first in a series of Chagall’s paintings that depicted Jesus as a Jewish martyr. By linking the Passion of Christ with the events of his time, Marc Chagall (1887-1985) reminds us to pray for those who suffer; to reach out to them with compassion, love, and support; and to be ever vigilant in our opposition to all forms of big- otry, hatred, and violence in the world.
The Light Is On For You!
Confessions & Eucharistic Adoration
Wednesday, March 7th
During the Holy Season of Lent, all Catholics are invited to experience Christ’s love and mercy through the Sacrament of Penance & Reconciliation (Confession). On four consecutive Wednesday evenings during Lent (February 21st through March 14th), all are invited to join us for “The Light Is On For You!” from 6:00pm until 8:00pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. These special evenings of prayer will include Evening Prayer and Night Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours; Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament; and confessions for those who feel called to participate.
For some among us, this may be a time for confession and sacramental reconciliation. For some, it may be a time for silent prayer and reflection. And for some, it may be a time to begin or renew a life of faith. Our “Guide for Making a Good Confession” is available below and at the entrances of all of our churches. For more information, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com. Wherever you are on your faith journey, the light is on for you! Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Stations of the Cross
A Traditional Lenten Devotion
Friday, March 9th
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 Lent in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Our Lady of Good Voyage
Our Lady’s Guild Penny Sale
Monday, March 12th
All parishioners, friends, and guests of the Catholic Com- munity of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join Our Lady’s Guild for a “Penny Sale” on Monday, March 12th at 7:00pm in Our Lady’s Hall. As always, the Penny Sale will feature great prizes, a 50-50 raffle, delicious homemade sweetbread, and other fresh food and snacks. Donations are being accepted at our parish office (located at 74 Pleasant Street in Gloucester). Julia Garcia and Mary Piscitello will serve as co-chairwomen of this special event. For more information, please contact Beth Fosberry at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Lent Mission & Retreat
Called to Fullness of Life
Begins March 21st
All are invited to join us for the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s Lent Mission & Retreat: “Called to Fullness of Life” from Wednesday, March 21st through Friday, March 23rd in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Each evening will begin with Mass at 7:00pm. We will be blessed to welcome back Sister Elizabeth Wagner as our special guest and spiritual director, who will lead us in prayer and reflection each evening after Mass.
As part of our “Year for Vocations,” Sister Elizabeth will talk with us about finding meaning in daily life through God’s abiding presence; discovering our true selves through God’s grace; and growing into wholeness and purity of heart through God’s love. In this way, our Lent Mission & Retreat is based on the promise that God calls each of us (heart, body, and soul) to live the Christian life. But because of our fallen natures, we spend our lives working our way back to God through an often painful process of discipleship and reintegration. According to Sister Elizabeth, the ancient monastics would counsel us that our ultimate goal is purity of heart or what we might call wholeness or the true self. Ultimately, our Lent Mission & Retreat is about our individual faith journey and the “great walk back” from unlikeness to the fullness of life with God.
Sister Elizabeth Wagner lives a contemplative life at Transfiguration Hermitage in Windsor, Maine, which she founded as a semi-eremitical community devoted to prayer and solitude according to the Rule of Saint Benedict. She is a hermit, award-winning writer, spiritual director, and retreat leader. Sister Elizabeth is also formation director, gardener, and groundskeeper of the hermitage. Our Lent Mission & Retreat is free but donations will be gratefully accepted during Mass to support our adult faith formation programs. For more information, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! 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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