This Week’s Message
A Prayer for Spring Gardens
Almighty God and Father,
before the sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve,
they lived happily in the Garden of Eden.
As we read in the Holy Book,
you walked with them in the afternoon air
and they heard the sound of your voice in the garden.
Later, your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
began his fearful passion in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Ever since, the garden has been a holy place.
You still walk there with us.
We can see you in the generous and merciful bounty
that grows there for us:
the green plants and the trees
that blossom and bear rich and nourishing fruit.
We can see the Cross of Christ in every thorn.
Bless our gardens during the coming season.
Bless us with a rich and plentiful harvest.
As we work, help us to see you in your loving kindness
that works with us and for us.
Help us to do your will at all times:
and then someday, may with walk with you,
with your Son, and with our Blessed Mother
along the pathways of that heavenly garden,
far better and far more beautiful
than even the Garden of Eden.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever. Amen.
Note: This prayer was adapted from “A Prayer for Gardens & Orchards” first published in the Rural Life Prayer Book.
Youth Faith Formation
First Holy Communion
Blessings & Congratulations!
On behalf of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, Father Jim wishes to congratulate all of the children from Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish who have successfully completed our program of preparation and who will receive their First Holy Communion during the next few weekends. During the past seven months, these sixty-four young parishioners and their parents have prayed, studied, and grown together in prayer, fellowship, and service. They have learned together that disciples of all ages are called to live the Gospel, share God’s love and mercy, and rebuild the Church. They are all well-prepared to receive the Body & Blood of the Risen Lord and to become faithful and faith-filled disciples!
The children who are receiving their First Holy Communion this year wish to thank their parents, families, and friends for their love, prayers, and support. In particular, they wish to express their appreciation to those who helped them prepare for their First Holy Communion: Father Jim Achadinha, Olga Alves, Rizza Anderson, Fernanda Brown, Phyllis Comeau, Carol Conlon, John Conlon, Angelica Duran, Mary Duran, Jenn Dort, Grace Figurido, Gerry Kippen, Yvonne LeBlanc, Sean Lilly, Jean Madruga, Mary Ellen McLeod, Marilyn Smith, Chris Smith, and especially Betsy Works. Finally, please pray for all of our young fellow parishioners, their parents, and families so that they will continue to grow in faith, hope, and love; and that they will continue to join us for Mass on a regular basis. Please also pray in thanksgiving for our pastoral team and our dedicated volunteers who make these celebrations possible. Thank you for your prayers and support! May God bless you and your family!
Year for Vocations
Friday, May 4th
As Catholic Christians, we believe that God calls us to live as faithful disciples. But in what way of life are we called to live our discipleship? What is your calling? What is your vocation? These questions can sometimes take a lifetime to answer. But with hearts open to discernment and prayer, God can help us find our way in the world. Each and every one of us (regardless of age, gender, or life experience) can discover, rediscover, and respond to God’s plan for our lives.
This year, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport is celebrating a ‘Year for Vocations,’ a time to prayand reflect on who God calls us to be and what God calls us to do with the one life that we are blessed to live on this earth. In this spirit, we will gather on Friday, May 4th for ‘Vocation Friday’ in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Our prayer vigil will begin with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at 5:00pm, followed by Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. At 6:00pm, we will pray the Rosary for an increase in vocations to the diocesan priesthood. And we will conclude at 7:00pm with Night Prayer and Benediction.
These ‘Vocation Fridays’ will be held throughout the yearon the First Friday of each month. Our hope is that all parishioners and their families will be able to join us for at least one of these special days of prayer, discernment, and devotion. If you are not able to join us this month, please take a few moments to pray this prayer for discernment:
Almighty God and Father,
you call each one of us by name
and you ask us to follow you.
Bless your Holy Church
by raising up dedicated and generous leaders
from among our families and friends
who will serve your people
as priests and deacons,
as religious brothers and sisters,
and as lay ministers.
Inspire us as we grow to know you,
and open our hearts to hear your call.
Throughout this ‘Year for Vocations,’ let us pray together that each one of us, in our own way, will learn to pray, discern, and respond to God’s call with faith, hope, and love in our hearts. For more information, please see Father Jim before or after Mass; or contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Adult Faith Formation
Spring Day of Prayer & Reflection
Saturday, May 5th
MARY: MOTHER OF GOD, MOTHER OF THE CHURCH
Earlier this year, Pope Francis announced that the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church should be celebrated on the Monday after Pentecost and celebrated each year in churches throughout the world. In anticipation of this new feast and as part of our “Year for Vocations,” all parishioners, friends, and guests of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join the Legion of Mary, the Assisi Project, and their spiritual directors, Father Jim and Cliff Garvey, for “Mary: Mother of God, Mother of the Church” on Saturday, May 5th at Saint Anthony Chapel (located at 21 Farrington Avenue in Gloucester).
During this four-hour morning retreat, we will explore the Blessed Virgin Mary’s twin vocations as “Mother of God” and “Mother of the Church.” This special morning of prayer and reflection will proceed according to the following schedule: Celebration of Holy Mass at 8:00am; First Reflection & Faith Sharing at 9:00am; Eucharistic Adoration & Rosary at 10:00am; Second Reflection & Faith Sharing at 11:00am; Angelus & Closing Prayer at 12:00pm.
Throughout the morning, there will be scheduled breaks and time for faith sharing, fellowship, and refreshments. Coffee, tea, and bottled water will be available throughout the morning. After our closing prayers, all are invited to remain for a picnic lunch. During Mass, a collection will be taken in support of our adult faith formation ministry. If you would like to join us for this special morning of prayer and reflection in honor of our Blessed Mother, please contact Cliff Garvey email@example.com (so that we can adequately plan for food and drink). Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Mother’s Day Mass for Families
Saturday, May 12th at 4:00pm
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says: “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is 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 of all ages are invited to join Father Jim for our annual Mother’s Day Mass for families on Saturday, May 12th at 4:00pm in Saint Ann Church. During Mass, Father Jim will preach about Mother’s Day and offer a special blessing for all mothers, families, and children. In addition, those who gather for this Mass will join the Legion of Mary in the Annual Crowning of theBlessed Virgin Mary. As our Mother’s Day Mass for Families draws near, let us reaffirm that Mass is our class! Jesus is our Teacher! Mary is our Mother! And every family that joins us is a gift from God! For more information, please contact Father Jim 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!
Follow us on Twitter: @CCGRonline