SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER

This Week’s Message
Mary, Mother of the Church

By Cliff Garvey

Earlier this year, Pope Francis announced the creation of a new feast day in commemoration ofthe “Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church,” which will be celebrated every year on the Monday after Pentecost Sunday. The new feast will be celebrated this year next Monday, May 21st. The Catholic Church’s devotion to Mary as “Mother of the Church” is not new. For centuries, God’s people have broadly venerated Mary’s maternal care and protection for the Church. In addition, the Church in Argentina and in Poland, along with Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, have long celebrated this feast day on their own. But it was not until 1964 that Blessed Pope Paul VI formally bestowed on Mary the title of “Mother of the Church.”

In last week’s message, we considered Mary’s role as Mother of God, Mother of Christ, emissary of the Eternal Word, and bearer of the greatest gift, the greatest joy, and the greatest sorrow that the world has ever known. But what is Mary’s vocation as Mother of the Church? Almost two decades ago, I was blessed to participate in a small group retreat with a local pastor in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. During Mass, the priest revealed an icon of the crucifixion which depicted the Suffering Christ, his Sorrowful Mother, and the Beloved Disciple. He preached simply but powerfully about how the Church began there, at the foot of the Cross, as Jesus entrusted his mother to his best friend, and his best friend to his mother. The Church began there, at the foot of the Cross, as the Blessed Mother and the Beloved Disciple wept, worshipped, and continued to believe that Jesus was the Son of God.

Mary is Mother of the Church because she is the Mother of God. Mary is also Mother of the Church because the disciples were entrusted into her maternal care. And Mary is Mother of the Church because she loves, nurtures, and prays for all of God’s children, beyond all borders, across all ages, and for all time. In announcing the Feast of Mary, Mother of the Church, Pope Francis writes: “Mary became the tender Mother of the Church which Christ begot on the Cross…Christ, in turn, in the Beloved Disciple, chose all disciples as ministers of his love toward his Mother, entrusting her to them so they might welcome her with devoted affection.” In this way, the Holy Father reminds us that Mary loves each of us as a mother loves her own child; and that we are called to love her with the same love that a child feels for their own mother.

In the Manual for Marian Devotion, we read: “Do not let your hearts be troubled, and let nothing upset you. Is it not I, your Mother, who is here?” If you have been blessed like me with a good, heroic, and selfless mother, then you already know what this means. Mary is always present, ever present, always praying, and forever praying — for you, for me, for our community, for our country, and for our troubled world. Mary is there at the beginning: Nazareth, Bethlehem, Cana, and Jerusalem. Mary is the first person to believe in Christ and his mission. Mary is there at the end: along the way of the Cross, at the foot of the Cross. When so many others fled, there she remained. Mary is there at the new beginning: among the first to believe in the Resurrection; as faith in the Risen Christ spreads among God’s people; as the Early Church grows and reaches across the whole world. Mary is here now, too: always consoling, always encouraging, always praying, and always pointing the way to her Son.

Saint John Paul II writes: “Mary’s exceptional pilgrimage of faith represents a constant point of reference for the Church, for individuals and for communities, for peoples and nations, and in a sense for all humanity.” As May, Mary’s Month, continues, let us ask Mary, Mother of God, to pray that each one of us has the courage to be who we are called to be and to do the things that we are called to do. Let us ask Mary, Mother of the Church, to help us become a community truly united in prayer, fellowship, and service. And let us ask Mary, Mother of God and Mother of the Church, to help us — as individuals and fellow parishioners — to live the Gospel, share God’s love and mercy, and rebuild the Church in our small corner of the world. Amen!

Cliff Garvey
Associate Minister
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Contact: cgarvey@ccgronline.com

Bringing Home the Word (5-13-18) 
CCGR Weekly Newsletter (5-13-18) 
Pope Video: Mission of the Laity (May 2018)

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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!

Learn More: Sacrament of Holy Communion

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Our Lady of Good Voyage
Crowning Feast of the Holy Spirit
Begins Monday, May 14th

All are invited to join Father Jim, Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, and the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport in celebrating our Annual Crowning Feast of the Holy Spirit from Monday, May 14th through Pentecost Sunday, May 20th. Crowning Week will begin on Monday, May14th in Our Lady’s Church, when the Crown is entrusted to this year’s Imperator, Celestino Goulart, and his wife, Filomena, as part of the traditional ceremony that began many decades ago. The festivities will continue according to the following schedule of events throughout the week:

Monday, May 14th
Imperator Ceremony & Rosary
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church at 6:30pm
Supper in Our Lady’s Hall at 7:00pm

Tuesday, May 15th
Rosary in Our Lady’s Hall at 6:30pm
Supper in Our Lady’s Hall at 7:00pm

Wednesday, May 16th
Rosary & Mass in Our Lady’s Hall at 6:30pm
Supper in Our Lady’s Hall at 7:00pm

Thursday, May 17th
Rosary in Our Lady’s Hall at 6:30pm
Supper in Our Lady’s Hall at 7:00pm

Friday, May 18th
Sung Rosary in Our Lady’s Hall at 6:30pm
Supper in Our Lady’s Hall at 7:00pm

Saturday, May 19th
Rosary in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church at 5:30pm
Mass in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church at 6:00pm

Pentecost Sunday, May 20th
Crowning Mass in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church at 11:45am
Luncheon in Our Lady’s Hall at 1:00pm

Tickets for Sunday’s Luncheon are available in our parish offices (located at 74 Pleasant Street in Gloucester) during regular business hours. Tickets are also available before and after the Rosary each evening during Crowning Week. Donations for our Annual Auction & Grand Raffle, which will take place right after the luncheon, will be much appreciated! For more information about tickets and donations to the auction, please contact Father Jim at frjim@ccgronline.com. All parishioners, friends, and guests of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to participate in this beautiful annual celebration of the coming of God’s Holy Spirit! Please join us! All are welcome! Come Holy Spirit!

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WeShare
Electronic Giving Made Safe & Easy
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 frjim@ccgronline.com. Thank you for your generous and ongoing support!

Support Holy Family Parish
Support Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish

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About Us

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