This Week’s Message
Remembering Deacon Ray
By Cliff Garvey
Last December, Deacon Ray Wellbank died suddenly at his home in Gloucester. Just a few years ago, Deacon Ray and his beloved wife, Patti, moved here from Pennsylvania where they had lived, worked, and raised their family. Their marriage was a true and loving part-nership. In many ways, Ray’s diaconate was Patti’s diaconate, too. And together, Ray and Patti soon became known around town for their quick smiles, warm hearts, and good works.
Called and ordained to the diaconate, Deacon Ray was eager to proclaim the Gospel and toserve at God’s altar. He preached at Mass every Friday and one Sunday each month. And sure enough, Deacon Ray presided over his fair share of baptisms, weddings, and funeral services. Deacon Ray could have confined his ministry to the liturgy and sacraments. But he did not. Almost immediately after being assigned to our parishes, Deacon Ray immersed himself into the life of our parish communities. He welcomed parishioners to Mass. He visited the elderly, the disabled, and the sick. He prayed with grieving families. He prepared parents and godparents for the baptism of their children and grandchildren. He volunteered with the Holy Family Women’s Guild. And he served as spiritual director for the Saint Vincent de Paul Society.
Almost every Friday morning after Mass, Deacon Ray and Patti joined a group of friends and fellow parishioners for breakfast at a local restaurant. Gatherings like this happen in every parish in every part of the world. But these breakfast gatherings somehow seemed different. By all accounts, Deacon Ray was ever ready to share some encouragement, kindword, or bit of advice that made someone’s day better, more blessed, and much brighter. Shortly after his passing, members of this “breakfast club” stood in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church and wept not only for our community’s loss of a dedicated deacon, but also for their individual loss of a dear friend and wise counselor.
In our pastoral plan, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport dedicates itself to three values: prayer, fellowship, and service; and a compelling vision to live the Gospel, share God’s love, and rebuild the Church. In his all too brief time with us, Deacon Ray exemplified our values in all of his thoughts, words, and actions among the good people of Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. And he embodied our vision as a husband, father, and grandfather; as a friend and fellow parishioner; and as a deacon in God’s Holy Church. For Father Jim and for the members of our pastoral team, Deacon Ray remains a model of Christian discipleship, kindness, and service.
Six months after his passing, we miss Deacon Ray every single day. We remain shocked by our loss, saddened beyond measure for his family and friends, and deeply sorry that we did not have one last chance to say: “Thank you!” Until this weekend. Some months ago, the members of our pastoral team commissioned our friend, Jody Cole, to create a hand painted icon of Saint Padre Pio in memory of Deacon Ray (see above). This weekend, we present this beautiful icon of Deacon Ray’s favorite saint to Holy Family Parish. It will be permanently displayed in the sanctuary of Saint Ann Church where it will always remind us of our beloved friend and colleague.
On this Father’s Day Weekend, such small gifts are perhaps not enough to thank Deacon Ray for all that he did for all of us. But we pray that they can somehow express our boundless gratitude and enduring love for Deacon Ray and Patti Wellbank. At the end of each Mass, Deacon Ray would joyfully dismiss the congregation with these words from the Roman Missal: “Glorify the Lord with your life!” And so he did each and every day. May Godbless Deacon Ray Wellbank. May God bless all of our deceased fathers and grandfathers. May they rest forever in the loving embrace of our Risen Lord.
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Note: The icon of Saint Padre Pio that was presented to Holy Family Parish by our pastoral team in memory Deacon Raymond Wellbank was created by Jody Cole. For more information about Jody’s iconography, please visit jcoleicons.com.
Begins Saturday, June 16th
CONVERSATIONS ABOUT PRIESTHOOD IN THE 21ST CENTURY
Last month, Father Jim celebrates his fifteenth anniversary as a priest. And this month, he will celebrate his fourth anniversary as pastor of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. These blessed and happy occasions seem like a great time to come together, pray, and reflect on the gift of the priesthood in our lives. In this spirit and as part of our Year for Vocations, all are invited to join Father Jim and Cliff Garvey for a series of conversations about the priesthood in the twenty-first century.
On three consecutive Saturday evenings (June 16th, June 23rd, and June 30th) at 7:00pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church, we will gather to pray and reflect with our pastor on the blessings and challenges of priesthood during a time of transition and potentially dramatic change in the Roman Catholic Church. We will also read and discuss selectionsfrom Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s book, “Called To Be Holy.” Each of our evenings together will begin with Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours, followed by a brief reflection and a period of conversation and faith sharing. Our gatherings will conclude promptly with Night Prayer at 8:30pm.
All parishioners are invited to join us for this special program! Books will be provided at our first meeting. A donation of $25 per person is requested from those who can afford it, along with a sincere commitment to read and come prepared to ask constructive questions, share their faith experiences, and offer personal spiritual insights. If you are interested in joining us for this special series of conversations about the priesthood in the new millennium, please contact Cliff at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Pope Francis once said: “Let us pray for all good and faithful priests who dedicate themselves to their people with generosity and unknown sacrifices.” This weekend and always, let us pause, pray, and reflect on the goodness and generosity of our priests. Let us pray especially for Father Jim, Father Alves, and Father Gariboldi so that the Lord may bless them, comfort them, and strengthen them. Let us also pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and an increase in all vocations that serve God’s Church with faith, hope, and love. May God bless our pope, our pastor, and all of our priests!
Saint Peter’s Novena
Begins Monday, June 18th
In preparation for the 91st Annual Saint Peter’s Fiesta, allare invited to participate in a Nine Day Novena to Saint Peter from Monday, June 18th through Tuesday, June 26th in the American Legion Hall (located at 8 Washing- ton Street in Gloucester). This beautiful annual tradition affords us a unique opportunity to offer prayers, peti- tions, and sacred songs for the intercession of Saint Peter, Apostle of the Apostles and Patron of Fishermen. For more information, please contact Joe Novello at 978-283- 4367. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Mass Intentions Book
Opens Thursday, June 21st
The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s Mass Intentions Book (July 2018 through December 2018) will be opened on Thursday, June 21st from 11:00am until 1:00pm in our parish offices (located at 74 Pleasant Street in Gloucester). On that day, all parishioners are welcome to book one Sunday Mass intention and one weekday Mass intention for Saint Ann Church, Saint Joachim Church, or Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Please note that on June 21st, all Mass intentions must be booked in person. No email, fax, or phone requests will be accepted. No exceptions. Any remaining Masses can be booked on or after Tuesday, June 26th. For more information, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and support! Peace and blessings to all for a safe and happy summer!
Catholic Kids Camp
The Beatitudes of Jesus
Begins Tuesday, June 26th
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:“The Beatitudes of Jesus” from Tuesday, June 26th through Friday, June 29th from 8:00am until 12:00pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. During this exciting week of prayer and fellowship, our children will learn about Jesus and the Sermon on the Mount through active and engaged participation in games, music, skits, andcraft projects. Here’s our schedule for the week:
Day I: Tuesday, June 26th
Blessed Are the Poor & Those Who Mourn
Day II: Wednesday, June 27th
Blessed Are Those Who Hunger for Justice
Day III: Thursday, June 28th
Blessed Are the Merciful & Pure of Heart
Day IV: Friday, June 29th
Blessed Are the Peacemakers & Persecuted
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 invited and encouraged to join us! After Mass, Betsy Works and a team of dedicated volunteers will lead the children to Our Lady’sSchool for a faith-filled and fun-filled morning of activities, hands-on 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 surely love!
The tuition for this innovative youth faith formation program is just $30 per child for the entire week! Scholarships are available for those families who cannot afford tuition. Also, adults and older children (ages 12 and up) are welcome to join us as volunteers and will be most appreciated! For more information about our next Catholic Kids Camp, please contact Betsy Works at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Grand Annual Collections
As we enter the final month of the fiscal year, all parishioners are encouraged to prayerfully consider giving to the Grand Annual Collection in either Holy Family Parish or Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. These fundraising campaigns are essential components of our parish budgets and are vitally important to the financial stability of both parishes. Donation envelopes are available from our parish offices and at the entrances of our churches. For more information about our Grand Annual Collections in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please see Father Jim or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your generous support of Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish! Peace and blessings to all! — Father Jim
Electronic Giving Is 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 email@example.com. 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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