This Week’s Message
Remembering Deacon Dan
By Cliff Garvey
For the second time in six months, a dedicated and deeply respected member of our pastoral team has passed away suddenly. Last December, we lost Deacon Ray Wellbank. And last week, we lost Deacon Dan Dunn. Although it is heartbreaking for our community to suffer another such loss before our hearts had a chance to heal from the first one, we have reason to rejoice in a long life that was well-lived by a man who was much-loved by so many people. Deacon Dan was a husband, father, grandfather, brother, colleague, friend, and fellow parishioner. Deacon Dan was a man of science; he was also a man of deep faith and prayer. Deacon Dan was a devout Roman Catholic; he was also a person who appreciated different faith traditions. Deacon Dan was well-organized and detail-oriented; he was also a person who loved to sing.
Deacon Dan was born eighty-one years ago in Chicago. He graduated from the University of Detroit with a degree in physics. He spent his long career working as an engineer at several corporations. His last position before retirement focused on space surveillance. But Dan’s love of science did not diminish his faith. Indeed, he discerned a call to preach the Gospel and to serve the Church. After a long period of preparation, he received the Sacrament of Holy Orders and was ordained a permanent deacon in 1980 by Cardinal Humberto Medeiros. For nineteen of his thirty-eight years as a deacon, Dan served here in Holy Family Parish and the Catholic Community of Gloucester and Rockport.
Deacon Dan’s ministry was as diverse and well-rounded as the man himself. He visited the sick, buried the dead, and prayed with grieving families. He prepared couples for marriage; he prepared parents and godparents for the baptism of their children. He proclaimed the Gospel, preached the Gospel, and lived the Gospel in all of his thoughts, words, and countless good deeds. He was always quick to smile, ready to tell a funny story, and willing to offer an encouraging word. He was generous, gentle, and kindhearted. During the four years that we worked together, I never heard Deacon Dan utter an angry or mean-spirited word about anyone. Not once. Not ever.
One lasting and unforgettable memory speaks volumes about Deacon Dan, his love for the Church, and his love for the people he served. For many years, Deacon Dan sang the Exsultet (or Easter Proclamation) at the Easter Vigil Mass. The Exsultet is a hymn of praise that is typically chanted by a deacon (or priest) after a procession through the church with the new Paschal Candle. It summarizes salvation history and announces the Risen Lord’s victory over death. It is complicated. It is long. And it is not easy to sing. The church is crowded and dark. But even as Deacon Dan entered his ninth decade of life and it became harder to carry the heavy candle and chant the Exsultet, he prepared, he persevered, and he sang. With a grace, humility, and joy that moved many to tears, Deacon Dan sang like an angel in our midst!
Now that Deacon Dan sings with the choir of angels in heaven, we are called to persevere in prayer, fellowship, and service. We are called to live the Gospel, share God’s love, and rebuild the Church. We are called to generosity, kindness, and love for God and for neighbor. And we are called to reach out to those who profess other faith traditions in a spirit of dialog, respect, and mutual understanding. As we mourn again the loss of a beloved colleague, dear friend, and fellow parishioner, let us pray together for the soul of Deacon Dan Dunn. Let us pray for his family, for his friends, and for all who grieve his sudden passing. And let us pray for our pastor, for our pastoral team, and for all who live, work, and worship in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. May Deacon Dan rest always in the eternal peace of our Risen Savior!
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Holy Family Parish
Holy Hour & Benediction
Saturday, July 28th
In celebration of the Feast of Saints Ann and Joachim (July 26th), all are invited to join Holy Family Parish for a period of prayer and devotion on Saturday, July 28th. This special holy hour will begin with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Daytime Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours at 3:00pm. At 3:30pm, we will pray the Holy Rosary; and at 3:45pm, we will conclude with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Please note that there will be no confessions heard on July 28th. All parishioners, friends, and guests of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join us! For more information, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Holy Family Parish
Annual Crowning Ceremony
Sunday, July 29th
In celebration of the Feast of Saint Ann and Saint Joachim (July 26th), all are invited to join us for the Annual Crowning of Saint Ann and the Blessed Virgin Mary after our 8:15am Mass on Sunday, July 29th. As a community united in prayer, fellowship, and service, let us unite our hearts and voices in prayer for the intercession of our patrons: Saint Ann, pray for us! Saint Joachim, pray for us! For more information, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Adult Faith Formation
Sacramental Preparation for Adults
I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).
“The Way” was among the earliest names for the followers of the Risen Christ. Indeed, the Way appears as a scriptural reference to the earliest Christian communities in the Acts of the Apostles. In addition, both before and after his conversion, tradition holds that Saint Paul referred to the disciples of Christ as part of “The Way.” More than two thousand years later, Catholic Christians are still part of the Way of Jesus Christ. But as we all know, a life of discipleship is not a hobby or pastime. It is a vocation, a way of life that lays claim to our whole heart, mind, and strength. As disciples, our lives should be focused on and inspired by our faith in Jesus Christ, who is our merciful redeemer, friend, and brother. And as disciples, we are called to reach out to those who need our help in growing closer to Christ and the Church.
If you are an adult (age 18 and over) and have not received all of the Sacraments of Initiation in the Roman Catholic Church (Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation), then please consider joining the Way, our adult faith formation program that will meet on Sunday mornings after our 8:15am Mass beginning on October 14th. Typically called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, the Way is a seven month program that prepares adults to be received into the Roman Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil. As part of this same program, we will prepare adults for the Sacrament of Confirmation (to be received at either our local Easter Vigil Mass or at a regional archdiocesan celebration).
Our group will meet twice each month for fellowship, formation, and faith sharing. As a community of disciples, we will learn together about the basic beliefs, teachings, and traditions of the Catholic Church. We will explore the methods of prayer that have brought generations of believers closer to Christ and his Church. And we will talk openly and honestly about the challenges of living an authentic life of faith, hope, and love in the modern world. If you would like to learn more about this journey of faith and become part of a unique fellowship in preparation for the sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church, then 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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