This Week’s Message
Praying with Saint Clare
By Cliff Garvey
On Saturday, August 11th, the Catholic Church throughout the world celebrates the Feast of Saint Clare of Assisi (1194-1253). Saint Clare is venerated as patroness of eye diseases, good weather, homemakers, knitters and needle workers, and television. But Clare is perhaps best known as the closest follower and dearest friend of Saint Francis of Assisi. More than eight centuries ago, she founded the “Poor Ladies of San Damiano” which is now known colloquially as the Poor Clares. Perhaps more than any other Franciscan, Clare most faithfully lived the gospel life of prayer, fellowship, simplicity, and service.
Although Saint Clare lived all of her post-conversion life within the confines of a cloister, she was a person of great courage, faith, and perseverance. When mercenary soldiers attempted to breach the walls of her convent, she confronted them with the Blessed Sacrament and they retreated. When a bishop asked her to compromise her principles and accept gifts of property and riches, Clare declined and said: “I must be absolved from my sins, but not from my obligation to follow the Poor Christ.” And when a pope refused to approve her strict rule of life, she declined to die until the rule was approved. Just two days after it was finally given papal authorization, she quietly and contentedly passed away.
Many centuries later, we can still call on Saint Clare to pray for us, for our Church, and for our troubled world during times of adversity, scandal, and uncertainty. The following prayer was written years ago by an anonymous Poor Clare in Jamaica Plain. It speaks beautifully to the remarkable soul who cast aside the spirit of the world in order to faithfully live the adventure of the gospel. This weekend, let us join our hearts and voices as we pray:
ardent lover of Jesus
in the Most Blessed Sacrament,
help us to grow in love
for Christ Jesus, our Redeemer.
With your strong faith and unwavering hope,
gather our wounded Church,
our suffering world, and all people
into your loving heart and lift us up to Jesus
with your absolute confidence in his merciful love.
Saint Clare, help us to be like you:
peaceful, kind, gentle, strong, patient, and persevering
in the face of all difficulties.
Trusting in your powerful intercession,
we confidently praise and thank God, our Father,
for all of the blessings we have received.
Glory, praise, wisdom, and thanksgiving,
honor, power, and might to our God
for ever and ever. Amen.
May the powerful intercession of Saint Clare of Assisi bring us closer to Christ and to the Church. May her prayers comfort us, empower us, and protect us as we strive to live the Gospel of Christ. Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us! May the Lord give you peace!
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Our Lady of Good Voyage
Special Second Collection
Weekend of August 11th & 12th
On Saturday, August 11th and Sunday, August 12th, a special second collection will be taken up at all Masses in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church to supplement the costs of repairing and repointing the front steps of our church and the stone wall in our rectory parking lot. This special project is essential to preserve the structural integrity of our historic property and to ensure the safety of our most important asset: our dedicated parishioners. Our hope is that work on this project will begin before the end of the summer season. As always, the success of every fundraising campaign depends on the generosity of our parishioners. Every donation, whetherit’s $1 or $10 or $100, will go a long way toward ensuring that we can complete thisvery necessary project. For more information, please contact me at email@example.com. Peace, blessings, and sincere thanks to all! — Father Jim
Summer Carillon Recitals
An Our Lady of Good Voyage Tradition
Saturday, August 11th
An annual tradition returns this summer to Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish! Our Summer Carillon Recitals are scheduled to begin next Saturday, August 4th at 5:15pm (rain or shine). Once again, LuAnn Pallazola, our very talented keyboardist has prepared programs that include familiar classical music, popular hymns, patriotic melodies, and children’s tunes! Installed in 1922, the carillon bells in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church were the first toned set of carillon bells in the United States. Although our bells can be heard from blocks away, the sound is best near the church. This summer, other carillon recitals are scheduled for the following Saturday afternoons at 5:15pm: August 4th, August 11th, August 18th, August 25th, and September 1st. These recitals are free and open to the public! So, bring a cold drink or coffee! Bring your family! Bring a friend! Enjoy this wonderful summer tradition! And don’t forget that Mass begins at 6:00pm! Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome! For more information, please contact LuAnn Pallazola at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Solemnity of the Assumption
Holy Day of Obligation
Wednesday, August 15th
Since the fifth century, God’s faithful people have believed that upon her death, the Blessed Virgin Mary was raised body and soul into heaven. But this ancient tradition was not defined as an official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church until 1950. In celebration of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport will celebrate Masses according to the following schedule:
- Tuesday, August 14th: Saint Joachim Church at 7:00pm
- Wednesday, August 15th: Our Lady of Good Voyage Church at 8:00am
- Wednesday, August 15th: Saint Ann Church at 12:00pm
For more information about our celebration of this Holy Day of Obligation for all Roman Catholics, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome! Saint Ann, pray for us! Saint Joachim, pray for us! Our Lady of Good Voyage, pray for us! Our Lady of the Assumption, pray for us!
Catholic Kids Camp
The Holy Angels of God
Begins Tuesday, August 21st
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 Holy Angels of God” from Tuesday, August 21st through Friday, August 24th 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 the Holy Angels of God and their ministry to God’s people through active and engaged participation games, music, skits, and craft projects. Here’s our schedule for the week:
- Day I: Tuesday, August 21st The Guardian Angels
- Day II: Wednesday, August 22nd Saint Michael the Archangel
- Day III: Thursday, August 23rd Saint Gabriel the Archangel
- Day IV: Friday, August 24th Saint Raphael the Archangel
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’s School 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 requested 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration forms are available via the link below. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Fifth Annual Summer Retreat
Everone’s Vocation to Everyday Holiness
Begins Monday, August 27th
The summer season is a great time of year for stepping back from the business and busy-ness of daily life in order to focus on our personal relationship with Christ, with each other, and with the Church. Unfortunately, few among us are able to leave behind work, family, and friends for a real retreat from the world. For this reason, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport is pleased to announce our Fifth Annual Summer Retreat, On Retreat with Pope Francis: Everyone’s Vocation to Everyday Holiness!
From Monday, August 27th through Friday, August 31st, all are invited to join Father Jim and Cliff Garvey for a unique opportunity to experience the spiritual peace and renewal of a week-long retreat without leaving home! Each evening of our summer retreat will begin at 7:00pm in Saint Anthony Chapel with Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. After our shared prayer, Father Jim and Cliff will lead our community in a period of reflection, discussion, and faith sharing. Evening evening will conclude at 8:30pm with Night Prayer. During each day of the retreat, the chapel will open at 12:00pm for silent personal prayer and reflection.
This year, we will explore the universal vocation to holiness that is described by Pope Francis in his book: “Rejoice And Be Glad: On the Call to Holiness in the Contemporary World.” In this heartfelt and beautifully written apostolic exhortation, the Holy Father challenges everyone, regardless of their vocation, to live an everyday holiness characterized by humility, kindness, love, and mercy. And he offers practical advice for living out the vocation to holiness regardless of our age, gender, background, and overall life experience.
Between each night of the summer retreat, participants will be asked to read brief selections from “Rejoice And Be Glad” and reflect on a few study questions. If you would like to join us for all or even just part of our Fifth Annual Summer Retreat, please be sure to contact Cliff Garvey at email@example.com by Sunday, August 26th. A donation of $30 is requested from those who can afford it. Copies of the book and cold drinks will be provided. Please join us! Bring a friend! 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