Our Pastor’s Message
A Special Request for Prayers
By Father Jim
On Saturday, September 29th, the Catholic Church celebrated the Feast of the Archangels: Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel, and Saint Raphael. Scripture and tradition teach us that Saint Michael is both patron and protector of the Church and leader of an army of angels that battles the forces of evil in our world. On that feast day, during this tragic time of crisis, division, and “spiritual turbulence” in the church, the Holy Father issued a special prayer request to Catholics around the world. It said: “Pope Francis has decided to invite all the faithful, of the entire world, to pray the Holy Rosary every day during the Marian month of October; and to join together in prayer and penance, as the people of God, in asking the Holy Mother of God and Saint Michael the Archangel to protect the church from the devil, that always aims to divide us from God and among ourselves.”
In response to the Holy Father’s unprecedented request, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport will continue to pray the Holy Rosary every morning after Mass for the healing and protection of the church throughout the world. In addition, a beautiful hand painted icon of Saint Michael has been placed in the sanctuary of Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. And for the rest of this month, we will conclude all daily and weekend Masses with a prayer for the intercession of Saint Michael the Archangel:
Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle,
be our defense against the wickedness
and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and the other evil spirits
who prowl about the world
for the ruin of souls. Amen.
This famous prayer was written by Pope Leo XIII in 1886 and was routinely prayed after Mass for nearly eighty years. By making this special request for prayers, Pope Francis echoes the teaching of Saint John Paul II who said: “Although this prayer is no longer recited at the end of Mass, I ask everyone to remember it and recite it to obtain help in the battle against the forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world.”
Let us be confident that the prayers of Saint Michael and Our Blessed Mother will assist us in healing the deep wounds that have been inflicted upon God’s family by those who conspired with darkness to abuse children and to conceal those crimes. These horrors cannot be forgotten or nullified by the ritual of prayer alone. So let us continue working together to live the Gospel, share God’s love, and rebuild the Church. And let us remember the words of Saint Francis of Assisi: “This is our vocation: To heal wounds, to bind what is broken, and to bring home those who are lost.” May Saint Francis, Saint Michael, and Our Blessed Mother pray for us and for our wounded church! Peace and blessings to all!
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Youth Faith Formation
First Holy Communion Preparation
Begins Friday, October 12th
The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport offers a creative and innovative way for children to prepare for the Sacraments of Penance & Reconciliation (Confession) and First Holy Communion. Our program is designed to prepare both children and their par- ents for these sacraments; to encourage lifelong relationships with Jesus Christ and the Church; and to help families grow together in prayer, fellowship, and service.
Our program is simple and family-friendly! First, our top priority is to invite all families to attend one of our seven weekend Masses on a regular basis. Second, all second grade students and their parents, grandparents, or guardians are asked to attend two 90 minute workshops during the fall season and three 90 minute workshops during the winter-spring seasons. Each of these “Faith & Family Workshops” is offered at three different times so that each family can choose which option works best for them.
Our program begins during the weekend of October 12th-13th! Calendars and registra- tion forms are available via the link below. Forms can be returned by mail or hand-delivered to our parish offices (which are located at 74 Pleasant Street in Gloucester). If you have questions or need more information about youth faith formation in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Betsy Works at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Sacramental Preparation for Adults
Begins October 14th
“The Way” was the among the earliest names for followers of the Risen Christ. The Way also appears as a scriptural reference to the earliest Christian communities in the Acts of the Apostles. And tradition teaches that both before and after his conversion, 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 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”, a new adult faith formation program that will meet on Sunday mornings after our 8:15am Mass beginning on October 14th in Saint Ann House of Prayer. The Way (typically called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) is a seven month program that prepares adults to be received into the 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 the Easter Vigil or at a regional archdiocesan celebration).
Our group will meet every other week for fellowship, formation, and faith sharing. As a community of disciples, we will learn together about the basic beliefs, teachings, and traditions of the Church; and we will explore the methods of prayer and spirituality that have brought centuries of believers closer to Christ Jesus and to the Church. In addition, 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 become a part of this unique fellowship in preparation for the sacraments of God’s Church, please contact CliffGarvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Our Lady’s Baked Bean Supper
with Mike Dutra’s Strictly Sinatra
Friday, October 19th
All parishioners, friends, and guests of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join Our Lady’s Guild for its Annual Baked Bean Supper on Friday, October 19th from 5:30pm until 8:00pm in Our Lady’s Hall. Our menu will include hot dogs, linguiça, baked beans, coffee, soft drinks, and homemade desserts. Our evening’s entertainment will be provided by Mike Dutra who will sing your favorite songs by Frank Sinatra! A donation of $15 is requested for each adult; and $10 for each child (age 10 and under). Tickets will be available at the door. For more information about this special evening of good food, fellowship, and song, please contact Beth Fosberry at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Light & Darkness
A Workshop on Spiritual Combat
October 24th-October 26th
During the last week of August, a large group of parishioners gathered at Saint AnthonyChapel for the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s Fifth Annual Summer Retreat: “Everyone’s Vocation to Everyday Holiness.” During this intense five-night retreat, parishioners and friends ranging in age from 16 to 94 read and reflected on Pope Francis’s Apostolic Exhortation: “Rejoice and Be Glad: On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World.” Without question, the most compelling evening of the retreat focused on the Holy Father’s advice and guidance about spiritual combat, vigilance, and discernment. He writes: “The Christian life is a constant battle. We need strength and courage to withstand the temptations of the devil and to proclaim the Gospel. This battle is sweet, for it allows us to rejoice each time the Lord triumphs in our lives.”
In this spirit, all parishioners, friends, and guests of the Catholic Community of Gloucester& Rockport are invited to join Father Jim and Cliff Garvey for “Light & Darkness: A Workshop on Spiritual Combat, Vigilance & Discernment” from Wednesday, October 24th through Friday, October 26th in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. During this three-night mini-course, we will read and reflect together on the sacred scriptures, the wisdom of the saints, and the writings of Pope Francis. Overall, our goal will be to learn about how darkness works in our world and how we can work against that darkness with the help of our Lord Jesus Christ who is the Light of the World.
Each evening of this special adult faith formation program will begin at 7:00pm with Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. After this time of shared prayer, Father Jim and Cliff will lead our community in a period of reflection, discussion, and faith sharing. Each evening will conclude by 8:30pm with Night Prayer. If you would like to join us for all or even part of this special workshop on spiritual combat, vigilance, and discernment, please be sure to contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday, October 21st. A donation of $30 is requested from those who can afford it in support of our adult faith formation ministries. All reading materials 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!
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