A Message from Our Pastor
Passing of Father Eugene Alves
With deepest sadness, I beg your prayers for the soul of my brother priest and our longtime pastor, Father Eugene Alves, who passed away on Friday, February 8th. Father Alves devoted his entire life to Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. In so many ways, Father Alves was larger than life; and he will live on in the hearts of generations of parishioners who were blessed to know him and love him. Funeral services will proceed according to the following schedule:
Friday, February 15th
Visiting Hours | 3:00pm–7:00pm
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
Saturday, February 16th
Mass of Christian Burial | 9:30am
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
As our community mourns this monumental loss, we offer our heartfelt prayers for this great priest and faithful servant of God’s Holy Church. May God bless Father Alves and all who grieve his passing. Our Lady of Good Voyage Church will be open on Saturday, February 9th for silent prayer and devotion until our Vigil Mass begins at 6:00pm. Our Lady of Good Voyage, pray for us! Peace and blessings to all! — Father Jim
This Week’s Message
Cultivating Generosity & Gift
By Pope Francis
Each of us is poor, needy, and destitute. When we are born, we require the care of our parents to survive, and at every stage of life we remain in some way dependent on the help of others. We should always be conscious of our limitations as creatures before others and in all situations. A frank acknowledgement of this truth keeps us humble and spurs us to practice solidarity as an essential virtue in life. Such an acknowledgement leads us to act responsibly to promote a good that is both personal and communal. Only if we see ourselves, not as a world apart, but in a fraternal relationship with others, can we develop a social practice of solidarity aimed at the common good. We should not be afraid to regard ourselves as needy or reliant on others because individually and by our own efforts we cannot overcome our limitations. So, we should not fear to acknowledge them because God himself, in Jesus, humbly stoops down to us. In our poverty, he comes to our assistance and he grants us gifts beyond all imagining.
Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta, in all aspects of her life, was a generous instrument of divine mercy, making herself available for everyone through her hospitality and defense of human life (especially the unborn and those abandoned or discarded). She bowed down before those who were weary, left to die on the side of the road, seeing in them their God-given dignity. She made her voice heard before the powers of the world, so that they might recognize their guiltfor the crimes of poverty they created. For Mother Teresa, mercy was the ‘salt’ which gave flavor to her work. It was the ‘light’ that shined in the darkness for those who no longer had tearsto shed for their poverty and suffering. Her mission to the urban and existential fringes remains for us a powerful witness to God’s closeness to the poorest of the poor.
Saint Mother Teresa also helps us understand that our only criterion of action must be selfless love for every human being, without distinction of language, culture, ethnicity, or religion. Her example continues to guide us by opening up horizons of joy and hope for all who are in need of understanding and tender love, and especially for those who suffer. A spirit of generosity should inspire Catholic health care institutions, in both the more developed or poorer parts of the world, because they carry out their activities in the light of the Gospel. Catholics are called to give witness to self-giving, generosity, and solidarity in response to the mentality of profit atany price, giving for the sake of only of getting, and exploitation over concern for God’s family.
I urge everyone, at every level, to promote the culture of generosity and gift, which is indispensable for overcoming the culture of profit and waste. Catholic health care institutions must not fall into the trap of simply running a business. They must be concerned with personal care more than profit. We know that health is relational, dependent on interaction with others, and requires trust, friendship, and solidarity. Good health is a treasure that can be enjoyed fully only when it is shared. The joy of generous giving is a barometer of the health of a Christian community. I entrust you all to Mary, Comforter of the Afflicted. May she help us to share our gifts in a spirit of dialog and acceptance, to live as brothers and sisters attentive to the needs of others, to give with generous hearts, and to learn the joy of selfless service to others.
Note: This week’s message is an excerpt from the Holy Father’s Message for the 27th World Day of the Sick. Read the Pope’s full message via the link below.
World Day of the Sick
Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes
Monday, February 11th
On Monday, February 11th, the Catholic Church throughout the world commemorates the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and the 27th Annual World Day of the Sick. In the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, this special day is a unique occasion for us to pray for those who live with chronic or terminal illnesses and to celebrate God’s healing, love, and mercy for all who suffer and to give sincere thanks for all who love and care for the sick.
In an earlier message for the World Day of the Sick, Pope Francis wrote: “This day is anopportunity to reflect on the needs of the sick and of all who suffer. It is also an occasion for those who generously assist the sick, beginning with family members, health workers, and volunteers to give thanks for their God-given vocations to accompany our brothers and sisters who suffer. Likewise, this celebration gives the whole Church renewed spiritual energy to carry out more fully the fundamental part of her mission to serve the poor, the sick, the suffering, and the marginalized in our societies.”
As we commemorate the World Day of the Sick, let us lift our hearts and voices to our Ris- en Lord on behalf of those who are sick, those who are suffering, and those who are dying. May God bless them, comfort them, and strengthen them with the balm of his healing love and mercy. Let us pray, too, for our friends and family members who embrace the hard and heartbreaking ministry of caring for the sick. May God bless them with faith, hope, and love in the face of so much sickness and suffering.
A PRAYER FOR THE SICK
Almighty God and Father,
all praise and glory is yours
for you have called us to serve you in love.
Bless your servant, N.,
so that he/she may bear their illness in union
with your Son’s obedient suffering.
Restore him/her to health and lead him/her to glory.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever. Amen.
A PRAYER FOR THE DYING
Lord Jesus Christ,
as you stood by the bed of Saint Joseph,
and gently led him home to heaven,
so shepherd every soul about to die
to a paradise of perfect peace.
Let the tears we shed upon their passing
stand as witness to our love for them
and the depth of our thanksgiving
for the gift of their lives and the grace of a good death,
for you are our Lord for ever and ever. Amen.
Catholic Kids Camp
Learning to Pray with the Children of Fatima
February 19th-February 22nd
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: Learning to Pray with the Children of Fatima” from Tuesday, February 19th through Friday, February 22nd (8:00am until 12:00pm) in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. During this exciting week of prayer, fun, and fellowship, the children will learn about the miraculous appearances of Our Lady of Fatima and the child-saints who spread her message with the whole world. Our strategy of learning features active and engaged participation in games, music, prayer, skits, and craft projects. Here’sour schedule for the week:
- Day I: Tuesday, February 19th
The Story of Our Lady of Fatima
- Day II: Wednesday, February 20th
Francisco, Prayer, and Sacrifice
- Day III: Thursday, February 21st
Jacinta and Praying for Peace
- Day IV: Friday, February 22nd
Lucia and Praying the Rosary
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 encouraged to join us! After Mass, Betsy Works and a team of volunteers will lead the children to Our Lady’s School for a faith-filled and fun-filled morning of activities, learning, and good times with friends both old and new. Catholic Kids Camp is an exciting educational program that your children and grandchildren will love!
The tuition for this innovative youth faith formation program during the winter school vacation is just $30 per child for the entire week. Scholarships are available for those families who cannot afford tuition. Also, adults and older children (age 12 and up) are welcome to join us as volunteers and will be much appreciated! Registration forms are available at the link below. For 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!
Adult Faith Formation
Winter Day of Prayer & Reflection
Prayer & Healing with the Children of Fatima
Saturday, February 23rd
Francisco Marto (1908-1919) and Jacinta Marto (1910- 1920), brother and sister, and their cousin, Lucia dos Santos (1907-2005), were children from a small village near Fatima in Portugal, who were blessed to give witness to several apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of Fatima. Much is known and much is often misunderstood about the apparitions and their meaning. But we can learn a great deal from these children, especially Francisco and Jacinta, about life, love, prayer, and healing.
In commemoration of the Feast of Saints Francisco Marto and Jacinta Marto (February 20th), all are invited to join Father Jim and Cliff Garvey for a “Winter Day of Prayer& Reflection: Prayer and Healing with the Children of Fatima” on Saturday, February 23rd in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. During this special four-hour morning retreat, we will explore the different but complimentary spiritual lives of the Children of Fatima. We will also consider what these young saints can teach us about coping with illnesses of mind, body, and spirit.
Our day of prayer and reflection will proceed according to the following schedule: Celebration of Mass at 8:00am; First Reflection & Faith Sharing at 9:00am; Eucharistic Adoration & Rosary at 10:00am; Second Reflection & Faith Sharing at 11:00am; Angelus & Closing Prayers at 12:00pm. After our program, all are invited to join us for a delicious potluck lunch in the parish hall.
Throughout the morning, there will be scheduled breaks and time for faith sharing, fellowship, and questions. Coffee, tea, bottled water, and refreshments will be available throughout the morning. During Mass, a collection will be taken up in support of our adult and youth faith formation programs. If you would like to participate in this special event, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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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