Our Pastor’s Message
On This Rock
By Father Jim
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says: “I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it(Matthew 16:28).” In this passage, Christ identifies Peter as the leader of his disciples and the head of the church — a church that will stand the test of time and ultimately prevail over the powers of darkness.
This weekend, we commemorate and pay tribute to Saint Peter as a revered patron of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. We celebrate with amusements and games, food and drink, much laughter and good sportsmanship, and good old fashioned community pride and spirit. This is as it should be. We should celebrate our heritage and our history. Throughout this weekend of high spirits, however, let us be mindful of the singularly important and unique role that Saint Peter plays in the life of the Roman Catholic Church. Let us remember that Saint Peter loved Jesus, left his life’s work as a fisherman to follow him, and ultimately sacrificed his life for Christ and the Church.
If you are ever blessed to make a pilgrimage to Rome and Vatican City, Saint Peter’s Basilica is among the top attractions. Beneath the gold and glitter of the basilica is the tomb of a simple fisherman. Like us, Peter was a human being. He was capable of great devotion and love. But he was also capable of great anger, fear, and even betrayal. Unlike most of us, Peter was also a saint who overcame his sins, led the church through its earliest days, and was martyred for the faith. Saint Peter is truly the rock and foundation of the church, which was built upon the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And Saint Peter’s prayers continue to lead, guide, and defend Christian believers all around the world.
When pilgrims visit the subterranean tomb of Saint Peter, they are not impressed by pomp and circumstance. They are instead struck by the silence; by the quiet stillness of a soul at rest in heaven’s eternal peace. Amidst the sometimes noisy celebrations of the fiesta, let us be mindful of Saint Peter as our venerable patron and as the foundation of our shared apostolic faith. Let us ask him to pray for us, for our parishes, and for all of those friends, neighbors, and visitors that we will meet this weekend. And let us ask him to help us live the Gospel, share God’s love, and rebuild our wounded Church.
Tradition holds that Saint Peter was the first of the apostles to perform miracles after the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. This weekend, let us pray that through his prayers, he will perform a new miracle that will help us to heal wounds, bind what is broken, and bring home those who are lost. Saint Peter the Apostle, pray for us! Viva San Pietro! Viva!
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Viva San Pietro!
Praying with Saint Peter
A LITANY TO SAINT PETER THE APOSTLE
Saint Peter, Prince of Apostles,
Saint Peter, to whom were given the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven,
Saint Peter, so ardent for the glory of Christ,
Saint Peter, whose heart was pierced with one look from Jesus,
Saint Peter, who grieved for his denial of the Son of God,
Saint Peter, whose cheeks were furrowed
by a stream of tears that flowed until the end of your life,
Saint Peter, who cried out: “Lord, you know that I love you!”,
Saint Peter, bound in chains for Christ,
Saint Peter, delivered from prison by an angel,
Saint Peter, who rejoiced to suffer with Jesus,
Saint Peter, whose mere shadow cured the sick,
Saint Peter, whose voice even the dead obey,
Saint Peter, so that we may love one another,
so that we may taste and see the sweetness of the Lord,
so that we may be zealous in loyalty to your successor,
Pope Francis, the Vicar of Christ,
so that we may help, at least through prayer,
the unity of your scattered sheep,
so that we may be prudent and watchful in prayer,
so that we may die the death of the just,
Saint Peter the Rock, pray for us!
Lord Jesus Christ,
who upon Peter, your blessed apostle,
you bestowed the pontifical power of binding and loosing,
and to whom you gave the keys of Heaven,
grant that his powerful intercession
may ensure our deliverance from the bondage of sin.
Through you who lives and reigns
with our Father in Heaven and the Holy Spirit,
forever and always one God,
a world without end. Amen!
Saint Peter, Patron of the Church, pray for us!
Saint Peter, Patron of Fishermen, pray for us!
Saint Peter, Patron of Bakers, Builders, and Shoemakers, pray for us!
Saint Peter, Patron of Long-Life and Good Health, pray for us!
Saint Peter, Patron of the Papacy,
pray for our beloved Holy Father, Pope Francis!
May God bless him with courage and perseverance!
Saint Peter’s Fiesta Mass
Welcome Bishop O’Connell
Sunday, June 30th
The 92nd Annual Saint Peter’s Fiesta runs from Wednes-day, June 26th through Sunday, June 30th. On that Sunday, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport will celebrate Masses according to this schedule:
- Our Lady of Good Voyage Church at 7:00am
- Saint Ann Church at 8:15am
- Saint Joachim Church at 10:00am
- Saint Peter Park Outdoor Mass at 10:00am
- Our Lady of Good Voyage Church at 11:45am
This year, we welcome the Most Reverend Mark O’Connell, Auxiliary Bishop of Boston, as our special guest celebrant and homilist. Please join us! Spread the word! Bring your family and friends! All are invited! All are welcome!
Our Summer Retreat
Sharing the Wisdom of Time with Pope Francis
August 26th through August 30th
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 relationships with Christ, with each other, and with our 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 Sixth Annual Summer Retreat: “Sharing the Wisdom of Time with Pope Francis.”
From Monday, August 26th through Friday, August 30th, 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 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 promptly at 8:30pm with Night Prayer. During each day of the retreat, the chapel will open at 12:00pm for silent personal prayer and devotion.
This year, we will explore the inevitability of change in our lives and how to journey with confidence and courage through the sometimes turbulent waters of our times. In his book, “Sharing the Wisdom of Time”, Pope Francis reminds us that to face the future, we must understand the past. The wisdom that comes with age and experience can help us to prepare for the future without fear and anxiety. To illustrate these points, the Holy Father has collected memories and stories from more than thirty countries and all walks of life. Every life story can offer us a compelling witness to the power of faith, hope, love, and trust in divine providence!
Between each night of the summer retreat, participants will be asked to read a brief selection from the Holy Father’s beautifully illustrated book, “Sharing the Wisdom of Time”, and reflect on some timeless wisdom from the four corners of the world. If you would like to join us for all or even just part of our Sixth Annual Summer Retreat, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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! Spread the word! 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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