Our Pastor’s Message
Sharing the Wisdom of Time
By Father Jim
Last week, eighty-seven friends and fellow parishioners joined Cliff Garvey and me for all or part of our Sixth Annual Summer Retreat: “Sharing the Wisdom of Time with Pope Francis.” Over the course of five nights, we reflected on a beautiful book by the same name in which Pope Francis and dozens of men and women, from all walks of life, from all around the world, shared their lives and wisdom. We also shared our own experiences and memories, accumulated over long years, during both good and hard times. We laughed together, cried together, and offered each other the kind of mutual love, compassion, and understanding that would have so pleased the Holy Father. Our goal was to pray about how to share the wisdom of faith with the young people that we love — not so much with words, but by how we live as disciples.
Each evening on retreat, we focused on a different theme: work, struggle, love, death, and hope. Each of these themes can provoke compelling memories that have the potential to transform every human life. In his nightly reflections, Cliff skillfully wove his own family experiences into what we learned from Pope Francis and those interviewed for the book. What we found most thought-provoking was not what someone might have said, but what someone actually did with their life. We learned that good works and virtuous actions spoke more powerfully than words. Our loved ones and those we read about lived the Gospel and shared God’s love by preaching with their whole lives, not just with their words. Nevertheless, Cliff and I assembled five quotations from the retreat that we felt give voice to the spirit of last week’s prayers, reflections, and faith sharing:
“Die when I may, I want it said of me by those who knew me best,
that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower
where I thought a flower might grow.”
“An elder who has fought for the future has a vision,
and it is a hymn to human possibilities.”
“What is life all about? To love and be loved.
To feel loved and accepted…You should not be ashamed of love, hide it,
or pretend that you are indifferent.”
“If we truly love, nothing, not even suffering or death,
can separate us from the love of God or from one another.”
“When you fall, and you will fall, look up to the Lord.
He is there waiting for you. He will offer you his hand.
No matter what you have done, take it.
He will offer you his embrace.
No matter what you have done, accept it.
Do not forget. Do this over and over, again and again.”
Archbishop-Emeritus Francisco Viti
We hope that these words of wisdom might inspire you to pray about how you might better share the wisdom of time and the beauty of our faith with our families and friends. My special thanks go to Cliff Garvey for leading us on a truly amazing retreat. My sincere thanks also goes to everyone who walked with us on this incredible journey of prayer and reflection. Peace and blessings!
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Healing God’s Family & Rebuilding Our Church
An Evening of Prayer with Mychal Judge
Thursday, September 11th
More than eight centuries ago, the Crucified Christ called out to the young man who would become Saint Francis of Assisi: “Go! Rebuild my church which as you can see is falling into ruin!” Francis took the Lord’s command literally and set out to repair small chapels in and around his hometown. Over the years, however, Francis came to understand more fully that his vocation to live the Gospel and share God’s love was vital to rebuilding the Church all around our suffering world.
In this spirit and in appreciation for the ongoing crisis facing the Roman Catholic Church in our own time, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport has gathered throughout this year on a regular basis in commemoration of various feast days and important memorials to pray for the healing of God’s family and for the courage to rebuild our wounded church. In addition, we have also begged the saints to pray for us and to guide us in the hard work of discipleship during these difficult times.
All are invited to join us for our next Evening of Prayer for the Healing of God’s Family on Wednesday, September 11th in commemoration of the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001; and to reflect on the life and spirituality of Father Mychal Judge, who is recorded as the first official victim of those attacks. This special evening of prayer will begin at 6:00pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church with Evening Prayer and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. At 6:30pm, we will pray the Holy Rosary for the healing of God’s family. And at 7:15pm, we will conclude with Night Prayer and Benediction.
During Evening Prayer, Cliff Garvey will offer a brief reflection on the life and legacy of Father Mychal Judge, who was a Franciscan Friar, the chaplain for the New York City Fire Department, and widely known for his boundless care and compassion for the poor, the sick, and the addicted. We hope and pray that you and your family will be able to join us for all or even just part of this special evening of prayer, reflection, and devotion. For more information about this special event, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! Spread the word! Bring a friend! All are invited! All are welcome!
Knights of Columbus
Annual Mass & Breakfast
Sunday, September 15th
The Knights of Columbus (Council 215) is a fraternal and charitable organization of Catholic men that serves the Catholic Community of Gloucester at both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. Since 1897, our award-winning council has sponsored countless good works of charity and community service. If you can spare just twenty-four hours this year to volunteer with us, we can transform that commitment into meaningful results for you, your family, and our community.
The Knights invite all members, friends, and fellow parishioners to a breakfast of eggs, bacon, and pancakes in Saint Ann Church Hall immediately following our 8:15am Mass on Sunday, September 15th. A free will offering will be gratefully accepted and donated to the Saint Vincent de Paul Society. For more information, please contact us at email@example.com; or visit our website (see link below). Please join us! Spread the word! Bring your family! All are invited! All are welcome!
Youth Faith Formation
Fall Faith & Family Mass
Saturday, September 22nd
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says: “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them: for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs (Matthew 19:14).” In response to the Lord’s call, all parents, grandparents, godparents, and children of all ages are invited to join Father Jim for our annual Fall Faith & Family Mass on Sunday, September 22nd at 11:45am in OurLady of Good Voyage Church.
During Mass, Father Jim will offer a special blessing and homily for all families and their children about we can all work together to heal God’s family and rebuild our Church. During this new school year, we will celebrate four more Faith & Family Masses on the following dates and times: Saturday, November 30th at 4:00pm in Saint Ann Church; Saturday, December 28th at 4:00pm in Saint Ann Church; Sunday March 1st at 11:45am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church; and Saturday, May 9th at 4:00pm in Saint Ann Church.
Mark your calendar! Save the dates! Spread the word! Bring your families and friends! Now more than ever, let us reaffirm that Mass is our class! Jesus is our teacher! Let us remember that every child in our pews is precious blessing from God! Every family that joins us for worship is a special gift from God! For more information, please see Father Jim; or contact Betsy Works at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome! Always!
Electronic Giving Made Safe & Easy
Available at Both Parishes
Electronic giving is available at both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. It is easy, simple, and safe to make online donations to your home parish using a credit card, debit card, or electronic check. Donations can be made on a one-time-only or ongoing basis. And it takes just a few minutes to set up a secure personal account. Just choose the appropriate link below and click “Make a Donation.” Please prayerfully consider supporting your parish by giving electronically! For more information about electronic giving in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com. Thank you for your generous and ongoing support!
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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