HOLY SEASON OF LENT

cropped-ash-wed-cross-1.jpegOur Pastor’s Message
A Solemn Pact

By Father Jim

In the midst of all the talk on cable and online about our nation’s deeply divided political culture, we underestimate the divisions within the Roman Catholic Church. We sometimes fail to appreciate how loud voices, wealthy benefactors, and powerful interests seek to influence the governance and pastoral ministry of God’s Holy Church. We sometimes fail to see how influential media networks and personalities (including those self-proclaimed guardians of church orthodoxy) actively seek to undermine Pope Francis and his efforts to bring people together.

In his new book, Wounded Shepherd: Pope Francis and His Struggle to Convert the Catholic Church, Austen Invereigh writes that Pope Francis “does not offer boundaries to protect people from perceived threats, but doors and bridges to expand their possibilities. He is captivating and energetic, but humble. He makes mistakes and asks forgiveness. His mission is to take the Churchto the people, in order to not just save the people but to save the Church.” Sadly, while Pope Francis reaches out to build bridges, others seek division, exclusion, and harsh judgment.

Guided by the Holy Spirit and seeming to sense that the Church stands at a crossroads, believers from all around the world gathered earlier this month in Italy for a conference sponsored by the Focolare Movement, whose primary mission is to promote Christian love, unity, and fraternity. Hundreds of participants, including 144 bishops and cardinals, signed a “solemn pact” during Mass and promised to work with the Holy Father in order to heal God’s family, rebuild the Church, and save souls. Here’s my humble translation of this solemn pact:

Eternal Father,
united in the name of Jesus,
we promise to love each other as Jesus loves us,
to the point of giving our lives,
so that we may live together
in full communion with Pope Francis.
Grant that we may be one soul and one body;
that the joy of one may be the joy of the other,
that the cross of one may be the cross of the other,
so that the continuous presence of Jesus Christ
may shine forth in us and among us,
becoming part of all that we do,
and bringing renewal to our churches,
so that all may be one
and the world may believe.
Amen.

Among those who signed the pact was Bishop David Talley of Memphis. He writes: “The Risen Lord is present among us as we gather together in faith…We seek to live according to his light, not waiting to love, but to love first.” So, what can we do in our far corner of the world? Well, we can pray for Pope Francis, for his critics, and for the Church throughout the world. We can tune out and turn off those voices that offer only criticism and promote division. We can disengage ourselves from activities and conversations that tear down rather than build up God’s family. And we can devote ourselves to love and charity, civil dialog, and community service. Ifwe’re looking for a good way to begin our Lenten journey, this seems like a strong start!

Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Contact: frjim@ccgronline.com

CCGR Weekly Newsletter (2-23-20)
Bringing Home the Word (2-23-20)
Learn More: Focolare Movement

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Ash Wednesday
Our Mass Schedule
Wednesday, February 26th

The Holy Season of Lent is a time for prayer, penance, and almsgiving during which all Christian disciples are called to renew their faith in preparation for the celebration of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ at Easter. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, February 26th, which is a Holy Day of Abstinence and Fasting for all Roman Catholics. In the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, we will celebrate Mass and distribute ashes according to the following schedule:

  • Mass at 8:00am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
  • Mass at 12:00pm in Saint Ann Church
  • Mass at 5:00pm in Saint Joachim Church
  • Mass at 7:00pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church.

For more information about the Holy Season of Lent in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Father Jim at frjim@ccgronline.com. Please join us! Spread the word! Bring your family! Bring a friend! All are invited! All are welcome!

Video: Appreciating Ash Wednesday

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The Way of the Cross
A Traditional Lent Devotion
Begins Friday, February 28th

For more than five hundred years, the Stations of the Cross are one of the most enduring and moving traditional devotions of the Roman Catholic Church. By uniting our prayers with those of the suffering Christ through both word and imagery, we make a spiritual pilgrimage with our Lord as he experiences the Passion of the Cross. During Lent, all are invited to join the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport in praying the Way of the Cross on six consecutive Friday afternoons (February 28th through April 3rd) at 3:00pm in Saint Ann Church. For more information about the Holy Season of Lent in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Father Jim at frjim@ccgronline.com. Please spread the word! Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!

Learn More: A Franciscan Way of the Cross

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Lent Day of Prayer & Reflection
The Call of Levi
Saturday, February 29th

LIVING GOSPEL LIVING JESUS 

Pope Francis once said: “In the name of Saint Francis, I say to you: I have neither gold nor silver to give you, but something far more precious, the Gospel of Jesus.” In this spirit of growing closer to Christ and to each other through the holy scriptures, all parishioners, friends and guests of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join us for a Lent Day of Prayer & Reflection: The Call of Levi on Saturday, February 29th from 8:00am until 12:00pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church.

During this four-hour morning retreat, we will pray with and reflect upon Christ’s call to Levi and to all sinners: “Follow me (Luke 5:27).” In addition, we will discuss the Lord’s admonition to the Pharisees: “I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners (Luke 5:32).” Overall, we will explore in some real depth the universal themes of discipleship, forgiveness, and God’s love for all people — no matter who they are, what they’ve done, or where they’re from.

Our day of prayer will proceed according to the following schedule: Celebration of Holy Mass at 8:00am; First Reflection & Faith Sharing at 9:00am; Eucharistic Adoration & Rosary at 10:00am; Second Reflection & Faith Sharing at 11:15am; Angelus & Closing Prayer at 12:00pm. After our scheduled program, all are invited to join us for a delicious potluck lunch. Throughout the morning, there will be scheduled breaks and time for faith sharing, fellowship, and questions. Coffee, tea, bottled water, and refreshments will be served.

Our Lent Day of Prayer & Reflection is part of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s year-long series: Living Gospel, Living Jesus. If you would like to join us for this special event, please contact Cliff Garvey at cgarvey@ccgronline.com.  Also, if you are able and willing to help with our potluck lunch, please contact Cliff as soon as possible! Please join us! Spread the word! Bring a friend! All are invited! All are welcome! Always!

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Lent Mass for Families
Youth Faith Formation Special Event
Sunday, March 1st

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says: “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them, for it is such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs (Matthew 19:14).” In this spirit and in response to the Lord’s call to prayer and worship, all children, parents, grandparents, godparents, and guardians in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join Father Jim for our Lent Mass for Families on Sunday, March 1st at 11:45am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church.

During Mass, Father Jim will offer a special homily and blessing for all of our parish children and their parents. In addition, because Lent is a season for prayer, penance, and almsgiving, all families will be invited to help Father Jim raise $1,000 for the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, a service organization in our parishes that provides food and financial assistance to local families in need. For more information about this our Lent Mass for Families, please contact Betsy Works at bworks@ccgronline.com. Please join us! Bring your family & friends! Spread the word! All are invited! All are welcome!

Learn More: Lifelong Faith Formation

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The Light Is On For You!
Confessions & Eucharistic Adoration
Begins Wednesday, March 4th

During the Holy Season of Lent, all Catholics are invited to experience Christ’s love and mercy through the Sacrament of Penance & Reconciliation (Confession). On five consecutive Wednesday evenings during Lent (March 4th through April 1st), all are invited to join us for The Light Is On For You! from 6:00pm until 8:00pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. These special evenings of prayer will include Evening Prayer and Night Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours; Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament; and two full hours of confession for those who feel called to participate. For some, this may be a time for confession and sacramental reconciliation. For some, it may be a time for silent prayer and adoration. And for others, it may be a time to begin or renew a spiritual journey. For more information, please contact Father Jim at frjim@ccgronline.com. Please spread the word! Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!

Learn More: Guide to Making a Good Confession

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Call to Prayer
If I Must Refrain
A Prayer for the Lenten Fast

Almighty God and Father,
Lord of the Fast,
I have wandered far from you;
and now I seek to return.
Show me the way.

If I must refrain from food
to remind myself of my hunger
for the bread of life,
then help me to do so with grace.
Let this remind me of the hungry Christ,
who is present each day in his people.

If I must refrain from companionship
to remind myself of my longing
for my heavenly Father’s embrace,
then help me to do so with grace.
Let this remind me of the lonely Christ,
who is present each day in his people.

If I must refrain from the gifts of the world
to remind myself of the giver of all gifts,
especially the gift of salvation,
then help me to do so with grace.
Let this remind me of the homeless Christ,
who is present each day in his people.

Help me to look beyond the comforts
of my home, my table, and my possessions,
for without your grace and mercy,
I indeed have nothing,
and am little more than dust.

My Lord, I thank you
for as far as I have wandered
here in the wilderness,
a path home is revealed
in the faces of the least of your people.

Glory to the Father,
to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever.
Amen! Amen!

Source: Catholic Relief Services

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WeShare
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 frjim@ccgronline.com. Thank you for your generous and ongoing support!

Support Holy Family Parish
Support Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish

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About Us

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