By Father Jim
As we begin a third week of self-isolation and social distancing, it is so very clear that we are living during an extraordinary moment of trial, tribulation, and suffering that in one way or another affects every single person in our community, country, and world. During the past week, I have settled into a daily routine that includes the celebration of a private Mass, the Liturgy of the Hours, and a series of prayers throughout the day for God’s mercy, healing, and protection from all illness for all people in Gloucester, Rockport, and beyond. In addition, I have been blessed to pray remotely with families who are grieving the loss of loved ones. Perhaps now more than ever, we can appreciate those technologies that allow us to keep in close contact with our families and friends all around the world.
During this difficult and uncertain time, when we are called to self-isolate and stay-at-home, when it is all but impossible to celebrate the sacraments, Pope Francis has said: “If you cannot find a priest for confession, speak with God. He is your Father…Ask him for forgiveness with your whole heart, pray an act of contrition, and promise: ‘I will go to confession afterward.’ You will return to God’s grace immediately (3-20-20).” With these words, the Holy Father gives voice to the overriding theme of his papacy: the great gift of God’s mercy.
In addition, the Vatican Tribunal of the Apostolic Penitentiary (which has authority over Church doctrine related to the forgiveness of sins) announced last weekend that those suffering from COVID19 can obtain a plenary indulgence, which results in the remission of all temporal punishment of sins (aka time in purgatory) by praying the Holy Rosary, the Stations of the Cross, or some other pious devotion; or by uniting themselves in spiritual communion with the Celebration of the Mass (via radio, internet, television, or prayer).
The Vatican Tribunal of the Apostolic Penitentiary also announced that health care professionals (including all caregivers and administrative and custodial staffs at health care and nursing care facilities) can obtain this same plenary indulgence by reciting the Apostles Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and any prayer for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary; by offering a prayer for an end to the pandemic and for the intentions of the Holy Father; and by promising to participate (when again possible) in the Sacraments of Penance & Reconciliation (Confession) and Holy Eucharist.
Finally, the Vatican announced that all people all around that world (including you and me) can obtain this plenary indulgence by praying for an end to the pandemic; and by reading the scriptures for thirty minutes, or by praying the Holy Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet, or Stations of the Cross; and by promising to participate (when again possible) in the Sacraments of Penance & Reconciliation (Confession) and Holy Eucharist.
Throughout this difficult week, friends and fellow parishioners (both near and far) have shared with me how they are finding some consolation and peace by praying at home. For centuries the Catholic Church has highlighted the importance of the family and Ecclesia Domestica (or home church) as the “first school of Christian life (CCC 1656-16457).” This week, let us take advantage of this time at home with our families to renew our spiritual lives, to pray together and to pray for each other. Even when we can’t gather together, we can still pray together! Ever together in prayer! Peace and blessings to all!
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Safe & Easy Electronic Giving
Available at Both Parishes!
Brothers and sisters! Our parishes depend solely on your generous gifts to pay for the salaries and benefits of our priests and pastoral team; groundskeeping, utility bills, insurance premiums, and necessary repairs in our churches and parish buildings. Now more than ever, your generosity will ensure that the good work of our parishes can continue after this crisis ends; and also the long-term financial stability of both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish.
All are encouraged to mail their donations or slide them through the mail slot at our parish office. Another increasingly important component of our ongoing fundraising efforts is electronic giving. Our We Share program is a safe and easy way to make secure online donations to your home parish using a credit, debit card, or electronic check. For more information about supporting our parishes during this difficult time, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your generous support! Prayers, and blessings for all! — Father Jim
Our Lady of Guadalupe
A Prayer During Time of Pandemic
During this time of trial, suffering, and uncertainty, Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles has invited Catholic Christians all around the world to pray for the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, who is venerated as patron and protector of the Americas. She also holds a special place in the hearts of all who are poor in body, mind, and spirit. As a community united in prayer, fellowship, and service, let us pray together:
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe,
Queen of Angels and Mother of the Americas:
we fly to you as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son,
as you did at the Wedding at Cana.
pray for us and gain
for our nation and world,
and for all our families and loved ones,
the protection of your holy angels,
that we may be spared the worst of this illness.
For those already afflicted,
we ask you to obtain the graces
of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those
who are vulnerable and afraid;
wipe away their tears
and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing,
teach all of us in the Church
to love each other and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus
to our land and into our hearts.
We come to you with confidence,
knowing that you truly are
our compassionate mother,
health of the sick and cause of our joy.
Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
keep us in the embrace of your arms,
and help us always to know
the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
Born in Mexico, His Excellency Jose Horacio Gomez currently serves as the fifth Archbishop of Los Angeles. He also serves as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the first Latino to hold this important post. His episcopal motto: “Let us confidently approach the thrown of God’s grace.”
The Assisi Project
Founded in 2007 by Father Jim and Cliff Garvey during their first pilgrimage to Italy, the Assisi Project is a Fellowship of Franciscan in Spirit. Our mission is to help believers of all ages and backgrounds grow closer to Christ, to the Catholic Church, and to each other through the intercession, inspiration, and life example of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi.
Members of the Assisi Project range in age from 17 to 94 and live in Holy Family Parish, Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, throughout the Archdiocese of Boston, all across the United States, Canada, Brazil, Italy, Spain, and Angola. Part of our work together is our prayer together. So we pray each day for all who ask for our prayers all around the world. If you would like the Assisi Project to pray for you, your family, your special intention, or the soul of a deceased friend or loved one, please contact Cliff at email@example.com.
During this time of pandemic, when we are encouraged to remain at home, all are invited to pray and reflect on the Gospel Life by visiting assisiproject.com and making use of the many resources on our website (including our Daily Prayers, Franciscan Rosary, Way of the Cross, and more than fifty reflections and stories about Saint Francis and Saint Clare). Come and pray with us online! May the Lord give you peace — now and always!
For Adults, Families & Children
Monday, March 30th – Updated 8:30am
In addition to participating in the sacramental life of our parishes, all Catholics are called to holiness through daily prayer. As one way of encouraging members of our community to grow closer to Christ through prayer, we recommend the following online resources for daily prayer and reflection which can be accessed by clicking on the links below:
Resources of the Day (Click Links Below)
- Home Prayer Service
- Word Among Us: Prayers to Start Your Day
- Word Among Us: Mass Readings & Meditation
- Bishop Talley’s Daily Spiritual Exercises
- Cardinal Tagle: Emergencies & Charity (Video)
Cardinal Sean’s Virtual Retreat
Christ: Our Light in the Darkness
- Watch Day 1: Prayer
- Watch Day 2: Mercy
- Watch Day 3: Faith
- Watch Day 4: The Good Samaritan
- Watch Day 5: The Seven Last Words
- Watch Day 6: The Eucharist
Video Series: As I Have Done
Courtesy of Salt & Light TV (Free for Lent)
Resources for Adults (Click Links Below)
- Assisi Project
- CatholicTV Livestream
- C21: God Pods
- C21: Living Faith for the Journey
- C21: Living Lent Devotional
- C21: Why I Believe
- Daily Mass Readings
- Divine Mercy Chaplet
- Franciscan Media Video
- Liturgy of the Hours
- The Pope Video
- Pray the Rosary
- Sharing the Word
- Sunday Soundbites
- Saint of the Day
- Way of the Cross
- Vatican Museums: Virtual Tour
Resources for Families (Click Links Below)
- Celebrating Sacred Time
- Coloring Pages for Children
- Craft Ideas
- Drawing God for Children
- Drawing God: Prayer Intentions
- Drawing God Stations of the Cross
- Helping Children Develop Their Gifts
- Making Family Prayer a Priority
- Our Lady of Fatima Coloring Page
- Saint Joseph
- Saint Patrick
Check back soon for additional resources! If you have questions or need further suggestions about daily prayer during these difficult and uncertain times, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org or Cliff Garvey at email@example.com.
Liturgy of the Hours
In his First Letter to the Thessalonians, Saint Paul writes: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thess 5:16).” For centuries, Christians have puzzled over what it means to pray without ceasing. But one ancient practice provides us with an answer: the Liturgy of the Hours.
Since the middle ages, the Church has used a daily practice of prayer called the “Divine Office” or “Liturgy of the Hours” to mark and sanctify the various hours or times of the day: morning, afternoon, evening, and night. It uses a four-week cycle of psalms, canticles, and scripture read- ings to draw us into deeper relationship with Christ and the Church by uniting us with the Lord and each other through prayers of petition, praise, and thanksgiving.
At ordination, our deacons and priests make solemn promises to pray with the Divine Office each and every day. However, the Liturgy of the Hours is not just for deacons, priests, and those consecrated to religious life. Countless lay men and women around the world make the Liturgy of the Hours the foundation of their daily prayer and worship. Indeed, in Canticum Laudis, the Apostolic Constitution of the Church, we read: “The purpose of the Divine Office is to sanctify the day and all human activity. The Divine Office is the prayer not only of the clergy but of the whole People of God.” The Liturgy of the Hours can be prayed alone or in groups. If you are interested in praying online, please click on the link below:
If you have questions or need further suggestions about daily prayer during these difficult and uncertain times, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org or Cliff Garvey at email@example.com.
All parishioners, friends, and neighbors are reminded that Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, has suspended all public Masses until further notice. The Cardinal has issued a dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass for all Roman Catholics in the Archdiocese. Also, in order to do what we can locally to safeguard the health and safety of our fellow parishioners, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport has made the following necessary changes until further notice:
- Our parish office is closed to visitors.
- Pastoral assistance is available by phone or email.
- Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-281-4820.
- All adult & youth faith formation programs are suspended.
- All parish programs, ministries, and social events are suspended.
For more information about new policies regarding funerals and weddings, please contact us. All are invited and encouraged to pray with us at home using resources below. Additional resources are being added almost daily! Let us now pray for each other! Every together in prayer! Stay tuned for further updates! Peace and blessings to all! — Father Jim
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