Our Pastor’s Message
Celebrating God’s Love & Mercy
By Father Jim
This weekend throughout the world, the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the Second Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday. This weekend, we rejoice again over the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ as he appears to his astonished disciples. And we reflect again on the Lord’s boundless love for us: that he lived, suffered, died, and rose for our sake and for our eternal salvation. This is God’s mercy made flesh and recognizable in the world for us, for all people, and for all time.
This weekend, all parishioners and friends of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join me online for Divine Mercy Sunday: A Celebration of God’s Endless Love by clicking the link above. Our celebration will include Eucharistic Adoration, along with the Divine Mercy Chaplet, Daytime Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours, and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. I hope and pray that you and your family will take the time to participate remotely in this important hour of prayer and devotion.
The Divine Mercy Chaplet is based on the visions of Saint Mary Faustina Kowalska (1905- 1938), a member of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy who was canonized as an Apostle of Mercy by Pope John Paul II in 2000. During a mystical vision, Jesus asked Sister Faustina to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet and to encourage others to do the same. According to Sister Faustina, the chaplet has three purposes: to ask for God’s mercy, to trust in that mercy, and to show mercy toward others.
Whether or not we choose to cultivate a devotion to the Divine Mercy Chaplet is a matter of conscience and personal discernment. But Sister Faustina’s life and writings are instructive for all of us as we strive (both individually and as a community) to grow in prayer, fellowship, and service; and to live the Gospel, share God’s love, and rebuild the Church. In her diary, still widely published and read throughout the world, Sister Faustina emphasizes acta non verba or actions not words. She calls us to practice our faith, not just preach it. She asks us to pray for God’s mercy and put in into practice in our own lives.
Part of Saint Faustina’s diary takes the form of a mystical encounter with Christ Jesus. When she writes, she is transcribing messages that came to her from the Lord. In one such vision, Jesus says: “I demand from you deeds of mercy, you must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it. I give you three ways of exercising mercy: the first by deed, the second by word, and the third by prayer. In these three degrees are contained the fullness of mercy, and it is an unquestionable proof of love for me. By these means, a soul glorifies and pays reverence to my mercy (Diary, 742).”
In this way, the purpose of a devotion to the Divine Mercy Chaplet is threefold: to obtain God’s mercy; to trust in God’s mercy; and to show God’s mercy to others. It is for us, then, to prayerfully consider how we are asked by the Lord to practice his love, mercy, and kindness among all people: those we love and those we find it difficult to love. As we strive to do this, let us remind ourselves again and again of Sister Faustina’s simple words: “Lord Jesus, I place my trust in you.” Finally, be sure to check out this week’s newsletter which includes Cliff’s past reflections for Divine Mercy Sunday! Happy Easter! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Pastor’s Note: Even though we cannot gather together right now for praise and worship, we can still pray together. Using the links below, all are invited and encouraged to sanctify the various times of the day with these prayers for God’s mercy, healing, and protection from all illness. Let’s pray together! Ever together in prayer! — Father Jim
Safe & Easy Electronic Giving
Available at Both Parishes!
Brothers and sisters! Our parishes depend solely on your generous gifts in order to pay for the salaries and benefits of our priests and remaining pastoral team members; 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 email@example.com. Thank you for your generous support! Prayers, and blessings for all! — Father Jim
The Assisi Project
Founded in 2007 by Father Jim and Cliff Garvey, the Assisi Project is a Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit with members, friends, and followers in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Africa. We are dedicated to helping Christian believers of all ages to more faithfully live the Gospel of Christ in the spirit of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi. Members of the Assisi Project, ranging in age from 17 to 94, pray for those who ask for our prayers. If you would like our fellowship to pray for you or your special intention, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us! Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us! Our Lady of Angels, pray for us! May the Risen Lord give you peace, now and always!
The Assisi Project
Over the past six years, the Assisi Project and the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport have gathered to read and pray with a long list of books from various genres. The primary goals of our shared study has always been to grow closer to Christ, closer to the Church, and closer to each other. During this time of pandemic, when we are called to pray and worship within the safety and solitude of our homes, we can still accomplish our goals by dedicating ourselves to a period of prayer, reflection, and spiritual exercise each and every day.
In this spirit, the Assisi Project has taken an inventory of leftover books that we now joyfully offer to our friends and followers all around the world. For a requested donation of $10 per book (plus $5 for shipping), we will send your requested book. Along with every book, we will send a prayer card that was blessed on the relics of Saint Francis of Assisi; and we will add you and your family to our prayer list and we will pray for you every day. Here is a list of available titles:
- Punching Holes in the Darkness
By Robert Benson
- Padre Pio’s Words of Hope
Edited by Eileen Dunn Bertanzetti
- Enter Assisi: An Invitation to Franciscan Spirituality
By Father Murray Bodo
- The Jesus Prayer Rosary
By Michael Cleary
- Called to Be Holy
By Cardinal Timothy Dolan
- Instruments of Christ
Reflections on the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis
By Father Albert Haase, OFM
- Jacinta: The Flower of Fatima
By Cardinal Humberto Medeiros
- Healing Flame of Love
By Brother Leonard O’Dowd, OCSO
- The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium)
By Pope Francis
- Rejoice and Be Glad (Gaudete et Exsultate)
By Pope Francis
- The Parables of Mercy
Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization
- The Scandal of Redemption
By Saint Oscar Romero
- The Little Flowers of Saint Francis
Edited by Jon Sweeney
- The Jesus Prayer
By John Michael Talbot
- Saints Who Battled Satan
By Paul Thigpen
- Saint Clare of Assisi: Light from the Cloister
By Bret Thoman
- Fioretti: The Little Flowers of Pope Francis
By Andrea Tornielli
- Seasons in My Garden (Autographed)
By Sister Elizabeth Wagner
If you would like to participate in the Assisi Project’s Spring Book Sale, please contact us at email@example.com or send your donation and contact information to the Assisi Project, Post Office Box 3158, Gloucester, Massachusetts 01931. All funds raised during this online book sale will be donated to the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport so that our pastor, Father Jim, can buy groceries and pay bills at both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. Quantities are limited! Thank you in advance for your generous support! Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us! Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us! Our Lady of Angels, pray for us! Now more than ever, may the Lord give you peace!
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 churches and parish buildings are closed to the public.
- 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