THIRD WEEK OF EASTER

cropped-1600px-the_mealtime_prayer_-_fritz_von_uhde_-_google_cultural_institute.jpgOur Pastor’s Message
Bringing Home the Word

By Father Jim

Abba Moses lived in Egypt during the fourth century. He began his adult life as an apprentice to a government official. He was a tall, angry, and imposing man who was dismissed from his position for theft and violent crimes. He soon became the leader of a gang that terrorized the Nile Valley. In an effort to escape justice, he took refuge among some desert monks whose life and example soon convinced him to change his ways. Moses was baptized, joined the monastery, and ultimately became its spiritual father. Abba Moses is best remembered for saying: “Stay in your cell and your cell will teach you everything.”

As we begin another week at home, perhaps working remotely or perhaps working not at all and finding it harder than ever to make ends meet, let us pray for the intercession of Abba Moses and the Desert Fathers and Mothers. These early Christians turned their backs on the world, settled in small communities, and dedicated themselves to prayer, solitude, and mutual assistance. In his book, Domestic Monastery, Father Ronald Rolheiser reminds us that we need not be desert monks to grow close to God; we need only do what God calls us to do here and now with the one life that we are blessed to live.

At this moment, common sense, science and medicine, and a concern for public health call us to stay home. But staying at home does not release us from our Christian vocation to love and care for others. Whether it’s simply loving our families, looking out for an elderly neighbor, or reaching out by phone or social media, each of us has a role to play in building and strengthening our community during these uncertain times. Father Rolheiser writes that the rule and rich spirituality of the domestic monastery is based on these principles:

Stay inside your commitments, be faithful,
your place of work is a seminary,
your work is a sacrament,
your family is a monastery,
your home is a sanctuary.
Stay inside them, don’t betray them,
learn what they are teaching you
without constantly looking for life elsewhere
and without constantly believing that God is elsewhere.

Unlike our current circumstances, the Desert Fathers and Mothers retreated voluntarily from the world. Their way of life was not caused by a life-threatening global pandemic. But even now, they remind us that Christ is ever present in our homes, in the compelled solitude of these strange times, in the faces of our loved ones, and in the everyday miracles of watching a new season blossom from the safety of our kitchen windows.

These are difficult days. Fear and uncertainty loom over those who are well. Hardship and suffering confront the sick and those who care for them. We miss each other. We long for a return to normalcy. At the same time, we can bring the Word of God into our homes by reading the scriptures, by taking advantage of the many resources available on our website, and by taking care of ourselves and our loved ones. So for now, let’s stay home and pray together that God will teach us what we need to know.

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

CCGR Weekly Newsletter (4-26-20)
Bringing Home the Word (4-26-20)
Family Activity Page (4-26-20)
Home Prayer Service

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

Liturgy of the Hours
Morning Prayer: Novena to the Sacred Heart

Midday Prayer: The Angelus
Evening Prayer: Saint Joseph, Hope of the Sick
Bedtime Prayer: The Memorare

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WeShare
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 frjim@ccgronline.com. Thank you for your generous support! Prayers, and blessings for all! — Father Jim

Support Holy Family Parish
Support Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish

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Jesus, Help Me!
A Call to Prayer

EVER TOGETHER IN PRAYER

With every need,
let me come to you with humble trust and say:
Jesus, help me!

In all my doubts,
perplexities, and temptations:
Jesus, help me!

In hours of loneliness,
weariness, and trial:
Jesus, help me!

In the failure of my plans and hopes,
in disappointments, troubles, and sorrows:
Jesus, help me!

When others fail me
and your grace alone can assist me:
Jesus, help me!

When I throw myself on your tender love
as both Father and Savior:
Jesus, help me!

When my heart is cast down by failure,
at seeing no good come from my efforts:
Jesus, help me!

When I feel frustrated and impatient
and my cross irritates me:
Jesus, help me!

When I am sick
and my head and hands cannot work:
Jesus, help me!

Always, always, always,
in spite of every weakness,
failure, and shortcoming:
Jesus, help me and never forget me!

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The Assisi Project
Book Sale

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
  • Echoes of the Word
    By Enzo Bianchi
  • 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
  • Live Like Francis
    Reflections on Franciscan Life in the World
    By Leonard Foley
  • The Jesus Prayer
    By John Michael Talbot
  • The Jesus Prayer Rosary
    By Michael Cleary
  • 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 books@assisiproject.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!

Learn More: The Assisi Project

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Pastor’s Note
Pandemic Update

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: office@ccgronline.com 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

Prayer Resources for Adults & Families

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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