Updated Monday, May 18th – 6:20pm
In light of Governor Charlie Baker’s plan to re-open the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport will now begin working with the Archdiocese of Boston to develop a plan to cautiously and slowly our churches on a very limited basis with restrictions. Our primary commitment will remain the health and safety of our friends, neighbors, and fellow parishioners. For these reasons, all of our churches and our parish office will remain closed until further notice.
Also, Cardinal Sean has renewed his dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass for all Roman Catholics in the Archdiocese of Boston. All public Masses (including funerals), ministries, programs, and social events remain suspended at both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. Pastoral assistance is available by phone or email. Please contact us at 978-281-4820 or firstname.lastname@example.org. As a community united in prayer, fellowship, and service, let us continue to trust in God, believe in science, pray without ceasing — and practice the virtue of patience! Stay tuned for further updates! Peace and blessings to all! — Father Jim
Our Pastor’s Message
Remembering Deacon Kane
By Father Jim
Last Sunday, Deacon William F.X. Kane passed away peacefully after battling the coronavirus at the age of 75. After his ordination to the diaconate in 1990, Deacon Kane served with distinction in both parish ministry and prison ministry. Indeed, he served for many years as Director of Prison Ministries for the Archdiocese of Boston. In that capacity, he supervised the Catholic chaplains in the twenty-seven prisons and jails that are located throughout the archdiocese. Deacon Kane also founded the Cevicos Mission which has brought hundreds of our fellow parish- ioners and friends to love and serve the poor in the Dominican Republic.
Over the years, I came to appreciate Deacon Kane’s deep faith, sincere compassion for the poor, abiding love for God’s children in our parishes and in the all too dark corners of our jails and prisons. He once told me about his devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows who offered him consolation during his life’s most unbearable moments of anguish and grief. By God’s amazing grace, Deacon Kane’s ordination was celebrated on the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. So, let us give God great thanks and praise for the gift of Deacon Kane’s life and ministry; and let us together raise our hearts and voices in prayer:
Almighty God and Father,
when Jesus, your Son,
was raised up on the Cross,
it was your will that Mary,
his Most Blessed Mother,
should stand and suffer
with him in her heart.
In union with Our Lady of Sorrows,
grant that the Church may share
in the Passion of Christ,
and be brought to the glory
of his resurrection.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
your Son, who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever. Amen.
Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us!
As a community united in prayer, fellowship, and service, let us pray with love, respect, and gratitude for the soul of Deacon William F.X. Kane. Please also pray for his grieving family, especially for his wife, Regina; and for all those who were touched over the years by his compassion, kindness, and many good works. May God heal the sick. May God console those who mourn. May the souls of all the faithful departed rest in God’s eternal peace. Donations in Deacon Kane’s memory can be made to the Saint Vincent de Paul Society and the Holy Family Cevicos Mission. Thank you in advance for your fervent prayers and generous support of these most worthy causes. Peace and blessings to all!
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Pastor’s Note: On behalf of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, I offer sincere thanks to our dear friend, Jody Cole, who allows us to use her beautiful and powerful icon of Our Lady of Sorrows both online and in our newsletter. For more information about Jody’s amazing work, please visit jcoleicons.com. Also, 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
Remembering Deacon Kane
Great Realization. All Is Grace.
By Father Ron Gariboldi
The above phrases seem like a strange reflection at this time. “Great Realization” was the title of a video which I viewed recently. A young father was asked by his son to tell the story of the coronavirus. He started by enumerating how things were prior to the virus. People did not seem to communicate with one another because of their attachment to the cell phones. Little time was given to care for or be aware of the environment and the beauty with which we are surrounded. The business of work and the need to amass things left little time for people to be aware of their relationships.
I can only reflect on my own experience. I often hear from friends and receive supportive messages. I find myself setting the hour between 3:00pm and 4:00pm as a time to pray for people and the end of coronavirus. In addition, I pray the Divine Office. I prayed prior to the pandemic, but my prayers seem to have taken on new meaning. After learning of the death of two close friends because of the disease, I find myself more grateful for each day the Lord gives me.
The death of Deacon Bill Kane, who served this community truly disturbed me. Yet in the midst of all that has been happening, I still say with my friend, Saint Therese, the Little Flower of Jesus: “All is grace.” Looking back on this reflection, we can see that even with all the difficulties and sadness caused by the coronavirus, something good is happening. May we let what is being learned always be remembered. I close this reflection with the words with which Deacon Kane often concluded his sermons: “May the peace of Christ disturb you always!”
Reverend Ronald Gariboldi
Pastor Emeritus & Senior Priest
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Remedies for Anxiety
By Pope Francis
In the Gospel of John (14:1-12), we hear the beginning of so-called “Farewell Discourse” of Jesus. These are the words that he addresses to the disciples at the end of the Last Supper, just before facing the Passion. In this dramatic moment, Jesus begins by saying: “Let not your hearts be troubled.” He also says this to us during the dramas of life. But what can we do to keep our hearts from being anxious and troubled?
The Lord points out two remedies for anxiety. The first is that Jesus says: “Have faith in me.” This seems like somewhat abstract or theoretical advice. However, Jesus wants to say some- thing precise to us. He knows that in life the worst anxiety and agitation is born from a feeling of not making it, of feeling alone, and without points of reference in the face of what is happening all around us. This anguish, during which difficulty is added to difficulty, cannot be overcome on our own. We need Jesus and his help. Therefore, Jesus asks us to have faith in him; namely not to lean on ourselves, but on him, because freedom from anxiety passes through entrustment. To entrust ourselves to Jesus is to make the leap. This is freedom from anxiety! And Jesus is risen and alive precisely to be always at our side. In this way, we can say to him: “Jesus, I believe you are risen and you are at my side. I believe that you listen to me. I bring to you what is bothering me and my worries. I have faith in you and I entrust myself to you.”
There is a second remedy for anxiety that Jesus expresses in these words: “In my Father’s house there are many rooms…I go to prepare a place for you.” See what Jesus has done for us. He has reserved a place for us in heaven. He took our humanity upon himself in order to take us beyond death, to a new place, to heaven, so that where he lives we can also live. It is this certainty that consoles us. There is a place for each one of us. There is a place for me, too. Each one of us can say: There is a place for me. We do not live without an end, without a destination. We are awaited. We are precious. God is in love with us. We are his children. And he has prepared for us the most worthy and beautiful place of all — paradise! Let us not forget it. The dwelling that awaits us is paradise. Here we are passing, but we are made for heaven, for eternal life, to live forever. Forever is something that we are not even able to imagine now. But it is more beautiful to think that this “forever” will be wholly joyful, in full communion with God and with others, without tears, without resentments, without divisions, and without anxiety.
But how can paradise be attained? What is the way? Here is the decisive word of the Lord: “I am the way.” Jesus is the way to go up to heaven. It is to have a living relationship with him; to imitate him; and to follow in his footsteps. As a Christian, we can ask ourselves: Which way do I follow? There are ways that do not lead to heaven: the ways of worldliness, self-assertion, and selfish power. And then there is the way of Jesus: the ways of humble love, prayer, meekness, trust, and service to others. It is not the way of my prominence. It is the way of Jesus, protagonist of my life. It is to go forward every day saying to him: “Jesus, what do you think of my choices? What would you do in this situation? How would you treat this person?” It will do us good to ask Jesus, who is the Way, about the way to heaven. May Our Lady, Queen of Heaven, help us to follow Jesus, who opened paradise for each one of us!
A Poem by Lynn Ungar
What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
You could hardly deny it now.
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
Surely, that has become clear.
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love—
for better or worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
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 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 effort 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 all around the world. Our mission is to help Christian believers of all ages to more faithfully live the Gospel of Christ through the intercession of Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi. Our members range in age from 12 to 95 and we pray everyday for those who need prayers. If you would like us to pray for you, your family, or your special intention, please contact Cliff at firstname.lastname@example.org. Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us! Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us! May the Risen Lord give you peace!
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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