This Week’s Message
The Ripple Effect
By Cliff Garvey
Marcus Aurelius (121-180) is regarded as the last of the Five Good Emperors of Rome; and the last emperor of the Pax Romana, an era of peace, prosperity, and political stability that lasted for two hundred years. He once said: “What we do in life ripples in eternity.” This is the so-called “ripple effect.” It means that one person’s decisions and actions have consequences that can change countless lives in our own times and beyond. The ripple effect happens all around us.
As we all know, decisions made at the highest levels of government allowed the coronavirus to spread across oceans and around the world in weeks. Our own federal government eliminated the position of an American infectious disease specialist who served with similar experts in China’s national disease control agency. When the first cases of coronavirus appeared, there was no American scientist in place to sound the alarm. Decisions and actions have consequences. This ripple effect reaches into the lives of real people — people we know and love, people with names and stories, people just like us.
Lee is a young man who worked as a baker’s apprentice. During the past few years, he learned to bake breads, scones, and muffins of all kinds. He also learned to make fine pastries like the ones you might find in a European patisserie. His talent, dedication, and enthusiasm came alive at a bakery in a small town along the coast of Maine. Because of the pandemic, the bakery is now virtually closed. Lee’s apprenticeship is over. He is now unemployed.
Rosemary owns a regional artists gallery. Customers leave her shop knowing that they have made a friend even if they cannot afford to make a purchase. Last winter, Rosemary rented a house out west in order to spend time with her grandchildren. As the pandemic closed businesses and schools from coast to coast, Rosemary rushed back east. But before leaving, out of loving concern for everyone’s safety, she could not embrace even her own children and grandchildren.
Gianpaolo is a taxi driver in Assisi, Italy. He is a husband, father, and primary caregiver to his aging parents. Over the years, Gianpaolo has become a good friend. Father Jim and I have shared delicious home-cooked meals at his family’s table. We prayed with Gianpaolo on the morning his mother passed away. Because of the pandemic, we were forced to cancel this year’s fall pilgrimage to Assisi. This is a small sacrifice for us, but Gianpaolo uses the money he earns from our pilgrimage to buy Christmas presents for his daughters. For him, the ripple effect is all too real. He will soon see it in the eyes of his two young daughters.
Each of us can act in ways that affect the lives of others. We can wear masks, practice safe social distancing, or perhaps avoid social gatherings altogether. Or not. We can call a lonely neighbor, write to an old friend, share a kind word with a fellow parishioner along the Boulevard. Or not. And that’s the hard part. We are all in this together, but too many people think that they know better than the scientists. Too many people think that their freedom is more important than your grandmother’s health and safety. Too many people think their individual comfort trumps the common good. In recent weeks, we have all seen the consequences of this kind of brazen selfishness.
Mother Teresa once said: “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.” May the ripples that we create be those of love, kindness, and solidarity with our brothers and sisters all around the globe. Let’s also continue to pray for God’s mercy, healing, and protection from the coronavirus. Let’s continue to pray for each other, for our divided country, and for our suffering world. And now more than ever, let’s just pray together and take care of one another.
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
The Call to Prayer
Prayer During a Pandemic
By Cameron Wiggins Bellm
May we who are merely inconvenienced,
remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors,
remember those who are most vulnerable.
May we have have the luxury
of working from home,
remember those who must choose
between preserving their health
and paying the rent.
May we who have the flexibility
to care for our children
when their schools are closed,
remember those who do not have options.
May we who have to cancel our trips,
remember those who have no place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money
in the tumult of the economic market,
remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home,
remember those who have no home.
As fear grips the country, let us choose love.
During this time,
when we cannot physically
wrap our arms around each other,
let us find ways
to be the loving embrace of God
to our neighbors. Amen.
The Call to Faithful Citizenship
By Bishop Edward W. Clark
In just a few weeks, the nation will complete the voting process. I am taking this opportunity to respond to some inquiries I have received from church members in recent weeks. First, the Church does not support or oppose any candidates running for office. Second, where the Church takes a position on particular legislation, that position is based on issues of morality and not of politics. In casting your vote, consider the moral implications of the proposition.
Third, there is no ‘Catholic party.’ No political party fully agrees with all of the moral positions of the Catholic Church. If anyone, even a bishop or a priest, should tell you that as a Catholic you cannot vote for a particular party or that you must vote for one party rather than the other, know that the Church does not endorse such a position. Vote the party of your choice.
Fourth, the Catholic Church is not a one issue church. There are a great many moral and ethical concerns the Church is called to address. It is a danger to consider only one issue to the detriment of all others. Fifth, as Catholics, we are called to vote for the common good (in other words, to vote for what is the greatest good for the greatest number of people) and to vote from our conscience (not from political, social, or financial convenience). Finally, the Church encourages each one of us to register and vote. It is the responsible and Catholic thing to do. We are all called to be faithful citizens!
About the Author: Since 2001, the Most Reverend Edward William Clark serves as Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles for the Our Lady of Angels Pastoral Region. His episcopal motto is: The Gift Received Give as a Gift.
Watch: Catholics Participate in Public Life
Watch: Catholics Protect Human Life & Dignity
Watch: Catholics Promote the Common Good
Watch: Catholics Love Their Neighbors
Watch: Faithful Citizens Work with Christ
Read: Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship
Read: Civilize It! Dignity Beyond Debate
Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish
Annual Financial Report
During the past year, Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish has been blessed and challenged in many ways. Until the pandemic struck, attendance at our weekend Masses was good and growing — especially at our late Mass on Sunday mornings. Parishioners offered positive feedback about our faith formation programs, music ministries, website, and weekly newsletter. Both year-round residents and summer visitors shared favorable comments about the dedication of our pastoral team and the untold good works of our volunteers. We are very blessed, indeed!
Since the pandemic however, we remain confronted with a broad array of serious challenges. Although we are again celebrating public Masses every Sunday, our schedule is limited and seating capacity is approximately one-tenth of what it was last year at this time. Because of necessary precautions to protect the health and safety of our parishioners, fundraising efforts and weekly offertory brought in around $21,000 less last fiscal year than the year before. And the prospects for this year look grim.
Despite the pandemic and thanks to your generous support, our parish budget was balanced (with a small surplus) for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2020. Our annual financial report is posted below. This news, however, is not cause for celebration. Our buildings are old and need almost constant repair and maintenance. Despite drastic reductions in payroll, we must offer a just wage to our remaining pastoral team members. We must also pay our utility bills and insurance premiums. And we must be ready for the costs of a long winter.
Let’s be honest. We are solely responsible for the short-term stability and long-term viability of Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. Without your generous and ongoing financial support, we will be unable to sustain the programs and ministries that our community depends on in the church buildings that we all cherish. Generations of good people have worshipped here. It is now up to us, you and me, to step up, help out, give what we can, and pay tribute to the men and women who built this parish and entrusted it to us. Now more than ever, we need your help to live the Gospel, share God’s love, and rebuild the Church! Peace, blessings, and thanks to all!
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Sharing God’s Love
Sanctuary Candles & Gifts
At each of our churches in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, sanctuary candles and gifts (hosts and wine) can be donated for a special intention or in memory of a friend or loved one. The requested donation for both sanctuary gifts and candles is now $25 per week. Each week, donations can be offered at:
- Saint Ann Church
- Saint Joachim Church
- Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
- New! Chapel of the Archangels
Please note that Cardinal Sean has given permission to create a Eucharistic Chapel in Our Lady of Good Voyage Rectory. The Chapel of the Archangels, dedicated to Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel, and Saint Raphael, is located on the first floor of the rectory. You can see the sanctuary candle from the street. In addition to their better-known patronages, Archangel Michael is also venerated as a patron of the sick and suffering; Archangel Raphael is also a patron of medical professionals; and Archangel Gabriel is also patron of priests. We all need their prayers and protection like never before!
If you would like to donate a sanctuary candle or sanctuary gifts at Saint Ann Church, Saint Joachim Church, Our Lady of Good Voyage Church, Saint Anthony Chapel, or our new Chapel of the Archangels, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your generous support! May God bless you!
Safe & Simple Electronic Giving
Electronic giving is available at both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. It is safe and simple to make online donations to your home parish using a credit cared or debit card. Donations can be made on an ongoing or one-time-only basis. And it takes just a few minutes to set up a secure personal account. For assistance or more information about this important fundraising resource for the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com. Thank you for your generous support for our parishes during these difficult times! Peace, blessings, and many thanks to all!
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
This Week’s Homepage
In Memory of Elizabeth Ann Goodland