By Father Dave Pivonka
Right now, there’s a lot I don’t know about the morning of Wednesday, November 4th. I don’t know who is going to be elected the next President of the United States. Honestly, I don’t know even know if we will know on the morning of November 4th who has been elected. I don’t know if it’s going to be the first day of a long, protracted struggle for the White House. I don’t know a lot of things, but there are a few things that I do know.
I know that God is Sovereign and Lord of all, no matter who wins the election. I know that the greatest problems in our country are not political. They are moral. They are spiritual. And if we think everything is going to be okay on Wednesday morning and that politicians are going to be able to fix all of our ills, we need to think again. I know that each one of us needs to once again place God in the center of our life. We need to be honest with ourselves. We need to be able to pray that we are able to see what often competes for the center of our lives. Sometimes it is another person, or it is a group of people, or it is a cause. It could be our own reputation. It could be worry about the future; or honestly, most often, ourselves. We place ourselves in the center of our lives so that everything begins to revolve around us. What I want. What I think should happen. What I think everyone else should do or think. This has got to stop. Christ needs to once again take his rightful place in each one of our hearts.
I know that each of us must stop constantly looking at what is wrong with everyone else and ask ourselves: How have I added to the anger, the hate, and the division in our country, and honestly, in our church? We have to be able to ask the essential questions: What needs to change in me? What do I need to do in my own spiritual life so that my life is a blessing to the world? In Second Chronicles (7:14), it says that we must be able to respond to that scripture and seek God’s forgiveness; that absolutely nothing is going to be different that morning after the election or the next Wednesday or the following Wednesday or any Wednesday unless our lives begin to change.
I also know that the evil one wants to take advantage of the outcome of the election no matter who wins. He wants to stir in our hearts anger or discouragement or pride or arrogance. He will tempt us to say and do awful things; things that ultimately will fill us with bitterness, and then he’s just going to walk away laughing about all that he has done in our hearts. We cannot let this happen. Neither you nor I can totally control what’s going to take place the morning after the election, but we can control how we respond to it, and what we do on Wednesday morning and every morning thereafter. We can choose to trust that Jesus is Lord; that he has seen what lies ahead for us for all eternity; and he will be with us, working in all things to bring about our everlasting good. We can also choose to be part of the change that we have been praying for.
Jesus says in the Gospel that we need to love our neighbor and pray for our enemy. We may have new opportunities for this come Wednesday morning, but no matter how others have voted, we can be kind in what we say and in what we post. We can pray for peace and practice patience and charity. We can trust that in the end, as our Lord promised Saint Julian of Norwich: “For those who cling to him, all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” May the Lord pour his blessings on you: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen? Amen!
About the Author: Father David Pivonka, TOR is a Franciscan friar and priest. He currently serves as the President of the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio.
After the Election
By Max Ehrmann
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly:
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be
greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit
to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline; be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
Month of All Souls
Mass of Remembrance
On Monday, November 2nd, in commemoration of the Feast of All Souls, Father Jim will celebrate a Holy Mass of Remembrance for all friends, family members, and fellow parishioners whose funerals were celebrated in our churches during the past year and who have now journeyed home to the Lord. During Mass, the names of all the faithful departed will be read aloud. This Mass of Remembrance will be celebrated privately and posted on our YouTube Channel at 12:00pm on Monday, November 2nd. Even though we cannot gather together as we might wish, we can still join in powerful spiritual communion by praying:
A Prayer for All Souls
hear our prayer and console us.
As we renew our faith in Jesus, your Son,
whom you raised from death,
strengthen our hope
that all of our departed brothers and sisters
will share in his resurrection,
who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May all souls rest in peace. Amen.
This beautiful prayer was composed and shared by the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. During November, the Month of All Souls, let us pray together for our deceased friends, family members, and fellow parishioners. Let us also pray for all who suffer with or lost their lives due to the coronavirus pandemic. Finally, let us continue to pray for God’s mercy, healing, and protection for all who live, work, and worship in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport.
Holy Family Parish
Christmas Greens Sale
Saturday, November 21st
All are welcome to join the Holy Family Women’s Guild for an Outdoor Christmas Greens Sale on Saturday, November 21st from 9:00am until 1:00pm at Saint Ann Church. This outdoor marketplace will feature holiday decorations made from fresh greens and other florals. Please note that masks, hand sanitizer, and safe social distancing are expecting by all who plan to join us! All proceeds will benefit Holy Family Parish! For more information, please contact Lydia Bertolino at email@example.com. Please join us! All are welcome! Be smart! Stay safe! Mask up!
Holy Family Parish
Holy Family Parish depends solely on the donations of friends and fellow parishioners to pay its bills, make ends meet, and maintain its financial stability. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and necessary safety protocols that protect our parishioners, attendance at Mass is limited and all ministries have been suspended or modified. Among these programs is the Annual Christmas Fair, which cannot be held this year but is usually our single largest fundraising event. Instead, the Holy Family Women’s Guild is sponsoring a Christmas Raffle! Chances for each raffle are $2 per ticket or six for $10! Prizes include:
- One cash prize of $500
- Five cash prizes of $100
- iPad Basket
- Handmade Afghan
- Handmade Quilt
Special thanks to Greely Funeral Home, Campbell Funeral Home, Agnes Burnham, and an anonymous benefactor for making possible these great prizes! Raffle tickets have been mailed to every registered parish family. Please complete your tickets and return them to Father Jim or the parish office by Friday, November 20th. If everyone participates in the Christmas Raffle, we will raise $23,000! Every penny goes directly to Holy Family Parish! If you have not received tickets or would like to purchase additional tickets, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your generous support!
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 email@example.com. Thank you for your generous support! May God bless you!
Support Your Home Parish!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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!
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In Memory of Janice Broghamer