Our Pastor’s Message
A Special Month of Prayer
Praying with Pope Francis to End the Pandemic
By Father Jim
This week’s readings are all about communion and community. They teach us that we are truly God’s Church, God’s Holy Family, when we pray together and work together for a better world. They teach us that our love for God is made manifest not just through words, but through good works. When Jesus tells us that he is the vine and we are the branches, we should understand that however bent and broken these branches have become, they can still carry much good fruit — when we love each other, take care of each other, and watch out for each other.
Over and over again during the past fourteen months, we have proven that when we work together, we can pray together — safely. For forty consecutive weekends, all three of our churches have been open for Sunday Mass. Our children and grandchildren are being baptized. Our young disciples and their parents are preparing (in person) for First Holy Communion. Confessions are being heard every week. The Saint Vincent de Paul Society continues to serve the poor. The Legion of Mary and the Assisi Project continue to pray for the sick and the suffering.
But with much of the world still in the grip of the worst pandemic in more than a century, we can and should do more. We can begin by praying more. Last week, Pope Francis called all Catholics to devote the Marian Month of May to praying for an end to the pandemic through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On May 1st, the Holy Father opens this special month of prayer with a recitation of the Rosary which can be watched all around the world. And every day this month at noon (our time), the Vatican News Service will broadcast the Rosary from various Marian Churches and Shrines from across the globe.
Here in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, even though we cannot gather together in large groups, we can still do our part. Each of us, in our own way, can join Pope Francis in praying for an end to the pandemic. We can pray the Rosary every day at noon (alone or in a vast virtual communion). We can pray the Assisi Project’s A Franciscan Night Prayer every evening and offer the closing Marian prayer for this month’s special intention. Or we can pray every day the Hail Mary, the Angelus Prayer, or the Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe for an end to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic (see below).
At whatever time we pray, in whatever place we prayer, and in whatever way we pray, we know that our prayers may be among our most important contributions to the future of our parishes, our communities, and our sick and suffering world. In this spirit, we raise our voices in a chorus of petition that reaches to the heavens. We offer our hearts to a spiritual communion that builds and strengthens the love that keeps us together even when we are kept apart by circumstances beyond our control. We live the Gospel, share God’s love, and rebuild the Church with every pray- er offered into the loving arms of our Blessed Mother for God’s mercy, healing, and protection from the coronavirus. Now more than ever, let’s pray together! Amen!
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Watch: Vatican News Service
Watch: Praying the Rosary with Father Jim
Pray: Assisi Project’s A Franciscan Rosary
Pray: Assisi Project’s A Franciscan Night Prayer
Pray: The Angelus
Pray: The Holy Rosary
Call to Prayer
A Prayer to End the Pandemic
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, Pray for Us!
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe,
Queen of Angels and Mother of the Americas,
we fly to you as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son,
as you did at the Wedding at Cana.
Loving Mother, pray for us
and gain for our nation and world,
and for all families and loved ones,
the protection of your holy angels,
that we may be spared the worst of this illness.
For those already afflicted,
we ask you to obtain the graces
of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those
who are vulnerable and afraid;
wipe away their tears and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing,
teach us to love each other
and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus
to our land and into our hearts.
We come to you with confidence,
knowing that you are truly
our compassionate mother,
health of the sick, and cause of our joy.
Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
keep us in the embrace of your arms,
and help us always to know
the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
Sacrament of Baptism
Welcome Young Disciples!
The Sacrament of Baptism is the first of three Sacraments of Initiation in the Roman Catholic Church. The two other Sacraments of Initiation are Eucharist and Confirmation. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism, we are freed from sin and reborn as children of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church, and made sharers in her mission (CCC 1213).”
The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport is now celebrating the Sacrament of Baptism in accordance with the health and safety guidelines of the Archdiocese of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Baptisms are celebrated by appointment only, one family at a time, and with seating limited to no more than ten family members or special guests (no exceptions). During the month of April, Father Jim baptized and blessed the following children with holy water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
If you would like to schedule your child’s baptism in either Holy Family Parish or Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, please contact Sheila McCarthy-Durkin at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are an adult who has not received all of the Sacraments of Initiation, please contact Cliff Garvey at email@example.com. May God bless our newly baptized young disciples, along with their parents, godparents, & family members! Peace, blessings, and congratulations to all! Alleluia! Alleluia!
The Assisi Project
A Franciscan Night Prayer
Let’s Pray Together!
Saint Paul writes: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of the God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:16).” For centuries, Christians have puzzled over what it means to pray without ceasing. But one ancient practice provides an answer: the Liturgy of the Hours. Since the Middle Ages, the Church has used a daily practice of prayer called the Divine Office or the Liturgy of the Hours to mark and sanctify the various hours of the day: morning, afternoon, evening, and night. It is based on a four week cycle of psalms, canticles, and scripture readings that calls us into a deeper relationship with Christ and the Church bringing us together through prayers of praise, petition, intercession, and thanksgiving.
At ordination, deacons and priests make a solemn promise to pray the Liturgy of the Hours every day, using a book called the Breviary. But the Divine Office is not just for the clergy and those consecrated to religious life. Countless lay people around the world make the Liturgy of the Hours part of their daily prayer and worship. Indeed, when we pray these prayers, whether alone or in community, we are united in a powerful spiritual communion that helps to heal, redeem, and consecrate our sick and suffering world.
Unlike the other hours of the Divine Office, Compline (or Night Prayer) works on a seven day cycle. Every Sunday, the prayers are the same. Every Monday, the prayers are the same. And so on. According to the General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours: “Night Prayer is the last prayer of the day, said before retiring, even if that is after midnight.” And about this form of prayer, Pope Francis says: “I am very attached to the Breviary…It is the first thing I open in the morning and the last thing I close before going to sleep.”
In this spirit, in solidarity with Pope Francis, and in communion with Christian disciples around the world, the Assisi Project invites you to join us in offering A Franciscan Night Prayer. This newly created version of Night Prayer includes the traditional psalms, readings, and canticle of the day. It also includes antiphons, readings, and a Marian devotion from the spiritual tradition founded by Saint Francis of Assisi. A Franciscan Night Prayer can be prayed by listening to one of our free podcasts or by praying with the printable version. See links below! Let’s pray together! It’s a great way to end the day! Each podcast is less than ten minutes!
- A Franciscan Night Prayer for Sunday
- A Franciscan Night Prayer for Monday
- A Franciscan Night Prayer for Tuesday
- A Franciscan Night Prayer for Wednesday
- A Franciscan Night Prayer for Thursday
- A Franciscan Night Prayer for Friday
- A Franciscan Night Prayer for Saturday
For more information about the Assisi Project and its good work in our parishes, please see Father Jim or 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 Lord give you peace!
Sharing God’s Love
Saint Vincent de Paul Society
Help Us Help Others!
The Saint Vincent de Paul Society is an international organization that is dedicated to responding to any request from any person or family in need. Here on Cape Ann, we work through Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish to serve the poor and needy. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, our food pantry and clothes closet remain closed. However, our service to those in need and the newly unemployed continues. Now more than ever, we need your support. Help us help others! Donations can be left at the parish office, dropped in the collection baskets at Sunday Mass, or mailed to the following address:
The Saint Vincent de Paul Society
74 Pleasant Street
Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930
For more information about the Saint Vincent de Paul Society and its good work in our parishes and hometowns, please contact Harry Miller at 978-281-8672 or Bob Weeks at email@example.com. If you or your family needs assistance, please contact us at 978-281-8672. Thank you for your generous support for the Saint Vincent de Paul Society! May God bless you and your family during these uncertain times! Happy Easter! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Safe & Easy 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 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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