By Kathleen M. Basi
I have a theory about nurturing faith in the family. It goes like this: If a child’s faith is an integral part of his or her everyday life — not just the overtly religious parts — it will become so central to that person’s identity that he or she could never leave the Church because leaving it would mean an abandoning of self. The question is, how do you accomplish that goal? I believe the answer is twofold: authenticity and practicality.
In the First Letter to the Corinthians, Saint Paul exhorts us to remember that our gifts are uniquely given by God and so is our calling (See 1 Corinthians 12:4-6). In my family nurturing the faith in an authentic and practical way means leading a choir at Mass and teaching natural family planning with the kids sitting in the room with us. It means letting them watch the news and having no-question-off-limits discussions of what they see there. It means carrying snacks in the car to give to homeless men and women, digging into the piggy bank to contribute to the family’s favorite charity, and regarding conservation and recycling as signs of Godly stewardship, not just civic responsibility.
In your family, an authentic, practical application of the faith might look quite different. It is not about doing what everyone else does. It is about being authentic to the gifts residing within individual households. It is about applying the faith to every moment of every day.
This isn’t just for kids, either. Adults cannot nurture in our children what we do not possess ourselves. Conversion is a lifelong process. When Pope Francis came to the United States (in 2015), for instance, he challenged Catholics as well as non-believers. Did we listen? Did we revisit dearly held opinions in light of our identity as Catholic Christians?
Our children need to see us engaged in an authentic search for God, one that doesn’t profess to have all the answers but instead constantly seeks his will over our own limited understanding of the world. They need to see us wrestling with concepts like forgiveness and ‘do unto others’ in the mundane interactions that make up the vast majority of life.
In this way, they mirror the adult world. The Church suffers when its members pass judgment on others while failing to recognize the ways in which our worldly biases lead us away from the Gospel. The good news is that an authentic and practical application of the faith is the key not only to the next generation of the Church but also to evangelizing the whole world.
About the Author: Kathleen M. Basi is a composer, musician, essayist, and disability rights activist. She is also a wife and mother of four children, one of whom lives with Down Syndrome. Kathleen is also a regular contributor to Bringing Home the Word, a weekly newsletter featuring suggestions for prayer and reflection at home. A new edition is posted every weekend here on our homepage (see link below).
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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
Happy Mother’s Day!
A MOTHER’S PRAYER
Lord, give me strength
just for today
to lead my children in your way.
Lord, give me wisdom and grace
to show them always
your precious face.
Lord, keep me from sinning
with my tongue,
from harsh, quick words
that might have stung
their tender hearts that trust me so
and watch to see which way I go.
Lord, keep my thoughts so pure,
they will always know for sure,
that my Lord has led me all the way,
grant my prayers for just this day. Amen.
A PRAYER FOR ALL MOTHERS
We pray for young mothers,
who give life and count toes
and tend to our needs:
May they be blessed
with patience and tenderness
to care for their families
and themselves with great joy.
We pray for our own mothers,
who have nurtured and cared for us:
May they continue to guide us
in strong and gentle ways.
We remember mothers
who are separated from their children
because of conflict, poverty, or war:
May they feel the loving embrace of God,
who wipes away every tear.
We pray for women who are not mothers,
but still love us and shape us
with care and compassion.
We remember mothers and grandmothers
who are no longer with us,
but live forever in our hearts,
and still nourish us
with their love and prayers. Amen.
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Watch: Seven Days with Mary 6
Watch: Seven Days with Mary 7
The Ascension of the Lord
Schedule of Masses
Thursday, May 13th
On Thursday, May 13th, the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, which commemorates Christ’s elevation into heaven in the presence of the disciples on the fortieth day after his resurrection. On this holy day, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport will celebrate Masses according to the following schedule:
- Saint Joachim Church at 8:00am
- Saint Ann Church at 12:00pm
- Our Lady of Good Voyage Church at 7:00pm
- Watch: ccgronline.com!
In order to attend any public celebration of the Holy Eucharist during the pandemic, all friends and fellow parishioners in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport must reserve an assigned seat via our easy-to-use online reservation system on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Registration will begin on Sunday, May 9th at 12:00pm and end on Wednesday, May 12th at 6:00pm. Click the link at ccgronline.com/mass. Every parishioner who registers will receive a confirmation message via e-mail. For Ascension Thursday, all parishioners must register online at ccgronline.com/mass. No phone or e-mail registrations will be accepted.
It is important to remember that we cannot welcome anyone into our churches unless they participate in this registration process. Please also keep in mind that masks, temperature checks, hand sanitizer, and safe social distancing are still required of all parishioners and guests. If you have questions or need more information, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com. During the past year, we have learned that when we work together, we can worship together — safely and joyfully! Peace and blessings to all!
Month of Mary
Assisi Project Podcast
Founded by Father Jim and Cliff Garvey, the Assisi Project is a Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit that is dedicated to helping believers of all ages and back- grounds more faithfully live the Gospel of Christ in the spirit of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Father Jim asked Cliff to look back on nearly two decades of ministry as a catechist, retreat leader, and spiritual director to create a series of free audio recordings as a way of continuing his adult faith formation ministry.
As of this weekend, Cliff has created thirty-nine podcasts with more on the way! During May, the Month of Mary, all are encouraged to listen again or listen for the first time to those podcasts that are dedicated to Our Blessed Mother:
- Mary, Mother of God
- Mary, Mother of the Church
- Mary, Mother of All Peoples (Parts 1 & 2)
- Praying with Our Lady of Lourdes
- The Living Rosary – Day 1: A Journey Begins
- The Living Rosary – Day 2: A Journey Continues
- The Living Rosary – Day 3: A Prayer for Hope
- The Living Rosary – Day 4: A Prayer for Tomorrow
- The Living Rosary – Day 5: A Prayer for Joy
Members of the Assisi Project range in age from 13 to 95 and live in Holy Family Parish, Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, throughout the Archdiocese of Bos- ton, across the United States, and in Angola, Brazil, Canada, Italy, and Spain. Part of our work together is our prayer together. So we pray each day for all who ask for our prayers all around the world. If you would like the Assisi Pro- ject to pray for you, your family, your special intention, or the soul of a deceased loved one, please contact Cliff at firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-281-4820.
Finally, Pope Francis has asked all Christians to pray throughout this month for an end to the pandemic; and he has called all Catholics to pray for this special intention through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. All parishioners are invited to join in a powerful spiritual communion by praying the Angelus Prayer or the Holy Rosary everyday by using the print and video resources on our website: ccgronline.com.
However we pray, wherever we pray, whenever we pray, our prayers may be among our most important contributions to the future of our parishes, our com- munities, and our sick and suffering world. So, let us raise our voices in a cho- rus of petition that reaches the heavens! Let us offer our hearts to a spiritual communion that builds and strengthens the love that keeps us together even when we are kept apart! Now more than ever, let’s pray together!
Holy Family Women’s Guild
Spring Plant & Bake Sale
Saturday, May 29th
The Holy Family Women’s Guild is back and ready for action! On Saturday, May 29th from 9:00am until 12:00pm at Saint Ann Church, the Women’s Guild will host an outdoor Spring Plant & Bake Sale! Part of the spring plant sale are log shaped cemetery baskets with fresh annual flowers for Memorial Day. Preordering is appreciated! All pre-orders must be placed by Saturday, May 22nd for pick-up on Saturday, May 29th. For more information or to pre-order a cemetery basket, please contact Cecilia Gray at 978-281-2072. All safety protocols (including masks and social distancing) are still in place. All proceeds will benefit Holy Family Par- ish. Please join us! All are welcome!
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 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!
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In Memory of Reverend George Hogan