This Week’s Message
Saint Francis Sings of Seasons

By Cliff Garvey

This is the day the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad! Indeed, these days made by the Lord are now noticeably longer and warmer. Seasons end. Seasons begin. The dawn of a new season is always a good moment to reflect on the wonder of creation and to praise the Creator of all wonders.

Saint Francis of Assisi did not need a calendar to remind him to look for the joy and majesty in God’s works. Wherever he went, Francis marveled at the beauty of every sunrise and sunset. He listened to the delight of birdsong, the chirping of crickets, and the wind rustling through the trees of the forest. He was always amazed by the stars above, the waving grasses in the deepest valley, and the rush of a river’s current. He gazed in awe at herbs and flowers and hummingbirds. One can imagine his glee at the site of the grapes and olives growing in the vineyards and orchards in the fields below his hometown of Assisi.

Late in life and close to death, Francis suffered from blindness and painful stomach ailments. He lived in a shack beside the Church of Saint Damian — the little chapel where his spiritual journey began when Christ spoke to him from the now famous crucifix. In this humble place, surrounded by natural beauty, Francis wrote a song-prayer that is remembered as the Canticle of the Creatures. It was one of the very first works of literature composed entirely in Italian.

Through this prayerful and deeply spiritual verse, Saint Francis reveals a profound mystical connection with God and with all of God’s creatures. He knows and loves every living thing as we love our families and closest friends. He refers to them with great affection, intimacy, and respect: Brother Sun and Sister Moon, Brother Fire and Sister Earth, and so on.

In the Canticle of the Creatures (see below), the Little Poor Man from Assisi sings of life. He sings of death. He sings of seasons. Day by day, night after night, season upon season, God’s love unfolds upon the earth, upon us, and up- on all people. God offers himself to us in everything that he creates. He shows his creativity and power in all things as life ends and life begins again. Through this simple verse, Saint Francis brings us closer to the God of Love, who is Creator and Master of the Universe, and Father of Our Crucified and Risen Lord.

As we mark the change of seasons, we join with Saint Francis in his song of praise and thanksgiving to the Most High who creates all things; and gives all things their breath, their life, and ultimately their rest. This is the day the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad! Praised be you, my Lord!

Cliff Garvey
Associate Minister
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport

CCGR Weekly Newsletter (6-20-21)
Bringing Home the Word (6-20-21)
The Kids Bulletin (6-20-21)


Call to Prayer & Praise
The Canticle of the Creatures

By Saint Francis of Assisi

Almighty and Good Lord,
yours are the praises, the glory,
the honor, and all blessings!
To you alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no person is worthy
to mention your holy name!

Praised be you, my Lord,
with all your creatures,
especially our Brother Sun,
who gives us the day
and through whom you give us light.
He is beautiful and radiant
with great splendor;
and he bears the likeness of you,
Most High Lord!

Praised be you,
my Lord through our Sister Moon,
and all the stars in heaven;
you formed them clear
and precious and beautiful!

Praised be you, my Lord,
through our Brother Wind,
and through the air, cloudy and serene,
and every kind of weather,
through which you sustain your creation!

Praised be you, my Lord,
through our Brother Fire,
through whom you light the night;
he is beautiful and robust and strong!

Praised be you, my Lord,
through our Sister Earth,
who sustains and governs us,
and who produces fruits
with colored flowers and herbs!

Praised be you, my Lord,
through those who show mercy for your love;
and suffer sickness and tribulations!
Blessed are those who endure in peace
for by you, they will be crowned!

Praised be you, my Lord,
for our Sister Death,
from whom no living creature can escape!
Woe to those who perish in mortal sin!
Blessed are those whom death will find
in your holy will,
for this death will do them no harm!

Praise and bless my Lord!
Give him thanks and serve him always
with great humility. Amen!

Friar Allesandro: Voice from Assisi
Listen: Canticle of the Creatures, Part 1
Listen: Canticle of the Creatures, Part 2


Call to Prayer
Praying for Our Fathers

What Makes a Dad?

God took the strength of a mountain,
the majesty of a tree,
the warmth of a summer sun,
the calm of a quiet sea
the generous soul of nature,
the comforting arm of night,
the wisdom of the ages,
the power of an eagle’s flight,
the joy of a morning in spring,
the faith of a mustard seed,
the patience of eternity,
and the depth of a family’s need.
God then combined these qualities,
when there was nothing more to add.
God knew his masterpiece was complete,
and so, God called it…Dad!

A Father’s Prayer to Saint Joseph

Good Saint Joseph,
I come to you with concern
for my children.
Many dangers surround them.
Out of loving concern to protect them,
I may sometimes seem
demanding and stern.
Help me to remove the barriers
that can come between my children and me.
I love my children with my whole heart,
and I wish only good things for them.
Good Saint Joseph,
watch over my children,
and inspire me to know
how best to care for them,
how best to speak with them,
and how best to always love them.
Amen. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Patron of Fathers,
pray for our fathers and step-fathers,
our grandfathers and godfathers,
and for all who love, guide,
and mentor God’s precious children! Amen!
Happy Father’s Day!


Pastor’s Urgent Appeal
Our Grand Annual Collections
Let’s Pray for Miracles

Fiscal Year Ends on June 30th!

Last weekend, we celebrated the feast of a patron of our parishes: Saint Anthony. If you are Portuguese, you may know him as Saint Anthony of Lisbon. If you are Italian, you may know him as Saint Anthony of Padua. And of course, almost everyone knows him as the Patron Saint of Lost Things and Lost Souls. Saint Anthony is also remembered as a miracle-maker and wonder-worker. Because of his deep faith, profound learning, evangelical preaching, and abiding love for the Infant Jesus, tradition holds that God gave him the power to work many miracles. Here’s a short version of a Miracle Prayer to Saint Anthony:

Holy Saint Anthony, gentlest of all saints,
your love for God and charity for all creatures
made you worthy, when on earth,
to possess miraculous powers.
Miracles waited on your word,
which you were ever ready
to speak for those in need.
Encouraged by these thoughts,
we beg you to obtain for us
(ask for what you need).
The answer to our prayer
may require a miracle,
but you are the Saint of Miracles!
Gentle and loving Saint Anthony,
whose heart is always full of sympathy,
whisper our petitions into the ears
of the Sweet Infant Jesus,
who loved to be held in your arms,
and the gratitude of our hearts
will be yours forever and ever. Amen.

We need miracles! In less than two weeks, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport will mark the end of another fiscal year; and both of our parishes need your help! Our most urgent needs are to meet the goals of our Grand Annual Collections. By June 30th, Holy Family Parish must raise $17,000 to reach our goal of $65,000; and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish must raise $14,000 to reach our goal of $45,000. Neither of these goals is easy, but both are vitally important! The Grand Annual Collections bridge the gap between our weekly offering and our overall financial obligations including building maintenance and repair; salaries and benefits for our pastoral team (including me), our much-loved music adult and youth music ministries; and essential parish programs like adult and youth faith formation.

Donations can be placed in the collection basket during Mass; made online via our safe and easy electronic giving program; or mailed to the parish of your choice at 74 Pleasant Street, Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930. Quite simply, without your support before June 30th, the short and long-term financial stability of our parishes is at risk. Until then, let us raise our hearts and voices in a prayer to Saint Anthony for miracles: for good health, for better times, for balanced budgets, and for all who live, work, and worship in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. Thank you for your generous support! Peace and blessings to all!

Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport


The Assisi Project
Saturday Morning with Saint Francis
Saturday, July 3rd

Founded in 2007 by Father Jim and Cliff Garvey after their first pilgrimage to Assisi and Rome, the Assisi Project is a Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit with friends and followers in North America, Europe, and Africa. Our mission is to help believers of all ages and backgrounds better live the Gospel of Christ through the inspiration and intercession of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi.

Our next Saturday Morning with Saint Francis is scheduled for Saturday, July 3rd beginning with Mass at 8:00am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. With God’s help, we will gather in-person to pray and enew the bonds of faith, friendship, and mutual support that have sustained us for more than a decade! If you haven’t joined us before, please prayerfully consider joining us now!

After Mass, Father Jim and Cliff will lead a discussion about our spiritual lives during and after the coronavirus pandemic. Pope Francis has said that this kind of crisis changes us; and that we cannot simply return to some ideal sense of normal. With this advice in mind, we will reflect on five questions related to our personal experiences during the pandemic: Did you pray? How did you pray? Where did you pray? What did you pray for? How did the pandemic affect your relationship with Christ, with the Church, and with friends, family members, and fellow parishioners? We will conclude with Morning Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours.

All are invited to join us for the Assisi Project’s Saturday Morning with Saint Francis! If you plan to attend or if you would like If you would like more information about the Assisi Project and its good work in our parishes, please visit our website or contact Cliff at Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us! Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us! Our Lady of the Angels, pray for us! May the Lord give you peace — now and always!

Learn More: The Assisi Project


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 Thank you for your generous support for our parishes during these difficult times! Peace, blessings, and many thanks to all!

Support Holy Family Parish
Support Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish


About Us

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

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In Memory of Peter Forte