By Pope Francis
It makes no difference how old you are, whether you still work or not, whether you are alone or have a family, whether you become a grandmother or grandfather at a young age or later, whether you are still independent or need assistance. Because there is not a retirement age from the work of proclaiming the Gospel and handing down traditions to your grandchildren. You just need to set out and undertake something new…
As I have often observed, we will not emerge from the [pandemic] crisis as we were before, but either better or worse. God willing, this may prove not to be just another tragedy of history from which we learn nothing. If only we might keep in mind all the elderly persons who died for lack of respirators. If only this immense sorrow may not prove useless, but enable us to take a step forward toward a new way of life. If only we might discover once and for all that we need each other; and that in this way, our human frailty can experience a rebirth. No one is saved alone. We are all indebted to one another. We are all brothers and sisters.
Given this, I want to tell you that you are needed in order to help build, in fraternity and social friendship, the world of tomorrow — the world in which we will live, together with our children and grandchildren, once the storm has subsided. All of us must take an active part in renewing and supporting our troubled societies. Among the pillars that support this new edifice, there are three that you, better than anyone else, can help set up. Those three pillars are dreams, memory, and prayer. The Lord’s closeness will give to everyone, even the frailest among us, the strength needed to embark on a new journey along the paths of dreams, memory, and prayer…
The future of the world depends on the covenant between young and old. Who, if not the young, can take the dreams of the elderly and make them come true? But for this to happen, we must continue to dream. Our dreams of peace, justice, and solidarity can make it possible for young people to have new visions. In this way, together, we can build a better future…Dreams are therefore intertwined with memory. One thinks of the painful memory of war and its importance for helping the young to learn the value of peace. Those who experienced the suffering of war must pass on this message. Keeping memory alive is a true mission for every elderly person; keeping memory alive and sharing it with others…Memory can help us build a more humane and welcoming world.
Finally, prayer. As my predecessor, Pope Benedict, himself a saintly and elderly person who continues to pray and work for the Church, once said: “The prayer of the elderly can protect the world, helping it perhaps more effectively than the frenetic activity of many others.” He spoke these words in 2012, near the end of his pontificate.
There is something beautiful here. Your prayer is a very precious resource: a deep breath that the Church and the world urgently need. Especially during these difficult times, as we continue to sail in the same boat across stormy seas, your intercession for the Church and the world has great val- ue. It inspires in everyone the serene trust that we will soon come to the shore…I ask the Lord that all of us may also open our hearts in sensitivity to the sufferings of the poor and pray for their needs. May each of us learn to repeat to all, and especially to the young, the words of consolation that the Lord speaks to us today and everyday: “I am with you always!” Keep moving forward! May God bless you all!
About This Week’s Message
This week’s message is an excerpt from the pope’s message for the First World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly. Last winter, Pope Francis announced the institution of this special day, which will occur annually on the fourth Sunday in July, near the Feast of Saint Ann and Saint Joachim, the Lord’s grandparents and patrons of our parishes. In this spirit, we pray for the Holy Father, for our grandparents (living and deceased), and for the senior citizens who pray for us and share their time, talent, and treasure with us. Saint Ann, pray for us! Saint Joachim, pray for us! Our Lady of Good Voyage, pray for us! Peace and blessings to all! — Father Jim
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
The Call to Prayer
A Prayer for Grandparents
By Monsignor Joseph Quinn
God of the Ages,
we praise and thank you.
From generation to generation,
you have been our refuge and strength.
You give your gifts of grace
for every time, place, and season
as we strive within the family
to walk in your ways
and remain close to one another
and to you.
We pray that our homes
may be schools of faith,
where we come to know you and love you.
Teach us the sanctity of human love.
Show us the value of family life.
Help us to respect all life.
May the young find in the family
strong support for their humanity,
so that they may grow in truth and love.
May the elderly experience
respect, support, love, and care
within the family circle.
We give thanks for grandparents
and we pray for them.
We give thanks because they connect us
with our heritage and our roots
through the mists of time.
We give thanks for their Christian memory
which inspires and enlightens us.
We give thanks for the example of their faith,
for the witness of their lives,
for the constancy of their love,
and for the support of their prayers.
Bless all grandparents
and keep them in your care.
Bless them with peace, health, and healing.
Reward them for their faith and fidelity,
for their work and goodness,
for their love and thoughtfulness,
and for their gifts and prayers.
Give them a long and happy life together.
May old age come to them
in the company of family and friends.
And when life is over, unite them again,
where parting will be no more,
in the kingdom of your love.
We ask these things
through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Mass Intentions Book
Wednesday, August 4th
The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s Mass Intentions Book (August 2021 through December 2021) will be open on Wednesday, August 4th from 11:00am until 1:00pm in Our Lady’s Hall (located at 142 Prospect Street in Gloucester). On that day, all parishioners are welcome to book one Sunday Mass and one Weekday Mass at Saint Ann Church, Saint Joachim Church, or Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Basic COVID-19 safety protocols will be practiced on that day. Anyone who wishes to enter the hall must wear a mask; sanitize their hands; and maintain a safe social distance at all times.
Please note that on Wednesday, August 4th, all Mass intentions must be booked in person. No e-mail, fax, text, or phone requests will be accepted. No exceptions. For more information, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com or 978-281-4820. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and ongoing support for Holy Family Parish, Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, and the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. Peace and blessings to all for a safe and healthy summer!
The Assisi Project
Saturday Morning with Saint Francis
Saturday, August 7th
Begins with First Saturday Mass at 8:00am!
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, August 7th beginning with Mass at 8:00am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. We will gather in-person to pray together and renew 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 what the pandemic teaches us about the importance of prayer in our lives. Pope Francis has said again and again that this kind of crisis changes us; and that we cannot simply return to some ideal sense of normal.
With the Holy Father’s good advice in mind, we will reflect on questions related to our personal experiences during the pandemic: What does prayer mean to you? What role does prayer play in your daily life? What did you learn during the pandemic about your relationship with Christ, with the Church, and with friends, colleagues, family members, and fellow parishioners?
All parishioners and friends are invited to join us for the Assisi Project’s Saturday Morning with Saint Francis! If you plan to join us or want more information about the Assisi Project and its good work in our parishes, please contact Cliff at firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit our website (see link below). Please join us! All are welcome! 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!
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! 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 Ingeborg Sullivan