An Urgent Call to Care for Our Common Home
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I
Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
Each of us, individually, must take responsibility for the ways we use our resources. This path requires an ever-closer collaboration among all churches in their commitment to care for creation. Together, as communities, churches, cities, and nations, we must change route and discover new ways of working together to break down the traditional barriers between peoples, to stop competing for resources, and start collaborating.
To those with more far-reaching responsibilities — heading administrations, running companies, employing people or investing funds — we say: choose people-centered profits; make short-term sacrifices to safeguard all our futures; become leaders in the transition to just and sustainable economies. ‘To whom much is given, much is re- quired (Luke 12:48).’
This is the first time that the three of us feel compelled to address together the urgency of environmental sustainability, its impact on persistent poverty, and the importance of global cooperation. Together, on behalf of our communities, we appeal to the heart and mind of every Christian, every believer, and every person of good will. We pray for our leaders who will gather soon in Glasgow (United Nations Climate Change Conference; November 1—November 12) to decide the future of our planet and its people. Again, we recall scripture: ‘Choose life, so that you and your children may live (Deuteronomy 30:19).’ Choosing life means making sacrifices and exercising self-restraint.
All of us, whoever and wherever we are, can play a part in changing our collective re- sponse to the unprecedented threat of climate change and environmental degradation. Caring for God’s creation is a spiritual commission requiring a response of commitment. This is a critical moment. Our children’s future and the future of our common home depend on it.
Art Credit: La Predica Agli Uccelli by Massimo Cruciani – cruciani.com
Season of Creation
About This Week’s Message
Each year, under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Father, the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the Season of Creation. It spans five full weeks from the World Day of Prayer for Creation (September 1st) and the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi (October 4th).
In the words of Pope Francis: “This time for creation offers individual believers and communities an opportunity to reaffirm their personal vocations to be stewards of crea- tion, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork that he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation, as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live.” In this way, the Season of Creation is a time to give thanks, make amends, and brainstorm about practical ways to better care for our common home — planet earth.
In the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, we work hard to conserve energy and make our historic buildings as efficient as possible. All of the lighting in all of our churches have been replaced with LED fixtures. When necessary, old appliances have been replaced with energy-efficient models. And we do what we can to conserve oil and keep our furnaces well-maintained. Needless to say, we can do more and we can do better!
Earlier this month, Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, and Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury issued an extraordinary ecumenical call for all Christians and people of goodwill to consider ways that individuals, communities (including faith communities like ours), nations, and corporations can work in collaboration to serve the common good, look out for the poor and most vulnerable, and protect our most precious natural resources.
This week’s message is the final challenging excerpt from this urgent call to “listen to the cry of the earth.” As we journey through autumn toward winter, we pray together for the courage and perseverance to reflect on our lives, conserve our resources, and better care for our common home.
Season of Creation
The Call to Prayer
A Prayer for the New Season
O God of Creation,
you have blessed us
with the changing of the seasons.
As we welcome the autumn months,
may the earlier setting of the sun
remind us to take time to rest.
May the brilliant colors of the leaves
remind us of the wonder
of your creation.
May the steam of our breath in the cool air
remind us that it is you
who give us the breath of life.
May the harvest from the fields remind us
of the abundance we have been given
and the bounty we are called
to share with others.
May the dying of the summer’s spirit
remind us of your great promise
that death is temporary
and life is eternal.
We praise you
for your goodness forever and ever.
Glory to the Father,
to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen.
The Assisi Project
Saturday Morning with Saint Francis
Saturday, October 2nd
Begins with 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, October 2nd 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 meaning and nature of prayer in our lives. Pope Francis has said many times 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! For more information about the Assisi Project and its good work in our parishes, please contact Cliff at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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!
Sharing God’s Love
The Blessing of the Animals
Saturday, October 2nd
Saint Francis of Assisi is venerated throughout the world as the patron of animals and the environment. Saint Francis is also credited with countless miracles, many of them involving animals. Whether he was preaching to the birds or taming a ferocious wolf, the Poor Man of Assisi has been regarded as the friend and protector of animals and household pets for more than eight centuries.
In anticipation of the Feast of Saint Francis, all are welcome to join Father Jim for the Blessing of the Animals on Saturday, October 2nd at 10:00am in Our Lady’s Rectory Parking Lot. All family-friendly pets are welcome (but must be leashed or secured in carriers). For more information about this wonderful annual tradition, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com. Masks and social distancing are encouraged! Please join us! Spread the word! All are invited! All are welcome!
The Assisi Project
We’re Praying for You!
Founded in 2007 by Father Jim and Cliff Garvey during their first pilgrimage to Italy, the Assisi Project is a Fel- lowship of Franciscans in Spirit. Our mission is to help believers of all ages and backgrounds grow closer to Christ, closer to the Church, and closer to each other through the intercession, inspiration, and good example of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi.
Members of the Assisi Project range in age from 13 to 96 and live in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, throughout the Archdiocese of Boston, from coast to coast, and all around the world. We pray every day for those who ask for our prayers. If you would like us to pray for you or your special intention, please contact Cliff at firstname.lastname@example.org. New members are always welcome! Please join us! 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 has become an essential component of parish support in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport; and it is available in both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. It is safe and easy to make online donations to your home parish using a credit card, debit card, or electronic check.
Donations can be made on a weekly, monthly, or one-time-only basis; and it takes just a few minutes to set up a secure personal account. In additional to the weekly offering, you can also give electronically to our church restoration funds which helps us plan for the repair and maintenance of our beloved and historic churches.
During these challenging times, Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish need your support more than ever before! Please prayerfully consider enrolling in our ‘We Share!’ electronic giving program! For more information about setting up a new account or for assistance with your existing account, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com. Thank you for your generous support for our parishes! May God bless you and your family, now and always!
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 José & Isolina Matos