By Father Jim
In the Gospel of Mark, as Jesus is preaching to the crowds, he notices a woman approach the temple treasury and place two small coins into the basket. Seeing this, the Lord gathers together his disciples and says to them: “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributions to the treasury. For they have contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood (Mark 14:43-44).”
In this chapter, Jesus shows little patience for the pious, the privileged, and the rich who seek attention and influence in the community. He encourages his followers to be cautious around those who show up to show off. He tells them to be wary of anyone who seeks to use their wealth or position to get attention or wield influence over people’s lives. Instead, he focuses on the contribution of a poor widow, who can’t afford much, but gives what she can from the heart. Her gift may be small, but it is generous and sincere. This kind of gift, Jesus reminds us, is the greatest gift of all.
We know people like the poor widow. They are young and old, men and women, single and married. Some have money in the bank and some barely make ends meet. Some we know well and some we only know by sight. They might sit beside us or behind us in church. We see them cleaning up the pew after Mass. We see them helping someone down the ramp. We see them sharing a kind word with a fellow parishioner. We see them around town — at the grocery store, the post office, or the donut shop. We see them everywhere, but do we notice them?
About men and women like the poor widow, Pope Francis says: “In God’s great plan, every detail is important, even yours, even my humble little witness, even the hidden witness of those who live their faith with simplicity in everyday family relationships, work relationships, and friendships (4-14-13).” In this way, each one of us can earn the praise the Lord showers upon the poor widow. Each one of us can give what we can to build up our families, parishes, and neighborhoods. Maybe our gift is money. But maybe our gift is something else!
Maybe our gift is praying more for our parishes and for those who desperately need our prayers. Maybe our gift is picking up some of the litter that seems to reproduce on its own along our streets and in our parks. Maybe our gift is volunteering a couple of hours each month with the Assisi Project, Knights of Columbus, Saint Vincent de Paul Society, Our Lady’s Guild, the Holy Family Women’s Guild, Holy Name or some other service organization. Maybe our gift is resolving to be faithful, hopeful, and loving in a world that seems to cry out for more of the poor widow’s kindness.
As another week begins, let’s pray for the grace, courage, and perseverance to play our small part in God’s plan for the salvation of souls. Let’s remember that when we pull together in a spirit of love and generosity, we can do a great deal of good in our corner of the world. Most of all, let’s remember the gift of the poor widow!
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Call to Prayer
Three Simple Prayers
An Act of Faith
I firmly believe
that you are one God
in three divine persons:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
I believe that your Son became a man,
died for our sins,
and will come again to judge
the living and the dead.
I believe the truths and teachings
of the Roman Catholic Church,
because you reveal them to us,
and you can neither deceive
or be deceived. Amen.
An Act of Hope
relying on your infinite goodness
and your promise of mercy,
I hope to obtain pardon for my sins,
the help of your grace,
and everlasting life
through the merits of Christ Jesus,
my Lord and Redeemer. Amen.
An Act of Love
I love you above all things,
with my whole heart and soul,
because you are all good
and worthy of all my love.
I love my neighbor as myself
out of love for you.
I forgive all who have hurt me,
and ask forgiveness
from all those I have hurt. Amen.
Call to Prayer
Month of All Souls
Masses of Remembrance
During November, the Month of All Souls, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport will celebrate three Masses of Remembrance for those friends, loved ones, and fellow parishioners whose funerals were celebrated in our churches during the past year.
Mass of Remembrance I
Saturday, November 6th at 4:00pm
Saint Ann Church
Mass of Remembrance II
Sunday, November 14th at 11:45am
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
Mass of Remembrance III
Sunday, November 21st at 10:00am
Saint Joachim Church
A Prayer for All Souls
hear our prayer and console us.
As we renew our faith in Jesus, your Son,
whom you raised from death,
strengthen our hope
that all of our departed brothers and sisters
will share in his resurrection,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
God forever and ever.
Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace. Amen.
This prayer was composed by the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. During the Month of All Souls, let’s pray together for our deceased brothers and sisters. For more information about our Masses of Remembrance, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are welcome!
Call to Prayer
Thursday, November 11th
In 1945, Raymond Weeks, a World War II veteran from Birmingham, Alabama, petitioned General Dwight D. Eisenhower to support his idea to expand Armistice Day to commemorate the sacrifice of all veterans. Nine years later, President Eisenhower signed a bill into law that established what we know now as Veterans Day.
For the next four decades, Mr. Weeks led the nation’s annual salute to all who served their country in uniform. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan called him the “Father of Veterans Day.” This year, as our country honors and thanks all of its veterans for their courage and commitment, let us pray for them, for their families, and for our so beloved but divided country.
A Prayer for Veterans
God of peace,
we pray for those who served our nation
and laid down their lives
to protect and defend our freedoms.
We pray for those who have fought,
whose spirits and bodies are scarred by war,
whose nights are haunted by memories,
too painful for the light of day.
We pray for those who serve us now,
especially those in harm’s way.
Shield them from danger
and bring them home.
Turn the hearts and minds
of our leaders and our enemies
to the work of justice
and a harvest of lasting peace.
Spare the poor, Lord, spare the poor!
May the peace you left us,
the peace you gave us,
be the peace that sustains us,
the peace that saves us.
Christ Jesus, hear us!
Merciful Jesus, hear us!
Holy Family Parish
Saturday, November 20th
All are invited to join the Holy Family Women’s Guild for a Christmas Marketplace on Saturday, November 20th from 9:00am until 1:00pm at Saint Ann Church. This outdoor marketplace will feature homemade baked goods, indoor raffle tables, and holiday decorations made from fresh greens and other florals made by our members.
Working with Cressey & Sons Nursery in Rowley, the Holy Family Women’s Guild is also now accepting pre-orders for Holiday Cemetery Baskets and Christmas Kissing Balls! Log shaped baskets are $28 each and decorated fifteen-inch kissing balls are $32 each. To place an order, please contact Jane Marshall at 978-283-5111 or Celia Gray at 978-281-2072. Orders will also be accepted after Masses on November 6th and 7th! Please join us! All are welcome!
Holy Family Parish
Now Underway! Amazing Prizes!
In addition to the Christmas Marketplace, Holy Family Parish is also sponsoring a Christmas Raffle! A donation of $2 per ticket or six for $10 is requested! Prizes include:
One Cash Prize of $500
Five Cash Prizes of $100 Each
Nintendo Switch Basket
Christmas Theme Lego Sets
Special thanks to Greely Funeral Home, Campbell Funeral Home, and an anonymous benefactor for making possible these great prizes! Raffle tickets have been mailed to every registered parish family. Please complete your tickets and return them by Friday, December 4th. If everyone participates, we will raise $23,000 for Holy Family Parish! If you have not received your tickets, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com. Spread the word! Thank you for your support!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 All Deceased Veterans