By Pope Francis
Let us celebrate holiness. A holiness that is seen not so much in great deeds and extraordinary events, but rather in daily fidelity to the demands of our baptism. A holiness that consists in the love of God and love for our brothers and sisters. A love that remains faithful to the point of self-renunciation and complete devotion to others. We think of the lives of all those mothers and fathers who sacrifice for their families and are prepared to forego — even though it is not always easy — so many things, so many personal plans and projects.
If there is one thing typical of the saints, it is that they are genuinely happy. They found the secret of authentic happiness which lies deep within the soul and has its source in the love of God. This is why we say that the saints are blessed. The Beatitudes are their path; their goal towards the homeland. The Beatitudes are the way of life that the Lord teaches us, so that we can follow in his footsteps. In the Gospel at today’s Mass, we heard how Jesus proclaimed the Beatitudes before a great crowd on the hill by the Sea of Galilee.
The Beatitudes are the image of Christ and consequently of every Christian…The Beatitudes are in some real sense the Christian’s identity card. They identify us as followers of Jesus. We are called to be blessed, to be followers of Jesus, and to confront the troubles and anxieties of our age with the spirit and love of Jesus. Thus we should be able to recognize and respond to new situations with fresh spiritual energy.
Blessed are those who remain faithful while enduring evils inflicted on them by others and forgive from the heart. Blessed are those who look into the eyes of the abandoned and marginalized and show them closeness. Blessed are those who see God in every person and strive to discover him anew. Blessed are those who protect and care for our common home. Blessed are those who renounce their own comfort in order to help others. Blessed are those who pray and work for full communion between Christians. All these are messengers of God’s mercy and tenderness. They will surely receive from God their merited award.
Brothers and sisters, the call to holiness is directed to everyone and must be received from the Lord in a spirit of faith. The saints spur us on by both their lives and their intercession before God; and we need each other if we are to become saints. We need to help each other to become saints! Let us beg together for the grace to accept this call with joy; and let us join together in bringing it to fulfillment. To our Blessed Mother, Queen of All Saints, we entrust our intentions and all dialogue aimed at the full communion of all Christians, so that we may be blessed in our efforts and may attain holiness in unity (11-1-16).
Call to Prayer
Living the Beatitudes
THE BIG QUESTION
By Pope Francis
What must one do
to be a Good Christian?
The answer is simple!
We must do, each in our own way,
what Jesus says in the Beatitudes!
A BEATITUDES PRAYER
For Families & Children of All Ages
Lord, make me poor in spirit,
so that I may reach the kingdom of heaven.
Lord, when I mourn,
help me find consolation.
Lord, make me meek,
so that I may inherit the land.
Lord, help me to hunger and thirst for goodness,
so that I may be satisfied.
Lord, make me merciful,
so that I may obtain your mercy.
Lord, make me pure of heart,
so that I may see you and know you.
Lord, help me to make peace,
so that I may be called your child and friend.
Lord, when I am persecuted
for the sake of all that is good and true,
show me your kingdom.
PUTT LOVE INTO PRACTICE
By Saint Ignatius Loyola
Love consists in sharing
what one has and who one is
with those one loves.
Love ought to show itself
in deeds more than in words.
Living the Gospel
Friday with Jesus
Friday, February 18th
In his homily during the Canonization Mass for the Children of Fátima, Pope Francis said: “We can take as our examples Saint Francisco and Saint Jacinta, whom the Virgin Mary introduced into the immense ocean of God’s light and taught to adore him. This was the source of their strength in overcoming opposition and suffering (2017).”
In this spirit and united with the Holy Father, all friends, neighbors, and fellow parishioners of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join us for Friday with Jesus and the Children of Fatima — four hours of silent Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on Friday, February 18th in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church.
At 3:00pm, we will begin with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and the Holy Rosary for the sick and suffering in our communities; and for all doctors, nurses, first responders, and essential workers. Our afternoon of prayer and devotion will conclude at 6:45pm with Evening Prayer and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
In addition to Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, we will be blessed by the presence of first class relics of Saint Francisco and Saint Jacinta of Fatima. These relics were entrusted to the Assisi Project by an anonymous benefactor from Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish.
Prayer cards containing third class relics of the Children of Fátima will be available from 2:30pm until 2:45pm; and again from 7:00pm until 7:15pm. A donation of $2.00 per card is requested but not required. All proceeds will benefit the repair and restoration of the historic bell towers at Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. For more information about this special afternoon of quiet prayer and devotion, please contact Cliff Garvey at email@example.com. Spread the word! Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Living the Gospel
Sacrament of Baptism
The Sacrament of Baptism is the first of three Sacraments of Initiation in the Roman Catholic Church. The two other Sacraments of Initiation are Eucharist and Confirmation. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism, we are freed from sin and reborn as children of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church, and made sharers in her mission (CCC 1213).” During the month of January, Father Jim baptized and blessed the following children with holy water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
McKenzie Carey Emery
Jesse Nzozi Ndizihiwe
In the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, the Sacrament of Baptism is celebrated during any Sunday Mass at 10:00am in Saint Joachim Church; on the second Saturday of the month at 11:30am in Saint Ann Church; and on the third Saturday of the month at 11:30am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. All are reminded no baptisms will be scheduled during Lent — from Ash Wednesday, March 2nd through Easter Sunday, April 17th.
If you would like to schedule your child’s baptism in either Holy Family Parish or Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, please contact Sheila McCarthy-Durkin at firstname.lastname@example.org. May God bless our newly baptized young disciples, along with their parents, godparents, & family members! Congratulations to all!
Holy Family Women’s Guild
Bakeless Bake Sale
The Holy Family Women’s Guild is holding a Bakeless Bake Sale during the month of February! Why? Because now more than ever, our beloved home parish needs your support — especially after this month’s blizzard! Every dollar makes a difference! All donations can be mailed to the Guild’s treasurer at the following address:
7 Madison Avenue
Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930
Please make all checks payable to Holy Family Parish and send them to Cheryl by February 28th. For more information about the Holy Family Women’s Guild and its good work in our parish, please contact Arlene Lesch at email@example.com. Thank you for your generous support of Holy Family Parish! May God bless you and your family!
Sharing God’s Love
Saint Vincent de Paul Society
The Saint Vincent de Paul Society is an international organization that is dedicated to responding to any request from any person or family in need. Here on Cape Ann, we work through Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish to serve the poor and the needy. Help us help others! Donations can be pushed through the mail slot at our parish office, dropped in the collection basket at any Weekend Mass, or mailed to:
Saint Vincent de Paul Society
74 Pleasant Street
Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930
New members and volunteers are always welcome! For more information about the Saint Vincent de Paul Society and its good work in our parishes and hometowns, please contact Harry Miller at 978-281-8672 or Robert Weeks at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your generous support for the Saint Vincent de Paul Society! May God bless you and your family!
Safe & Easy Electronic Giving
Blessed are the Givers
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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