When Pope Francis opened the Synod on Synodality last fall, he made clear that becoming a “Listening Church” is not about hearing each other complain about this or that challenge facing the local or universal Church. It is more about opening our hearts and minds to the faith experiences of our fellow parishioners, learning from those experiences, living out the lessons of our experiences, and sharing the wisdom of our experiences with others.
During the past nine years, the Holy Father has encouraged us over and over again to pray daily with the Holy Gospel. He says: “Try reading the Gospel for at least five minutes every day. You will see how it changes your life.” Those who attend Mass on a daily basis can attest to the power of the scriptures in their lives. Priests, deacons, and lay people who pray with the Liturgy of the Hours can also give witness to how praying with the psalms and scriptures can influence how they think, speak, and act throughout the day. Indeed, anyone who attends Sunday Mass, prays the Rosary, or participates in bible study programs has been touched by the beauty and challenge of God’s Word.
In the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, we take the Synodal Way very seriously. In order to better live the Gospel, share God’s love, and rebuild the Church, we need to listen to each other and learn from each other so that we can work together to reach out to those who do not know God or have turned away from the Church. In this spirit, we are asking our friends and fellow parishioners to engage in a series of spiritual exercises designed to give voice to how our shared faith has changed our lives.
Our first spiritual exercise is simple! How does God speak to you through the sacred scriptures? Which line, verse, or passage from scripture fills your heart and inspires your life? Pray about it. Think about it. Discern how God’s Word lives in you. Then write down your answer (including book, chapter, and verse) and drop it into the collection basket; email it to us at email@example.com; or mail to us at the following address:
74 Pleasant Street
Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930
Please share your name, contact information, and favorite scriptures with us before the Solemnity of Saint Joseph on Saturday, March 19th. If you would like your contribution to remain anonymous, please let us know. For more information about the Synodal Way, please see Father Jim before or after Mass; contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org; or click on the link below. Thank you in advance for your prayers, discernment, and faith sharing. Let’s get to know each other! Let’s learn from each other! Let’s rebuild the Church together — always together!
Our Lady’s Tower Restoration Project
Message of Thanks
As you already know, the West Bell Tower of Our Lady of Good Voyage Church was badly damaged during a wind storm last year. This bell tower contains our historic carillon bells. Although insurance will cover some of the costs, it is estimated that repairs to just this one tower will require our parish to raise at least $150,000.
By now, every family enrolled in Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish should have received a letter from me about this restoration project, and its importance to our parish and to the wider community. My prayer is that all of us will give what we can throughout the year to repair and restore the west tower — at least.
Just last week, our parishioners donated $3,650 to the tower restoration project. And through donations given over the weekend in exchange for holy cards commemorating the Feast of the Children of Fatima, the Assisi Project gave us a gift of $1,037 for the project. For more information about how you, your family, or your business can help us rebuild our church, please see me or contact me. Peace, blessings, and sincere thanks to all! — Father Jim
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Season of Lent
Wednesday, March 2nd
The Holy Season of Lent is a time for prayer, penance, and almsgiving during which all Christians are called to renew their faith in preparation for the celebration of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ at Easter. Lent begins on Wednesday, March 2nd, which is a Holy Day of Abstinence & Fasting for all Roman Catholics. In the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, we will celebrate Mass and distribute ashes according to the following schedule: Mass at 8:00am in Saint Joachim Church; Mass at 12:00pm in Saint Ann Church; and Mass at 5:30pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. For more information, please visit ccgronline.com or contact Father Jim at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Season of Lent
Ash Wednesday Vigil for Peace
Wednesday, March 2nd
In response to Russia’s violent invasion of Ukraine on February 24th, Pope Francis said: “My heart aches greatly at the worsening situation in Ukraine…Once again, the peace of all is threatened by partisan interests. I would like to appeal to those with political responsibility to examine their consciences seriously before God, who is the God of peace and not of war; who is the Father of all, not just of some, who wants us to be brothers and not enemies.” The Holy Father also took the unusual step of visiting the Russian Embassy in Rome to express his dismay over the war and his “great concern” that steps be taken to protect children, the sick, and the elderly.
Pope Francis also issued a call to prayer: “I appeal to everyone, believers and non-believers alike. Jesus taught us that the diabolical senselessness of violence is answered with God’s weapons, with prayer and fasting. I invited everyone to make March 2nd, Ash Wednesday, a Day of Fasting for Peace. I encourage believers in a special way to dedicate themselves intensely to prayer and fasting…May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war.”
In communion with the pope and with people of goodwill throughout the world, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport will host an Ash Wednesday Vigil for Peace on March 2nd in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. We will begin at 1:15pm with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and the Franciscan Rosary for Peace. At 3:00pm, we will pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet. And our vigil will conclude at 5:00pm with Evening Prayer and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
Let’s join together in praying for peace in our world! Please note that ashes will not be distributed during this special afternoon of silent prayer and devotion. For more information about our Ash Wednesday Vigil for Peace, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Season of Lent
The Light Is On For You!
Wednesdays at 5:30pm
During the Holy Season of Lent, all Catholics are invited to experience God’s love and mercy through the Sacrament of Penance & Reconciliation (Confession). On five consecutive Wednesdays during Lent, March 9th through April 13th, all are invited to join us for The Light Is On For You! from 5:30pm until 7:00pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. These special evenings of prayer will begin with the celebration of Holy Mass at 5:30pm; followed by Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at 6:00pm; and an hour of confessions for those who feel called to participate. For some, this may be a time for confession and sacramental reconciliation. For some, it may be a time for silent prayer and adoration. And for others, it may be a time to begin or renew the spiritual journey. Please note that there will be no confessions or adoration on Ash Wednesday, March 2nd. For more information, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Season of Lent
Way of the Cross
Fridays at 3:00pm
For more than five hundred years, the Stations of the Cross are one of the most enduring and moving traditional devotions of the Roman Catholic Church. By uniting our prayers with those of the suffering Christ through both word and imagery, we make a spiritual pilgrimage with our Lord as he experiences the Passion of the Cross. During Lent, all are invited to join the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport in praying the Way of the Cross on six consecutive Friday afternoons, March 4th through April 8th, at 3:00pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. For more information, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
The Assisi Project
Saturday Morning with Saint Francis
Saturday, March 5th
Eight centuries ago, Saint Francis of Assisi taught his first followers that “no good can be accomplished in the service of God without prayer.” In this sense, prayer must come first. It brings us closer to Christ so that we can grow closer to each other. It is the fuel, foundation, and inspiration for our love of God and our love of neighbor.
It has been nearly fifteen years since Father Jim and Cliff founded the Assisi Project during their first pilgrimage to Assisi and Rome. Their hope, then and now, has been to bring the light and spirit of Saints Francis and Clare into the lives of our fellow parishioners through prayer, simple acts of fraternal kindness, and building up the Church.
On Saturday, March 5th, beginning with Mass at 8:00am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church, the Assisi Project will gather to profess its creed, renew its mission, and re- flect on the pattern of life that was lived and preached by the Poor Man of Assisi. It is a way of life rooted in prayer, work, healing, simplicity, and teaching that reflects the life and ministry of Christ.
After Mass, Father Jim and Cliff will lead a reflection and discussion on the life and example of Saint Francis with time set aside for questions and faith sharing. If you haven’t joined us before, please join us now! All friends, neighbors, and fellow parishioners are welcome!
Members of the Assisi Project range in age from 13 to 97 and live in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, in the Archdiocese of Boston, and in eight countries around the world. Each day, we pray for those who ask us for prayers. If you would like the Assisi Project to pray for you or your special intention, please contact Cliff Garvey at email@example.com. All are invited! All are welcome! May the Lord give you peace!
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 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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Offered for Peace in Ukraine