By Cliff Garvey
Jesus enters Jerusalem. They are excited, joyful, and filled with hope. They greet him with happy hearts. They wave hands and palms in an exuberant welcome. They spread their cloaks along the road to tamp down the dust. As Jesus approaches the Mount of Olives, the disciples applaud him. They cheer him. And together, they cry out: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Jesus is no ordinary king. He rides on a donkey, not a stallion. He rides alone, not with an army to project his power. He is surrounded by the humblest people, both men and women, not by courtiers seeking prestige and advantage. And he is cheered by the poorest people, not by the rich seeking to feed upon the wealth of a prince. Jesus enters Jerusalem to be beaten and scorned, not to bask in earthly rewards. He comes to receive a crown, but it is a crown of thorns. He comes to accept a scepter of authority, but it is the pillar at which he is scourged. He comes to claim a throne, but it is a throne made from the bare wood of a cross. He comes to process to the heights of royal dignity, but his cathedral is Calvary. And his coronation is a crucifixion.
Why? Why does this happen? We know that evil beats in the human heart. Darkness lurks in the shadows of Jerusalem as Jesus makes his way through the crowd. The dividers and gossipers are already plotting against him. Again and again, over and over throughout the years, Pope Francis has warned us about such wickedness.
The Holy Father says: “Let us look around. How many wounds are inflicted upon the human family by evil! War, violence, economic conflict that hits the weakest; greed for money that you cannot take with you…Love of power, division, corruption, crimes against human life and against creation! And each one of us knows our own personal sins; our failures to love and respect God, our neighbor, and the whole of creation (3-24-13).” Year after year, century upon century, the joy of Palm Sunday leads to the horror of Good Friday. We cannot escape it. We are called to make this journey with Jesus — to see the betrayal, witness the brutality, walk the bloodied streets, help him carry the cross, and watch him die on it. It is the way of the world. It is the path of redemption. It is the only way out.
Why? What does this happen? Is there no other way? Pope Francis asks these same questions. He says: “Why the Cross? Because Jesus takes upon himself the evil, the filth, and the sin of the world, including the sins of all of us, and he cleanses it. He cleanses it with his blood and with the mercy and love of God…Jesus on the Cross feels the whole weight of evil, and with the force of God’s love, he conquers it and defeats it with his resurrection. This is the good that Jesus does for us on the throne of the Cross (3-24-13).”
This, then, is the reason for the journey. It is the reason for the joy that is to come. From the moment that Jesus enters Jerusalem, through his suffering and death, until he reopens his eyes on a bright spring morning, we experience love in action. It is love that suffers. It is love that rejoices. It is love that embraces the whole world. It is love that wraps its arms around you and me. It is love that redeems and saves. And the name of this love is Jesus.
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Pastor’s Note: On behalf of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, we give thanks for our dear friend, Jody Cole of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, who allows us to use her beautiful icons in our weekly newsletter and online. This week, we feature a detail from Jody’s icon from the Extreme Humility. For more information about Jody and her work, visit jcoleicons.com. Peace and blessings! — Father Jim
An Afternoon of Prayer & Reflection
Wednesday, April 13th
FEATURING A RELIC OF THE TRUE CROSS
Holy Week is a time for prayer, penance, and reflection on the Lord’s Passion during which all Christians are called to renew their faith in preparation for the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In this spirit, all are invited to join us on Wednesday, April 13th for An Afternoon of Prayer & Reflection beginning at 3:00pm with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and the Litany of the Sacred Wounds (with Reflection) in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church.
After our shared prayer and reflection, all are encouraged to spend a few moments of quiet prayer in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and a relic of the True Cross which was recently donated to the Assisi Project by an anonymous benefactor. We will conclude with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at 5:00pm. For more information, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope and pray that you and your family will be able to join us for all or at least part of this special afternoon of prayer! Please join us! All are welcome!
The Light Is On For You!
Wednesday, April 13th
During Lent, all Catholics are invited to experience God’s love and mercy through the Sacrament of Penance & Reconciliation. On Wednesday, 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. This beautiful evening of prayer begins 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 in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. 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. For more information, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com. Please join us! All are welcome!
Welcome, Father Ben!
Our New Weekend Assistant
On behalf of Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, Father Jim warmly welcomes Father Benjamin Madu to the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport as our new weekend assistant! Each week, Father Ben will join us as principal celebrant and homilist at one of our Sunday Masses!
Father Ben was ordained in July 2001 as a priest for the Diocese of Abakaliki in Nigeria. He earned an undergraduate degree in Philosophy; and graduate degrees in Theology, Education, and Criminology & Justice. In more than two decades of faithful priesthood, Father Ben has served as a parochial vicar, pastor, and hospital chaplain. He currently lives at Our Lady’s Parish in Lynnfield.
On Palm Sunday, Father Ben will celebrate our 8:15am Mass in Saint Ann Church; and on Easter Sunday, he will celebrate our 10:00am Mass in Saint Joachim Church. Let us join together in welcoming Father Ben to Cape Ann! Praise and thanks be to God for sending him to us!
Sharing God’s Love
Spring Icon Retreat with Jody Cole
Begins Monday, May 2nd
An icon is a religious work of art that according to faith and tradition serves as a window into the spiritual world. In the Roman Catholic tradition, icons are sometimes referred to as the “Bible of the Poor” because throughout history, along with statuary and stained glass windows, they enabled those who could not read an opportunity to learn about the holy scriptures and the lives of the saints through sacred imagery.
In The Meaning of Icons, Thomas Merton writes: “It is the task of the iconographer to open our eyes to the actual presence of the Kingdom of God in the world, and to remind us that although we see nothing of its splendid liturgy, we are, if we believe in Christ the Redeemer, in fact living and worshipping as fellow citizens of the angels and saints, built upon the chief cornerstone with Christ.” In this way, icons are not objects of worship, but instruments of God’s grace in our world.
Jody Cole’s icons have appeared often on our website and on the cover of our weekly newsletter. Jody is a good friend, a person of deep faith, and a very talented iconographer. She has been “writing” icons for more than twenty years and she loves to share her craft with others. For five consecutive days, from Monday, May 2nd through Friday, May 6th, Jody will be here to lead us in a Spring Icon Retreat in Saint Ann Church Hall.
Each morning from 9:00am until 1:00pm, Jody will share the basic techniques of icon writing through hands-on experience. Guided by the Holy Spirit and Jody’s gifted instruction, participants will write (paint) their own icon of either Christ Jesus or the Blessed Mother in just twenty hours over five days. No prior art experience is necessary. Beginners are welcome. A donation of $150 per person is requested. Scholarships are available for those who cannot afford it. If you would like to participate in this exciting icon workshop, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Space is limited to just ten participants!
Each evening (Monday through Thursday) at 6:00pm, all friends and fellow parishioners are invited to join Father Jim for Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours in Saint Ann Church Hall, followed by a brief reflection by Jody and a period of discussion and faith sharing. In addition, a gallery show of Jody’s icons will be on display for all to appreciate and enjoy. The evening session is free and open to all! For more information about our Spring Icon Retreat, please contact Cliff Garvey at email@example.com or visit Jody’s website (see link below). Spread the word! Bring a friend! All are invited! All are welcome!
Our Pastor’s Message
Gift & Responsibility
Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish
Bell Tower Restoration Project
Goal: $150,000 – Raised So Far: $91,207
By Father Jim
Perhaps the most challenging aspect of managing the collaborative of two historic parishes is the ongoing maintenance of our ten buildings — all of which are more than one hundred years old. In one way or another, all of the parish buildings in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are in constant need of attention.
At Saint Ann Church in Holy Family Parish, we have completed the primary installation of new doors on the north and south sides of the church. A new emergency exit door was installed beside the altar of Saint Joseph; and another new door was installed beside the tabernacle. This second door will make our church more accessible to parishioners with disabilities because it is designed to open automatically. Unfortunately, the mechanism for the automatic door has been delayed due to supply chain issues, but it should be installed sometime soon. Everyone at Holy Family Parish is very grateful to Sal, JoAnn, and Liliana Testaverde, who donated these doors in loving memory of Captain Peter and Anna Scola. Thank you!
At Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, several emergencies arose in recent months that forced us (with approval from our finance council) to spend down our parish savings account. First, repairs to the ovens that bake our famous sweet bread required an expenditure of approximately $3,500. Second, the kitchen needed a new commercial refrigerator that cost $4,500. And third, the kitchen also needs a new commercial dishwasher that will force us to spend approximately $5,000.
In addition, the boiler that heats Our Lady’s Hall could no longer be maintained or repaired because of its advanced age. After a new boiler was installed, it was determined that the heat return pipes (buried under the hall’s hardwood floors) were leaking and needed replacement. The installation of the new boiler and new plumbing (that did not damage the floor) required an expenditure of approximately $28,000. As you can imagine, our parish savings account is now all but depleted!
Finally, everyone remembers that the West Bell Tower of Our Lady of Good Voyage Church was severely damaged by a wind storm last year. This tower contains our historic carillon bells. With approval from our finance council and advice from archdiocesan engineers, we have contracted with American Steeple of Salem to repair the tower and replace the roof. It is our hope that this project will begin sometime this year. Although insurance will cover some of the costs, it is estimated that repairs to just one of our two towers will require our parish to raise approximately $150,000.
It is vitally important to remember that we are solely responsible for our beloved and historic parish buildings and the financial stability of our parishes. It falls to us — you and me — to repair, restore, and maintain our buildings so that future generations can make their spiritual home here. Now more than ever, Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish need your support! If you would like to learn more about how you and your family can help, please contact me as soon as possible. Peace, blessings, and sincere thanks to all for your ongoing generosity!
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
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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In Memory of Hubert & Ginger Cluett