By Bishop Bruce Lewandowski
When I was in the college seminary, a venerable old Redemptorist came for a visit and said: “I met the seminarians and I am not impressed.” I heard other comments about the seminarians during my nine years in the seminary, but none as memorable as the one made by that aging Redemptorist concerned about the future of his beloved congregation. Maybe Pope Francis’ comment that some seminarians are like “little monsters” was born out of the same kind of feeling — concern for the future of the Church.
Most if not all Catholics at some point find themselves worrying about the future of the Church. So we look to the future leaders of the Church — seminarians — to get some indication of where the Church might be headed. A sense of eagerness was evident in most of the men during my time in the seminary. We were eager to serve God and God’s people; to bring them closer to Christ in the Church.
I sense a different direction or emphasis in some seminarians today. Certainly, they are eager to bring people closer to Christ and the Church, but there is something else. They feel called to reform the Catholic Church. I have heard them say things like: “Nothing good happened after Vatican II” and “Vatican II was a mistake.” Maybe some of you feel the same way. Some of the criticism is focused on liturgical practice and changes in the Mass. But there is also something else — an implication that there is a right way and a wrong way to be Catholic.
Catholic is commonly understood to mean “universal.” Universal means widely dispersed and present everywhere. Catholic also refers to a group of people set apart from others by their agreed upon beliefs and practices. I think most people, seminarians in- cluded, would agree with these two definitions and be content to stop here.
But there is still another definition. Catholic is how we live our faith in the world. Catholic also means “elastic.” The Church stretches to welcome people of all kinds — and as many as possible. From the Church’s beginning, an inherent inclusivity enables saints and sinners, rich and poor, conservatives and liberals to be one in Jesus Christ. The Church by its very nature relates to everyone and everything. This is the Catholic Church described in the 1965 Vatican II document Gaudium et Spes (which translates as joy and hope), the Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World.
As for seminarians and the future of the Church, Saint Paul gives some solid advice: “To the weak, I became weak, to win over the weak. I have become all things to all, to save at least some (1 Corinthians 9:22).” There is not a right or wrong way to be Catholic. We are all just called to be more Catholic.
About the Author: The Most Reverend Bruce Alan Lewandowski, CSsR serves as Urban Vicar and Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore. He was appointed bishop in 2020 by Pope Francis. Bishop Lewandowski is a member of the Redemptorist Order. He is also regular contributor to Bringing Home the Word, an e-newsletter that features suggestions for prayer and reflection in the Home Church. A new edition is posted every weekend at the link below.
Our Lady of Good Voyage
Crowning Feast of the Holy Spirit
Concludes Sunday, June 5th
All are invited to join Father Jim, Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, and the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport in celebrating the conclusion of the Crowning Feast of the Holy Spirit on Sunday, June 5th. Due to the ongoing threat posed by the coronavirus, we plan to celebrate this beautiful parish tradition in a new way in order to protect the health and safety of all fellow parishioners and friends!
- Pentecost Sunday, June 5th
Mass & Crowning Ceremony
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church at 11:45am
Followed by Outdoor BBQ Lunch
Our Lady’s Rectory Parking Lot
All friends, neighbors, and fellow parishioners of Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish and the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join us for the Outdoor BBQ Lunch this Sunday, June 5th! Donations for Sunday’s Auction & Grand Raffle will be much appreciated. If you would like to offer a donation or volunteer, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Spread the word! Bring a friend! All are invited! All are welcome!
Call to Prayer
The Golden Sequence
A Prayer for the Coming of the Holy Spirit
Come, Holy Spirit, come!
Send forth the heavenly radiance of your light.
Come, father of the poor,
come, giver of gifts,
come, light of the heart.
sweet guest of the soul,
In labor, rest,
in heat, temperance,
in tears, solace.
O most blessed light,
fill the inmost hearts of your faithful people.
Without you, there is nothing in us
that is not harmful.
Cleanse that which is unclean,
water that which is dry,
heal that which is wounded.
Bend that which is inflexible,
fire that which is chilled,
correct what goes astray.
Give to your faithful people,
those who trust in you, your sevenfold gifts.
Grant the rewards of virtue,
grant the deliverance of salvation,
grant eternal joy forever and ever!
Welcome Young Disciples
Sacrament of Baptism
The Sacrament of Baptism is the first of the three Sacraments of Initiation in the Roman Catholic Church. The two others 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 May, Father Jim has baptized and blessed the following children with holy water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
Scarlet Rose Byrnes
Halle Rose Lambert
Philip John Leahy
Eero William Scannura
Finn Edward Stevenson
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. 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 email@example.com. May God bless our newly baptized young disciples, along with their parents, godparents, and extended families!
The Assisi Project
We’re Praying for You!
Founded in 2007 and celebrating our 15th Anniversary as a Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit, the Assisi Project has members and friends throughout the world. We are dedicated to helping believers of all ages more faithfully live the Good News of the Risen Jesus in the spirit of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi. Members of the Assisi Project range in age from 14 to 97. And each day, we pray for those who ask for our prayers! If you would like us to pray for you, your family, or your special intention, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Assisi Project and its good work in our parishes, please contact Cliff or check out our website via the link below. Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us! Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us! May the Lord give you peace!
End of Fiscal Year Fundraising
As we enter the final weeks of the fiscal year, all friends, neighbors, and fellow parishioners are encouraged to prayerfully consider a gift to the Pastor’s Challenge at Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish or the Grand Annual Collection at Holy Family Parish. These fundraising campaigns are essential components of our parish budgets; and they are both vitally important to the financial stability of our beloved home parishes.
Donation envelopes are available at the entrances of our churches and on request from the parish office. For more information about how you and your family can help ensure that we end the fiscal year with balanced budgets, please see Father Jim or contact him at email@example.com. You can also give electronically to both of our parishes at the links below! Thank you for your generous support for Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish! Peace and blessings to all!
Safe & Easy Electronic Giving
The righteous give generously (Psalm 37:21).
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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