This Week’s Message
With Mercy

By Cliff Garvey

In Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 10:25-37), a lawyer tries to embarrass Jesus. He asks Jesus a trick question about a basic teaching of the faith. Jesus answers with a question. Then the lawyer asks Jesus what it means to love our neighbor. And then, who exactly are these neighbors?

So Jesus tells the story of a Jewish traveler who is mugged on his way to Jerusalem. The victim lies beaten and bleeding along the road. A priest passes by and declines to help him. A member of the group that serves the priests passes by and refuses to reach out. Finally, a Samaritan arrives, offers first aid, gives the victim a ride, and pays for a room at an inn.

Here’s the thing. Jews and Samaritans hate each other. Think of the old rivalry between Yankees fans and Red Sox fans. Think of the reddest and bluest divides in our own country. Think of the deepest disagreements within the Church, in our hometowns, or in our own families. Add an extra dose of loathing and suspicion. Then you will better appreciate the relationship between Jews and Samaritans.

Who is our neighbor? She may be the person who lives next door. Or he may be the stranger you pass in the street who needs a helping hand. It doesn’t matter if we like our neighbor. It doesn’t matter if we approve of our neighbor’s lifestyle. It doesn’t matter if we practice the same religion or belong to the same political party. Our neighbors are those people, whoever they might be, who need help. These are the ones that we are called by Christ to love.

Jesus is asked which of the three passersby is the real neighbor. Jesus says: “The one who treated him with mercy (Luke 10:37).” Most often, we equate mercy with simple forgiveness, but there’s much more to it. It would be miraculous enough for a Samaritan to help a Jew by letting go of an age-old grudge just to lend a helping hand. In this case, however, the Good Samaritan also shows mercy.

Mercy does mean forgiveness. True enough. But it also means charity, compassion, generosity, goodwill, and kind-heartedness. It means setting aside what divides us. It means promoting the common good by treating every person as a beloved child of God. It means truly loving every person as a brother or sister who is a valuable member of the same human family. It means treating each and every person with mercy.

In Fratelli Tutti, his encyclical on fraternity and friendship, Pope Francis writes: “In this context, we can better understand the significance of the parable of the Good Samaritan: Love does not care if a brother or sister in need comes from one place or another. For love shatters the chains that keep us isolated and separate; in their place, it builds bridges. Love enables us to create one great family, where all of us can feel at home…Love exudes compassion and dignity (62).”

Love also manifests mercy in all of its fullness. Of course, practicing what we preach is the hard part. Bias, busyness, and who knows what else get in our way. When I lose sight of what it means to love my neighbor, I look to Saint Francis of Assisi who said: “This is our vocation: to heal wounds, bind what is broken, and bring home those who are lost.” This week, let’s walk together along the road with Saint Francis and the Good Samaritan and do our best to love our neighbors with mercy.

Cliff Garvey
Associate Minister
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Contact: cgarvey@ccgronline.com

CCGR Weekly Newsletter (7-10-22)
Bringing Home the Word (7-10-22)
The Kids Bulletin (7-10-22)
Watch: Fratelli Tutti Explained (18 Minutes)


Call to Prayer
Love Like the Good Samaritan

Lord Jesus,
you teach us in your parable
that there are two kinds of people:
those who bend down to help
and those who look the other way.
Which kind of people are we?

We say, “Yes, Lord, I will love you
and I will love my neighbor.”
But then we ask:
The addict: Is he my neighbor?
The migrant: Is she my neighbor?
The poor: Are they my neighbors?
Victims of war around the world: Are they my neighbors?
Those who face racism: Are they my neighbors?
The disabled or elderly: Are they my neighbors?
You remind us: Yes. All of us are neighbors!

Lord, show us how to love.
May we open our eyes.
May we emerge from our comfortable isolation.
May we build a world of compassion and dignity.

Lord Jesus, who was neighbor to all:
Help us to persevere in love.
Help us to restore dignity to the suffering.
Help us to build a society
based not on exclusion,
but on community and fraternity.

Glory to the Father,
to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Source: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops


Saints of Summer
Mini-Retreat Series
Continues Friday, July 22nd

Feast of Saint Mary Magdalen

Summer is a good time of year to step back from the business and busyness of daily life and focus on our relationships with Jesus, our church, and those we are called to love. Unfortunately, few among us are able to leave behind home, work, and family for a real retreat from the responsibilities of the world. For this reason, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, in collaboration with the Assisi Project, is pleased to announce a special series of mini-retreats called The Saints of Summer.

Throughout his priestly ministry, Pope Francis has called people of all ages and backgrounds to learn about and pray with the saints. The Holy Father believes in his heart that the saints bring us closer to Christ and to each other. He says: “The saints are still here, not far from us; and their images in our churches evoke the ‘cloud of witnesses’ that always surrounds us (cf. Hebrews 12:1)…The saints remind us that even in our lives, however weak and marked by sin, holiness can unfold (4-7-21).”

In this spirit of unfolding holiness, all are invited to join us twice each month in July, August, and September for a series of two-hour mini-retreats. These moments of prayer, reflection, and adoration will focus on the lives of six amazing saints: Saint Ann, Saint Mary Magdalen, Saint Clare of Assisi, Saint Rose of Viterbo, Our Lady of the Angels, and Our Lady of Sorrows.

Each mini-retreat will begin with the celebration of Holy Mass and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at 8:00am. After our shared prayer, Father Jim and-or Cliff Garvey will offer a reflection on the life, inspiration, and veneration of a saint whose life of holiness has inspired men and women all around the world. There will be time for questions and faith sharing, too. After our reflection and discussion, all are invited to pray in silent adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and in veneration of holy relics of each saint of the day. We will conclude each day of prayer beginning at 9:30am with the Holy Rosary followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Here’s the rest of our summer schedule of mini-retreats:

Saints of Summer 2 – Saint Mary Magdalen
Feast Day – Friday, July 22nd
Begins with Mass at 8:00am
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
Gloucester, Massachusetts

Saints of Summer 3 – Our Lady of the Angels
Saturday, August 6th
Begins with Mass at 8:00am
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
Gloucester, Massachusetts

Saints of Summer 4 – Saint Clare of Assisi
Feast Day – Thursday, August 11th
Begins with Mass at 8:00am
Saint Anthony Chapel
Gloucester, Massachusetts

Saints of Summer 5 – Saint Rose of Viterbo
Saturday, September 3rd
Begins with Mass at 8:00am
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
Gloucester, Massachusetts

Saints of Summer 6 – Our Lady of Sorrows
Feast Day – Thursday, September 15th
Begins with Mass at 8:00am
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
Gloucester, Massachusetts

We hope and pray that you and your family will be able to join us for all or even just part of this unique series of mini-retreats in celebration of The Saints of Summer! For more information about this series or about the good work of the Assisi Project in our home parishes, please contact Cliff Garvey at cgarvey@assisiproject.com. Mark your calendar! Spread the word! Bring a friend! Let’s pray together! All are invited! All are welcome!

Learn More: Franciscan Media’s Saint of the Day


Weekday Worship
Let’s Pray Together!

In the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, the Celebration of Holy Mass is the wellspring of our community’s joy and the guiding light of our shared life of prayer, fellowship, and service. All are welcome to join us for Mass and to receive Holy Communion in accordance with a personal examination of conscience and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. In addition to our weekend schedule, we also pray together throughout the week.

Wednesday Evenings
Mass at 5:30pm
Followed by Eucharistic Adoration
Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confessions)
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church

Thursday & Friday Mornings
Rosary at 7:30am
Mass at 8:00am
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church

First Saturday of the Month
Mass at 8:00am
Followed by the Assisi Project
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church

Always Available
Watch: Sunday Mass with Father Jim on YouTube
Watch: Holy Rosary with Father Jim on YouTube

All parishioners are reminded that wearing face masks is an effective way of slowing the spread of a virus that has killed more than one million people in our country. In a spirit of solidarity with the sick, the elderly, and those with pre-existing medical conditions, we ask all of our friends and fellow parishioners to continue wearing masks, using hand sanitizer, and practicing safe social distancing in all of our churches and church buildings. Thank you for your ongoing encouragement and support. We hope and pray that you and your family will join us in prayer and adoration! All are invited! All are welcome!

Listen: Franciscan Media’s Sharing the Word (2 Minutes)


Safe & Easy Electronic Giving

Do good and share what you have (Hebrews 13:16).

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 frjim@ccgronline.com. Thank you for your generous support for our parishes! May God bless you and your family, now and always!

Support Holy Family Parish
Support Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish


About Us

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!

Follow us on Twitter: @CCGRonline

This Week’s Homepage
In Memory of Genevieve Randazza