This Week’s Message
The Unity of Prayer & Work

By Pope Francis

This Sunday, we continue reading the Gospel of the Evangelist Luke. Today’s passage is about Martha and Mary. Who are these women? Martha and Mary are sisters of Lazarus. They are relatives and faithful disciples of Jesus; and they live in Bethany. Saint Luke describes them in this way: Mary, at the feet of Jesus, listened to his teaching, while Martha was burdened with much of the work (Luke 10:39-40).

Both of them welcome the Lord on his brief visit, but they do so differently. Mary sets herself at the feet of Jesus to listen, but Martha lets herself become absorbed in preparing everything, so much so that she says to Jesus: “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to help me (Luke 10:40).” And Jesus answers by scolding her sweetly: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part (Luke 10:40).”

What does Jesus mean? What is the one thing that we need? First of all, it is important to understand that this is not about two contradictory attitudes: listening to the Word of the Lord (contemplation) vs. service to our neighbor. These are not two attitudes opposed to one another. On the contrary, they are two essential aspects of the Christian life; aspects that can never be separated, but are lived out in profound unity and harmony.

Why then was Martha scolded ever so kindly by Jesus? Because she considered only what she was doing to be essential. She was too absorbed and worried about things to do. For a Christian, works of service and charity are never detached from the principle of all our action — that is, listening to the Word of the Lord — like Mary at the feet of Jesus with the attitude of a disciple. This is the reason that Martha was scolded.

In our Christian life, may prayer and action be always deeply united. A prayer that does not lead to practical action for one’s brother [or sister]—especially the poor, the sick, those in need of help—is a sterile and incomplete prayer. And in the same way, when church service is attentive only to doing, functions and structures gain importance, but we forget the centrality of Christ. When time is not set aside for dialog with Jesus in prayer, we risk serving ourselves and not God present in our brothers and sisters in need.

Saint Benedict sums it all up in the kind of life he wanted for his monks in two words: prayer and work. It is from contemplation, based on a strong friendship with the Lord, that the capacity is born within us to live and bring the love of God, his mercy, and his tenderness to others. Likewise, our work with those in need, our charitable works of mercy, lead us to the Lord because it is in our needy brother and sister that we see the Lord himself.

Let us ask the Virgin Mary, Mother of Listening and Service, to teach us to meditate in our hearts on the Word of Jesus, to pray faithfully, and to be ever more attentive in practical ways to the needs of all people. Source: Sunday Angelus (7-21-13).

Vatican News Service
CCGR Weekly Newsletter (7-17-22)

Bringing Home the Word (7-17-22)
The Kids Bulletin (7-17-22)


Call to Prayer
A Litany for Martha, Mary, and the Mess

By Fran Pratt

God of grace and peace,
give us perspective on our problems
in light of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.
Give us grace and peace.

Grant that we may have the heart of Martha,
understanding our responsibility
and calling to peacemaking,
willing to work hard to set things right.

Grant that we may have the heart of Mary,
understanding that the presence of Jesus
in our midst is the most important thing to seek,
willing to seek first your kingdom.

Grant that we may have patience
with the mess we are in,
understanding that transformation is a process,
willing to take the first steps.

Jesus, we invite you among us now
so that we may sit at your feet.

We say to the worried and distracted,
the Kingdom of God is at hand.
We say to the spiritually hungry,
the Kingdom of God is near.

May we know the treasure
of the presence of Christ,
the peace of the presence of God;
God among us, God with us.

And may we set our distractions aside,
making space to hear your voice,
and only then setting about our work,
to be the hands and feet of Christ
in a worried world. Amen.

About the Author: Fran Pratt is a Methodist pastor, writer, musician, and mother.


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 1
Saint Ann – Grandmother to the World
Assisi Project Podcast
Listen Now!

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


Saint Vincent de Paul Society
All New Clothes Closet
Second & Fourth Saturdays

After many months of hard work and renovations, the All New Saint Vincent de Paul Clothes Closet is now open for business in Saint Ann Church Hall on the Second and Fourth Saturdays of every month from 9:00am until 12:00pm. All are welcome to drop by and check out the All New Clothes Closet by entering through the Smith Street doors of Saint Ann Church Hall.

Donations of gently worn clothing and shoes are now gratefully accepted during our regular hours and in the bin located in the Saint Ann School parking lot. Please note that we cannot accept donations of books, toys, or household items. For more information about the Saint Vincent de Paul Clothes Closet, please contact Bridget Nelligan at 781-572-4752 or Cathy Kyrouz at 978-290-1756. Thank you for your generous support!


Saint Vincent de Paul Society
Help Us Help Others!
New Volunteers Always Welcome!

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 in the 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 svdpmember1@gmail.com. If you or someone you know needs our help, please call 978-281-8672. Thank you for your generous support for the Saint Vincent de Paul Society! May God bless you and your family!


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

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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

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In Memory of Carolyn Gove