Our Pastor’s Message
Teach Us to Pray!

By Father Jim

Prayer is our way of communicating with God. It is our way of entering into a relationship with God, who created us and loves us as if we are the sole object of his affection and attention. Across the centuries, spiritual masters have taught that we become the person we are meant to be when we grow close to God through prayer. So prayer is not simply something we do on Sunday mornings or when we need something from heaven. Prayer is meant to be a primary part of our daily lives.

In the Sunday Gospel (Luke 11:1-13), Jesus is at prayer. He is surrounded by his disciples who must be struck by the depth and devotion of his relationship with God. The disciples must have been in awe of the Lord’s commitment to prayer, his concentration in prayer, and his childlike love for the Creator of all things. When Jesus finishes his prayer, one of the disciples asks: “Lord, teach us to pray (Luke 11:1).” Spir- itual directors are often asked this question. And sometimes, the best response is: “Just do it.”

Jesus, however, offers the disciples a master class on the form and promise of prayer. He teaches them what we know as the Lord’s Prayer (See Luke 11:2-4). He shares a parable about the need for persistence in prayer. And finally, he assures them that God is always listening and always ready to answer our prayers. Jesus says: “Everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and the one who knocks, the door will be opened (Luke 11:10).” It sounds like a simple plan for growing closer to the Father, but we sometimes overlook the beauty and richness within the simplicity.

Nearly six decades ago, while still a diocesan bishop, Pope John Paul I (1912-1978) gives a retreat during which he reflected on the Lord’s teaching about prayer in Luke’s Gospel. He reminds his audience that the first part of the Lord’s Prayer is about our relationship with God. He is the Creator of Heaven and Earth and Master of the Universe. He is our Father in heaven. We are his little children who are forever in need of help. When we pray: Thy will be done, we embrace the cosmic reality that we are small and weak, but God is great and all powerful. We praise God’s awesome power and goodness.

The pope then explains that the second part of the Lord’s Prayer is about our petitions. It’s about what we need, what we want, and what we hope to accomplish with God’s grace. When we say: Give us this day or Forgive us our trespasses or Lead us not into temptation, we are begging God to help us. We ask him to provide for us. We petition him for what we need. And we do so with confidence in his boundless love and mercy.

Pope John Paul I advises us to avoid praying like flies that bop around, stop here and there for a moment or two, but accomplish almost nothing. When we pray like flies, we are distracted and fail to dedicate the time we need to grow in relationship with the Lord. He also tells us to avoid praying like mosquitos who get into the house, buzz around loudly, and beat themselves against the window screen. When we pray like mosquitos, we make noise and use many words, but we are never focused enough to get close to the Lord.

Finally, Pope John Paul I urges us to pray like bees who settle on a flower, take the time necessary to extract its nectar, and leave only when they are full of its nourishment. Bees are focused, diligent, and hardworking. These are qualities necessary for productive prayer. These are qualities necessary for a good and holy life. The Holy Father says: “We must go slowly, stop, reflect, and pray in earnest. Then we will get something out of it.” When we pray like bees, we focus our spiritual energy and take the time we need to grow closer to God and closer to each other. May Jesus teach us to pray like little worker bees dedicated to living the Gospel, sharing God’s love, and rebuilding the Church. Lord, teach us to pray!

Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Contact: frjim@ccgronline.com

CCGR Weekly Newsletter (7-24-22)
Bringing Home the Word (7-24-22)
The Kids Bulletin (7-24-22)
Sharing the Word Daily Podcast


Call to Prayer
Teach Us to Pray!

By Pope Francis

There is a striking absence
in the text of the Lord’s Prayer.
A word is missing.
One word which in our times,
everyone holds in great consideration.

The word I is missing.
I is never said.
Jesus teaches us to pray with You on our lips,
because Christian prayer is a dialog:
Blessed be your name.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done.
Not my name, my kingdom, or my will.
Not I, which is not good.

Then it moves on to we.
The entire second part of the Lord’s Prayer
uses the first person plural.
Give us our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins.
Lead us not into temptation.
Deliver us from evil.

In Christian prayer,
no one asks for bread for themselves.
No, give us our daily bread!
It is for all the world’s poor.
We must never forget about this.
The word I is missing.
We pray with you and we.
It is a good lesson from Jesus. Do not forget it.

There is no room for individualism
in the dialog with God.
There is no display of our own problems
as if we were the only ones suffering in the world.
There is no prayer raised to God
that is not the prayer of a community
of brothers and sisters.

We are a community.
We are brothers and sisters.
We are a people who pray together.

Read: Pope Francis Catechesis on the Lord’s Prayer (2-13-19)


Call to Prayer
World Day for Grandparents & Elderly
Sunday, July 24th

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

I thank you, Lord,
for the comfort of your presence:
even in times of loneliness,
you are my hope and my confidence,
you have been my rock and my fortress
since my youth!

I thank you for having given me a family
and for having blessed me with a long life.
I thank you for moments of joy and difficulty,
for the dreams that have already come true in my life
and for those that are still ahead of me.
I thank you for this time of renewed fruitfulness
to which you call me.

Increase, O Lord, my faith,
make me a channel of your peace,
teach me to embrace those who suffer,
to never stop dreaming,
and to tell of your wonders to new generations.

Protect and guide Pope Francis and the Church,
so that the light of the Gospel might reach the ends of the earth.
Send your Spirit, O Lord, to renew the world,
so that the storm of the pandemic might be calmed,
the poor consoled, and wars ended.

Sustain me in weakness
and help me to live life to the fullest
in each moment that you give me,
in the certainty that you are with me every day,
even until the end of the age. Amen.

Learn More: World Day for Grandparents & Elderly 2022


Saints of Summer
Mini-Retreat Series
Continues Saturday, August 6th

Our Lady of the Angels

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 – Apostle for the Rest of Us

Assisi Project Podcast
Coming Soon!

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


Our Lady of Good Voyage
Summer Carillon Concerts
Begins Friday, August 12th

Mark your calendars! Save the dates! A much-loved summer tradition returns next month to Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish and the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport! Our Summer Carillon Concerts will begin on Friday, August 12th at 6:30pm (rain or shine)!

This year, Luann Pallazola, Cynthia Cafasso, and Thomas Dort have prepared programs that include familiar classi- cal and international pieces, popular hymns and songs, patriotic melodies, and even selections especially for children! We are especially excited that Thomas Dort, a young disciple who just turned thirteen years old and learned to play the carillon bells during the pandemic, will perform along with our talented adult musicians!

Installed in 1922, the carillon bells in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church were the first toned set in the United States. Although the bells can be heard from blocks away, the sound is always best near the church. This year, Our Lady’s Guild will be selling cold drinks, snacks, and even Super Raffle tickets to support our planned repair and restoration of the church’s historic bell towers.

Our Summer Carillon Concerts are a great opportunity for the whole family to gather with friends, neighbors, and fellow parishioners to enjoy the gift of music. Additional concerts are scheduled for Friday, August 19th at 6:30pm; Friday, August 26th at 6:30pm; and Friday, September 2nd at 6:30pm. For more information, please contact Luann Pallazola at lpallazola@gmail.com. Spread the word! All are invited! All are welcome! Please join us!

Read: Our Lady’s Carillon: Ringing for a Century


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!

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

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In Memory of Genevieve Randazza