This Week’s Message
I Serve God Alone!

By Cliff Garvey

If Saint Lawrence (225-258) had not been martyred for the faith during the third century after the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, then history probably would not remember him. Tradition teaches that Lawrence was born and raised in Spain. When he was twenty- five years old, he was befriended by a traveling Christian philosopher. Converted by the Good News of the Risen Christ, Lawrence accompanied the philosopher and his companions back to Rome. Seven years later, in 257, this philosopher became Pope Sixtus II (215- 258). The Holy Father ordained his young friend to the deaconate and appointed him an Archdeacon of Rome, a position of great trust and responsibility.

Beyond these few facts, we know almost nothing else about Lawrence’s life —until his untimely death. In August 258, Emperor Valerian ordered the summary execution of all priests, deacons, and bishops. Pope Sixtus was arrested and murdered while celebrating the Sacred Liturgy. Soon thereafter, Valerian ordered Deacon Lawrence to inventory the property of the Church and surrender it all into the imperial treasury. But Lawrence had another plan. As quickly as possible, he gave away all of the Church’s property (including the vessels used at the liturgy) to the poor, the sick, and the homeless. And on the appointed day, Lawrence appeared before the emperor with the true riches of the Church — its good and faithful people.

For his defiance and disrespect, Lawrence was tortured by fire unto death. Nearly eighteen centuries later, he remains among the most venerated saints in church history, not necessarily because of the way he lived, but because of the cause for which he offered his life. Saint Lawrence sacrificed everything for the promise of eternal life. He died for Christ. He died for Christ’s Church. He died serving God’s favored children. And his martyrdom speaks to the universal vocation of all disciples — to live and die for Jesus and to follow in his footsteps until the very end.

In a sermon for the Feast of Saint Lawrence (August 10th), Saint Augustine (354-430) says: “The garden of the Lord includes not only the roses of martyrs, but also the lilies of virgins, the ivy of married people, and the violets of widows. There are no human beings, beloved friends, who should despair of their vocation.” Everyone has a place in the life of the Church. Everyone has a job in the Lord’s vineyard. Everyone is called to a unique mission. Some are called to holy orders. Some are called to religious life. Some are called to married life. Some are called to the single life. And all are called to live the Gospel, share God’s love, and build up the Church.

According to Saint Augustine, to fulfill our vocation is to follow Christ with heart and soul and with every fiber of our being. It takes humility, docility to God’s Word, and a willingness to serve and perhaps even suffer for the sake of others. We may not be called to martyrdom. We may not be remembered as saints. We may not be remembered at all. But in the end, with God’s grace, we will run the course, accomplish our mission, and join the angels and saints in the choir of heaven. So with Saint Lawrence, we cry out with confidence: “I worship my God! I serve God alone! I am not afraid!” Saint Lawrence, pray for us! Saint Lawrence, pray for the Church! Saint Lawrence, pray for our suffering world!

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

CCGR Weekly Newsletter (8-7-22)
Bringing Home the Word (8-7-22)
The Kids Bulletin (8-7-22)


Call to Prayer
A Prayer to Saint Lawrence
Feast Day – Wednesday, August 10th

O Saint Lawrence,
as a patron of the poor among us,
we ask you to pray for those in need,
so that God’s love
and the love of the meek,
humble and generous people
who help them, may inspire
and transform many lives.

All good and loving God,
we pray that you may save the Church
from the catastrophic ruin caused
by greed and envy.
Protect the Church
so that your work on earth
of serving the poor
and feeding bodies, minds,
and souls may continue without end.

Lord Jesus Christ,
we hope to join you in heaven
with those we served upon this earth,
where together with the choir
of angels and saints,
we may forever sing your praise.

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.
Saint Lawrence, pray for us!

Listen: Saint of the Day – Saint Lawrence


Saints of Summer
Mini-Retreat Series
Continues Thursday, August 11th

Saint Clare of Assisi

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
Listen Now!

Saints of Summer 3
Our Lady of the Angels — Leaning In

Assisi Project Podcast
Coming Soon!

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


Holy Family Women’s Guild
Summer Pie Sale
Saturday, August 13th

The Holy Family Women’s Guild is hosting a Summer Pie Sale on Saturday, August 13th before and after the 4:00pm Vigil Mass in Saint Ann Church. And we need your help! Donations of your favorite summer pies are most welcome! All proceeds go directly to Holy Family Parish. If your or your family is able to bake or donate any type of pie, please contact Jane Marshall at 978-283- 5111 or Cecilia Gray at 978-281-2072.

Established in 2005, the Holy Family Women’s Guild brings together women of all ages and backgrounds in prayer, fellowship, and service to our parish and the wider community. New members and volunteers are always welcome! For more information about the Women’s Guild and its good work in our parish, please contact Arlene Lesch at arlene.lesch@outlook.com or leave a message at 978-271-4820. Thank you in advance for your generous and ongoing support for Holy Family Parish! 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!

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 Teresa Casimaro