This Week’s Message
Wide Enough

By Cliff Garvey

In this Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 13:22-3), Jesus is traveling from place to place. He is preaching the Good News that by God’s grace, bitterness becomes joy, suffering breeds compassion, and repentance leads to redemption — all for the salvation of souls. Suddenly, someone asks Jesus if the salvation he offers is reserved only for a select few.

Jesus does not directly answer this question. Instead, he offers a metaphor. He explains that many people will try to enter the kingdom of heaven through the narrow door, but will be locked out. Those poor people will cry out: “Lord, open the door for us (Luke 13:25).” But God will reply: “I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers (Luke 13:27)!” What does this mean? Are the gates of heaven closed to sinners like you and me? Is eternal life only for the saints among us? Is there any hope for any of us?

Jesus already knows each one of us through and through. He knows our thoughts. He knows about our good works. He knows about our faults and failures. He sees into our hearts. He looks deeply into the core of our being. He knows what makes us tick. So, when Jesus says “I do not know where you are from”, he is really asking us if we know what he already knows. Are we too proud of ourselves for doing good? Are we too hard on ourselves and on others? Do we love others out of obligation? Or is our love of neighbor energized by our love for God? In other words, where are we coming from?

The Catholic Church recently celebrated the Feast of Saint Clare of Assisi (1194-1253). Much of what we know about Saint Clare comes from documents related to her canonization and from her writings, especially four heartfelt letters to Agnes of Prague (1211-1282). Saint Agnes was a princess who chose a life of penance and service over one of power and privilege. In the First Letter to Agnes of Prague, Saint Clare reflects on the narrow door. She explains that our efforts to live the Gospel and imitate Christ is the narrow passage through which we might pass from this life into eternal life. Saint Clare writes approvingly of Agnes: “You have cast aside your garments and earthly riches, so that you might not be over- come by the one fighting against you [an allusion to the devil], so that you might enter the kingdom of heaven through the straight path and the narrow [door].”

For Saint Clare, Saint Francis, Saint Agnes of Prague, and so many others, this straight path and narrow door is a life of poverty, chastity, and obedience; a rejection of worldly possessions, power, and pride. For us, it may not mean the rejection of hearth and home. But it may involve a sincere detachment from the troubling effects of the material concerns of this world and a renewed focus on the spiritual things of the next. For us, the narrow door may involve an honest examination of conscience. What matters to us? What motivates us? What inspires us to do good? And what lures us into dark shadows?

God so loved the world that he sent his only son to live among us and to show us the way to eternal life. God longs to save every single one of us. Through Jesus, God reaches out to us in love, mercy, and sometimes bittersweet grace. The journey may be difficult. The road ahead may be long or short. Heaven’s gate may be narrow, but in the end, it is wide enough and welcoming enough for all of us!

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

CCGR Weekly Newsletter (8-21-22)
Bringing Home the Word (8-21-22)
The Kids Bulletin (8-21-22)


Call to Prayer
The Narrow Door

Hard Questions from Pope Francis

Am I passionate about the Gospel?
Do I read the Gospel often?
Do I carry it with me?
Does the faith I profess and celebrate
lead me to complacent tranquility,
or does it ignite the flame of witness in me?

In our communities,
does the fire of the Spirit burn
with the passion for prayer
and charity, and the joy of faith?
Or do we drag ourselves along
in weariness and habit,
with a downcast face, a lament on our lips,
and gossip every day?

Brothers and sisters,
let us examine ourselves on this,
so that we can also say, like Jesus:
we are inflamed with the fire of God’s love,
and we want to spread it around the world,
to take it to everyone,
so that each person may discover
the tenderness of the Father
and experience the joy of Jesus,
who enlarges our hearts
and makes life beautiful.

Let us pray to the Holy Virgin:
May she who welcomed the fire
of the Holy Spirit intercede for us always.

Praying for Trust in Jesus

Lord Jesus,
I desire to enter the narrow door.
I choose to follow your gentle voice
that leads me to heaven.

Help me to remain humble in this life,
shedding all that leads me
to rely upon myself.
May I instead rely only upon you,
and trust you in all things.
Lord Jesus, I trust in you. Amen.

Read: Pope Francis’ Angelus Reflection (8-14-22)


Holy Family Women’s Guild
Christmas Fair Planning Meeting
Wednesday, August 24th

Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 19th! It may still be summer, but the Holy Family Christmas Fair is coming all too soon! The Christmas Fair is the biggest fundraising event of the year! And there is much work ahead to ensure its success!

On Wednesday, August 24th at 7:00pm in Our Lady’s Hall, the Holy Family Women’s Guild is holding its first Christmas Fair Planning Meeting. Each one of us has a unique gift or talent! Let yours shine at the Christmas Fair! All friends and fellow parishioners are invited to join us in making this year’s fair our best ever!

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 how you can help us help our beloved parish, please contact Lydia Bertolino at bertolino4@msn.com; or Arlene Lesch at arlene.lesch@outlook.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!


Our Lady of Good Voyage
Summer Carillon Concerts
Friday, August 26th

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 continue on Friday, August 26th at 6:30pm (rain or shine)!

This year, Luann Pallazola, Cynthia Cafasso, and Thomas Dort have prepared programs that include familiar classical 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. Two additional concerts are scheduled for 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


Saints of Summer
Mini-Retreat Series
Saturday, September 3rd

Saint Rose of Viterbo

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 – Consumed by Love

Assisi Project Podcast
Coming Soon!

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


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 Anibal Correia