This Week’s Message
Strong in Faith

By Cliff Garvey

Every Tuesday, the scripture reading for Night Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours is from the First Letter of Saint Peter. It reads: “Be calm but vigilant, because your enemy the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, strong in faith (1 Peter 5:8-9).” At the end of a long day, as we prepare for a much-needed rest, the reality of the darkness that stalks us is frightening. We can only shudder at the thought of it.

However we name it or understand it, evil is frightening. We may refer to it as the devil, the darkness, the tempter, or the evil one. Or we may understand it as the unholy force that lures us away from God, from holiness, from those we are called to love, and from all that is good, true, and beautiful in our world. Ever the realist, Pope Francis confirms that the darkness is real. He writes: “We should not think of the devil as a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech, or an idea. This mistake would lead us to let down our guard, to grow careless, and end up more vulnerable. The devil does not need to possess us. He poisons us with the venom of hatred, desolation, envy, and vice. When we let down our guard, he takes ad- vantage of it and destroys our lives, our families, and our communities (GE 161).”

The darkness, then, is clever, insidious, and malicious. It is a cancer that grows and spreads and tangles itself around the heart of a person — believers and non-believers alike. It can take something good and corrupt it, twist it, and use it as a weapon of vice and temptation. It is pride, anger, lust, envy, greed, gluttony, and sloth. It is hatred. It is division. It is ugliness. It is violence. And we should never ever doubt its cruel intentions.

If Christ Jesus is the perfect fulfillment of God’s holiness on earth and in the heavens, then the darkness is the Lord’s antithesis. If Jesus leads the way to holiness, then the darkness leads the way to hell and eternal emptiness. If Jesus teaches us how to love, the darkness teaches us to hate. If Jesus teaches how to be holy, then the darkness tricks us into being all things unholy. The darkness loves our fear, our anger, and our ambivalence. The darkness loves our laziness, our vanity, and our indifference. The darkness loves our over-confidence, our self-promotion, and our going-through-the motions. It drools over our refusal to distinguish truth from fiction, right from wrong, good from evil. It lusts after our souls.

At the same time, Saint Peter advises us to be calm and vigilant because the Lord provides us with many powerful weapons with which to confront and defeat the darkness: Prayer. Scripture. Holy Rosary. Holy Eucharist. Eucharistic Adoration. Penance & Reconciliation. Acts of love, kindness, fraternity, and generosity. Warm and welcoming communities. And a shared commitment to live the Gospel and share God’s love and mercy.

Pope Francis says: “The cultivation of all that is good, progress in the spiritual life, and growth in love [for God and neighbor] are the best counterbalance to evil (GE 163).” In this way, we should never underestimate the power of these instruments of God’s love and peace. We also should never underestimate the need for a calm vigilance in guarding the gates of our hearts, minds, and motivations; and in keeping watch over our thoughts, words, and deeds. So we join together — strong in faith and united in prayer, fellowship, and service — to resist the darkness and share the Light of Christ with our sick and suffering world.

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

CCGR Weekly Newsletter (11-6-22)
Bringing Home the Word (11-6-22)
The Kids Bulletin (11-6-22)


Call to Prayer
Praying with Pope Francis

A Prayer to Mary: Mother of the Church & Mother of All Peoples

Mother, help our faith!
Open our ears to hear God’s word
and to recognize his voice and his call.

Mother, help our faith!
Awaken in us a desire to follow in his footsteps,
to go forth from our own land
and to receive his promise.

Mother, help our faith!
Help us to be touched by his love,
so that we may touch him in faith.
Help us to entrust ourselves fully to him
and to believe in his love,
especially during times of trial,
beneath the shadow of the cross,
when our faith is called to mature.

Mother, help our faith!
Sow in our faith the joy of the Risen One.
Remind us that those who believe are never alone.

Mother, help our faith!
Teach us to see all things with the eyes of Jesus,
so that he may be a light for our path.
And may this light of faith always increase in us,
until the dawn of that undying day
which is Christ himself,
your Son, our Lord! Amen!

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.

Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us!
Mary, Mother of Our Faith, pray for us!

Watch: The Pope Video – November 2022


Month of All Souls
Masses of Remembrance

All are invited to join us for the celebration of Holy Mass on the Commemoration of All Souls, Wednesday, November 2nd, at 5:30pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. During November, the Month of All Souls, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport will also celebrate three Masses of Remembrance for friends, families, and fellow parishioners whose funerals were celebrated in our parishes during the past year:

  • Mass of Remembrance I
    Saturday, November 5th at 4:00pm
    Saint Ann Church
  • Mass of Remembrance II
    Sunday, November 13th at 11:45am
    Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
  • Mass of Remembrance III
    Sunday, November 20th at 10:00am
    Saint Joachim Church

For more information about the Month of All Souls in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Father Jim at frjim@ccgronline.com. Please join us! Bring a friend! Bring your family! All are invited! All are welcome!

Learn More: Commemoration of All Souls


Call to Prayer
A Prayer for Veterans Day
Friday, November 11th

In 1945, Raymond Weeks, a World War II veteran from Birmingham, Alabama, petitioned General Dwight D. Eisenhower to support the idea of expanding Armistice Day to commemorate the sacrifice and service of all veterans. Nine years later, President Eisenhower signed a bill into law that established what we know now as Veterans Day. For the next four decades, Mr. Weeks led the nation’s annual salute to all who serve their country in uniform. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan called him the “Father of Veterans Day.” This year, as our country honors and thanks all of its veterans for their courage and commitment, let us pray for them, for their families, and for our beloved but divided country.

God of peace,
we pray for those who served our nation
and laid down their lives
to protect and defend our freedoms.

We pray for those who fought,
whose spirits and bodies are scarred by war,
whose nights are haunted by memories,
too painful for the light of day.

We pray for those who serve now,
especially men and women in harm’s way.
Shield them from danger
and bring them safely home.

Turn the hearts and minds
of our leaders and our enemies
to the work of justice
and a harvest of lasting peace.
Spare the poor, Lord, spare the poor!

May the peace you left us,
the peace you gave us,
be the peace that sustains us,
the peace that saves us.
Merciful Jesus, hear us! Amen!

Read & Reflect: Saint Francis & Our Veterans


Our Lady of Good Voyage
Yard Sale with Fried Dough & Sweet Bread
Saturday, November 12th

All friends, neighbors, and fellow parishioners of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish for a Fall Yard Sale with Sweet Bread & Friend Dough on Saturday, November 12th from 9:00am until 12:00pm in Our Lady’s Hall. All are welcome to browse our yard sale tables for various treasures! In addition, fresh fried dough and our famous freshly-baked sweet bread will be offered for sale. We’ll also have a 50-50 raffle! All proceeds will benefit Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish!

Since 1944, Our Lady’s Guild has worked to build community among women of all ages in Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish through prayer, good works, social activities, and fundraising events. New members are always welcome. For more information about the Yard Sale or Our Lady’s Guild, please contact Beth Fosberry at jcbf33@yahoo.com or leave a message at 978-281-4820. Spread the word! Bring a friend! Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!


Holy Family Parish
Christmas Fair & Marketplace
Saturday, November 19th

All are invited to join the Holy Family Women’s Guild for our Annual Christmas Fair & Marketplace on Saturday, November 19th from 9:00am until 2:00pm at Saint Ann Church. It’s our biggest fundraiser of the year! So mark your calendar! Save the date! Please spread the word! Bring your family and friends!

In order to make this year’s fair our best ever, the Guild is calling for volunteers to help set up, work the tables, and clean up that Saturday morning. The Guild is also asking for donations from local artists, crafters, and knitters, along with donations of fresh evergreens like spruce, pine, pine cones, and holly. If you are able to help out, please call Arlene Lesch at 978-491-7543.

Established in 2005, the Holy Family Women’s Guild brings together women of all ages in prayer, fellowship, and service to our parish and the wider community. Throughout the year, the Guild sponsors various fundraising events and social gatherings, including the Christmas Fair — our largest fundraiser of the year! New members and volunteers are always welcome! For more information, please contact Arlene Lesch at arlene.lesch@outlook.com. Please join us! All are welcome!


Holy Family Parish
Christmas Fair & Marketplace
Cemetery Baskets & Kissing Balls

Mark your calendar! Save the date! The Holy Family Women’s Guild is hard at work with preparations for our Annual Christmas Fair & Marketplace on Saturday, November 19th from 9:00am until 2:00pm in Saint Ann Church! In this spirit, the Guild is working with Cressey & Sons in Rowley to Holiday Cemetery Baskets and Christmas Kissing Balls! The log-shaped baskets are $30 each and decorated fifteen-inch kissing balls are $35 each. Orders will be accepted until Monday, November 14th by calling Cecelia Gray at 978-281-2072.


Call to Discipleship
Sacrament of Baptism
Making Sharers in God’s Mission

The Sacrament of Baptism is the first of the three Sacraments of Initiation in the Roman Catholic Church. The two others are Eucharist and Confirmation. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism, we are freed from sin and reborn as children of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission (CCC 1213).” During the month of October, Father Jim baptized the following children with holy water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:

Beatrice Doane
Bodhi Hayes Isbell
Simon James Maher
Gaspar Njoroge

In the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, the Sacrament of Baptism is celebrated during any Sunday Mass at 10:00am in Saint Joachim Church; on the second Saturday of the month at 11:30am in Saint Ann Church; and on the third Saturday of the month at 11:30am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. If you would like to schedule your child’s baptism in either Holy Family Parish or Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, please contact Sheila McCarthy-Durkin at smccarthy@ccgronline.com. If you are an adult and have not been baptized and would like to prepare for the Sacraments of Initiation, please contact Cliff Garvey cgarvey@ccgronline.com. May God bless our newly baptized young disciples and their families!

Watch: Sacrament of Baptism (Short Video)


The Assisi Project
Rebuild My Church Campaign
Goal: $15,000 – So Far: $10,640

Founded in 2007, the Assisi Project is a Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit with members, friends, and followers throughout the world. Our mission is to help believers of all ages more faithfully live the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the spirit of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi.

In celebration of our 15th anniversary, we are seeking to raise $15,000 for our Rebuild My Church Campaign. Your generous gift will enable us to create a guest speakers program, offer scholarships for pilgrims and students, assist local parishes with special projects, and support our podcasts and faith formation programs.

The Assisi Project is a non-profit, tax-exempt charitable organization. You can support our ministries and programs via GoFundMe or by sending a donation to the Assisi Project, Post Office Box 3158, Gloucester, Massachusetts 01931-3158. All donations are tax-deductible. For more information, please contact Cliff Garvey at cgarvey@assisiproject.com. Thank you! May the Lord give you peace!

Learn More: The Assisi Project


Safe & Easy Electronic Giving

It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).

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 Frank Kelly