Our Pastor’s Message
Jesus, Remember Me
By Father Jim
In Sunday’s Gospel for the Solemnity of Christ the King (Luke 23:35-43), Jesus hangs on the cross. In his agony, people mock him. Soldiers jeer at him. Civic and religious authorities sneer at him. No one in the crowd seems able to hide their contempt for the itinerant preacher who had the audacity to preach the Good News of salvation. Even one of the convicted criminals hanging with him mocks and taunts him.
In the midst of this relentless ridicule, a lonely voice speaks the truth. Another criminal who hangs on a cross confesses his own guilt, speaks of the preacher’s innocence, and quietly begs him: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom (Luke 23:42).” The voice of this good and repentant thief echoes across time. It is a confession of guilt. It is a prayer for mercy. And it is an acclamation that Jesus Christ is King, with absolute authority and dominion over the souls of sinners like you and me.
One might think that Jesus has more important things on his mind than these two condemned criminals bickering back and forth. But despite his unspeakable suffering, Jesus turns to the good thief, consoles him, and makes this promise: “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise (Luke 23:43).” How sweet the sound of the Lord’s voice that saves a wretch condemned to die! A soul lost to depravity is found, forgiven, and promised eternal salvation. It is truly an amazing grace!
About this moment in salvation history, Pope Francis says: “In his kingdom, Jesus speaks only a word of forgiveness, not condemnation. Whenever anyone finds the courage to ask for his forgiveness, the Lord never lets such a prayer go unheard…Jesus’ promise to the good thief gives us great hope. It tells us that God’s grace is always greater than the prayer that seeks it. The Lord always gives more. He is so generous. He always gives more than what he has been asked. You ask him to remember you and he brings you into his kingdom (11-24-13).”
Think about it! The good thief merely asks Jesus not to forget him; and Jesus guarantees him a place in the kingdom of heaven. Jesus promises him the gift of unending joy and eternal life. The Gospel of Luke does not tell us how either thief responds, but when we pray with this passage, we can imagine that Jesus looks upon the repentant thief with eyes that speak of love and mercy; and that the good thief looks back with eyes filled with tears of gratitude. He looks back with eyes that now see clearly through the gift of faith. He looks back with eyes that see a king who suffers with his people, hears their cries for mercy, and responds with love and generosity.
To be sure, Christ the King will come again to judge the living and the dead. But his judgement is tempered by love, understanding, and tender-heartedness. Pope Francis says: “Christ…is really the brother around whom God’s people come together. He cares for his people — for all of us — even at the price of his life. In him, we are all one, one people, united with him and sharing a single journey and single destiny (11-24-13).” That destiny is the paradise promised to the good thief. It is a promise made to each one of us. And so, we look to the Poor Christ and we say: “Jesus, remember me.”
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Call to Prayer
A Meditation on Christ the King
By Cliff Garvey
Lord Jesus, you are priest,
you are prophet, you are king.
you are our priest,
the shepherd of our souls.
By your sacrifice, you feed us.
With your hand, you lead us.
Within your arms, you comfort us.
you are our prophet,
the teacher of all that is true.
By your passion, you save us.
With your blood, you redeem us.
Beneath your cross, you call us
to prayer and service.
you are our king,
the servant of all God’s children.
By your surrender, you vindicate broken lives.
With your word, you sanctify our sinful world.
Through your resurrection, you deliver us from death.
by your grace, show us the way to faith,
teach us how to hope, lead us forth in love
for all people, for all time.
you are our God and Savior,
our friend and brother,
our all good and crucified King.
You are the Christ
for ever and ever. Amen.
Celebration of Holy Mass
November 23rd & 24th
All friends, neighbors, and fellow parishioners of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to come together as God’s family for the celebration of Holy Mass in commemoration of the Thanksgiving Holiday. Here’s our worship schedule:
Wednesday, November 23rd at 5:30pm
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
Thursday, November 24th at 8:00am
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
If you are unable to be with us for Mass, please join with us in a prayerful thanksgiving for all of God’s gifts and blessings upon our community:
A Prayer for Thanksgiving
O God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry.
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless.
When I have a home,
help me to remember the homeless.
When I am free from pain,
help me to remember those who suffer.
And by remembering,
help me to destroy my complacency,
arouse my compassion,
and inspire me to lend a helping hand,
by word and deed,
to those who cry out
for what we take for granted. Amen.
On behalf of our pastoral team, we wish you and your family a blessed, safe, and very Happy Thanksgiving! Peace and blessings to all! — Father Jim
Holy Family Parish
In addition to the Christmas Fair & Marketplace, Holy Family Parish is also sponsoring a Christmas Raffle! A donation of $2 per ticket or six for $10 will buy you a chance to win these amazing prizes:
- One Cash Prize of $500
- Four Cash Prizes of $100 Blackstone
- 4 Burner Griddle ($500 Value)
Special thanks to Greely Funeral Home and the Goodhue and Sabia Families for making possible these great prizes! Raffle tickets have been mailed to every registered parish family! Please complete your tickets and return them by Friday, December 2nd. If everyone participates, we will raise $20,000 for Holy Family Parish! If you have not received your tickets or for more infor- mation about supporting Holy Family Parish, please con- tact Father Jim at 978-281-4820 or email@example.com. Thank you in advance for your generous support for Holy Family Parish and our Christmas Raffles!
Saint Vincent de Paul Society
Christmas Giving Trees
Sharing God’s Love at Christmas
The Saint Vincent de Paul Society is once again sponsor- ing the Christmas Giving Trees in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport! During the weekend of November 19th and 20th, the Giving Trees will be located at the entrances of our three churches; and each tree will be decorated with stars that include a special Christmas wish for a child or family in need. If you can make this wish come true, then please take the star!
Every donated gift should be new, unused, unwrapped, and placed back under a Giving Tree no later than Sunday, December 4th. For more information, please contact Lori Thorstensen at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a mes- sage at 978-281-4820. During the coming Season of Advent, let’s work together to share God’s love with local families who need our help! Thank you for your generous support! May God bless us, everyone!
Madonna del Rosario Society
Thursday, December 1st
All are invited to join the Madonna del Rosario Society for a Christmas Celebration & Luncheon on Thursday, December 1st at the Elks Club at Bass Rocks (located at 101 Atlantic Road in Gloucester). Our celebration will begin with a brief business meeting at 12:00pm, followed by lunch (prime rib or baked haddock). Tickets are $20 per person for members; and $70 per guest.
All tickets must be purchased by Monday, November 21st and no walk-ins are allowed by the Elks Club. For more information about this special event or the good work of the Madonna del Rosario Society in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Jolene at 978-435-1116; Marie at 978-283-7820; or Grace at 978-283-8133. Spread the word! Please join us! Bring a friend! All are invited! All are welcome!
The Assisi Project
Rebuild My Church Campaign
Goal: $15,000 – So Far: $13,295
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 email@example.com. Thank you! May the Lord give you peace!
Safe & Easy Electronic Giving
Give and it will be given to you (Luke 6:38)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your generous support for our parishes! May God bless you and your family, now and always!
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!
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In Memory of Jay Arcari