Our Pastor’s Message
One True Need

By Father Jim

This weekend’s responsorial psalm is well-known to those who pray with the Liturgy of the Hours. Psalm 51 (often called the Miserere which translates from Latin as Have Mercy) is offered on Friday mornings and sets the tone for reflecting on the Passion of Christ. Psalm 51 is one of the seven penitential psalms by which we express our sorrow for our sins and ask God for mercy.

The text of the psalm is inspired by an incident in the Old Testament’s Second Book of Samuel. King David commits adultery with Bathsheba and covers it up by ordering the murder of her husband. When confronted by the Prophet Nathan, David does not deny his sins. He does not turn away from God. Instead, he humbles himself by falling to his knees and praying for God’s mercy. The psalm illustrates the profound truth that the Lord will forgive any sin for which we are sorry and beg forgiveness.

Pope Francis says that Psalm 51 expresses humankind’s “true need” for God’s mercy. He says: “The only thing that we truly need in our lives is that of being forgiven, freed from evil and from its consequence of death.” According to the Holy Father, our true need for forgiveness requires not just sorrow for our sins, but also trust in the power of divine mercy. He says: “God is greater than our sin…His love is an ocean in which we can im- merse ourselves without fear of being overcome. For God, forgiving means giving us the certainty that he never abandons us. However our heart may admonish us, God is still and always greater than everything because God is greater than any of our sins (3-13-16).”

God can forgive any sin because God’s mercy can heal any wound caused by any sin. God’s amazing grace can save every wretch, restore sight to the blind, shed light into the darkest corners, and lead every soul to their eternal rest. Like King David, who first sings the Miserere, we are called to trust in God; to trust in God’s boundless love; and to trust in God’s effective mercy as the medicine to heal the wounds that we inflict upon ourselves, our families, friends, and neighbors, and our sick and suffering world.

As Catholics, we are blessed by the Sacrament of Reconciliation which gives God’s mercy form and substance in the prayer of absolution that the priest offers every sincere peni- tent. Within and beyond the confessional, we also can seek God’s forgiveness through prayer and good works. We can offer the Lord’s Prayer and live it by forgiving those who trespass against us. We can humble ourselves by making amends with those we have hurt by our words and actions. We can beg for mercy with penitential prayers like Psalm 51.

Pope Francis says: “When a child falls, what does he do? He raises his hand to mom or dad so they can help him up. Let us do the same! If out of weakness, you fall into sin, raise your hand! The Lord will take it and help you up. This is the dignity of God’s forgiveness! The dignity that God’s forgiveness offers us is that of lifting us up and setting us back on our feet, because he created men and women to stand on our own two feet (3-13- 16).” During Lent and always, let us raise our hands, open our hearts, and cry out: “Have mercy on me, O God, in your kindness. In your compassion, blot out my offense. O wash me more and more from my guilt and cleanse me from my sin (Psalm 51:1-2).” Amen!

Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport

CCGR Weekly Newsletter (2-26-23)
Bringing Home the Word (2-26-23)
The Kids Bulletin (2-26-03)

Art Credit: Photo 178011964 © Sulit Photos – Dreamstime


Call to Prayer
Psalm 51

Be Merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned!

Have mercy on me, O God, in your kindness.
In your compassion, blot out my offense.
O wash me more and more from my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin.

My offenses, truly I know them;
my sin is always before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned;
what is evil in your sight I have done.

That you may be justified
when you give sentence
and be without reproach when you judge.
O see, in guilt I was born,
a sinner was I conceived.

Indeed you love truth in the heart;
then in the secret of my heart, teach me wisdom.
O purify me, then I shall be clean;
O wash me, I shall be whiter than snow.

Make me hear rejoicing and gladness
that the bones you have crushed may revive.
From my sins turn away your face
and blot out all of my guilt.

A pure heart create for me, O God,
put a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
nor deprive me of your holy spirit.

Give me again the joy of your help:
with a spirit of fervor sustain me,
that I may teach transgressors your ways
and sinners may return to you.

O rescue me, God, my helper,
and my tongue shall ring out your goodness.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

For in sacrifice you take no delight,
burnt offering from me you would refuse,
my sacrifice, a contrite spirit,
a humbled contrite heart you will not spurn.

In your goodness, show favor to Zion:
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Then you will be pleased with lawful sacrifice,
holocausts offered on your altar.

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.

Listen: Psalm 51 – Choir of Westminister Abbey


Calling Young Disciples
Lent Faith & Family Mass
Sunday, February 26th

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says: “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs (Matthew 9:14).” In response to the Lord’s urgent call, all children, parents, grandparents, godparents, and guardians are invited to join Father Jim for our Annual Lent Faith & Family Mass on Sunday, February 26th at 11:45am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church.

During Mass, Father Jim will offer a special homily about the Season of Lent, along with a blessing for all families with children. In addition, because Lent is a season for prayer, penance, and almsgiving, all families will be encouraged to help our pastor raise $1,000 for the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, a service organization in our parishes that provides food, clothing, and financial assistance to local families in need.

Also, please save the date for our Mother’s Day Faith & Family Mass on Saturday, May 13th at 4:00pm in Saint Ann Church. For more information about youth faith formation in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Betsy Works at Mass is our class! Jesus is our Teacher! Every child is a precious gift from God! Every family is welcome to join us! Please join us!


The Assisi Project
My God & My All!
A Course on Discipleship

New! Prayer & Action
New Day! Saturday, April 1st at 8:00am

Bernard of Quintavalle was a friend of Francesco Bernadone, the man who we now know as Saint Francis of Assisi. Prompted by the Holy Spirit to better understand Francis and his gospel-centered life, Bernard invited Francis for a hot meal and overnight stay at his house. During the night, Bernard awoke and found Francis praying. He was on his knees. His hands were raised toward heaven. And he repeated again and again: “My God and my all!” Bernard was so deeply moved that he asked Francis to help him learn to live as a true disciple of Christ. He ultimately became the first follower of the Poor Man of Assisi.

More than 800 years later, Saint Francis of Assisi still teaches us that discipleship is not just about the gift of faith. It is not just about coming to church or memorizing a catechism. It is really about loving God and loving neighbor. It is about meeting Christ in prayer and in the people we encounter along life’s journey. And it is about joy and suffering, communion and fraternity, prayer and action. Ultimately, it is about living the Gospel, sharing God’s love, and rebuilding the Church.

In this spirit, all are invited to join Father Jim, Cliff Garvey, and the Assisi Project for the final session of My God & My All!: A Course on Discipleship on Saturday, April 1st beginning with Mass at 8:00am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. After Mass, we will reflect together on how Saint Francis and Pope Francis bring their shared faith to life through both prayer and action. Your questions, comments, and faith sharing are all essential components of our course and discussion!

For more information about the Assisi Project and its good work in our parishes, please contact Cliff at Even if you have missed previous sessions of our course on discipleship, please join us for this important conversation about discipleship in the modern world! Spread the word! Bring a friend! All are invited! All are welcome! May the Lord give you peace!

Learn More: The Assisi Project


Sharing God’s Love
Weekday Worship During Lent
Let’s Pray Together!

In the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, the celebration of Holy Mass is the wellspring of our community’s joy and the guiding light of our shared life of prayer, fellowship, and service. All are welcome to join us for Mass and to receive Holy Communion in accordance with a personal examination of conscience and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. During the Holy Season of Lent, we also pray together throughout the week.

The Light Is On For You!

  • Wednesday Evenings
  • Rosary at 5:00pm
  • Mass at 5:30pm
  • Followed by Eucharistic Adoration & Confession
  • Last Confession at 6:45pm
  • Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
  • Guide to Making a Good Confession

Weekday Mass Schedule

  • Thursday & Friday Mornings
  • Rosary at 7:30am
  • Mass at 8:00am
  • Our Lady of Good Voyage Church

The Way of the Cross

  • Fridays at 3:00pm
  • Our Lady of Good Voyage Church

First Saturday of the Month

  • Rosary at 7:30am
  • Mass at 8:00am
  • Followed by the Assisi Project
  • Our Lady of Good Voyage Church

Always Available


Holy Family Women’s Guild
Bakeless Bake Sale
Now Underway!

The Holy Family Women’s Guild is sponsoring a Bakeless Bake Sale during the Month of February! Why? Because now more than ever, our beloved home parish needs your support — especially because of rising gas and electricity bills! Every small donation makes a big difference! All donations can be mailed to:

Lydia Bertolino
Holy Family Women’s Guild
10 Orchard Street
Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930

Established in 2005, the Holy Family Women’s Guild brings together women of all ages in prayer, fellowship, and service to our parish and wider community. New members are always welcome! For more information about the Holy Family Women’s Guild and its good work in our parish, please contact Arlene Lesch at Thank you for supporting Holy Family Parish! May God bless you and your family!


Saint Vincent de Paul Society
Help Us Help Others

The Saint Vincent de Paul Society is an international organization that is dedicated to responding to any request from any person or family in need. Here on Cape Ann, we work through Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish to serve the poor and the needy. Help us help others! Due to the rising costs of food, clothing, and utilities, we need your support more than ever! Donations can be pushed through the mail slot in the parish office, dropped in the collection basket at any Weekend Mass, or mailed to:

Saint Vincent de Paul Society
74 Pleasant Street
Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930

New members and volunteers are always welcome! For more information about the Saint Vincent de Paul Society and its good work in our parishes and hometowns, please contact Harry Miller at 978-281-8672 or Robert Weeks at If you or someone you know needs our help, please call 978-281-8672. Thank you for your generous support for the Saint Vincent de Paul Society! May God bless you!


Red Cross Blood Drive
Tuesday, February 28th

Our Lady of Good Voyage Hall
1:00pm until 6:00pm
Register at or call 1-800-RED-CROSS
Thank you for your support!


Safe & Easy Electronic Giving

Contribute to the needs of the saints.
Romans 12:13

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 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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