This Week’s Message
Ascend a High Mountain

By Pope Francis

The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke all recount the episode of the Transfiguration of Jesus. There we see the Lord’s response to the failure of his disciples to understand him. Shortly before, there had been a real clash between the Master and Simon Peter, who after professing his faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, rejected his prediction of the passion and the cross. Jesus had rebuked him firmly: “Get behind me, Satan! You are a scandal to me, because you do not think according to God, but according to men (Matthew 16:23)!” Six days later, “Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John his brother and led them away to a high mountain (Matthew 17:1).”

The Gospel of the Transfiguration is proclaimed every year on the Second Sunday of Lent. During this liturgical season, the Lord takes us with him to a place apart. While our ordinary commitments compel us to remain in our usual places and are often repetitive and sometimes boring, we are invited during Lent to ascend a “high mountain” in the company of Jesus and live a particular experience of spiritual discipline, an ascesis, as God’s holy people.

Lenten penance is a commitment, sustained by grace, to overcome our lack of faith and our resistance to following Jesus on the way of the cross. This is precisely what Peter and the other disciples needed to do. To deepen our knowledge of the Master, to fully understand and embrace the mystery of salvation, accomplished by total self-giving inspired by love, we must allow ourselves to be taken aside by the Lord and detach ourselves from vanity and mediocrity. We need to set out on the journey, an uphill path that like a mountain trek, requires effort, sacrifice, and concentration…

In his retreat on Mount Tabor, Jesus takes with him three disciples, chosen to be witnesses of a unique event. He wants this experience of grace to be shared, not solitary, just as our whole life of faith is an experience that is shared. For it is in togetherness that we follow Jesus. Together, too, as a pilgrim church in time, we experience the liturgical year and Lent within it, walking alongside those whom the Lord has placed among us as fellow travelers…

And so we come to its culmination. The Gospel relates that Jesus “was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light (Matthew 17:2).” This is the summit, the goal of the journey. At the end of their ascent, as they stand on the mountain heights with Jesus, the three disciples are given the grace of seeing him in glory, resplendent in supernatural light. That light did not come from without, but radiated from the Lord himself. The divine beauty of this vision was incomparably greater than all the efforts the disciples made in the ascent of Mount Tabor. During any strenuous mountain trek, we must keep our eyes firmly fixed on the path, and yet the panorama that opens up at the end amazes and rewards us with its grandeur…

Dear Brothers and sisters, may the Holy Spirit inspire and sustain us this Lent in our ascent with Jesus, so that we may experience his divine splendor and then, confirmed in faith, persevere in our journey together with him, glory of his people, and light of the nations.

Note: This essay is excerpted from the Holy Father’s Message for Lent 2023.

Watch: The Pope Video (March 2023)
CCGR Weekly Newsletter (3-5-23)
Bringing Home the Word (3-5-23)
The Kids Bulletin (3-5-23)

Art Credit: Photo 265468034 © Bernardo Ramonfaur – Dreamstime


Prayers for Pope Francis
10th Anniversary Vigil
Friday, March 10th

On March 13, 2013, Pope Francis appeared on the balcony of Saint Peter’s Basilica and blessed God’s people for the first time as Bishop of Rome and Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. He said: “Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world so that there may be a great sense of fraternity among us!”

At the close of every event since then, the Holy Father has begged his audience: “Please pray for me!” As Pope Francis celebrates his tenth anniversary, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport joins with parishes, religious orders, and people of goodwill around the world in praying for his good health and ongoing ministry.

Pope Francis often preaches about love, peace, mercy, and healing; and he routinely speaks about God’s style of closeness, compassion, and tenderness. In this spirit, all are invited to join us in a 10th Anniversary Vigil of Prayer for Pope Francis on Friday, March 10th beginning with Mass at 8:00am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church.

After Mass, our vigil will continue with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and the Healing Rosary. This unique version of the Rosary will be offered for the Holy Father’s intentions and for all who need healing in our parishes. The Healing Rosary is rooted in the sacred scriptures and was created by Father Thomas Connery as a way to pray for peace, healing, and reconciliation.

Our Lady of Good Voyage Church will be open throughout the morning for silent prayer and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Our vigil will conclude with a second praying of the Healing Rosary at 11:15am, followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. For more information about this special Vigil of Prayer for Pope Francis, please contact Cliff Garvey at Copies of the Healing Rosary are available for purchase. Spread the Word! Bring a friend! All are invited! All are welcome!

Learn More: Vatican News Service


Who Do You Say I Am?
Lent Bible Study & Retreat
March 19th-March 22nd

Each year, the Season of Lent invites us to turn back to the Lord with hearts, minds, and souls renewed by our prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Our prayer during Lent should include daily reading of the sacred scriptures during Mass or with assistance from a prayer book, spiritual director, or some other worthy resource. Sacred scripture is the Holy Word of God that continues to speak and reveal God’s love and mercy to a sick and suffering world. This year during Lent, the Church offers us three Sunday Gospel passages that feature life changing encounters with Jesus:

  • The Woman at the Well (John 4:5-42)
  • The Man Born Blind (John 9:1-41)
  • The Raising of Lazarus (John 11:1-45)

These gospel encounters manifest Jesus’s power to heal those who seek him; and how he satisfies hearts that long for God’s amazing grace, forgiveness, and reconciliation in their lives. Our study will include a brief introduction to each passage; an exegesis (or explanation) of each passage from various disciplines and perspectives; and a reflection on how each passage affects our daily lives — especially during Lent.

All are invited to join Father Jim for a four-night Lent Bible Study & Retreat beginning on Sunday, March 19th in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Each evening will begin with Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours at 6:00pm. After this period of shared prayer, Father Jim will offer a reflection on Jesus as the Living Water; Jesus as the Light of the World; and Jesus as the Life & Resurrection. Each evening will include time for questions and faith sharing; and will conclude with Night Prayer.

Our Lent Bible Study & Retreat will conclude on Wednesday, March 22nd with the Holy Rosary at 5:00pm and Holy Mass at 5:30pm, followed by Eucharistic Adoration and the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) for those who feel called to participate. We will be blessed to welcome guest priests to assist with confessions. This program is free to all! Copies of the Catholic Prayer Bible will be available for a $30 donation to support our adult and youth faith formation programs. For more information about our Lent Bible Study & Retreat, please contact Father Jim at Spread the word! Bring a friend! Please join us for all or even just part of the retreat! All are invited! All are welcome!

Listen: Sharing the Word


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

Lent is a season for prayer, fasting, and almsgiving; a time to grow closer to Christ, to the Church, and to each other; and a moment to begin, renew, or restart our spiritual journeys with the Poor Christ. The Holy Eucharist 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 receive Holy Communion in accordance with a personal examination of conscience and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. During Lent, we also gather together in prayer 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

Solemnity of Saint Patrick
Patron of the Archdiocese of Boston

  • Friday, March 17th
  • Rosary at 5:00pm
  • Mass at 6:00pm
  • Our Lady of Good Voyage Church

Always Available


Our Lady’s Guild
Bakeless Bake Sale
Month of March

Our Lady’s Guild is sponsoring a Bakeless Bake Sale dur- ing the Month of March! Why? Because now more than ever, our beloved home parish needs your support, espe- cially because of rising gas and electricity bills! Every small donation makes a big difference! Checks should be made payable to Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. Any and all donations should be mailed to:

Jean Madruga
Our Lady’s Guild
8 Sunrise Court Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930

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 like this one. For more information about Our Lady’s Guild and its good work in our parish, please contact Beth Fosberry at or leave a message at 978-281-4820. New members are always welcome! Thank you for your support!


The Assisi Project
We’re Praying for You!

Founded in 2007, the Assisi Project is a Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit with members, friends, and followers around the world. We are dedicated to helping believers of all ages more faithfully live the Good News of Jesus through the inspiration and intercession of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi. Members of the Assisi Project, ranging in age from 14 to 97, pray each day for those who ask for our prayers. If you would like our fellowship to pray for you, your family, or your special intention, please contact Cliff Garvey at

During Lent, the Assisi Project is offering unique online resources for prayer and reflection:

For more information about the Assisi Project and its good work in our parishes, please see Father Jim or contact Cliff. New members are always welcome! Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us! Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us! Our Lady of the Angels, pray for us! May the Lord give you peace!

Learn More: The Assisi Project


Red Cross Blood Drive
Friday, March 17th

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

We must give alms. Charity wins souls.
Saint Angela Merici

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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In Memory of Domenic Ciolino