By Kathleen M. Basi
I first noticed it at Thanksgiving several years ago when everyone was posting what-I’m-thankful-for lists. Counting my blessings only seemed to underscore the sadness I was feeling on behalf of the multitudes whose lives consisted of suffering: refugees, sick children, communities torn apart by racism, and worlds blown apart by gunfire and suicide bombs. I felt powerless, and at the same time, deeply aware that I really was not trying very hard to make a difference, especially considering how much I have been given.
Opening ourselves to joy also sensitizes us to sorrow and vice versa. The two go hand in hand. Holy Week illustrates this in a profound way. In a handful of days, we travel from the bleakest stage of the Christian journey to its most glorious. In fact, the power of the latter depends upon the apparent hopelessness of the former.
If we want to live the joy of the resurrection to the fullest, we have to be willing to shine a light on the dark underbelly of our own lives and clean up our acts. To recognize the ways in which our actions, or lack thereof, contribute to the pain of the world. We need to be willing to acknowledge that, all to often, we are part of the problem. But wait, didn’t we just spend all of Lent doing exactly that? It’s almost Easter now. Isn’t it time to move beyond pen- ance and focus on joy?
The potential for great good and for great evil resides within every heart; and the opportunity to choose comes to us every day, regardless of the season. Jesus did not endure the Way of the Cross to give us a fifty-day vacation from examining our consciences. He went through it to show us that the pathway to the fullness of life passes through pain — through dying to our sins, our selfishness, the grudges we hold, and the preconceived lenses through which we view the world and the people in it.
To grieve for the suffering of others and to acknowledge the ways in which our own failure to act can contribute to that suffering joins us to the heart of God. When we unite ourselves to the heart of God, we feel compelled to change; to act as God’s hands and feet in the world. And it is through this action that we will discover the full joy of resurrection.
About the Author: Kathleen M. Basi is a composer, essayist, musician, and disability rights activist. She is also a wife and mother of four children, one of whom lives with Down Syndrome. Kathleen is a regular contributor to Bring- ing Home the Word, an e-newsletter that features suggestions for prayer and reflection at home. A new edition is published every weekend. See link below.
Holy Family Women’s Guild
Palm Sunday Bake Sale
All friends, neighbors, and fellow parishioners of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join the Holy Family Women’s Guild for a Palm Sunday Bake Sale before and after all Weekend Masses on Saturday, April 1st and Sunday, April 2nd.
Our bake sale will feature Italian Easter Cookies and other delicious homemade treats! All proceeds will support Holy Family Parish. New bakers and volunteers are always welcome! For more information, please contact Arlene Lesch at email@example.com. Thank you in advance for your generous support!
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 fundraising events and social gatherings. New members and volunteers are always welcome! For more information, please contact Arlene Lesch at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are welcome!
Divine Mercy Sunday
A Celebration of God’s Love
Sunday, April 16th
In 2000, Saint John Paul II canonized Sister Faustina Kowalska and designated the Second Sunday of Easter as the Feast of Divine Mercy. This devotion reflects a message from Jesus that Sain Faustina shared with the world: “Humanity will never find peace until it turns with trust to Divine Mercy. This is the Easter gift that the Church receives from the Risen Christ and offers to all people.”
In this spirit, all are invited to join Father Jim and the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport for Divine Mercy Sunday on April 16th from 2:00pm until 4:00pm in Saint Ann Church. Here’s our schedule: Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at 2:00pm; Holy Rosary at 2:15pm; Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3:00pm; and Daytime Prayer & Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at 3:30pm.
A Divine Mercy Prayer
I offer you the Body and Blood,
Soul and Divinity
of your dearly beloved Son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ,
in atonement for our sins
and those of the whole world.
For the sake of his sorrowful Passion,
have mercy on us
and on the whole world.
Holy God, Holy Mighty One,
Holy Immortal One,
have mercy on us
and on the whole world. Amen.
We hope and pray that you and your family can join us for all or at least part of this special afternoon of prayer and devotion. For more information, please contact Jane Russo at email@example.com. Let’s pray together! All are invited! All are welcome!
Living the Gospel
Sacrament of Baptism
Gateway to Life in the Spirit
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 December, January, and February, Father Jim baptized the following children with holy water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
Nora Quinn Collette
Isla Monroe Danikas
Carina Mae Habecker
Logan William Kendall
Owen Lawrence Ma
Louie Anthony Marchant
Bradley Edward Robertson
Emersyn Kristine Woundy
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. May God bless our newly baptized young disciples and their families!
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 15 to 98, 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 email@example.com. May the Lord give you peace! Saint Francis and Saint Clare, pray for us!
Red Cross Blood Drive
Thursday, April 20th
Our Lady of Good Voyage Hall
1:00pm until 6:00pm
Register at redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS
Thank you for your support!
Safe & Easy Electronic Giving
Generosity enlarges the heart.
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 Paula Bolcome