This Week’s Message
Easter Exercises

By Kathleen M. Basi

During the Easter Season, anything seems possible. The triumph of life over death and heaven over hell seems to resound throughout a world poised on the cusp of spring. But it is hard to hold on to the euphoria of resurrection for fifty days. White lilies fade and are discreetly removed from the altar while the rush of baseball and soccer starts. As the planet spins from one day to the next, we get caught up in ordinary life until one day that newness of purpose is gone altogether.

Faith is like a muscle. It is healthier when exercised. In the years after the resurrection, the Church flourished because Christianity was not just something you did on Sundays and holidays. It was something radical — something so powerful, so threatening to the establishment that claiming it could get you fed to wild animals. That kind of commitment changes what you do and think and say every day.

You and I will probably never face execution for our beliefs, but the reality of the resurrection should still impact the way we live, not just on the holy day itself, but throughout the Easter Season and beyond. It should illuminate what endeavors are worthwhile and which are not. It should challenge us to temper our anger and expand our willingness to sacrifice for others.

Nobody needs a longer to-do list. But living the faith does not require commitments of epic proportions. Imagine what could happen if every one of us celebrated the fifty days of Easter by doing one thing each day to grow, demonstrate, or share our faith. It does not have to be earth shattering in importance. It just needs to be real.

Set aside five minutes for quiet, contemplative prayer. Count to ten before reacting to that inflammatory tweet. Dig into the mystery of death and resurrection with your children (or grandchildren). Read the Acts of the Apostles and figure out one concrete way that you can imitate their fervor in the context of your life. Read a book about the saints. Pick up that fast-food bag blowing around the mall parking lot. Send a donation to a crisis pregnancy center. Buy a can of coffee and deliver it to a homeless shelter.

Doing one small thing every day may not change the world, but it will change us. Our souls and bodies are made to work in harmony to reflect God’s image. Our actions shape our inner reality. The more we act as Christ would have us act, the more our view of the world reflects him. In short, by doing as God does, we become more like God. And that can change the world!

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 Brining Home the Word, a weekly e-newsletter that features suggestions for prayer and reflection at home.

CCGR Weekly Newsletter (4-16-23)
Bringing Home the Word (4-16-23)
The Kids Bulletin (4-16-23)


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

Eternal Father,
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 Let’s pray together! All are invited! All are welcome!

Watch: Chaplet of Divine Mercy


Holy Family Women’s Guild
Spring Garage Sale
Saturday, April 22nd

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 Spring Garage Sale on Saturday, April 22nd from 9:00am until 1:00pm in the courtyard behind Saint Ann Church. All proceeds will support Holy Family Parish.

Come and browse and buy our selection of arts and crafts, home décor, household items, small furniture, and cool vintage stuff! If necessary, the rain date for our garage sale is Saturday, April 29th from 9:00am until 1:00pm. For more information about the Women’s Guild and its good work in our parish, please contact Arlene Lesch at New members and volunteers are always welcome! Thank you for your generous support!


Call to Prayer
Storming Heaven
April 28th-April 30th

In a recent interview, Pope Francis said: “The devil tries to attack everyone without distinction, and he tries above all to strike those who have responsibilities in the Church or in society. Even Jesus suffered temptations from the devil…Even the pope is attacked by the evil one.” The Holy Father then explained that the most effective way to combat this darkness is prayer. He said: “We are human beings and [the devil] always tries to attack us. It is painful, but in the face of prayer, he has no chance!”

During the coming weeks, we may hear about a large gathering of satanists in Boston on the last weekend of this month. In response, Bishop Mark O’Connell, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Boston, has called all Catholics to confront this serious spiritual danger with prayer and vigilance (not with protests and demonstrations). Bishop Mark has also called us to be watchful for attempts to vandalize, gain access to our church buildings, steal or otherwise compromise the integrity of the Holy Eucharist.

In response to this spiritual challenge, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport invites our friends, fellow parishioners, and all people of goodwill to join us in prayer and devotion beginning on Friday Morning, April 28th and concluding on Sunday Evening, April 30th. Here’s our schedule for this special weekend of prayer:

Friday, April 28th

  • Rosary at 7:30am
  • Mass at 8:00am
  • Daytime Prayer & Rosary at 12:00pm
  • Daytime Prayer & Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3:00pm
  • Evening Prayer & Rosary with Adoration at 6:00pm
  • Our Lady of Good Voyage Church

Saturday, April 29th

  • Morning Prayer & Rosary at 9:00am
  • Daytime Prayer & Rosary at 12:00pm
  • Eucharistic Adoration & Rosary at 3:00pm in Saint Ann Church
  • Eucharistic Adoration & Rosary at 5:00pm in Our Lady’s Church
  • Regular Vigil Mass Schedule

Sunday, April 30th

  • Regular Sunday Mass Schedule
  • Evening Prayer & Rosary with Adoration at 6:00pm
  • Our Lady of Good Voyage Church

For more information about this important weekend of prayer, please contact Father Jim at We hope and pray that you and your family will be able to join us for all or part of this important weekend of prayer and devotion! Let’s storm heaven with our prayers! All are welcome!


Holy Family Women’s Guild
Kentucky Derby Celebration
Monday, May 1st

All friends and fellow parishioners are invited to join the Holy Family Women’s Guild for a Kentucky Derby Celebration on Monday, May 1st beginning at 6:30pm in Our Lady’s Hall! We will be serving a light supper of pulled pork sandwiches, coleslaw, and dessert! A donation of $10 per person is requested! Please also wear your fancy hats and bring some cash to bet on the races! Please RSVP no later than April 28th by contacting Lydia Bertolino at

Established in 2005, the Holy Family Women’s Guild brings together women of all ages and backgrounds in prayer, fellowship, and service to our parish and the wid- er community. Throughout the year, the Women’s Guild sponsors social gatherings and fundraising events includ- ing our seasonal bake sales and the Christmas Fair. For more information about the Holy Family Women’s Guild and its good work in our parish, please contact Arlene Lesch at Please join us! New friends, members, and volunteers are always welcome!


Living the Gospel
First Holy Communion
Begins Saturday, May 6th

As Roman Catholics, we believe that the Holy Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life (CCC 1324).” We believe that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ. And like Pope Francis, we believe in our hearts: “The Eucharist is essential for us. It is Christ who wishes to enter into our lives and fill us with his grace. The Eucharist, although it is the fulness of sacramental life, is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak (EG 47).” In this spirit, sixty-three children in youth faith formation program are now ready to receive the Body and Blood of the Risen Jesus for the first time. As our annual celebrations of First Holy Communion approach, all are encouraged to be mindful of our upcoming schedule:

  • Sain Ann Church
    Saturday, May 6th & May 13th
    4:00pm Mass
  • Saint Joachim Church Sunday, May 14th
    10:00am Mass
  • Our Lady of Good Voyage
    Sunday, May 7th, May 14th & May 21st
    11:45am Mass

If your child, grandchild, or godchild has completed the second grade but has not received the Sacraments of Baptism and-or First Holy Communion, we have a special program of preparation just for them! It’s called The Way for Kids! Beginning on Saturday, April 29th from 4:30pm until 5:45pm in Our Lady’s School, Betsy Works and a team of volunteers will lead a four week series of workshops for young disciples. After each workshop, the children and their families will attend our 6:00pm Mass. For more information about The Way for Kids, please contact Betsy Works at As we make final preparations for First Holy Communion, please pray for all of our young disciples and their families! Peace, blessings, and congratulations to all!

Watch: Sacrament of Holy Eucharist (1 Minute)


Red Cross Blood Drive
Thursday, April 20th

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

God loves those who find joy in giving. — Saint John Paul II

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 Tom Latoff