By Cliff Garvey
Although I have never met Roman, I consider him a good friend. He is a devoted husband, father, and son to his elderly parents. He is a man of deep faith and prayer. And he is a talented artist and iconographer. Since the beginning of Russia’s lawless invasion of Ukraine more than fifteen months ago, Roman and his family have been living under almost impossible conditions. For a while, they left their home in Kyiv City and sheltered somewhere in the Carpathian Mountains. Now back in Kyiv, they endure an almost constant barrage of frightening sounds — bombs, gunfire, and air raid sirens.
In the midst of this ongoing hardship, Roman continues to create beautiful icons for the world. During the past year, he has painted (or written) a collection of truly compelling images of the Lord, the Blessed Mother, and the saints. Roman admits that it sometimes difficult to concentrate on his work, especially given the needs and fears of his family and friends. He says: “It is difficult to live in such danger and uncertainty, but the time for life is not chosen.” Despite the many hardships, Roman and his family somehow carry on.
Last fall, Roman and his family were driving toward what would soon be the epicenter of a series of rocket explosions. Twenty short minutes saved them from what could have been a deadly encounter with the enemy’s murderous weapons. Shortly before Christmas, the family returned to Kyiv. They reasoned that both the city’s school system and missile defense system were better than in the mountains. By then, Roman and his family understood in a practical way the hard truth of the scriptures: “Lord, you have allotted me a short span of days; my life is nothing in your sight; human existence is a mere breath (Psalm 39:6).”
A few months ago, Roman was slow in responding to a message about an icon of the Risen Jesus that he was writing for me. When he finally wrote back, he apologized for the delay and wrote about what was becoming part of his family’s daily routine. Roman writes: “Yesterday there was an air raid siren four or five times. At such moments, we have to go to the bomb shelter and pray, or not go to the bomb shelter and pray even harder, or hope for the prayers of good people.” In your kindness, please pray for Roman, his wife Oleksandra, and their children, Myron, Tryfon, Ustyna, and Martyna.
Despite the tribulation of war, Roman and his family remain filled with faith, hope, and love. They live in a fearsome present and still plan for a brighter future. In his messages, Roman suggests that the war and its resulting uncertainty have brought them closer together. They worry less about petty problems and disputes because they see so clearly the immensity of the challenges facing them and their beloved country. He writes: “So we are cheerful in hope of God’s mercy!”
Just this morning, Roman sent a photo of the newly completed icon of the Resurrection of Christ (see cover). Dressed in white and surrounded by gold stars and emanations, Jesus emerges from an almond shaped halo (called a mandorla), floats above, and seems to transcend the drab desert of our long suffering world. He opens his arms and offers and embrace to those who long for peace, safety, and stability in their lives. And he seems to say, as Roman says, be cheerful in hope of God’s mercy! May the Risen Lord bring us peace!
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Call to Prayer
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within your wounds, conceal me.
Do not permit me to be parted from you.
From the evil foe, protect me.
At the hour of my death, call me.
And bid me come to you,
to praise you with all your saints
for ever and ever. Amen.
O Good and Gentle Jesus,
I kneel before you,
and with all the fervor of my soul,
I pray that you engrave within my heart
lively sentiments of faith, hope, and love,
true repentance for my sins,
and a firm purpose of amendment.
While I see and ponder your five wounds
with great affection and sorrow in my soul,
I have before my eyes those words of yours
that David prophesied about you:
“They have pierced my hands and feet;
I can count all my bones.” Amen.
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.
Words of Wisdom from Pope Francis
When we receive the Eucharist…
Jesus knows that we are sinners;
he knows that we make mistakes,
but he does not give up on joining his life to ours.
He knows that we need it,
because the Eucharist is not the reward of saints,
but the bread of sinners.
This is why he exhorts us:
Do not be afraid! Take and eat (6-6-21)!
End of Fiscal Year Fundraising
Every Donation Makes a Difference
As we enter the final weeks of the fiscal year, all friends, neighbors, and fellow parishioners of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are encouraged to prayerfully consider a gift to the Grand Annual Collection at Holy Family Parish or the Pastor’s Challenge at Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish (to ensure that we are able to replace the front steps of the church).
Holy Family Parish
Grand Annual Collection
Goal — $75,000
Raised — $67,499
Need — $7,501
Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish
Front Steps Restoration
Goal — $35,000
Raised — $23,345
Need — $11,665
Our weekly offerings and these special fundraising campaigns are essential components of our parish budgets; and they are both vitally important to the financial stability of our beloved home parishes. We simply must reach our goals by the end of the fiscal year on June 30th!
Donation envelopes are available at the entrances of our churches and upon request from the parish office. During the coming weeks, let’s pray together that each of us, according to our means, will give generously to these fundraising campaigns! Every donation, large or small, can make a big difference! Please help us!
For more information about how you, your family, or your business can help ensure that our parishes end the year with balanced budgets and enough funding to repair and maintain our historic church buildings, please remember that you are always welcome to contact me. Thank you for your ongoing and generous support!
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Special Message of Thanks
Saint Anthony of Padua once said: “Charity is the soul of faith. It gives it life. Without love, faith dies.” As we continue to celebrate our shared history as a community united in prayer, fellowship, and service, the godly virtues of faith, hope, and love are very much alive and well here in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport!
Needless to say, it is impossible to thank each person who helps to make our home parishes such special places. It is also difficult to thank each person who made the Crowning Feast of the Holy Spirit such a prayerful and inspiring week in the life of Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish.
So, let us pray in heartfelt thanksgiving for Our Lady’s Guild and the Holy Name Society for all of their hard work and support during Crowning Week. In a special way, we thank Julia Garcia and her family; along with our dedicated team of sweet bread bakers and every volunteer who helped make this year’s feast so successful.
As we begin our ninth year together, we pray and give thanks for every one of our fellow parishioners who enriches our lives and the lives of our parishes with a kind word, good deed, or helping hand. Let us raise our hearts and voices in prayer that the Holy Spirit will inspire us each and every day to live the Gospel, share God’s love, and rebuild the Church.
If you and your family are not yet registered as parishioners at Holy Family Parish or Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, please be sure to contact me at email@example.com. Every person who joins for prayer and worship is truly a gift from heaven. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome! Always! Peace, blessings, and sincere thanks to all! — Father Jim
Saint Peter’s Novena
Call to Prayer & Devotion
Begins Monday, June 12th
In prayerful anticipation of the 96th Annual Saint Peter’s Fiesta, all friends, neighbors, and fellow parishioners are invited to pray the Nine Day Novena to Saint Peter from Monday, June 12th through Tuesday, June 20th at 7:00pm in the American Legion Hall which is located at 8 Washington Street in Gloucester. This beautiful tradition affords us an opportunity to offer our prayers and petitions for the intercession of Saint Peter, Apostle of the Apostles and Patron of Fishermen. For more information about this special event, please contact Joe Novello at 978-283-4367. Save the dates! Spread the word! Please join us! All are welcome!
Saint Peter’s Fiesta
Outdoor Mass & Procession
Sunday, June 25th
This year, Saint Peter’s Fiesta runs from Wednesday, June 21st through Sunday, June 25th. All are invited to join Father Jim and Father Anthony Luongo of Ave Maria Parish in Lynnfield for an outdoor celebration of Holy Mass on Sunday, June 25th at 10:00am at Saint Peter’s Square in Gloucester. After Mass, all are welcome to join friends and fellow parishioners for the procession through the streets of our beloved city.
Trailers are still available for groups, families, and individuals who wish to participate in the procession with a religious-themed float in celebration of Saint Peter’s Fiesta. For more information about the 96th Saint Peter’s Fiesta, please contact Rose Aiello at 978-283-1664. Spread the word! Bring a friend! Please join us! All are welcome! Viva San Pietro!
The Assisi Project
Saints for All Seasons 2023
Begins Saturday, July 1st
Summer is a good time of year to step back from the business and busyness of daily life and focus on our relationships with Jesus and those we are called to love. Unfortunately, few among us are able to leave behind home, work, and family for a real retreat from the responsibilities of the world. For this reason, the Assisi Project is pleased to announce a special series of summertime mini-retreats called Saints for All Seasons.
Throughout his long priestly ministry, Pope Francis has called people of all ages and backgrounds to learn about and pray with the saints. The Holy Father believes in his heart that the saints bring us closer to Christ, closer to the Church, and closer to each other. He says: “The saints are still here, not far from us; and their images [and relics] in our churches evoke the ‘cloud of witnesses’ that always surrounds us (cf Hebrews 12:1)…The saints remind us that even in our lives, however weak and marked by sin, holiness can unfold (4-7-21).”
In this spirit of unfolding holiness, all are invited to join us in July, August, and September for a series of two-hour mini-retreats. These mornings of prayer, reflection, and adoration will focus on the lives of three amazing saints: Saint Veronica Giuliani, Saint Mary Major, and Saint Teresa of Calcutta. Each mini-retreat will begin with the celebration of Holy Mass at 8:00am in Saint Anthony Chapel in Gloucester, Massachusetts. After Mass, Father Jim and-or Cliff Garvey will offer a reflection on the life, inspiration, and veneration of a saint whose life of holiness has inspired men and women all around the world. There will be time for questions and faith sharing, too.
After our reflection and discussion, we will pray in silent adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and in veneration of the holy relics of each saint of the day. At 9:30am, we will conclude our time together by praying the Holy Rosary followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Here’s our summer schedule of mini-retreats:
Saint Veronica Giuliani
Saturday, July 1st
Begins with Mass at 8:00am
Saint Anthony Chapel
Saint Mary Major
Saturday, August 5th
Begins with Mass at 8:00am
Saint Anthony Chapel
Saint Teresa of Calcutta
Saturday, September 2nd
Begins with Mass at 8:00am
Saint Anthony Chapel
We hope and pray that you and your family will be able to join us for all or even just part of this special series in celebration of the saints! For more information, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Save the dates! Bring a friend! All are invited! All are welcome! May the Lord give you peace!
Safe & Easy Electronic Giving
Do not grow tired of doing good. — Pope Francis
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 email@example.com. 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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