This Week’s Message
The Real Content of Our Lives

By Cliff Garvey

During the past year, I have been blessed by several opportunities to visit with an old and dear friend who has had a huge impact on my life. We have known each other for more than two decades and our discussions have always centered on prayer, mysticism, and discerning what God calls us to be and do with this one life that we are blessed to live.

When we met, I was just finding my way in the world and my friend was preparing to retire. Despite an age difference of more than thirty years, our conversations came easily. Even though our personal spiritualities are different, we came to understand and appreciate how the other person prayed, related to, and thought about God. So many years after our first meeting, I can always count on my friend to be generous with time, to be a good listener, and to help me figure things out on my own.

When I last visited my friend, I noticed a small cross and placard on a side table. The cross was simple, crafted from unfinished wood. It was placed on top of a small card. Upon the card were printed the following words in just this way:

To stand
before the face of God
continues to be
the real content
of our lives.

Although I cannot find an attribution, my friend assures me that the quotation comes from the writings of Edith Stein (1891-1942), the German philosopher who converted from Judaism to Christianity, then found her vocation as a nun in the Order of the Discalced Carmelites, where she took the name of Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross in 1933. Concerned for her safety in the midst of the growing Nazi threat, the Carmelites transferred Sister Teresa Benedicta to the Netherlands, where she taught philosophy to both novices and lay students.

In 1940, Germany invaded the Netherlands. Two years later, on August 2, 1942, the Nazis arrested all of the Jewish converts who were living there, including Sister Teresa Benedicta and her sister, Rosa, who was an extern sister with the Carmelites. On August 7th, nearly 1,000 Jewish converts, all baptized Christians, were deported to Auschwitz. On August 9th, Sister Teresa Benedicta and her sister died in a gas chamber. Fifty-five years later, Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross was canonized by Pope John Paul II. The Catholic Church celebrates her feast day on the memorial of her death, and she is venerated as a patron of orphans, converts, martyrs, and the countries of Europe.

My friend recently told me that those words on the little card have been central to his spiritual journey for almost twenty years. To be still and reflect on the reality that God is ever- present in our lives is both simple and profound. To consider these words in their fullness is both soul-stirring and mind-blowing. At a time when so many seek to complicate our shared faith, it is good to consider that our ultimate calling is to be open and attentive to God’s presence in our lives and to reach back to the God who is always reaching out to us. It is good to remember that our relationship with God is truly and forever the real content of our lives.

Cliff Garvey
Associate Minister
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Contact: cgarvey@ccgronline.com

CCGR Weekly Newsletter (8-6-23)
Bringing Home the Word (8-6-23)
The Kids Bulletin (8-6-23)


Call to Prayer
Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
Feast Day – August 9th

A Prayer for the Intercession of Saint Teresa Benedicta

Dear Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross,
Child of the Day of Atonement Daughter of Abraham,
Bride of Christ,
Seeker of Truth,
Scholar of the Church,
Handmaid of Our Lady of Mount Carmel,
Servant of the Suffering Servant,
Presence of Mercy,
Victim of victimizer,
Embracer of the Cross Christlike Love,
Martyr of Auschwitz,
Imitator of Jesus,
Conqueror of Evil,
Friend of God,
please pray for us,
please pray for our intentions!
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.

A Prayer by Saint Teresa Benedicta

O my God,
fill my soul with holy joy,
courage, and strength to serve you.

Enkindle your love in me
and then walk with me
along the next stretch of road before me.

I do not see very far ahead,
but when I have arrived
where the horizon now closes down,
a new prospect will open before me
and I shall meet it with peace. Amen.

Saint Edith Stein, pray for us!
Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, pray for us!
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us!

Saint of the Day – Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross


The Gift of Music
Our Lady of Good Voyage
Summer Carillon Concerts

Begins Friday, August 11th! 

Mark your calendars! Save the dates! A much-loved summer tradition returns next month to Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish and the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport! Our Summer Carillon Concerts will begin on Friday, August 11th at 6:30pm (rain or shine)!

This year, Luann Pallazola, Cynthia Cafasso, and Thomas Dort have prepared programs that include familiar classical and international pieces, popular hymns and songs, patriotic melodies, and selections especially for children!

Installed in 1922, the carillon bells in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church were the first toned set in the United States. The carillon’s thirty-one bronze bells hang from a steel beam within the bell-shaped west tower. Our bells range in weight from 16 pounds to 3,000 pounds.

The carillon bells at Our Lady of Good Voyage were forged by the Taylor Foundry in Loughboro, England. In order to avoid import taxes upon their arrival in Gloucester, the church was declared a bonded warehouse by the Collector of Customs in Boston, who happened to be a friend of the local congressman. Soon after, a bill declaring them “works of art” was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Warren G. Harding.

Although the bells can be heard from blocks away, the sound is always best near our church. This year, Our Lady’s Guild will be selling cold drinks, snacks, and even Super Raffle tickets to support our parish. Our Summer Carillon Concerts are a great opportunity for the whole family to gather with friends, neighbors, and fellow parishioners to enjoy the gift of music.

Additional concerts are scheduled for Friday, August 18th at 6:30pm; Friday, August 25th at 6:30pm; and Friday, September 1st at 6:30pm. For more information, please contact Luann Pallazola at lpallazola@gmail.com. Spread the word! All are invited! All are welcome!


Call to Worship
Solemnity of the Assumption
Tuesday, August 15th

A Holy Day of Obligation

Since the fifth century, God’s faithful people have believed that upon her passing from this life, the Blessed Virgin Mary was raised body and soul into heaven. This ancient tradition, however, was not defined as an official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church until 1950. In celebration of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport will celebrated Mass according to the following schedule:

Saint Joachim Church at 8:00am
Saint Ann Church at 12:00pm
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church at 6:00pm

For more information, please see Father Jim before or after Mass; or please feel welcome to contact him at frjim@ccgronline.com. Please join us! Bring a friend! All are invited! All are welcome! Saint Ann, pray for us! Saint Joachim, pray for us! Saint Anthony, pray for us! Saint Peter, pray for us! Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us! Our Lady of Good Voyage, pray for us! Our Lady of the Angels, pray for us! Our Lady of the Assumption, pray for us!

Saint of the Day – Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary


Sharing God’s Love
Sacrament of Baptism
Basis of the Whole Christian Life

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).” In July, Father Jim baptized the following young disciples in our parishes:

Bennett Shane Bick
Zachary Chad Biron
David Owen Coghlan
Palmer Ann Destino
Jared Manny Genao-Agosto
Callan Christopher Horne
Ethan Scott Johnson
Madison Rea Manzi
Briley Jordan Toppi
Adelaide Triscari
Sophia Triscari
Gabriella Trupiano

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. For more information about baptizing your child in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Sheila McCarthy-Durkin at smccarthy@ccgronline.com. Peace, blessings, and congratulations to all!

Learn More: Sacrament of Baptism (Video)


The Assisi Project
We Pray for You Every Day!

Founded in 2007 by Father Jim and Cliff Garvey, 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 and backgrounds 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 99, pray each day for those who ask for our prayers. If you would like our fellowship to pray for your or your special intention, please contact Cliff at cgarvey@ccgronline.com. 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!

Assisi Project – Our Daily Prayers


Safe & Easy Electronic Giving

Do good and share with others. — Hebrews 13:16

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 frjim@ccgronline.com. 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!

This Week’s Homepage
In Memory of William & Grace Budrow