Our Pastor’s Message
An Exquisite Kindness

By Father Jim

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says: “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (Matthew 16:18-19).”

With these words, the Lord makes four bold statements. First, he declares that Peter, a poor fisherman, will preside over the group of apostles whose faith will soon spread all around the world. Second, Jesus promises that this fledgling church will eventually triumph over every agent of darkness — over every doubt, every demon, every division, and every assault on the Good News. Third, Jesus gives to Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven. In the sacred scriptures, keys symbolize authority and responsibility — the authority and responsibility to teach, preach, and act as good stewards of the community’s resources. In this way, Jesus endows Peter (and those who will follow him) with a mandate to shepherd his flock.

Finally, the Lord assures Peter that the decisions he makes will be binding and absolute. We know, however, that the Good Shepherd does not empower Peter and the apostles to bully and browbeat his little sheep. He expects them to lead by example. He expects them to lead with love, mercy, and kindness — all in service to others. In the words of Saint Francis of Assisi, Jesus expects Peter “to heal wounds, to bind what is broken, and to bring home those who are lost.” After all, it is in this passage that we find the scriptural foundation for the Sacrament of Penance & Reconciliation.

So, how are we to judge our church leaders? How are you to judge me, your pastor? How are you to judge our pastoral team? As is so often the case, Pope Francis shows us the way. In 2013, just weeks into his pontificate, the Holy Father said: “Be shepherds with the odor of sheep. Make it real. Be shepherds among your flock and fishers of men (3-28-13).” Over and over again since then, the pope warns priests, bishops, and lay ministers against intellectualizing the faith and against preaching over the heads of God’s people.

Pope Francis instead encourages us to look into your eyes and speak to your hearts about how the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus can change your life and save your soul. He encourages us to speak plainly about the saints, both as good examples and as intercessors who can inspire us to do good and love our neighbors. He encourages us to live with you, laugh with you, cry with you, ever mindful of the sacred responsibility of celebrating the sacraments and carrying the keys of the kingdom with love and humility.

Last week, Luca Ray Sartu, a twenty-four year old man from Italy died from an infection that he contracted during a recent pilgrimage to Portugal. Luca was one of more than one million young adults who joined the Holy Father in Lisbon for World Youth Day. Luca and the pope did not meet, but when the pope learned of the young man’s death, he called his mother. In an interview with the Vatican News Service, Mrs. Sartu said: “He was moved with me. He cried with me. Above all, he was like a father. He comforted me as if he were my father. When you see the pope, please thank him for his exquisite kindness.” This, it seems to me, is the ultimate fulfillment of the Lord’s gospel promise to Peter — the power of exquisite kindness.

Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Contact: frjim@ccgronline.com

CCGR Weekly Newsletter (8-27-23)
Bringing Home the Word (8-27-23)
The Kids Bulletin (8-27-23)


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

Friday, September 1st at 6:30pm

Mark your calendars! Save the dates! A much-loved summer tradition continues this week at Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish and the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport! Our Summer Carillon Concerts conclude on Friday, September 1st 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.

Our final concert of the season is scheduled for Friday, September 1st at 6:30pm (rain or shine). For more information about this special event, please contact Luann Pallazola at lpallazola@gmail.com. Spread the word! All are invited! All are welcome! Please join us!

Read: GDT Coverage of OLGV Carillon Concerts


The Assisi Project
Saints for All Seasons
Summer Mini-Retreat

Saturday, September 2nd at 8:00am

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 and for the second straight year, 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. After Mass, Father Jim and-or Cliff Garvey will offer a reflection on the life 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 each reflection, 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 by praying the Holy Rosary and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Here’s our upcoming schedule:

True Image – Saint Veronica Giuliani
An Assisi Project Podcast
Listen Now!

Mother & Protector – Saint Mary Major
An Assisi Project Podcast
Listen Now!

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 which was so popular last summer! For more information, please contact Cliff Garvey at cgarvey@ccgronline.com. Save the dates! Spread the word! Bring a friend! All are invited! All are welcome!

Learn More: The Assisi Project


Call to Worship
Mother of Grace Club
Annual Mass & Benediction

Friday, September 8th at 8:00am

The Mother of Grace Club invites all members, friends, and fellow parishioners within and beyond the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport to join us for our Annual Mass in Honor of the Nativity of the Blessed Mother on Friday, September 8th at 8:00am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Following Mass, we will pray the Holy Rosary during a period of Eucharistic Adoration; and we will conclude with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. For more information about this special morning of prayer and devotion, please contact Margherita at 978-281-0012. Please join us! Bring a friend! All are invited! All are welcome!

A Prayer for the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

All good and gracious God,
give your chosen people
your help and strength.
The birth of the Virgin Mary’s son
was the dawn of our salvation.
May our celebration of her nativity
bring us closer to lasting peace,
and may the virtues that she models
develop in our lives
so that we may love you
and our neighbors more perfectly.
Grant this prayer
through Mary’s Beloved Son,
who is Christ Jesus, our Savior.
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.

Learn More: Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary


The Assisi Project
We’re Praying for You!

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!

The Assisi Project – Our Daily Prayers


Safe & Easy Electronic Giving

Good will comes to those who are generous — Psalm 112:5

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!

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In Memory of Maria Alice Pata