By Brother Patrick
The patron saint of the Archdiocese of Boston once said: “I am Patrick, a sinner, the most unworthy and unsophisticated among all the faithful people of God.” These words have never been more true than they are in my case. Eight hundred years after Saint Patrick, Francis of Assisi said: “I have been all things unholy. If God can work through me, then he can work through anyone.” These words also have never been more true than they are in my case.
A few years after Saint Francis, Clare of Assisi wrote to a friend on the subject of one’s calling or vocation to poverty, chastity, and obedience: “What a great and praiseworthy exchange: to leave the things of time for those of eternity, to choose the things of heaven over the goods of the earth, to receive the hundred-fold in place of the one, and to possess a blessed eternal life!” We can only pray that these beautiful and challenging words will prove true in my case.
More than eight hundred years after Saint Francis and Saint Clare, another Francis who is now our pope said: “Consecrated persons are a sign of God in the different spheres of life. They are the leaven for the growth of a just and fraternal society; they are a prophecy of sharing with the little ones and the poor. Thus understood and lived, the consecrated life appears to us as it really is — a gift from God, a gift from God to the Church, a gift from God to his people! Every consecrated person is a gift for the People of God on its journey.” Only time will tell whether this poor sinner who stands among you can ever be the gift that the Holy Father promises.
In light of my recent consecration as a diocesan hermit, there are many people beyond these few who deserve special thanks. Nevertheless, my heart overflows with gratitude for Bishop Mark O’Connell and for the overwhelming support and encouragement that he has shown for me both this year and for the past seven years. My heart overflows with gratitude for Sister Germana Santos, Father William Campbell, S.J., Father Timothy Shea, and especially Father Mark Noonan for their good advice and good friendship during these long years of discernment and formation.
My heart overflows with gratitude for my parents and for their boundless love and understanding which has stretched across almost six decades of life on this earth. No child could ask for more loving and supportive parents. I love them both beyond words. My heart overflows with gratitude for Father Jim and the gifts of brotherhood and common purpose that we have shared on this long and winding road. I would not be here today if not for our pastor. He is simply the best person that I have ever known. He is a truly good, kind, and holy man.
Finally, my heart overflows with gratitude for all of you, friends and fellow parishion- ers, brothers and sisters all, who came together from around the corner and across the miles to celebrate a miraculous moment in my life. From my heart, from the core of my being, thank you! The hard part begins now. Please pray for me. Be assured of my prayers for you every day. May our prayers bring us closer to Christ, closer to the Church, and closer to each other. May God bless you! May the Lord give you peace!
Brother Patrick Garvey
Associate Minister & Diocesan Hermit
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Calling Young Disciples
Halloween Faith & Family Mass
Sunday, October 29th
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says: “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them, for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” In response to the Lord’s call, all parents, grandparents, and children of all ages are invited to join Father Jim for our second annual Halloween Faith & Family Mass on Sunday, October 29th at 11:45am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church.
Halloween is often described as a pagan holiday, but this is contrary to its true meaning and authentic origins. The word hallow actually means holy. All Hallows Eve is really a Catholic holiday with roots in both celebrating the lives of the saints and praying for the souls of our departed brothers and sisters.
At sunset on October 31st, the Catholic Church begins its celebration of the Solemnity of All Saints. So from the Vigil of All Saints on October 31st, through the Solemnity of All Saints on November 1st and the Commemoration of All Souls on November 2nd, God’s family prays with the saints and we pray for the souls of our loved ones.
Over the years, French, Irish, and English immigrants brought a variety of local Catholic customs to the United States. Dressing up in costumes for Halloween comes from France. Jack-O-Lanterns are from Ireland, where the faithful originally carved turnips, not pumpkins. And the tradition of going from door to door begging for sweets and treats was born in England, where children were given “soul cakes” in exchange for the promise to pray for the souls of departed loved ones. Eventually, these traditions came together in the American Melting Pot and became part of almost every family’s Halloween tradition.
Now it’s our turn to continue this tradition! On Sunday, October 29th at 11:45am, we will celebrate Holy Mass in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. After Mass, all are welcome to join us outside on the church lawn where our pastoral team, parish groups, and parish service organizations will offer treats to the kids! Parents and children are invited to wear costumes!
If celebrated with hearts filled with faith, Halloween can be a enjoyable and wholesome experience for your family and our entire community! It offers us an amazing opportunity to teach our children about the realities of good and evil, light and darkness, and the ultimate triumph of God’s love and mercy in our world! For more information, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com. Mark your calendar! Spread the word! Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Solemnity of All Saints
A Holy Day of Obligation
Wednesday, November 1st
Since late antiquity, the People of God have honored the holy men and women who have been canonized as saints in the Roman Catholic Church. The Solemnity of All Saints honors all saints, known and unknown, who have gone before us in faith, hope, and love; and who now pray for us and for the salvation of souls. In commemoration of this Holy Day of Obligation on Wednesday, November 1st, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport will celebrate Masses according to the following schedule:
Saint Joachim Church at 8:00am
Saint Ann Church at 12:00pm
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church at 5:30pm
A Prayer for All Saints Day
All good and gracious God,
we thank you for the example of the saints.
We desire to join their company
by worshipping you forever in heaven.
Help us to follow in their footsteps
and in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Help us to surrender ourselves to you
and to seek you in all things,
just as the saints did.
Help us devote our whole lives,
with every thought, word, deed,
to your glory and to love of neighbor.
We ask all this through Christ Jesus,
our merciful redeemer, friend, and brother,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
God forever and ever. Amen.
For more information about the Solemnity of All Saints in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! Spread the word! All are invited! All are welcome!
Our Lady of Good Voyage
Fried Dough Breakfast & Yard Sale
Saturday, November 11th
All friends, neighbors, and fellow parishioners of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish for a Fried Dough Breakfast & Fall Yard Sale on Saturday, November 11th from 9:00am until 12:00pm in Our Lady’s Hall. Coffee, tea, and our famous homemade fried dough will be served. Loaves of sweetbread will also be available for sale. After filling up on a delicious breakfast, browse our yard sale tables and take a chance on various raffles. For more information, please contact Matt Parisi at email@example.com. Save the date! Spread the word! All are invited! All are welcome!
Annual Fall Retreat
My God & My All!
A Course on Discipleship
New Dates: November 12 through November 15th
Bernard of Quintavalle was a friend of Francesco Bernadone, the saint we now know as Francis of Assisi. Bernard was also a rich and influential lawyer. Prompted by the Holy Spirit to better understand Francis and his gospel-centered life, Bernard invited his old friend home for a good meal and overnight hospitality. During the night Bernard awoke and found Francis awake and praying. He was on his knees. His hands were stretched toward heaven. And he was repeating over and over one simple prayer: “My God and my all!” Bernard was so deeply moved that he asked Francis to help him discern how to live as a true friend and disciple of Jesus Christ.
More than 800 years later, Saint Francis teaches us that discipleship is not just about having faith. It is not just about going to Mass and learning about the teachings and traditions of the Church. It is really all about loving God and loving neighbor. It is about meeting Christ in prayer and in the people we meet on life’s journey. It is about joy and suffering, prayer and action, communion and fraternity. Discipleship is ultimately about living the Gospel, sharing God’s love and mercy, and rebuilding the Church — brick by brick and soul by soul.
Pope Francis says: “Discipleship is about living close to Jesus…It is about embodying the Gospel in everyday life. It is a fire that starts another fire.” It is no accident that the Holy Spirit gave us a Holy Father who chose the name Francis; a pope who calls us back to the basics of prayer, fraternity, and good works in an increasingly troubled world. In this spirit, all are invited to join Father Jim and Brother Patrick for a four-night, in-person fall retreat called My God & My All: A Course on Discipleship from Sunday, November 12th through Wednesday, November 15th in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Here’s our retreat schedule:
Night 1: My God & My All—An Introduction
Night 2: Crucified & Joyful
Night 3: Communion & Fraternity
Night 4: Prayer & Action
Each evening of our fall retreat will begin with Evening Prayer at 6:00pm, followed by a reflection and a period of discussion and faith sharing. Each session will conclude by 7:30pm with Night Prayer. A donation of $20 per person is requested and each participant will receive a copy of The Simple Way: Meditations on the Words of Saint Francis by Father Murray Bodo, OFM. All friends and fellow parishioners of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join us for all or even just part of our retreat! If you plan to join us, please contact Brother Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org. Save the dates! Bring a friend! All are welcome! Always!
Holy Family Parish
Annual Christmas Fair
Saturday, November 18th
All friends, neighbors, and fellow parishioners of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join Holy Family Parish for our Annual Christmas Fair on Saturday, November 18th from 9:00am until 2:00pm in Saint Ann Church Hall. This year’s fair will feature many sale tables, including homemade holiday baked goods, Christmas decorations, Bea’s Raffle, and the World Famous Basket Wheel. In addition, raffle tickets are now available for cash prizes, handmade quilts, and an Apple iPad Basket.
On behalf of a grateful parish, the Holy Family Women’s Guild thanks Greely Funeral Home for the generous donation of our raffle prizes. The Women’s Guild and Christmas Fair Committee are working overtime to make this year’s fair another big success! Please support this all-important fundraising event! For more information, please contact Lydia Bertolino at email@example.com. Save the date! Spread the word! All are invited! All are welcome!
Holy Family Women’s Guild
Christmas Fair Basket Wheel
Now Accepting Donations!
Our World Famous Basket Wheel is the biggest money-maker at the biggest fundraising event of the year in Holy Family Parish! But the success of the Basket Wheel depends on donations from our friends and fellow parishioners! So, all are invited to create and donate a $25 theme basket for kids, crafts, movie nights, family nights, school snow days, holiday gift wrap, or summer barbecues. Creating a basket can be both fun and affordable when friends, neighbors, and families work together! Help us keep the Basket Wheel spinning! Donations are now being accepted! For more information, please contact Lydia Bertolino at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your support!
Safe & Easy Electronic Giving
It is in giving that we receive. — Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
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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In Memory of Walter Perry