By Brother Patrick
In Chapter 21 of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus speaks to the crowd following his triumphant arrival in Jerusalem. He drives the money changers from the temple. He admonishes his followers to pray for what they need because God hears and answers all prayers. He defends himself against the elders who question his authority. He then offers moral guidance in the form of parables.
In Chapter 22, Jesus shares another parable about the Kingdom of God being open to all people. He encourages us to pay our taxes, but to remain ever-mindful of God’s will and to obey it. He speaks about the promise of resurrection. He commands the people to love God and love neighbor above all else. He then baffles his interrogators with an answer to their question about the relationship between God, King David, and himself.
In Chapter 23:1-12, which is proclaimed this weekend at Mass, Jesus continues to address his disciples and the gathered people, but his admonitions are directed squarely at the Pharisees. These are members of an ancient religious order who are well known for their strict observance of laws and traditions. The Pharisees are also known for their claims of sanctity and moral superiority. Although the Pharisees are not all bad, Jesus of Nazareth is clearly annoyed by their scrupulosity and their obsession with the rules and regulations of religious faith.
Although Jesus advises the people to follow their rules and customs, he also exhorts them not to act like the Pharisees. Jesus regards them as haughty, high and mighty, and all too eager to promote their own piety. He says that they love honors, titles, and recognition. Worst of all, Jesus accuses the Pharisees of not practicing what they preach. He believes that they are hypocrites.
So what does Jesus want from the Pharisees? What does he want from us? Well, Jesus calls us to service and humility. He calls us to love God and love our neighbor through simple acts of kindness and generosity. He calls us to care for the needs of others without seeking reward or recompense. He calls us to pray with words that are clear and plainspoken. He calls us to worship from the heart, from the core of our being, without calling attention to ourselves, without calling attention to how we worship. He calls us to be more concerned about the content of our faith rather than the trappings of our faith.
In the Letter to the Faithful, Saint Francis of Assisi writes: “We must not be wise and prudent according to the world, but instead, we must be simple, humble, and pure. We must never desire to be above others, but instead, we must be servants and subjects to every human creature for God’s own sake.” After all, it is for God’s sake and for the salvation of souls, including our own, that we gather to live the Gospel, share God’s love, and build up the Church. It is not about how pious we appear, but how we respond concretely—in thought, word, and deed to the universal call to holiness.
Custom is good. Tradition is good. Rules are necessary. Structure is necessary. At the same time, what lives in our hearts is equally important. Kindness is essential. Empathy is essential. Humility is essential. Compassion is essential. Generosity is essential. Mutual respect and understanding are essential. After all, Jesus says: “The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself (or herself) will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself (or herself) will be exalted (Matthew 21:11-12).” May we join the ranks of the humbled and exalted. So be it. Amen. Amen.
Brother Patrick Garvey
Associate Minister & Diocesan Hermit
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Month of All Souls
Masses of Remembrance
Begins Saturday, November 4th
During November, the Month of All Souls, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport will celebrate Masses of Remembrance for friends, family members, and fellow parishioners whose funerals were celebrated in our parishes during the past year.
Mass of Remembrance I
Saturday, November 4th at 4:00pm
Saint Ann Church
Mass of Remembrance II
Sunday, November 5th at 11:45am
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
Mass of Remembrance III
Sunday, November 19th at 10:00am
Saint Joachim Church
For more information about the Solemnity of All Saints and the Month of All Souls in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Save the dates! Bring your family! All are invited! All are welcome!
Our Lady of Good Voyage
Our Lady’s Guild
Monday, November 6th
Our Lady’s Guild will gather on Monday, November 6th at 6:30pm in Our Lady’s Hall. After a business meeting, we’ll share a fun game of Left-Right-Center, so remember to bring your one dollar bills! For more information about Our Lady’s Guild and its good work in our parish, please contact Beth Fosberry at email@example.com. Join us! New members are always 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 fried dough will be served. Loaves of sweetbread will also be available for sale. After filling up on a delicious breakfast, all are welcome to browse our yard sale table and take a chance on various raffles. For more information, please contact Beth Fosberry at firstname.lastname@example.org. Save the date! Spread the word! All are welcome!
Welcome Father Augustin
November 11th & 12th
Next weekend, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport will be blessed to welcome Father Augustin Vondou, who is currently administrator of Saint Anne Parish in Salem. Father Augustin hails from the Republic of Cameroon and moved here ten years ago to further his theological studies. Since then, he has earned a Master’s Degree in Theology and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from Boston College; and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Theology & Ethics from Loyola University in Chicago.
Father Augustin will celebrate all Masses next weekend and he will share his experiences with Saint Andrew’s School in Ngong, Cameroon, which he founded in 2012 to provide a quality education for poor children in his home country. For more information about Saint Andrew’s School, click the link below.
In support of this important ministry, Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish will have a special second collection at all Masses on November 11th and November 12th. As always, your generous support will be much appreciated. On behalf of our pastoral team and all fellow parishioners, it is my honor to welcome Father Augustin to the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport! Peace and blessings to all! — Father Jim
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Our Annual Retreat
My God & My All!
Reflections on Discipleship
November 12th 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: Reflections 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 Practical Holiness: Pope Francis as Spiritual Companion by Father Albert Haase, 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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com. Thank you for your support!
Holy Family Parish
Cemetery Baskets & Kissing Balls
Now Accepting Orders!
As part of our Annual Christmas Fair, the Holy Family Women’s Guild is working again with Cressey & Sons in Rowley to offer for sale both Christmas Cemetery Baskets and Christmas Kissing Balls! Each log-shaped basket is $30 each and decorated 15-inch kissing balls are $35 each. Orders are now being gratefully accepted through Sunday, November 12th! All proceeds support Holy Family Parish! For more information or to place an order, please call Cecelia Gray at 978-281-2072 or Jane Marshall at 978- 283-5111. Thank you for your support! God bless you!
Safe & Easy Electronic Giving
The righteous are always generous (Psalm 37:26)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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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