SEASON OF EASTER

EASTER TRIDUUM with FATHER JIM
Watch: Easter Vigil Mass (4-3-21)
Watch: Good Friday Service (4-2-21)
Watch: Mass of the Lord’s Supper (4-1-21)

Our Pastor’s Message
We Are Blessed!

By Father Jim

Since the limited re-opening of our churches last summer, our parishes have been celebrating the Sacrament of Baptism in small ceremonies. Families contact us, make an appointment, and we gather in one of our churches — just me, the child, his or her parents and godparents, and a few invited guests. On one hand, it remains sad that the whole community cannot gather together to welcome a newly baptized child into God’s family. One the other hand, these intimate ceremonies seem more focused and more prayerful.

In recent weeks, it has occurred to me over and over again that it really does not matter whether a new disciple is baptized in a private ceremony or during a crowded Sunday Mass. The sacrament is the same. The effect is the same. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we read: “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 this spirit, by virtue of our baptisms, we are all God’s children. We are all loved. We are all blessed. This love is eternal. This blessing is forever. Saints and sinners are blessed. Young and old are blessed. Rich and poor are blessed. Citizens and non-citizens are blessed. Healthy people and sick people are blessed. Married people and single people are blessed. Gay people and straight people are blessed. All people who try their best to live a good life in this long-suffering world are blessed. We are all blessed!

One scripture scholar explains baptism in this way: “Baptism alters our past, it also alters our future. A future leading no longer to death but to life: and a new relationship with God, through Christ’s resurrection, is ours. We are members of a new race…What a joyful situation!” When we are bathed in the waters of baptism, we participate in the passion and death of Jesus. When we are lifted from those waters into the arms of our parents and godparents, we rise with Jesus into a new life. We rise into an everlasting life with the Lord (see Romans 6:3-11). We are all blessed, indeed!

Let’s be clear. Nothing and no one can reverse the miracle of our baptisms. God’s blessing is permanent. God’s love is forever. No mistake can break the baptismal bond between God and his children. No sin, sickness, or shortcoming can cut the chain of divine love, mercy, and friendship that unites us with Jesus and his family of disciples through our baptisms. No priest, no bishop, no self-righteous blogger, and no church bureaucracy can ever take it away from us. We are all very blessed, now and always!

Let’s be clear about another thing. We are all called to love God and love our neighbor. We are called to prayer and good works. We are all called to truth, beauty, and goodness. We are all called to work hard, play by the rules, and take care of ourselves, our families, and our common home. We can all do better. We should all be better. At the same time, we are all sinners. But because of our baptisms, the Risen Jesus is there when we fail, when we fall short, and when we choose to do wrong. Jesus looks upon us with love. He reaches out to us in friendship. He offers us his gift of mercy. He says to each one of us: “Arise! Rejoice and be glad! You are truly and forever blessed!”  Amen! Amen! Alleluia! Alleluia!

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

CCGR Weekly Newsletter (4-4-21)
Bringing Home the Word (4-4-21)
The Kids Bulletin (4-4-21)
Home Prayer Service

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Call to Prayer
Break Open the Tomb!
A Prayer for Easter

Lord of Easter Promise,
I live in the faith of the Resurrection,
but such is the nature of my faith
that so much of me remains entombed.
Break open the tomb!

Where I have buried my compassion,
break open the tomb!

Where I have buried my sense of mercy,
break open the tomb!

Where I have buried my humility,
break open the tomb!

Where I have buried my humanity,
break open the tomb!

Where I have buried my love for God,
break open the tomb!

Where I have buried my sense of joy,
break open the tomb!

Where I have buried my willingness to forgive,
break open the tomb!

Lord, in you I have found a savior
that no grave can withstand.
Help me to roll away the stone
and find the miracle of new life
so that I may live more fully
in your saving grace.

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.

Source: Catholic Relief Services

Pray More: CCGR Resources
Pray More: Assisi Project Resources

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Sharing God’s Love
Sanctuary Candles & Gifts

At each of our churches in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, sanctuary candles and gifts (hosts and wine) can be donated for a special intention or in memory of a friend or loved one. The requested donation for both sanctuary gifts and candles is now $25 per week. Each week, donations can be offered at:

  • Saint Ann Church
  • Saint Joachim Church
  • Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
  • New! Chapel of the Archangels

Please note that Cardinal Sean has given permission to create a Eucharistic Chapel in Our Lady of Good Voyage Rectory. The Chapel of the Archangels, dedicated to Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, is located on the first floor of the rectory. You can see the sanctuary candle from the street. In addition to their better-known patronages, Archangel Michael is venerated as a patron of the sick and suffering; Archangel Raphael is a patron of medical professionals; and Archangel Gabriel is patron of priests. We need their prayers and protection like never before!

If you would like to donate a sanctuary candle or sanctuary gifts at Saint Ann Church, Saint Joachim Church, Our Lady of Good Voyage Church, Saint Anthony Chapel, or our new Chapel of the Archangels, please contact Father Jim at frjim@ccgronline.com. Thank you for your generous support! May God bless you! Happy Easter! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Learn More: The Archangels

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Sharing God’s Love
Saint Vincent de Paul Society
Help Us Help Others!

The Saint Vincent de Paul Society is an international organization that is dedicated to responding to any request from any person or family in need. Here on Cape Ann, we work through Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish to serve the poor and needy. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, our food pantry and clothes closet remain closed. However, our service to those in need and the newly unemployed continues. Now more than ever, we need your support. Help us help others! Donations can be left at the parish office, dropped in the collection baskets at Sunday Mass, or mailed to the following address:

The Saint Vincent de Paul Society
74 Pleasant Street
Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930

For more information about the Saint Vincent de Paul Society and its good work in our parishes and hometowns, please contact Harry Miller at 978-281-8672 or Bob Weeks at svdpmember1@gmail.com. If you or your family needs assistance, please contact us at 978-281-8672. Thank you for your generous support for the Saint Vincent de Paul Society! May God bless you and your family during these uncertain times! Happy Easter! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Learn More: Saint Vincent de Paul

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The Assisi Project
Need Prayers?

Founded in 2007 by Father Jim and Cliff Garvey during their first pilgrimage to Italy, the Assisi Project is a Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit. Our mission is to help believers of all ages and backgrounds grow closer to Christ, closer to the Church, and closer to each other through the intercession, inspiration, and good example of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi. Members of the Assisi Project range in age from 13 to 95 and live in Holy Family Parish, Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, throughout the Archdiocese of Boston, and all around the world. We pray daily for those who ask for our prayers. If you would like us to pray for you or your special intention, please contact Cliff at cgarvey@ccgronline.com. May the Risen Lord give you peace! Happy Easter! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Learn More: The Assisi Project

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WeShare
Safe & Easy Electronic Giving

Electronic giving is available at both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. It is safe and simple to make online donations to your home parish using a credit cared or debit card. Donations can be made on an ongoing or one-time-only basis. And it takes just a few minutes to set up a secure personal account. For assistance or more information about this important fundraising resource for the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Father Jim at frjim@ccgronline.com. Thank you for your generous support for our parishes during these difficult times! Peace, blessings, and many thanks to all!

Support Holy Family Parish
Support Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish

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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!

Follow us on Twitter: @CCGRonline

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In Memory of Mary Mesko Garvey