By Father Jim
On the subject of vocations, Pope Francis once said: “All of us are called to share in Christ’s mission to reunite fragmented humanity and reconcile it with God. Each man and woman, even before encountering Christ and embracing the Christian faith, receives with the gift of life a fundamental calling.” In this spirit, the Roman Catholic Church embraces a variety of vocations: diaconate, priesthood, single life, married life, religious life, and consecrated life.
Each of these callings is precious in God’s eyes; and each one deserves our prayers, respect, and support. Within the state of consecrated life, there are consecrated virgins (women) and diocesan hermits (men and women). Although hermits, anchorites, and solitaries have existed since the earliest centuries of Church history, the vocation to the eremitic life was not codified in Canon Law until 1983.
In the Code of Canon Law, we read: “The Church recognizes the eremitic or anchoritic life by which the Christian faithful devote their life to the praise of God and the salvation of the world through a stricter withdrawal from the world, the silence of solitude, and assiduous prayer and penance. A hermit is recognized in the law as one dedicated to God in the Consecrated Life if he or she publicly professes the three evangelical counsels, confirmed by vow or other sacred bond, in the hands of the diocesan bishop and observes his or her own plan of life under his direction (Canon 603).”
For the past decade, Cliff Garvey has been discerning a vocation to the eremitic life. And for much of the past year, Cliff has been engaged in a rigorous program of formation under the direction of Bishop Mark O’Connell, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Boston, Sister Germana Santos, Delegate for Religious Life, and Father William Campbell, SJ. Cliff’s formation has included a thorough exploration of the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience; thoughtful consideration of the challenge of pursuing silence and solitude in a busy world; and prayerful creation of a rule of life.
With the personal support and approval of Cardinal Sean O’Malley, I am now delighted to report that Bishop Mark will consecrate Cliff as a Diocesan Hermit on Tuesday, October 3rd at 5:00pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. During this Consecration Mass, Cliff will take perpetual vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience; promise to live in a way that prioritizes silence and solitude; and pray each day for the rest of his life for us and for the intentions of the Archdiocese of Boston.
This consecration is no small thing. Cliff will continue with all of his duties as an associate minister in our parishes. At the moment of his consecration, however, Cliff will also become a religious brother and join the men and women around the world who are called to live in prayer, penance, and soli- tude. His vocation will be symbolized by a Tau ring and cross. He will also take on the name and title of Brother Patrick to remind him and us that he is a person whose life is now consecrated by the Church and wholly dedicated to living more simply, more quietly, and more prayerfully.
I hope that you will be able to join us for Brother Patrick’s Consecration Mass on Tuesday, October 3rd. After Mass, all are invited to break bread with us at a free catered supper in Our Lady’s Hall. If you plan to dine with us, please contact me at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome! If you wish to celebrate this special occasion with a gift, please make any checks payable to the Assisi Project. Finally, if you have any questions about the eremitic life, please do not hesitate to talk with Cliff. Ask him anything! As Cliff’s special day approaches, we pray for him, for each other, and for all who need our prayers. Peace and blessings to all!
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Call to Prayer
A Prayer for Discernment
Almighty God and Father,
you know that I scarcely know
what is good for me,
but now I am discerning
about a new chapter in my life.
How will I know
that this is the right way for me
unless you guide me by your grace?
Lord, show me the way forward,
so that I do not follow my own path,
and come only to grief and tears.
Lead me forth and hold me close,
so that what I choose will be your will.
If this plan is good in your sight,
bless me and bring it to fulfillment.
If it is not, then remove from my heart
all desire and planning for it.
Lord, you know all things.
Nothing is concealed from you.
I am your servant.
Show me the way, treat me as you wish,
because I will never have peace
unless I join myself to your holy will.
Lord, teach me to say at all times:
‘Your will be done, not mine.’
For yours is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory,
both now and forever. Amen.
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.
Pastor’s Note – As part of Cliff Garvey’s discernment of a vocation to the eremitic life, he regularly prayed with this ancient prayer that comes from the Coptic tradition through the desert mothers and fathers of the Early Church. As we pray for Cliff, let us also pray for our own individual discernment.
Youth Faith Formation
Faith & Family Masses
Begins Sunday, September 24th
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 (Matthew 9:14).” In response to the Lord’s call, all children, parents, grandparents, godparents, and guardians are invited to join Father Jim and the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport for our Monthly Faith & Family Mass!
One weekend each month during the school year, Father Jim will offer a special homily especially for families with children and a special blessing for all of God’s children and their parents and families. In addition, every child will receive a small gift to encourage them on their journey of faith. Here’s our upcoming schedule:
- Fall Faith & Family Mass
Sunday September 24th at 11:45am
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
- All Saints Faith & Family Mass
Sunday, October 29th at 11:45am
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
- Christ the King Faith & Family Mass
Sunday, November 26th at 11:45am
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
- Advent Faith & Family Mass
Sunday, December 3rd at 11:45am
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
For more information, please see Father Jim or contact Betsy Works, Associate Minister for Youth Faith Formation at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope and pray that you and your family will be able to join us for our Monthly Faith & Family Masses! Mass is our class! Jesus is our teacher! Every child is precious gift from God! Every family is invited to join us! Spread the word! Bring a friend! Bring your family! All are invited! All are welcome! Always!
Adult Faith Formation
Sacramental Preparation for Adults
Begins Sunday, October 1st at 8:15am
“The Way” was the among the earliest names for the followers of the Risen Christ. The Way also appears as a biblical reference for the earliest Christian communities in the Acts of the Apostles. In addition, tradition teaches that both before and after his conversion, Saint Paul referred to the disciples of Christ as part of the Way. More than two thousand years later, Catholic Christians are still part of the Way of Jesus Christ. But as we all know, a life of discipleship is not a hobby or pastime. It is a vocation, a way of life that lays claim to our whole heart, mind, and strength. As disciples, our lives should be focused on and inspired by our faith in Christ, who is our merciful redeemer, friend, and brother. And as his disciples, we are called to reach out to those who need our help in growing closer to Christ and the Church.
If you are an adult (age 18 and over) and have not received all of the Sacraments of Initiation in the Roman Catholic Church (Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation), then please consider joining “The Way”, a new adult faith formation program that will begin this fall. The Way (typically called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) is a seven month program that prepares adults to be received into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil. As part of this same program, we will prepare adults for the Sacrament of Confirmation (to be received at either the Easter Vigil or at a regional archdiocesan celebration). Other parishioners who have received the Sacraments and are interested in renewing their spiritual lives are also very welcome to join us!
Beginning on October 1st, our group will gather on the first and second Sunday mornings of each month for Mass at 8:15am in Saint Ann Church, followed by fellowship, formation, and faith sharing. As a community of disciples, we will learn together about the basic beliefs, teachings, and traditions of the Church; and we will explore the methods of prayer and spirituality that have brought centuries of believers closer to Christ Jesus and to the Church. In addition, we will talk openly and honestly about the challenges of living an authentic life of faith, hope, and love in the modern world. If you would like to learn more about this journey of faith and become part of a unique fellowship in preparation for the sacraments of God’s Church, then please contact Cliff Garvey at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
The Blessing of the Animals
Celebrating Saint Francis of Assisi
Sunday, October 1st at 2:00pm
Saint Francis of Assisi is venerated around the world as the patron of animals and the environment. Throughout his lifetime, Saint Francis is credited with countless miracles — many of them involving animals. Whether Francis was preaching to birds or taming a ferocious wolf, he has been regarded as the friend and protector of animals and pets for more than eight hundred years.
In anticipation of the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, all friends, neighbors, and fellow parishioners of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are cordially invited to join Father Jim for the traditional Blessing of the Animals on Sunday, October 1st at 2:00pm in Our Lady’s Rectory Parking Lot. All family-friendly pets are welcome (but must be leashed or secured in carriers). For more information, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Our Lady of Good Voyage
Holy Name Society
Sunday, October 1st at 6:30pm
The Holy Name Society at Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish is an organization of men which was founded to support the parish through fundraising and volunteer service. Our next meeting is scheduled for Sunday, October 1st at 6:30pm in Our Lady’s Hall. For more information about the Holy Name Society and its good work in our parish community, please contact Fitz Lufkin at email@example.com; Matt Parisi at firstname.lastname@example.org; or leave a message at 978-281-4820. Please join us! New members are always welcome!
The Assisi Project
Our Lady of the Rosary
A Morning of Prayer & Reflection
Saturday, October 7th at 8:00am
Counting prayers on a rope or with beads is an ancient tradition that began with offering the Lord’s Prayer 150 times each to correspond with the number of prayers and songs in the Book of Psalms. A later tradition involved praying the same number of Hail Marys for the same reason. In the 13th century, tradition credits Saint Dominic with creating the Rosary in the form that we know it now.
In the early 16th century, Pope Leo X approved the Franciscan Rosary which prays with seven joyful events in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Later in that same century, Pope Pius V established the fifteen mysteries that highlight moments in the life of Christ. The pope then grouped them into three categories — the joyful, sorrowful, and glorious mysteries. For more than 400 years, the basic structure of the Rosary was not changed. In 2002, however, Pope John Paul II suggested five optional mysteries that he called the luminous mysteries.
On Saturday, October 7th, all are invited to join Father Jim, Cliff Garvey, and the Assisi Project for a Morning of Prayer & Reflection in celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. We will begin by praying the Rosary at 7:30am, followed by Mass at 8:00am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. After Mass, Cliff will offer a reflection on Our Lady of the Rosary, followed by a period of discussion and faith sharing.
Our morning of prayer and reflection will conclude by praying the Franciscan Rosary, with an opportunity to venerate a relic and hand painted icon of the Blessed Mother. We hope and pray that you and your family will be able to join us for all or part of this special celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary! For more information about the Assisi Project and its good work in our parishes, please contact Cliff at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome! May the Lord give you peace!
The Holy Rosary
Let’s Pray Together!
Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays
Each week, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport prays the Holy Rosary before our Weekday Masses on Wednesday Evenings at 5:00pm; and Thursday and Friday Mornings at 7:30am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. We also pray the Rosary on the First Saturday of each month at 7:30am and on special occasions. As a community united in prayer, fellowship, and service, we also look to the Blessed Virgin Mary under her various titles for help, healing, and support, but whatever our special intention, we always look to her as our mother:
Mary, Our Mother
She is sweeter than fragrances
that fill the dell in spring,
a joy she is above the joy
that all the years can bring.
She is dearer than the dearest friend
that I will ever know,
her prayers ever guide me on
no matter where I go.
Her hair is streaked with gray
and rosary beads slip through the hands
that first joined mine to pray.
And though the years dim those eyes
that were so lustrous fair,
‘tis death alone can take away
the love-light shining there.
At night, when kneeling down to pray,
I thank our Lord above
who was so good to give me
my Mother’s deathless love. Amen.
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!
Our Lady of Good Voyage, pray for us!
Living the Gospel
My God & My All!
Four Night Fall Retreat
October 22nd through October 25th
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 to his home for a good meal and an overnight stay. 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 eight centuries later, Saint Francis teaches us that discipleship is not just about having faith. It is not just about coming to Mass and learning about the teachings 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 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 Cliff Garvey for a four-night, in-person fall retreat called My God & My All – A Course on Discipleship from Sunday, October 22nd through Wednesday, October 25th in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church:
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 retreatant 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 our fall retreat! If you plan to join us, please contact Cliff at firstname.lastname@example.org. Save the dates! Bring a friend! All are invited! All are welcome! Always!
Safe & Easy Electronic Giving
The only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. — C.S. Lewis
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!
For Barbara Devlin
In Celebration of Her 90th Birthday
Happy Birthday! God Bless You!