A Message from Our Bishops
“Laudato si, mi Signore! Praise be to you, my Lord!” These are the words that open Pope Francis’ encyclical on ecology and care for all of God’s creation. These words, from Saint Francis of Assisi’s beautiful Canticle of the Creatures, remind us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us.
Pope Francis’ encyclical letter, Laudato Si, was released in June 2015. Five years later, in 2020, Pope Francis invited all Catholics and people of good will to celebrate its fifth anniversary by protecting families and future generations through actions to care for our common home. Here are some themes that the Holy Father highlighted in Laudato Si that require an urgent response now:
Moral & Spiritual Challenge: The ecological crisis, Pope Francis writes, is a summons to profound interior conversion — to renew our relationships with God, one another, and the created world.
Care for God’s Creation: God created the world and entrusted it to us as a gift. Now we have the responsibility to care for and protect it and all people who are part of creation. Protecting human dignity is strongly linked to care for creation. We are connected to the rest of the human family, to the created world, and to those who will come after us in future generations.
Impact on the Poor: People in poverty have contributed least to climate change, yet they are disproportionately impacted by it. As a result of excessive use of natural resources by wealthy nations, those who are poor experience hunger, pollution, lack of access to clean water, and other difficulties.
Call to Solidarity: We are one human family and we have a shared responsibility for others and for creation. Wealthy countries have a responsibility to reduce con- sumption of non-renewable resources; and they should help poorer countries to develop sustainable ways of life.
Technical & Economic Development: Growth and technology must serve human beings and enhance human dignity instead of creating an economy of exclusion, so that all people have access to what is needed for authentic human development.
Supporting Life, Protecting Creation: Concern for nature is incompatible with a failure to respect vulnerable human beings such as unborn children, people with disabilities, or victims of human trafficking.
Time for Action: Pope Francis calls for a change in lifestyle and consumption. We can make important changes as individuals, families, and communities; and as civic, political, and religious leaders.
Hope & Joy: Pope Francis says: “Injustice is not invincible (Laudato Si, 74).” We can act knowing that we seek to live God’s vision of renewed relationships with the Lord, ourselves, each other, and all of creation (Source: usccb.org).
Call to Prayer
Praying for Our Common Home
By Pope Francis
wondrous community of infinite love,
teach us to contemplate you
in the beauty of the universe,
for all things speak of you.
to praise and give thanks
for every being that you have made.
Give us the grace
to feel profoundly joined
to everything that is.
God of love,
show us our place in this world
as channels of your love
for creatures of this earth,
for not one of them is forgotten
in your sight.
who possess power and money
that they may avoid
the sin of indifference,
that they may love the common good,
advance the weak,
and care for the world
in which we all live.
The poor and the earth cry out.
O Lord, seize us
with your power and light, |help us to protect all life,
to prepare for a better future,
for the coming of your kingdom
of justice, peace, love, and beauty.
Praise be to you!
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.
Living the Gospel
Caring for Our Common Home
What Can We do?
Inspired by Pope Francis’ message in Laudato Si, each one of us is called to take concrete steps to care for our common home — from reducing consumption to working for social and political change. Here are some ideas:
Everything Is Connected
Care for one another and for creation includes understanding that “everything is connected (Laudato Si, 91).” Politics, economics, technology, and community involvement all affect the future of our planet and all humankind. How we might become more aware of our connectedness?
Small Changes Make a Big Difference
Get a reusable water bottle. Take shorter showers. Whenever possible, let’s bike, walk, carpool, or take public transportation. Recycle, compost food waste, and buy energy efficient appliances.
Institutional Changes in our Parishes, Schools & Workplaces
We can do better at conservation and recycling, perhaps use washable dinnerware at future parish events, and investigate possible sources of renewable energy.
Support Local Solutions
Local community groups around the country are working to make city, county, and statewide changes that can make a big difference in caring for our common home. Let’s show support for these efforts!
Spread the Word
Let’s contact members of Congress and share Pope Francis’ message of connectedness, concern for human dignity, and care for our common home; and let’s encourage them to take action to address climate change (Source: usccb.org).
The Assisi Project
We’re Praying for You!
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 96 and live in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, throughout the Archdiocese of Boston, from coast to coast, and all around the world. We pray every single day for those who ask for our prayers. If you would like us to pray for you or your special intention, please contact Cliff at email@example.com. For more information about the Assisi Project and its good work in our parishes, please contact Cliff or join us online (click link below)! May the Lord give you peace!
Safe & Easy Electronic Giving
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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In Memory of Laurie & Helen Salerno