Special Message of Thanks
Brothers and Sisters: On Tuesday, March 31st, the Gloucester Daily Times printed a front page story about how the Coronavirus Pandemic is affecting the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s ability to make ends meet and fulfill our mission to live the Gospel, share God’s love, and rebuild the Church. Although I did not receive the newspaper’s request for comment until after the story was posted online, I am grateful for its coverage of this important local story. But everyone should remember that our faith community’s situation reflects in only a small way the much broader financial worries of so many families on Cape Ann and beyond.
Everyone is afraid. Everyone is uncertain. Everyone is worried about their family and the future. And yet from above this darkest valley, ‘the dawn from on high breaks upon us.’ The merciful light of God’s love speaks through his everyday saints! On Sunday morning, just two days after learning about furloughs and pay cuts, six members of our pastoral team volunteered to stand in a cold drizzle to thank parishioners who dropped off donations for Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. In just four hours, more than 100 parishioners, friends, and neighbors drove by to say hello, leave their gift, and share a brief prayer or kind word — always at a safe distance.
When a neighbor heard our carillon bells ringing, she came over and asked if she could buy groceries for the rectory. Two boys brought over their family’s donation (clearly happy to be outdoors even for just a few minutes). And since Saturday, many more people have donated online or mailed checks. Although this wave of generosity is indeed overwhelming, it doesn’t make up for the sad reality that we are still not be able to gather for worship. Even though we can’t be together right now, we can still pray for each other; for the sick and suffering; and for all medical professionals all around the world. Now more than ever, let’s pray together! Ever together in prayer! Thank you for your generous support! Peace and blessings to all! — Father Jim
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Safe & Easy Electronic Giving
Available at Both Parishes!
Brothers and sisters! Our parishes depend solely on your generous gifts to pay for the salaries and benefits of our priests and pastoral team; groundskeeping, utility bills, insurance premiums, and necessary repairs in our churches and parish buildings. Now more than ever, your generosity will ensure that the good work of our parishes can continue after this crisis ends; and also the long-term financial stability of both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish.
All are encouraged to mail their donations or slide them through the mail slot at our parish office. Another increasingly important component of our ongoing fundraising efforts is electronic giving. Our We Share program is a safe and easy way to make secure online donations to your home parish using a credit, debit card, or electronic check. For more information about supporting our parishes during this difficult time, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your generous support! Prayers, and blessings for all! — Father Jim
Our Pastor’s Message
The Home Church
By Father Jim
As we begin a third week of self-isolation and social distancing, it is so very clear that we are living during an extraordinary moment of trial, tribulation, and suffering that in one way or another affects every single person in our community, country, and world. During the past week, I have settled into a daily routine that includes the celebration of a private Mass, the Liturgy of the Hours, and a series of prayers throughout the day for God’s mercy, healing, and protection from all illness for all people in Gloucester, Rockport, and beyond. In addition, I have been blessed to pray remotely with families who are grieving the loss of loved ones. Perhaps now more than ever, we can appreciate those technologies that allow us to keep in close contact with our families and friends all around the world.
During this difficult and uncertain time, when we are called to self-isolate and stay-at-home, when it is all but impossible to celebrate the sacraments, Pope Francis has said: “If you cannot find a priest for confession, speak with God. He is your Father…Ask him for forgiveness with your whole heart, pray an act of contrition, and promise: ‘I will go to confession afterward.’ You will return to God’s grace immediately (3-20-20).” With these words, the Holy Father gives voice to the overriding theme of his papacy: the great gift of God’s mercy.
In addition, the Vatican Tribunal of the Apostolic Penitentiary (which has authority over Church doctrine related to the forgiveness of sins) announced last weekend that those suffering from COVID19 can obtain a plenary indulgence, which results in the remission of all temporal punishment of sins (aka time in purgatory) by praying the Holy Rosary, the Stations of the Cross, or some other pious devotion; or by uniting themselves in spiritual communion with the Celebration of the Mass (via radio, internet, television, or prayer).
The Vatican Tribunal of the Apostolic Penitentiary also announced that health care professionals (including all caregivers and administrative and custodial staffs at health care and nursing care facilities) can obtain this same plenary indulgence by reciting the Apostles Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and any prayer for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary; by offering a prayer for an end to the pandemic and for the intentions of the Holy Father; and by promising to participate (when again possible) in the Sacraments of Penance & Reconciliation (Confession) and Holy Eucharist.
Finally, the Vatican announced that all people all around that world (including you and me) can obtain this plenary indulgence by praying for an end to the pandemic; and by reading the scriptures for thirty minutes, or by praying the Holy Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet, or Stations of the Cross; and by promising to participate (when again possible) in the Sacraments of Penance & Reconciliation (Confession) and Holy Eucharist.
Throughout this difficult week, friends and fellow parishioners (both near and far) have shared with me how they are finding some consolation and peace by praying at home. For centuries the Catholic Church has highlighted the importance of the family and Ecclesia Domestica (or home church) as the “first school of Christian life (CCC 1656-16457).” This week, let us take advantage of this time at home with our families to renew our spiritual lives, to pray together and to pray for each other. Even when we can’t gather together, we can still pray together! Ever together in prayer! Peace and blessings to all!
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Our Lady of Guadalupe
A Prayer During Time of Pandemic
During this time of trial, suffering, and uncertainty, Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles has invited Catholic Christians all around the world to pray for the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, who is venerated as patron and protector of the Americas. She also holds a special place in the hearts of all who are poor in body, mind, and spirit. As a community united in prayer, fellowship, and service, let us pray together:
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe,
Queen of Angels and Mother of the Americas:
we fly to you as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son,
as you did at the Wedding at Cana.
pray for us and gain
for our nation and world,
and for all our families and loved ones,
the protection of your holy angels,
that we may be spared the worst of this illness.
For those already afflicted,
we ask you to obtain the graces
of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those
who are vulnerable and afraid;
wipe away their tears
and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing,
teach all of us in the Church
to love each other and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus
to our land and into our hearts.
We come to you with confidence,
knowing that you truly are
our compassionate mother,
health of the sick and cause of our joy.
Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
keep us in the embrace of your arms,
and help us always to know
the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
Born in Mexico, His Excellency Jose Horacio Gomez currently serves as the fifth Archbishop of Los Angeles. He also serves as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the first Latino to hold this important post. His episcopal motto: “Let us confidently approach the thrown of God’s grace.”
All parishioners, friends, and neighbors are reminded that Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, has suspended all public Masses until further notice. The Cardinal has issued a dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass for all Roman Catholics in the Archdiocese. Also, in order to do what we can locally to safeguard the health and safety of our fellow parishioners, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport has made the following necessary changes until further notice:
- Our parish office is closed to visitors.
- Pastoral assistance is available by phone or email.
- Contact us: email@example.com or 978-281-4820.
- All adult & youth faith formation programs are suspended.
- All parish programs, ministries, and social events are suspended.
For more information about new policies regarding funerals and weddings, please contact us. All are invited and encouraged to pray with us at home using resources below. Additional resources are being added almost daily! Let us now pray for each other! Every together in prayer! Stay tuned for further updates! Peace and blessings to all! — Father Jim
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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