FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER

cropped-med_cole_virgin_of_tenderness_ii_f-2-1.jpgThis Week’s Message
Mary, Mother of All Peoples

By Cliff Garvey

At the dawn of the new millennium two decades ago, Pope John Paul II entrusted all people and all nations into the care of our Blessed Mother. In a prayer composed for the Jubilee of Families (see below), the pope calls Mary the Mother of all peoples, the Mother of all men and women everywhere. He reminds us that Mary knows all of our hopes, all of our struggles, and all of our sufferings. He reminds us that Mary listens to us with a mother’s heart and embraces us with a mother’s love. Pope John Paul tells us to trust her and to offer ourselves into her maternal care.

If you are a mother or if you were once a child loved well by your mother, grand- mother, or godmother, then this prayer speaks to your heart. It speaks to your soul. And it speaks to our collective understanding of the relationship between a mother and her child, between a mother and her children. A mother’s love is attentive, authoritative, creative, deep, and devoted. A mother’s love is firm, generous, helpful, patient, and understanding. Our mothers love us as we are, for who we are, as if we are singularly the only object of their love. A mother’s love is never one-size-fits-all. It is all encompassing, custom made, heaven sent, but still imperfect.

The Blessed Mother’s love is all of these things and more. Mary’s love is perfect, pure, and unsullied by sin or selfishness. She loves Jesus perfectly. She loves each one of us perfectly, too. Her love for us is not temporal, not confined to this life. Her love is unaffected by something as trivial as the longevity of a beating heart. Her love is abiding, enduring, and timeless. Mary’s love transcends life itself. It is a love that lives within our hearts. It is a love that lives beyond our hearts. It is a love that lives in our souls. It is a love that lives forever and ever.

At the same time, the Blessed Mother’s love for us is active, concrete, and quite practical. Like every good mother, Mary knows her children well. She knows us better than we know ourselves. She knows us through and through. She sees the core of our being. She reads our hearts. And she loves us anyway. Like every good mother, Mary is guide, teacher, and role model. She has the unique ability to shower us with praise and affirmation. And like every good mother, she also has the unique ability to poke and prod our consciences toward contrition, repentance, and right action.

Like every good mother, Mary takes each of her children, one by one, by the hand. She walks with us, step by step. She prays with us, prayer by prayer. She advocates for us. She intercedes for us. She celebrates with us. She suffers with us. She weeps with us. She points the way to Jesus. She shows us the way to Jesus. And she prays our way into heaven. Saint Thomas Aquinas, the thirteenth century monk and theologian writes: “As mariners are guided into port by the shining of a star, so we are guided to heaven by Mary.” On this different and difficult Mother’s Day, when so many of us miss our mothers and grandmothers, let us raise our hearts and voices in fervent prayer to the Blessed Mother of all people and cry out in a spiritual communion with Pope Francis: “Mother of the Living Gospel, wellspring of happiness for God’s little ones, pray for us!” Happy Mother’s Day!

Cliff Garvey
Associate Minister
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Contact: cgarvey@ccgronline.com

CCGR Weekly Newsletter (5-10-20) 
Bringing Home the Word (5-10-20) 
Family Activity Page (5-10-20)
Home Prayer Service

Pastor’s Note: On behalf of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, I offer sincere thanks to our dear friend, Jody Cole, who allows us to use her beautiful and powerful iconography online and in our newsletter. Fore more information about Jody’s amazing work, please visit jcoleicons.com. Also, even though we cannot gather together right now for praise and worship, we can still pray together. Using the links below, all are invited and encouraged to sanctify the various times of the day with these prayers for God’s mercy, healing, and protection from all illness. Let’s pray together! Ever together in prayer! — Father Jim

Liturgy of the Hours
Morning Prayer: Novena to the Sacred Heart

Midday Prayer: The Angelus
Evening Prayer: Saint Joseph, Hope of the Sick
Bedtime Prayer: The Memorare

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Mother of All Peoples
A Call to Prayer

By Saint John Paul II

Mother of all men and women,
Mother of all peoples,
you know all of our sufferings
and all of our hopes.
You have a mother’s knowledge
of the struggle between good and evil,
between light and darkness,
which afflict our modern world.
Accept the cries
that we address directly
to your mother’s heart.
Embrace with a mother’s love
this world of ours,
which we entrust and consecrate to you;
for we are full of worry
for the earthly and eternal destiny
of all peoples.
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! Alleluia!

Learn More: Mary, Mother of All Peoples Prayer

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Praying for Our Mothers
A Call to Prayer

We pray for young mothers,
who give life, count toes, and tend to our needs.
May they be blessed with patience and tenderness
to care for their families and themselves
with greatest joy.

We pray for our own mothers,
who have nurtured us and cared for us.
May they continue to guide us
in strong and gentle ways.

We remember our mothers
who are separated from their children
because of poverty, pandemic, or war.
May they feel the loving embrace of God
who wipes away every tear.

We pray for women
who are not mothers,
but still love us and shape us
with loving care and compassion.

We remember our mothers,
grandmothers, and godmothers,
who are no longer with us,
but live forever in our memories,
and still nourish us
with their love and prayers.

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! Alleluia!

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WeShare
Safe & Easy Electronic Giving
Available at Both Parishes!

Brothers and sisters! Our parishes depend solely on your generous gifts in order to pay for the salaries and benefits of our priests and pastoral team members; 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 effort 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 frjim@ccgronline.com. Thank you for your generous support! Prayers, and blessings for all! — Father Jim

Support Holy Family Parish
Support Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish

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The Assisi Project
Book Sale

Over the past six years, the Assisi Project and the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport have gathered to read and pray with a long list of books from various genres. The primary goals of our shared study has always been to grow closer to Christ, closer to the Church, and closer to each other. During this time of pandemic, when we are called to pray and worship within the safety and solitude of our homes, we can still accomplish our goals by dedicating ourselves to a period of prayer, reflection, and spiritual exercise each and every day.

In this spirit, the Assisi Project has taken an inventory of leftover books that we now joyfully offer to our friends and followers all around the world. For a requested donation of $10 per book (plus $5 for shipping), we will send your requested book. Along with every book, we will send a prayer card that was blessed on the relics of Saint Francis of Assisi; and we will add you and your family to our prayer list and we will pray for you every day. Here is a list of available titles:

  • Punching Holes in the Darkness
    By Robert Benson
  • Padre Pio’s Words of Hope
    Edited by Eileen Dunn Bertanzetti
  • Echoes of the Word
    By Enzo Bianchi
  • Enter Assisi: An Invitation to Franciscan Spirituality
    By Father Murray Bodo
  • Francis: The Journey and the Dream
    By Murray Bodo
  • A Retreat with Francis & Clare
    By Murray Bodo & Susan Saint Sing
  • The Jesus Prayer Rosary
    By Michael Cleary
  • Called to Be Holy
    By Cardinal Timothy Dolan
  • Live Like Francis
    Reflections on Franciscan Life in the World
    By Leonard Foley
  • Instruments of Christ
    Reflections on the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis
    By Father Albert Haase, OFM
  • Saint Francis, Pope Francis: A Common Vision
    By Gina Loehr
  • Jacinta: The Flower of Fatima
    By Cardinal Humberto Medeiros
  • Thoughts in Solitude
    By Thomas Merton
  • A Retreat with Anthony of Padua
    By Carol Ann Morrow
  • Healing Flame of Love
    By Brother Leonard O’Dowd, OCSO
  • The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium)
    By Pope Francis
  • Rejoice and Be Glad (Gaudete et Exsultate)
    By Pope Francis
  • The Parables of Mercy
    Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization
  • The Scandal of Redemption
    By Saint Oscar Romero
  • The Little Flowers of Saint Francis
    Edited by Jon Sweeney
  • The Jesus Prayer
    By John Michael Talbot
  • The Jesus Prayer Rosary
    By Michael Cleary
  • Saints Who Battled Satan
    By Paul Thigpen
  • Fioretti: The Little Flowers of Pope Francis
    By Andrea Tornielli
  • Seasons in My Garden (Autographed)
    By Sister Elizabeth Wagner

If you would like to participate in the Assisi Project’s Spring Book Sale, please contact us at books@assisiproject.com or send your donation and contact information to the Assisi Project, Post Office Box 3158, Gloucester, Massachusetts 01931. All funds raised during this online book sale will be donated to the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport so that our pastor, Father Jim, can buy groceries and pay bills at both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. Quantities are limited! Thank you in advance for your generous support! Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us! Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us! Our Lady of Angels, pray for us! Now more than ever, may the Lord give you peace!

Learn More: The Assisi Project

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Pastor’s Note
Pandemic Update

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: office@ccgronline.com or 978-281-4820.
  • All churches and parish buildings are closed to the public.
  • 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

Prayer Resources for Adults & Families

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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