Programs & Events

The Assisi Project
Saturday Morning with Saint Francis
Saturday, August 31st

Founded in 2007 by Father Jim Achadinha and Cliff Garvey, the Assisi Project is a Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit that seeks to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the inspiration of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi. Our mission is to serve the Church and to give witness to the Good News of Christ through formation and prayer, pilgrimage and retreat, and educating others about our way of life. On the last Saturday of each month (with some exceptions), the Assisi Project meets at 8:00am for “Saturday Morning with Saint Francis” in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church (located at 142 Prospect Street in Gloucester, Massachusetts). Each gathering is a two-hour mini-retreat that includes Mass, formation, faith sharing, and fellowship. Coffee and refreshments are served.

FRANCISCAN SAINTS
Our Formation: The Franciscan Saints

During the past year, our formation has been based on studying the book, The Franciscan Saints, by Robert Ellsberg. This wonderful book profiles 101 saints who lived in the spirit of Saint Francis and offer us the courage and inspiration to follow in their footsteps. In preparation for our next “Saturday Morning with Saint Francis,” scheduled for Saturday, August 31st, we will be reading and reflecting on the following chapters in the book:

  • August 6: Venerable Antonio Margil (p. 130)
  • August 9: Martyrs of Chimbote (p. 217)
  • August 11: Saint Clare of Assisi (p. 8)
  • August 13: Saint Benedetto Sinigardi (p. 48)
  • August 14: Saint Maximillian Kolbe (p. 194)
  • August 17: Saint Roch (p. 77)
  • August 18: Venerable Mary Magdalene Bentivoglio (p. 176)
  • August 20: Saint Louis of Anjou (p. 54)
  • August 25: Blessed Maria del Transito Cabanillas (p. 156)

If you are interested in growing closer to Christ Jesus and learning more about Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi (and other Franciscan saints), please prayerfully consider joining us! You do not need to travel with us to Assisi to be part of the Assisi Project! Our members, friends, and followers range in age from 17 to 94! Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome! Always!

Upcoming Saturday Mornings with Saint Francis

  • Saturday, October 26, 2019 | Begins with Mass at 8:00am
  • Saturday, November 30, 2019 | Begins with Mass at 8:00am

In case of inclement weather, please check our website for possible cancellations and schedule changes. All adults are welcome to join our fellowship. For more information about the Assisi Project, please contact Cliff Garvey at cgarvey@assisiproject.com. May the Lord give you peace! Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us! Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us! Our Lady of Angels, pray for us!

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The Assisi Project
Fall Day of Prayer & Reflection
Rebuilding the Church with Saint Francis
Saturday, October 5th

More than eight centuries ago, the Crucified Christ called out to the young man who would become Saint Francis of Assisi: “Go! Rebuild my church which as you can see is falling into ruin!” Francis took the Lord’s command literally and set out to repair small chapels in and around his hometown. Over the years, however, Francis came to understand more fully that his vocation to live the Gospel and share God’s love was vital to rebuilding the Church all around the world.

In this spirit and in celebration of the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, all are invited to join Father Jim and Cliff Garvey for a “Fall Day of Prayer & Reflection: Rebuilding the Church with Saint Francis” on Saturday, May 4th in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church (located at 142 Prospect Street in Gloucester, Massachusetts). During this four-hour morning retreat, we will consider what Saint Francis can teach us about healing God’s family and rebuilding the church during these difficult times. We will also consider how the Franciscan message of humility, simplicity, and peacemaking can reform and strengthen the church both in our own parishes and throughout the world.

Our day of prayer and reflection will proceed according to the following schedule: Celebration of Mass at 8:00am; First Reflection & Faith Sharing at 9:00am; Eucharistic Adoration & Rosary at 10:00am; Second Reflection & Faith Sharing at 11:15am; Angelus & Closing Prayers at 12:00pm. After our program, all are invited to join us for a delicious potluck harvest lunch in the parish hall.

Throughout the morning, there will be scheduled breaks and time for faith sharing, fellowship, and questions. Coffee, tea, bottled water, and refreshments will be available throughout the morning. During Mass, a collection will be taken up in support of the  adult and youth faith formation programs in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. If you would like to participate in this special event, please contact Cliff Garvey at cgarvey@assisiproject.com. Please join us! Spread the word! Bring a friend! All are invited! All are welcome!

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The Assisi Project
Spring Day of Prayer & Reflection
Mary, Mother of All Peoples
Saturday, May 4th

The Blessed Virgin Mary is known and venerated by countless names and titles throughout the world. Some of these titles are dogmatic; some are literary; and some are the result of popular piety. Through these titles, we learn about Mary’s life, legacy, and loving care for God’s people; we learn about our Lord Jesus Christ; and we learn something about ourselves and God’s Holy Church. Whether we think of her as “Theotokos” (Mother of God), “Panagia” (Mother of Mercy), or as Our Lady of Angels, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Lourdes, or Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Mary lives in our hearts and in the Church as the Blessed Mother of All Peoples.

In this spirit and in celebration of the various devotions to Our Lady during the month of May, all are invited to join Father Jim and Cliff Garvey for a “Spring Day of Prayer & Reflection: Mary, Mother of All Peoples” on Saturday, May 4th in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church (located at 142 Prospect Street in Gloucester, Massachusetts). During this four-hour morning retreat, we will explore the Blessed Mother’s loving intercession and protection of God’s family across the centuries. We will also consider how our devotion to Mary can help us overcome the growing darkness of bigotry, division, and exclusion that seems so prevalent in our own time.

Our day of prayer and reflection will proceed according to the following schedule: Celebration of Mass at 8:00am; First Reflection & Faith Sharing at 9:00am; Eucharistic Adoration & Rosary at 10:00am; Second Reflection & Faith Sharing at 11:15am; Angelus & Closing Prayers at 12:00pm. After our program, all are invited to join us for a delicious potluck lunch in the parish hall.

Throughout the morning, there will be scheduled breaks and time for faith sharing, fellowship, and questions. Coffee, tea, bottled water, and refreshments will be available throughout the morning. During Mass, a collection will be taken up in support of the  adult and youth faith formation programs in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. If you would like to participate in this special event, please contact Cliff Garvey at cgarvey@assisiproject.com. Please join us! Bring a friend! All are invited! All are welcome!

Learn More: Mary, Mother of All

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The Assisi Project
Winter Day of Prayer & Reflection
Prayer & Healing with the Children of Fatima
Saturday, February 23rd

Francisco Marto (1908-1919) and Jacinto Marto (1910-1920), brother and sister, and their cousin, Lucia dos Santos (1907-2005), were children from a small village near Fatima in Portugal, who were blessed to give witness to several apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of Fatima. Much is known and much is often misunderstood about the apparitions and their meaning. But we can learn a great deal from these children, especially Francisco and Jacinto, about life, love, prayer, and healing.

In commemoration of the Feast of Saints Francisco Marto and Jacinto Marto (February 20th), all are invited to join Father Jim and Cliff Garvey for a “Winter Day of Prayer& Reflection: Prayer and Healing with the Children of Fatima” on Saturday, February 23rd in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church (located at 142 Prospect Street in Gloucester). During this special four-hour morning retreat, we will explore the different but complimentary spiritual lives of the Children of Fatima. We will also consider what these young saints can teach us about coping with illnesses of mind, body, and spirit.

Our day of prayer and reflection will proceed according to the following schedule: Celebration of Mass at 8:00am; First Reflection & Faith Sharing at 9:00am; Eucharistic Adoration & Rosary at 10:00am; Second Reflection & Faith Sharing at 11:00am; Angelus & Closing Prayers at 12:00pm. After our program, all are invited to join us for a delicious potluck lunch in the parish hall.

Throughout the morning, there will be scheduled breaks and time for faith sharing, fellowship, and questions. Coffee, tea, bottled water, and refreshments will be available throughout the morning. During Mass, a collection will be taken up in support of the  adult and youth faith formation programs in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. If you would like to participate in this special event, please contact Cliff Garvey at cgarvey@assisiproject.com. Please join us! Bring a friend! All are invited! All are welcome!

Learn More: The Children of Fatima

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Following Francis & Clare
Our 12th Annual Fall Pilgrimage
November 7th–November 16th
Sold Out!

For the twelfth consecutive year, our spiritual directors, Father Jim and Cliff Garvey will lead the Assisi Project’s week-long, small-group pilgrimage to Italy. From November 7th through November 16th, we will journey again to Assisi and literally walk in the footsteps of Saint Francis and Saint Clare. Each morning of our pilgrimage will begin with Morning Prayer and Mass. Father Jim will celebrate Masses at the Basilica of Saint Francis, the Basilica of Saint Clare, the Basilica of Our Lady of Angels, the Carceri Hermitage, and the Sanctuary at La Verna. Each afternoon, our pilgrims will have free time and guidance to explore Assisi at their own pace. Each evening, we will gather as a community for Evening Prayer, supper, a spiritual reflection, and faith sharing.

As a fellowship of pilgrims, we will explore the Basilicas of Saint Francis and Saint Clare. Each of these blessed shrines contains the tombs of the saints, holy relics, historic frescoes, and other priceless works of art, along with quiet chapels for personal prayer and worship. We will also visit the Cathedral of Saint Rufinus, where Francis and Clare were baptized; the Church of Saint Damian, where Christ spoke to Francis and hastened his conversion; the Carceri Hermitage where Francis and his first followers retreated for solitude and silence; and the little chapel known as the Porziuncola or Little Portion, which is considered the home church of the worldwide Franciscan community.

In addition, we will spend leisurely afternoons in and around the Piazza del Commune, Assisi’s city center, with its sidewalk cafes, unique shops, and ancient Roman temple (now a Catholic Church consecrated to the Blessed Mother). Our more adventurous pilgrims will also have an opportunity to visit the Rocca Maggiore, the great medieval fortress with its stunning views of Assisi, Mount Subasio, and the Spoleto Valley. And finally, we will travel to La Verna, the mountain sanctuary in Tuscany, where Saint Francis received the stigmata. At La Verna, we will celebrate Mass, enjoy a traditional Tuscan lunch, and participate in the daily procession that commemorates how Francis received the five wounds of the Crucified Christ. We are also planning a few surprises for this year!

The cost of this extraordinary pilgrimage is $3,499 per person which includes roundtrip airfare and fees (from Boston Logan Airport); all ground transportation (except personal taxi service); eight nights accommodation (single room and private bathroom) at Casa Santa Brigida; and all meals in the guest house (breakfast, lunch, and supper). Prospective pilgrims should note that this pilgrimage is limited to just fourteen participants; involves some strenuous physical activity; and that access to some pilgrimage sites in Italy is limited for those with physical disabilities. For more information about the Assisi Project’s 12th Annual Fall Pilgrimage, please contact Cliff at cgarvey@assisiproject.com. Reserve now! Space is limited to just fourteen pilgrims!

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The Assisi Project
A Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit
Intercessory Prayer Ministry

Founded in 2007, the Assisi Project is a Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit with members, friends, and followers in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Africa. We are dedicated to helping Christian believers of all ages to more faithfully live the Gospel of Christ in the spirit of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi. Members of the Assisi Project, ranging in age from 16 to 93, pray for those who ask for our prayers. If you would like our fellowship to pray for you or your special intention, please contact Cliff Garvey at cgarvey@assisiproject.com. Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us! Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us! Our Lady of Angels, pray for us! May the Lord give you peace, now and always!

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The Assisi Project
A Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit
Pilgrimage & Retreat Ministry

Founded in 2007, the Assisi Project is a Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit with members, friends, and followers in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Africa. We are dedicated to helping Christian believers of all ages to more faithfully live the Gospel of Christ in the spirit of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi. Our team of certified and experienced spiritual directors are available for days of prayer and retreats for your parish, fraternity, or organization. Recent offerings include:

  • The Joy & Power of the Rosary
  • Joy & Suffering with Padre Pio
  • Prayer & Healing with the Children of Fatima
  • Mary, Mother of God & Mother of the Church
  • Living Scripture with Saint Francis & Saint Clare
  • The Little Flowers of Saint Francis & Pope Francis
  • Light & Darkness: Workshop on Spiritual Combat
  • Everyone’s Vocation to Everyday Holiness

Since our founding, the Assisi Project has led thirteen pilgrimages (to Assisi, Fatima & Lourdes, and the Holy Land); twelve weekend or week-long parish retreats or missions; and dozens of days of prayer for adult disciples of all ages. For more information about how we can help you deepen your community’s life of prayer, please contact Cliff Garvey at cgarvey@assisiproject.com. Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us! Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us! Our Lady of Angels, pray for us! May the Lord give you peace!

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The Assisi Project
A Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit
Spiritual Direction Ministry

Thomas Merton once wrote: “Spiritual direction is, in reality, nothing more than a way of leading us to see and obey the real director, the Holy Spirit, hidden in the depths of our soul.” In this spirit and in an effort to help adult disciples (in the Roman Catholic Church) grow closer to their Risen Lord in a confidential and supportive environment. Cliff Garvey, the Assisi Project’s co-founder and spiritual director, is available for both individual and small-group spiritual direction on a regular or one-time only basis. For more information, please contact Cliff at cgarvey@assisiproject.com. Saint Francis, pray for us! Saint Clare, pray for us! Our Lady of Angels, pray for us! May the Lord give you peace!

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About Us

Founded in 2007, the Assisi Project is a Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit with members, friends, and followers in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Africa. We are dedicated to helping Christian believers of all ages to more faithfully live the Gospel of Christ in the spirit of Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi. For more information about the Assisi Project and upcoming opportunities for faith formation, prayer, and pilgrimage in the Franciscan spiritual tradition, please contact Cliff Garvey at cgarvey@assisiproject.com. May the Lord give you peace!

Follow us on Twitter: @Assisi_Project