The hands that teach

Feast of Saint Joseph Gloucester Groppo -10 Kim Smith Designs 2016The gentle hands that teach

If you would like to learn more about Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Community Film and the real story about how the project evolved, please go to the film’s website and click on the About the Film link and the Director’s Statement link. For periodic updates about the film, you can keep in touch on the blog page of the film’s website or friend me on Facebook.


The Golden Calf

moses and the golden calf

After giving Moses the inscribed tablets, God tells him to go down because his people had made themselves a golden idol cast in the shape of a calf, and were bowing down and sacrificing to it. God is not happy about it, and Moses is furious.

By way of backstory, this happens three months after God has led the 600,000 Israelites out of their 430 years of captivity in Egypt. These people witnessed the ten plagues brought down on Egypt which caused Pharoah to finally let them go, and then the parting of the Red Sea so they could escape when Pharoah’s army was sent to recaptue them after Pharoah realized he had just let all his slave labor go, and then manna from heaven God sent to nourish them during their journey. In short, they had witnessed amazing displays of God’s power on their behalf, and yet they still made and bowed down to a golden calf. We are still the same today. No matter what blessings in life, gifts and miracles God showers us with, we still sin (miss the mark, become forgetful, not conscious) and turn to the golden calf of our choosing.

Exodus 32:15-20

Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back. The tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.

When Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses, “There is the sound of war in the camp.”

Moses replied: “It is not the sound of victory, it is not the sound of defeat; it is the sound of singing that I hear.”

When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain. And he took the calf the people had made and burned it in the fire; then he ground it to powder, scattered it on the water and made the Israelites drink it.

(Note: The earliest recorded use of gold for medicinal and healing purposes come from Alexandria, Egypt. Over 5,000 years ago, the Egyptians ingested gold for mental, bodily and spiritual purification. The ancients believed that gold in the body worked by stimulating the life force and raising the level of vibration on all levels. Moses and the Israelites had recently come out of a long stint in Egypt, so his making the wayward Israelites drink the gold makes sense under the circumstances.)

E.J. Lefavour

Winter Shorts on Vacation at the Cape Ann Museum

Winter Shorts on Vacation

The mini tours you love in the winter are back for the warmer weather

GLOUCESTER, Mass. (March 12, 2016) – The Cape Ann Museum docents are pleased to presentWinter Shorts on Vacation, a series of mini tours highlighting their favorites from the Museum’s collection. These tours will take place on Saturday, April 16 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. every half hour. This program is Free for CAM members / $10 non-members. Space is limited; first come, first served.

unnamedPhoto credit: Nicole Fandel

Spend a wonderful spring afternoon viewing the Museum’s collections with fresh eyes. Winter Shorts on Vacation offers a variety of six mini themed tours, developed and led by Museum docents. They are meant to appeal to a wide range of interests, so visitors can enjoy just a few or all of the tours if they choose. The schedule of tours is as follows:

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Wood You?

Explore the wooden objects in the Museum’s collection – from everyday kitchen implements to magnificent pieces of furniture, a cigar store Indian and several sculptures by James McClellan.

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Painting in the time of the Frog Ponders

Take a look at the paintings of Fitz Henry Lane through the lens of the Transcendentalists.

11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. How Dear to Our Hearts are the Scenes of our Childhood

A quick romp through the Museum to look at several works relating to children and childhood on Cape Ann – the children who worked and those who played and those who sat still for portraits.

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Seeing the Light-Navigation & Lighthouses

During the age of sail, navigation was iffy at best. Learn why landfalls could be the most dangerous part of a voyage, and why the Fresnel lighthouse lens was a true breakthrough.

12:00 p.m.  – 12:30 p.m. Harvesting the Sea: Gloucestermen in the Heyday of Fishing Under Sail

More than 1,000 schooners called Gloucester their home port, sailing to fishing grounds as far as 1,000 miles away in search of finny gold. Both ships and men were called “Gloucestermen” — the ships tall, fast, and beautiful; the men tough, brave, tireless, and justly proud of their work.

12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Fifteen Shades of Blue

Experience the impact of this favorite color during a whirlwind tour of the galleries.


Cape Ann Symphony’s Global Tour on March 20



Yoichi Udagawa, Music Director


Cape Ann Symphony Visits Spain, Germany & Japan in

A Global Tour Concert on Sunday, March 20

Concert Debuts World Premiere from Japanese Composer Koto &

Introduces Guitar Virtuoso Grisha Goryachev to Cape Ann


Cape Ann Symphony features a global musical tour with music from Germany’sBeethoven, Spain’s Rodrigo and a world premiere work from Japan’s Koto on Sunday, March 20, 2016 at 2pm at the CAS performance venue at Manchester-Essex High School Auditorium on 36 Lincoln Street in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA. Manchester-Essex High School Auditorium is handicapped accessible. Ticket prices are $40 for adults, $35 for senior citizens, $5 for Youth age 18 and under. For tickets and information, call 978-281-0543 or visit

The concert program includes Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C Minor; guest artist renowned guitar virtuoso Grisha Goryachev in his Cape Ann Symphony debut playing the exotic Spanish guitar concerto, Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez; and the world premiere of Araumi to Nagi (Stormy and Calm Seas) from Boston based Japanese composer Takashi Koto. Cape Ann Symphony Music Director and Conductor Yoichi Udagawa is eager to take audiences on this musical journey, “The fantastic musicians of the Cape Ann Symphony and I are thrilled to be able to perform such a varied and colorful program to our fabulous audience.” He is enthusiastic about the music set for the concert, “Our March concert features the fiery and explosive power of Beethoven’sSymphony No. 5 – one of the most dramatic and well known works of symphonic music ever written. It is a favorite of audiences, and we musicians love to play it! The Russian American guitar virtuoso Grisha Goryachev will join us as the featured soloist playing the gorgeous Concierto de Aranjuez by the Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo. The concert opens with the world premiere of Boston based composer Takashi Koto’sAraumi to Nagi (Stormy and Calm Seas). Inspired by the rhythms used by taiko drummers, this exciting new work is a musical description of the sea.”

March_2016_Grisha Photo 2012 Dec Japan

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Time To Pay The Piper

From the Urban Dictionary;

To pay a price that you deem high or unfair, but failing to pay the price often results in dire consequences.

Based on the story of the Pied Piper, who removed the rats from a town, and when not paid, he took their children instead!

“Don’t you know the Mafia collects protection here? If you want to run a business in this town, you have to pay the piper.”

Live From Gloucester Crossings Market Basket with Feast of St. Joseph News! 

Gloucester Crossings Market Basket Managers set up a display of St. Joseph Feast Key Ingredients at the Main Entrance! A  special thank you to all the store managers for including my St. Joseph Pasta recipe in their display again this year and for their outstanding customer service and support they show towards our communities Feast of  St. Joseph Tradition! 

Viva San Gisueppe! 

So…you’re interested in Photography?


So many people ask me “what camera and lens do you use?” or “What settings did you use on that photo?”.   I’m always happy to tell everyone I use a Nikon D610 full frame camera and my everyday lens is a 28-300, but telling people what you use is like a carpenter telling someone I used a stanley hammer and nails.   The equipment doesn’t get you very far if you don’t hone your craft.   A carpenter becomes a craftsman after absorbing and practicing as much as he can about the art of carpentry.    Same goes for Photography.  Whether you want to take up photography as a business or just as a “photo hobbyist ” (as I like to call myself), you need to put the time in behind the camera until everything about that camera becomes second nature to you.   When I got my first camera I stopped at Hunts in Melrose at their annual camera show and spoke to a very enthusiastic Don Toothaker.  Don and Robert Ring of New England Photo Workshops run some awesome Photography Workshops all over New England.  If you want to hone your skills of photography, they are the guys to do it with.   I’ve had some great experiences with Bob and Don, visiting places around New England that I probably wouldn’t venture to on my own.   They love what they do and willing to share their vast experience, whether you’ve just taken the camera out of the box or have been shooting for years, they have a wealth of knowledge for all skill levels.   The above photo was taken on Cape Ann a few years back on Half Moon Beach in Gloucester at on one of their Workshops.  Why would I take a Workshop on Cape Ann since I live here?  You’d be surprised what you aren’t “seeing” when you look through a lens.   I used to just look at the beach as a whole…now I look at the flow of the water, the shadows of the sand, the uniqueness of the scene.   That’s something you can’t get with buying the best equipment.   Bob and Don at NEPW happen to be running another one-day Cape Ann Workshop next month and have many other awesome Workshops lined up this year, so check them out if you are looking to hone your craft!


6 Plays for the Price of One!


Six ten minute plays written by 6 local playwrights who are participants in M. Lynda Robinson’s workshop at the Gloucester Writers Center will be given a Staged Reading performed by professional actors at the Cultural Center of Rocky Neck on Sunday, March 20, at 5pm with a reception to follow. The Audience is encouraged to participate with feedback which will be given to each playwright. The six playwrights are Cape Ann’s:  Linda Finigan, Carole Frohlich,, Steven A. Levy, Nick Neyeloff, Rory O’Connor, and M. Lynda Robinson. The actors include David McCaleb, David Adams, Debbe Lewis, Tess Deegan, Phil Thompson, and Rebecca Lerman.

The GWC welcomes this opportunity to bring together writers and audience as a community event.  The writers and professional local actors, with Lynda’s direction, will present a lively show and are looking forward to response and feedback from the audience as part of developing their works from page to stage.  Providing a space in the community for voices to be heard through writing, dialogue, and the artistic process is a big part of the GWC’s mission.

 Suggested donation for the event is $10, $5 for students, and no one turned away for lack of funds.

A Powerful Evening of Prayer @Sista Felicia’s Night 4 2016 St. Joseph Novena





Part of last nights Novena Prayer Group



Novena Coffee Time!

The Dinning Room Table…The place where Novena history is made. Each night everyone gathers around the dinning room table for Espresso and Freshly baked sweet confections. We laugh, we cry and reminisce of St. Joseph Novena’s of our past. The beauty of our Altar is that it has drawn people together from several different families who like me grew up with this tradition from a very young age. The priceless stories shared about sitting on the floor in front of our families altars surrounded by dozens of cousins, listing to our grandparents parents, aunts and great aunts beautiful voices are all memories we cherish deeply. The stories have been shared many of times and they never seem to get old. Each and everyone one of us vividly remember learning how to recite the Sicilian St. Joseph Rosary, and sing all the Sicilian Novena Songs, at a very young age. To this day like we did as kids find ourselves singing the songs and prayers in our heads over and over during this time of year. Many of us never knew their was an English Rosary until we started Sunday School.   



Tanya Frost and Cousin Eleanor Tucker




Dee and Lainie Noble



Click Read More For Photo Gallery

Continue reading “A Powerful Evening of Prayer @Sista Felicia’s Night 4 2016 St. Joseph Novena”

The Gloucester Board of Health joins 99 other Massachusetts communities in adopting regulation changes that raise the minimum purchase age of tobacco and nicotine delivery products in the City from 18 years to 21.

At its meeting of March 3, 2016, the Gloucester Board of Health voted unanimously to change the minimum age for the purchase of tobacco and nicotine products in the community from 18 years old to 21. In doing so, Gloucester becomes the 100th community in Massachusetts to raise the age for the purchasing for tobacco and nicotine products.

Discussion regarding the possibility of raising the purchase age began at the Board of Health meeting of November 2015 when Board members asked then Health Director, Noreen Burke, to invite Joyce Redford, director of the North Shore/Cape Ann Tobacco Control Program, to inform the Board on the issue.

Ms. Redford appeared before the Board at their meeting of January 7, 2016 and presented information including other area communities, such as Salem, Saugus, Swampscott, Danvers, and Peabody, had recently raised their purchase age to 21, as had Boston. Nearly 42% of the population in Massachusetts live in communities where the purchase age for tobacco and nicotine delivery products is now 21.

A March 2015 report by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies stated that “…the committee concludes that raising the minimum age of legal access to tobacco products in the United States, particularly to ages 21 and 25, will likely lead to a substantial reduction in smoking prevalence. If the MLA (minimum legal age) were raised now, the models projected that by the time today’s teenagers were adults, there would be a 3 percent decrease in prevalence of tobacco use among those adults if the MLA were raised to 19, a 12 percent decrease if raised to 21…”

The Board then set a public hearing for its meeting of February 4, 2016 to discuss changing its tobacco regulation to include raising the minimum purchase age to 21 years, as well as requesting restaurants that have outdoor seating areas where smoking is permissible, post a sign stating whether or not they allow patrons to smoke in those areas.

The 32 businesses holding tobacco permits with the Health Department, as well as restaurants with outdoor seating, were sent a notification of the hearing by mail.

After discussion, review of information and public comment, the Board closed its hearing on the matter and voted on adoption of the proposed changes at its meeting of March 3rd.

“This is an important step in our efforts to prevent teens from starting to smoke,” said Rich Sagall, MD, chair of the Board of Health. “Gloucester is joining many other communities, both in Massachusetts and around the country, in limiting teenagers access to tobacco products.”

Enforcement of the new minimum age limit will begin June 1, 2016. A notice will be sent to all businesses notifying them of the changes in the regulations, with copies being available at the Health Department and the Department’s page of the City website: