Our Pastor’s Message:
One Flock, One Shepherd, One Mission
In this weekend’s Gospel, Jesus proclaims that he is the Good Shepherd who leads, loves, and lays down his life for his flock. Jesus assures us that the Good Shepherd’s love is boundless, that it extends to all people, even those who may not be part of his flock, even those who may not be disciples. This statement is about faith, hope, and trust in the Lord who will stand with us no matter what. Each of us, regardless of the status of our personal faith journey, is part of Christ’s flock. And each of us, regardless of our faults and failures, is loved beyond measure by Christ Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
During the past few weeks, I have had an opportunity to consult with our pastoral team, our parish councils, representatives from all of our parish organizations, and many of our fellow parishioners about changes that must be made to our weekend worship schedule. These changes, which will be announced in next weekend’s bulletin and online, will reflect the increasingly clear reality that only one priest will be assigned full-time to the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. So, this seems like a very good time to consider and reflect on the precise meaning and nature of the growing collaboration between Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport.
First, this collaboration is not a merger. Both parishes retain their independence under canon law. Both parishes maintain separate bank accounts, budgets, and accounting procedures. Each parish is solely responsible for its own finances and for the maintenance of its own buildings. And each parish will soon have its own finance council. Anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong — just plain wrong.
Second, although we are a collaboration of two parishes, we are served by one pastoral team. For example, Linda Rogers serves as Business & Financial Manager for both parishes; Michael Horgan serves as Buildings & Facilities Manager for both parishes; Anna Matturro serves as Minister of Pastoral Care for both parishes; and Cliff Garvey serves as Minister of Evangelization for both parishes. Over the past year, our two parishes have begun to share the costs of employing our able and dedicated team of lay ministers.
In addition, I am happy to announce that Jane Russo, who has served for many years on the cleaning and maintenance staff at Holy Family Parish, has accepted the position of Sacristan for the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. Jane’s duties include ensuring the cleanliness of our worship spaces, ordering liturgical supplies, organizing our sacristies, and assisting me and others in planning liturgical celebrations like the Easter Triduum. Jane is a person of deep faith, a daily Mass goer, a devoted wife and mother, and a tireless worker. She now becomes officially what she has been unofficially for a long time: a valued member of our pastoral team.
Third, although we are a collaboration of two parishes, we are served by one pastor. By now, you know already that I am humbled and honored to serve as your pastor and shepherd of this island flock. I wanted to come here. I am happy to be here. And I am committed to ensuring that our two parishes work together successfully in order to share the gospel with every person who enters one of our churches in search of God’s consolation, forgiveness, and peace.
If you look on the back of a quarter coin or search the internet for an image of the Great Seal of the United States, you will see one of this nation’s mottos: “E Pluribus Unum.” This Latin phrase translates into English as “Out of Many, One.” In the context of a civics lesson, we can learn that from fifty independent and sovereign states, we are one nation. And as one nation, we share the burdens of education, national defense, and social justice. Likewise, we know that from two historic and independent parishes, we are one flock — united in prayer, fellowship, and service — we share the mission of sharing the Gospel of Christ with each other, with those who have fallen away from the faith, and with those who might yet discover the awesome beauty and challenge of becoming disciples of the Risen Lord.
As we continue this journey together, I ask for your prayers for me, for our deacons and senior priests, for our pastoral team, and for everyone who lives, works, and worships in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. Your prayers give me strength each and every day! Your prayers literally change the lives of our fellow parishioners who join us for Mass or for any one of our wonderful programs and events. Your prayers are the spiritual glue that bring and bind us together as one community with one shepherd and one mission: to love and serve the Lord and each other. And as always, as your pastor and shepherd of this one community of faith, I offer my prayers for you and for your families each and every day.
Peace and blessings to all,
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
A Message from Father Al:
Until We Meet Again, Farewell & Adeus!
As you know, this is my last weekend here in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. After spending some time visiting family and friends in other parts of this country, I will journey back to Brazil where I served for nearly two decades as a missionary priest with the Society of Mary.
During the past two years, I have made many new friends on this island; and I am grateful for their kind and generous spirits. I am grateful to the Brazilian Community for their deep faith and enthusiasm. What they lack in numbers, they make up for in spirit! I am grateful to our pastoral team and volunteers for their caring, dedication, and good fellowship. I am especially grateful to Jane, Lori, Barbara, and Cliff for reminding me again and again to eat right and dress warmly! I am grateful to the parishioners at both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish for their warm welcome and their strong commitment to sharing the Good News of Jesus in this community and beyond.
And finally, I am deeply grateful to our pastor, Father Jim, for all that he has done for me and all that he does for us day after day. We are truly blessed to have this faith-filled and hardworking young priest as our pastor. I pray that you will continue to pray for him and support him in his priestly ministry. Thanks, Jim, for your good and generous friendship!
Until we meet again, may God bless our pastor and the good and faithful people of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport! Farewell and adeus!
Father Al Puccinelli, SM
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. Our collaborative is comprised of Saint Ann Church in Gloucester, Saint Anthony’s Chapel in Gloucester, Saint Joachim Church in Rockport, and Our Lady of Good Voyage Church in Gloucester. We are a Roman Catholic faith community united in prayer, fellowship, and service. For more information about becoming a member of one of our parishes, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are welcome!
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