The Feast of the Holy Family
Our Pastor’s Message: “Seeking Peace, Putting on Love”
On each of the Fridays during the recent Advent season, Father Raniero Cantalamessa preached a weekly reflection to Pope Francis and the papal household. During one of those reflections, Father Raniero said: “If one could hear the loudest cry that is in the hearts of billions of people, one would hear, in all the languages of the world, only one word: peace!”
Each one of us, in our heart of hearts, begs God for peace: in our world, in our country, in our hometown, in our parish, and in our families. Most of all, we beg for peace in our hearts as we face the challenges and uncertainties of life that arise from finances, family problems, grief, job related stress, and sickness. The list of factors that can rob our hearts and lives of peace is seemingly endless.
Just days later at Mass, Pope Francis said: “We cannot be messengers of the consolations of God if we do not experience first the joy of being consoled and loved by Him. This happens when we listen to His Word.” True enough. If we hope for God’s consolations and peace in our lives, then we must listen for God’s voice in our lives. We must acknowledge, accept, and embrace God’s grace when it is offered to us. And there is perhaps no better time to do this than at Christmas because God’s grace is so easy to see! We see God’s Word and God’s grace in the form of a newborn child, a newborn child who offers his love to us and who asks us to love him in return!
This past weekend, we celebrated the Feast of the Holy Family. We celebrated the bond of love between Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. We celebrated their commitment to each other and all that comes with being a caring and close family: compassion, forgiveness, gentleness, humility, and kindness. And as Saint Paul reminds us in Sunday’s second reading: “And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called into one body. And be thankful.”
If Father Raniero is correct, that our world begs for peace, then let us each do our part by listening for God’s Word and by acting upon it. And if we beg for peace in our hearts and in our homes, then let each of us – in our own way – imitate the Holy Family in their love for each other and for us. Let each of us “put on love” and share that love – Christ’s endless love – with everyone who enters our lives! Everyone!
And let us pray together the Christmas Prayer of Saint John XXIII: “Oh sweet Child of Bethlehem, grant that we may share with all our hearts in this profound mystery of Christmas. Put into the hearts of all people this peace for which we sometimes seek so desperately, and which you alone can give us. Help us to know one another better and to live as children of the same Father. Unite us all in charity!” Amen!
May God bless you and your family with a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
Peace and blessings to all, Father Jim
Holy Family Grand Annual Collection Goal: $75,000 | Donations: $77,991 | 104%
Each year, we ask parishioners to contribute what they can to our “Grand Annual Collection.” This collection is a vitally important component of our annual budget. It helps us to balance the budget by bridging the gap between the weekly collection and our overall financial obligations. It helps us to pay for the benefits and salaries of our priests and pastoral team. It helps us to pay our insurance and utility bills. It helps us maintain our buildings and plow our parking lots. And it helps fund essential parish programs like adult and youth faith formation.
This year, our goal was to raise $75,000 during the Grand Annual Collection. Thanks to parishioners like you, we reached our goal just before Christmas! Additional donations are always welcome and benefit only Holy Family Parish. Please make checks payable to “Holy Family Parish” and write “Grand Annual” in your check’s memo line. For more information about the Grand Annual Collection and its importance to our parish, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for your ongoing generosity and support! May God bless you and your family!
Our Lady of Good Voyage Celebrating 125 Years | 1889-2014
In 1989, in a beautiful booklet commemorating the centennial anniversary of Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, Father Eugene Alves, our pastor emeritus, wrote: “As we begin this important centennial year in our history, we place our lives and our parish under the protection and care of our patroness, Mary, the Mother of God, under the title of Our Lady of Good Voyage, lifting our voices praying: ‘O Mary, protect us on our journey, for all of your ways are beautiful, and all of your paths are of peace.'” As Our Lady’s celebrates its 125th anniversary, let us give God thanks and praise for the continued gift of Father Alves in our lives; let us pray for Father Jim, our new pastor, and let us renew our prayer to the patroness of our parish: Our Lady of Good Voyage, pray for us — now and always! Amen!
Our Lady of Good Voyage Commemorative Anniversary Calendars
As a way of celebrating the parish’s 125th anniversary, Our Lady’s Guild has produced a limited edition 2015 commemorative anniversary calendar. These calendars feature professional photographs of our historic church’s stained glass windows. Proceeds of the sale of these calendars benefit Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. And they make great Christmas gifts! A donation of $10 is requested. If you would like to purchase one (or more) of these beautiful commemorative anniversary calendars (while supplies last), please contact Linda Galvin at email@example.com.
The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
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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