Winter Weather Cancellations
Due to inclement weather, all youth faith formation classes at Holy Family Parish are cancelled for Saturday, January 24th. In addition, the first meeting of our winter mini-course, “Saint Benedict and the Good Life”, is canceled for today. Weather permitting, all programs will meet as scheduled next Saturday, January 31st. For more information, please contact Dawn Alves, Director Faith Formation (Holy Family Parish), at firstname.lastname@example.org or Cliff Garvey, Minister of Evangelization, at email@example.com. May the Lord give you peace!
Our Pastor’s Message: Ordinary Times & Extraordinary Challenges
After the anticipation of the Advent Season and the celebration of the Christmas Season, the Church returned this week to Ordinary Time. This longest liturgical season of the year comes in two parts. The first part begins after the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord and runs through Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. The second part begins after the celebration of Pentecost and runs through the summer and fall until the beginning of Advent. Although this may be an “ordinary time” in the liturgical year, it poses extraordinary challenges for the two parishes that comprise the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport.
As you know, despite our collaboration, Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish remain independent and distinct parishes. Both maintain strictly separate bank accounts and accounting procedures. And both parishes remain solely responsible for their own financial obligations, day-to-day expenses, and building maintenance.
As our friends in Rockport already know, the heating situation at Saint Joachim Church has become an urgent problem. Unfortunately, it is now clear that the current boiler-heating system cannot be repaired and reliably maintained. So late last week, after receiving multiple bids, I asked a local plumbing contractor to order and install a new boiler in Saint Joachim Church. This installation is scheduled to take place during the week of Sunday, February 1st. The cost of this system is approximately $21,000.
In addition, to the boiler, an independent assessment of Saint Joachim Church has revealed that more than $150,000 in maintenance and repairs are now necessary and urgent. This includes repairs to the front steps and side access ramp; long- overdue painting of both the exterior and interior of the church; and professional cleaning and restoration of the stained glass windows. Although I can make no promises, it is my hope and prayer that we can complete these projects this year. In order to accomplish this goal, however, we must work together through both fervent prayer and generous giving.
As we begin these necessary repairs, I have directed Linda Rogers, our parish business manager, to create a line item in the accounts of both parishes dedicated specifically for contributions made for the maintenance and restoration of each of the churches in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport – including Our Lady of Good Voyage. In the coming weeks, I will present the findings of our independent assessments of Saint Ann Church, Saint Anthony Chapel, and of course, Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Until then, if you, your family, or your business can make a contribution to these worthy causes, please contact me.
As we begin this ordinary time facing such extraordinary challenges, please pray for me, for our pastoral team, and for all who work and worship here in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. Your prayers make a real difference!
Peace and blessings to all! Father Jim
Winter Mini-Course: Saint Benedict and the Good Life Begins Saturday, January 24th
What makes a “good life” in today’s busy and competitive world? In his book, “The Good Life”, Robert Benson answers that question by turning to the enduring wisdom of Saint Benedict, a sixth century monk and the founder of western monasticism. Both compassionate and practical, Saint Benedict created a plan of life that has helped countless men and women lead better, more fulfilling lives. Benedict’s ancient rule is based on achieving a balance between prayer, work, rest, and community. In “The Good Life”, Benson offers a way of achieving this balance in our everyday lives, here and now.
All adult parishioners are invited to participate in a four-week mini-course during which we will read, study, and discuss Robert Benson’s book, Saint Benedict’s monastic rule, and their timeless and faith-filled messages. Participants will be asked to read approximately 25 pages per week.
We will meet on four consecutive Saturday mornings from January 24th through February 14th in Our Lady’s Parish Hall from 9:30am until 11:00am (weather permitting). An offering of $25.00 per person is requested and includes a copy of the book and a hot cup of coffee or tea. Those will fixed incomes or living with limited means are not expected to make an offering. If you would like to enroll in the new year’s first mini-course, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are welcome!
An Evening with Leo Buscaglia Valentine’s Day | February 14th
All are welcome to join Father Jim for “An Evening with Leo Buscaglia” on Saint Valentine’s Day, Saturday, February 14th, from 5:15pm until 7:15pm in Our Lady’s Hall. Dr. Leo Buscaglia (1922-1998) was an internationally famous author, educator, and motivational speaker. His books sold more than ten million copies worldwide and his lecture raised millions of dollars for public television nationwide. Throughout his long career, Dr. Buscaglia told his audiences over and over that love is the basic and essential ingredient in all human relationships — families, friendships, marriages, and communities.
On Saint Valentine’s Day, let’s share a glass of wine, enjoy some light refreshments (cheese, crackers, and fruit), watch and discuss one of Dr. Buscaglia’s classic and entertaining lectures on the power of love in human life. Come alone! Come with your Valentine! Come with friends or family! This special event is free but donations will be gratefully accepted. Please RSVP by contacting Father Jim at email@example.com. Please join us!
Our Lady of Good Voyage
125th Anniversary (1889-2014)
In celebration of our parish’s 125th anniversary, Our Lady’s Guild has produced a limited edition commemorative calendar for the new year. These calendars feature professional photographs of our historic church’s stained glass windows. Proceeds of the sale of these calendars will benefit Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. And they make great gifts! A donation of $10 is requested. If you would like to buy one (or more) of these beautiful calendars, please contact Linda Galvin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com. Please join us! All are welcome!
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