Winter Weather Update
Due to parking problems caused by recent winter storms, all weekday Masses (except Saturdays) during Lent will be celebrated at 8:30am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. On Saturday mornings, Mass will be celebrated at 8:30am in Saint Ann Church. All Sunday Masses will be celebrated according to our regular schedule. Please click here for our complete Mass schedule during Lent. Thank you.
Our Pastor’s Message: This Lent
On Ash Wednesday, the Church begins its long journey to the Cross, to Calvary, where Christ Jesus suffered and died for our sake. The Holy Season of Lent begins with ashes, a stark reminder that we are ultimately dust and unto dust we will return. It culminates with the celebration of Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. And it concludes with the commemoration of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday. But Lent is more than a time for ashes, palms, and the washing of feet. It is a time to get serious about our personal relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church.
In his annual Message for Lent, Pope Francis warns against the “globalization of indifference.” By this phrase, Pope Francis suggests that the world has grown unconcerned about the suffering of the aged, the poor, and the sick. He suggests that we have become disinterested in the problems of our families, friends, and neighbors. And he suggests that we have forgotten about the challenges facing our parish communities. During these dark days of winter, the Holy Father writes that our hearts have grown cold in the face of so many trials.
But the Gospel holds the key to facing the difficulties of modern life. Like Christ, who withdrew into the desert to pray, we are called during the coming Lent to imitate Him in prayer, penance, and almsgiving. We are called to pray for ourselves and for others. We are called to pray for our parishes. We are called to pray for peace in our community and in the wider world.
In addition, like Christ in the desert, we are called to take stock in our lives: to consider our failings and faults; to think about those things that come between us and those we love; those things that come between us and our Church; and ultimately those things that come between us and our God. And we are called to reconcile ourselves through prayer and penance to God and His Church. Finally, during this coming Lent, we are called to give of ourselves in a spirit of sacrificial love. We are called to share our love, talent, and treasure with our families and friends, with those in need, and with our parish.
During the coming Lent, it is my prayerful hope that each of us is blessed with the grace to enter fully into a spirit of prayer, penance, and almsgiving. It is my prayerful hope that each of us is blessed with the courage and perseverance to grow closer to Christ during this long journey to the Cross. And in the words of Pope Francis: “It is my prayerful hope that this Lent will prove spiritually fruitful for each believer and every parish community. I ask you to pray for me. May the Lord bless you! And may Our Lady keep you!” If you would like to read the complete English text of the Holy Father’s Message for Lent, please click here.
Peace and blessings to all,
Reverend James M. Achadinha
Pastor, Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Winter Fuel & Utilities Collection
Our Parishes Need Your Help!
On Sundays and Feast Days, the Morning Prayer of the Catholic Church contains a canticle from the Book of Daniel that reads in part: “Frost & chill, bless the Lord! Ice and snow, bless the Lord!” Needless to say, it is becoming increasingly difficult for even the most faithful among us to give God thanks and praise for the seemingly endless stretch of heavy snowfall and cold. Indeed, like any household or family business, the winter season poses a serious financial challenge to the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport (both at Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish). Every year, our parishes are confronted with tens of thousands of dollars in fuel and utility bills. After the recent winter storms, these bills will surely grow. And whether you own or rent your home, you already know that utility bills have risen dramatically this season.
This year, we ask all parishioners to contribute whatever they can to our Winter Fuel & Utilities Collections. Every contribution, whether it’s $1, $10, or $100, goes a long way toward helping our parishes pay their fuel and utility bills. At Holy Family Parish, our goal is to raise $20,000 between now and March 20th, which is the first day of spring. So far, we have received $2,744 in donations. At Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, our goal is to raise $10,000 between now and March 20th. So far, we have received $4,567 in donations.
Please feel welcome to place your offering in the collection basket at Mass or mail it to us at your earliest convenience. Donations by check should be made payable to the parish of your choice with “Winter Fuel & Utilities” written in the memo line of the check. As this important fundraising effort continues, please pray that all parishioners, according to their means, will give generously! Thank you in advance for your prayers and ongoing support of Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish! Peace and blessings to all!
Heartsavers CPR Course
Saturday, February 21st
Irene Kerr, a longtime friend of our pastor and a member of the Assisi Project will soon join us to offer the American Heart Association’s Heartsaver CPR Course to parishioners and friends of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. Irene is a certified CPR instructor and experienced physical therapist. Her first offering of the Heartsavers CPR Course is scheduled for Saturday, February 21st (weather permitting) from 9:00am until 12:00pm at Saint Ann Parish Center. Upon completion of the course, all participants will receive a certification from the American Heart Association in CPR and other lifesaving techniques. This course is free, but limited to only six participants. If you would like to to enroll in this special course, please contact Cliff Garvey at email@example.com.
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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