Our Pastor’s Message
Praying with the Parable of the Mustard Seed
In Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus offers his followers the parable of the mustard seed (Mark 4:26-34). The Lord explains that the Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, which is among the smallest of all seeds. Yet when that seed is properly sown and tended, it grows into the largest of trees, has many branches, and provides shelter to birds and other creatures. Likewise, some of our work as Christians may seem like nothing special — a kind word here or a smile there. But sometimes, the smallest act of charity or a simple offering of prayer can literally change a life.
Before leaving for vacation, I learned that Cheryl O’Brien, Director of Faith Formation at Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, will be leaving our pastoral team after three years of good and faithful service. Cheryl is a retired high school teacher who brought disciple, focus, and structure to our faith formation program. Candance Waldron, Administrative Assistant at Our Lady’s School of Religion, will also be leaving us. We will miss them and we are grateful for their dedication and hard work!
During the past year, I have been praying and thinking a great deal about youth faith formation, youth ministry, and sacramental preparation for children. I also have been conducting some research into how these ministries are accomplished in other collaboratives and parishes both in the Archdiocese of Boston and around the country. And I have learned two important things about the future of children’s catechesis. First, the traditional way of teaching our children and grandchildren about Christ and His Church (classroom model) may no longer be effective. Second, a consensus is emerging in other collaboratives and large parishes that we should focus our energies and limited resources on sacramental preparation, good liturgy, life-long faith formation, and being more creative about inviting and welcoming parishioners back to church.
In the coming weeks, I will be working with our pastoral team, our finance & pastoral councils, fellow parishioners, and experts in adult and youth faith formation to reassess and, if necessary, reimagine our ministries and programs. If you have any suggestions or thoughts, please remember that you are always welcome to share those concerns with me in person, by phone, or via email.
As this discernment process continues, I ask you to pray and reflect on the parable of the mustard seed and to consider what small seed might be sown among our young families and youngest fellow parishioners that could (with enough commitment, focus, and prayer) create a happy harvest of souls for God’s heavenly kingdom.
Peace and blessings to all,
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Special Message of Thanks
During the past few weeks, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport has been blessed by a series of very successful feasts and fundraising events. On behalf of Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, Father Jim wishes to thank everyone who played a part in the Crowning Feast of the Holy Spirit (most especially to Father Alves who taught a young pastor how to sing the Holy Spirit Rosary)! In addition, on behalf of Holy Family Parish, Father Jim wishes to thank everyone who participated in the Strawberry Festival (most especially those who offered their talents as artists, bakers, crafters, and gardeners)! These events raised thousands of dollars for our two parishes! Thanks to all for their ongoing generous support of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport!
Our Lady of Good Voyage
Holy Name Society Summer Fair
Saturday, June 20th
All are welcome to join the Holy Name Society and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish for the annual “Summer Fair” on Saturday, June 20th from 9:00am until 1:00pm in the Parish Hall. Highlights will include a fried dough breakfast, freshly baked Portugese sweet bread, original artwork, and fun activities for kids (including an outdoor bounce house)! In addition, the Summer Fair will feature for sale many pieces of original artwork by our fellow parishioner, Theresa Wonson, and her friends, the Mount Vernon Artists. Last but not least, all are welcome to browse our boutique items and yard sale. Donations and volunteers are needed! Donations for the yard sale can be brought to Our Lady’s Rectory during the week from 9:00am until 2:00pm. For more information, please contact Bill Proposki at email@example.com. Please join us! All are welcome!
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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