Our Pastor’s Message: Some Good Advice
Pope John XXIII once said: “It often happens that I wake up at night and begin to think about a serious problem and decide I must tell the Pope about it. Then I wake up completely and remember that I am the Pope.” Thankfully, this will never happen to me! But some mornings, I awaken and it takes me a few seconds to remember that I am pastor of two parishes: responsible for eleven buildings, four churches, and more than ten thousand souls.
Most mornings, I am undaunted by the challenges that we face in our two parishes. I jump out of bed, bound down the stairs, and begin the day. But sometimes, I admit that the cross is heavy. The pressure and stress can be difficult. If you’re raising a family, running a business, or just trying to make your way in the world by working and trying to live a good life, then you already know what I mean.
A parishioner recently asked me about the challenges of maintaining and restoring our buildings, balancing our budgets, and meeting the daily demands of being the only full-time priest in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. She pleaded with me to get some rest, slow down, and take better care of myself. But again, if you are a parent, grandparent, or someone who works for a living, then you know that it’s easy to give such good advice but so much more difficult to follow it.
This week, the Catholic Church celebrates the feasts of Saint John XXIII and Saint John Paul II. Pope John threw open the doors and windows of the Church and ushered in an era of reform and renewal. Pope John Paul taught us that faith, hope, and love (rightly understood) are the foundation of all efforts to shepherd God’s Church and God’s people in the modern world. And just this week, Pope Francis reminded us that the future of the Church depends on “apostolic courage, evangelical humility, and trusting prayer.” We have been so blessed to have such saintly shepherds!
Needless to say, I am not a saint. I am a sinner just like you. But I am inspired by the lives of Saint John XXIII, Saint John Paul II, and Pope Francis. In their own unique ways, each gave their lives in service to God and to others. As men and women of faith, we can only hope to follow their good example in whatever way we can.
Parishioners often ask how they can help me in my priestly ministry. Obviously, we can always use altar servers, catechists, lectors, and Eucharistic ministers. We need everyone to contribute a few extra dollars each week. And we need everyone to pray — a lot! Most of all, we need everyone to follow Saint John Paul’s good advice: “Never ever give up hope, never doubt, never tire, and never become discouraged. Be not afraid!” Amen!
Peace and blessings to all,
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Every Life Is Worth Living!
A Prayer Vigil for Life
Thursday, October 15th
Each October, the Roman Catholic Church prays in a special way for the respect of all human life. As Pope Francis reminds us: “We are called to reach out to those who find themselves in the existential peripheries of our society and to show particular solidarity with the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters: the poor, the disabled, the unborn and sick, migrants and refugees, the elderly and the young who lack employment.” This year, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has chosen “Every Life Is Worth Living!” as the theme of “Respect Life Month: October 2015.” Throughout the month of October, all are invited and encouraged to join in praying the following prayer for the protection of all human life from the moment of conception until natural death:
thank you for the precious gift of life.
Help us to cherish and protect this gift,
even in the midst of fear, pain, and suffering.
Give us love for all people, especially the most vulnerable,
and help us to bear witness to the truth that
every life is worth living.
Grant us the humility to accept help when we are in need,
and teach us to be merciful to all.
Through our actions and our words,
may others encounter the outstretched hands of Your mercy.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever.
A Prayer Vigil for Life
Thursday, October 15th | Begins at Noon
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
In communion and solidarity with Pope Francis, Cardinal Sean, and the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church, all parishioners, friends, and guests of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join us for “Every Life Is Worth Living: A Prayer Vigil for Life” on Thursday, October 15th in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. We will begin at 12:00pm with Daytime Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.
Throughout the afternoon, all are welcome to join us in silent prayer and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. At 3:00pm, we will pray a Rosary for Life in honor of the Holy Father’s call to reach out and respect our most vulnerable brothers and sisters. Our “Prayer Vigil for Life” will conclude with Evening Prayer (with homily) and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at 6:30pm. We pray that you and your family will be able to join us for all or part of this special day of prayer for life! If you are unable to join us, please pray with us at home or at work throughout the day with certain knowledge that God hears and answers our prayers for all human life. Come and pray with us! All are welcome!
Call for Donations! Baby Items Needed!
In addition to our community’s prayers this month, we are collecting donations of basic baby items (blankets, onesies, sleepers, toiletries, and disposable diapers & wipes) that will be donated to “A Woman’s Concern.” This Catholic, non-profit organization provides medical, mentoring, and ministry services to pregnant women and new mothers. Donations can be left in the sacristies of our churches before or after Mass or delivered to our pastoral office during regular busi- ness hours. For more information, please contact Father Jim at 978-281-4820 or email@example.com or visit their website at awcprc.org. All donations are appreciated! Please give generously!
Mass for Families
“Let the Little Children Come to Me”
Weekend of October 17th-18th
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says: “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs (Matthew 19:14).” In answer to the Lord’s call, all parents, grandparents, godparents, and children are invited to join Father Jim for a “Mass for Families” on either Saturday, October 17th at 6:00pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church or Sunday, October 18th at 8:15am in Saint Ann Church. During Mass, Father Jim will offer a special homily and blessing for all families and children. In addition, all children (under age 12) will receive a special gift from Father Jim. Every child in our pews is a gift from God! Every family in our pews is a gift from God! So, please spread the word! Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish
Grand Annual Collection
Second Collection This Weekend!
Our Goal: $40,000 | Donations So Far: $21,314
Each year, we ask all parishioners to contribute whatever they can to our Grand Annual Collection. This vitally important fundraising campaign bridges the gap between our weekly offertory and our financial obligations as a parish. Every contribution, whether its $1 or $10 or $100, helps us achieve our goal, meet our financial obligations for the coming year, and ensure our long-term economic stability. And be assured that every penny raised goes directly to Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish!
Our goal for this year’s Grand Annual Collection is $40,000. So far, we have raised $21,314. By now, all parishioners registered with our census should have received an offertory envelope for the Grand Annual Collection. Additional envelopes are available in the vestibule of the church. Please feel welcome to place your offering in the collection basket at Mass or mail it directly to our pastor at the following address:
Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish
142 Prospect Street
Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930
In an effort to reach our goal more quickly, we will have a Second Collection during all Masses this weekend (October 10th-October 11th) at Our Lady of Good Voyage Church in support of the Grand Annual Collection. As this year’s Grand Annual Collection continues, please join me in praying that each of us, according to our means, will give generously to this all-important fundraising effort! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your ongoing and generous support of Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish! May God bless you and your family!
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 worship sites include Saint Ann Church in Gloucester, Saint Anthony 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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