Our Pastor’s Message
Holy Family’s Grand Annual Collection
Our Goal: $75,000
As you know, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport was established last year as a collaborative of two historic parishes: Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. Although our parishes share a pastor and pastoral service team, each parish remains canonically independent, maintains its own bank accounts and accounting procedures, and continues to be solely responsible for its own bills, building maintenance, and its share in vital pastoral programs like adult and youth faith formation.
During the past year, Holy Family Parish has been blessed in so many ways! Our ministries and organizations continued to faithfully serve the poor, sick, and homebound. Our mini-courses and summer retreat brought together large groups of parishioners with a desire to grow closer to Christ and the Church. Our parish fundraising events (like the Christmas Fair and Strawberry Festival) are always great fun and very successful. And despite additional changes to our worship schedule, Mass attendance and weekly collections improved. But we also face serious challenges. Heating and snow removal costs are astronomical. Our churches and parish buildings all need urgent repairs and restoration. And although weekly collections are increasing (albeit slightly), our financial security is threatened by the uncertain future of our lease agreement with the City of Gloucester for the Saint Ann School building.
For these reasons, I am writing to ask you to help me raise $75,000 for this year’s Grand Annual Collection. This fundraising campaign is vitally important to our annual budget. It helps us balance our books by bridging the gap between our weekly collections and financial obligations (such as salaries and benefits, insurance premiums, utility bills, snow plowing, and essential parish programs). Each year, we ask all parishioners to contribute whatever they can to our Grand Annual Collection. Every contribution, whether it’s $10 or $100, helps us to achieve our goal and meet our financial obligations for the coming year. Every penny raised goes directly to Holy Family Parish!
By next weekend, all parishioners registered with our census should receive a letter from me and an offertory envelope for the Grand Annual Collection. Additional envelopes are available at our pastoral office and in the vestibules of both Saint Ann Church and Saint Joachim Church. Please feel welcome to place your offering in the collection basket at Mass or mail it directly to me at the following address:
Holy Family Parish
60 Prospect Street
Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930
Pope Francis recently said: “Let the Church always be a place of mercy and hope, where everyone is welcomed, loved, and forgiven.” Since the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport was created seventeen months ago, we have worked hard to put the Holy Father’s words into practice in both of our parishes. But our progress in building a community in prayer, fellowship, and service depends on your ongoing generosity and support. As our Grand Annual Collection begins, 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 remember that you are always welcome to contact me at 978-281-4820 or email@example.com.
Finally, please accept my deepest thanks for your prayers and encouragement since becoming your pastor. I continue to be honored and humbled beyond words by your ongoing kindness and support. Please pray for me, for our pastoral team, and for all who live, work, and worship in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport! And please give what you can to our Grand Annual Collection!
During the coming week, I will be away and co-directing the Assisi Project’s Eighth Annual Fall Pilgrimage to Assisi, Greccio, and La Verna in Italy. Please also pray for our safe travels. And please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family! May God bless you — now and always!
Peace and blessings to all,
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Inflamed by a Tremendous Yearning
A Reflection for the Solemnity of All Saints
By Saint Bernard of Clairvaux
Why should our praise and glorification, or even the celebration of this feast day mean anything to the saints? What do they care about earthly honors when their heavenly Father honors them by fulfilling the faithful promise of the Son? What does our commendation mean to them? The saints have no need of honor from us; neither does our devotion add the slightest thing to what is already theirs. Clearly, if we venerate their memory, it serves us, not them. But I tell you, when I think of them, I feel myself inflamed by a tremendous yearning.
Calling the saints to mind inspires, or rather arouses in us above all else, a longing to enjoy their company, so desirable in itself. We long to share in the citizenship of heaven, to dwell with the spirits of the blessed, to join the assembly of the patriarchs, the ranks of the prophets, the council of apostles, the great host of martyrs, the noble company of confessors, and the choir of virgins. In short, we long to be united in happiness with all the saints. But our dispositions change. The Church of all the first followers of Christ awaits us, but we do nothing about it. The saints want us to be with them, and we are indifferent. The souls of the just await us, and we ignore them.
Come, let us at length spur ourselves onward. We must rise again with Christ, we must seek the world which is above and set our mind on the things of heaven. Let us long for those who are longing for us, hasten to those who are waiting for us, and ask those who look for our coming to intercede for us. We should not only want to be with the saints, we should also hope to possess their happiness. While we desire to be in their company, we must also ear- nestly seek to share in their glory…
When we commemorate the saints, we are inflamed with another yearning: that Christ our life may also appear to us as he appeared to them and that we may one day share in his glory. Until then, we see him, not as he is, but as he became for our sake. He is our head, crowned, not with glory, but with the thorns of our sins. As members of that head, crowned with thorns, we should be ashamed to live in luxury; his purple robes are a mockery rather than an honor. When Christ comes again, his death will no longer be proclaimed, and we will know that we also have died, and that our life is hidden with him. The glorious head of the Church will appear and his glorified members will shine in splendor with him, when he forms his lowly body anew into such glory as belongs to himself, its head.
Therefore, we should aim at attaining this glory with a wholehearted and prudent desire. That we may rightly hope and strive for such blessedness, we must above all seek the prayers of the saints. Thus, what is beyond our own powers to obtain will be granted through their intercession. Amen.
Source: Office of Readings
Welcome Father Gerald Flater, OMI
Missionary Visit to Our Lady of Good Voyage
During this weekend (October 31st and November 1st), the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport is blessed to welcome Father Gerald Flater of the Missionary Oblates of Mary, who will celebrate Masses at Our Lady of Good Voyage Church and preach about his missionary work. In support of the good work of the Oblates of Mary and their missionary ministries around the world, a second collection will be taken this weekend at all Masses in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Your generous support will be much appreciated! Welcome, Father Flater to the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish! And thank you!
November 2015: Month of All Souls
Masses of Remembrance
In November, the “Month of All Souls”, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport will celebrate three Masses of Remembrance for those from our parishes who have journeyed home to the Lord during the past year and whose funerals were celebrated in our parishes. These Masses will be celebrated according to the following schedule: Saturday, October 31st at 4:00pm in Saint Ann Church; Sunday, November 8th at 10:00am in Saint Joachim Church; and Sunday, November 15th at 11:45am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. At each Mass of Remembrance, the names of our dearly departed loved ones and friends will be read aloud. May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace!
Liturgy of the Hours: A Reprise
Wednesday, November 18th
Earlier this fall, Father Jim and Cliff Garvey introduced a large group of parishioners to the Divine Office during our three-night mini-course entitled: “Learning the Liturgy of the Hours.” On Thursday, November 18th in Saint Anthony Chapel, all are welcome to join us for a one-night “reprise” of that mini-course. This special evening of prayer, faith formation, and sharing is an opportunity for those who missed the mini-course to learn about the Liturgy of the Hours; and a chance for those who are praying with it to ask questions and share their experiences.
Since the middle ages, the Church has used a daily practice of prayer called the “Divine Office” or “Liturgy of the Hours” to mark and sanctify the various hours or times of the day: morning, afternoon, evening, and night. It uses a four-week cycle of psalms, canticles, and scripture readings to draw us into deeper relationship with Christ and the Church by uniting us with the Lord and each other through prayers of petition, praise, and thanksgiving.
At ordination, our deacons and priests solemnly promise to pray with the Divine Office each and every day. However, the Liturgy of the Hours is not just for deacons, priests, and those consecrated to religious life. Countless lay men and women around the world make the Liturgy of the Hours the foundation of their daily prayer and wor- ship. Indeed, in Canticum Laudis, the Apostolic Constitution of the Church, we read: “The purpose of the Divine Office is to sanctify the day and all human activity. The Divine Office is the prayer not only of the clergy but of the whole people of God.”
We will begin our time together with Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. After praying together, Father Jim and Cliff will offer some basic instruction on how to pray the Divine Office alone or in groups. In addition, there will be time for discussion, faith sharing, and questions. Finally, we will conclude with Night Prayer.
This special event is free but one volume editions of the Liturgy of the Hours will be available for purchase. If you would like to join us, please contact Cliff Garvey at 978- 281-4820 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are welcome! For those parishioners who may be unable to join us for this special event due to family or professional obligations, our own website includes links to use-friendly sites for praying the Liturgy of the Hours. All are welcome to join at ccgronline.com/prayer.
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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