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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
November: The Month of All Souls
The Remedy is the Grace of Christ
By Saint Ambrose
Bishop & Doctor of the Church
We should have a familiarity with death, a daily desire for death. By this kind of detachment, the soul must learn to free itself from the desires of the body. It must soar above earthly passions to a place where they cannot come near. The soul must take on the likeness of death to avoid the punishment of death. The law of our fallen nature battles with the law of our reason and subjects the law of reason to the law of error. What is the remedy? Who will set us free from this body of death? The grace of God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
We have a doctor to heal us; let us use the remedy that he prescribes. The remedy is the grace of Christ, the dead body our own. Let us then be exiles from our body, so as not to be exiles from Christ. Though we are still in the body, let us not give ourselves to the things of the body. We must not reject the natural rights of the body, but we must desire before all else the gifts of grace.
What more need be said? It was by the death of one man that the world was redeemed. Christ did not need to die if he did not want to die, but he did not look on death as something to be despised, something to be avoided, and he could have found no better means to save us than by dying. Thus his death is life for all. We are sealed with the sign of his death; when we pray, we preach his death; when we offer sacrifice, we proclaim his death. His death is victory; his death is a sacred sign; each year his death is celebrated with solemnity by the whole world.
What more should we say about his death since we use this divine example to prove that it is death alone that won freedom from death, and death itself was its own redeemer? Death is then no cause for mourning, for it is the cause of our salvation. Death is not something to be avoided, for the Son of God did not think it beneath his dignity, nor did he seek to escape it.
Death was not part of nature; it became part of nature. God did not decree death from the beginning. He pre- scribed it as a remedy. Human life was condemned be- cause of sin to unending labor and unbearable sorrow, and so began our wretched experience. There had to be a limit to sin’s evil; death had to restore what life had for- feited. Without the assistance of God’s grace, immortality would be more of a burden than a blessing…Above all else, Holy King David prayed that he might see and gaze on this: “One thing I have asked of the Lord, this I shall pray for: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, and to see how gracious is the Lord (Psalm 27:4).” Amen!
Source: The Office of Readings
November: The 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. Our first Mass of Remembrance was celebrated on Saturday, October 31st. Two other Masses of Remembrance will be celebrated according to the following schedule: 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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are welcome!
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