Our Pastor’s Message
A New Year’s Resolution
Each year, a friend of mine reads “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens as part of his holiday tradition. Since my friend can no longer be considered a young man, he has probably read this classic tale more than thirty times. But each time, year after year, he comes away with a new lesson learned, a new bit of wisdom to share during friendly gatherings, dinners, and holiday parties.
This year, my friend was typically fascinated by the transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge from mean-spirited miser to charitable apostle of Christmas; and also by Scrooge’s resolution near the end of the classic story. After being visited by the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, Scrooge resolves: “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.” Indeed, in the closing lines of “A Christmas Carol”, Dickens assures us that “Scrooge was better than his word…He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city or town, or borough, in the good old world.”
As a new year begins and as new year resolutions sadly fall by the wayside when confronted with the realities of work and family, we would do well to hold on tightly to Mr. Scrooge and his promise to “honor” and “keep” Christmas throughout the year. As Catholics, we are ever mindful of our shared past and traditions, both as parishioners in our home parishes and brothers and sisters in the Universal Church. And as Catholics, we always look to the future and toward the promise of eternal life. But what about the present? At the beginning of “A Christmas Carol”, Scrooge is mired in the muck of the present. He is weighed down by the concerns of the world: money, prestige, and power over others. Rather than being a voice of encouragement or an agent of charity to his friends, neighbors, and associates, Scrooge is a voice of anger and criticism. He is one of those sad people who tears down but does not build up.
As Christians, our vocation in the present is precisely that: to build up, to encourage, and to love. Our vocation is to live the Gospel, to share God’s love with our families, friends, and neighbors, and to strengthen the Church through prayer, fellowship, and service. This year, let us pray for the grace to honor and keep Christmas each and every day. Let us resolve to love God and to love others; and to pray that what was said about Mr. Scrooge at the end of the story may be said about us — today, tomorrow, and throughout the year! May God bless us, everyone!
Peace and blessings for a Happy New Year!
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Epiphany Youth Pageant
Saturday, January 2nd
This weekend throughout the world, as part of the Season of Christmas, the Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. Traditionally, the Epiphany commemorates the coming of the Magi from the East who pay homage to the newborn Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. These wise men paid tribute to the Lord by bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Here in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, our celebration of the Solemnity of the Epiphany includes a youth dramatization of the coming of the Magi at our 4:00pm Mass in Saint Ann Church. Children of all ages from both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish will participate in this annual Christmas tradition. On behalf of our grateful parishes, Father Jim thanks Sue Demetri and Donna Lupo for their dedication and hard work in organizing this year’s youth pageant. Special thanks also go to all of the children who participated and their parents! Happy New Year!
Celebration of First Penance & Reconciliation
Saturday, January 9th
This year, sixty-four of our youngest fellow parishioners from both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish are preparing for their First Holy Communion. On Saturday, January 9th at 11:00am in Saint Ann Church, those young disciples will participate in the Sacrament of Penance & Reconciliation (Confession) for the first time. All parents, grandparents, godparents, friends, and family members are also invited to join us for this special celebration in the lives of these young disci- ples of Christ Jesus. As our annual celebration of First Penance & Reconciliation approaches, please pray for all of our students and their families, and for all of our catechists and volunteers! For more information about youth faith formation program in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please see Father Jim before or after Mass, or contact Betsy Works at firstname.lastname@example.org! May God bless our children throughout this new year!
Holy Family Parish
Grand Annual Collection
Goal: $75,000 | Donations: $55,889
Each year, we ask all parishioners to contribute what they can to Holy Family’s Grand Annual Collection. This collection is a vitally important component of our annual budget. It helps us balance our budget by bridging the gap between the weekly offerings and our financial obligations. The Grand Annual Collection helps us to pay for the benefits and salaries of our priests and pastoral team. It helps us to pay our insurance and utility bills. It helps us to maintain our historic buildings and plow our parking lots. It helps to fund essential parish programs like adult and youth faith formation. All contributions to the Grand Annual Collection go directly to Holy Family Parish. If we do not achieve our goal, then it becomes almost impossible for us to balance our annual budget! So far, we have received approximately 74.5% of our goal! Although we have much work to do, we still hope to reach our goal of $75,000 by the First Sunday of Lent. Please pray that each of us, according to our means, will give generously to Holy Family’s Grand Annual Collection! For more information, please contact Father Jim 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 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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