Our Pastor’s Message
Creating Our First Pastoral Council
It’s hard to believe that it has been nearly three years since Cardinal Sean asked me to serve as pastor of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, the newly-created collaborative between Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. As you know, the collaborative model of parish life is the product of an archdiocesan pastoral plan called “Disciples in Mission.” This innovative plan called for multiple parishes to remain canonically and financially independent, but served by one pastor, one pastoral team, and one pastoral council.
When I became your pastor in June 2014, the success of our collaboration was uncertain. Almost immediately, it became clear that because of the priest shortage, only one priest would be assigned to our parishes on a full-time basis for the foreseeable future. Soon after, it became necessary to evaluate our buildings, finances, programs, worship schedule, and the work of our pastoral team. Some changes went unnoticed. Other changes were more difficult to accept. And although our first months together were sometimes challenging, we have made steady progress toward truly becoming a faith community united in prayer, fellowship, and service.
The measure of our progress is a tribute to the deep faith, dedication, and resilience of our parishioners. Your ongoing prayers, kindness, and generous spirit mean the world to me. In addition, we should thank our pastoral team which has weathered some difficult storms with grace and resolve. We should also thank our parish finance councils for their good advice and ongoing commitment to the long-term financial stability of our parishes. And we should thank our individual parish councils who continued to serve during these early years of our collaborative. Perhaps my deepest regret during these first years as your pastor was not meeting as often as I would have liked with our parish councils. But now, with your advice, counsel, and support, I hope to change that by creating the first pastoral council for the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport.
Unlike a traditional parish council, whose members focus on the needs of one particular parish, our pastoral council will be called to think beyond the boundaries of “my parish” toward a broader appreciation for what is best for “our parishes.” In accordance with archdiocesan guidelines, our pastoral council will meet approximately five times each year; will be comprised of an equal number of members from both parishes; and will also include the pastor, pastoral associates, and permanently assigned deacons. As such, our council will include two members from Holy Family Parish, two members of Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, two members of our pastoral team, and myself.
During the next six weeks, I ask you to pray about a fellow parishioner whom you believe could make a constructive contribution to our pastoral council and to strengthening the collaboration between our two historic parishes. Your nominee to serve on the pastoral council must be an adult (age 18 and over); a registered parishioner in one of our parishes; a weekly participant in the sacramental life of our parishes; and a person who is committed to the success of our collaborative. In addition, all members of our pastoral council must be able to work in a positive and productive way with me, our fellow parishioners, finance councils, pastoral team, and other members of the council.
In the coming weeks, all registered parish families will receive a nomination form by mail. These forms will also be available online, in church, and at our parish offices. Because this process marks the creation of our first official pastoral council, we should not think of this as an election. Rather, it is a process of prayer and discernment. In accordance with archdiocesan guidelines, nominations will be reviewed by me and a small committee comprised of members of our finance councils and pastoral team. The strongest nominees will be asked to participate in a brief conversation with me to ensure that they are able to commit themselves to the mission of our council and the work of our parishes.
Nominations will be accepted through Sunday, April 30th. With your help and support, my hope is that our council will meet for the first time in June. If you have any questions after receiving your nomination form, please remember that you are always welcome to contact me. Until then, I beg your prayers for me, for our finance councils and pastoral team, and for all who live, work, and worship in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. May the Holy Spirit unite us in prayer, fellowship, and service; and help us to live the Gospel, share God’s love, and rebuild the Church.
Peace and blessings to all,
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Feast of Saint Joseph
Patron of Fathers & Protector of Children
Saint Joseph, Pray for Us!
For more than 1,000 years, the Roman Catholic Church has venerated Saint Joseph as patron of fathers, protector of children (both born and unborn), and guardian of unwed mothers. He is also venerated as patron of carpen- ters, laborers, immigrants, and those who doubt their faith. This year, because the Feast of Saint Joseph (March 19th) falls on the Third Sunday of Lent, it will be celebrated liturgically on Monday, March 20th. Traditional devotions to Saint Joseph remain strong here in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. In this spirit, let us raise our hearts and voices in prayer to Saint Joseph for the protection of our children:
O Saint Joseph,
to you God committed the care of His Only Son
amid the many dangers of this world.
We come to you and ask you
to take under your special protection all children
in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport.
Through Holy Baptism, they became children of God
and members of His Holy Church.
We consecrate them to you,
so that through our humble prayers,
they become your foster children.
Guard them, guide their steps in life,
form their hearts after the hearts of Jesus and Mary.
O Saint Joseph,
who felt the tribulation and worry of a parent,
when the child Jesus was lost,
protect our children for all time and eternity.
May you be their father and counselor.
Like Jesus, help them to grow
in age and in wisdom and grace
before God and all people.
Preserve them from the corruption of this world,
and give us the grace one day
to be united with them forever in heaven.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever. Amen.
Lent Mission & Retreat
Seasons of the Heart with Sister Elizabeth Wagner
March 22nd-March 24th
All are invited to join us for the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s Lent Mission & Retreat from Wednesday, March 22nd through Friday, March 24th at Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Each evening will begin with Evening Prayer & Mass at 7:00pm. In addition, we will be blessed to welcome Sister Elizabeth Wagner as our special guest and spiritual director, who will lead us in prayer and reflection each evening after Mass. Sister Elizabeth lives a contemplative life at Transfiguration Hermitage, which she founded in Windsor, Maine, as a semi-eremitical community devoted to prayer and solitude according to the Rule of Saint Benedict. She is a hermit, award-winning writer, spiritual director, and retreat leader. Sister Elizabeth is also the formation director, gardener, and groundskeeper of the hermitage.
In addition to Sister Elizabeth’s nightly reflections during the mission and retreat, she will sign copies of her book, “Seasons in My Garden.” This captivating book intricate- ly weaves insights from her own spiritual growth with the passing of the seasons. It offers readers spiritual guid- ance and an understanding that the patient tending of the soul will help us grow into a tranquil garden that God can use to reflect his glory. Copies of the book will be available for sale at $16.95 per copy. The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s Lent Mission & Retreat is free but donations will be gratefully accepted during each evening’s celebration of Mass. For more information, please contact Cliff Garvey at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Holy Season of Lent
The Stations of the Cross
Friday, March 24th
The Stations of the Cross are one of the most enduring and moving devotions of the Roman Catholic Church. By uniting our prayers with the sufferings of Christ through both word and imagery, we make a spiritual pilgrimage with Lord on his way to the Cross. During Lent, all are invited to join us in praying the Stations of the Cross on six consecutive Fridays (March 3rd through April 7th) according to the following schedule:
- Saint Ann Church | Fridays at 3:00pm
- Our Lady of Good Voyage Church | Fridays at 6:30pm
Please note that on Friday evenings at Our Lady of Good Voyage Church, Mass will be celebrated at 6:30pm before we pray the Stations of the Cross. For more information about the Holy Season of Lent in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Father Jim firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
The Assisi Project
Tenth Anniversary Year | 2007-2017
Saturday, March 25th
Founded in 2007 by Father Jim and Cliff Garvey, the Assisi Project is a Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit who seek to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the inspiration of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi. Our mission is to serve the Church and to give witness to the Good News of Christ through prayer and formation, pilgrimage and retreat, and educating others about our way of life. The Assisi Project meets on the last Saturday of each month in Saint Ann Church for Mass, formation, and fellowship. Our next meeting is scheduled for Saturday, March 25th. If you are interested in growing closer to the Lord and learning more about Saint Francis of Assisi, please prayerfully consider joining us! You do not need to travel with us to Assisi to be part of the Assisi Project! All are invited! All are welcome! For more information, please contact Cliff Garvey at email@example.com. May the Lord give you peace!
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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