Our Pastor’s Message
Holy Family Parish Finance Report
It has been just over three years since Cardinal Sean O’Malley established the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport as a collaborative of two historic parishes: Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. Although our parishes share one pastor and pastoral team, each parish remains canonically independent; has its own finance council; maintains its own bank accounts and accounting procedures; and continues to be solely responsible for its own bills, building maintenance, and pastoral programs. During the past three years, Holy Family Parish has been blessed in many ways. Attendance is good. Spirits are high. Fundraising events like the Christmas Fair, the Strawberry Festival, and the Grand Annual Collection have been successful both by raising funds and by building and strengthening our parish as a vibrant community or prayer, fellowship, and service. An ongoing source of encouragement and joy is to receive positive comments from both parishioners and summer visitors about the good work of our pastoral team, the amazing dedication of our volunteers, and the blessings of the Holy Spirit in our parish. Although collaboration between parishes is sometimes challenging, parishioners from both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish are praying together, working together, and helping each other live the Gospel, share God’s love, and rebuild the Church here in Gloucester and Rockport.
Along with our many blessings come some challenges and hard choices. Included in this week’s newsletter (and posted below) is a financial summary for the fiscal year that ended on June 30th. Balancing our budget last year without any lease income was indeed a challenge. But thanks to the hard work of our finance council, pastoral team, and countless volunteers, I am happy to report that our parish budget is balanced. Thanks to your generous support, we met and exceeded our weekly offertory goal (102%) and our Grand Annual Collection goal (111%). The Holy Family Women’s Guild also reached its annual fundraising goal of $35,000. In addition, we reduced spending in several areas related to administration, utilities, and basic expenses. On your behalf, I wish to sincerely thank the members of the Holy Family Parish Finance Council for their dedicated service, good advice and wise counsel: Joseph Grella (Chair), Robert Krause, Rosa Ladd, and Sheila McCarthy. I also wish to thank two members of our pastoral team, Claire Murphy and Cliff Garvey, for their hard work and for keeping me (and all of us) focused on making the best use of the financial resources made available to us by our parishioners.
As always, the long-term financial stability of Holy Family Parish depends on parishioners like you who give so much of your time, talent, and treasure to help us raise the funds necessary to pay our bills, balance our budgets, and continue the good and necessary work of sharing Christ’s love, mercy, and friendship with every single person who enters one of our churches. During the coming year, we will work diligently to keep our budget balanced through fundraising events, encouraging weekly offertory, ongoing efforts to reduce expenses, and asking for your help with our Grand Annual Collection. But in the end, it will always be your ongoing prayers and generosity that make what we do possible each and every day. During the coming weeks, I will have more news to share with you about our efforts to repair and restore Saint Ann Church and other important matters. Until then, please accept my deepest thanks for your prayers and encouragement during my first three years as your pastor. Your kindness and support humbles me and sustains me in my ministry. Please continue to pray for me, for our pastoral team, and for each other. And please know that you and your family are always in my prayers. Thank you in advance for your prayers and ongoing support for Holy Family Parish!
Peace and blessings to all,
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish
Our Lady’s Guild Penny Sale
Monday, September 25th
All parishioners, friends, and guests of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join Our Lady’s Guild for a “Penny Sale” on Monday, September 25th at 7:00pm in Our Lady’s Hall. As always, the Penny Sale will feature great prizes, a 50-50 raffle, delicious homemade sweet bread, along with other homemade food and snacks. Donations will be accepted at our pastoral office (located at 74 Pleasant Street). For more information, please contact Beth Fosberry at firstname.lastname@example.org; or leave a message for Julia Garcia at 978-281-4820. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Fall Day of Prayer
Learning to Love with Saint Francis
Saturday, September 30th
Nights are growing cooler. Gardens are fading. Leaves are beginning to show a hint of fall color. One season ends, another begins. Autumn is a great time to refresh and renew our spiritual lives. This year, in celebration of the Assisi Project’s 10th Anniversary (2007-2017), Father Jim and Cliff Garvey are offering a series of adult faith formation programs designed to help us better understand the life and legacy of Saint Francis of Assisi, his influence on Pope Francis and the Catholic Church, and the timeless traditions of Franciscan prayer and spirituality.
In this spirit, all parishioners, friends, and guests of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join Father Jim, Cliff, and the Assisi Project for a Fall Day of Prayer & Reflection: “Learning to Love with Saint Francis of Assisi” on Saturday, September 30th in Saint Anthony Chapel. During this four-hour mini-retreat, we will explore what Saint Francis of Assisi, who lived eight centuries ago, can teach contemporary Christians like us how to love God and love others in an increasingly troubled world. This special morning of prayer and reflection will proceed according to the following schedule:
9:00am Morning Prayer & Reflection
10:00am Eucharistic Adoration & Rosary
11:00am Daytime Prayer & Reflection
12:00pm Angelus & Closing Prayers
Throughout the morning, there will be breaks, times for silent prayer, and periods for faith sharing and fellowship. Coffee, tea, and bottled water will be served. After our closing prayers, all are invited to remain for a picnic lunch. During Mass, a free-will donation will be taken in support of our adult faith formation ministry. If you would like to join us for this special adult faith formation program, please contact Cliff at email@example.com. It is important to register in advance so that we can plan adequately for food and drink. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Youth Faith Formation
Holy Angels Faith & Family Mass
Sunday, October 1st
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 response to the Lord’s call, all parents and guardians, grandparents, godparents, and children of all ages are invited to join Father Jim for our “Holy Angels Faith & Family Mass” on Sunday, October 1st at 11:45am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. During Mass, Father Jim will offer a special homily about the Holy Angels and a special blessing for all families and their children. In addition, all children (under age 18) will receive a special gift from our pastor.
This school year, we will celebrate four more “Faith & Family Masses” on Saturday, December 2nd at 4:00pm in Saint Ann Church; Saturday, January 6th at 4:00pm in Saint Ann Church; Sunday, February 18th at 11:45am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church; and Saturday, May 12th at 4:00pm in Saint Ann Church. So, mark your calendars! Invite your family! Invite your neighbors! For more information about this special event, please see Father Jim or contact Betsy Works at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us reaffirm that Mass is our class! Jesus is our teacher! Every child in our pews is a gift from God! Every family in our pews is a gift from God! Please join us! All families are invited! All families are welcome! Always!
Vigil for Peace
Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi
Wednesday, October 4th
In recent months, it has become clear that the need for prayer is more important than ever. The threats of war, natural disaster, domestic & international terrorism, and violence in our own country have prompted many people to reconsider basic assumptions and opinions about the long-term health and stability of our nation’s political culture and its institutions. These concerns inspire us to pray and to ask the Risen Lord to bless our community, our country, and our world with peace, hope, and love. In this spirit, all are invited to join Father Jim for a Vigil for Peace on Wednesday, October 4th in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Our vigil will begin at 12:00pm with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Daytime Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. At 3:00pm, we will pray a Rosary for Peace. And our vigil will conclude at 6:45pm with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. We will gather for this Vigil for Peace on the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi. So, please join us for all or part of this special afternoon of prayer and devotion during which we will ask for the grace, courage, and strength to be instruments of peace in our daily lives. For more information, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Clare of Assisi: Light from the Cloister
Book Study & Faith Sharing for Adults
Begins Wednesday, October 4th
This year, in celebration of the Assisi Project’s 10th Anniversary (2007-2017), Father Jim and Cliff Garvey are offering a series of adult faith formation programs designed to help us better understand the life and legacy of Saint Francis of Assisi, his influence on Pope Francis and the Catholic Church, and the timeless traditions of Franciscan prayer and spirituality. Our year-long focus on the Franciscan spiritual tradition concludes with “The Fall Read”, a four week book study and faith sharing program during which participants will read and share their reactions to Bret Thoman’s wonderful new book: “Saint Clare of Assisi: Light from the Cloister.” This intimate but easy-to-read biography of Saint Clare will lead us closer to Christ by introducing us to the best friend and perhaps most devoted follower of Saint Francis.
All adult parishioners are invited to join Father Jim and Cliff Garvey for this special program on four consecutive Wednesday evenings: October 4th through October 25th in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Each session will begin at 7:00pm with Evening Prayer. Cliff will then briefly introduce the readings for the week, which will be followed by discussion, questions, and faith sharing. Our gatherings will conclude at 8:30pm with Night Prayer. Books will be provided. A donation of $25.00 per person is requested from those who can afford it, along with a commitment to read the book and come prepared to ask questions and offer personal insights about the life and times of Saint Clare. If you are interested in joining us, please contact Cliff at firstname.lastname@example.org. All are invited! All are welcome!
Blessing of the Animals
Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi
Saturday, October 7th
Saint Francis of Assisi is venerated throughout the world as the patron of animals and the environment. In belated celebration of the Feast of Saint Francis, all parishioners, friends, and guests of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport (whether your family owns a pet or not) are invited to join Father Jim for the traditional “Blessing of the Animals” on Saturday, October 7th at 12:00pm in Our Lady’s Rectory Parking Lot. All friendly family pets are welcome (but must be leashed or secured in carriers). For more information about this special annual event, please see Father Jim before or after Mass; or contact him at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome! Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us!
Youth Faith Formation
Grade 2 Sacramental Preparation
Begins Friday, October 13th
The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport offers a creative and innovative way for children to prepare for the Sacraments of Penance & Reconciliation (Confession) and First Holy Communion. Our program is designed to prepare both children and their parents for these sacraments; to encourage lifelong relationships with Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church; and to help families grow together in prayer, fellowship, and service. Our program is simple and family-friendly! First, our top priority is to invite all families to attend of one our seven weekend Masses. Second, all second grade children and their parents, grandparents, and/or guardians are asked to attend two 90 minute workshops during the fall season and three 90 minute workshops during the winter-spring season. Each of these “Faith & Family Workshops” is offered at different times so that each family can choose which option works best for them.
Our sacramental preparation program for second graders and their families begins during the weekend of October 13th-October 14th. A calendar of events and registration form are available from our office or by clicking on the link below. Registration forms can be returned by mail; hand-delivered to our parish offices (which are located at 74 Pleasant Street in Gloucester); or completed at our walk-in registration day on Saturday, September 23rd from 9:00am until 11:00am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Hall (which is located 142 Prospect Street in Gloucester). If you have questions or need assistance with youth faith formation, please contact Betsy Works at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
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. Working together as a Roman Catholic community united in prayer, fellowship, and service, we are committed to living the Gospel of Christ, sharing God’s love and mercy with all people, and rebuilding the Church in Gloucester & Rockport. All are invited! All are welcome! Always!
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