Our Pastor’s Message
Holy Family Parish
Grand Annual Collection 2018
Our Goal: $75,000
Almost four years ago, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport was established 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 team, each parish remains financially independent; maintains its own bank accounts and accounting procedures; and continues to be solely responsible for its own expenses, building maintenance, and pastoral programs.
Holy Family Parish is blessed in so many ways! Our ministries and service organizations are faithfully reaching out to the poor, sick, and homebound. Our adult faith formation programs are leading countless parishioners to grow closer to the Risen Lord. Our youth faith formation programs are creating a new generation of young disciples who are excited about their faith and eager to learn more about the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church. Mass attendance is rising. And thanks to your generosity, our parish budget was balanced last year.
Despite this good news, Holy Family Parish faces some serious challenges. Electricity, heating, and snow removal costs are astronomical. Our parish buildings are old, require ongoing maintenance, and sometimes need urgent and expensive repairs. And weekly collections do not cover all of the costs associated with the necessary work of our parish. For this reason, I am asking you to help me raise $75,000 for this year’s Grand Annual Collection. This fundrais- ing campaign is absolutely essential to our parish budget. It helps us balance our books by bridging the gap between our weekly contributions and our overall financial obligations which include salaries and benefits, insurance premiums, utility bills, snow plowing, and essential parish programs like adult and youth faith formation.
Each year, we ask all parishioners to contribute what they can to our Grand Annual Collection. Every contribution, whether it’s $10 or $100, helps us to balance our budget for the fiscal year. And every penny raised goes directly to Holy Family Parish. Every registered parish family has been mailed an offertory envelope for the Grand Annual Collection. Please place your offering in the collection basket at Mass or mail it to me as soon as possible. Also, please keep in mind that all funds raised by this collection are dedicated to balancing our budget, not the ongoing restoration of Saint Ann Church, which also needs your support.
As Holy Family’s 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. Finally, on a more personal note, please pray for me and for our pastoral team as we struggle to cope with the sudden loss of our dear friend and colleague, Deacon Ray Wellbank. We miss him and we mourn for him, but we are joyfully confident that he prays for us among a choir of angels. May God bless you and your family. And may God bless all who live, work, and worship in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. Merry Christmas!
Peace and blessings to all for a happy new year!
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Note: The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport sincerely thanks our friend, Jody Cole, for giving us permission to use her beautiful icon of “The Holy Family” here on our website and in our weekly newsletter. You can learn more about Jody’s icons at jcoleicons.com.
God’s Beloved Children
A Message from Pope Francis
God wants us to live as his sons and daughters. What is so surprising is that God ac- complishes this through the smallness and vulnerability of a newborn child. He decides personally to draw near to us and in his flesh to embrace our flesh, in his weakness to embrace our weakness, and in his littleness to envelop our littleness.
In Christ, God did not put on a human mask. Instead, he became human and shared completely in our human condition. Far from remaining an idea or an abstract essence, he wanted to be close to all those who felt hurt, lost, demeaned, discouraged, frightened, and inconsolable. Close to all those who in their bodies carry the burden of separation and loneliness, so that sin, shame, hurt, despair, and exclusion would not have the final word in the lives of his sons and daughters.
The manger invites us to make this divine logic our own. It is not a logic centered on privilege, exemptions, or favors but on encounter and closeness. The manger invites us to break with the logic of exceptions for some and exclusion for others. God himself comes to shatter the chains of privilege that always cause exclusion, in order to introduce the caress of compassion that brings inclusion, that makes the dignity of each person shine forth, the dignity for which he or she was created. A child in swaddling clothes shows us the power of God who approaches us as a gift, an offering, a leaven and opportunity for creating a culture of encounter.
Let us rejoice over the coming of our Redeemer and share this joy with others, giving comfort and hope to the poor, the sick, and to people who are lonely and unhappy. Let us welcome the Lord who always comes and knocks at our door, knocks at our heart, in order to draw near to us. He invites us to recognize his footsteps among the brothers and sisters who pass beside us, especially the weakest and most needy. He helps us to hear God’s voice in prayer and to serve God with compassion for our brothers and sis- ters, especially the weakest and most needy, so that we are prepared for our Christmas appointment; prepared with hearts ready to welcome Jesus (Source: Pope Francis: Open Your Heart, All Saints Press).
Youth Faith Formation
Youth Christmas Pageant
Saturday, January 6th
Each year, the Catholic Church celebrates the Season of Christmas from December 25th through the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord on January 6th. During Christmastime, we commemorate the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ; the choir of angels praising God in heaven; the call of the shepherds; and the adoration of the Magi with their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
As part of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s celebration of the Christmas Season, we invite children from our parish communities to participate in our Youth Christmas Pageant on Saturday, January 6th at 4:00pm in Saint Ann Church. This dramatization of the Nativity of the Lord depends on the participation of young angels and shepherds, along with those interested in playing the roles of the Magi and the Holy Family. If your child would like to participate in this wonderful holiday tradition, please contact Betsy Works at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Founded in 2007 by Father Jim and Cliff Garvey, the Assisi Project is a “Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit” that seeks to live the Gospel of Christ through the inspiration and intercession of Saint Francis of Assisi. The Assisi Project always welcomes new members and meets on the last Saturday of every month beginning with Mass at 8:00am in Saint Ann Church. Our next meeting is scheduled for Saturay, January 27th (weather permitting). Our fellowship, ranging in age from 15 to 92, also pray for all who ask for our prayers. If you would like the Assisi Project to pray for you or your special intention, please contact Cliff at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome! May the Lord give you peace during the new year!
Winter Weather Cancellations
For the latest information about weather related cancellations during the winter months in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please join us here at ccgronline.com. Announcements will also be made on WBZ1030 and cbsboston.com. All parishioners should note that if the public schools are closed during the week due to inclement weather, then our weekday Mass and all adult and youth faith formation programs will be canceled on that day. Peace and blessings to all for a Merry Christmas and a very safe winter season! — Father Jim
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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