Our Pastor’s Message
Come, Holy Spirit!
By Father Jim
This weekend, the Roman Catholic Church celebrates Pentecost Sunday, a joyful commemoration of the moment when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and blessed them with the courage, grace, perseverance, and strength to preach the Gospel throughout the world. More specifically, the Holy Spirit blessed them with these seven gifts: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Awe.
The gifts of the Holy Spirit helped the Apostles accomplish what seems then and now like an impossible task: the conversion of the world to faith in Jesus Christ as humanity’s merciful savior, teacher, and good shepherd. For more than two millennia, these Gifts of the Holy Spirit have served as the energy and inspiration for the Church and its many ministries. And for more than two thousand years, these heavenly gifts have inflamed the hearts and lives of the countless good and faithful people who have worked so tirelessly to live the Gospel, share God’s love and mercy, and build up the Church.
These people are men and women, saints and sinners, young and old, rich and poor. They are clergy, religious brothers and sisters, and lay men and women. They are deacons, priests, nuns, lay ministers, and volunteers of all ages. They live in every country in the world. They are confronted with disbelief, skepticism, and persecution. They are tempted by pride, anger, lust, envy, gluttony, greed, and laziness. Sometimes they fall and fall hard into the depths of despair and sin. But sometimes, so many times, they rise up, embrace the cross and their faith, and continue the hard work of preaching the Good News of Christ by both word and deed. Without them, the teachings of Jesus, the accounts ofthe Lord’s Passion, and the testimonials to his Glorious Resurrection would be consigned to the dark and murky mists of history.
Here and now, the beautiful burden of preaching the Gospel falls to us, each one of us, in our families, neighborhoods, workplaces, and parishes. It falls to us, each and every one of us, to pry open our hearts and minds in order to accept and embrace the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. It falls to us, to each and every one of us, to carry the Cross of the Crucified Christ into the darkest corners of our increasingly cynical culture. And it falls to us, each and every one of us, to spread the Good News of the Risen Jesus to the four corners of the world, even if our world barely extends beyond the borders of the Catholic Community of Gloucester and Rockport. We all have a unique good to accomplish in the Christian Community. We all have a unique job to do in the Lord’s vineyard.
It is easy to preach the Gospel but it is infinitely harder to live it. It is easy to fulfill our Sunday obligation but it is infinitely harder to live as a true disciple. It is easy to toss some cash into the collection basket, but it is infinitely harder to volunteer our time and talent; to reach out to the lonely or the poor; or to reconcile with a friend or family member. It is easy to exchange the Sign of Peace but it is infinitely harder to refrain from gossip, to resist the temptation to tear down, or to reject the ugly pride of our “reality show” world. Itis easy for me to write these words, but it is much harder for me to live them.
This weekend at Mass, we will pray an ancient and beautiful prayer called the Sequence of the Holy Spirit. In this prayer, we beg the Holy Spirit to cleanse us, comfort us, guide us, heal us, refresh us, strengthen us, and enkindle in our hearts the fire of His divine love and mercy. As the Easter Season concludes and our journey through Ordinary Time resumes, let us rededicate ourselves to lives of true discipleship. Let us pray for each other, for our parishes, for our country, and for peace in our world. Let us pray for the courage to whole heartedly embrace the Gifts of the Holy Spirit! And let us cry out united in heart and voice: “Come, Holy Spirit! Come!”
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Holy Family Parish
Grand Annual Collection
OUR GOAL: $75,000 | RAISED SO FAR: $45,300
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 canonically and financially independent; maintains its own bank accounts and accounting procedures; and continues to be completely responsible for its own expenses, building maintenance, and pastoral programs.
Holy Family Parish is blessed in so many ways! Our ministries and service organizations faithfully serve the poor, sick, and homebound. Our adult faith formation programs bring together large groups of parishioners who desire to grow closer to Christ and the Church. 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 growing. And last year, thanks to your faithful and generous support, major repairs were completed at both Saint Ann Church and Saint Joachim Church; and our parish budget was balanced.
Despite this good news, Holy Family Parish faces some serious challenges. Heating and snow removal costs are astronomical. Our parish buildings are old, require ongoing maintenance, and sometimes need urgent and expensive repairs. Unfortunately, our weekly collections simply do not cover all of the costs associated with the necessary work of our parish. For this reason, I am writing again to ask you to help me raise $75,000 for this fiscal year’s Grand Annual Collection. This all-important fundraising campaign helps us balance our budget by bridging the gap between weekly collections and our financial obligations (including the salaries and benefits for our priests and pastoral team members, insurance premiums, utility bills, building maintenance, and essential parish programs).
So far, we have raised approximately $45,300 which is 60% of our goal. Thank you! In order to ensure that our budget is balanced, however, we must reach our goal by the end of the fiscal year on June 30th. During the weekend of June 9th and 10th, we will take up a second collection in support of the Holy Family Grand Annual Collection. Overall, our challenge is to raise almost $30,000 in less than two months! Meeting this challenge will require the joyful participation and generous support of every parishioner!
Currently, more than 3,500 families are registered with Holy Family Parish. If each and every parish family contributed just $10 more, we would meet and exceed our goal, balance our budget, and lay a strong foundation for the coming fiscal year that begins on July 1st. Every contribution, whether it’s $10 or $100, helps us to achieve our goal and balance our annual budget. And every penny goes directly to Holy Family Parish! Offertory envelopes are available at the entrances of our churches and at the parish office. Please feel welcome to place your offering in the collection basket at Mass, bring it to our parish office (located at 74 Pleasant Street in Gloucester), or mail it to me as soon as possible.
As the Holy Family Parish Grand Annual Collection enters its final six weeks, please join me in praying that each of us, according to our means, will give generously to this all-important fundraising effort. Please also pray for me and for the hardworking members of our pastoral team. Be assured always of our prayers for you and your family every single day. May God bless all who live, work, and worship in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport! Thank you in advance for your support! Peace and blessings to all! —Father Jim
Holy Family Parish
Jalapeno’s Restaurant Fundraiser
Thursday, May 24th
On Thursday, May 24th, all parishioners, friends, and guests of Holy Family Parish and the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join the Holy Family Women’s Guild for a fundraising night at Jalapeno’s Restaurant (located at 86 Main Street in Gloucester). Beginning at 4:30pm until closing, Jalapeno’s will donate 10% of all dinner checks (including take-out orders) to Holy Family Parish! Please invite your family, friends, and neighbors for an evening of good food, fellowship, and fundraising for our parish! For more information, please contact Lydia Bertolino at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Knights of Columbus
Red Cross Blood Drive
Friday, May 25th
The Knights of Columbus is a fraternal and charitable organization of Catholic men that serves the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport at Holy Family Parish, Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, and beyond. The Knights of Columbus meet on the second Tuesday of every month at 7:00pm in the Parish Center (which is located at 74 Pleasant Street in Gloucester). In addition, the Knights of Columbus (Council 215) is sponsoring its Annual Red Cross Blood Drive on Friday, May 25th from 2:00pm until 7:00pm in Our Lady’s Parish Hall. If you would like to participate in this most worthy cause, please register online at redcross.org or contact them by telephone at 1-800-RED-CROSS. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
The Assisi Project
Saturday Morning with Saint Francis
Saturday, May 26th
Founded in 2007 by Father Jim and Cliff Garvey, the Assisi Project is a Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit with friends and followers in the United States, Canada, Europe, and South America. Our mission is to help adults of all ages more faithfully live the Gospel of Christ and grow closer to the Church through the inspiration and intercession of Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi. The Assisi Project meets on the last Saturday of each month in Saint Ann Church for Mass, formation, fellowship, and faith sharing. Our next meeting is scheduled for Saturday, May 26th beginning at 8:00am. This month, we will reflect and discuss the value of work and the call to care for the sick. Members of our fellowship all around the world, who range in age from 15 to 92, also pray for those who ask for our prayers. If you would like us to pray for you, your family, or your special intention, please feel welcome to contact Cliff at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome! May the Risen Lord give you peace!
Electronic Giving Is Safe & Easy!
Available at Both Parishes!
Electronic giving is available at both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. It is easy, simple, and safe to make online donations to your home parish using a credit card, debit card, or electronic check. Donations can be made on a one-time-only or ongoing basis. And it takes just a few minutes to set up a secure personal account. Just choose the appropriate link below and click “Make a Donation.” Please prayerfully consider supporting your parish by giving electronically! For more information about electronic giving in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com. Thank you for your generous and ongoing support!
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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