Our Pastor’s Message
Holy Family Parish
Annual Financial Report
By Father Jim
Just over four years ago, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport was founded 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 fully independent; has its own finance council; maintains its own accounting procedures; pays its own bills; and maintains its own buildings. The collaboration between our faith communities was not easy at first. But more and more, parishioners at both Holy Family 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 in a true spirit of prayer, fellowship, and service.
During the past year, Holy Family Parish has been blessed in many ways. Attendance at our weekend Masses is very good. More young adults and young families seem to be joining us for worship and for special events throughout the year. Parishioners offer positive comments about our adult and youth faith formation programs, our music ministries, and our weekly newsletter and website. In addition, both parishioners and summer visitors alike frequently share very favorable comments about the dedication of our pastoral team and the untold good works of our volunteers. As a community of disciples, we should rejoice and give thanks to God for our many blessings.
Along with these blessings come challenges and hard choices. Included in this weekend’s newsletter (and posted below) is a financial summary for the fiscal year that ended on June 30th. Needless to say, balancing our budget is never easy. But thanks to our finance council, pastoral team, countless volunteers, and your ongoing support, I am happy to report that our parish budget is balanced! Thanks to your generous gifts we met and exceeded our weekly offertory goal (104%); and we also met and exceeded our Grand Annual Collection goal (102%). When you consider the rising costs of electricity, heat, insurance, snow removal, and building maintenance, this balanced budget is an accomplishment that borders on the miraculous! And it speaks volumes about the energy, enthusiasm, and love that our people have for their parish.
As our work together in the Lord’s vineyard continues, please join me in thanking the members of the Holy Family Parish Finance Council for their dedicated service, good advice, and wise counsel: Joseph Grella, Robert Krause, Rosa Ladd, and Sheila McCarthy. Their commitment and expertise ensures that we are always focused on making the best use of our limited financial resources. Please also join me in thanking our pastoral team for their hard work and for all they do for all of us every single week. And finally, my deepest thanks go to our parishioners for their ongoing prayers and support. Your generosity makes possible all that we do to make Holy Family Parish a spirit-filled and vibrant faith community. Now more than ever, your kindness and encouragement humbles me and sustains me in my ministry. Please know that you and your family are always in my prayers. Thank you again for your ongoing and generous support of Holy Family Parish! Peace and blessings to all!
Fall Day of Prayer & Reflection
Joy & Suffering with Padre Pio
Saturday, October 6th
Earlier this year, Pope Francis visited the House for the Relief of Suffering, a hospital founded by Saint Padre Pio. Afterwards, Pope Francis celebrated Mass at the Shrine of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, Italy. In his homily, the Holy Father preached about the call to suffer and the three words that summarize the life of a saint: humility, prayer, and wisdom. The pope said: “All of theology is contained here! If you have a problem, if you are sad, if you are sick, abandon yourself into the arms of Jesus!”
The Roman Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina on September 23rd and the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi on October 4th. In commemoration of these two great saints, and as part of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s “Year for Discernment”, all fellow parishioners and friends are invited to join Father Jim, Cliff Garvey, the Legion of Mary, and the Assisi Project for a Fall Day of Prayer & Reflection: “Joy & Suffering with Saint Pio” on Saturday, October 6th at Saint Anthony Chapel.
During this four-hour mini-retreat, we will explore the life, ministry, and patronage of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina and his special meaning for those who are called to suffer. This special morning of prayer and reflection will proceed according to the following schedule: Celebration of Holy Mass at 8:00am; First Reflection & Faith Sharing at 9:00am; Eucharistic Adoration & Rosary at 10:00am; Second Reflection & Faith Sharing at 11:00am; Angelus & Closing Prayers at 12:00pm.
Throughout the morning, there will be scheduled breaks and time for faith sharing, fellowship, and refreshments. Coffee, tea, and bottled water will be available throughout the morning. After our closing prayers, all are invited to remain for picnic lunch. During Mass, a collection will be taken in support of our adult faith formation ministry. If you would like to join us for our Fall Day of Prayer & Reflection in honor of Saint Pio and Saint Francis, please contact Cliff at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! Bring a friend! Bring your family! All are invited! All are welcome!
Feast of Saint Francis
The Blessing of the Animals
Saturday, October 6th
Saint Francis of Assisi is venerated throughout the world as the patron of animals and the environment. Throughout his lifetime, Saint Francis is credited with countless miracles, many of them involving animals. Whether he was preaching to birds or taming a ferocious wolf, Saint Francis has been regarded as the friend and protector of animals and pets for more than eight hundred years. In belated celebration of the Feast of Saint Francis (October 4th), all parishioners, friends, and guests of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join Father Jim for the traditional “Blessing of the Animals” on Saturday, October 6th at 2:00pm in Our Lady’s Rectory Parking Lot. All family friendly pets are welcome (but must be leashed or secured in carriers). For more information about this beautiful annual tradition, please see Father Jim before or after Mass; or contact him at email@example.com. Please join us! Bring your family and friends! All are invited! All are welcome! Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us!
Youth Faith Formation
First Holy Communion Preparation
Begins Friday, October 12th
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 par- ents for these sacraments; to encourage lifelong relationships with Jesus Christ and the 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 one of our seven weekend Masses on a regular basis. Second, all second grade students and their parents, grandparents, or guardians are asked to attend two 90 minute workshops during the fall season and three 90 minute workshops during the winter-spring seasons. Each of these “Faith & Family Workshops” is offered at three different times so that each family can choose which option works best for them.
Our program begins during the weekend of October 12th-13th! Calendars and registra- tion forms are available via the link below. Forms can be returned by mail or hand-delivered to our parish offices (which are located at 74 Pleasant Street in Gloucester). If you have questions or need more information about youth faith formation in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, 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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