Our Pastor’s Message
The Gifts We Bring
By Father Jim
Last year was a difficult year. It was perhaps the most difficult year of my priesthood. The sudden deaths of Deacon Ray and Deacon Dan, who had both become good friends, were a shocking loss to me, our pastoral team, and all of our fellow parishioners. The retirement of Father Alves, whose courage and determination had become a source of strength, continues to weigh heavily upon me and everyone who knows and loves him. And the tragic death of a good friend’s son, who embodied the full promise of youth, remains a source of deepest grief for me, his family, and many good people in our community.
Last year also brought news about the ongoing shortage of ordained clergy (both deacons and priests) that will make parish ministry even more challenging in the future. This bad news was compounded by new revelations about sexual abuse and harassment in the Church and the unconscionable failure of our bishops to effectively address this seemingly endless crisis. And of course, any discussion of bad news must include the ongoing divisions in our country and in the Church itself, the coarseness of our public discourse about the issues of the day, the callousness of some civic leaders toward the plight of the poor and the sick, and even our own inability to love, forgive, and show mercy to each other.
Despite these challenges, we find consolation in the Holy Family who radiate hope, joy, and love from the simplicity of a stable in a faraway place called Bethlehem. We find courage, generosity, and kindness in the Magi who travel far and wide in search of the Christ Child who brings God into a suffering world. And in their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, we find the grace to give generously, share freely, and love even the poorest of children. As we look back on last year and look forward to the year ahead, we find inspiration and optimism to see beyond the darkness, transcend the past, and work diligently toward a brighter future — for divided country, our wounded Church, and our troubled world.
Throughout this new year, I invite you to join me in the work of healing God’s family andrebuilding our Church. I invite you to help by sharing your gifts of time, talent, and treasure in one of our parish ministries or service organizations. I ask you to pray daily for me, for our pastoral team, and for all who live, work, and worship in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. I beg you to do your best to live the Gospel, to share God’s love, to forgive, to refrain from gossip, and to encourage each other in both faith and prayer. And most of all, I implore you, with my whole heart, to observe with renewed zeal the Great Commandment to love God and to love your neighbor.
Healing God’s family and rebuilding the Church will not be accomplished in one year. It will become the work of many generations. But together, always together, we can do it byfollowing in the footsteps of the Magi who cried out with one voice: “We saw his star at its rising and we have come to do him homage (See Matthew 2:2).” Together, always together, we can do it by bringing our humble gifts to the Baby Jesus, by seeking his blessing upon them, and by doing his will in all that we think, say, and do during the one life that we are blessed to live. In this way, the gifts we bring are the lives that we live for God and for each other. Peace and blessings to all for a happy, healthy, and hopeful new year!
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
A New Year’s Prayer
For Church & Country
By Archbishop John Carroll, SJ
Almighty and Eternal God,
through Jesus Christ,
you have revealed your glory to all nations.
We pray you to preserve the works of your mercy,
so that your Church, being spread throughout the world,
may continue with unchanging faith
in the confession of your name.
We pray you, who alone are good and holy,
to endow with heavenly knowledge,
sincere zeal, and sanctity of life
our Supreme Pontiff, Pope Francis,
the vicar of our Lord Jesus Christ,
in the government of your Church;
our own archbishop, all other bishops,
priests, and pastors of the Church,
and especially those who are appointed
to exercise among us the functions of the holy ministry
and conduct of your people into the ways of salvation.
We pray you, God of might, wisdom, and justice,
through whom authority is rightly administered,
laws are enacted, and judgment decreed,
to assist with your holy spirit of counsel and courage
the President of the United States,
that his administration may be conducted in righteousness,
and be eminently useful to your people over whom he presides;
by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion,
by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy,
and by restraining vice and immorality.
Let the light of your divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress,
and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws
framed for our rule and government,
so that they may tend to the preservation of peace,
the promotion of national happiness,
the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge,
and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.
We pray for the Governor of our state,
for the members of the legislature,
for all judges, magistrates, and other officers
who are appointed to safeguard our welfare,
so that they may be enabled by your powerful protection,
to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability.
We commend likewise to your unbounded mercy
all our brethren and fellow citizens throughout the United States,
that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified
in the observance of your most holy law;
that they may be preserved in union,
and in that peace which the world cannot give;
and after enjoying the blessings of this life,
be admitted to those which are eternal. Amen.
Note: The Most Reverend John Carroll, SJ (1735-1815) was the first Roman Catholic Bishop of the United States. He served as Archbishop of Baltimore from 1789 until his death in 1815.
Brain Teasing Special Event
Trivia Night with Father Jim
Saturday, January 19th
All parishioners, friends, and guests of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join us for a brain-teasing, mind-blowing, and fast-paced special event: “Trivia Night with Father Jim” on Saturday, January 19th from 7:00pm until 10:00pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish Hall. Throughout the evening, Father Jim (who is secretly a quiz master and aspiring game show host) will ask a series of questions on a wide array of topics ranging from music and sports, movies and television, books and history, religion and good, old-fashioned trivia.
Tickets are $20 per person. Participants will be organized into teams of eight, so all are welcome to organize a team in advance or take your chances at the door! Tickets will be available at the door, in our parish office, or by contacting Father Jim. All are invited to bring food and snacks. Coffee, tea, bottled water, and soft drinks will be offered for sale (along with a cash bar). Father Jim promises cool prizes and raffles, too!
Don’t miss this chance to impress your friends and neighbors with your knowledge of facts, figures, and trivia! Don’t miss this chance to share a few laughs with family and fellow parishioners! Don’t miss your chance to win a great prize! And don’t miss this chance to raise somemuch needed funds for Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish! For more information, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome! Happy New Year!
Electronic Giving Made 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 see Father Jim or contact Melissa Unis at email@example.com. Thank you for your generous support!
Winter Weather Cancellations
For the latest information about weather related cancellations during the winter months in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please visit our website at ccgronline.com. Announcements will also be made on WBZ1030-AM and cbsboston.com. All parishioners should note that if public schools are closed on a particu- lar weekday due to inclement weather, then our daily Mass and all adult and youth faith formation programs will be cancelled on that day, too. Peace and blessings to all for a 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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