Our Pastor’s Message
Our Fifth Anniversary
By Father Jim
This weekend, the Roman Catholic Church throughout the world celebrates Pentecost Sunday. Here in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, we also celebrate our fifth anniversary. It is hard to believe that it has been five years since Cardinal Sean asked the good people of Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish to work together, in good faith, as a community united in prayer, fellowship, and service. During these years together, we have accomplished what some people thought would be impossible. For more than a century, our parishes stood apart — in different towns, at different ends of the same street, with different histories, identities, and ways of doing things. But because of your open hearts and open minds, we have made much progress in bringing people together for one bold mission to live the Gospel, share God’s love, and rebuild the Church in one small corner of our troubled world.
As your pastor and the only full-time priest in our parishes, these have been the most blessed and most challenging years of my life. Not a day passes without some small miracle of love. Not a week passes without some small moment of mercy. Not a month passes without some small sign that the Holy Spirit is hard at work in the hearts and souls of our fellow parishioners. In the end, wherever life leads me, whether my life’s journey is long or not-so-long, this beautiful place at the end of the line and its truly good and generous people have touched my heart and enriched me in ways beyond all expectation.
At the same time, my hair is turning gray faster than it’s falling out. The circles around my eyes are growing ever deeper and darker. By the end of a typical week, I am sometimes tired and weary to the point of foolishness. And yet, I am determined not to complain. It doesn’t do any good anyway. It was not the way that I was raised by my mom and dad whom I love so much. It is not who I have grown to be as a man. And it is not consistent with my understanding of what it means to be a good priest. After all, the scriptures teach us that Jesus ministered to the people from sunrise until sunset and sometimes beyond. He was often awake as his disciples slept. He offered his whole life as a gift to others: day by day, always present to God’s family, always ready with a kind word, gesture of concern, and warm welcome.
Needless to say, there are better men than me. There are better pastors than me. One day, I pray that one of them will come here to pray with you and your family. Until then, let us resolve to continue our journey together. Let us walk always as brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends, every one of us a beloved child of God. Let us serve the Lord and each other without counting the cost. Let us set aside differences. Let us make amends. Let us be peacemakers. Let us build bridges, never walls. Let us open wide the doors of our churches once and for all so that every person feels welcome — no matter who they are, no matter whom they love, no matter where they’re from, no matter what they’ve done.
During this time of crisis, our church bleeds from many wounds. The worst of these wounds are deep, infected, and self-inflicted. There are no simple solutions. But together, we can make a difference. We can build a better church. We can build a stronger church. We can build parishes that cherish every child, support every family, and welcome every newcomer. Right here and right now. Our tools must never be guilt or judgment or exclusion. Our tools must always be love and mercy and hospitality. My fervent prayer is that our parishes and parishioners will be known both near and far for their love, kindness, generosity, and sincere dedication to the gospel life. My brothers and sisters, from my heart, thank you for your prayers. Thank you for all you do for Jesus, for me, and for each other. May God bless you and your families! May God bless all who live, work, and worship in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport! Happy Anniversary! Come, Holy Spirit! Amen! Alleluia!
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Crowning Feast of the Holy Spirit
In Memory of Father Eugene Alves
Sunday, June 9th
All are invited to join Father Jim, Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, and the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport in celebrating our Annual Crowning Feast of the Holy Spirit from Monday, June 3rd through Sunday, June 9th. This year, we will honor the life and legacy of our legendary pastor, Father Eugene Alves, who passed away earlier this year. The Crowning Feast concludes on Sunday, June 9th with Mass at 11:45am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church; followed by lunch in Our Lady’s Hall.
All fellow parishioners, friends, and guests of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join us for our Crowning Feast Luncheon in Our Lady’s Hall. Tickets are available at the door. A donation of $13 per person is requested. After lunch, all are invited to participate in our Crowning Auction & Grand Raffle! For more information, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com. Please join us! Spread the word! All are invited! All are welcome!
The Golden Sequence
A Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Come, Holy Spirit, come!
Send forth the heavenly radiance
of your light.
Come, father of the poor,
come, giver of gifts,
come, light of the heart.
sweet guest of the soul,
In labor, rest,
in heat, temperance,
in tears, solace.
O most blessed light,
fill the inmost hearts
of your faithful people.
there is nothing in us
that is not harmful.
Cleanse that which is unclean,
water that which is dry,
heal that which is wounded.
Bend that which is inflexible,
fire that which is chilled,
correct what goes astray.
Give to your faithful people,
those who trust in you,
your sevenfold gifts.
Grant the rewards of virtue,
grant the deliverance of salvation,
grant eternal joy forever and ever.
Grand Annual Collections
Every Donation Makes a Difference!
Last year, thanks to your generous support, both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish were able to balance their respective budgets. One big reason for this accomplishment is the success of our Grand Annual Collections. In each of our parishes, the Grand Annual Collection bridges the gap between our weekly gifts and our financial obligations. The Grand Annual Collections also enable us to maintain and restore our historic, but aging, church and parish buildings.
The current budget year ends in just three weeks! In order for each of our parishes to balance its budget and ensure long-term financial stability, we simply must meet our goals! At Holy Family Parish, we are working hard to raise $75,000 by June 30th. So far, we have raised $69,819 (or 93% of our goal). At Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, we are equally working hard to raise $45,000 by June 30th. So far, we have raised $34,180 (or 76% of our goal).
These Grand Annual Collections are essential and vitally important components of our annual parish budgets! Their importance to the financial health of our parishes cannot be overstated. So every year, we ask all parishioners to contribute what they can afford to our Grand Annual Collections. Every gift, large or small, whether it’s $100 or $10 or $1, helps us to achieve our goals and balance our parish budgets.
Although we have made great progress toward reaching our goals during the last few weeks, I still need your help! If every person who attends Mass this weekend can somehow manage to give $20 over the course of this month to our Grand Annual Collections, we will reach our goals, balance our budgets, and lay a strong financial foundation for the new fiscal year.
Offertory envelopes for the Grand Annual Collections are located at the doors of our churches. Please place your donation in the collection basket, give it to me or a member of our pastoral team before or after Mass, or mail it directly to our parish offices. Your generous support empowers us to more fully live the Gospel, share God’s love, and rebuild our Church! Thank you for your ongoing support of Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish! Peace and blessings! — Father Jim
Healing God’s Family & Rebuilding Our Church
A Morning of Prayer with Saint Anthony
Thursday, June 13th
More than eight centuries ago, the Crucified Christ called out to the young man who would become Saint Francis of Assisi: “Go! Rebuild my church which as you can see is falling into ruin!” Francis took the Lord’s command literally and set out to repair small chapels in and around his hometown. Over the years, however, Francis came to understand more fully that his personal vocation to live the Gospel and share God’s love was vital to rebuilding the Church throughout the world.
In this spirit and in appreciation for the crisis facing the Roman Catholic Church in our own time, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport is gathering throughout the year in commemoration of important feast days and praying for the healing of God’s family and for the courage to rebuild our wounded church. In addition, we are asking the saints to pray for us and guide us in the hard work of discipleship during these difficult times.
All are invited to join us for a Morning of Prayer on Thursday, June 13th in honor of Saint Anthony of Padua (1195-1231), who is venerated as a patron saint of fishermen and mariners, elderly people and poor people, and lost things and lost souls. This special morning of prayer will begin at 8:00am with Mass in Saint Anthony Chapel. Following Mass, we will celebrate Morning Prayer and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. At 9:30am, we will pray the Holy Rosary for the healing of God’s family. And finally, we will conclude at 10:00am with Daytime Prayer and Benediction.
During Morning Prayer, Father Jim will offer a reflection on the life and legacy of Saint Anthony, who has much to teach us about living the Gospel, sharing God’s love, and rebuilding our Church. We hope and pray that you and your family will be able to join us for all or even just part of this special morning of prayer, reflection, and devotion. For more information, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! Spread the word! Bring a friend! 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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