Our Pastor’s Message
Good & Giving Samaritans
A Special Message of Thanks
By Father Jim
They say that the stock market is soaring, but our older fellow parishioners still tell me that it is becoming more and more difficult to make ends meet on a fixed income. They say that more people are working than ever before, but our younger families are finding it harder and harder to raise a family even with two incomes. They say that more people are buying homes than ever before, but just last week I read about a single mom and her two children who were living in a tent because they could no longer afford their apartment. They say that the “crisis” in the Church is over and that our bishops have things under control, but we all know someone who has stopped coming to Mass or has reduced their weekly offering because of the seemingly endless scandal of sexual abuse and the criminal conspiracy to conceal it.
Here in our own parishes, it is always difficult to balance our budgets. Although church attendance is good and more young adults and families are joining us, our congregations are aging. Even with a small staff that does remarkable and sometimes miraculous work with few resources, the costs associated with salaries and benefits are very expensive. Costs associated with utilities and snow plowing boggle the mind. And although our church buildings are beautiful, they are all more than one hundred years old. They are expensive to heat, insure, and repair. And as we already know so well, the longstanding strategy of “deferred maintenance” became the sin of neglect. We have only just begun what will surely become a generational process of repairing, restoring, and modernizing our churches.
At the same time, good things happen every day! Our dedicated pastoral team and our small army of loyal volunteers have revitalized our adult and youth faith formation pro- grams; have breathed new life into traditional ministries like the Knights of Columbus, Legion of Mary and Saint Vincent de Paul Society; and have created buzz and excitement around longstanding events like our seasonal fairs, feasts, and trivia nights. And as always, the men and women of the Assisi Project, Holy Family Women’s Guild, Holy Name Society, and Our Lady’s Guild offer adults of all ages countless opportunities to help us live the Gospel, share God’s love, and rebuild our wounded Church.
In this spirit, I am happy to report that for the second straight year, both of our parishes met and surpassed their goals for their Grand Annual Collections! And although it will still take several weeks to reconcile all of our accounts, I am confident that both parishes will report balanced budgets for the fiscal year that ended on June 30th. Credit for this good news belongs to every parishioner who gives their time, talent, and treasure to make our parishes spirit-filled, vibrant, and welcoming communities of prayer, fellowship, and service. Credit for this good news belongs to every person who gives a bunch and to every person who can give just a buck or two. Most of all, credit belongs to the Holy Spirit who inspires us to work hard, pray for each other, and open wide the doors of our churches to friends and newcomers alike.
This weekend at Mass, we hear the gospel story of the Good Samaritan which reminds us about the importance of caring and sharing without counting the cost and without expecting anything in return. Likewise, each and every time that we accomplish good things in our parishes, we imitate the good and giving traveler who cared nothing about the race or religion of the person in need, but cared deeply about fulfilling Christ’s commandment to love God by loving others. Peace, blessings, and many thanks to all of the good and giving people in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport!
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
An Evening with Saint Bridget of Sweden
Healing God’s Family & Rebuilding Our Church
Thursday, July 18th
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 vocation to live the Gospel and share God’s love was vital to rebuilding the Church all around 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 will gather in commemoration of important feast days and pray for the healing of God’s family and for the courage to rebuild our wounded Church. In addition, we will also beg the saints to pray for us and to guide us in the hard work of discipleship during these difficult times.
All are invited to join us for our next Evening of Prayer for the Healing of God’s Family on Thursday, July 18th in honor of Saint Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373), a wife, mother, mystic, and visionary who founded a religious order that continues to flourish almost seven centuries after its founding. This special evening of prayer will begin at 6:00pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church with Evening Prayer and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. At 6:45pm, we will pray the Holy Rosary for the healing of God’s family. And at 7:30pm, we will conclude with Night Prayer & Benediction.
During Evening Prayer, Cliff Garvey will offer a reflection on the life and legacy of Saint Bridget of Sweden. We will also pray with the relics of Saint Elizabeth Hesselblad (1870-1957) who renewed the Bridgettine Order. These relics have been known to comfort the afflicted and heal the sick. We hope and pray that you and your family will be able to join us for all or even just part of this special evening of prayer, reflection, and devotion. For more information, please contact Cliff at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! Spread the word! All are invited! All are welcome!
Saint Vincent de Paul Society
Special Second Collection
Weekend of July 27th & July 28th
In the tradition of its founder and patron, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul is a Roman Catholic lay fraternity that calls women and men to work together and grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to those who are needy and suffering. Here are four important ways that you can help us help others:
First, all are asked to give generously to our special second collection during the weekend of Saturday, July 27th and Sunday, July 28th at all Masses in Holy Family Parish. Every dollar donated will support the good work of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society and its ongoing efforts to help families in need. Second, all are encouraged to donate to our Food Pantry. Baskets (for boxed and/or canned non-perishable goods) can be found at the entrances to Saint Ann Church, Saint Joachim Church, and Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Donations can also be brought to our parish office which is located at 74 Pleasant Street in Gloucester.
Third, all are invited to donate to our Clothes Closet. A drop-off bin is conveniently located in the parking lot in front of the Saint Ann School Building. Finally, new members and volunteers are much needed and always most welcome! For more information about the Saint Vincent de Paul Society and its good work in our parish communities, please contact Barbara Frontiero at email@example.com or leave a message at 978-281-4820. If you need assistance, please contact the Saint Vincent de Paul Society Hotline at 978-281-8672. Thank you for your generous support!
Our Summer Retreat
Sharing the Wisdom of Time with Pope Francis
August 26th through August 30th
The summer season is a great time of year for stepping back from the business and busyness of daily life in order to focus on our personal relationships with Christ, with each other, and with our Church. Unfortunately, few among us are able to leave behind work, family, and friends for a real retreat from the world. For this reason, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport is pleased to announce our Sixth Annual Summer Retreat: “Sharing the Wisdom of Time with Pope Francis.”
From Monday, August 26th through Friday, August 30th, all are invited to join Father Jim and Cliff Garvey for a unique opportunity to experience the spiritual peace and renewal of a week-long retreat without leaving home. Each evening of our summer retreat will begin at 7:00pm in Saint Anthony Chapel with Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. After this time of shared prayer, Father Jim and Cliff will lead our community in a period of reflection, discussion, and faith sharing. Each evening will conclude promptly at 8:30pm with Night Prayer. During each day of the retreat, the chapel will open at 12:00pm for silent personal prayer and devotion.
This year, we will explore the inevitability of change in our lives and how to journey with confidence and courage through the sometimes turbulent waters of our times. In his book, “Sharing the Wisdom of Time”, Pope Francis reminds us that to face the future, we must understand the past. The wisdom that comes with age and experience can help us to prepare for the future without fear and anxiety. To illustrate these points, the Holy Father has collected memories and stories from more than thirty countries and all walks of life. Every life story can offer us a compelling witness to the power of faith, hope, love, and trust in divine providence!
Between each night of the summer retreat, participants will be asked to read a brief selection from the Holy Father’s beautifully illustrated book, “Sharing the Wisdom of Time”, and reflect on some timeless wisdom from the four corners of the world. If you would like to join us for all or even just part of our Sixth Annual Summer Retreat, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. A donation of $30 is requested from those who can afford it. Copies of the book and cold drinks will be provided. Please join us! Spread the word! Bring a friend! All are invited! All are welcome!
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 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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