Our Pastor’s Message
Balancing Our Budgets
By Father Jim
As I write this message, more than 2.5 million Americans have been afflicted with the coronavirus; and more than 125,000 of our fellow citizens have died. Here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, more than 100,000 of our brothers and sisters have been sick; and nearly 8,000 have perished. Daily routines have been upended. Essential services have been disrupted. And friends and families have been separated. Schools, businesses, and houses of worship have been closed for months. Millions of our neighbors and loved ones are suddenly unem- ployed. For most of us, it is never easy to make ends meet. It is now more difficult than ever.
This financial burden is also hard on parishes like ours. Since the suspension of public worship more than three months ago, many parishioners have continued to generously support our parishes each week. More people than ever are using our electronic giving program which provides a steady stream of income. And many more parishioners are mailing their donations each week or each month. Some parishioners have even found new and sometimes humorous ways to support our parishes — like figuring out when I walk my dog and handing me their envelope (from a safe social distance) along the Boulevard!
Your dedicated and ongoing generosity has been truly miraculous. But let’s be honest. Because we have not been able to gather together for prayer and worship, our weekly offerings are down substantially. This means that maintenance projects have been deferred; some pastoral team members have been laid off; and some pastoral programs may not resume even after the pandemic passes. The bottom line is that this crisis now threatens the balanced budgets that we have worked so hard to achieve during the last six years.
Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish depend entirely on the weekly gifts of parishioners like you to maintain our church buildings; pay for benefits, salaries, utilities, and insurance premiums; and support the programs that we have come to know, love, and rely upon. These programs and ministries bring us closer to Christ, closer to the Church, and closer to each other during both good and hard times. For the most part, our fellow parishioners are not rich. We work hard to maintain our homes, support our families, and plan for a better future. At the same time, we give what we can and do what we can to help ensure the financial stability of our beloved parishes. Now more than ever, we need your help!
If every parish family can somehow give an extra $20 during the next month, we should be able to balance our budget and lay a firm foundation for the coming fiscal year. Every donation, small or large, whether it’s for $2 or $20 or $200 will go a long way toward helping us fulfill our mission to live the Gospel, share God’s love, and rebuild the Church in Gloucester and Rockport. During the coming days, every registered parish family will receive a donation envelope by mail. Please use that envelope or our electronic giving program to make your gift. Every dollar you give goes directly to the parish of your choice.
Please join me in praying that each of us, according to our means, will give generously to the important end-of-year fundraiser. Please also pray for me and for our pastoral team. Be as- sured always of our prayers for you and your family. May God bless you and all who live, work, and worship in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport! Thank you for your generous support! Peace and blessings to all!
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Pastor’s Note: Even though we cannot gather together right now for praise and worship, we can still pray together. Using the links below, all are invited and encouraged to sanctify the various times of the day with these prayers for God’s mercy, healing, and protection from all illness. Let’s pray together! Ever together in prayer! — Father Jim
Support Our Parishes!
Our fiscal year ended on June 30th! We need your help now more than ever! Your weekly gifts are essential to the financial health and well-being of both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. Our parishes depend solely on the generosity of our fellow parishioners to pay bills, make ends meet, and help to ensure the financial stability of our parishes communities. All friends, neighbors, and fellow parishioners of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are encouraged to mail their offering or to give electronically. Our mailing address is 74 Prospect Street, Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930. In addition, our We Share program is a safe and easy way to make donations to your home parish using a credit card, debit card, or electronic check. Put simply, we need your help now more than ever! For more information about how to support our parishes during these challenging times, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your generous support! May God bless you and your family! Peace and blessings to all! — Father Jim
Call to Prayer
A Litany for America
In the Name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Christ the Lord has called us
out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Let us turn to him in humble but fervent petition,
seeking grace to root out from our hearts
all traces of darkness and all that holds us back
from walking in the full freedom of the children of God.
As Christ is the great model for that inner freedom,
which enables us to do what is right,
let us turn to him with confidence,
so that we may follow him
into the fullness of spiritual freedom.
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Jesus, victor over sin and death. Free our hearts.
Jesus, source of light and hope. Free our hearts.
Jesus, fullness of truth and mystery. Free our hearts.
Jesus, teacher of seeking hearts. Free our hearts.
Jesus, healer of body and soul. Free our hearts.
Jesus, who humbles heart and mind. Free our hearts.
Jesus, release of captives. Free our hearts.
Jesus, voice against violence. Free our hearts.
Jesus, courage of the oppressed. Free our hearts.
Jesus, origin of all authority. Free our hearts.
Jesus, true lawgiver. Free our hearts.
Jesus, unity of passion and order. Free our hearts.
Jesus, freedom of the Holy Spirit. Free our hearts.
Jesus, obedient Son of God. Free our hearts.
For the freedom to love. Give us your grace.
For the freedom to believe. Give us your grace.
For the freedom to hope. Give us your grace.
For the freedom to worship. Give us your grace.
For the freedom to serve with love. Give us your grace.
For the freedom to care for the suffering. Give us your grace.
For the freedom to comfort the sick. Give us your grace.
For the freedom to feed the hungry. Give us your grace.
For the freedom to shelter the homeless. Give us your grace.
For the freedom to proclaim the Gospel. Give us your grace.
For the freedom to walk in chastity. Give us your grace.
For the freedom to live in peace. Give us your grace.
For the freedom to live in good conscience. Give us your grace.
For the freedom to stand in solidarity. Give us your grace.
For the freedom to seek justice. Give us your grace.
For the freedom to reject sin. Give us your grace.
For the freedom to reject coercion. Give us your grace.
For the freedom to reject falsehood. Give us your grace.
For the freedom to reject temptation. Give us your grace.
For the freedom to reject injustice. Give us your grace.
For the freedom to reject racism. Give us your grace.
For the freedom to reject violence. Give us your grace.
Almighty God and Father,
who gave one origin to all peoples,
and willed to gather us into one family for yourself,
fill our hearts with the fire of your love
and kindle in us a desire for justice and peace,
so that through the good things you give to us,
each human person may be brought to holiness,
every division removed, and equity established in society.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God forever and ever. Amen.
The Assisi Project
Founded in 2007 by Father Jim and Cliff Garvey during their first pilgrimage to Italy, the Assisi Project is a Fellowship of Franciscan in Spirit. Our mission is to help believers of all ages and backgrounds grow closer to Christ, to the Catholic Church, and to each other through the intercession, inspiration, and life example of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi.
Members of the Assisi Project range in age from 12 to 94 and live in Holy Family Parish, Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, throughout the Archdiocese of Boston, all across the United States, Canada, Brazil, Italy, Spain, and Angola. Part of our work together is our prayer together. So we pray each day for all who ask for our prayers all around the world. If you would like the Assisi Project to pray for you, your family, your special intention, or the soul of a deceased friend or loved one, please contact Cliff at email@example.com.
During this time of pandemic, when we are encouraged to remain at home, all are invited to pray and reflect on the Gospel Life by making use of the many resources on our website (click link below). These resources include our Daily Prayers, Franciscan Rosary, Way of the Cross, our new podcasts, and more than fifty reflections and stories about Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi. Come and pray with us online! May the Lord give you peace — now and always!
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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