By Father Jim
It is hard to believe that it has been more than seven years since Cardinal Sean asked me to serve as pastor of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. In the beginning, the success of our collaborative was uncertain. Almost immediately, it became clear that only one priest would be assigned to our parishes on a full time basis. It then became necessary to evaluate buildings, finances, programs, mass schedules, and the work of our pastoral team. Some changes went unnoticed. Others took time to accept. And although our first months together were challenging, we have made steady progress toward becoming a community united in prayer, fellowship, and service.
The measure of our progress is a tribute to the deep faith and dedication of our parishioners. Your ongoing prayers and generosity mean the world to me. We also owe special thanks to our pastoral team which has faced every challenge with grace and resolve. We thank our parish finance councils for their expert advice and ongoing commitment to the long-term financial stability of our parishes. Lastly, we thank the members of our first combined pastoral council who have been a reliable resource for good counsel. My greatest regret as a pastor is not meeting often enough with our pastoral council. I hope to change that by creating a new pastoral council by Easter Sunday 2022.
Unlike a traditional parish council whose members focus on the needs of a single parish, our pastoral council is called to think beyond the boundaries of “my parish” toward a broader appreciation for what is best for “our parishes.” In accordance with archdiocesan guidelines, our pastoral council should meet a five times each year; will be comprised of an equal number of members from each parish; and will also include the pastor and pastoral associates (associate ministers). As such, our council will include me, two members from Holy Family Parish, two members of Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, and two members of our pastoral team.
Between now and Ash Wednesday, please pray about a fellow parishioner whom you believe could make a constructive contribution to our pastoral council and to strengthening the historic collaboration between our two parishes. Your nominee must be an adult (age 18 or over); a registered parishioner in one of our parishes; a weekly participant in our sacramental life; and someone who is committed to the success of our collaborative. All members of the pastoral council must be able to work in a positive and productive way with me and our pastoral team.
Nomination forms are available at the link below and will be accepted through March 2, 2022. Completed forms can be given to me; dropped in the collection basket; or mailed to the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, 74 Pleasant Street, Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930. Nominations will be reviewed by me and a committee comprised of members of our finance councils and pastoral team. The strongest nominees will be asked to affirm that they are able and willing to commit themselves wholeheartedly to the mission of our parishes.
This is not an election or popularity contest! It is instead an important time of prayer and discernment. It should be guided by the Holy Spirit. And the primary goal should be to bring us closer to Christ, closer to the Church, and closer to each other. As this discernment process begins, please pray for all who live, work, and worship in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. May the Holy Spirit help us to live the Gospel, share God’s love, and rebuild the Church!
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
The Synodal Way
A Prayer to the Holy Spirit
For Good Discernment
Every session of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) began with the following prayer to the Holy Spirit. For hundreds of years, this ancient prayer has been invoked at councils, synods, and other Church gatherings. It is attributed to Saint Isidore of Seville (560-636); and is routinely called the Adsumus Sancte Spiritus, which translates as We Stand Before You, Holy Spirit. As the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport and parishes all around the world begin the synodal journey under the guidance of Pope Francis; and as we discern the creation of a new pastoral council, we ask the Holy Spirit to open our hearts and minds to God’s amazing grace.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
We stand before you, Holy Spirit,
as we gather together in your name.
With you alone to guide us,
make yourself at home in our hearts.
Teach us the way we must go
and how we are to pursue it.
We are weak and sinful:
do not let us promote disorder.
Do not let ignorance
lead us down the wrong path,
nor partially influence our actions.
Let us find in you our unity,
so that we may journey together to eternal life,
and not stray from the way of truth
and what is right.
All of this we ask of you,
who are at work in every place and time,
in the communion of the Father and the Son,
forever and ever. Amen.
Saint Ann & Saint Joachim, pray for us!
Saint Anthony, pray for us! Saint Peter, pray for us!
Our Lady of Good Voyage, pray for us!
Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!
The Synodal Way
Closeness Is The Program
By Father Jim
On October 10, 2021, Pope Francis formally opened the Synod on Synodality, a two year, three stage process of “mutual listening that involves the entire People of God.” This synod may be the most ambitious effort to renew and revitalize the Roman Catholic Church since the Second Vatican Council which began fifty-nine years ago last month.
Pope Francis says: “Celebrating a synod means walking on the same road, walking together.” But the word synod may be new to most of us. It comes from the Greek, synodos, which means simply: “on the road together.”
According to the International Theological Commission, a synod is “an ancient and venerable word in the tradition of the Church…It indicates the path along which the People of God walk together. Equally, it refers to the Lord Jesus, who presents himself as ‘the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6)’, and to the fact that Christians, his followers, were originally called ‘followers of the Way (cf. Acts 9:2, 19, 9.23; 22:4; 24, 14:22).”
The preparatory document of the synod also says: “In this sense, synodality enables the entire People of God to walk forward together, listening to the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, to participate in the mission of the Church in the communion that Christ establishes between us. Ultimately, this path of walking together is the most effective way of manifesting and putting into practice the nature of the Church as the pilgrim and missionary People of God (PD 1).”
According to the Holy Father, the synod “is not about garnering opinions or taking a survey, but listening to the Holy Spirit.” It is not simply a series of meetings, consultations, or power point presentations. It is not simply completing a survey, meeting with a bishop, local pastor, or pastoral team. It is not simply about speaking your mind on this or that issue related to our work together as a Christian community.
A synod is instead a journey that includes every member of God’s family. It is an opportunity to meet each other and to share our experience of God’s love and mercy in our lives. And it is about building up communion, participation, and perhaps even a stronger sense of mission in our parishes. It is all about our way of being — the way of living the Gospel, sharing God’s love, and rebuilding the Church during challenging times.
In the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, the results of the synodal path may not be realized during our lifetimes. Some things may change. Some things may not change. Whatever happens, let’s make this journey together, always together, as a community united in prayer, fellowship, and spirit. Let’s open our hearts and minds to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Let’s work together to grow closer to Jesus, closer to the Church, and closer to each other. As Pope Francis likes to say: “Closeness is the program.”
More news and information related to the synodal way are coming soon! Until then, all are invited to prayerfully complete the Archdiocese of Boston’s preliminary synod survey which can be found on our website: ccgronline.com. If you have any questions about the synod and its work, please see me or contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Peace and blessings to all! Merry Christmas!
Mass Intentions Book
The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s Mass Intentions Book (February 2022 through June 2022) will be opened on Thursday, January 13th from 9:30am until 11:00am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Hall (142 Prospect Street in Gloucester). On that day, all parishioners are welcome to book one Sunday Mass and one weekday Mass at Saint Ann Church, Saint Joachim Church, or Our Lady of Good Voyage Church.
Please note that on Thursday, January 13th, all Mass intentions must be booked in per- son. No email, fax, text, or phone requests will be accepted. No exceptions. Any remaining daily and weekend Masses can be booked on or after Monday, January 17th. If you have questions or need more information, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and ongoing support for Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. Peace and blessings to all for a happy and healthy new year! — Father Jim
Saint Vincent de Paul Society
Special Message of Thanks
The Saint Vincent de Paul Society is an international organization that is dedicated to responding to any request from any person or family in need. Here on Cape Ann, we work through Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish to serve the poor and the needy.
Thanks to the generosity of fellow parishioners like you, our Christmas Giving Tree program helped seventy-seven families celebrate the season! This year, more than two hundred children received a toy, gift card, or much needed winter clothing. Our hearts overflow with gratitude for every dollar and every donation! Thank you!
The work of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society continues throughout the year. Donations can be left at the parish office (mail slot), dropped in the collection basket at any Weekend Mass, or mailed to the following address:
Saint Vincent de Paul Society
74 Pleasant Street
Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930
Now more than ever, new members and volunteers are very welcome! For more information about the Saint Vincent de Paul Society and its good work in our parishes and hometowns, please contact Harry Miller at 978-281-8672 or Robert Weeks at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again for your ongoing support for the Saint Vincent de Paul Society — especially with donations placed in the weekly collection! Every dollar makes a difference in the life of family in need! May God bless you and your family throughout the new year.
Living the Gospel
Sacrament of Baptism
Welcome New Disciples!
The Sacrament of Baptism is the first of three Sacraments of Initiation in the Roman Catholic Church. The two other Sacraments of Initiation are Eucharist and Confirmation. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism, we are freed from sin and reborn as children of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church, and made sharers in her mission (CCC 1213).” During the month of December, Father Jim baptized and blessed the following children with holy water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
Kali Elizabeth Johnson
Isabella Rose Margiotta
Shaun Shea O’Neill
Connor David Shih
In the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, the Sacrament of Baptism is currently celebrated during Sunday Mass at 10:00am in Saint Joachim Church; on the second Saturday of the month at 11:30am in Saint Ann Church; and on the third Saturday of the month at 11:30am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. All are reminded no baptisms will be scheduled from Ash Wednesday, March 2nd through Easter Sunday, April 17th.
If you would like to schedule your child’s baptism in either Holy Family Parish or Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, please contact Sheila McCarthy-Durkin at email@example.com. May God bless our newly baptized young disciples, along with their parents, godparents, & family members! Congratulations to all!
The Assisi Project
Praying Together for 15 Years
Founded in 2007 by Father Jim and Cliff Garvey during their first pilgrimage to Italy, the Assisi Project is a Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit with members, friends, and followers throughout the world. Our mission is to help believers of all ages and backgrounds live a Gospel Life through the inspiration and intercession of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi.
Members of the Assisi Project range in age from 13 to 96 and live in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, throughout the Archdiocese of Boston, from coast to coast, and all around the world. For nearly fifteen years, we have been praying every day for the Church and for those who ask for our prayers. If you would like us to pray for your special intention, please contact Cliff at firstname.lastname@example.org. New members are always welcome! May the Lord give you peace!
Safe & Easy Electronic Giving
Blessed Are Those Who Give!
Electronic giving has become an essential component of parish support in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport; and it is available in both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. It is safe and easy to make online donations to your home parish using a credit card, debit card, or electronic check.
Donations can be made on a weekly, monthly, or one-time-only basis; and it takes just a few minutes to set up a secure personal account. In additional to the weekly offering, you can also give electronically to our church restoration funds which helps us plan for the repair and maintenance of our beloved and historic churches.
During these challenging times, Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish need your support more than ever before! Please prayerfully consider enrolling in our ‘We Share!’ electronic giving program! For more information about setting up a new account or for assistance with your existing account, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com. Thank you for your generous support for our parishes! May God bless you and your family, now and always! Merry Christmas!
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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In Memory of Toni Vaccaro