By Father Jim
In this week’s second reading (1 Corinthians 12:12-30), Saint Paul writes about unity and variety. Each one of us, no matter who we are, no matter where we’re from, and no matter what we’ve done in this life, is a part of the Body of Christ. Each one of us has a place in the Church. And each and every one of us has a voice, talent, or treasure to share with the community. Within this variety of gifts and peoples, we find unity — in our shared faith, our common cause, and our enduring commitment to live the Gospel, share God’s love, and rebuild the Church.
Saint Paul teaches us that some among us are called to be apostles. Some are called to be prophets. And some are called to be teachers. Some among us are blessed with the skills to care for the sick. And some are blessed with the strength to labor humbly in the Lord’s vineyard. When I pray with this scripture, I am reminded of our pastoral team and the good work that they do every day. Each member of our team shares their unique gifts, experiences, and spiritualities with God’s people.
Think about our four associate ministers. As archivist, Sheila McCarthy maintains all of our sacramental records and schedules all baptisms and weddings. This work is detail-oriented and sometimes tests a person’s patience. But Sheila’s composure is the product of her long experience with the Visiting Nurses Association; her daily practice of reading the scriptures and praying with the Blessed Mother; and her role as a wife, mother, grandmother, and caregiver.
Tom Misuraca is a son of Gloucester and retired teacher who has been singing in our churches for most of his life. His spirituality is deeply rooted in sacred music. Through the psalms, hymns, and canticles of the Church, Tom not only sings God’s glory but preaches the Gospel with every note and verse. Just think! Whenever Tom chants a psalm during the celebration of Holy Mass, he is singing the same psalms that Jesus and the disciples sang!
Betsy Works is a gifted and creative teacher. In her work with our young disciples, Betsy brings decades of experience as an educator and advocate for children with learning disabilities. In addition, Betsy’s spirituality is rooted in the Carmelite tradition. So it is not surprising that she is always encouraging our students to develop a deeper personal relationship with Jesus and to cultivate that relationship in prayer and in simple yet powerful devotions to the Blessed Mother and the saints.
Cliff Garvey brings years of experience in parish ministry, spiritual direction, and university-level teaching to leading and facilitating all of our adult faith formation programs. Cliff is deeply devoted to Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi. He may live here among us but his heart truly beats in Assisi. He has dedicated his whole life to the Franciscan principles of work, prayer, teaching, and simple living. These principles govern his life and inspire everything he does for all of us.
People often ask me: How do you do it? How do you manage it all? The answer is simple. I rely on the dedication and hard work of our pastoral team. From their variety of voices, talents, and diverse experiences emerges a unified team of disciples that is dedicated to prayer, fellowship, and service to the Church and to all of our fellow parishioners. I simply could not (and would not) do what I do without their help day in and day out. Working together, our vocation is to serve you, build up the Church, and bring people together. We are deeply grateful for your kindness, encouragement, and ongoing support. How can we help you?
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Call to Prayer
Unity in Diversity
By Pope Francis
Unity does not imply uniformity.
It does not necessarily mean
doing everything together
or thinking the same way.
Nor does it signify a loss of identity.
Unity in diversity is actually the opposite:
It involves the joyful recognition and acceptance
of the various gifts that the Holy Spirit
gives to each one of us,
and the placing of these gifts at the service
of all members of the Church.
It means knowing how to listen,
and have the freedom to think differently,
and express oneself with complete respect
toward the other who is my brother and sister.
Do not be afraid of differences!
Call to Prayer
You, the One
By David Steindl-Rast, OSB
You, the One
from whom on different paths
all of us have become one.
To whom on different paths
all of us are going.
Make strong in our hearts
what unites us.
Build bridges across
all that divides us.
United make us rejoice
in our diversity.
And at one in our witness
to your peace, a rainbow to your glory.
Glory to the Father,
to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen.
Living the Gospel
Sacrament of Confirmation
Celebrations Begin on January 29th
Along with Baptism and Holy Eucharist, Confirmation is one of the three Sacraments of Initiation in the Roman Catholic Church. The Sacrament of Confirmation completes the grace of Baptism through the outpouring of the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Courage, Knowledge, Reverence, Right Judgment, Understanding, Wisdom, and Wonder & Awe. These gifts seal or “confirm” the mystical union between the candidates and Christ; and they prepare them to actively participate in the prayer, worship, and apostolic ministry of the Catholic Church.
This year, sixty-five high school students from Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish have successfully completed the requirements of our Confirmation Preparation Program. During the past two years, they attended Mass together, engaged in their formation, and prayed together as a community of young disciples. These students are now prepared to publicly renew their baptismal vows, profess their faith, and live as faithful and faith-filled Roman Catholics.
The Very Reverend Mark O’Connell, Auxiliary Bishop of Boston for the North Region will join us as special guest celebrant and homilist for our annual celebrations of the Sacrament of Confirmation on Saturday, January 29th at 4:00pm in Saint Ann Church; Sunday, February 6th at 10:00am in Saint Joachim Church; and Sunday, February 6th at 11:45am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church.
As our celebrations approach, we give thanks for our pastoral team, parents, and sponsors. In a special way, we thank Betsy Works, Associate Minister for Youth Faith Formation, for her dedication, hard work, and creative spirit. Please pray for all of our candidates and for their parents, sponsors, and families. For more information about youth faith formation in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Betsy at firstname.lastname@example.org. Come, Holy Spirit! Peace, blessings, and congratulations to all!
Sharing God’s Love
First Friday with Jesus
Friday, February 4th
In his message for the Thirtieth World Day of the Sick, Pope Francis says: “Brothers and sisters! To the intercession of Mary, Health of the Sick, I entrust all of the infirm and their families. United with Christ, who bears the pain of the world, may they find meaning, consolation, and trust. And I pray for healthcare workers everywhere.”
In this spirit and united with the Holy Father, all friends, neighbors, and fellow parishioners of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join us for First Friday with Jesus — five hours of silent Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on Friday, February 4th in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church.
At 12:00pm, we will begin with Daytime Prayer and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. At 3:00pm, we will join together in praying the Holy Rosary for the sick and suffering in our communities; and for all doctors, nurses, first responders, and essential workers. Our afternoon of prayer and devotion will conclude at 5:00pm with Evening Prayer and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
This special afternoon of prayer is being organized by member of the Assisi Project as a gift to our parishes. For more information, please contact Cliff Garvey at email@example.com. Spread the word! Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
The Assisi Project
Saturday Morning with Saint Francis
Saturday, February 5th
Eight centuries ago, Saint Francis of Assisi taught his first followers that “no good can be accomplished in the service of God without prayer.” In this sense, prayer must come first. It brings us closer to Christ so that we can grow closer to each other. It is the fuel, foundation, and inspiration for our love of God and our love of neighbor.
It has been nearly fifteen years since Father Jim and Cliff founded the Assisi Project during their first pilgrimage to Assisi and Rome. Their hope, then and now, has been to bring the light and spirit of Saints Francis and Clare into the lives of our fellow parishioners through prayer, simple acts of fraternal kindness, and building up the Church.
On Saturday, February 5th, beginning with Mass at 8:00am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church, the Assisi Project will gather to profess its creed, renew its mission, and reflect on the pattern of life that was lived and preached by the Poor Man of Assisi. It is a fourfold pattern of life rooted in prayer, work, healing, and teaching that reflects the life and ministry of Christ.
After Mass, Father Jim and Cliff will lead a reflection and discussion on the life and example of Saint Francis with time set aside for questions and faith sharing. If you haven’t joined us before, please join us now! All friends, neighbors, and fellow parishioners are welcome!
Members of the Assisi Project range in age from 13 to 97 and live in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, in the Archdiocese of Boston, and in eight countries around the world. Each day, we pray for those who ask us for prayers. If you would like the Assisi Project to pray for you or your special intention, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. All are invited! All are welcome! May the Lord give you peace!
Call to Eucharistic Ministers
Because of the recent surge related to the omicron variant, our pastoral team has decided to postpone our scheduled day of prayer for Eucharistic ministers and caregivers until spring or early summer. Until then, we are compiling a contact list of all parishioners who serve as extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. If you are currently serving at Mass or bringing the Eucharist to the sick, please contact us as soon as possible at email@example.com with your name, address, e-mail address, and telephone number. Thank you in advance for your time and cooperation! — Father Jim
Safe & Easy Electronic Giving
We Only Have What We 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your generous support for our parishes! May God bless you and your family, 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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In Memory of Priscilla White