SPRING GOAL: $30,000
By Father Jim
Property insurance bills are up 17%. Gas and oil bills are up 35%. And electric bills are up an almost unbelievable 40%. Meanwhile, gifts and donations are down 13% from last year. All across the country and around the world, faith communities like ours are struggling to survive. Some are making ends meet, and some are not. But I don’t need to tell you about inflation because you already know all about it. Anyone who has stepped inside a grocery store knows these are challenging times.
On the bright side, our churches are open. Our young disciples are preparing for First Holy Communion and Confirmation. Babies are being baptized. Confessions are being heard. Funerals and weddings are being celebrated. Our sick and suffering brothers and sisters are being anointed. Our online ministries attract more than 2,000 visitors every week. And thanks to your ongoing generosity, our bills are paid and our budget is balanced as we enter the final quarter of the current fiscal year.
We are blessed by monthly rental payments from the City of Gloucester for Saint Ann School. This income, however, is being set aside for any emergency or necessary repairs that may be needed to our historic churches and church buildings. In addition, we should remember that our weekly offerings simply do not cover the costs of basic expenses and essential parish ministries like music, groundskeeping, and adult and youth faith formation. For these reasons, I need your help to raise $60,000 by the end of the fiscal year. Our goal right now is to raise $30,000 by Easter Sunday, April 17th. If every parish family gives $30 between now and then, we will reach our goal, balance our budget, and ensure the financial security of our parish.
Anyone who knows me knows that economy and thrift were taught to me at an early age. My parents worked day and night to provide for our family and make ends meet. Believe me, we are doing everything we can to control expenses. But the short and long-term financial stability of Holy Family Parish is in our hands. We are solely responsible for our own fundraising and for paying our own bills. The future of our parish depends on fellow parishioners like you and me.
All registered parish families have been sent a donation envelope by mail. At your earliest convenience, please give electronically; drop your gift in the collection basket during any weekend Mass; or mail it to Holy Family Parish, 74 Pleasant Street, Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930. All checks should be made payable to Holy Family Parish. Please be sure to write HF Grand Annual in the memo line of your check. If you have questions or need more information, please see me before or after Mass; or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you in advance for your kind and generous support of Holy Family Parish! Peace and blessings to all!
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Pastor’s Note: On behalf of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, we give thanks for our dear friend, Jody Cole of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, who allows us to use her beautiful icons in our weekly newsletter and online. This week, we feature a detail from Jody’s icon from the Way of the Cross: Jesus Falls for the Second Time. For more information about Jody and her work, visit jcoleicons.com. Peace and blessings! — Father Jim
Welcome, Father Ben!
Our New Weekend Assistant
On behalf of Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish, Father Jim warmly welcomes Father Benjamin Madu to the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport as our new weekend assistant! Each week, Father Ben will join us as principal celebrant and homilist at one of our Sunday Masses!
Father Ben was ordained in July 2001 as a priest for the Diocese of Abakaliki in Nigeria. He earned an undergraduate degree in Philosophy; and graduate degrees in Theology, Education, and Criminology & Justice. In more than two decades of faithful priesthood, Father Ben has served as a parochial vicar, pastor, and hospital chaplain. He currently lives at Our Lady’s Parish in Lynnfield.
This Sunday, Father Ben will celebrate our 8:15am Mass in Saint Ann Church; and next Sunday, he will celebrate our 10:00am Mass in Saint Joachim Church. Let us join together in welcoming Father Ben to Cape Ann! Praise and thanks be to God for sending him to us!
Our Lady of Good Voyage
Sweet Bread Sale
Saturday, April 2nd
All friends, neighbors, and fellow parishioners of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish for our Spring Sweet Bread Sale on Saturday, April 2nd from 9:00am until 11:00am in Our Lady’s Hall. Our famous freshly-baked sweet bread will be offered for sale; and the Super 50-50 Raffle Winner will be announced, too. All proceeds support Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. For more information, please contact Beth Fosberry at email@example.com or leave a message at 978-281-4820. Spread the word! Please join us! Bring a friend! All are invited! All are welcome!
The Assisi Project
Saturday Morning with Saint Francis
Saturday, April 2nd
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 before everything else in our lives. Prayer 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 Saint Francis and Saint Clare into the lives of our fellow parishioners through prayer, simple acts of fraternal kindness, and dedicated service to the Church.
On Saturday, April 2nd, 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 way of life rooted in prayer, work, healing, simplicity, and teaching that reflects the life and ministry of Christ.
After Mass, Father Jim and Cliff will lead a reflection and discussion (with time for questions and faith sharing) about how we can imitate Saint Francis and Saint Clare by creating a plan of life that we can keep in a prayer book, post on the refrigerator door, or share with family and friends on social media. We’re not talking about a set of rules that can cause us to become discouraged or feel guilty. Instead, we’re talking about embarking on a way of life that is aspirational, compassionate, and practical. We’re talking about a way of life that will bring us closer to Christ, closer to the Church, and closer to each other.
If you haven’t join 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, the Diocese of Manchester, the Diocese of Portland, and in eight countries around the world. For more information about the Assisi Project and its good work in our parishes, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. All are invited! All are welcome! May the Lord give you peace!
Call to Prayer
A Prayer for Peace in Ukraine
Earlier this month, Cardinal Sean O’Malley traveled to Washington to offer a parish retreat. While there, he visited the Ukrainian National Shrine of the Holy Family where he found a prayer card for peace in Ukraine.
Heavenly Father, your son taught us
‘Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called
the children of God.’
In this time of great worry,
we fervently pray
that your Holy Spirit will sustain
all the people of Ukraine
to be vigilant and dedicated
to peace and justice.
Grant their leaders
wisdom and prudence.
Yet may they also have
the strength and perseverance
to defend their land
from all adversity and foreign attacks.
Help us all to live according to your divine will.
O God, our Father,
in the days to come,
we beg you to comfort the suffering,
heal the wounded,
and accept the souls
of the faithful departed
into your heavenly kingdom.
We also ask
the Most Holy Mother of God
to extend her blessed mantle of protection
over all of Ukraine. Amen.
This week, let us raise our hearts and voices in a prayer of spiritual communion for peace in Ukraine and for all victims of this horrific and unjust attack on the civilian population in that country — especially children, the sick, and the elderly. Glory to Ukraine! Slava Ukraini!
Season of Lent
The Light Is On For You!
Wednesdays at 5:30pm
During the Holy Season of Lent, all Catholics are invited to experience God’s love and mercy through the Sacrament of Penance & Reconciliation (Confession). On five consecutive Wednesdays during Lent, March 9th through April 13th, all are invited to join us for The Light Is On For You! from 5:30pm until 7:00pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. These special evenings of prayer will begin with the celebration of Holy Mass at 5:30pm; followed by Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at 6:00pm; and an hour of confessions for those who feel called to participate. For some, this may be a time for confession and sacramental reconciliation. For some, it may be a time for silent prayer and adoration. And for others, it may be a time to begin or renew the spiritual journey. Please note that there will be no confessions or adoration on Ash Wednesday, March 2nd. For more information, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Season of Lent
Way of the Cross
Fridays at 3:00pm
For more than five hundred years, the Stations of the Cross are one of the most enduring and moving traditional devotions of the Roman Catholic Church. By uniting our prayers with those of the suffering Christ through both word and imagery, we make a spiritual pilgrimage with our Lord as he experiences the Passion of the Cross. During Lent, all are invited to join the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport in praying the Way of the Cross on six consecutive Friday afternoons, March 4th through April 8th, at 3:00pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. For more information, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Sharing God’s Love
Spring Icon Retreat with Jody Cole
Begins Monday, May 2nd
An icon is a religious work of art that according to faith and tradition serves as a window into the spiritual world. In the Roman Catholic tradition, icons are sometimes referred to as the “Bible of the Poor” because throughout history, along with statuary and stained glass windows, they enabled those who could not read an opportunity to learn about the holy scriptures and the lives of the saints through sacred imagery.
In The Meaning of Icons, Thomas Merton writes: “It is the task of the iconographer to open our eyes to the actual presence of the Kingdom of God in the world, and to remind us that although we see nothing of its splendid liturgy, we are, if we believe in Christ the Redeemer, in fact living and worshipping as fellow citizens of the angels and saints, built upon the chief cornerstone with Christ.” In this way, icons are not objects of worship, but instruments of God’s grace in our world.
Jody Cole’s icons have appeared often on our website and on the cover of our weekly newsletter. Jody is a good friend, a person of deep faith, and a very talented iconographer. She has been “writing” icons for more than twenty years and she loves to share her craft with others. For five consecutive days, from Monday, May 2nd through Friday, May 6th, Jody will be here to lead us in a Spring Icon Retreat in Saint Ann Church Hall.
Each morning from 9:00am until 1:00pm, Jody will share the basic techniques of icon writing through hands-on experience. Guided by the Holy Spirit and Jody’s gifted instruction, participants will write (paint) their own icon of either Christ Jesus or the Blessed Mother in just twenty hours over five days. No prior art experience is necessary. Beginners are welcome. A donation of $150 per person is requested. Scholarships are available for those who cannot afford it. If you would like to participate in this exciting icon workshop, please contact Cliff Garvey at email@example.com. Space is limited to just ten participants!
Each evening (Monday through Thursday) at 6:00pm, all friends and fellow parishioners are invited to join Father Jim for Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours in Saint Ann Church Hall, followed by a brief reflection by Jody and a period of discussion and faith sharing. In addition, a gallery show of Jody’s icons will be on display for all to appreciate and enjoy. The evening session is free and open to all! For more information about our Spring Icon Retreat, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Jody’s website (see link below). Spread the word! Bring a friend! All are invited! All are welcome!
Safe & Easy Electronic Giving
Blessed are the Givers
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!
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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Offered for the Children of Ukraine