By Father Jim
Spring is here! Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish is fully open! Babies are being baptized. Confessions are being heard. Masses, funerals, and weddings are being celebrated. Our parish organizations are meeting again, praying together, and raising funds. Our young disciples are preparing for First Holy Communion and Confirmation. Our sick and suffering brothers and sisters are being anointed and brought the Eucharist. Our online ministries are attracting thousands of visitors every week. And given all that happened during the past three years, we still count every blessing and confront every challenge with faith, hope, and love in our hearts.
One of our ongoing challenges is caring for our beloved church and other parish buildings. All of these buildings are more than one hundred years old. Although they hold a special place in the life of our community, they are all in almost constant need of maintenance and restoration. During the past year, we have made costly repairs to our church doors and roof, along with additional repairs to our heating, plumbing, and electrical systems. Later this year, repairs will begin on our iconic church towers which were damaged during a wind storm two years ago.
Our most immediate challenge are the church’s front steps, which have taken a real beating from road salt and winter weather. Some of the current limestone steps are cracked and others are now dislodged from their bonding agent. Overall, the steps are increasingly unsafe and cannot be simply repaired. So, we have contracted with Earthworks of Rockport to replace the existing steps with new granite steps. In addition, railings will be sanded, primed, and repainted. Work on this project is scheduled to begin sometime in June and will cost approximately $32,500.
Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish needs your help! In order to replace the steps and repair the railings, we need to raise all of the necessary funds by June 30, 2023. If every parish family gives $50 between now and then, we will reach our goal and complete this vitally important restoration project. In the coming days, gift envelopes will be mailed to all parish families. Donations can be given to me, placed in the collection basket at any weekend Mass, placed in the mailbox on the rectory front door, or mailed to the parish office at the following address:
Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish
74 Pleasant Street
Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930
As always, if you have questions or need more information about this project, please remember that you are always welcome to talk with me before or after Mass; or contact me at email@example.com. Thank you in advance for your generous support for Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish and this urgent fundraising campaign! Peace, blessings, and heartfelt thanks to all!
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Call to Prayer
April 28th-April 30th
In a recent interview, Pope Francis said: “The devil tries to attack everyone without distinction, and he tries above all to strike those who have responsibilities in the Church or in society. Even Jesus suffered temptations from the devil…Even the pope is attacked by the evil one.” The Holy Father then explained that the most effective way to combat this darkness is prayer. He said: “We are human beings and [the devil] always tries to attack us. It is painful, but in the face of prayer, he has no chance!”
During the coming weeks, we may hear about a large gathering of satanists in Boston on the last weekend of this month. In response, Bishop Mark O’Connell, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Boston, has called all Catholics to confront this serious spiritual danger with prayer and vigilance (not with protests and demonstrations). Bishop Mark has also called us to be watchful for attempts to vandalize, gain access to our church buildings, steal or otherwise compromise the integrity of the Holy Eucharist.
In response to this spiritual challenge, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport invites our friends, fellow parishioners, and all people of goodwill to join us in prayer and devotion beginning on Friday Morning, April 28th and concluding on Sunday Evening, April 30th. Here’s our schedule for this special weekend of prayer:
Friday, April 28th
- Rosary at 7:30am
- Mass at 8:00am
- Daytime Prayer & Rosary at 12:00pm
- Daytime Prayer & Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3:00pm
- Evening Prayer & Rosary with Adoration at 6:00pm
- Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
Saturday, April 29th
- Morning Prayer & Rosary at 9:00am
- Daytime Prayer & Rosary at 12:00pm
- Eucharistic Adoration & Rosary at 3:00pm in Saint Ann Church
- Eucharistic Adoration & Rosary at 5:00pm in Our Lady’s Church
- Regular Vigil Mass Schedule
Sunday, April 30th
- Regular Sunday Mass Schedule
- Evening Prayer & Rosary with Adoration at 6:00pm
- Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
For more information about this important weekend of prayer, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope and pray that you and your family will be able to join us for all or part of this important weekend of prayer and devotion! Let’s storm heaven with our prayers! All are welcome!
Holy Family Women’s Guild
Kentucky Derby Celebration
Monday, May 1st
All friends and fellow parishioners are invited to join the Holy Family Women’s Guild for a Kentucky Derby Celebration on Monday, May 1st beginning at 6:30pm in Our Lady’s Hall! We will be serving a light supper of pulled pork sandwiches, coleslaw, and dessert! A donation of $10 per person is requested! Please also wear your fancy hats and bring some cash to bet on the races! Please RSVP no later than April 28th by contacting Lydia Bertolino at email@example.com.
Established in 2005, the Holy Family Women’s Guild brings together women of all ages and backgrounds in prayer, fellowship, and service to our parish and the wid- er community. Throughout the year, the Women’s Guild sponsors social gatherings and fundraising events includ- ing our seasonal bake sales and the Christmas Fair. For more information about the Holy Family Women’s Guild and its good work in our parish, please contact Arlene Lesch at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! New friends, members, and volunteers are always welcome!
The Assisi Project
Pray for Me!
Saturday, May 6th
A Workshop on Intercessory Prayer
Daniel was just 14 years old when he died last month after a brave battle with a rare form of bone cancer. For much of the past year, Daniel was one of the many people on the Assisi Project’s weekly prayer list. He was also one of several sick children for whom we have prayed; and he was just one of the countless cancer patients for whom we pray week after week after week. No words can express the grief that comes from learning of a life lost so young, so loved, and so full of promise. We can only pray. We can only pray for the soul that has passed from this life and for those left behind to mourn.
To pray in this way is to intercede: to ask for a blessing or benefit on behalf of another person. About intercessory prayer, Bishop Louis Kihneman says: “Part of the gift of intercessory prayer is that it moves us from focus on our- selves to focus on God and on others. It draws us into selflessness and out of selfishness. I know for myself, I am very grateful when people tell me that they are praying for me, and I am often stirred to pray for others.”
Over long years, members of the Assisi Project have learned that praying for others is the most important thing we can ever do. It is the one ministry in which anyone and everyone can participate. For this reason, we often say: Our prayer together is our work together!
On Saturday, May 6th, all are invited to join us for a special workshop on intercessory prayer beginning with Mass at 8:00am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. After Mass, Father Jim and Cliff will lead a reflection and discussion on the nature and power of intercessory prayer. Our morning of prayer and reflection will conclude with the Healing Rosary beginning at 9:30am. For more information about the Assisi Project and its good work in our parishes, please contact Cliff at email@example.com. Please join us! Bring a friend! All are invited! All are welcome!
Sharing God’s Love
First Holy Communion
Begins Saturday, May 6th
As Roman Catholics, we believe that the Holy Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life (CCC 1324).” We believe that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ. And like Pope Francis, we believe in our hearts: “The Eucharist is essential for us. It is Christ who wishes to enter into our lives and fill us with his grace. The Eucharist, although it is the fulness of sacramental life, is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak (EG 47).” In this spirit, sixty-three children in youth faith formation program are now ready to receive the Body and Blood of the Risen Jesus for the first time. As our annual celebrations of First Holy Communion approach, all are encouraged to be mindful of our upcoming schedule:
- Sain Ann Church
Saturday, May 6th & May 13th
- Saint Joachim Church Sunday, May 14th
- Our Lady of Good Voyage
Sunday, May 7th, May 14th & May 21st
If your child, grandchild, or godchild has completed the second grade but has not received the Sacraments of Baptism and-or First Holy Communion, we have a special program of preparation just for them! It’s called The Way for Kids! Beginning on Saturday, April 29th from 4:30pm until 5:45pm in Our Lady’s School, Betsy Works and a team of volunteers will lead a four week series of workshops for young disciples. After each workshop, the children and their families will attend our 6:00pm Mass. For more information about The Way for Kids, please contact Betsy Works at firstname.lastname@example.org. As we make final preparations for First Holy Communion, please pray for all of our young disciples and their families! Peace, blessings, and congratulations to all!
Special Message of Thanks
As we continue to celebrate the Easter Season, we join together in sincere thanks for those parishioners and pastoral team members who offered their time, talent, and treasure to help us celebrate Holy Week and the Easter Triduum in a spirit of faith, hope, and love for the Crucified and Risen Lord.
On behalf of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, our thanks go to Cliff Garvey, Nina Groppo, Suzanne McLaughlin, Jane Russo, Lucy Sheehan, Lori Thorstensen, and all of the volunteers who decorated our churches so beautifully for the Easter Season. We also thank all adult and young disciples who served as greeters, lectors, ushers, acolytes, and Eucharistic ministers during the Easter Triduum.
Last but not least, we are deeply grateful to Tom Misuraca, LuAnn Palazolla, Patty Natti, Kathleen Adams, Cynthia Cafasso, Thomas Dort, Clara Mazo, Victor Mazo, and all members of our adult choir and music ministry for sharing the gift of music with us. May God bless all who live, work, and worship in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport! This is the day the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad! Alleluia! — Father Jim
Safe & Easy Electronic Giving
It is in giving that we receive. — Prayer of Saint Francis
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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In Memory of Edward Willett