By Father Jim
Eight years ago, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport was founded as a collaborative of two historic parishes: Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. Although our parishes share one pastor and one pastoral team, each parish remains fully independent and solely responsible for its own bills and building maintenance. In the beginning, the collaboration between our communities was not always easy. But thanks to all of you, parishioners at Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish are praying together, working together, and helping each other fulfill our shared mission to live the Gospel, share God’s love and mercy, and rebuild the Church in a true spirit of prayer, fellowship, and service.
During the past year, Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish has been blessed in so many ways. Attendance at our weekend Masses is good despite ongoing concerns about COVID-19. Our parishioners continue to offer very positive feedback about our adult and youth faith formation programs. Special events like the Summer Carillon Concerts and the Crowning Feast of the Holy Spirit are successful both by raising funds and by building and strengthening the bonds of community in our parish. In addition, our weekly offertory was 22% higher than expected; and we raised more than $100,00 for the restoration of our two bell towers which were damaged by a spring storm.
Best of all, I am happy to report that for the fifth consecutive year, our annual parish budget is balanced! Thanks be to God! After all of our bills were paid and reconciled, we ran a net surplus of $11,972, all of which has been deposited in our parish savings account. Needless to say, we still face financial challenges related to the rising cost of utilities, insurance, and maintenance of our church buildings. In addition to the tower project (which was delayed by supply chain problems but should begin next spring), we face the challenge of repairing or replacing the front doors and the front steps of Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Based on initial estimates, it may cost $30,000 or more just to repair the masonry that supports the steps.
Despite ongoing concerns about inflation, building maintenance, and COVID-19, I am optimistic about the long-term financial stability of our parish. Walking in the footsteps of the men and women who built this parish and entrusted into our care, we can face every challenge with confidence, determination, and good spirits. Working together as a family of disciples, we can and will keep the faith alive and pass it along to the next generation of disciples. Of course, your ongoing support makes all the difference! So, please join me in praying that each of us, according to our means, will continue to give generously to our beloved parish.
Finally, please join me in thanking the members of the Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish Finance Council for their dedicated service, good advice, and wise counsel: Cindy Cafasso, Becky Carrancho, and Jean Madruga. Their commitment and hard work throughout the year ensures that we remain focused on making the best use of our limited financial resources. Finally, my deepest thanks go to our parishioners for their ongoing prayers and support. Your generosity makes possible all that we do together to make Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish a spirit-filled and vibrant faith community. Your kindness humbles me and sustain me in my ministry. Please know that you and your family are always in my prayers. Thank you for all you do! Peace and blessings to all!
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Our Lady’s Guild
Outdoor BBQ & Bean Supper
Friday, September 30th
All friends, neighbors, and fellow parishioners of Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish and the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join Our Lady’s Guild for a BBQ & Beans Supper on Friday, September 30th from 5:30pm until 7:30pm in Our Lady’s Rectory Parking Lot. A donation of $15 is requested for each adult; and $10 for each child (age 10 and under).
Our menu will include pulled pork, barbecue chicken, coleslaw, and baked beans provided by Ribs Within of Gloucester. We will have coffee, desserts, and a cash bar. We will also have a 50-50 Raffle. Entertainment will be provided by TimeSync Quartet. All proceeds will support Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. For tickets or more information, please contact Linda Galvin at email@example.com. Save the date! Spread the word! Bring your family! Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Holy Family Women’s Guild
Fall Bake Sale
Weekend of October 8th & 9th
All friends, neighbors, and fellow parishioners of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join the Holy Family Women’s Guild for a Fall Bake Sale after all Weekend Masses in Saint Ann Church and Saint Joachim Church on both Saturday, October 8th and Sunday, October 9th.
In preparation for the Fall Bake Sale, we need your help! Donations of your favorite breads, cakes, cookies, and other baked goods are most welcome! All proceeds go directly to Holy Family Parish. If you are able to make a donation, please contact Jane Marshall at 978-283-3511 or Cecilia Gray at 978-281-2072. Thank you in advance for your generous support! Please join us! All are welcome!
My God & My All!
A Short Course on Discipleship
Begins Saturday, October 1st
Three Ways to Participate!
Bernard of Quintavalle was a friend of Francesco Bernadone, the man we now know as Saint Francis of Assisi. Prompted by the Holy Spirit to better understand Francis and his gospel-centered life, Bernard invited his old friend for a hot meal and an overnight stay. During the night, Bernard awoke and found Francis praying. He was on his knees; his hands stretched toward heaven; and he repeated over and over one simple prayer: “My God and my all!” Bernard was so deeply moved that he asked Francis to help him discern how to live as a true friend and disciple of Jesus Christ; and he ultimately became the first follower of the Poor Man of Assisi.
More than 800 years later, Saint Francis teaches us that discipleship is not just about the gift of faith. It’s not just about coming to Mass and learning about the teachings of the Church. It’s really all about loving God and loving neighbor. It’s about both meeting Christ in prayer and in the people we meet along our life’s journey. It’s about joy and suffering; communion and fraternity; prayer and action. It is ultimately about living the Gospel, sharing God’s love, and rebuilding the Church. Pope Francis says: “It is about living close to Jesus…It is about embodying the Gospel in everyday life. It is a fire that starts another fire.” It is no accident that the Holy Spirit gave us a pope who chose the name “Francis” and calls us back to the basics of prayer, good works, and a more simple way of life.
In this spirit, all are invited to join Father Jim and Cliff Garvey for My God & May All!: A Short Course on Discipleship. Over the course of the next seven months, you and your family can complete the course online or in-person. First, you can attend four gatherings of the Assisi Project on Saturday, October 1st; Saturday, November 5th; Saturday, December 3rd; and Saturday, January 7th. We will begin with Mass at 8:00am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church; followed by a reflection, faith sharing, and the rosary. Each session will conclude by 10:00am.
- My God & My All! – An Introduction
- Crucified & Joyful
- Communion & Fraternity
- Prayer & Action
Second, you can join us on four consecutive evenings next spring: Tuesday, April 25th through Friday, April 28th beginning with Evening Prayer at 6:30pm; followed by a reflection, faith sharing, and the rosary. Each session will conclude by 8:00pm. Finally, if in-person gatherings are not possible for you, you can join us online by listening to these four episodes of the Assisi Project Podcast which will be available beginning on Ash Wednesday, February 22nd at assisiproject.com. Please note that you can attend or listen to all or even just one of the course sessions. Although the topics are related, each stands alone. So, join us when you can and as often as you feel called!
A donation of $25 per person is requested for the in-person course from those who can afford it. All participants will receive a copy of The Simple Way: Meditations on the Words of Saint Francis by Father Murray Bodo, OFM. For more information, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Save the dates! Spread the word! Please join us! All are welcome!
The Assisi Project
Celebrating Saint Francis
October 1st thru October 4th
Cardinal Humberto Medeiros, Archbishop of Boston from 1970 until 1983, once wrote: “It is a long way from the cobbled streets of thirteenth century Assisi to the paved sidewalks of today’s Boston. Times have changed indeed. Technology has transformed our culture. Yet even in an era of scientific wonders, history has by no means worn out the need for the simple values of the beloved Saint Francis of Assisi. In many ways, they are truly needed now more than ever.”
In this spirit, all friends, neighbors, and fellow parishioners of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join Father Jim and the Assisi Project for Celebrating Saint Francis, a four-day commemoration of the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, from Saturday, October 1st through Tuesday, October 4th. Here’s our schedule:
Saturday Morning with Saint Francis
My God & My All!: A Short Course on Discipleship
Saturday, October 1st – Begins at 8:00am
Mass, Reflection & Faith Sharing
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
Blessing of the Animals
Sunday, October 2nd – Begins at 2:00pm
Our Lady of Good Voyage Parking Lot
Transitus of Saint Francis
Monday, October 3rd – Begins at 6:00pm
Evening Prayer Service
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi
Tuesday, October 4th – Begins at 8:00am
Mass & Franciscan Rosary
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church
Founded in 2007, the Assisi Project is a Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit with friends and followers throughout the world. We are dedicated to helping Christian believers of all ages more faithfully live the Gospel of Christ in the spirit of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi. For more information about the Assisi Project and its good work in our parishes, please contact Cliff Garvey @email@example.com.
The Assisi Project
Rebuild My Church Campaign
Founded in 2007, 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 more faithfully live the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the spirit of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi.
In celebration of our 15th anniversary, we are seeking to raise $15,000 for our Rebuild My Church Campaign. Your generous gift will enable us to create a guest speakers program, offer scholarships for pilgrims and students, assist local parishes with special projects, and support our podcasts and faith formation programs.
The Assisi Project is a non-profit, tax-exempt charitable organization. You can support our ministries and programs via GoFundMe or by sending a donation to the Assisi Project, Post Office Box 3158, Gloucester, Massachusetts 01931-3158. All donations are tax-deductible. For more information, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you! May the Lord give you peace!
Calling Young Disciples!
Preparing for First Holy Communion
The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport offers a creative and innovative way for young children (beginning in the second grade) to prepare for the Sacraments of First Penance & Reconciliation (Confession) and First Holy Communion. Our program is designed to prepare both children and their parents for these sacraments; to encourage lifelong relationships with Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church; and to help families grow together in prayer, fellowship, and service.
Our program is simple and family friendly! First, our priority is to invite all families to attend one of our six Week- end Masses on a regular basis. Second, all students and their parents, grandparents, and-or guardians are asked to attend three 90 minute workshops during the fall season and three 90 minute workshops during the winter-spring seasons. Our Faith & Family Workshops are offered at three different times so that each family can choose which option works best for them.
Our workshops begin on Friday, October 7th! Our program calendar and registration form are available on our website: ccgronline.com/formation. Please note that scholarships are available for families that cannot afford tuition. Forms can be returned by mail or hand-delivered to our parish offices which are located at 74 Pleasant Street in Gloucester (next to Saint Ann Church).
If you have questions or would like more information about youth faith formation in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Betsy Works at email@example.com. Please join us! Let’s pray together! All are invited! All are welcome!
Calling Adult Disciples!
Begins Saturday, October 15th
I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).
The Way was the among the earliest names for followers of the Risen Christ. The Way also appears as a biblical reference for the earliest Christian communities in the Acts of the Apostles. In addition, tradition teaches that both before and after his conversion, Saint Paul referred to the disciples of Christ as part of the Way. More than two thousand years later, Catholic Christians are still part of the Way of Jesus Christ. But as we all know, a life of discipleship is not a hobby or pastime. It is a vocation, a way of life that lays claim to our whole heart, mind, and strength. As disciples, our lives should be focused on and inspired by our faith in Christ, who is our merciful redeemer, friend, and brother. And as his disciples, we are called to reach out to those who need our help in growing closer to Christ and the Church.
If you are an adult (age 18 and over) and have not received all of the Sacraments of Initiation in the Roman Catholic Church (Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation), then please consider joining The Way, a new adult faith formation program that will begin this fall. The Way (typically called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) is a seven month program that prepares adults to be received into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil. As part of this same program, we will prepare adults for the Sacrament of Confirmation (to be received at either the Easter Vigil or at a regional archdiocesan celebration). Other parishioners who have received the Sacraments and are interested in renewing their spiritual lives are also very welcome to join us!
Our group will gather for fellowship, formation, and faith sharing. As a community of disciples, we will learn together about the basic beliefs, teachings, and traditions of the Church; and we will explore the methods of prayer and spirituality that have brought centuries of believers closer to Christ Jesus and to the Church. In addition, we will talk openly and honestly about the challenges of living an authentic life of faith, hope, and love in the modern world. Our first gathering will be Saturday, October 15th at 8:00am. If you would like to learn more about this journey of faith and become part of a unique fellowship in preparation for the sacraments of God’s Church, then please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! Spread the word! All are invited! All are welcome!
Safe & Easy Electronic Giving
The righteous give generously (Psalm 37:21).
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 Sam & Joan Ciolino