NEWS

Our Weekly Newsletter
New Every Saturday!

The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport (CCGR)’s Weekly Newsletter features a weekly pastoral message; news about upcoming events and programs (including Mass intentions); prayers, spiritual guidance, and instruction on the teachings and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church; along with more information about what’s happening in Holy Family  Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. publishes one weekly newsletter for our two parishes: Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. Please click on the links below:

Pastor’s Note: Submissions to our Weekly Newsletter are due by 12:00pm on Friday, one full week before the following Sunday’s publication. Submissions that announce a parish event must include date, time, location, and contact information (name, phone number, and preferably an e-mail address). All proposed submissions to our weekly newsletter (both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish) may be edited for content and should be sent to Father Jim at frjim@ccgronline.com. Thank you for your cooperation and support! May God bless you!

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Bringing Home the Word
New Every Saturday!

In addition to the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s Weekly Newsletter, all are welcome to enjoy Bringing Home the Word, a weekly lectionary-based resource for individual and family use that offers suggestions for prayer and reflection based on the Sunday Mass readings. Each week, this online newsletter offers a reflection on the prayer, scripture, or spirituality; words of wisdom from Pope Francis; and good guidance for praying with your family at home. Please click on the links below:

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The Kids Bulletin
New Every Saturday!

A vitally important component of our mission is to help parents and their children grow closer to Christ, closer to the Church, and closer to each other. All are welcome to join us every week for the Kids Bulletin! This two-page, full-color family resource includes a lesson about the Sunday Gospel, a puzzle, and other resources for the home church. A new edition is posted here every Saturday! Just click on the links below:

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WeShare
Safe & Easy Electronic Giving

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 frjim@ccgronline.com. Thank you for your generous support for our parishes! May God bless you and your family, now and always!

Support Holy Family Parish
Support Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish

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Catholic News & Information

Along with the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport’s Weekly Newsletter and Bringing Home the Word, all are invited to learn about the vibrant life of the Catholic Church in Greater Boston and throughout the world by visiting the following websites:

For additional suggestions for news and information about the Roman Catholic Church, please see Father Jim or a member of our pastoral team; or contact Cliff Garvey, Associate Minister, at cgarvey@ccgronline.com. Thank you!

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Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish
Annual Financial Report
Fiscal Year 2021

By Father Jim

In his recent book, Let Us Dream, Pope Francis writes: “The basic rule of a crisis is that you don’t come out the same. If you get through it, you come out better or worse, but never the same.” In one way or another, all of us have been touched by the ongoing pandemic. Some among us have been sick. Some have lost their jobs or small businesses. Some have lost longtime friends or beloved family members. And some have just lost their way — mentally, physically, or spiritually. This is a time of loss and a time of testing for every single one of us.

During the last fiscal year, Our Lady of Good Voyage was both blessed and chalenged in many ways. More and more people are returning to Mass. More and more people are visiting our website in search of free and high quality spiritual nourishment. More and more volunteers are returning to their ministries of helping the poor, visiting the sick, and raising funds for our parish. And almost all parishioners have shown a willingness to offer the small sacrifice of wearing a face mask as a practical sign of our love and care for each other.

At the same time, we face daunting financial challenges. Overall parish income was down by 21% or almost $60,000 during the past fiscal year. Utility bills and insurance premiums have risen by 5% during the past fiscal year. Our church buildings and grounds are in almost constant need of repair or preventive maintenance. And although the archdiocese and insurance provider have assessed the damage to our bell tower, we will still need to raise tens of thousands of dollars to repair and restore both towers. The initial estimate is at least $150,000 per tower!

Despite these challenges, our parish budget is balanced and even ran a surplus for the Fiscal Year 2021 that ended on June 30th. This surplus is due in part to reductions in pastoral team salaries and benefits during the pandemic. It is also the direct result of your generosity during the final weeks of our Grand Annual Collection last spring. If we had not reached our goal, we would never have balanced our budget. Thank you! We should also thank the members of our dedicated finance council who keep a close eye on our finances and always provide good and sound advice: Cynthia Cafasso, Becky Carrancho, and Jean Madruga.

Let’s be honest. We are solely responsible for the short term stability and long term viability of Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. Without your generous and ongoing financial support, we will be unable to sustain the programs and ministries that our community depends on in the church buildings that we all cherish. Generations of good people have worshipped here. It is now up to us, you and me, to step up, help out, give what we can, and pay tribute to the men and women who built this parish and entrusted it to us. We may never be the same, but let’s dream of better days. And let’s work together to build a bright future for our beloved parish! Peace, blessings, and sincere thanks to all!

Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Contact: frjim@ccgronline.com

Learn More: OLGV Financial Report 2021

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Holy Family Parish
Annual Financial Report
Fiscal Year 2021

By Father Jim

In the book, Let Us Dream, Pope Francis writes: “To enter into a crisis is to be sifted. Your categories and ways of thinking get shaken up; your priorities and lifestyles are challenged. You cross a threshold, either by your own choice or by necessity; because there are crises, like the one we’re going through, that you can’t avoid (1).” The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has certainly been this kind of crisis: one that we did not choose; one that we could not avoid.

During the last fiscal year, Holy Family Parish was both blessed and challenged in many ways. Despite the recent pandemic surge, more and more people are coming to Mass. More and more people are visiting our websites in search of free and high quality spiritual nourishment. More and more volunteers are returning to their ministries of helping the poor, visiting the sick, and raising funds for our parish. And during the recent surge, almost all of our brothers and sisters have offered the small sacrifice of wearing a face mask as a practical sign of our love and care for each other.

In addition to these blessings, we are delighted that the City of Gloucester has signed a two year lease on our school building — from May 2021 through June 2023. These monthly lease payments are now being placed in our parish savings account as a rainy day fund. These funds are set aside for emergency repairs that may be needed at the school or other parish buildings. Needless to say, it is a blessing to bring youth and vigor back to our school. We look forward to working with Mr. Matt Fusco, the principal, along with parents, teachers, and school staff. Welcome to Holy Family Parish!

Despite these many blessings, we still face serious financial challenges. Because of the pandemic, overall offertory declined by 20% during the last fiscal year. Our buildings and grounds are in almost constant need of clean up, preventive maintenance, or unexpected repairs. And even though we do our best to control costs, utility bills and insurance premiums have risen an additional five percent during the past year. Our pastoral team is one of the smallest of any collaborative in the archdiocese, but we are working harder than ever to make ends meet and provide for the pastoral needs of our friends, neighbors, and fellow parishioners.

On the bright side, our parish budget is balanced and even ran a surplus for the Fiscal Year 2021 that ended on June 30th. This surplus is due almost entirely to the school lease payments and staff reductions caused by the pandemic shutdown. It is also the direct result of parishioners just like you. We are grateful to everyone who gives so generously — especially those who now give online. Our WeShare electronic giving program is absolutely essential to our financial security during these uncertain times. Thank you! We should also thank the members of our dedicated finance council who keep a close eye on our finance and always provide expert advice: Joe Grella, Bob Krause, and Rosa Ladd.

Let’s be honest. We are solely responsible for the short term stability and long term viability of Holy Family Parish. Without your ongoing financial support, we will be unable to provide the programs and ministries that our community depends on in the church buildings that we all cherish. Generations of good people have worshipped here. It is now up to us — you and me — to step up, help out, and give what we can. In this way, we pay tribute to the men and women who built this parish and entrusted it into our care. With God’s help, we will emerge from this crisis and cross the threshold into a new era of faith, hope, and love. Working together — always together — we can do it! Peace, blessings, and thanks to all!

Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Contact: frjim@ccgronline.com

Learn More: Holy Family Parish Financial Report 2021

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Father Eugene Alves (1931-2019)
The Meaning of a Life

By Father Jim

On Friday, February 8th, Father Eugene Alves, our longtime pastor and senior priest, passed away surrounded by his devoted and loving family. After hearing this sad news and looking through some boxes in a rectory closet, I found some wonderful old photographs of Father Alves, including one from his first Mass, which was celebrated fifty-eight years ago this month at Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. As a priest for almost sixty years, Father Alves celebrated an untold number of daily and weekend Masses. He baptized thousands of babies and adult converts. He offered First Holy Communion to generations of young disciples. He heard an untold number of confessions and absolved millions of sins. He presided over the weddings and funerals of countless numbers of family, friends, and fellow parishioners. He visited the sick, comforted the afflicted, counseled the troubled, and offered good advice both in private and on the front steps of this historic church.

Shortly after Father Alves died, I was blessed to visit with his family. Reflecting on his ministry, his niece, Anita, said that every single family in Gloucester and Rockport probably has a photograph of her uncle from some community event, parish celebration, or family gathering. That prompted me to think about the tumultuous times during which Father Alves lived and served as a priest: Vietnam; Vatican II; the Civil Rights Movement; the assassinations of Mar- tin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy; the social and political upheaval of the late sixties; the cultural and sexual revolutions of the seventies and eighties; the rise of computer and digital technologies; deadly terrorist attacks; seemingly endless wars; and a sexual abuse crisis that goes on and on. Father Alves also served under four archbishops and six popes. Through it all, Father Alves stood calmly at the helm, charted our course, and led us forward — ever confident that our community could do anything as long as we worked together.

Needless to say, Father Alves was not perfect. From personal experience alone, I know that he could be difficult, stubborn, and sometimes uncompromising. But beneath that hard exterior lived an exceptionally kind, decent, and generous man. Father Alves was singularly dedicated to Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish and its parishioners. He was a good and faithful priest who gave his entire life — heart, mind, body, and soul — in service to God’s people without ambition, avarice, or bitterness. He loved his priesthood and his parish family. In so many ways, Father Alves was larger than life: and he will live on in the hearts and memories of generations of parishioners who were blessed to know him, to love him, and to learn from him.

During funerals, Father Alves would often say that death doesn’t make sense unless you have faith. With humility, I might add that life itself doesn’t make sense unless we are willing to love and serve others. On the same day that Father Alves died, Pope Francis said: “Life has value when we give it, when we give it in love, when we give it in truth, and when we give it to others in everyday life.” One might think that the Holy Father was thinking about Father Alves when he shared these words with the world! May God bless Father Alves. May God bless all who grieve his passing. And may God bless us with the courage, grace, and perseverance to give to others what Father Alves gave to all of us — a life so well-lived; a life so truly dedicated to prayer, fellowship, and service. Our Lady of Good Voyage, pray for us!

Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Contact: frjim@ccgronline.com

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Pastor’s Message
Our Pastoral Plan (2017-2019)

Live the Gospel. Share God’s Love. Rebuild the Church.

Almost three years ago, Cardinal Seán created the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport as a collaborative of two historic parishes: Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. This model of parish life is the product of an archdiocesan pastoral plan called “Disciples in Mission” which called for each parish to remain canonically and financially independent, but served by one pastor and one pastoral team. It also called for the creation of a three year pastoral plan in every collaborative. Here in Gloucester and Rockport, our challenge was to create a plan that respects the unique character of our parishes but strengthens their growing collaboration as a community united in prayer, fellowship, and service. After many months of discussion, prayer, research, and hard work, I am happy to report that our pastoral plan is complete and that Cardinal Seán has personally approved it.

This long process began by assembling a pastoral planning team. Rather than choosing a team that represented particular groups or interests, I decided to choose a team that gave voice to the different life experiences and vocations that are present within our parishes: a newly baptized single woman, a single man, a single mother, a widow and grandmother, a grandfather, a married father with children, a mother whose young adult children are not fully practicing their faith, a divorced and remarried woman, and an experienced elementary school teacher. This strategy was widely praised by archdiocesan leaders and is now being used in other parishes. More importantly, the members of our planning team gave generously of their time and talent to draft a three year pastoral plan that will empowers our parishes to become spirit-filled schools of prayer and dynamic centers of the New Evangelization.

During the course of this pastoral planning process, we identified three values that will direct the work of our parishes: prayer, fellowship, and service. We also developed three priorities that will guide our ministries and serve our most pressing needs: 1) creating a culture of discipleship (with primary emphasis on adult & youth faith formation); 2) creating a culture of stewardship (with primary emphasis on building maintenance and fundraising); and 3) creating a culture of vocations (with primary emphasis on praying for and promoting vocations to the diocesan priesthood). Lastly, we shaped a simple but compelling vision that will inspire our work together as disciples: “Live the Gospel. Share God’s love. Rebuild the Church.” This vision, along with our values and priorities, will serve as both the foundation and motivating energy of our shared ministries in the Lord’s vineyard.

Needless to say, I am excited about every component of our pastoral plan. In some areas, like youth faith formation, we have already made much progress in reimagining and rebuilding our programs. In others, like building maintenance and fundraising, we have much hard work ahead. Right now, I am particularly enthusiastic about two adult faith formation initiatives: our spiritual direction and retreat ministries. At this point, Cliff Garvey is the only trained and certified spiritual director in our parishes. By next spring, however, Cliff will be joined by two others: Ann Marie Noble and Patricia Bertero, who are completing the first year of their training program at Saint Anthony Shrine in Boston. I am also delighted that Cardinal Seán has approved our proposal to transform Saint Ann Rectory into a “House of Prayer” that will offer both directed and non-directed retreats under the guidance of a resident director. And I am very happy that Cliff has agreed to oversee this project. Throughout the Church, there is considerable demand for this kind of retreat ministry. In addition, rental income and retreat donations will make the former rectory more self-sufficient in terms of utility costs and ongoing maintenance expenses.

In accordance with archdiocesan guidelines, our pastoral plan was drafted to achieve practical results. It will be implemented with both flexibility and focus by me, our amazing pastoral team, and the dedicated family of volunteers who share their time, talent, and treasure with our parishes. Our pastoral plan is now posted below. Printed copies are also available at our pastoral office. And during the coming weeks and months, there will be much more to share with you about our plan. So, stay tuned! Until then, I wish to sincerely thank the members of our pastoral planning team: Andrea Ando, Peter Brau, Cliff Garvey, Thomas Misuraca, Ann Marie Noble, Jane Russo, Lori Thorstensen, Margaret Wiberg, and Betsy Works. As a pastor, I could not have hoped for a more positive and supportive group of parishioners with which to work on this important project. In addition, our team wishes to thank Denise Ehlen of Catholic Leadership Institute and Father Paul Soper, Director of Pastoral Planning for the Archdiocese of Boston, for their guidance, good friendship, and great advice during this process.

Peace and blessings to all,
Father Jim

Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Contact: frjim@ccgronline.com

Learn More: Our Pastoral Plan (2017-2019)

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WeShare
Safe & Easy Electronic Giving

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 frjim@ccgronline.com. Thank you for your generous support for our parishes! May God bless you and your family, now and always!

Support Holy Family Parish
Support Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish

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About Us

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!

Follow us on Twitter: @CCGRonline