Our Weekly Newsletter
New Every Saturday!
The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport (CCGR) publishes one weekly newsletter for our two parishes: Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. Our newsletter features a weekly pastoral message; news about upcoming events and programs (including Mass intentions); and other important information about what’s happening the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. Please click on the links below:
- CCGR Weekly Newsletter (8-18-19)
- CCGR Weekly Newsletter (8-11-19)
- CCGR Weekly Newsletter (8-4-19)
- CCGR Weekly Newsletter (7-28-19)
- CCGR Weekly Newsletter (7-21-19)
Bringing Home the Word
New Every Saturday!
In addition to our parish bulletin, 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. Please click on the links below:
- Bringing Home the Word (8-18-19)
- Bringing Home the Word (8-11-19)
- Bringing Home the Word (8-4-19)
- Bringing Home the Word (7-28-19)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your cooperation and support! May God bless you!
Electronic Giving Made Safe & Easy
Available at Both Parishes
Electronic giving is available at both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. It is easy, simple, and safe to make online donations to your home parish using a credit card, debit card, or electronic check. Donations can be made on a one-time-only or ongoing basis. And it takes just a few minutes to set up a secure personal account. Just choose the appropriate link below and click “Make a Donation.” Please prayerfully consider supporting your parish by giving electronically! For more information about electronic giving in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com. Thank you for your generous and ongoing support!
Catholic News & Information
Along with the CGGR Weekly Bulletin 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:
- America Magazine
- The Boston Pilot
- Catholic News Service
- Catechism of the Catholic Church
- Catholic TV Live Stream
- Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship
- National Catholic Reporter
- Rome Reports (Vatican Videos)
- Saint Anthony Messenger
- Vatican News (English)
- L’Osservatore Romano (English)
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Remembering Father Alves
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
The Assisi Project
Our 12th Annual Fall Pilgrimage
November 7th–November 16th
For the twelfth consecutive year, our spiritual directors, Father Jim and Cliff Garvey will lead the Assisi Project’s week-long, small-group pilgrimage to Italy. From November 7th through November 16th, we will journey again to Assisi and literally walk in the footsteps of Saint Francis and Saint Clare. Each morning of our pilgrimage will begin with Morning Prayer and Mass. Father Jim will celebrate Masses at the Basilica of Saint Francis, the Basilica of Saint Clare, the Basilica of Our Lady of Angels, the Carceri Hermitage, and the Sanctuary at La Verna. Each afternoon, our pilgrims will have free time and guidance to explore Assisi at their own pace. Each evening, we will gather as a community for Evening Prayer, supper, a spiritual reflection, and faith sharing.
As a fellowship of pilgrims, we will explore the Basilicas of Saint Francis and Saint Clare. Each of these blessed shrines contains the tombs of the saints, holy relics, historic frescoes, and other priceless works of art, along with quiet chapels for personal prayer and worship. We will also visit the Cathedral of Saint Rufinus, where Francis and Clare were baptized; the Church of Saint Damian, where Christ spoke to Francis and hastened his conversion; the Carceri Hermitage where Francis and his first followers retreated for solitude and silence; and the little chapel known as the Porziuncola or Little Portion, which is considered the home church of the worldwide Franciscan community.
In addition, we will spend leisurely afternoons in and around the Piazza del Commune, Assisi’s city center, with its sidewalk cafes, unique shops, and ancient Roman temple (now a Catholic Church consecrated to the Blessed Mother). Our more adventurous pilgrims will also have an opportunity to visit the Rocca Maggiore, the great medieval fortress with its stunning views of Assisi, Mount Subasio, and the Spoleto Valley. And finally, we will travel to La Verna, the mountain sanctuary in Tuscany, where Saint Francis received the stigmata. At La Verna, we will celebrate Mass, enjoy a traditional Tuscan lunch, and participate in the daily procession that commemorates how Francis received the five wounds of the Crucified Christ. We are also planning a few surprises for this year!
The cost of this extraordinary pilgrimage is $3,499 per person which includes roundtrip airfare and fees (from Boston Logan Airport); all ground transportation (except personal taxi service); eight nights accommodation (single room and private bathroom) at Casa Santa Brigida; and all meals in the guest house (breakfast, lunch, and supper). Prospective pilgrims should note that this pilgrimage is limited to just fourteen participants; involves some strenuous physical activity; and that access to some pilgrimage sites in Italy is limited for those with physical disabilities. For more information about the Assisi Project’s 12th Annual Fall Pilgrimage, please contact Cliff at email@example.com. Reserve now! Space is limited to just fourteen pilgrims!
Holy Family Parish
Annual Financial Report
By Father Jim
Just over four 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 pastoral team, each parish remains fully independent; has its own finance council; maintains its own accounting procedures; pays its own bills; and maintains its own buildings. The collaboration between our faith communities was not easy at first. But more and more, parishioners at both Holy Family and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish are praying together, working together, and helping each other live the Gospel, share God’s love, and rebuild the Church in a true spirit of prayer, fellowship, and service.
During the past year, Holy Family Parish has been blessed in many ways. Attendance at our weekend Masses is very good. More young adults and young families seem to be joining us for worship and for special events throughout the year. Parishioners offer positive comments about our adult and youth faith formation programs, our music ministries, and our weekly newsletter and website. In addition, both parishioners and summer visitors alike frequently share very favorable comments about the dedication of our pastoral team and the untold good works of our volunteers. As a community of disciples, we should rejoice and give thanks to God for our many blessings.
Along with these blessings come challenges and hard choices. Included in this weekend’s newsletter (and posted below) is a financial summary for the fiscal year that ended on June 30th. Needless to say, balancing our budget is never easy. But thanks to our finance council, pastoral team, countless volunteers, and your ongoing support, I am happy to report that our parish budget is balanced! Thanks to your generous gifts we met and exceeded our weekly offertory goal (104%); and we also met and exceeded our Grand Annual Collection goal (102%). When you consider the rising costs of electricity, heat, insurance, snow removal, and building maintenance, this balanced budget is an accomplishment that borders on the miraculous! And it speaks volumes about the energy, enthusiasm, and love that our people have for their parish.
As our work together in the Lord’s vineyard continues, please join me in thanking the members of the Holy Family Parish Finance Council for their dedicated service, good advice, and wise counsel: Joseph Grella, Robert Krause, Rosa Ladd, and Sheila McCarthy. Their commitment and expertise ensures that we are always focused on making the best use of our limited financial resources. Please also join me in thanking our pastoral team for their hard work and for all they do for all of us every single week. And finally, my deepest thanks go to our parishioners for their ongoing prayers and support. Your generosity makes possible all that we do to make Holy Family Parish a spirit-filled and vibrant faith community. Now more than ever, your kindness and encouragement humbles me and sustains me in my ministry. Please know that you and your family are always in my prayers. Thank you again for your ongoing and generous support of Holy Family Parish! Peace and blessings to all!
Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish
Annual Financial Report 2018
By Father Jim
Just over four 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 pastoral team, each parish remains fully independent; has its own finance council; maintains its own accounting procedures; pays its own bills; and maintains its own buildings. The collaboration between our faith communities was not easy at first. But more and more, parishioners at both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish are praying together, working together, andhelping each other live the Gospel, share God’s love, 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. More young adults and young families seem to be joining us, too. Parishioners offer very positive feedback about our adult and youth faith formation programs. Special events like the penny sales, seasonal fairs, 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. And last year, we met and surpassed our goal for the Grand Annual Collection. We hoped to raise $45,000, but thanks to you, we collected $46,359. Overall, since 2016, overall contributions to this all-important fundraising campaign have risen by more than 47%. Thank you!
Best of all, I am very happy to report that for the first time in recent memory, our annual parish budget is balanced! In fact, we ran a net income of $631 which was deposited in our parish savings account. Although our budget surplus is small, our balanced budget is a very big accomplishment and marks a turning point in our efforts to ensure the long-term financial stability of our parish. Although we will face challenges ahead related to increasing costs of heating, insuring, maintaining, and repairing our church buildings, I am confident that working together as a family of disciples, we can face any and every challenge with confidence and determination. Needless to say, your 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 parish. As you can see, every contribution makes a real difference!
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: Patricia Bertero, Jean Madruga, and Ann Marie Noble. Their commitment and good work throughout the year ensures that we are always 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 to make Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish a spirit-filled and vibrant faith community. And your kindness and encouragement humbles me and sustains me in my ministry. Please know that you and your family are always in my prayers. Thank you again for your ongoing support of Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish! Peace and blessings to all!
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
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,
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
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.
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