Our Weekly Newsletter
New Every Saturday!
The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport (CCGR) now publishes one comprehensive weekly newsletter for our two parishes: Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. Our newsletter features a weekly pastoral message, news information about upcoming events and programs (including Mass intentions) throughout the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport. Please click on the links below:
- CCGR Weekly Newsletter (8-20-17)
- CCGR Weekly Newsletter (8-13-17)
- CCGR Weekly Newsletter (8-6-17)
- CCGR Weekly Newsletter (7-30-17)
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 (8-20-17)
- Bringing Home the Word (8-13-17)
- Bringing Home the Word (8-6-17)
- Bringing Home the Word (7-30-17)
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 email@example.com. Thank you for your cooperation and support! May God bless you!
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:
- The Boston Pilot
- Echoes: A Forum of Catholic Thought
- Catholic TV Live Stream
- Catholic News Service
- National Catholic Reporter
- Rome Reports (Vatican Videos)
- Vatican News Network (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!
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
Repairing Saint Ann Church
Donations So Far: $223,158
Last year, I shared with you what can be best described as a “towering challenge” for the good and faithful people of Holy Family Parish. As you know, when I became your pastor almost three years ago, there was much talk about a proposal to make Saint Ann Church more accessible by installing an elevator and to renovate the parish hall, kitchen, and bathrooms. At the time, the estimated cost of just the elevator (excluding the other projects) was almost one million dollars. And although many thousands of dollars had already been spent on engineering consultants and architectural plans, a thorough inspection of the structural integrity of the church had not been conducted. So, with the support of our finance council, I requested a professional and thorough inspection of Saint Ann Church. The results were both disturbing and disheartening. Over the years, the virtue of deferred maintenance has become the vice of neglect. The ceiling over the spot where the new elevator would have opened into the church is cracked and crumbling. Archways and ceilings in the choir loft and tower have collapsed to the point where all public access to these portions of the church is now prohibited. The anchors, frames, pins, and sills that support both the large and small rose windows are in such bad shape that they need to be rebuilt. And the buttresses on the front of the church have deteriorated to the point that they are separating from the building and threatening its long-term structural stability.
Many of the church’s problems are caused by masonry leaks in the bell tower that allow water to travel from the steeple, through the tower, and then into the spaces between the exterior stonework and interior plaster. These leaks are causing the tower, the east wall, and the interior (especially in the vestibule and choir loft) to deteriorate at an accelerated pace, causing noticeable damage to the front doors, ceilings, walls, and woodwork of the church. These problems are wors- ened by severe winters that cause water to freeze, expand, melt, and contract. Overall, we have reached the point where major portions of our beautiful and historic church must be restored (not just repaired) for both safety and structural reasons. This is no longer about maintaining our church; this is about restoring it and saving it. In short, this potentially ruinous situation is urgent and must be addressed now.
During the past year, Saint Ann Church has been poked, prodded, checked and double-checked by local and regional experts to ensure that we have found any and all problems that might affect its long-term structural stability. Competitive bids to complete the restoration work were submitted by four respected contractors. After studying these bids and consulting with our finance council, parish council, pastoral team, representatives from all of our parish ministries, and archdiocesan officials, we have decided to engage the services of Aniceto Historical Restorations, Incorporated of Milford, Massachusetts, a construction firm with a strong reputation for completing similar projects in the Archdiocese of Boston, to complete this project before the end of this calendar year. The overall cost of this necessary project will be approximately one million dollars.
At this point, the success of the Saint Ann Church Restoration Project depends solely on your support. In order to save our church for future generations of faithful and faith-filled parishioners, we must rededicate all of the donations for the so-called elevator project; and we must begin a vigorous campaign for additional donations. Since calling attention to this problem last year, I have spoken with countless parishioners before and after Mass, at parish events, and in private one-on-one conversations about the challenges facing Saint Ann Church and Holy Family Parish. Some parishioners have asked for their money back. But most parishioners have strongly urged us to forge ahead with plans to restore Saint Ann Church before it’s too late. Needless to say, we cannot meet this towering challenge without your encouragement, enthusiasm, prayers, and support. As always, if you have comments, questions, or a few dollars to spare for this good and worthy cause, please do not hesitate to contact me.
More than 800 years ago, a young man named Francis walked into a dilapidated little church and knelt in prayer before an ancient crucifix. He prayed: “Most High and Glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my heart. Give me right faith, certain hope, and perfect charity. O Lord, give me insight and wisdom, so that I might always discern your holy and true will. Amen.” Upon completing this prayer, the Crucified Christ spoke: “Francis, go and rebuild my church!” That young man would become Saint Francis of Assisi. Many centuries later, we are faced with a similar prayer and a similar challenge. Let us pray for faith, hope, and love. Let us pray for guidance and wisdom. Let us pray for courage and per- severance to confront our towering challenge. And let us pray for the grace and strength to live the Gospel, to share God’s love, and to rebuild our beautiful church! Amen! Saint Ann, pray for us! Saint Joachim, pray for us! Saint Anthony, pray for us! Saint Francis, pray for us! Saint Peter, pray for us! Our Lady of Good Voyage, pray for us! May the Sacred of Heart of Jesus have mercy on us!
Peace and blessings to all,
Reverend James M. Achadinha, Pastor
Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport
Electronic Giving Made Safe & Easy
Available at Both Parishes
Electronic giving is now available at both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. At ParishPay, 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. So, please prayerfully consider supporting your parish by giving electronically! For more information about electronic giving in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please visit parishpay.com or contact Father Jim at email@example.com. If you need any assistance with setting up an account, please contact Claire Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your generous and ongoing support of our parishes!
Learn More: ParishPay.com
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.
Follow us on Twitter: @CCGRonline