Good Shepherd Catholic Church is a vibrant faith community of a little more than 500 households. Through our liturgies, our ministries, and our outreach, we seek to be a parish that is welcoming, prayerful, caring, and joyful.
I welcome you to our new website. If you are a member of the parish, please enjoy browsing. I think you will like what you see.
If you are a visitor who is seeking a parish to call home or just curious, I hope you will like what you find here. Please join us for worship. All are welcome.
Fr. Larry Esposito
On Saturday, April 5th over a dozen men from Good Shepherd attended the 14th annual Men’s Conference. Don Bruneau, Bob Gazaille, and Jeff Gazaille were all members of the committee. Special thanks to Father Larry for his support since it’s inception and for hearing confessions. Next years is planned on March 21st 2015. Don
Embrace the last week of Lent and Celebrate Easter by attending Holy Week Services:
- Saturday & Sunday, April 12 & 13: 4 PM, 8 & 10 AM: Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion
- Monday, April 14: 8:45 AM Mass
- Tuesday, April 15: 8:15 AM Mass (Note change) 10:30 AM Mass of Holy Chrism St. Paul’s Cathedral, 7:00 PM Confessions
- Holy Thursday, April 17: 7:30 PM Mass of the Lord’s Supper
- Good Friday, April 18: 3:00 PM Stations of the Cross, 7:30 PM Living Stations and Good Friday Liturgy
- Holy Saturday, April 19: 7:30 PM Easter Vigil
- Easter Sunday, April 20: 8:00 AM Easter Sunday Mass , 10:00 AM Easter Sunday Mass and Pageant
This summer members of Good Shepherd’s Youth Ministry will be performing mission work at Blessings of Hope, a food ministry in Ephrata Pennsylvania. But they are not going alone. They will have in tow a U-Haul packed with 120 banana boxes of toiletry and personal hygiene products, like toothpaste, shampoo, and soap. Why these items? Because unlike food items, struggling families are not able to purchase them with food stamps. Imagine not having the money to buy everyday essentials for showering, brushing your teeth, or shaving for you and your family.
Blessings of Hope provides such items, but they are in desperate need of supplies in order to meet the needs of the 300 local families they support each week. Most weeks families are limited to just one item, which for a family of four may mean having to choose between washing your children’s hair or brushing their teeth. Blessings of Hope also provides Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) to those stricken by disaster.
So how can you help “Pack the Pod?” Between now and July 15th you can purchase toiletry and personal hygiene items to donate to Youth Ministry to either fill their banana boxes or to sponsor one on your own. It’s easier than you think if you plan ahead. For those of you who are not “Extreme Couponers,” here are a few tips:
1. Do you know those Sunday coupons you toss away because you never buy any of those items? Now you may have reason to. Cut out all of the toiletry and personal hygiene coupons you find—not just the ones you use. Set them aside and wait for a sale.
2. Some stores double coupons up to 99 cents. Set these coupons aside and wait for that store to have a sale. When they do, cash in on the double savings.
3. Several local pharmacies have rewards programs where you can earn store dollars back by buying certain items each week (ex. CVS has Extra Bucks). Sometimes the items even end up being free. Seek out these offers and take advantage of them. Then use the dollars earned for the next sale.
4. Use in store coupons. Whether they come in your email, on your receipt, or by scanning your card when you first enter the store—save these and look to use them with other deals.
5. Package your discounts. Use your manufacturer’s coupons and in-store coupons on items that are also on sale. If you are buying two of the same item try to find two coupons. Even add in coupons for a certain dollar amount off your total purchase. Some sales even have buy one get one free or half off. Play your cards right and you can even earn money by buying certain items, which you can then use to buy additional items.
6. Print coupons online from sites like coupons.com. If you can only print a limited quantity per computer print them from multiple computers.
7. Shop around by getting flyers from different pharmacies, grocery stores, and department stores to seek out the best deals. You can also find most flyers online.
8. Need advice? Go to sites like couponmom.com to find the best sales on products and what coupons are available to use with those products.
9. Get family and friends involved. Ask them for the coupons they are not using. And if you see a great sale but are restricted to one per household, spread the word so people you know can go out and get the sale item for you.
10. Shop your local dollar store (and bring your coupons). You’d be surprised by some of the name brands you can get for a dollar—like toothpaste.
Enjoy the thrill of the hunt. Test your economic skills and challenge yourself to get the most items for the least amount of money. You may be surprised at what you find. And best of all, the satisfaction you get from cashing in on the deals is nothing compared to the satisfaction you feel knowing you’ve helped those in need.
As announced at masses last weekend, we have entered into a partnership with a company called “St. Pauly Textile”. This is a company that distributes clothing around the world. They have more than 800 of these collection sheds in MA, Upstate NY, PA, VT, and CT.
According to their brochure, through their partnerships, St. Pauly collects more than 80,000 pounds of clothing each day. To date they have distributed clothing in more than 44 countries. In 2012 that amounted to over 59 million garments.
According to EPA statistics, for various reasons, only about 15% of used clothing actually gets donated and distributed through local organizations. 85% gets discarded and destroyed. Our collection shed is not to compete with other organizations, but to provide a convenient way to donate and collect some of that 85% and to distribute it to those in need of it.
We have constant access to what is in the shed at any given time so that we can use available clothing locally when necessary.
St. Pauly will maintain the shed at no cost to us and collect the clothing at least once each week. They have contracts with several international humanitarian organizations and thus are able to provide some compensation to those who partner with them. Partnering non-profit organization, such as Good Shepherd, receive 4 cents per pound of clothing. In turn we will use that money to support our Vacation Bible Schools (VBS) and other children’s and youth ministries.
The shed is accessible 24/7/365 for clothing donations. Please bag the clothing and tie the bags. Please check the list of unacceptable items posted on the shed. Acceptable items include all clothing, shoes, sneakers, belts, purses, blankets, sheets, pillowcases, drapes, and stuffed toys. Please, no rags, fabric scraps, pillows, toys, or household goods.
Here is a quote from St. Pauly. “There is an enormous global need for used clothing. We are able to distribute clothing to people all over the world who need it, and all of the clothing we collect is worn by someone somewhere.”
On Sunday, March 2nd, Good Shepherd hosted a Pancake Breakfast to benefit this summer’s Vacation Bible School Program. The Breakfast raised over $500. Fundraisers for Vacation Bible School help to ensure the program remains free of charge for all children looking to attend. Thank you to all who helped make this year’s breakfast a stunning success.
Check out pictures below:
We are beginning to plan for the 2014 Summer VBS Program. Our theme this year is Service to Others. We have selected the program “God’s Backyard Bible Camp: Under the Sun & Stars.” It is a great program and I am excited to share it with all of you.
Join us this summer, July 21st – 25th, 2014! VBS will be from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm at the Good Shepherd Church and Parish Center. We will celebrate service to others with Bible Stories, Games, Music, Fun, and Food! Come get involved! Our annual field trip this year will be to the Planetarium at the EcoTarium in Worcester! Registration forms will be available beginning in April 2014.
You are invited to be part of our team this summer. We need adults and teens who would like to share God’s Love and Serve Jesus with the children of our parish and community. Find out what you can do to make this summer one you and the children will never forget. No experience needed. Training will be provided. Please join us at a 30 minute informational meeting on Monday, March 24, 2014, at 5:30-6:00pm in the Good Shepherd Church Hall.
Download our poster here.
Ash Wednesday is on March 5th and there will be four opportunities to receive ashes. These include:
- 8:45 Mass and Ashes at Good Shepherd
- 11:00 Mass and Ashes at Crowne and Eagle (Off East Hartford Ave)
- 3:30 Service of the Word and Ashes at Good Shepherd
- 7:00 Mass and Ashes at Good Shepherd.
Sign ups are underway for our Lenten Living the Eucharist Program. Living the Eucharist is an exciting new parish-based spiritual renewal experience for parishioners of all ages. It is designed to help you experience the Mass in a more powerful and meaningful way—by getting to know, understand, and love the Sacrament of the Eucharist more deeply than ever before.
Living the Eucharist has something foe everyone—adults, teens, and families. It’s for both regular Mass-goers and those who are seeking a deeper engagement with our Catholic faith. Activities range from weekly adult and teen faith-sharing groups to prayer campaigns to individual devotional readings and more.
To learn more about Living the Eucharist, check out their introductory videos.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. It is one of the simplest rules of the Bible to live by, yet one of the most powerful. Nearly 15 years ago a group of parishioners at Good Shepherd took this scripture teaching to new heights by launching a program that is still going strong today, aptly named, Neighbors Helping Neighbors.
Currently run by Laurie Petty—one of the founding members of the group—Neighbors Helping Neighbors provides home-cooked meals to parish families in need of support for a number of factors, such as illness or loss of job. The meals typically consist of the main course, side dishes, salad, and dessert, but can also contain canned goods, gift cards, or meat in need or preparing. On average the program serves between 2-4 families at a time. Parish families in need are referred by Father Larry or other parishioners and receive meals until they’ve made it through their difficult time. In several cases the beneficiaries of the meals have later gone on to pay it forward by preparing meals for others in need. Others offer to help fulfill prayer requests. more »
Due to the Snowstorm Religious Education tomorrow (12/15) for Little Lambs thru Grade 4 is cancelled. The celebration of First Penance scheduled for tomorrow (12/15) has also been postponed until Sunday, 1/26/14 at 2PM.
Finally, the Ham and Beans Dinner and Bake Sale scheduled for 12/14 has been postponed to 12/28.