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Weekly Reflections, Prayers, and News from Fr. Thomas

Our Pastor

Rev. Thomas J. Walsh
Pastor
732-257-7722
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September 2018

September 2, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The following is the text of my homily from last Sunday, August 26, 2018:

“Lord, to Whom shall we go, for you alone have the words of eternal life!” During the past few weeks, we have been reflecting on the understanding of the Eucharist from the Gospel of John. The gift of the Eucharist feeds the Church, the People of God, on our journey through this world. In today’s Gospel passage, many disciples walked from Jesus, because they could not accept that Jesus is the Bread of Life. Our Lord asked the Apostles if they also wanted to leave Him. Simon Peter responded, “Lord, to whom shall we go?” “You alone have the words of eternal life.”

Though Peter did not fully understand all that the Lord had said, he clung to the Lord and did not turn away.

How shall we make a return to the Lord for all the good that he has done for us? For our families? For our community?

In the face of so much evil and scandal, how to remain a faithful Catholic and not turn away from the practice of the faith?

Our faith has been shaken and we ask the Lord, “To whom shall we go?”

In the opening prayer for the feast of Saint Bartholomew which we celebrated this past week, the Church praises Bartholomew as a man without guile who wholeheartedly clung to Christ. I have found myself clinging to Christ as day after day, week after week, more stories of the sexual abuse of children have come to light. The scandal surrounding Archbishop McCarrick, the District Attorney’s report from Pennsylvania, and now the seminary investigations taking place in the Archdiocese of Newark.

Let all the poison out! Let all the names and stories of those who have been abused and those of the abusers come out. These endless series of events over these past months have exhausted my own ability to respond to the crisis in the Church. These crimes against children and young adults must be punished and justice must be done. Only a full disclosure on the part of the Hierarchy will allow the healing process to begin. We are not there yet.

I have published the letter of Pope Francis in the bulletin and invite each of you to take a copy home and prayerfully reflect upon the Holy Father’s words.

Pope Francis has asked the Church to respond with prayer and fasting, to take up the discipline of prayer and fasting in the face of grave evil and scandal. These past two days, I have spent time in prayer and fasting, praying for the Pope and trying to formulate my own response to the crisis. The Holy Father is presently attending the World Meeting of Families in Dublin, Ireland. The Church in Ireland has been decimated by its own sexual abuse crisis. The Churches are empty and vocations to the priesthood have dropped off precipitously. Is this our future?

When I think of Dublin, I remember visiting the city just five years ago in the Springtime and walking through the Old City with my friends. We came upon what appeared to be a new building site lined with large billboards. On these billboards there were large black and white photographs of children on their First Communion Day. Beautiful, innocent faces of boys and girls in their new suits and dresses and veils. Above their heads in large black letters the words: “You Have Murdered Our Souls!” As I watched the Holy Father this morning celebrating Mass in Dublin I kept seeing the faces of those children, the innocent victims of clergy sexual abuse. Their suffering cries out to heaven and even though the institutional Church tried to silence them, the Lord has heard their cry and HE will give them justice. “For He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly.”

“Absolute power, corrupts absolutely.” This is an old adage and is certainly true of the clericalism at the center of the institution of the Church. Pope Francis has called for an end to this abuse of power by the shepherds of the Church, men who think that they are above the law and are entitled by their ordination to cover up crimes against the innocent. This culture of silence that allows the abuser to go free and murders the souls of the innocent.

In his letter Pope Francis states: “With shame and repentance, we acknowledge as an ecclesial community that we were not where we should have been, that we did not act in a timely manner, realizing the magnitude and the damage done to so many lives. We showed no care for the little ones, we abandoned them. I make my own the words of the then Cardinal Ratzinger, “…how much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to Christ! How much pride, how much self-complacency! Christ’s betrayal by His disciples, their unworthy reception of his body and blood is certainly the greatest suffering endured by the Redeemer; it pierces his heart. We can only call on him from the depths of our hearts: Kyrie Eleison-Lord, have mercy. Lord, save us!”

Let us pray for the renewal of our community, for the Church of Metuchen, for all who minister in the name of Jesus.

With Simon Peter we cry out, “Lord, to whom shall we go?”

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us.

In Christ,
Father Thomas


August 2018

August 26, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Enclosed with this week’s bulletin is a letter from Pope Francis addressing the sexual abuse scandal in the Church. The letter was written on August 20th, and is addressed to the People of God. Please take some time today to read the letter and reflect on the Church’s need to change its culture of silence. In the letter the Holy Father, “invites the entire holy faithful People of God to a penitential exercise of prayer and fasting.” “This can awaken our conscience and arouse our solidarity and commitment to a culture of care that says “never again” to every form of abuse.”

On behalf of Fr. Dario and myself, Deacon Anthony Gostkowski, Deacon Jack Kenny, Deacon Philip Tartara, and Deacon John Broehl please feel free to approach us with any of your concerns.

Let us continue to pray for one another and for the renewal of the Church.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


August 19, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Though the feast of Saint Bartholomew is celebrated on August 24th, we anticipate the feast this Sunday. Since St. Bartholomew is the patron saint of our community, we celebrate this great Apostle and Martyr and seek his intercession for ourselves and all the members of our parish family.

The Basilica of Saint Bartholomew in Rome is on an island in the Tiber River. Within this Basilica are the relics of Saint Bartholomew and his shrine has been a place of healing throughout the centuries. Surrounding the Shrine are numerous side altars dedicated to the Martyrs of the 20th Century. These men and women gave their lives for the sake of Christ and for His Gospel. They are commemorated along with Saint Bartholomew for their courage in the face of persecution.

Saint Bartholomew, Apostle and Martyr, pray for us. Happy Feast Day!

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


August 12, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This Wednesday, August 15th, is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This Feast marks the fulfillment of Mary’s earthly pilgrimage on earth and also promises that we will share with her the glory of heaven. The feasts of Our Lady are always days of joy and celebration through out the world, may this years festival renew our hope in the Resurrection of Christ and the life of the world to come.

On August 22nd the Diocese of Metuchen celebrates our patronal feast, the feast of the Queenship of Mary. May Our Lady Intercede for us and aid us on the way to salvation.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


August 5, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

One of the joys of going on vacation is the letting go of our daily schedule and duties and embracing the experience of travel and new adventures. A sense of being out of one’s element, trying new foods and getting away from it all can be quite invigorating. Spiritually we also experience a sense of wonder and awe in the presence of nature and the beauty of creation.

Saint Augustine used the experience of his own travels as a metaphor for life’s journey. We are pilgrims on the earth and here we have no lasting city. Our true homeland is in heaven with God and all of our life’s journeys will end in God.

Enjoy these summer days. May all your journeys be blessed ones.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


July 2018

July 29, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I have spent the last week in Scotland visiting the beautiful city of Edinburgh and then journeying to the west to the Isles of Mull and Iona. I have fulfilled a lifelong dream to visit the Holy Isle of Iona, the monastery founded by Saint Columba in 563 AD. When Columba arrived there with 12 monks he founded a place of great learning and scholarship. It was at Iona that the magnificent Gospel Book of Kells was created. From here Colomba and his community converted the Clans of Scotland to the Christian faith.

In our own day how can we imitate Columba in his desire to bring others to faith in Christ? Remembered all of you in my prayers. May the Lord continue to bless and strengthen our faith Community.

St. Columba of Iona, pray for us.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


July 22, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Each evangelist highlights different aspects of the ministry of Our Lord. In the Gospel of Mark, Our Lord is consumed with the proclamation of the Kingdom of God. On each page of the Gospel, Jesus confronts evil, and the suffering of humanity. Every day, Our Lord was overwhelmed by the crowds of people who come to Him seeking healing, comfort and consolation.

“When He disembarked from the boat and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd...”

The Church carries forward the ministry of Jesus through the public ministry of preaching, teaching, and healing. Through the sacraments we encounter the Risen Christ and experience the grace and mercy of God.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


July 15, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

One of the joys of summer is the opportunity to get away from our daily routine and find a place to relax and renew our spirits. In today’s Gospel, Our Lord invites the apostles, “to come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest awhile.” When I was involved in Campus Ministry at Rutgers University the students would often remark about their overcrowded schedules. They called this experience a “Time Famine” essentially the absence of a time for refreshment and renewal. We need a time to recharge our spirit, a Sabbath time away from our daily tasks and responsibilities.

Please take some time each day to enjoy the beauty of nature and the renewal of friendships and relationships. Time does fly, but we need to slow down and experience the grace of the season.

Happy Summer!

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


July 8, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Whether one is marking the birthday of the nation, or one's own birthday, as I am today, there is a certain wisdom that comes with the abundance of years. How is one to live in the world as a person of faith? I remember what Henry James said when giving advice to a young man, "first be kind, second be kind, and third be kind." It is good advice to live by and I would add to this that a Christian must always and everywhere give thanks.

In your daily prayers, pause and reflect, and express gratitude for all that you have been given. The way we know we are growing in the spiritual life is the way of gratitude. How could I ever thank God for all the many blessings He has bestowed on me?

Kindness and Gratitude overflow into love for our brothers and sisters, the love of God will become a reality in our daily life. The love of Christ will fill our hearts and minds.

May God continue to pour out His Blessings upon us.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


July 1, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This Sunday, July 1st, is the feast day of Saint Junipero Serra, the founder of the California Missions. This past October I directed a pilgrimage to the Missions founded by this great American Saint. It was a wonderful trip, both entertaining and spiritually fulfilling. St. Junipero Serra’s motto is “Adelante, Siempre!” “Always, forward!” May we continue to go forward to build the Kingdom of God.

Wednesday, July 4th, is Independence Day, the birthday of our great nation. Mass will be celebrated at 9am. Please come and give thanks to God for the freedom we enjoy as citizens of this great land. May God continue to bless America. Happy 4th!

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


June 2018

June 24, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

It has been a distressing week listening to the news reports of the treatment of children at our border with Mexico. According to the Department of Homeland Security nearly two thousand children were separated from their mothers and fathers during a six week period from mid- April to the end of May. In the past, immigration officials generally tried to detain families together if a parent was charged with illegal entry, but no longer: the new policy would separate parents from their children just as they are arriving in a strange land.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a statement condemning the separation policy, reminding Catholics that breaking apart families is immoral. This Saturday, June 30th is set aside as a National Day to end this policy and renew our public discourse on immigration. We will gather here at the parish by the statue of Saint Joseph (on Ryders Lane) at 11:30 am to pray for the families who are being held in detainment centers.

The Lord Jesus said, “Let the little children come unto me and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Luke 18:16

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


June 10, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I want to make you aware of two important anniversaries in the life of our parish family. This Saturday, June 16th, Deacon Jack Kenny will be celebrating his 20th Anniversary of Ordination to the Diaconate. Through the years Deacon Jack has served our Community through various ministries and organizations. These past 11 years Deacon Jack has served as the Plant Manager for the Parish, helping to co-ordinate security for the Church and Parish School. He has been an invaluable help to me in my role as pastor and I am grateful for his help each and every day. This Saturday, June 16th, we will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving in his honor. The Mass will be at 11 am and I inviting all parishioners to attend.

On Friday, June 22nd, we will celebrate our annual Prayer Garden Mass. It is the 25th Anniversary of the Garden and I remember being part of the team that cleared the ground and planted the trees that are still thriving today. The Mass will be held outside in the Bride’s Garden at 7pm. Please bring a lawn chair and a friend. It is always a beautiful way to celebrate the beauty of God’s Creation. A light reception will follow in the narthex.

On Saturday, June 23 Bishop Checchio will visit our parish again to celebrate the 5:00 p.m. Mass

Enjoy these beautiful Spring Days!

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


June 3, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The month of June is traditionally the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart will be celebrated on this Friday, June 8th. The Sacred Heart of Jesus, our Savior, is considered the chief sign and symbol of that love with which the Divine Redeemer continually loves the eternal Father and all human beings without exception.

The gift of God’s love is made manifest in the heart of Jesus. On the cross Jesus gave His life for us and for our salvation. From His wounded side flowed Blood and Water, the sacramental life of the Church. May we always give thanks for the great gift of God’s love for us. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


May 2018

May 27, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On Wednesday, May 30th, Bishop Checchio will celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation for our 8th Grade students from our School and our Religious Education Program. This is always a very joyful celebration for our young men and women as they receive the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit. We are so honored to have Bishop Checchio here with us to celebrate this important milestone in the spiritual lives of our young people. Please pray for our Confirmation Candidates, their Sponsors, and Families.

May 28th is Memorial Day. I will be celebrating the 9 am Mass in the Church and have been requested by the Diocese to celebrate a 10 am Mass at Holy Cross Cemetery on Cranbury Road. On this day when we honor those brave men and women who died for our country let us remember their sacrifice and honor their memory.

Next Sunday, June 3rd, I will present the 2018 Msgr. Kelly Servant Award to Mrs. Patricia Whipkey for her outstanding service to our parish community. Patty has served the Church and our parish School as past president of the Parish Council and the School Advisory Council. With her husband, Sherman, and her family, Sarah & Michael Sauvigne, and granddaughters Madeline and Kate, the Whipkey’s are an integral part of the Saint Bartholomew Parish Family. May God continue to bless and strengthen our parish.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


May 20, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On the day of Pentecost, the fire of the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles gathered with that first Community in Jerusalem. Along with the Women Disciples and Our Lady, these first Christians experienced the outpouring of the seven fold gifts of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit empowered them to go forth and proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior. From this small community of maybe 120 people the Church has grown to a membership of 1.2 Billion people.

The Holy Spirit is still active in the Church of today. We are all disciples of the Risen Christ and we are called by our Baptism to evangelize our brothers and sisters to come to know, love and serve the Lord Jesus. Pentecost is called the “Birthday” of the Church because the disciples went out of the Upper Room to make disciples of all nations. Our mission field is vast but the Spirit of God abides with us and empowers us to live the Gospel.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


May 13, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The month of May is dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God. Mary is the first disciple of the Lord for she conceived Christ first by faith and then in her flesh. At the Wedding of Cana, Mary asked Jesus to intercede for the Wedding Couple and provide wine for the wedding banquet. Her words to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you,” are a maxim for the spiritual life. We honor Mary for her devotion to Jesus Christ and to His Mission.

The second Sunday of May is dedicated to all of our Mothers. This civil holiday is celebrated to honor the vocation of motherhood. In the words of President Lincoln, “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” This abiding sentiment for the role of our mothers in the life of the nation is remembered on this day.

Blessings for a beautiful Mother’s Day!

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


May 6, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In this Sunday’s Gospel, we are made aware of the love between the Father and the Son and that we are called by our Baptism into an intimate, loving rela- tionship with God by the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. This love overflows into our lives with others and builds up the Body of Christ.

This week we started our Bible Study on the letters of Saint Paul. We began the series with the First Letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians. About 50 people were in attendance in the St. Vincent de Paul Room in the Parish Center. This week we will study the letter to the Galatians and I will move the venue to the alcove of the Church. Please contact Colleen Salvas at csalvas@rwjf.org if you are planning on attending.

Work has been completed on the Pre-K playground and our students are enjoying being outside on these beautiful days. The playground is a Gift from Bobby and Lisa Hopkins in memory of their daugh- ter, Ariella. We will have a formal dedication and blessing soon.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


April 2018

April 29, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Gospel Readings for the Sundays of the Easter Sea- son are from the Gospel of John. John’s Gospel contains many beautiful images of the Kingdom of God. The metaphor of the “ Vine and the Branches from today’s Gospel reveals a profound understanding of our life in Christ. Through Baptism the disciple is grafted on to the Vine of Christ. By sharing in the Eucharist, the disciple is strengthened to bear fruit for the kingdom of God. The disciple is intimately connected to Jesus, the True Vine, and receives life through Jesus Christ. Therefore our lives should overflow with love, justice, mercy, and peace, the virtues of the kingdom of God.

This Tuesday, May 1st, will begin a five week presentation on the letters of Saint Paul. This presentation is open to all parishioners, but spaces are limited so please call or email Colleen Salvas as noted in the bulletin announcement to register. The presentation will begin at 7:30 pm in the Saint Vincent de Paul Room, downstairs in the Parish Center. Please bring a copy of the New Testament and I will provide other materials as needed.

Please continue to pray for our Children who are receiving their First Holy Communion.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


April 22, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Traditionally the Fourth Sunday of Easter is called “Good Shepherd Sunday” because in the Gospel Jesus refers to Himself as the good shepherd. On this Sunday the Church invites us to pray for vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, and religious life. Also we pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon all who minister to God’s holy people. May the Spirit prompt the members of our community to be active ministers of the Gospel.

Yesterday, we celebrated the first of three Holy Communion Masses for our parish children. The day is filled with joy and gladness, as our second graders are welcomed to the table of the Lord and receive the Holy Eucharist. Please pray for our First Communicants and their families.

“Good Shepherd, watch over and guide your flock, the Church of God.”

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


April 15, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Though Spring has been delayed this year, the Easter Gospels are filled with abundance of new life and the glory of the Risen Christ. In this Sunday’s Gospel, the Risen Christ appears to the Apostles and Disciples and commissions them to go out to the whole world Proclaiming the Good News of repentance, for the forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. This is indeed the Mission of the Church and we are called as modern disciples to continue Christ’ Mission.

What does it mean to practice forgiveness in the name of Jesus Christ? How do I understand forgiveness in my life as a Christian? “There is only forgiveness, if there is any, where there is the unforgivable.” (Derrida) The ability to forgive and to seek forgiveness for what I have done or failed to do is indeed one of the most difficult habits to form as a disciple of Christ. That we fail in this in our daily lives is why we are a Church of Sinners, constantly aware of our need for God’s Mercy.

We are redeemed by the blood of Christ and forgiven through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit into our hearts. May we embrace forgiveness and practice forgiveness in our lives with great humility and love.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


April 8, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In his encounter with the Risen Christ, Saint Thomas proclaims, "My Lord, and My God!" This is our faith that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead and He is the Victor over sin and death. May the joy of this Easter Season strengthen us as disciples of the Risen Lord.

Please allow me to express my gratitude to all who helped prepare the Church for the liturgies of Holy Week. Special thanks to Lisa Soga and Roberts florist for the beautiful decorations of the Church, narthex and Parish Hall. Deacon Jack for all of his help in organizing the smooth transition in preparing for the liturgies of Holy Week. Nicholas Gatto for overseeing and directing the choir for Holy Week. Truly it was a beautiful and spiritually uplifting Holy Week and Easter for our community.

Christ is Risen! Alleluia!
He is truly Risen! Alleluia

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


April 1, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

A day of great Joy has dawned for all Creation. Christ, Our Lord, has Risen! Alleluia! May this Easter Day bring a renewed sense of God’s love and mercy in your life and the lives of all of our community. Blessings for a very happy and joyful Easter.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


March 2018

March 25, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

“Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” With these ancient words the celebration of Holy Week begins again. Once more we hear of the Lord’s triumphant entry onto Jerusalem and experience these days of Passion, Death and Resurrection. After the long retreat of Lent we intensify our prayer, fasting and almsgiving in order to prepare ourselves to celebrate the Sacred Triduum – the Three Holiest Days of our year. “Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed. Christians let us keep the Feast.”

Please make every effort to attend the liturgies of this sacred and holy week.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


March 18, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

According to tradition the Fifth Sunday of Lent begins Passiontide, a time set aside to prepare for Holy Week. The Passion of the Lord is highlighted in the prayers of the Mass and the daily readings. In the Church, Crosses and Statues are covered as a way of deepening our awareness of the Sacrifice of Cross. Now is the time to return to the Lord, with prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. It is also the time to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This Tuesday, March 20th, there will be a Penance Service in the Church at 7pm. Confessions will also be heard on Saturday, March 24th, from 3:30 – 4:30 pm. and again on Tuesday, March 27th, from 7 -8 pm.

Monday, March 19th, is the Solemnity of Saint Joseph. Immediately following the Mass and Novena we will gather in the Narthex to bless an image of Our Mother of Good Counsel. This image will be dedicated to the memory of Sister Catherine Leinmiller, IHM. A Saint Joseph table will also be blessed and we will share in the joy of the feast day!

Saint Joseph, pray for us.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


March 11, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Each year, the Season of Lent offers a time of spiritual renewal. Usually, we take up this Lenten journey as the gift of personal renewal in terms of our relationship with the Lord. But Lent is also a time to focus beyond ourselves. It offers us an opportunity to hear the cry of the poor and to grow in solidarity with them. The alms we give helps us to express our gratitude to God and allows us to exercise generosity to our brothers and sisters in need. Remember, God remembers every good deed that we have done in our lifetime. Our Lord Jesus has commanded us to spend our lives in service to the poor and broken- hearted.

Monday, March 19th is the feast of good Saint Joseph. The 7pm No- vena Mass will be celebrated in his honor and we will have the tradi- tional Saint Joseph table in the narthex after the Mass. After Mass, I will bless an image of Our Mother of Good Counsel and formally dedicate a memorial plaque to our beloved Sister Marita Catherine Leinmiller, IHM. Sr. Catherine served our parish community for many years taking care of the sick and homebound members of our community. Sister Catherine died on August 3rd, 2015 and is remembered for her joyful spirit and loving heart.

Please come and celebrate with us.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


March 4, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Bishop Checchio has removed Father Patrick Kuffner from priestly ministry. Fr. Kuffner was suspended as the pastor of Our Lady of Mount Virgin in Middlesex pending an investigation by law enforcement regarding events that occurred 30 years ago when he was a layman. Fr. Pat served at Saint Bartholomew from June, 2002 to July, 2005. As in all circumstances involving the protection of young people, the Diocese has been cooperating fully with law enforcement. I ask anyone with information about this matter to contact Lawrence Nagle, Director of the Diocesan Office of Child and Youth Protection at 732-562-2413 or youth.protection@diometuchen.org.

Let us continue to pray for one another.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


February 2018

February 25, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The three pillars of Lent: Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving are meant for our good. These disciplines deepen our awareness of our need for God and our desire to experience the grace of the season. Lent is the time to start new patterns of prayer. Unfortunately, when I ask parishioners if they pray every day, most respond that they no longer pray every day. How can we grow in our relationship with God if we no longer speak with Him? No wonder that so many Catholics have fallen away from the practice of the Faith.

We can start to pray again by simply pausing in the morning after rising, taking a slow deep breath, recalling what we have to do this day, and asking for the grace to do it as a child of God. One of the simplest ways to begin and end our day is to express our gratitude to God for His many blessings. A simple “Thank You” said with love deepens our love for God and our sense of His presence at work in our life. Again at the end of the day it is good to express our gratitude for the day that has passed.

Do you have a favorite prayer? Do you spend time expressing your gratitude for your blessings or do you dwell on life’s disappointments? A grateful heart brings joy to the giver.

These reflections are from the book, Praying Lent, available in our gift shop.

Let us continue to pray for one another.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


February 18, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Gospel for the First Sunday of Lent finds Jesus in the wilderness being tempted by Satan. We enter into our Lenten retreat with the Lord Jesus, a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. May this time of retreat strengthen us as disciples of the Lord and bring us to the joy of Easter.

Lent is a season of being invited by God to change. To return to God with our whole heart. After receiving the sign of ashes on our foreheads we are reminded that we are mortal creatures in need of God's Mercy and Forgiveness. Please take time for prayer each day. Prayer is a lifting of the mind and heart to God. Daily prayer strengthens and deepens our relationship with God. Prayer will change your life!

There are extra opportunities to attend daily Mass during Lent. On Monday evening we cele- brate a Mass and novena in honor of Our Lady, Wednesday Evening we celebrate a Healing Mass for all of those in need and Friday evening Mass is followed by the Stations of the Cross. All Masses are at 7:00pm in the Church.

Let us continue to pray for one another.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


February 11, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As we approach the Season of Lent it is a good time to prepare our homes and our families for this sacred time of retreat. Dur- ing these weeks of Lent I will be sharing with you some in- sights from the book, “Praying Lent” by Fr. Andy Alexander, SJ. and Maureen McCann Waldron. Imagine that this Lent is going to be different from every other Lent. Think about the many graces that our offered us during these forty days. In these days before Lent we need to prepare our hearts and our homes to receive the blessings of this holy season.

Before Ash Wednesday, we should start to ask ourselves some questions and begin making some preparations. Ask yourself, “What does God want to give me this year? What will free me to be more open and more loving this year?” Our focus should not be so much on giving something up, as being open to receive the grace of our Lenten journey together. Prayer, Fasting, Charity are still the essential components of a disci- plined Lent and they should be practiced each day. Special emphasis is given to the Fridays of Lent in order to unite our- selves to the sacrifice of Christ Crucified.

Lent is a season of being invited by God in a deeply personal way. “Come back to me, with all your heart.,” says the Lord.

Preparing our home for Lent:

On a table place the following items:

A Crucifix: symbol of Christ’s sacrificial love

Water: a small bowl of holy water to remind us of our baptism Sand: a dish/bowl of sand to remember our journey is through the desert. Jesus fasted and prayed in the desert for 40 days and nights.

A Candle: Light a candle and place it near the crucifix and say together: “Lord, thank you for the gift of your Light, in the midst of darkness. May this candle be a sign of your presence among us.”

A Bible: An open bible should be placed on the table. Remem- ber that the Word of God is active and effective in our lives. Maybe choose a particular Gospel Story or Psalm to read to- gether each day.

As Catholics, we go to God together: By strengthening our bonds of prayer and charity we will all come to the glory of the Eternal Easter, Eternal life with God.

Blessings for a happy and fruitful Lent.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


January 2018

January 28, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This Sunday the Church in the United States begins the annual celebration of Catholic Schools Week. We are so blessed to be able to continue to support our wonderful Saint Bartholomew School. The Mission of our school is to love, educate and inspire our students to live the teachings of Jesus Christ. At the 10 am Mass this Sunday we will kick-off the celebrations with a beautiful litur- gy highlighting the many accomplishments of our community. Truly God has blessed our parish and I invite all of our community to come and visit the school during the Open House after Mass. It is largely through the generosity of countless parish- ioners over the past 58 years that our parish and school continues to be a place where Jesus Christ is known, loved and served.

May Our Lord continue to bless the work of our hands. Saint Bartholomew, pray for us.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


January 21, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ, accord- ing to Mark, opens with the Baptism of Jesus at the Jordan River. Immediately, Jesus calls His first disciples and announces the Coming of the Kingdom of God. There is such an ur- gency to Mark’s Gospel. The time of fulfill- ment is here and one must decide to follow Christ and become part of His Mission to bring the good news of salvation to the world.

By our Baptism into Christ, we are called to follow Him and to build His Kingdom by the holiness of our lives.

Next Sunday, January 28th, begins Catholic Schools Week. The 10 am will be celebrated with our faculty and students. There will be an Open House immediately following the lit- urgy. Please come to the Mass and plan on visiting our school to see all the many im- provements that we have been able to provide through the generosity of our parishioners. I am so very grateful for all your support. May God bless you for your goodness.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


January 14, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The public life and ministry of Jesus begins with his baptism at the Jordan River. John the Baptist proclaims Jesus to be the Lamb of God, who will take away the sins of the world. Immediately some of John’s disciples begin to follow Jesus and desire to know more about Him and His Mission. The first apostles, Andrew and his brother, Simon Peter are the first to heed the call of the Lord to come and follow Him.

We, too, are called in this New Year of 2018 to come and follow the Lord Jesus. Our mission is to continue to serve Him in word and in deed. To proclaim the good news of the Gospel and to love God and our neighbor as Jesus taught us. How is the Lord Jesus calling you to serve Him through the parish family of Saint Bartholomew? What talents and gifts are you willing to share with your brothers and sisters in Christ?

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


January 7, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Please allow me to extend my gratitude to all those who made the Christmas Liturgies so beautiful and joyful. Christmas at St. Bartholomew is always such a beautiful celebration of God’s love for us made manifest in our Savior Jesus Christ.

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany, the coming of the Magi to worship the Christ Child. The Magi brings gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh to reveal Christ as King, Christ as Judge and Christ as Victor over death. According to tradition, Catholic homes were blessed on this day in the name of the Magi, Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar. Their insignia (written in chalk) is placed above the front door of the home 20+C+M+B+18.

Like the Magi, may we too find Christ at the end of our journey.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


December 2017

December 31, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Fast away the old year passes… hard to imagine the end of another year and the beginning of the New Year 2018. The calendar marks the turning of tides and seasons and so marks the passing of centuries and two millennia since the Birth of Christ at Bethlehem of Judea. The first day of the year marks the octave day of Christmas and is dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God. May the prayers of Jesus and Mary and dear Saint Joseph bring peace to our world. May the joy of the Holy Family strengthen the bonds within our own families and our community of Saint Bartholomew.

Happy New Year!

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


December 24, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This year the Fourth Sunday of Advent and Christmas Eve fall on the same day. The Sunday Morning Masses will mark the close of the Season of Advent and the evening Vigil Masses will usher in the Season of Christmas. The date of Christmas coincides with the Winter Solstice (December 21st), the shortest day of the year. After the solstice the days begin to lengthen as the Sun returns, hence the Birth of the Son of God illuminates the darkness of the winter night. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the Light of the World!

May the Celebration of Our Savior’s birth bring joy and peace to our world. May the love of Christ fill your hearts with Joy.

Merry Christmas!

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


December 17, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

“Rejoice, the Lord is near!” On this Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent the Church sets aside the purple vestments of repentance and puts on the Rose Vestments signifying Joy. The third candle is lit on the Advent Wreath to call our attention to the approach of Christmas— the Solemnity of The Incarnation of the Son of God. Now is the time to ponder the mystery of the First Coming of Christ into the World. The Word made Flesh Who by His suffering, death and resurrection has redeemed us all. “Rejoice!”

It is indeed a joy to tell you that I have been given a black Labrador puppy as an early Christmas present. Bella arrived last Saturday and we have been getting acquainted this past week. Bella is gift from the pilgrims who journeyed with me to the California Missions of St. Junipero Serra. She is called “Bella”, in honor of the Mission Bells placed in the campanille of those beautiful Mission Churches still calling the faithful to prayer and worship.

An old tradition for these last days of Advent is to place a lighted candle (electric) in a window of your home to light the way for Joseph and Mary on their way to Bethlehem.

“Rejoice”

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


December 10, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Season of Advent invites us to refocus our lives on the essential aspects of our faith. Recently I was asked a question that has me pondering our life together as a faith community. “What is the heart of our community?” Is it the School, the Sunday Liturgies, the various societies and organizations, Re- ligious Education, or our Athletic Program? For me the ques- tion is centered on the person of Jesus Christ. Not a “What” is the center but “Who” is the center.

A parish is established for the sanctification of its people. The Sacraments are celebrated and administered so that we will grow together in the life of Christ, a life of grace and holi- ness. The most important event of the day is the celebration of the Eucharist, the daily Mass. We are blessed to have a number of parishioners who attend the daily mass and we are for- tunate to have Mass celebrated each day. I am grateful that Fr. Dario has been assigned to the parish, but I am aware that the day may come when only one priest will be assigned to the parish.

On the average our Sunday Mass attendance is about 1,450 people over four Sunday liturgies. There are 3,610 families presently registered.

The Church seats between 850-900 people so it is never full on a Sunday morning. Please continue to pray for the renewal of our parish, that our families and loved ones would return to the practice of the Catholic Faith. Pray, also, for vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, religious life and to lay ministry in the Church.

Our Advent Holy Hour is this afternoon at 3pm. The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal will be here to pray with us.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


December 3, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Season of Advent is a season of expectant joy. As Chris- tians we wait in hope for the Coming of the Lord at the end of time. The Season is also a preparation for the celebration of Christmas and the wonder of the Birth of Jesus, the Son of God.

The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal will be directing our parish Advent Mission this year. Their ministry to the poor and marginalized will be explored through the presentation of the movie “Outcasts” which will be shown in the Parish Hall Sunday, December 3rd, at 5pm.

Next Sunday, December 10th @ 4pm, there will be a Holy Hour with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The Francis- can Friars will preside at this time of prayer and help us to deepen our love for Christ in the Eucharistic. All parishioners are encouraged to attend.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


November 2017

November 26, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Solemnity of Christ the King closes out the liturgical year of Grace 2017. Once again the church reminds us that we are called by Christ to be Builders of His Kingdom. At the Last Judgment we will be judged on the quality of our mercy, how we have cared for the poor among us. The Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy embody a radical love for our brothers & sisters. To feed the hungry, to clothe the poor, to care for the sick are not suggestions, but commandments!

Next Sunday, December 3rd, begins the Advent Season. As part of our Advent Mission the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal are inviting us to share in their mission to the poor. There will be a screening of their award wining firm, “Outcasts” which depicts their radical love and service to the poor and lowly of our society. Please come at 5 pm to the Parish Hall. There is more information in the bulletin. “Blessed are the merciful, they will be shown mercy.”

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


November 19, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This week as we celebrate Thanksgiving Day may we be truly grateful to Almighty God for all the many blessings and benefits of this great land. From our earliest days, Americans have set aside a day of national thanksgiving to express our gratitude and to celebrate our heritage.

The township of East Brunswick will hold its annual Thanksgiving Service on Tuesday, November 21st, at 7:30pm at Aldersgate Methodist Church. The parish will celebrate our annual Thanksgiving Mass at 9am on Thanksgiving Day. A collection will be taken for the poor of the parish by the Saint Vincent de Paul Society.

Happy Thanksgiving Day.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


November 12, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

During a recent gathering of the priests of the Diocese, Bishop Checchio reminded us that we must be evangelizers of the Good News of the Gospel. That the Gospel message of salvation must be announced to a new generation of Catholics. One of the distressing signs of this present moment in the life of the Church is the decline in Sunday Mass attendance. The celebration of the Sunday Eucharist is what holds our community together. In 1974, 47% of Catholics attended Mass once a week, in 2012 only 24% attend Mass once a week. Without the Eucharist the Church will cease to exist. A recent poll of young Catholics (millennials) finds only about 16% identifying as practicing Catholics. What to do with the large numbers of young Catholics who have abandoned the Church?

During the month of November, the diocese conducts a headcount at all of the Sunday Masses throughout the diocese. This count has shown a steady decline in Mass attendance since the year 2000. The count is used by the Bishop to determine the number of priests assigned to a parish and which parishes remain viable. Please join me in prayer for the renewal of our faith community. We are a very blessed community and we need to strengthen our commitment to Sunday Eucharist and to the Catholic faith.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


November 5, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The month of November is dedicated to the remembrance of all the faithful Departed. The feast of All Saints and the Commemoration of All Souls are kept as reminders of our earthly pilgrimage to paradise. “Here we have no lasting city,” as Saint Augustine reminds us. We are a pilgrim people on our way to the Eternal Jerusalem.

Saturday, November 11th is Veteran’s Day and we honor all of the men and women who have served our country in war and in peace. This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the America’s entrance into the First World War. Under the command of General Pershing more than two million soldiers fought on the battlefields of France. On November 11, 1918 Germany signed an armistice (an agreement for peace and the cessation of fighting) that ended the War.

The month concludes with the celebration of Thanksgiving Day. A day set aside to give thanks to God for the all the blessings of our beautiful country. May the Lord make us truly grateful for all the blessings that we have received.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas

PS. Please support the HSA Basket Raffle. The Raffle will be held this Friday, November 10th, in the Parish Hall. Tickets are still available please see the bulletin for more details.


October 2017

October 29, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As the month of October draws to a close the beauty of the autumn foliage reminds us that all things are passing. Amidst the gathering darkness and the stripping of the leaves the Church celebrates the Feast of All Saints and all Souls. The final harvest that will come at the End of Days when Christ will come again to judge the living and the dead.

This Wednesday, November 1st, the Solemnity of All Saints, celebrates all the faithful disciples who are with the Lord in the Kingdom. Thursday, November 2nd, the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed. At the 7 pm. Mass, all the names of those members of our community who have died in the past year will be read from the pulpit. Each family will receive a blessed candle in memory of their loved one. Please come and be a part of these celebrations.

As Catholics it is a noble thing to pray for the dead:

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon them.

May they rest in peace. May their souls and all the souls of the Faithful Departed, through the Mercy of God, Rest in Peace. Amen

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


October 22, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On this World Mission Sunday it is important to reflect on our own history as an immigrant community here in the United States. Having just completed a pilgrimage to the Missions of California I was struck by the zeal of those first Franciscan Friars, especially St. Junipero Serra, to bring the Catholic Faith to the Native Americans. By establishing a chain of 21 Missions from San Diego to Sonoma those first missionaries planted the Faith with great sacrifice and love.

The original missions were established by Spain to extend its empire. They endure today as a testament of faith in the Kingdom of God. Through war, earthquake, and fire they remain planted firmly in the rich soil of California, a living community of faith, hope and love.

Saint Junipero Serra, pray for us.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


October 15, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings from California and the beautiful Missions of Saint Junipero Serra. We arrived in San Diego on Monday and celebrated Mass at the Mission of San Diego de Alcala. This was the first mission founded in Alta California by Saint Junipero Serra. The Mission was founded on July 16th, 1769 and begins the chain of 21 Missions that extend from San Diego to Sonoma.

Everyday you are remembered in our prayers and especially at the celebration of the Eucharist. May Our Lord strengthen us and make us faithful disciples.

“Vaya con Dios!”

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


October 7, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Our pilgrimage to the California Missions is leaving Monday October 8th from Liberty Airport. I am taking a group of our parishioners to the beautiful Mission churches founded by Saint Junipero Serra. On the pilgrimage we will journey along the famous, “El Camino Real” The royal road that will lead us to all the 21 Missions that begin at San Diego and form a chain along the pacific coast to San Francisco and Sonoma. Please be assured of our daily prayers for you and your intentions. Fr. Serra’s motto, “Siempre, Adelante!” “Always, Forward” will be our motto for this once in a lifetime journey of faith.

Saint Junipero Serra, pray for us!

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


October 1, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The month of October is dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary, her feast day is October 7th. The praying of the rosary has been a hallmark of Catholic faith and piety for centuries. The "telling of the beads" as it was called in Celtic Spirituality sustained the faith of countless millions through war and famine, life and death.

This October 13th marks the 100th Anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima. Our Lady appeared to three children and revealed to them her desire for greater prayer and penance. Our Lady urged them to pray the rosary for peace in the World. Perhaps this anniversary provides us with an opportunity to reconsider the rosary. I know countless men and women who pray the rosary on their way to work each day. Mediating on the mysteries surrounding the life of Our Lord while praying stills the mind and recollects the spirit to bear the burdens of the day ahead.

I always ask the children to carry a rosary with them and to make it part of their daily prayer. A group of parishioners prays the rosary every day after the morning mass. Our Altar and Rosary Society promotes the recitation of the rosary through their service to our community.

May the prayers of the Blessed Mother bring peace to our world.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


September 2017

September 24, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Gospel of Saint Matthew is often called the Gospel of the Church. These past weeks, the evangelist has been opening up an understanding of the Church as first and foremost a community of disciples. This assembly of the faithful has the Apostles as their foundation and lead lives of spiritual discipline and virtue that build up the community of the Church. These disciplines of fraternal correction and forgiveness are the hallmarks of this new community.

As I mentioned in my homily last week, the spiritual discipline of forgiveness is to be understood as a commandment from the Lord. It should be put into practice along with prayer, fasting and charity.

In today’s Gospel, Matthew reminds us that salvation is open to all. It does not matter when you decide to heed God’s call to conversion, it only matters that you accept it with an open heart.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


September 17, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

How often must I forgive? This is the question that St. Peter asks the Lord Jesus in today's Gospel. Mercy and forgiveness lie at the heart of the ministry of Jesus. As a disciple do I follow Jesus' example? It is often our inability to forgive, our lack of mercy, that destroys our relationships with members of our family and community.

Only the amazing grace of God, that we receive in the sacraments, changes us and allows us to relinquish our bitterness and our pride to learn the way of mercy and love. We are all in need of God's mercy and forgiveness. Who is in need of your forgiveness today? Do not let bitterness and harsh judgement keep you from experiencing the mercy of God, "forgive your brother from your heart."

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


September 10, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In his encyclical, “The Joy of the Gospel”, Pope Francis invites all Christians to be joyful witnesses to the love of God, to share the good news of the Gospel. Pope Francis writes: “I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day.” “No one should think that this invitation is not meant for them, since “no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord.”

The watch word for the present moment is Evangelization”. As a priest I have been invited to numerous workshops and presentations on the importance of spreading the Gospel by the witness of our lives. Evangelization is the sharing of my own story, my experience of encountering Christ in my own life. So many people are seeking an encounter with God, which is always an encounter with Goodness, Beauty and Truth. In this encounter with the Divine we find our true selves and the meaning of our life for others. For the love of neighbor compels us to share the Good News of our redemption.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


September 3, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Summer has gone by and with the arrival of Labor Day the new year begins for our parish community. This Wednesday, September 6th, we are welcoming 375 students to our excellent Catholic School. Summer projects have been completed: the French Drain in front of the main doors of the Church, a new beautiful Gym floor has been installed in the Kelly Gym, and new air conditioning units have been installed in the kindergarten rooms and the technology center. Plans have been finalized for the Ariella Hopkins Pre-K & Kindergarten playground and the installation date will be announced once the construction is completed.

Truly we are blessed community and I thank Deacon Jack Kenny, Deacon John Broehl, and Joe Monteleone for overseeing all these projects. May the Lord continue to bless the work of our hands.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


August 2017

August 27, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Church is founded on the faith of the apostles andthat first community of disciples who confessed Jesus as the Christ of God. Saint Peter’s declaration in the Gospel for this Sunday that Jesus is the Son of God and the promised Messiah becomes the foundation of the community of believers. Christian faith is not founded on aset of rules or even morality. No it is founded on an encounter with the Risen Christ. The person of Jesus Christ makes Himself known to us in Word and Sacrament. The more we deepen our relationship through prayer, worship and service the more we will confess Christ as Our Lord and Savior.

Please enjoy this last week of the Summer of 2017!

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


August 20, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This Sunday we celebrate the feast of our patron, Saint Bartholomew the Apostle and Martyr. When our parish was established in 1959, our first pastor, Monsignor Morgan Kelly, was given the privilege of founding a parish among the orchards and farms of East Brunswick Township. Monsignor often told the story of being in the car with Bishop Ahr and driving with him into a field and then an orchard of apple and peach trees. When Monsignor asked the Bishop where he was to build the Church, Bishop Ahr told him “This is the place.” Nearly 60 years later the Parish has grown and flourished under the patronage of our great Apostle Bartholomew. May we continue to build up our faith community through prayer and service.

This Summer has witnessed a number of changes to our community. As you know Monsignor Benwell has been appointed Pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Annandale, New Jersey. Since Monsignor will no longer be with us on Sundays our Sunday Mass Schedule will be reduced by one mass. The 7am Mass will no longer be celebrated. I realize that this will be an inconvenience to some of our community and I ask for your understanding and support.

On August 8th, my wonderful Sage died and I am missing her loving presence and good heart. Sage was almost 14 years old and so had a very good and happy life here at the parish.

Have a blessed feast day. Saint Bartholomew, pray for us.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


August 13, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This Tuesday, August 15th, is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. According to the ancient tradition of the Church, Mary was assumed body and soul into heaven at the end of her earthly pilgrimage. Our prayers to Mary echos this ancient faith when we ask her to remember us at the hour of our death. May the prayers of the Mother of God assist us on our pilgrimage to heaven.

First Project: Church Doors

A French drain will be installed in front of the entrance doors to the Church. During heavy rainstorms the floor of the Narthex has been flooded and the drain will eliminate this problem. Deacon John Broehl will oversee this project.

Second Project: New Gym Floor

The floor in the Kelly Gym will be replaced this August and new baskets have been ordered. The Kelly Gym has provided over 40 years of service to the children and young people of the parish and I am seeking donations to offset the expense of this project. With the help of the Athletic Association and our parish we are hoping to raise $150,00.00 to complete this project. Joe Monteleone will oversee this project.

Third Project: Pre-K Playground

Through the generosity of Bobby and Lisa Hopkins the Ariella Hopkins Pre-K playground will be created in Ariella’s memory. This Playground will be used by all Pre-K and Kindergarten students. We are in the process of finalizing plans and the playground should be completed in September. I thank the Hopkins family for their goodness to our school children.

As always, please allow me to express my gratitude to all who give so generously of their time, talent and treasure to continue the Mission of our wonderful parish of Saint Bartholomew.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


August 6, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The feast of the Transfiguration which we celebrate today shows forth the Glory of Christ as Savior of the World. Appearing on Mount Tabor with Moses and Elijah, Christ is shown as the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. May this feast remind us that we belong to Christ and to His Kingdom, the darkness of our present age cannot diminish the Glory of Christ, the Son of God.

Before school begins in September there are a number of projects that need to be completed:

First Project: Church Doors

A French drain will be installed in front of the entrance doors to the Church. During heavy rainstorms the floor of the Narthex has been flooded and the drain will eliminate this problem. Deacon John Broehl will oversee this project.

Second Project: New Gym Floor

The floor in the Kelly Gym will be replaced this August and new baskets have been ordered. The Kelly Gym has provided over 40 years of service to the children and young people of the parish and I am seeking donations to offset the expense of this project. With the help of the Athletic Association and our parish we are hoping to raise $150,00.00 to complete this project. Joe Monteleone will oversee this project.

Third Project: Pre-K Playground

Through the generosity of Bobby and Lisa Hopkins the Ariella Hopkins Pre-K playground will be created in Ariella’s memory. This Playground will be used by all Pre-K and Kindergarten students. We are in the process of finalizing plans and the playground should be completed in September. I thank the Hopkins family for their goodness to our school children.

As always, please allow me to express my gratitude to all who give so generously of their time, talent and treasure to continue the Mission of our wonderful parish of Saint Bartholomew.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


July 2017

July 30, 2017

The Gospel of Saint Matthew is filled with parables of the Kingdom of God. In today’s Gospel, Our Lord speaks of the hidden treasure buried in the field. This treasure is the pearl of great price, a kingdom of justice, peace, mercy and love that is revealed to us in Christ. We come to understand the Kingdom through the images and metaphors embedded in the parables of the Gospel.

A favorite poem on this parable is “The Bright Field” by R.S. Thomas:

The Bright Field

I have seen the Sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the
pearl of great price, the one field that had
the treasure in it.
I realize now that I must give all I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying on
to a receding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning aside
like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth once,
but is the eternity that awaits you.

Spend some time this week attending to the presence of the kingdom in your own life.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


July 23, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

It has been a summer of change and transition for the Diocesan family of Metuchen. Last week, Bishop James Checchio assigned Monsignor William Benwell as pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Annandale effective August 3rd. Monsignor will continue in his office as Vicar General and will have the added care and concern for the Catholic Community of Immaculate Conception. It has been a great privilege to have had Monsignor as our Weekend Assistant for Sunday Liturgies over the past 14 years. He will be greatly missed by our community.

Next Sunday, July 30th, Monsignor will be the celebrant and the homilist for the Noon Mass and there will be a reception immediately following the Mass in the Parish Hall.

Let us be joined in prayer for Monsignor, that the Lord may continue to bless him and his ministry. May the Lord prosper and bless his ministry as pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


July 16, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We have had a couple of extraordinary days here at the parish this past week. On Sunday, Bishop Checchio celebrated the Noon Mass and was warmly welcomed by our community, especially our school children. On Monday the Home News published a wonderful front page article on our parish Summer Series: “A conversation with the three Abrahamic Faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.” Tuesday night, Rabbi Philip Bazeley, from Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple in New Brunswick kicked off the series with a provocative presentation on the core beliefs of the Jewish faith. The series will continue this Tuesday, July 18th, when Father Jeffrey Calia, C.O. Parochial Vicar. Saint Peter the Apostle in New Brunswick will speak on the core beliefs of Catholic Christians. All are welcome to attend, the presentation begins at 7 pm in the Parish Hall.

There are still places available for the October pilgrimage to the California Missions. We will visit all 21 Missions along the famous Camino Real in California. Pilgrimage departs Newark Liberty Airport on October 9th when we will journey to San Diego and the first mission founded by St. Junipero Serra. Our journey will continue along the California Coast to Carmel where Saint Junipero Serra is buried and then onto San Francisco and our return home. Each day the pilgrims will gather for prayer and Mass and there will be time for sightseeing and fellowship. Looking forward to welcoming 25 people to make the journey to the Missions. The dates are October 9th to October 18th. Please contact me for more information.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


July 2, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This week as we celebrate the 4th of July, the birthday of the United States, it is good to remember our founders and all who struggled in the cause of liberty. The citizens of the original thirteen colonies could never have imagined what their initial struggle against tyranny would mean, not only for the United States, but for all the people of the world. That America has continued to be a beacon of freedom as a republic founded on democratic principles. These principles are set forth in the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. Perhaps this summer would be a good time to become better acquainted with these documents.

Contemporaneous with the founding of the United are the foundation of the Catholic Missions of California. These Missions founded by Saint Junipero Serra planted the faith firmly in the rich soil of California. From 1748 when he embarked from Mallorca, Spain until his death at Carmel Mission in 1784, St. Junipero Serra labored to bring the Catholic faith to the native peoples of California. The “Camino Real” the Royal Road forms a chain of 21 Missions stretching from San Diego to San Francisco. His motto, “Adelante, siempre!” Always, forward” reminds us of our obligation to always go forward trusting in the Mercy of God.

I am organizing a pilgrimage to explore these missions this October. We will leave from Newark Liberty Airport on October 9th and journey the Camino Real in St. Junipero Serra’s footsteps. If you are interested in learning more about the pilgrimage please call or email me at the Parish Center.

Have a Glorious 4th!!

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


June 2017

June 25, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Summer of 2017 is now officially upon us. The last days of school have been celebrated and the students are released into the joy of this blessed season. During the coming week I will be attending a Conference at Notre Dame University, in South Bend, Indiana. This Conference is for Pastors who have Catholic Schools as part of their parochial mission. Bishop Checchio has requested that I attend this conference and I look forward to learning from the experience. I will certainly remember all of you and your intentions at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart and the beautiful grotto dedicated to Our Lady.

During July and August there will not be a 7 am Mass on Sunday. The schedule for Masses will be the Saturday, 5pm Vigil Mass and on Sunday Mass will be celebrated at 8, 10, and Noon.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


June 18, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today we celebrate, “Corpus Christi”, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. On this day we are reminded of the centrality of the Eucharist in the life of the Church. The Eucharist is the source and summit of our Catholic life and worship. Our parish community is strengthened by the daily celebration of the sacrament of the Eucharist and the reserved sacrament present in the Tabernacle centers our life on Christ. The reason a parish is founded is for the sanctification of the people of God. May this feast fill us with deeper reverence for the presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

This Friday, June 23rd, is the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We will celebrate a special Mass at 7 pm in the Church. At this Liturgy the parish will honor Cathy Piznar with the Msgr. Kelly Service Award. Cathy has been involved in so many aspects of Parish life and ministry. Cathy and her husband Bob are long time members of the parish and we are deeply indebted for their goodness. Please come and celebrate with us. A reception will follow the Mass.

“Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.”

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


June 11, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Trinity Sunday expresses the Mystery of God as One God, in three Divine Persons. Saint Augustine expresses this quite beautifully: “Whenever there is love, there is a trinity: a lover, a beloved, and a fountain of love.” In his book, The Confessions, Saint Augustine sets forth his understanding of God as the deepest desire of our hearts. “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.”

May the love of God, Father, Son and Spirit bless you and remain with you forever.

In Christ, Fr. Thomas

Please save the date Friday, June 23rd for our annual Msgr. Kelly Servant Award. This year we are honoring Cathy Piznar for all her years of service to our community. Mass will be at 7pm and a reception will follow in the Narthex and Parish Hall. Everyone is invited to this joyous occasion.


June 4, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Pentecost Sunday, the 50th day of Easter, celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Our Lady, the apostles, and the women disciples. All were filled with the Spirit and went forth from the Cenacle to proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior!

By our Baptism we are incorporated into the living Body of Christ. We are temples of the Holy Spirit, consecrated to God, living temples filled with His life-giving Spirit. Whenever we gather at Eucharist we pray in the power of the Spirit, giving thanks to God the Father, through His Son, Jesus Christ.

In Confirmation, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit, and set apart as a consecrated people. The sevenfold gifts of the Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. These gifts bear fruit in our spiritual lives: goodness, patience, charity, joy, generosity, mildness, and fidelity and enable us to grow in the virtues of modesty, continence, and chastity.

Please continue to pray for our Confirmation Candidates and their sponsors.

“Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and enkindle them the fire of your love.”

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


May 2017

May 28, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

It was in May of 1868 that the first Memorial Day was celebrated, three years after the end of the Civil War. At that time it was called “Decoration Day”, because the day was set aside as a day to decorate the graves of the fallen. Since 1971, Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday in May and it marks the unofficial start to the Summer. It is a day to honor those who have died in the service of our country and also a day to reflect on the blessings we enjoy as Americans.

As Catholics, we remember the dead at every Mass: “Remember also our brothers and sisters who have fallen asleep in the hope of the Resurrection, and all who have died in your mercy, welcome them into the light of your face.” It is a noble and good thing to pray for the Dead and to honor their memory.

Tomorrow, I will be celebrating the annual Memorial Day Mass at Holy Cross Burial Park at 10am. There will be a Mass here at the parish at 9am.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


May 21, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This Thursday, May 25th is Ascension Day, the fortieth day of Easter. On this day the Lord Jesus was taken up into heaven and took His seat at the right hand of God the Father, the Almighty. The early community in Jerusalem spent the next nine days after the Ascension awaiting the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit of God’s love and mercy that fills the community of the Church with countless gifts and blessings. As baptized Christians we pray in the power of the Holy Spirit and we are consecrated people, sacred to God.

This year we have been preparing 103 of our young men and women to receive the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation. Please pray for them that they will be open to the Grace of the sacrament and be faithful disciples of the Lord.

The schedule for the Ascension Thursday Masses is as follows:

Wednesday, May 24th:
7:00pm Vigil Mass

Thursday, May 25th:
8:30am, 12:00 Noon, 7:00pm

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


May 14, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The month of May is dedicated to the honor of Mary, the Mother of God, and Catholics mark this month with prayers and devotions dedicated to Our Lady. The second Sunday of May is the secular American Mother’s Day, but the day has always had a strong Catholic connection to Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ. Out of the treasury of Catholic prayer I have chosen to have our children learn Msgr. Kelly’s favorite prayer to Mary, “The Memorare”.

“Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, we fly unto you, O virgin of virgins, Our Mother. To you we come, before you we stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not our petitions, but in your mercy hear and answer me. Amen.”

May God bless all of our mothers, grandmothers and godmothers Blessings to all of our families on Mothers’ Day.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


May 7, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Easter Season is filled with the joy of Spring and rebirth after the darkness of Winter. The Joy of Easter surrounds us in the Celebrations of Baptisms, and First Communions, and Weddings. Please continue to pray for our First Communicants and their families. May they continue to join with us at the celebration of Sunday Eucharist.

Next Sunday, at the 10am Mass, our First Communicants will be part of our parish May Crowning. May is traditionally the month of Our Lady and we will honor Mary on Mother’s Day with prayer and song. All of our First communicants are invited to be part of the procession. May the prayers of the Blessed Mother bring peace to our world.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


April 2017

April 30, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Season of Easter extends from Easter Sunday, April 16th, until Pentecost Sunday, June 4th. During these fifty days the liturgy is centered on the Risen Christ and the proclamation of the Kingdom. Before His Ascension, the Lord Jesus commanded His Disciples to go out to the whole world and preach the Gospel to every creature. How do we follow the Lord’s command today? So many Catholics have fallen away from the discipline of the faith. They no longer pray, or participate in Sunday Mass and many have abandoned the faith altogether. Truly this a time of pruning and perhaps our community has not be able to respond to the needs of our members.

According to our parish census there are 3600 households presently registered in the parish. Approximately 850 to 1000 families attend Sunday Mass. Where are the rest? How do we evangelize the lost sheep of our community? If this trend continues who will be worshipping here in five, ten or fifteen years?

I would be interested in your comments, ideas, feedback. Please continue to pray for our community.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


April 23, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The glory of Easter surrounds us in the beauty of the liturgy and the return of Spring after the long winter. The Holy Week liturgies and Easter Sunday Masses were a testament to the vitality of our community. Please allow me to express my gratitude to all the ministers and volunteers who helped prepare the Church for the Triduum.

Our community is one of the sponsors for the East Brunswick Interfaith Dialogue. This is a combined effort with Temple B’nai Shalom and the Islamic Center of East Brunswick. The Dialogue will take place at 5 pm this afternoon at the Cultural Arts Center at 715 Cranbury Road. I would like to have a good representation from our parish community.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


April 16, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

A day of great Joy has dawned for all Creation. Christ, Our Lord, has Risen! Alleluia! May this Easter Day bring a renewed sense of God’s love and mercy in your life and the lives of all of our community. Blessings for a very happy and joyful Easter.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas

Sunday, April 23rd, I will be participating in the East Brunswick Interfaith Dialogue. This dialogue is a joint effort to build stronger bonds of friendship and understanding among the three Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Dialogue will begin at 5pm at the EB Cultural Arts Center on Cranbury Road.

Zoom in on the flyer for more details.


April 9, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

“Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” With these ancient words the celebration of Holy Week begins again. Once more we hear of the Lord’s triumphant entry onto Jerusalem and experience these days of Passion, Death and Resurrection. After the long retreat of Lent we intensify our prayer, fasting and almsgiving in order to prepare ourselves to celebrate the Sacred Triduum – the Three Holiest Days of our year. “Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed. Christians let us keep the Feast.”

Please make every effort to attend the liturgies of this sacred and holy week.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


April 2, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Raising of Lazarus is the final miracle in the Gospel of John that Jesus performs before His Passion. The family of Martha, Mary and Lazarus lived in Bethany a village not far from Jerusalem. Jesus often visited with them whenever He journeyed to the Holy City. The shortest verse in the Gospels is from the story of Lazarus, John 11:35, “And Jesus Wept.” Overcome by the death of His friend, Jesus weeps when He is confronted by the grief of Martha and her sister Mary. Because Jesus enters fully into our humanity He is able to weep at the death of a loved one. When we are confronted with the reality of death we can turn to Our Lord for comfort and consolation.

Let us continue to pray for one another.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


March 2017

March 26, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The fourth Sunday of Lent is called “Laetare Sunday” the Sunday of Joy. On this Sunday the Church pauses to reflect on the Joy of the Paschal Feast of Easter. “For the sake of the joy that lay beyond it, Christ endured the Cross for our salvation.” May these latter days of our Lenten retreat prepare our hearts to receive the joy of the Risen Christ.

This Tuesday, March 28th, is our Family Penance Service. We will gather in the Church at 7pm. to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Parish Council has planned this evening as a time of prayer and reflection centered on the relationship between family and faith. May the Mercy of God free us from sin and heal our families. There will be a number of priests available for confessions. Please come and receive the grace of the Sacrament.

For the past year our parish has been sponsoring an eGiving program through Faith Direct. Thank you to all of our parishioners who are using our Faith Direct eGiving program. This is the most cost-effective way to receive your donations. I do encourage the use of this program because it provides our members a more efficient way to support the parish. If you would like to sign up for eGiving, please go to our website stbartseb.com and go to the “eGiving tab” to set up an account. Our weekly collection amount now includes donations made through Faith Direct.

Let us continue to pray for one another.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


March 19, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

It has been four years since the election of Pope Francis and we have lived through an extraordinary period of grace for our community. From the first days of his pontificate, Pope Francis has called us to the Joy of the Gospel that we must live as committed Christians in the midst of a world broken by war and violence. The Year of Mercy, that he proclaimed, led thousands of people back to the sacrament of penance and a deeper encounter with the Mercy of God. His commitment to the poor and marginalized have shown the world the face of Christ in the suffering of our brothers and sisters. Through his preaching and encyclicals he has called all people to care for the Earth as our common homeland and to have respect and reverence for all of God’s Creation.

Because the 19th of March falls on Sunday this year, Saint Joseph’s feast day is transferred to tomorrow, March 20th. Masses will be held at 8:30 am. and 7 pm. After the 7 pm Mass we will have a reception to honor good Saint Joseph. Please come and celebrate his feast day.

Let us continue to pray for another.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


March 12, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This week our parish welcomes Fr. Jim McBurney O.S.A., to lead a Lenten Retreat on the journey of Lent as a call to conversion of heart. Fr. Jim is a member of the Order of Saint Augustine and is well known for his ministry as a spiritual director and retreat master. Our retreat begins this Monday night with our Novena Mass at 7 pm. and Fr. Jim’s conference will follow after the novena prayers. On Tuesday, the retreat will begin with prayer at 7 pm. Please make every effort to attend the retreat and feel free to bring a friend.*

Let us continue to pray for one another.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas

*Due to the snow storm, the retreat has been canceled. Please look in the Lent Resources & Activities section on the homepage for other resources and retreats for the season.


March 5, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On the first Sunday of Lent we go with Jesus into the wilderness of our daily life where we undergo temptation and experience the weakness of our flesh. As Jesus was tempted by the devil, so we undergo temptation in order that God’s Grace may strengthen us to resist evil and to do good in the sight of God. In our weakness, it is then that we are made strong by the power flowing from the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. May the discipline of Lent: our prayer, fasting and almsgiving transform us to be more like Christ, the Son of God.

Let us continue to pray for one another.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


February 2017

February 26, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This Wednesday begins Lent, a season of conversion and hopefully transformation. With Christians throughout the world we take up the discipline of this holy season. The first mention of Lent is found in the documents of the Council of Nicea (325 AD). This Council produced the Nicene Creed and our first understanding of Lent as a special time of preparation for new converts before they were initiated into the Christian Community at the Easter Vigil. Early records also indicate that it was a time of restoration and reconciliation for those who had denied the faith during the persecutions.

Eventually all Christians were encouraged to participate in Lent as a forty day journey leading up to the Sacred Three Days, the Triduum: of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday. We recall the 40 day fast of Jesus in the wilderness and desire to turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel. During these forty days of Lent, all disciples are encouraged to engage in three spiritual exercises. These Exercises are specifically mentioned by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount: prayer, fasting, and giving to the poor. (Matthew 6:1-18).

Let us pray for one another that this holy season may be a time of prayer and renewal for our community.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


February 19, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Every February I read or reread a literary work on the life and presidency of Abraham Lincoln. In my years as a student at Saint Joseph Grammar School, the birthdays of President Washington(Feb. 22nd) and President Lincoln(Feb. 12th) were celebrated with great ceremony. How many of my contemporaries remember cutting out silhouettes of these two presidents in profile that adorned the classrooms and hallways of childhood. It was there that we learned a love for country and the men and women of the past who inspired the dream of the American Republic.

In fifth grade, we memorized Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and Second Inaugural Address, (and I can still recite them today). Lincoln at the end of the Civil War spoke these words, "With Malice toward none, with Charity for all..." The malice and anger that so divides us today must not be allowed to undermine our democracy. We must work together to heal the wounds of our society.

Please read these words of Abraham Lincoln, I believe by reading and acting on them we will truly honor his memory.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


February 12, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

These past Sundays we have been listening at Mass to the fifth chapter of the Gospel of St.Matthew, the Sermon on the Mount. Here Our Lord calls His Disciples to reflect on the virtues of the Kingdom of God. The Beatitudes are set before us to awaken us to a deeper understanding of human life and destiny. To live as disciples we must cherish the poor and the humble, be a thirst for mercy and justice and make peace our lasting goal. If we do this we will be the salt of the earth and light for the world.

In Today's Gospel, Our Lord calls us to a deeper conversion of the heart. The law is not fulfilled merely as an outward observance of rules, but as an inner call to holiness, and a desire to live in accordance with the Wisdom of God. This is a call to a life long conversion, to be imitators of Christ and to model our lives on His example.

May we continue to pray for one another.

Pax Christi,
Fr. Thomas


February 5, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In this Sunday’s Gospel the Lord Jesus tells His Disciples: “You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world.” With these richly evocative images he wishes to pass on to them the meaning of their mission and their witness. As disciples of the Lord we are to bring life and wisdom into a world torn by war and strife.

Jesus Christ is the Light of the World, He is the light that overcomes the darkness of human sin and evil. May we walk in His light this day.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


January 2017

January 29, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today begins Catholic Schools Week, a celebration of the gift of Catholic education in the life and mission of the U.S. Catholic Church. The Mission of our school, "To love, educate, and inspire our children to live the teachings of Jesus Christ" is carried out every day here at Saint Bartholomew. At the 10 am Mass this morning our school community will gather to celebrate our parish school and give thanks to God for all His many blessings.

On Monday, Bishop Checchio will be visiting the school to greet the students and faculty. I am so grateful for all the love and support our Bishop gives to our Catholic Schools. May Our Lord continue to bless him in his ministry.

This Thursday, February 2nd, is the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, called Candlemas Day All our second graders and their families are invited to attend a special Mass and procession at 7 pm. This, the 40th day of Christmas and the day,celebrates the presentation of the Child Jesus in the temple at Jerusalem. At the Mass, the children will receive a beautiful Miraculous Medal of Our Lady. Please continue to pray for our children and their families.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


January 22, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today marks the 44th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court on the issue of Abortion. The Court ruled 7 -2 that a right to privacy under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment extended to a woman’s decision to have an abortion, but that this right must be balanced against the State’s in regulating abortions; protecting women’s health and protecting the potentiality of Human Life.

In disallowing many states and federal restrictions on abortion in the United States, Roe v. Wade prompted a national debate that continues today about issues including whether, and to what extent abortion should be legal, who should decide the legality of abortion, and what the role should be of religious and moral views in the political sphere. Roe v. Wade reshaped our national politics, dividing most of the American people into pro-life and pro-choice camps.

The teaching of the Catholic Church is that abortion is a grave offense against God. Human life is a gift from God, our Creator, and is sacred from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death. Catholics must never procure or participate in the willful killing of an unborn child.

Pope Francis has emphasized the Mercy of God in the face of the evil that humans do against the love of God and the sacredness of life let us pray for an end to abortion and work to protect the sacredness of human life.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


January 15, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As we begin this new year 2017 the Church urges us to move beyond the intimate scene of Jesus' birth toward the more challenging vision of His Baptism. To move in the direction of life itself; from concern for intimacy to concern for community.

A Christian parish becomes its best self when it accepts the challenge of community. The parish community, as the real expression of a local church, cannot limit its attention to the search for justice and intimacy among its own members, it must be prepared to take up the cross, standing against evil and injustice wherever they exist in the world. (Nathan Mitchell, Liturgy 1980)

As we reflect on the life and witness of Dr. Martin Luther King we must pledge ourselves as a community to work to eradicate the sin of racism from our midst. We are called by our baptism to witness to Jesus Christ, Our Crucified and Risen Lord.

Pax Christi,
Fr. Thomas


January 8, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Please allow me to extend my gratitude to all those who made the Christmas Liturgies so beautiful and joyful. Christmas at St. Bartholomew is always such a beautiful celebration of God’s love for us made manifest in our Savior Jesus Christ.

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany, the coming of the Magi to worship the Christ Child. The Magi brings gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh to reveal Christ as King, Christ as Judge and Christ as Victor over death. According to tradition, Catholic homes were blessed on this day in the name of the Magi, Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar. Their insignia (written in chalk) is placed above the front door of the home 20+C+M+B+17.

Like the Magi, may we too find Christ at the end of our journey.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas


January 1, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Eighth Day of Christmas falls each year on New Years’ Day. On the 8th day the Child Jesus was circumcised according to the law of Moses and given the Name Jesus –because He would save us from our sins. The Church rejoices on this day and honors Mary as the Mother of God, for Jesus Christ is both God and Man. The image of the Madonna and Child surrounds us in this holy season. It is the prayer of Mary that sustains the Church on its earthly pilgrimage. May the prayers of the Blessed Mother bring peace to our World in the New Year 2017.

In Christ,
Fr. Thomas

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