Welcome to St. Bart's

St. Bartholomew Catholic Church is a Roman Catholic church located in Needham, Massachusetts. We are a faith-filled community of believers, engaged in a wide variety of stewardship activities. We have a religious education program for children and many ministry programs for adults.

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A Note from Fr. Derek

A Note From Fr. Derek

This past week I had the opportunity to meet with our Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and our Lectors (Readers).  There are so many people in the parish who assist us with our Sunday celebrations to make sure that we have as prayerful and smooth a celebration as possible and I am so grateful to them.  I thought it would be good to just say a word about some of these ways that the Baptized are able to assist at Mass so that some of you might consider offering your assistance.  Don’t worry….training would be given.  Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (EMC) assist the priest in the distribution of Communion.  While the ordinary minister of Holy Communion is the priest or deacon, gone are the days when there are five priests in the rectory to come over to help distribute Communion to the faithful.  EMCs help to distribute the Body and Blood of Christ to the faithful so that the Communion Rite progresses in an orderly and expeditious manner.  Sometimes an EMC might be called upon to bring Communion to the sick or the homebound, so that they are able to remain in communion with Jesus and with the community.  The Lector or Reader proclaims the Word of God in the readings at Mass and gives voice to the community’s prayer in the Universal Prayers which are prayed after the Creed.  In the Scriptures we hear of the great love that God has revealed to his people and the way He instructs us throughout the Old Testament and in the New Testament.  There is no need for anyone to have any professional speaking background for this as it is not intended to be a dramatic reading but a proclamation, a putting forth of the Word of God.  Altar Servers assist the priest in various ways during the Mass, especially in the preparation of the altar for the Eucharist and the clearing of the altar after the Eucharist.  Typically an altar server is in the fourth grade or above.  There is no upper age limit, so perhaps there are some high school-aged persons who might like to serve.  Anyone who would like to serve as a Lector, Extraordinary Minister of Communion or Altar Server should speak to Fr. Derek.  Members of our choirs assist us in our prayers by helping us to raise our voices in song to glorify God.  St. Augustine once famously noted, “He who sings prays twice.”  If you would like to join the adult choir, please speak to Charlie Kanelos.  Anyone from the third grade through the twelfth grade who would like to join the youth choir can speak to Antonia Nedder.

Helping the Victims of Recent & Current Natural Disasters

Natural disasters such as this week’s earthquake in Mexico City and the most recent hurricane, Maria, continue to plague our brothers and sisters throughout the world.  If you are looking for a way to help them, you can assist those affected in the United States by making donations online at www.catholiccharitiesusa.org.  To aid those outside the U.S.A. who have been affected by the natural disasters, please go to the Catholic Relief Services website at www.crs.org.

From our Blog

Stewardship: A Way of Life

Sharing: Time Talent Treasure

GIFTS
No one needs to go to the dictionary to define the word ‘gift’. If anyone has ever given something to someone or in turn received something, the meaning of what a gift is is obvious. However, some gifts that we have received are not so concrete or obvious.

How about gifts without a physical structure? How about the gift of life? “I knew you before you were born!” says the Lord. How about our senses? Can you imagine a life without these blessed paths of knowledge? The Disciples asked; “Why do You (Jesus) speak to them in parables? ‘He said to them in reply, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted’.” (Matthew 13:1-23) The gift of the Holy Spirit was given to the Disciples and as a result, they are able to share God’s wisdom with us. God provides many different paths for us in life to understand life and all the beauties of His creation. Our brains to know; our hearts to love; our abilities to make connections outside of ourselves; gifts the world gives us; gifts we can give to the world—‘love one another as I have loved you.’

Vacation time is here and hopefully the living is easy. Do we become so enamored with the physicality of fun in the sun, etc. that we forget who we are? We are children of God and we need not to forget to say thank you. Our Lord rested on the 7th day of creation. A Commandment reminds us to ‘keep holy the Sabbath.’ Rest was created for us. God knows the value of rest even when we do not. But ignoring our Lord and a failure to acknowledge Him in our joy on vacation is not acceptable. We turn to Him in our need or sadness or beg Him for His forgiveness. Is it not amazing that we can ignore Him in our happiness, when all He has hoped for us is joy in life? Is a vacation not a great gift?

‘There was an old woman who every day came out on her front porch and yelled at the top of her voice, “Praise the Lord for He is good. Thank the Lord for all He gives. Thank the Lord for all His love.” All of her neighbors accepted this ritual except the man next door, who was an atheist. It drove him crazy. After months and months and months of listening to this, the words suddenly changed. The old woman had come on hard times. She prayed out loud now. “Lord, I praise you and your good works. The Lord loves me. Help me Lord in my need.” The next day a bag of groceries appeared on the porch. When she saw it, she cried out her thanks to the Lord. The atheist neighbor jumped out and cried.,

“Aha. Your Lord did not give you that food . I did.” Raising her eyes to heaven, she even more loudly thanked the Lord for these gifts and for the gift of the devil paying for them.* No one knows how or where some of our gifts come from. But all gifts are from our Lord. Some can even be called miracles. We, because we know our God, are so blessed.

Stewardship Questions: Kathy Reilly 781-444-0862 email: kreilly15@yahoo.com
If anyone needs a ride to a church service or wishes a home or Communion visit, please contact me. * Thank you to St. Anthony’s parish for sharing this story.

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