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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Notes from the Pastor

Reflections on the Second Sunday of Advent: The call of Isaiah the prophet for justice and the call of John the Baptist for repentance point to the power and the righteousness of the baby Jesus born at Christmas. How ready are we for the coming of Jesus, the Prince of Peace? Isaiah the prophet speaks of judgment which anticipates the birth of an all-powerful God. It means that the kingdom of God is at hand. John the Baptist prepared the way for the entrance of Jesus, the manifestation of this Kingdom of God. John the Baptist was speaking about a baptism of repentance which leads to the forgiveness of sins.

Today who are our messengers who bring us to Jesus and who do we seek to bring to Jesus? Our messengers might challenge us or they might show us Jesus by the love and kindnesses they show to others.

Jesus himself invites us to recognize our sins, change our hearts, seek forgiveness and grow closer to the Lord, especially by listening to His word. When we reflect upon the word of God we realize that it leads us to healing and forgiveness. When we hear the Word of God, Jesus, we know that God is the source of compassion, hope, and love.

It is a difficult journey in our hearts sometimes to discover the deeper dimensions of God’s love. Can we look at others with the compassionate love of God, the God of hope? Jesus’ coming challenges us to look at who we are as a people of faith, hope, and love. God expects us to participate in the building of His kingdom by our willingness to repent and be reconciled with all people. We are called to accept one another as Jesus has accepted us for the glory of God and the sake of the kingdom of God.

May our prayer be that Jesus will continue to strengthen us with His grace to be such people of faith, hope and love.

From our Blog

Stewardship: A Way of Life

Sharing: Time Talent Treasure

“KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID”
This often quoted statement comes from the U.S.Navy (1960) as a design principle. This design rule states that systems perform best when they have simple designs rather than complex ones.* For our purposes here we will leave the ‘stupid’ part to the Navy and ponder the rest as to how it might have influence in our lives.

If there is any time in our lives that is more complex, frustrating, and stress filled, it is the now in the weeks after Thanksgiving and before Christmas. We are hammered by the media (TV, papers, internet, malls, other people, etc.) into believing that there is a list of things that we should be doing. It ranges from the fact that we must decorate our homes; we must shop endlessly for bargains; we must make a list of all the gifts that we must give to others and then go get and wrap them; we must attend certain Christmas events; and oh yes, we go to church at some point. And all of these additional ‘musts’ are added to what we must do every other day of the year in our usual ‘way of life.’

Is Advent just something that gets in our way? Is it another way of giving us Catholic guilt because we know we should do more in our faith during this season? Or maybe we do not have time to think about it at all. We do go to Christmas Mass, however.

KEEP IT SIMPLE. Was there ever a birth with less glorious attendance? Was this a birth that our Father in heaven wished us to be unaware of? NO! What about the star? the Magi? the shepherds? No. God wanted the world to know what had just happened and where and how it had happened. How many two thousand plus year old events are people all over the world still aware of as if it were yesterday?

KEEP IT SIMPLE. We teach our children that nobody can make you do something wrong without your cooperation. The ‘Christmas’ season has become an event that seems to rule us, rather than the other way around. Christmas has become a generic word.

Another important word usually used by someone lecturing us is ‘priorities —a word that can be annoying when we hear it; a word that we know the truth of; a word that we don’t want to be reminded of because this word is our responsibility and we don’t welcome the reminder. Nothing could be simpler, more beautiful, more meaningful for our lives, and more direct as His Mother told us years later at the wedding–”Just listen to Him and do what He says.” There are no pretenses in Jesus. He told it as it must be. He kept it simple. It is we who make things complicated. If the car, the dishwasher, the computer were to complicated to turn on, then we would never use them. Millions and millions are spent to simplify our mechanical lives. Jesus’ words need no revisions. His birth is a stop, look, listen, and feel the power experience. It is an eternity experience. Simple to turn on. It is a miracle. But it seems, that we do not have time for miracles. Simply put, the Nativity scene is all you need. It is the most important and necessary item on your list. All else is unimportant.. All else may help to make you happy in the season, if you are not too tired.. But the Nativity gives you a simple joy that is life fulfilling. A quiet joy that is everlasting. Advent prepares you for this.

Stewardship Questions: Kathy Reilly 781-444-0862 email: kreilly15@yahoo.com
*Quote from Google
If anyone needs a ride to a church service or wishes a home or Communion visit, please contact me.

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