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

On November 2nd, we celebrated the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed in which the Church prays for all of those who have departed from this world, but may be in need of some purification before entering into the presence of God.  During the whole month of November, in fact, the Church holds the faithful departed in her prayers in a special way.  As we consider those who have died, we exercise the virtue of hope –hope that there is a life yet to come that will never end.

In the northern hemisphere, the cycle of nature serves to heighten our awareness of our own mortality.  At this time of year, the amount of daylight is decreasing.  The trees are giving up their leaves.  The bounty being yielded by the earth is decreasing.  On the surface, the outlook is sort of bleak, (at least for those of us who prefer the warmer weather!).  In spite of all of this, however, there is a particular beauty of the coming months, for they are a season of hope.  We are mindful that beyond the winter a new spring will break forth.  That which seemed dead will return to life.  The earth will produce new fruit, and darkness will give way to light.  It is a season of hope, and not of despair, because it is a season of anticipation.  Saint Paul, in writing to the community of Christians at Rome noted:  “…but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience” (Rom 8:24).

It is with this same spirit that we approach this month that invites us to consider our own mortality:  the spirit of hope.  As we call to mind those loved ones who have preceded us into eternal life, our hearts are buoyed by the hope that they enjoy a new and everlasting life – one that we, in this life, cannot see but must wait for patiently.  May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

From our Blog

Stewardship: A Way of Life

Sharing: Time Talent Treasure

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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