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


Last weekend, Needham experienced a terrible loss of life.  Two high school students were killed in a pedestrian accident and another young woman in town was stabbed to death.  It was a horrific weekend for the town.  Let us continue to pray for the repose of the souls of Talia, Adrienne and Olivia, as well as for all those who have been involved in these incidents, all those affected by the loss of these young women, especially their families and loved ones.


This loss of life at such a young age reminds us of how fragile and precious life is.  It reminds us, too, what a gift life is.  None of us wills ourselves into being, but each life is a precious gift from God.  A few days ago, on Ash Wednesday, many of us received ashes upon our foreheads, possibly accompanied by these words:  “Remember you are dust, and to dust you will return.”  The beginning of Lent invites us to call to mind that we live on this earth for just a short period of time (be it one year or one hundred years) and that we will one day return to God.  Lent is a time of reflection and reconciliation.  Let us spend these forty days of Lent seeking to draw closer to God by opening our hearts to him and allowing ourselves to become more dependent upon him and less upon the things of this world.  Let us seek to turn away from those attitudes that separate us from God and seek more and more to do his will, loving him and our neighbor.

Lenten Regulations:  Fasting and Abstinence

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fast and abstinence.  Fridays of Lent are also days of abstinence.

Fasting is to be observed by all of the faithful who are 18 years of age and older, who have not yet celebrated their 59th birthday.  On a fast day, one full meal is allowed.  Two other meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to each person’s needs, but together they should not equal another full meal.  Eating between meals is not permitted, but drinking liquids, including milk and juices, is allowed.  Obviously if food is necessary with the taking of medicine, that is permitted.

Abstinence is observed by all persons 14 years of age and older.  On days of abstinence, no meat is allowed.  Note that when health or ability to work would be seriously affected, the law does not oblige one to abstain from meat.  When in doubt concerning fasting and abstinence, the parish priest should be consulted.

Fasting, almsgiving, and prayer are the three traditional disciplines of Lent.  The faithful and catechumens should undertake these practices seriously in a spirit of penance and of preparation for baptism or of renewal of baptismal promises at Easter.


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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