Deacon Russ

Sunday, May 21, 2017

THE REASON FOR OUR HOPE—In today’s second reading, Saint Peter tells us: “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence...” I know a gentleman who has a ball cap with the first of that emblazoned on the front. Fr. Larry Richards, a priest from the Diocese of Erie in Pennsylvania founded The Reason For Our Hope Foundation using this Scripture quote as the basis.

We should all have hope. We should have hope because Jesus Christ came to earth, born as a babe in Bethlehem, lived, taught, suffered, died but rose again from the dead that we might have eternal life. There is nothing we can do to earn salvation; Christ has already paid the price. And, that is precisely what should give us hope. Now, can you verbalize it?

Saint Paul Street Evangelization teaches that we should all prepare a quick 2 minute explanation about why we are Catholic, why we believe in Jesus, why we have hope, not in the things of this world but rather in the things to come. They call it the “One Good Reason” talk. “Let me give you one good reason why I am Catholic.” “Let me give you one good reason why I go to Mass every Sun-day.” You get the idea.

When we go out to the Columbus Farmers’ Market or wherever we happen to encounter others, we have to be prepared to share with them the reason for our hope. How about you? Can you develop a two minute reason? Think about it; work on it, then share it.

PARISH PICNIC—Our parish picnic is set for Sunday, June 11, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, after the 9:30 Mass. There will be food, games and most of all fun. I hope you will plan on joining us whether you are a normal Saturday or Sunday congregant. The Knights of Columbus will be grilling up the meat, the Hilltop Youth Group will be organizing the games, and you will be bringing a generous portion of your favorite or famous salad, side dish or dessert to share. We will take care of the plates, tableware and such too. We will have water, lemonade and tea available. Feel free to bring some pop if that is more to your liking. Because children will be present, let’s not bring alcohol. Make sure it is on your calendar. This is a great opportunity to meet some folks in the parish you have not met yet.

GRADUATE RECOGNITION—On Sunday, June 11, we will recognize anyone from our parish who is graduating from high school, technical school or receiving a college degree. We know of a couple, but we need information on everyone. Would you be so kind as to call the office or email us and let us know which graduates we need to honor?

SECOND COLLECTION THIS WEEKEND—We will hold the collection for the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception this weekend. If you do not have an envelope, there are some in the back of church. This is a one-time collection to finish the mosaic in the dome of the cathedral.

PRIEST PERSONNEL CHANGES— Every year, around this time, personnel changes for priests and parish life coordinators are announced in affected parishes which usually take effect on the first Wednesday of July. Again this year, Holy Trinity is experiencing a change. Fr. Andy Syberg will be leaving us as he completes two years of ministry at Columbus and assisting Fr. Clem in serving our sacramental needs here the past year. He has been assigned to join the formation staff at Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary in Indianapolis. Fr. James Brockmeier, ordained last year and currently serving as associate pastor at Saints Francis and Clare Parish in Greenwood, will become associate pastor at Saint Bartholomew in Columbus and assist with our sacramental needs here. Again, these changes become effective at noon on Wednesday, July 5, 2017. Please consult the upcoming Criterion for the complete list of changes. We hope to be able to find a time when we can wish Fr. Andy well and good-bye as well as another opportunity to welcome Fr. Brockmeier.

MANY THANKS—I am most grateful to each person or family who supports this parish both financially and through the gift of your time and talents!

UPDATE ON THE CHURCH BUILDING—Halstead Architects, the firm we have hired to design our church roof replacement project, has provided me with the first draft of the specifications for the work to be done. I have begun my review of those documents and have forwarded them on to the Office of Management Services for the Archdiocese for their review as well. My hope is that in the next four to six weeks we can come up with a final draft and go out to bid. At this point, we don’t have a good idea of how much the work will cost. Until we receive bids back, it is anyone’s guess. As of April we have about $138,000 of unrestricted funds in our checking and savings accounts. While we would not want to totally deplete that amount, it would go a long way toward paying for the roof. Again, once we have actual bids, we will have a better idea.

The repairs to the church will proceed in this order: roofing replacement first, tuck pointing of the brick second, interior work on plaster or other construction next. We are hoping to “pay as we go” for the first and second phases of the work. The third stage may involve more extensive work if we would decide to build the connector between the two buildings for example to give us more worship space. That phase is at least a couple years out, but it would be nice to have all this work done in time for our 175th anniversary celebration.

That’s the buildings. Our top priority, as taught by Christ himself, is the salvation of souls. If we focus our attention on that, on reaching out to those in need, the rest will take care of itself.

 BISHOP BRUTÉ DAYS—Bishop Bruté Days Camp is a retreat that takes place in June for young men, who will be in grades 9-12 the following school year, who are seeking to grow closer to Christ, and who may be open to the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood. The retreat gives young men the opportunity to spend three days with the Bishop Bruté college seminarians learning about prayer, service, scripture, and the awesome gift of our Catholic faith. The camp is held at Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary in Indianapolis. The next Bishop Bruté Days will be held June 20-22, 2017. Please pass this information on to any young men who you think might be interested. To register go to www.HearGodsCall.com. There is no cost to participants.

BAPTIZED IN CHRIST—Congratulations to Oliver Paul Russell who is being baptized this weekend at our 9:30 Mass. We welcome him and his extended family which consists of many of our parishioners. With us will be his parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, or great-aunts and great-uncles and so many cousins once or twice removed it’s just impossible to figure out. Anyway, welcome! Blessings to you all!

HAPPENING AT SAINT BARTHOLOMEW

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL SIGNUP IS UNDER WAY—Please see the registration forms in the literature rack in the parish center hallway. Register soon so you ensure your kids will have a spot.