Deacon Russ

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Welcome  to  all  our  visitors  and  guests who are with us this Easter weekend!  We hope you feel “at home” here, and we encourage you to return as often as possible.  If you are without a church home, we invite you to join us here.   

Thank you to all the parishioners who joined us for our combined services during  the  Triduum  at  Saint  Bartholomew.    For  some  people,  it meant  more driving; for others, less.  I was most happy with the reception I received and the many people who welcomed me to their parish and thanked me for being there.   

Has having Jesus as your brother made a difference in your life?  I recently watched  the  movie  Risen,  and  it  struck me that the lives of the apostles did not really  change  until  Jesus  rose  from  the dead  and they  received the Holy Spirit.  After that, everything  in  their  lives seemed to have taken on new meaning.  They were no longer afraid, nor were they timid.  How about you?  Could you say that knowing Jesus is risen has changed your life?  Knowing that was definitely a “game changer” for the apostles.   They were willing to give up their lives for Jesus.  I’d like to think I would be willing, but, when push comes to shove, I really don’t know how I would respond.  Hopefully,  none  of us  will  have  to  find  out, but, it seems, that our world is becoming less tolerant of Christians that it has been in recent years past. 

Through the Most Holy Eucharist Jesus gave us, we are nourished in this life and led to eternal life in heaven.    Let us seek the Bread from Heaven often.


ONLINE GIVING---Several families have shown an interest in contributing through this easy on-line means.  How do you get started?  Go to    You will create an account and you can decide from which bank account or credit card you wish to make payments.  From there, you can setup a recurring or one time gift.   It only takes a few minutes then you can forget about writing checks.  Let us know and we will stop sending envelopes.


RICE BOWLS—How did you do with your Rice Bowl during Lent?  I hope you were  able  to  contribute  a  substantial amount of money through savings made by sacrifices.  The Criterion had an article about a man who lost two brothers to starvation.    It really made me want to redouble my efforts to contribute.  Singly, we probably cannot make much of an impact, but, all of us together, can do great  things.    Remember to bring your rice bowl back if you have not yet.


MISSING SACRAMENTS? - Have you, or someone you know missed one or more Sacraments?  We are seeking folks who have never made their First Communion, Confirmation or had their Marriage in the Church.  If you have not received all your Sacraments, then you are missing out on the grace of the Holy Spirit.  We will be starting classes soon for those who would like to catch-up.  Please let us know if you are interested.

 ¿Hay familiares o persona quien conoces que falta cualquier sacramento? Vamos a comenzar con clase de adultos y de niños que  faltan  uno  o  más  sacramentos.  Por favor  avisar  a  Diacono  Russ  o  a  Barb  Pierse  y ellos pueden darle más informa-ción. No tardar, porque necesitamos pedir libros, etc. para preparar a todos que ten-gan interés.  


¿Has encontrado a Jesús? ¿Quieres cono-cerle mejor? Ocho personas están dispo-nibles apoyar tus esfuerzos y esperanzas. Por favor, hablar con Patricia Cristobal o Barb Pierse si tengas interés en participar.


WHAT ARE YOU READING? - Have you read any good books lately?  I know a lady who used to keep one book downstairs and another upstairs.  I had a hard time believing that she could keep the stories straight.  I caught myself with four books going at once at one time during Lent.  I must admit, I started forgetting which author said which. I am reading Saint Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.    He gave a series of talks on Wednesdays through the course of a couple years.  I read one reflection each day.    I must admit, his thoughts are pretty deep.  But, there are other books on the Theology of the Body which are more condensed.  They certainly would be good to read.  I also recently finished The Shack.  I had been wanting to read it for many years, but it just did not happen.  I was lucky enough to come across a copy of the book that someone no longer wanted, so I picked it up.  With the movie coming out, I decided now was the time.  I recommend it, and that is saying something from a guy who reads very little fiction.  So, are you reading something of benefit?  Even if you can only read ten minutes a day, eventually you will make your way through a book.  Let me know your recommendations.


UPCOMING  EVENTS—Please  mark your calendars for the following upcoming events: 

April 22 ········· First Communion Retreat

May 7 ···················· First Communions

June 11 ························· Parish Picnic

Sept. 13-16 ······· Edinburgh Fall Festival

Sept. 16 & 17 ··············· Rummage Sale

Oct. 21·················· Fall Honey Do Day


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 you kids will have a spot.


DIVINE  MERCY  SUNDAY—Next Sunday, is the Feast of the Divine Mercy, or, better known as, Divine Mercy Sunday.  It is the octave day of Easter: the last day of eight that we celebrate just like we do on Easter Sunday.  Saint Pope John Paul II instituted this feast on April 30, 2000 when he canonized Saint Faustina Kowalska, the visionary who followed the instructions Jesus gave to her so that we could all enjoy his divine mercy.  There will be a special prayer service next Sunday at Saint Bartholomew at 3:00 PM, the Hour of Divine Mercy, during which we will celebrate God’s mercy shown to us through Jesus Christ.


ABOUT SECOND COLLECTIONS—For the past couple months, the parish finance council has broached the subject of second collections.    As  you  know, there  are  several  second  collections throughout  the  year,  and,  for  most  of them, there is a special envelope that is sent out in our envelope packets. 

In  the  parishes  from  whence  I came,  we  eliminated  second  collections and instead tithed 10% of the regular collection toward the special need.  This is a practice commanded by God in the book of Numbers found in Chapter 18 verse 26. Each parishioner receives only 52 envelopes a year, one for each Sunday.  There-by we encouraged parishioners to give a consistent amount on a weekly or monthly basis knowing that, for the most part, we would not be coming to them asking for more. 

There are advantages and disadvantages to doing this. The first advantage is that we are doing what God asked us to do.  It also streamlines things for those who give electronically as they don’t have to set up a bunch of special payments.  The collection counters really like it because it simplifies what they do.  Perhaps one disadvantage is that we don’t have as much of a connection to the particular need though we did make provisions for making a special gift for a particular cause. 

What do you think?  Is this some-thing that you think we should pursue for the new fiscal year?  Let me know your thoughts.  I have heard from only a couple folks; I’d like to hear from you too!  It will be on the agenda once again for our finance council meeting, and it’s time to make some kind of decision.