The church on the hill

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Browsing Deacon Russ (from the weekly bulletin)

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Thoughts from Deacon Russ


Beloved friends: I challenge to look around you at church. Who is sitting by you? Are there people you know? Are they the same ones you sit by every week? Are there folks near you that sit by you every week that you don’t know? I challenge you to introduce yourselves to those near you that you don’t know. Get to know people and call them by name. This point was brought home to me a couple weeks ago. As the congregation was filing out after Mass, one lady thanked me. I asked her why she was thanking me. She said the week before as she was leaving that I called her by name. She said that was the first time in 27 years that someone at church had called her by name. I was blown away! It seemed to me to be a little thing, trying to learn everyone’s name, but, to this lady, imagine not hearing her name for 27 years of attending church services. How many folks would have kept coming? Get to know the folks around you. We are one family, God’s family; our brother is Jesus. Love one another as he loves us!


The contribution statements were mailed last Monday. If you did not receive yours, please call me in the office. If I don’t happen to be there, please leave a message. We did find out we have no current address for three folks. Can you help? We are looking for addresses for Peggy Dell, Abundio Garcia and Alyce Johnston. Let me know if you know.


There is a common misunderstanding that street evangelization is the same as “Bible thumping” or “proselytizing”. Street evangelization is not about screaming at people, proselytizing, or telling anyone that they are going to hell. Rather, it is about offering a listening ear, sharing in a conversation about Jesus Christ, and praying (for any reason) with those that want it. By taking our Catholic faith to the streets we aim to make the message of Jesus Christ accessible to everyone by being available to anyone. Saint Paul Street Evangelization is conducting a one day workshop this coming Saturday, February 11, at Holy Rosary Parish in Indianapolis. I am attending, and I hope you will consider joining me there. There is no commitment whatsoever. Come and see. But, you need to register today. Go to, and scroll down until you see the link for Basic Evangelization Training under the heading of Upcoming Workshops. Help spread the Good News of Jesus Christ in our town.


The United Catholic Appeal inched up to 93% of their financial goal of $6.4 million, and we received one more gift as well bringing us up to 51% participation. Over 17,500 families have already pledged. 51% of our families have pledged; has yours? Let’s work together to serve the poor, prepare our seminarians and deacon candidates, take care of our retired priests and spread the Gospel! 5


Adult Sunday School

Seven Deadly Sins, Seven Lively Virtues Begins February 5 Join us for this four week session on Seven Deadly Sins, Seven Lively Virtues on Sunday mornings from 9:15 – 10:30 a.m. in Conference Room #3 located in the lower level of Saint Bartholomew Church.

Class Schedule

February 5 – Overview of Donte’s Inferno with Fr. Andy Syberg

February 12 – DVD Series by Bishop Robert Barron, Seven Deadly Sins Seven Lively Virtues. Includes; Introduction, Pride and Humility, Envy and Admiration.

February 19 – DVD Series, includes; Anger and Forgiveness and Sloth and Zeal.

February 26 – DVD Series, includes; Avarice and Generosity, Gluttony and Asceticism, Lust and Chastity.

Men’s Retreat at St. Meinrad

This is a great first retreat experience and also one that men of the parish attend every year. The retreat includes plenty of great activities including talks on different aspects of Growing in the Light of Faith. The retreat is February 24 through 26. Contact the Saint Bartholomew Adult Faith Formation Office 812-379-9353 ext 240 to register for the Men’s Retreat. Cost is $215.00 for a double room or $260.00 for a single. St. Meinrad is located in beautiful southern Indiana. Contact the Adult Faith Formation Office for more information or to register. Women’s Retreat at St. Meinrad All women of the parish are invited to Saint Bartholomew Parish’s annual Women’s Retreat at St. Meinrad Archabbey held on March 3 – 5. Our theme is “Mothers of Faith” and Brother Zachary Wilberding, OSB, will guide us as we reflect on the women who shaped the role of mothers. Among those to be considered will be Sarah, Tamar, Deborah, Judith, Ruth, Naomi, and Mary, the mother of Jesus; Elizabeth, the mother of James and John. We will also reflect on more recent mothers of faith: Dorothy Day, Gianna Molla, Elizabeth Seton, and St. Teresa of Calcutta. Cost is $215.00 for a double room and $255.00 for a single room. Deadline for registration is February 22. Contact the Adult Faith Formation Office for more information or to register.

Totally Catholic VBS!

It’s hard to believe, but Saint Bartholomew is already planning their Vacation Bible School. Save the dates of June 12- 16, 2017. Registration will begin in April. VBS is for children age 4 (by June 1) through incoming 6th graders. Cost is $10 per child. Adult volunteers are needed too. For more information, contact Ruth Gilly, Coordinator of Religious Education at (812) 379-9353 ext. 242, or you can email her at


We interviewed a few candidates this past week and have identified a candidate. We will work on putting together an offer, getting a background check, filling out paperwork and such. We hope to have the candidate in place by March. Keep praying that all goes well. God is in charge; not us.


Mark your calendars now for the annual pancake breakfast to take place on Palm Sunday, April 9, after Mass.


Lent is just around the corner, and it time to collect your old palms so that we can burn them to make ashes for Ash Wednesday. Bring them to church with you on the next couple Sundays..