The church on the hill

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Browsing Deacon Russ (from the weekly bulletin)

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Thoughts from Deacon Russ


Please take time on Monday, January 23, to pray for an end to abortion. This year's March For Life is Friday, January 27. More info here.


Continues through January 25. The theme of this year's Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is "Reconciliation-The Love of Christ Compels Us." (cf. 2 Cor 5:14-20). Pray that we may all be one as Jesus and the Father are one.


When was the last time Holy Trinity produced a vocation to the priesthood? I guess Fr. Rick Nagel. How about a religious sister, brother or priest? Hmm...ever? Did you know that in the next 10 years half of our active priests will be eligible to retire? And, we don’t have that many in the seminary to replace them. Jesus tells us, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest." (Matthew 9:37- 38) Indeed, the harvest is abundant, but what are we doing to pray for vocations? It’s time to intensify our efforts. Won’t you join us? If you are interested in praying for religious vocations, please let me know. At Saint Anne, the parish from where I came immediately before here, there was a group of us who gathered weekly to pray a rosary for vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and we encouraged young parishioners to discern if God might be calling them. We each have a vocation; some of us are called to marriage, some to a single life, and some to service in the church. We need to seek God’s will for us in our lives.


The Archdiocesan Office of Priestly and Religious Vocations would like to have a Vocations Advocate in every parish of the Archdiocese. Would you be willing to serve for Holy Trinity? It would not take a lot of your time, it is mostly relaying information from the office to our parish. If interested, please see me for more details.


I was excited to learn that the youth are sponsoring their annual chili cook-off this Sunday. I was most happy to see that several people signed up to make chili or a baked good. I understand the cake walk is something to behold and a lot of fun. Please plan on joining us and meeting someone new! My only experience with a cake walk was when I was maybe 10 or 12 years old. Our parish had a picnic, and I got in on the cake walk. By the time I won, there was not a large variety of cakes left. I ended up with, at the prompting of a lady from the parish, a green tomato pie. I had no idea what it was; I was only told it was good. Well, with all due respect to that lady and to the person who made the pie, let’s just say my palate did not think it was all that great. While I find red tomatoes pleasurable, green ones not so much.


Overall, the United Catholic Appeal is at 91% of their financial goal of $6.4 million, so, if you have not yet pledged, they can still use your gift. Over 17,000 families have already pledged. Half of our parish 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!


Politics and the American Catholic

The next Men's Ministry breakfast will be Thursday, February 2, at 6:15 a.m. in the parish hall, lower level of Saint Bartholomew church. Now that the dust has somewhat settled from the most recent cycle of elections, perhaps it is time to step back and consider what our role as Catholics can/should be with regard to politics and governance. Parishioner Greg Pence, brother of Vice President Mike Pence, will be our speaker. He has been asked to come and share thoughts on the topic "Linking Political Involvement with One's Catholic Faith." Come enjoy a tasty breakfast, meet with new and longtime friends, and consider how our Catholic faith should influence our participation in the political process. The breakfast will end at 7:30 a.m. Both men and women are welcome to attend what should be a very enlightening program.

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.


We have had a few applicants for this position, and we hope to begin interviews soon. Please pray that as we proceed through this process that we may discern the candidate that God has already decided upon to help us in this time.


It’s time to bring back to life our parish pastoral council. The purpose of the pastoral council is to prayerfully discern God’s will for this parish. They work to advise me in pastoral matters relating to the mission of our parish. Once the specific goals are established, then it falls to finance council to determine how to allocate monies that support those goals. It sounds a bit daunting perhaps, but “with God, all things are possible.” I would like to gather interested persons this Tuesday, January 24, at 6:30 p.m. to begin this process. There are many issues that need our discernment and action. JANUARY 21 - 29, 2017:


The U.S. bishops’ annual novena 9 Days for Life continues through Sunday, January 29. Pray for the respect and protection of all human life with new intentions, brief reflections, and more each day. Download the novena online, or participate through Facebook, e-mail, text message or an app. Join at!. I downloaded the app to my phone and have used it.