Fr. Tom Bartolomeo column
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
I am the founder and director of the Families For Families Retreat House, a refuge for anyone who wants to rethink his or her life in a quiet non-demanding environment in an historic house c.1709 when life was less complicated. I am also and primarily a Catholic priest having been a college and university teacher, business-owner and executive among other things. I received my Bachelor's and Master's degrees in English literature from Saint John's University, Jamaica, New York and completed post-graduate studies at Kansas State University. Contact me at (Fr. Bartolomeo passed away on September 18, 2018. His obituary can be found here.)

Faith in a seed
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
July 26, 2018

David Thoreau, author of the most published book in America, Walden or Life in the Woods, also wrote, Faith in a Seed. How well he described the myriad ways . . .

Palm Sunday and the commemoration of the Lord's entrance into Jerusalem
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
March 22, 2018

This, the holiest week of the year, commemorates Christ's sacrifices for our salvation on Holy Thursday, the Lord's Supper; on Good Friday, the Passion of the . . .

Third Sunday of Lent
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
March 1, 2018

The gods neither know nor understand, wandering about in darkness, and all the world's foundations shake. There is much to consider for the 3rd Sunday . . .

The Epiphany of the Lord comes to all Christians
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
January 16, 2018

– a light that moves over the waters of baptism. The light, although at first a glimmer, must grow in faith, hope and charity to be the Sun of God in our . . .

The Epiphany of the Lord comes to all Christians
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
January 8, 2018

– a light that moves over the waters of baptism. The light, although at first a glimmer, must grow in faith, hope and charity to be the Sun of God in our . . .

Ad Dominum -- the turning point of History
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
January 4, 2018

Ad Dominum "To the Lord" in the future and BC "Before Christ" measure and mark the time of human history adopted by the nations of the West in their calendars.  . . .

Born to die
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
December 25, 2017

Irony of ironies, a person who always was and will be – chose to die that we may live forever. The specter of everlasting death no longer courses . . .

Cast call
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
December 11, 2017

We're invited to a drama in three acts called, Christmas. Act One, everyone knows the story. The curtain rises and a nativity scene appears including some . . .

Christmas reflections
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
December 25, 2015

Christmas begins and ends on Easter with the Resurrection of the Son of Man from death fulfilling Jesus' purpose being born man. While many in the world . . .

Advent, a time to reflect and renew
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
December 8, 2015

Confession is good for the soul, an opportunity to face denial and avoidance. These psychological phenomena have no limits and affect all of us which the . . .

When is the right time to retreat?
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
July 29, 2015

On reflection (there's that word, again, with the prefix, "re" ) what does it mean to retreat? Perhaps, I should have delved into the meaning of retreat before . . .

My personal renewal: why a monastic-style retreat?
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
July 15, 2015

As the question denotes a monastic retreat is associated with monastery and for our purposes a retreat away from the world and time away for the sake of one's . . .

A discourse on normalcy
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
June 15, 2015

I have no fear that marriage between a man and a woman will disappear from our land and not remain the norm – unless, unless as a nation we continue to . . .

"Forty years since my last Confession"
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
April 19, 2015

"Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been 40 years since my last confession." Often the penitent will then pause and add, "Father, I do not know where . . .

The long and winding road to a hill outside of Jeruslem
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
April 2, 2015

He was resigned to continue with his miracles and healings knowing they were only temporary measures, signposts along the long and winding road to a hill . . .

What ever happened to Confession?
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
March 27, 2015

"Is Confession Dead?" is the title of a recent article I read which summarizes accurately the general disfavor of the Sacrament of Reconciliation among too many . . .

Take courage. Do not be scandalized.
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
March 23, 2015

"Cry me a river. I cried a river over you." So many scandals to cry over in the world which daily appear in the media including scandals in the Church but no . . .

The forgotten new evangelization
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
March 12, 2015

The Church for good reasons has stirred up a pot of discontent about marriage and remarried Catholics. Many in the church posit a polarity between church . . .

I would not give you false hope
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
February 3, 2015

No, I would not give you false hope On this strange and mournful day But the mother and child reunion Is only a motion away Oh, little darling of mine I . . .

Consolation in suffering
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
January 26, 2015

Of the four gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – Mark's gospel takes us on a journey. Our journey, not simply Jesus'. The entire Bible . . .

Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
January 21, 2015

God the Father speaks only twice in the New Testament, first at Jesus' baptism and later at Jesus' transfiguration. God the Father, "Our Father who is in heaven . . .

After Jesus' baptism the horror show begins
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
January 12, 2015

After Jesus' baptism the horror show begins. Jesus is driven by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by Satan. Satan has won the first battle with the old . . .

Lessons from the events of Epiphany
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
January 5, 2015

The truth be told, none of us knows the consequences of his beliefs and decisions. Mary and Joseph were not aware of the trials they would face together in the . . .

He is the reason for the season
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
December 24, 2014

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, 'You may freely eat of every tree of . . .

'Tis the season, Part Four
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
December 20, 2014

Today, December 21st, the Winter solstice, is the darkest day of the year. We are enshrouded in nearly sixteen hours of darkness four days before the birth of . . .

T'is the season, Part Three
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
December 13, 2014

Why does John the Baptist dominate the Gospel leading to the birth of Christ who when asked "Who are you?", said, 'I am not the Christ. I am the voice of one . . .

T'is the season, Part Two
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
December 7, 2014

The poet, William Butler Yeats, described "The Second Coming" of Jesus, "A vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the . . .

T'is the season
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
November 30, 2014

She had left without much of a good bye and traveled three days to Judea to assist her cousin who was six months' pregnant. Elizabeth was well beyond her years . . .

The new world order
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
November 11, 2014

"The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money-changers . . .

From Ascension to Pentecost the passage of a lifetime
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
June 7, 2014

He was the same Jesus whom the Apostles knew before. His demeanor had changed or, rather, the Apostles' attitudes had changed after Jesus rose from the dead. . . .

Becoming Jesus: in spirit and truth
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
May 24, 2014

There were times when Jesus' assertions were met with deafening silence. The time, for instance, when he drove the money brokers from the temple and the high . . .

Becoming Jesus: working our way back to you, Lord
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
May 12, 2014

"Hey, I'm working my way back to you . . . and the happiness that died I let it get away do-do, do-da, do (Been paying every day) ." I could go on with the rest . . .

Becoming Jesus: back to the future
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
April 28, 2014

Jesus' disciples and Apostles from the beginning were being prepared for the future, but they did not progress seriously enough until late in their relationship . . .

Easter everyday
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
April 20, 2014

'Do not let your hearts be troubled [Jesus told them]. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house there are many rooms. Were it not so, would I . . .

The way of the cross: atonement
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
April 13, 2014

When we hear or read the Gospel – it is God who speaks to us, the better part of prayer. In reading or hearing the Gospel God invites us into the heart . . .

The way of the cross: live or die
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
April 8, 2014

There is no event or story in the Gospel which reveals more about Jesus' humanity and divinity than Lazarus' resurrection from death. There are other instances . . .

The way of the cross: none are more blessed
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
March 31, 2014

Irreconcilable differences – who is to blame? Perhaps we have been involved in such personal differences: husband and wife, father and son, mother and . . .

The way of the cross: passage to conversion
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
March 24, 2014

When good things happen unexpectedly accept them without question. When Jesus and his Apostles were returning to Galilee from Jerusalem and were passing through . . .

The way of the cross: repentance
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
March 17, 2014

Jesus expects from us the same faith and courage which Abram and his son Isaac demonstrated – a father ready to offer his obedient son's life to God. It . . .

The way of the cross: remember
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
March 9, 2014

God doesn't have a memory but we do. God doesn't need a memory but we do. God doesn't forget but we do. We read in Sacred Scripture that "Jesus Christ is the . . .

Remember you are dust and to dust you will return
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
March 6, 2014

Even for the atheist there is no denying, "By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you . . .

Becoming Jesus living the commandments of God
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
March 2, 2014

Although Jesus said he "came not to abolish but to fulfill the law" he was the only man to live among us who fulfilled the law, the "perfection of God's law" . . .

Becoming Jesus rebuilding the church
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
February 23, 2014

Following Jesus in the beginning was so promising. For a while the people could forget their hardships under the rule of Rome's soldiers and tax collectors. . . .

Becoming Jesus out in the world
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
February 17, 2014

The journey of Jesus out in the world – for Jesus and his disciples was not staged but happened in actual time, in real places and real circumstances like . . .

Becoming Jesus, in the desert
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
February 9, 2014

It is no coincidence that the precursor of the Christ, John the Baptist, began his ministry in a desert calling for repentance, and Jesus after he was baptized . . .

Becoming Jesus, in the beginning
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
February 2, 2014

Becoming Jesus can take two courses. One, the Son of Mary who became Jesus and, two, you and I who can become Jesus' disciples. We had nothing to do, at first, . . .

Unsafe at any 'choice'
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
January 29, 2014

Nothing much man-made achieves perfectly it's intended purpose neither automobiles or contraceptives. Next year will mark fifty years since the publication . . .

So what do we do now?
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
January 26, 2014

Christmas and New Year's Day are over. The tree and the outdoor lights have been taken down or should be, and now we deal with bloated balances on our credit . . .

Happy eternity without the expiration date
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
January 13, 2014

Now that the celebration has ended – Happy New Year – what are our plans for a future without an expiration date while these days are waning. That . . .

An offering of gold, frankincense and myrrh
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
January 4, 2014

The Magi, seekers of the truth, their number we will not know until the last judgment, the mysterious men who came "from the East" to find the Christ. They . . .

The problem with Mary
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
January 1, 2014

Jesus was one of only two people born in the fullness of God's grace not affected by original sin. The other was Jesus' mother Mary befitting the Mother of God. . . .

Red poinsettias
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
December 30, 2013

I would not claim that poinsettias miraculously turn red at Christmas, but the coincidence is remarkable. Actually, the process begins many days before . . .

Becoming Jesus
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
December 24, 2013

Though he was in the form of God, Jesus did not deem equality with God something to be grasped at. Rather, he emptied himself and took the form of a slave . . .

The pregnant season, Part Three
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
December 23, 2013

There is nothing alive more dependent on its kind than humankind. By comparison nearly all other living things at birth function well on their own although they . . .

The pregnant season, Part Two
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
December 15, 2013

They were homeless but grateful that they had found some housing while she was expecting. They planned to return home after the child was born. They knew they . . .

The pregnant season, Part One
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
December 8, 2013

We all have baby pictures some of them our own. And such a mysterious transformation we undergo. Hard to believe I was that young until I see another baby, . . .

Pope Benedict XVI, A Pilgrim's Progress--A Personal Tribute
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
March 3, 2013

As I began to prepare for this Sunday's liturgy, the 3rd Sunday of Lent, a labor we bear together in living out the Word of God at Mass my thoughts turned to . . .

The greater peril: the loss of religious freedom or the loss of religion? (Part 4)
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
March 1, 2013

The Catholic Church has stood more than two millennia. Were it to 'fall' it would have happened long ago suffering as it did numerous schisms and scandals . . .

The greater peril: the loss of religious freedom or the loss of religion? (Part 3)
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
February 16, 2013

Three generations have passed since passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the non-violent civil disobedience which roused the conscience of a nation that . . .

The greater peril: the loss of religious freedom or the loss of religion? (Part 2)
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
February 14, 2013

I. Building up the Household of God In 1960 the American culture and the Catholic Church in America was not ready for the sudden appearance of "the Pill" and . . .

The greater peril: the loss of religious liberty or the loss of religion?
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
February 13, 2013

Front and center contesting our government's recent Health and Human Services Mandate stands the Catholic Church, not on political grounds but on higher moral . . .

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