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									Voices of Our Parish Family

                                  BART'S HERALD
Saint Bartholomew Church                   45 Ludlow Road, Manchester, CT 06040                                     June 2012

                                          P   AS T O R      ’   S    C   O R NE R
                                               By Father Stephen Sledesky, Pastor
    Over the last fifty years since the Second Vatican              council in one form or another over the years. Most
Council called for a greater participation of the lay faithful      recently that council has been called the Council of
in the ministry of the Church, one of those avenues has             Ministries, with the intention to be supportive of the various
been Parish Pastoral Councils. The Vatican II Decree on             ministries of the parish. In the time leading up to the
the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church, states: “It is        linkages of the parishes here in Manchester, the Council
highly desirable that in every diocese a special pastoral           took on a more direct role in this process and was
council be established, presided over by the diocesan               immensely helpful. However, since that time the council
bishop himself, in which clergy, religious and laity ...            has had less focus and has become largely dormant these
investigate and consider matters relating to pastoral activity      past two years. It is my hope that we can re-invigorate the
and to formulate practical conclusions concerning them,”            pastoral council here at St. Bartholomew Parish to provide
(par. 27).                                                          a more active and vibrant role for parishioners in guiding
    This vision of a pastoral council at the diocesan level led     the parish in the present and future. There are many
to the idea that such councils would be beneficial at the           different models of parish pastoral councils, and there is
parish level as well. The 1983 Code of Canon Law (the               flexibility in determining how they are formed, how often
official laws of the Church) in canon 536 calls for councils        they meet, and what the primary focus of the council is to
to be established at the parish level provided the diocesan         be. To this end I would like to invite parishioners who
bishop “judges it opportune,” and where “the pastor                 think they would like to be part of the process of re-
presides over it, and through it the Christian faithful along       establishing our parish pastoral council to attend an
with those who share in the pastoral care of the parish in          informational session to discuss various ideas related to
virtue of their office give their help in fostering pastoral        parish councils so that we might begin the process of
activity.” This canon also notes, “...the pastoral council          reconstituting a council this coming fall. Please watch for
possesses a consultative vote only and is governed by the           more details in our parish bulletin.
norms determined by the diocesan bishop.” Parish pastoral               At the same time let me thank those who have served on
councils, therefore, can be very helpful to the pastor and          the councils over the years for their sage advice and
staff in guiding the current pastoral ministry and future           commitment to the good of the parish that has brought us to
directions of a parish. And while their role remains                where we are today. And to all our parishioners who so
consultative, it is enormously helpful for a pastor to have         faithfully support the mission and ministry of St.
access to the wise counsel of his parishioners in such              Bartholomew Parish through the commitment of your time,
matters.                                                            talents and resources, thank you!
    Here at St. Bartholomew, there has existed a pastoral                        Fr. Stephen

    Wanted: editor for Bart’s Herald. It’s time – some may say “long past time” – for
      someone to replace the current editor, Bob Albert. Please contact the parish office at
     860-646-1613 or Bob at 860-649-1535 or for additional information.

Bart’s Herald is distributed each quarter with the church bulletin after weekend Masses. To insure that every parishioner
has the opportunity to receive Bart’s Herald, even if unable to receive a copy at Mass, the following alternative ways are
available: current and back issues are on the St. Bartholomew Parish website (; printed copies of the
current issue are in the magazine rack on the wall at the parking lot entrance to the church; direct email (please contact the
parish office at; and direct mail (please contact the parish office at 860-646-1613 or
   Brotherhood In Action:                                  Bart’s Herald:
           6 + 1 = 6,200                                 THANKS, ANTHONY               F OR A JOB WELL DONE !!
                By Dan Dionne                                                       By Bob Albert

    How can 6 + 1 = 6,200? This riddle can                Anthony Asmar – a soon-to-be graduate of South Windsor High
only be answered if you know about the Knights        School - is ready to move on. Anthony began writing for Bart’s
of Columbus Campbell Council and our                  Herald with an article titled “Beyond Presumptions” in the March
involvement in the Brotherhood In Action (BIA)        2011 issue. As Anthony recalls, “I started writing with an article
of Manchester. BIA is comprised of six area           regarding visiting churches of different religions and examining their
fraternal organizations that come together once a     views in relationship to what Catholics do and believe. We were
year to raise funds for children with life            finishing a unit of religion in my high school AP Language and
threatening illnesses or disabilities. This year      Composition class and my teacher told us to design a project but gave
BIA came together at one event and raised             us no boundaries or direction. Deciding that I wanted to visit
$6,200 for Natalie Cosman, a seven-year old           different churches and share my experiences with others, including
Manchester resident who is fighting ovarian           the St. Bartholomew community, I contacted Mrs. Ashmead, a Bart’s
cancer. It is Natalie's story and children like her   Herald contributor, and began writing for Bart’s Herald on a regular
that motivate BIA to put together a well-             basis.”
attended community breakfast in February each             After moving from Bethel to South Windsor in late 2008, Anthony
year. Melinda and David Cosman, parents of            and his family joined St. Bartholomew parish the next year. Playing
Natalie and big sister Samantha, truly have made      the piano is a passion of Anthony’s, so it didn’t take him long to
the most of a stressful time. In many ways, I         become involved with the Music Ministry, whether it was playing the
believe BIA was meant to help them with all of        piano or organ at Mass or for musical programs here. Recently, he
their challenges. There is no more deserving          started playing at St. Francis of Assisi Church in South Windsor.
family than the Cosmans.                              Ever looking to be challenged, Anthony says, “Even though I was
    For the day of the event, February 26th, we       classically trained, I’m progressing and finding a niche in the world
had spectacular weather and a lot of media            of jazz as a member of my school’s jazz bands.” In addition to his
exposure. Once the doors opened at 9 a.m., the        musical accomplishments, he’s involved with the South Windsor Fire
flow of attendees was immediate and strong!           Department and volunteers as an EMT with the Simsbury Volunteer
Not even one hour into serving, we had to setup       Ambulance Association. As for future plans, he’ll be moving on to
six additional tables to handle the overflow. We      college in the fall and planning for a career in law enforcement.
ran to area stores twice for additional food in       (Anthony jokes that he must be “…watching too much Criminal
order to keep the meals coming, a wonderful           Minds and Blue Bloods on television.)
problem indeed! After the dust settled, we had            Reflecting on writing for Bart’s Herald, Anthony says, “One of
served over 400 breakfasts in a three-hour            my greatest satisfactions was being able to discuss what goes on with
timeframe. We had exceeded our goals for the          the many youth ministry programs, especially when I am involved in
event and, more importantly, for the Cosman           them first hand, and the great satisfaction of having my writing
family. We gathered again a few weeks later to        published. Even though I don’t see myself as a journalist down the
present a check to the family. I spoke to the         road, I’ve always felt like it would be a cool career. And besides, I
crowd and presented Natalie with a big fake           really enjoy writing!”
check. More importantly, the proceeds allowed             Editor’s note: Bart’s Herald thanks Anthony for his efforts and wishes
us to give her parents a real little check with a         him success in his future endeavors. Are you interested in writing? If so
great big number written on it! This $6,200               please contact Bob Albert at 860-649-1535. As Anthony says, “It’s a
check was a record breaker!                               really rewarding experience…”
    There are many motivations a Knights of
Columbus member will answer if asked why he
                                                                                                               Anthony Asmar
serves. For me, I just can't stop smiling while I                                                      (photo by his sister, Jill Asmar)
am volunteering and making this world a better
place, one project at a time. The ability to share
these experiences with my wife and children
makes volunteering extra special. Next year the
Knights will become the lead group for this
annual community breakfast; consider this your
invitation to come smile as big as I do that day.

Page 2                                                Bart’s Herald                                               June 2012
                                                        By Harry Robinson

    The Rite of Christian Initiation of    take care of the grandchildren while
Adults (RCIA) program this year            their mothers worked.
culminated in the Easter Vigil Mass at         Suzy is an active, independent,
St.      Bartholomew     Church      for   woman who strives to maintain good
parishioners of the linked churches of     health and to make new friends. She
St. Bartholomew and St. Bridget.           charges up her energy by going to
Enthusiasm was high with seventeen         exercise classes four times a week at
individuals receiving sacraments of        the Manchester Senior Center. She is a
initiation, two of whom belong to St.      member of a St. Bartholomew small
Bartholomew Parish: Akiko (Suzy) Cyr       church community and recently has
and Gerald (Jerry) Bidwell.                taken to visiting Crestfield every week
    Suzy, born and raised in Japan, said   with her baptismal sponsor. Jerry is a
that her parents were Buddhists and        realtor with Century 21 Classic Homes.            Gerald (Jerry) Bidwell and
that she herself was a Buddhist though     He enjoys time with his family. He is                 Akiko (Suzy) Cyr
not actively. She met her husband-to-      on the Board of Directors for New
be Paul (now deceased) when he was in      Seasons Inc., a non-profit organization     discussed      various     tenets    of
the U.S. Army, stationed in Yokohama.      that provides housing and a day             Catholicism. Suzy said, “All was new
He spent twenty-five years in the army     program in Manchester for people with       to me.” She had to prepare for the
and worked at Pratt and Whitney after      disabilities. He is also a member of the    sessions and found the readings
he was discharged.          After their    One Hundred Club, a non-profit              difficult, but her daughter gave her
marriage Suzy became interested in         organization that provides financial        sixteen CDs so that she could hear the
Christianity, and she and Paul brought     support for the families of fallen police   readings as she read them. Another
up their children as Catholics. Jerry’s    and firemen.                                help for Suzy was the support of her
experience was notably different. He           When asked why they were                sponsor, Madeleine Robinson. Jerry
has always been a Christian. He            interested in becoming Catholics, Suzy      was also inspired by the input of the
attended North United Methodist            said that her whole family is Catholic,     other participants and by his sponsor,
Church in Manchester and later Saint       that she has been attending Mass for        Janice Dabate, a relative and friend.
Mary’s Episcopal Church, where he          many years, and that now she wanted         She photographed Jerry and Suzy with
was confirmed along with his sisters.      to receive the sacraments of Baptism,       Archbishop Mansell at a diocesan
All of his family joined the choir there   Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist.           RCIA ceremony at St. Joseph
along with his dad. He said that his       Jerry has some of the same feelings as      Cathedral, Hartford. Both Suzy and
mother was his greatest teacher.           Suzy. Jerry and Sandy were married at       Jerry expressed gratitude to Joe
    Both Suzy and Jerry also spoke of      St. Bridget Church in 1965 and have         Marcucio, St. Bartholomew RCIA
their family backgrounds. Suzy has         been to weddings and baptisms as well       Director; Kathleen Sinnamon, St.
two daughters and a son. Paula and         as Masses for lost loved ones at both       Bridget RCIA Director; and the entire
Anna and their families live in Texas;     St. Bridget and St. Bartholomew. He         RCIA team.         They thank Father
Ray and his family live in Bolton. She     feels connected to the messages each        Stephen for all that he has done,
has two granddaughters and three           week from Father Stephen Sledesky.          especially linking the two parishes for
grandsons. They are a close family and     He said, “I felt the pull of the Holy       this RCIA program and his celebrations
she is proud of each of them. Jerry is     Spirit to move into full communion          of the Sacred Triduum. The Easter
married to Sandy, a Catholic and his       with God’s Holy Catholic and                Vigil Mass was particularly joyful with
wife of forty-six years. Her parents,      Apostolic Church - the original             baptisms, holy communions and
Catholics, attended Saint Bridget          Church, the Church of ‘The Rock’ -          confirmations. Both parishes gathered
Church. The couple has four grown          Peter.”                                     together in Father Hussey Hall for the
daughters - Carol, Cathy, Nancy,                                                       Feast of Breads after the Mass. Jerry
                                               Suzy and Jerry have been                said that he found in his new church a
Allison - and ten grandchildren, five      challenged in the RCIA program and
boys and five girls. One grandson is                                                   way to continue his spiritual journey.
                                           have received much joy from the             His words remind us of the words from
currently attending religious education    challenge.      Eventually, the RCIA
at Saint Bartholomew. Sandy did                                                        a Christopher Walker hymn sung at the
                                           atmosphere became comfortable and           Easter Vigil Mass, “Out of Darkness
paraprofessional work at Buckley           friendly for them. The group met
School until she was needed at home to                                                 God Has Called Us,” and of our own
                                           every other week during the year. At        journey from darkness to light.
                                           the meetings they read Scripture and
June 2012                                             Bart’s Herald                                                  Page 3
   Music in The Church Since Vatican II                                       The Mar y & Martha
                By Jane Peacock, Music Ministry                                   Ministry
    October 11, 2012 marks fifty years since the opening of                             By Dan Dionne
the Second Vatican Council held in Rome. Some twenty-one                 “How can I serve my parish in retirement,
Ecumenical (worldwide) Councils have been held since the
                                                                     without the need to adhere to a strict schedule?”
start of Christianity, each with a mission to clarify or reform
                                                                         For Jean Burr, a parishioner since 1990, this
some aspect of Church doctrine and practice.              Many
documents and decrees came from the Second Vatican                  was the question. It was answered by the fabulous
Council (Vatican II), but the “Constitution on the Sacred           outreach of the Mary & Martha Ministry – a group
Liturgy” is the statement that made enormous changes to the         of volunteers that makes Father Hussey Hall
way people experience the Mass each Sunday.                         available for gatherings after funerals. Eileen
    Before Vatican II, the Mass was spoken in Latin by the          Riccio, the group's founder, introduced Jean to this
priest, and people in the pews prayed along silently,               service at a ministry fair in Father Hussey Hall. It
following the English translations in their personal Mass           was the answer to her need for flexible but
books (missals). Organ music might accompany a small                significant service to her fellow parishioners.
choir or solo singer, but singing from the assembly was not         Jean, an active member of the Mary & Martha
expected nor invited. In a “High Mass” the priest chanted all       Ministry for over ten years, is the current point
the texts in Latin, but again, the assembly was silent. “Full,      person.
conscious and active participation” was a goal of the new               The Ministry is not a daily, weekly, or even
liturgical reform. Specific principles that anchored the
                                                                    monthly service as it caters to the needs of the
reform envisioned the presence of Christ in not only the bread
and wine, but also in the assembly gathered for prayer and          family of a departed parishioner in their time of
praise, in all the ministers of the liturgy (lay and ordained)      greatest need - the day they come together to
and in the Word of God proclaimed in the scriptures. This           mourn and celebrate that life at the funeral. Jean
active participation required new missals with prayers in           and the Ministry members will set up Father
English for the priest and the assembly. Collections of music       Hussey Hall, serve the attendees and clean up.
contained traditional Protestant and Catholic hymnody and           During spring and summer months, the beautifully
American “folk” music, but songs reflecting the modern era          landscaped gardens at St. Bartholomew provide
were also sought.                                                   for fresh cut flower arrangements for that extra
    During the late 1960’s and 70’s many new songs for              special touch. The Ministry has helped relieve the
worship were composed to fill this need, though many were           worry of the family and lifted their spirits.
not of good quality and have fallen out of use. People clung        Although requested to serve only four or five
to the best “hits” from songwriters of the day like the St.         times during the year, the Ministry’s impact is felt
Louis Jesuits and monks of the Weston Priory in Vermont.            and often commented upon by the reception
These and other musicians published their own music and
                                                                    attendees. Many thank the Ministry members for
made it available to the wider church. “Be Not Afraid”,
“Come Back to Me (Hosea)”, and “City of God” have                   their compassionate service; some even wonder if
remained in our repertoire to the present and are now joined        they could start a similar service in their own
by scores of the best songs from more current generations of        parish.
Catholic songwriters. Ricky Manalo (“With One Voice”),                  The motivation for Jean's involvement was
Bernadette Farrell (“Christ Be Our Light”), David Haas              simple: it was something she could do and it was
(“You are Mine”), Scott Soper (“Loving and Forgiving”),             important work, taking a burden from the grieving
Marty Haugen (“We are Many Parts”) - these and other                family at a stressful time. Jean loves seeing the
songwriters are continuing to give us terrific songs that help
                                                                    family members mingling, sharing stories and
us to achieve that “full, conscious and active participation”
which is a central goal of the modern liturgy.                      moving around the Hall freely. Opportunities
                                                                    exist for new members, even if all one can give is
    Along with a flourishing of modern songs, a consensus
                                                                    a morning setting up, a lunchtime serving a meal
has developed which seeks to incorporate music from all eras
of the Church’s history in our music for worship. Fifty years       or providing help to clean up. If you, too, are
after the start of Vatican II our hymnal is overflowing with        looking to serve but not wanting much structure or
songs from every era of Catholic worship - Gregorian chant          demands on your time, the Mary & Martha
to Martin Luther hymns to Appalachian and African spirituals        Ministry may just be the right fit for you. Pray on
to songs from every decade of the last century and the first        it, and contact the parish office (860-646-1613) for
decade of the twenty-first century. Deo gratias!                    additional information.
Page 4                                              Bart’s Herald                                        June 2012
                            GETT       ING TO           KNOW THE             DLUB        ACS
                                                        By John Garoppolo

    Anne Dlubac grew up in East               The Dlubacs live in Vernon and in
Hartford as one of eight children and      1998 moved into the house that was
remains very close to her father and       built by Mitchell’s father, who
siblings, all of whom live close by        wanted Mitchell to live in it when his
except her older sister, who lives in      dad and mom retired to Florida. It
South Carolina. Anne attended St.          was then that the Dlubacs joined St.
Rose’s School in East Hartford, East       Bartholomew parish and found it to
Catholic High School and Southern          be very active and welcoming. Anne
Connecticut State University. She          says that she felt the same warm                    The Dlubac Family
holds a BS in therapeutic recreation       feeling of friendliness and belonging         Mitchell, Erin, Shauna and Anne
and an MS in health science and            that she had felt at St. Rose’s. Anne    Children’s Liturgy of the Word and
worked as a recreational therapist at      and Mitchell have two daughters:         worked with the vacation bible camp
the Yale Psychiatric Institute, a career      Nineteen year-old Shauna, who is      and served as a co-director for two
she left to raise two children.               a nursing student at Salve Regina     years. She and her daughters have
Subsequently, she became a teacher            University in Newport, RI, loves      helped to serve meals at the MACC
at the Trinity Cooperative Preschool          music and plays the clarinet and      Shelter, an experience they find
in Vernon. Anne also lovingly cared           the piano and was a member of the     extremely meaningful. Anne also
for her mother, who passed away               Rockville High School Marching        worked on the committee that
three years ago after suffering from          Band.       Shauna, who began         brought Immaculée Ilibagiza, author
dementia. Caring for her mother               dancing at the age of three and       of Left To Tell, to share her
convinced her that she should get             continues to perform at the           inspirational      story      at    St.
back into her field of recreational           University, was a member of the       Bartholomew Church. In 1999 Anne
therapy and help those who suffer             St. Bartholomew Youth Choir and       became a religious education teacher
from the same illness. She loves her          a group leader at vacation bible      at the first grade level and was
work      and     enjoys      providing       camp.                                 requested to move with her class to
therapeutic recreation to the elderly                                               the second grade. She loves this
                                              Erin, seventeen, is a student at
residents at Buckingham Estates in                                                  grade level since she helps prepare
                                              Rockville High School in the
Glastonbury,       a      memory-care                                               the children for the sacraments of
                                              Agriculture Education program
community.                                                                          First Reconciliation and First Holy
                                              where she has a job taking care of
    Anne shares that her sister-in-law        animals before classes begin.         Communion. Her class begins each
set her up on a blind date with a             Needless to say, she would like to    session with a prayer circle, and the
fellow named Mitchell, who is now             be a veterinarian. Erin, a lover of   students then share something about
her husband of twenty years.                  horses, has been riding since she     their day before beginning the lesson.
Mitchell was a licensed plumber for           was eight years old and is on an      This is an enjoyable time for the class
eighteen years and is now a captain in        equestrian team for Hollywood         as the children get to know one
the Fire Department at the University         Equine Farm. A peer minister at       another and bond with their church
of Connecticut. He has been a                 St. Bartholomew, she has been a       family. Anne also assists Denise
volunteer fireman in Vernon for over          volunteer at vacation bible camp      Bartlett, Director of Religious
twenty years and participates in the          for several years. As part of the     Education, with the First Holy
Vernon Fire Department’s Toys for             youth ministry program, she is        Communion retreat near the end of
Tykes Program at Christmas,                   very excited to be going on the       March. Anne always looks forward
collecting toys that are delivered to         mission trip to the Catholic Heart    to that beautiful day in May when the
children, using a fire truck. In the          Workcamp in Maryland with the         children receive their First Holy
past, he has spoken about fire safety         Youth Ministry this summer.           Communion, and she truly enjoys the
to children at St. Bartholomew’s                                                    energy and enthusiasm of her
                                              Both Anne and Mitchell have
Vacation Bible Camp as well as at                                                   students. Feeling their eagerness to
                                           always valued service to others and
area preschools. Along with his                                                     learn and grow in their faith is
                                           instilled this in their daughters by
daughters, he has distributed food                                                  inspiring, and she feels blessed to
                                           example in church and community.
baskets and gifts for the holidays.                                                 share in this special year with them.
                                           Anne became involved with the
June 2012                                            Bart’s Herald                                                 Page 5
                   C AP IT AL P UNIS HME NT                IN T HE        FULL CIRCLE             OF   LIFE
                                                    By Father Stephen Sledesky

    Recent events in our state have led to a renewed                stoning. Jesus’ response, however, was not to condemn:
debate about whether the death penalty should be                    “‘Has no one condemned you?’ She replied, ‘No one
available as a punishment for serious crimes. Despite               sir.’ Then Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go,
the passage of a law prospectively abolishing capital               and from now on do not sin any more,’” (Jn. 8:10-11).
punishment in Connecticut, there are still many who                     The teaching of the Church on this issue over the
believe it should remain a sentencing option for those              years has provided for the use of capital punishment in
most heinous of crimes. People are still rather divided             order to protect the common good of society by
on the issue and have strong feelings one way or the                rendering aggressors unable to inflict harm: “Legitimate
other. But are emotions the best way to develop public              public authority has the right and the duty to inflict
policy or a moral position?                                         punishment proportionate to the gravity of the offense,”
    The Catholic Church in her teaching has a long                  (Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 2266). But the
tradition of respect for the dignity of the human person            teaching does not stop there. The Catechism continues:
and the gift of human life. She has consistently taught                  Assuming that the guilty party's identity and
that all human life is sacred because as the Book of                     responsibility have been fully determined, the
Genesis reveals, we are all created in the image and                     traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude
likeness of God. Our human worth is not defined by                       recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only
what we do, or are capable of doing. As the late                         possible way of effectively defending human lives
Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago observed and taught,                       against the unjust aggressor.
human life is a “seamless garment” that we must                          If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to
consistently protect from conception to natural death.                   defend and protect people's safety from the
    It may be easy for us to understand this defense of                  aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means,
human life in those cases where life is innocent and                     as these are more in keeping with the concrete
vulnerable, such as with the unborn, those who are                       conditions of the common good and more in
disabled in some way, or those whose lives have become                   conformity with the dignity of the human person.
fragile through age. But what about those whose lives                    Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities
are not so innocent, who may be guilty of particularly                   which the state has for effectively preventing crime,
grievous crimes? Should their lives be defended? How                     by rendering one who has committed an offense
can our faith contribute to this debate?                                 incapable of doing harm - without definitively taking
                                                                         away from him the possibility of redeeming himself
    First, a look at the teaching of Jesus in the Gospels is
                                                                         - the cases in which the execution of the offender is
paramount.       Many people quote Scripture when
                                                                         an absolute necessity are very rare, if not practically
defending capital punishment saying, “An eye for an
                                                                         non-existent (CCC, 2267).
eye, a tooth for a tooth.” This quote originally comes
                                                                    The Catechism reflects the teaching of Pope John Paul II
from the Mosaic Law in Exodus 21:23-25. This was
                                                                    in his 1995 encyclical The Gospel of Life, paragraph 56.
known as the lex talionis, the law of tit for tat. It was
commanded by God through Moses, not so much to                          There is also the danger of executing someone who is
ensure rigorous justice, but to prevent the use of                  innocent.        The Innocence Project counts 289
punishments that were harsher than the crime                        exonerations through DNA testing over the past twenty
committed. But Jesus, in his great Sermon on the                    years, seventeen of which involved death sentences. We
Mount, challenges the lex talionis: “You have heard that            never want to make the mistake of executing an innocent
it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’           person.
But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.               Church teaching seems pretty clear that at the present
When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the              time in our country, recourse to the death penalty is not
other one to him as well,” (Mt. 5:38-39).                           necessary to protect society, and, therefore, should not
    The only other place in the Gospels we see Jesus                be employed. When it comes to the dignity and
teach about this subject is when confronted by the                  protection of human life, our consistent Catholic
scribes and Pharisees with his opinion on the matter of a           teaching has been that God is the author of all human
woman caught in the very act of adultery. Jewish law                life and therefore the only One who has the right to take
called for a form of capital punishment – death by                  it away.
Page 6                                              Bart’s Herald                                               June 2012
     Archdiocese aims to standardize                      Memories of High School Youth Ministry Program
      flow of information from the                                                 By Anthony Asmar
                 parishes                              Senior year is an exciting time; it is a time for change, a time for
                By Henry Poirier                   unforgettable fun-filled experiences, and a time for remembering all of
                                                   the past events that have lead us to become who we are. St.
    Over the past few years the Parish             Bartholomew’s Youth Ministry has definitely had a strong, positive
Business Manager, Diane Gluhosky, has              influence on all of the high school students who have gone through the
been working on improvements and changes           program; the 2012 seniors would like to take this opportunity to reflect
in the operation of the parish office. In part     upon some of the best memories this program has formed!
this has been necessitated by the increase in          Every few years, St. Bartholomew’s youth embark on the exciting
activity of our various parish ministries, as      experience known as “Mission Trip!” This wonderful, weeklong
well as an effort to relieve Father Stephen        program of faith, community, and team building is a highlight for many
Sledesky of the many administrative tasks in       of the past and current Youth Ministry members. Natalia Surdam, a
keeping the parish running smoothly and            senior, peer minister, and active member of Youth Ministry considers
attending to the needs of parishioners.            this event something she will remember forever, especially her first trip
    The Archdiocese of Hartford has also,          to South Carolina: “I really liked the mission trip to South Carolina,
over the past few years, implemented               because it inspired me to be closer to God!”
changes in all parishes. Their intent is multi-        My first mission trip to Champaign, Illinois was also a thrilling, faith
faceted. Some of the improvements that have        renewing experience. I can remember flying in to Chicago on the warm,
been implemented are: to increase and              stormy Sunday morning, having absolutely no idea what to expect. But
standardize the flow of information from the       upon leaving - we were all changed! Not only did we strengthen or build
parishes to the Archdiocese, to encourage the      strong friendships with the other youth in our parish, but with people
establishment of an organizational structure       from all around the country through the personal, shared, and cherished
of the various ministries in each parish that      medium we call faith!
have similarities and can be shared with each          On a smaller scale, many of the seniors really enjoyed just getting
other, and to have parishes follow the same        together and having fun at the monthly Youth Group meetings. “It gave
financial system practices. This is not an         us a time to catch up with our friends and play games,” said Katie
attempt to run our parish, nor is it intended to   Ashmead, also a peer minister and active member of the Youth Ministry.
make each parish a rubber stamp of all the         For Katie and many others, Friday Night Adorations comprise hallmark
others. All parishes have a different culture      memories from Youth Ministry. As Katie relates, “It gives you time to
that comes from various sources.            The    yourself to reflect on your life, pray about everything, and helps you
ethnicity of the founding families, the wealth     open up to God.” Some of everyone’s greatest Youth Ministry memories
of the members, the location and attributes of     occurred during the annual winter retreats. The yearly spiritual oases
the physical plant, and the impact over the        amidst the snowy background of February, were according to Julia
years of the various pastors and lay leaders       Smith, an active peer minister, “My favorite weekends in the middle of
are some, but not all, of what makes a parish      the year. They were the perfect opportunities to renew your faith and
different than all others. The sum of these        trust in God.”
attributes is what makes St. Bartholomew               So whether flying across the country to see what adventures await on
Parish unique – as are all other parishes.         the mission trip, taking a break from the reality of modern life on winter
    By encouraging basic similarities in the       retreats, or just hanging out and having fun at monthly youth group
ministries and financial records at each           meetings, the Youth Ministry program - its leaders and the experiences it
parish, the Archdiocese hopes to accomplish        provided - has changed all of us. We are greatly appreciative for all it
two objectives. First, a newly assigned            has done and for what it continues to do. We thank all for the great
pastor in a parish will find a familiar            nostalgic memories that were created that we’ll be able to share for years
organization and the local and cultural            to come.
differences an enrichment, not a problem.
                                                                                                                 YM Seniors
Secondly, and very important, pastors,                                                                        (from left to right)
though retaining ultimate responsibility for                                                                    David Thomas,
the parish, can feel confident leaving day-to-                                                                 Kara Kerz, Julia
day administration of the parish and                                                                            Smith, Natalia
ministries to the empowered lay leaders. The                                                                    Surdam, Katie
pastor will have the time to be what he was                                                                      Ashmead and
ordained to be - the spiritual leader of the                                                                   Anthony Asmar.
June 2012                                             Bart’s Herald                                                  Page 7
                                 By Henry Poirier
    The ministry serving the greatest number of people at St. Bartholomew is Religious Education,
which serves approximately 320 children ranging in age from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade. The
faculty is an all-volunteer group of thirty people from our parish family. In addition, a non-teaching
group of about sixty-five volunteers provide assistance in a variety of ways to further the religious
education of our most valuable asset, our parish children. In charge of the Religious Education
Ministry is its director, Denise Bartlett, who is a direct report to Pastor Stephen Sledesky.                Alice Byram
    Since September 2011, Denise has had a direct report of her own, Alice Byram, whose official title is “Assistant to the
Director of Religious Education.” Alice and her husband, Michael, are St. Bartholomew parishioners. Her parents, John
and Janet Cooney, have been members of the parish for many years. Alice is a graduate of East Catholic High School.
Michael, born in the United States, is of French-Canadian ancestry and is bilingual. After twenty-three years of working
at local aerospace firms, he was recruited a year ago by Canberra, a French-based company located in Meriden. They
have two children: a son, also named Michael, who is a junior at UConn studying actuarial science and a daughter,
Kathleen, a special needs young woman who lives at home and attends River Street School in Windsor.
    The “Assistant to the Director of Religious Education” official job description states that the job is a part time, 10-15
hours per week, position. It also states that the person must be “… extremely flexible relative to work hours for
afternoons, occasional early evening, and occasional Sunday mornings.” Actually, Alice works full-time on Tuesday and
Wednesday doing data entry, student registration, maintenance of files, mailings to parents and staff, and the familiar
catchall, “special projects.” She also has duties beyond Tuesdays and Wednesdays of which the monthly Children’s Mass
is an example. This involves assigning tasks to the children normally done by adults: greeters, lectors, servers, and
distributors of the Bulletin. She is also involved with First Communion preparation, children’s retreat and other similar
tasks done beyond the usual Tuesday and Wednesday activity. In addition to all of the above, Alice’s job requires her to
maintain order when children arrive for class and to set up, serve, and clean up the snack provided to students on Tuesday
and Wednesday afternoons.
    All her life, Alice has been involved with children. First, her own two, subsequently, as the long time sitter for her
sister’s children, and now, immersed with children in the Religious Education program at our parish. We are fortunate to
have Alice working on our behalf where her skills and love of children so well fulfill the Ministry’s needs and advances
its mission.

                 Fly with us at Sky VBC, where kids learn that "everything is possible with God"
                                                       By Debi Ashmead
    Imagine St. Bartholomew church transformed into the boundless, blue sky this summer during a week of Vacation
Bible Camp (VBC). Kids discovering that by trusting God, everything is possible. The children at VBC experiencing lots
of fun in a faith-filled environment.
    So what’s new this year? Lisa Toomey and Karen Yencho who have both participated in past years as VBC volunteers
will lead the coordination. Lisa, a preschool teacher at the YMCA in Vernon, a Girl Scout troop leader as well as a first
grade CCD teacher, has two daughters - Madison (9) and Ella (7). Karen, a pediatric nurse practitioner who decided to
stay home with her kids last September, has three children - Sam (9), Nolan (5) and Luke (3). She had taught CCD for
several years at St. Bartholomew before she started her family. This year, Lisa and Karen are planning to recruit an adult
to head a decorating team. This can be an ideal opportunity for an adult who would like to be involved but may be
unavailable during VBC times. The Sky program comes with many decorating ideas and manuals for all participants.
    VBC sessions run from August 6-10 from 8:30-11:30 a.m. at St Bartholomew
Church. Each day begins with the “Up & Away, Sing & Play” activity and then kids
rotate through various work & play stations. Something new is the “Imagination
Station”, a change from the traditional craft room, where kids participate in the
coolest experiments with science-fun gizmos that reinforce daily Bible Points and
verses. Each day strives to help kids see God at work in their daily lives. Watch the
bulletin for details on how to register.
    THANK YOU to Mary Falotico. Mary may be staying on as a volunteer, but is passing
   the coordination piece over to Lisa and Karen who are excited to take on this new       Lisa Toomey & Karen Yencho
   adventure. Under Mary’s leadership, the program has grown extensively over the last
   few years with participation doubling in numbers - Great Job, Mary!!
                                                                                                  Up, up and away…
Page 8                                                Bart’s Herald                                          June 2012

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