Bartolomeo , Tom
104 Articles at

I was ordained a Catholic priest for the Diocese of Rockford, Illinois in 2006 at the age 69. After graduating Saint Johnís University, New York, B.A. ( 1965) and M.A. (1967) in English I taught a year of high school and a few years of college at Thomas Nelson Community College, Hampton, Virginia and Kansas State University where I pursued, but did not complete, a doctoral program in English. In 1972 I returned to New York where I entered business and held various managerial responsibilities over several years, marketing, public relations and retail sales and began my own small retail business. During these years I dabbled in theater and politics, worked for a Congressional campaign ( 1974) and later for my own candidacy for New York State Senate in 1978 and lost. I began studies for the priesthood at Holy Apostles Seminary, Cromwell, Connecticut where I received an M.S. in Divinity (2005), was ordained and moved to Rockford, Illinois. I am in a continuing process of life advocacy, writing, teaching, speaking and family counseling. I reside in Saint James Parish, 535 Caswell Street, Belvidere, Illinois 61008.


Currently showing only those Articles posted in: 2014

New! T'is the season, Part Three

When the secular media report stories of persecuted and martyred Christians in other countries we are horrified but we can take heart that Christ can inflame our faith if we whole heartedly carry the light of Christ to our spouses, children, relatives and strangers and if when necessary as martyrs. Jesus, we should remember, was martyred for us.

Date posted: 2014-12-16

New! T'is the season, Part Two

Mary and Joseph conformed their lives to the concerns of a child and consequentially were united in their concerns for each other.

Date posted: 2014-12-07

T'is the season

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 to be having a child. After Elizabeth delivered her son, John, Mary who was three months pregnant herself returned to Joseph, her husband. That was eight month's ago in our calendar, March 25th.

Date posted: 2014-12-04

The new world order

Do we hear the coins clanking, tables rattling, animals bleating and turmoil in ourselves when Jesus overturns the marketplaces of our lives? Jesus wasn't just housecleaning a house of worship but the lives of people who had lost their relationship with God.

Date posted: 2014-12-04

From Ascension to Pentecost the passage of a lifetime

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. Jesus' meetings with his Apostles are now spontaneous.

Date posted: 2014-06-08

Becoming Jesus: in spirit and truth

Many of our Christian institutions have lost their mission because they are too concerned with their mortal existence and accommodations rendering God to Caesar. This applies not simply to the leaders of the church but to many of her members. We forget that as living stones God has no preferences as the Apostle Paul stated, "There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3: 28). We can no longer identify ourselves with brick and mortar.

Date posted: 2014-06-04

Becoming Jesus: working our way back to you, Lord

When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when the child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world. So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you." (John 16: 16-22). Jesus was ready to give birth to his Church.

Date posted: 2014-05-10

Becoming Jesus: back to the future

Perhaps, it is a mistake that we move too quickly from Christ's death and resurrection to the coming of the Holy Spirit without a retreat and some soul-searching. "Quo vadis, Domine?" "Where are you going, Lord?", Peter asks Jesus as the legend goes. Peter is leaving the persecution in Rome and passes by a stranger and asks, "Where are you going, Sir?' and Jesus replies, "To Rome, to be crucified again."

Date posted: 2014-05-01

Easter everyday

Once we understand how God operates as a man, the sooner we can follow his "way". It is the great irony of life that the heavy burdens we bear can only be lightened when we personally acknowledge the burdens of others as did Jesus. We need to put a face on those we help and those who help us. Easter is the kindness of a visible breathing disciple of Jesus as the Son of Man who washes feet and keeps Easter alive everyday.

Date posted: 2014-04-19

The way of the cross: atonement

The gospel passage of Jesus' arrest and crucifixion - for his followers before his resurrection - is inconclusive. Jesus' Apostles, disciples and our lives are suspended for days, weeks and years without some direction, meaning and fulfillment. It is the condition of everyone before death.

Date posted: 2014-04-12

The way of the cross: live or die

Our culture of death is an affront to God's creative work in the world. The 'becoming' or the loss of human life we can no more explain by our empirical sciences than we can manufacture life, spirit and truth. Anyone who destroys human life at any stage of inception strikes at the goodness of the Creator. Ninety-eight percent of us during our child bearing years have used contraceptives or have sterilized ourselves! We have made the 'modern' world into a mortuary for the living dead incapable of procreation for our sins against humanity.

Date posted: 2014-04-10

The way of the cross: none are more blessed

Irreconcilable differences - who is to blame? Perhaps we have been involved in such personal differences: husband and wife, father and son, mother and daughter, appellant and complainant, employer and employee.

Date posted: 2014-04-05

The way of the cross: passage to conversion

When good things happen unexpectedly accept them without question. All the woman at the well needed was someone to acknowledge the hypocrisy of her life inviting her to change her ways and accept "a spring of water welling up to eternal life". Jesus deals with issues we avoid - never shying away from the truth no matter how shameful while respecting a person's basic human dignity. All God requires is our honesty.

Date posted: 2014-03-27

The way of the cross: repentance

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 is not so unusual. Many men have resolved to sacrifice themselves for the lives of others, soldiers and others. Jesus, the Son of God, was ready and told his followers multiple times that "the Son of Man would be handed over to the chief priests and scribes . . . to be mocked . . . flogged . . . crucified and raised on the third day". They were perplexed. They could not comprehend how Jesus who the Apostle Peter declared was the "Son of God" would agree with his Father's wishes and chose to die.

Date posted: 2014-03-20

The way of the cross: remember

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. God knows everything all at once and doesn't need to recall anything. When Jesus took on, however, the nature of a human being living in time he separated himself from the eternal bliss and glory of heaven. That for Christ was the worst of punishments much worse than being "driven into the desert . . . to be tempted by the devil for forty days and forty nights". We should remember, too, that God is not the ruler of this world. Satan is. And some would unwittingly befriend Satan is this world.

Date posted: 2014-03-12

Remember you are dust and to dust you will return

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 are dust, and to dust you shall return" (Genesis 3: 19) when "the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it". (Ecclesiastes 12:7)

Date posted: 2014-03-05

Becoming Jesus living the commandments of God

The seat of either virtue or vice resides not in the visible body but in the secret chambers of a person's heart, in his mind and free will. Invisible festering anger, Jesus taught, leads to murder or it brings 'death by a thousand cuts' especially to the one who harbors anger. Adultery, Jesus taught, infects first the heart, one of the deadliest of sins affecting both husband and wife and their relationship with their children. Today that would include contraception and abortion. Destroy God's gift of life in our bodies and destroy his gift of love in a heart growing cold.

Date posted: 2014-03-04

Becoming Jesus rebuilding the church

The difficulty Jesus faced dealing with his followers continues today. From the beginning what matters in our relationship with God are not our usual protocols but our genuine relationship with God as his children and disciples. It was not the "dust of the earth" from which we were made which distinguished us at creation but the life God breathed into our flesh. (Genesis 2: 7-8).

Date posted: 2014-02-25

Becoming Jesus out in the world

Jesus' teaching alone would not convince the Apostles. They had to see with their own eyes and hear with their own ears the 'good works' of Jesus as we do to be convinced that Jesus is among us. Who among us are Jesus? Who among us are our saints to follow? If all else fails we can become Jesus for others to follow. Parents who truly love their children as God does and raise saints in their homes - whose children in turn become models of sanctity for their parents which is exactly what Jesus did. Like father like son, like son like father. Like mother like daughter, like daughter like mother.

Date posted: 2014-02-24

Becoming Jesus, in the desert

The Apostles had much to learn before they would become Jesus in the world as many Catholics who cling to their fears and passing unfulfilled lives in the world. Jesus would not relent, however. This would be his greatest challenge, not dying on the cross but softening the fearful hearts of his Apostles. Jesus did not relent, and in the end his Apostles' hearts were moved. They faced death without fear and passed through this world to happily gain everlasting life through him and with him and in him.

Date posted: 2014-02-23

Becoming Jesus, in the beginning

Jesus shared these last sentiments of gratitude with his disciples on the evening before his arrest and death. He became their savior as he and his Father had intended and he would find in the finality of his earthly life the peace he sought for us which he would give freely to all others who become Jesus in their own lives.

Date posted: 2014-02-22

Unsafe at any 'choice'

Nothing much man-made achieves perfectly it's intended purpose neither automobiles or contraceptives.

Date posted: 2014-02-20

So what do we do now?

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 cards after our Christmas purchases. We are now gathered at church on the second week of "Ordinary Time" with thirty-two more weeks of "ordinary time" ahead of us when we start the cycle all over again. So what do we do in between time as we fall back into our ordinary lives?

Date posted: 2014-02-18

Happy eternity without the expiration date

The drama of man's salvation was set in motion by Jesus' baptism, "to fulfill all righteousness" as Jesus explained. John the Baptist was the first of many players in God's drama whose playscript was read in our hearing today: the intervention of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit on the banks of the Jordan River with the first man, the renewed Adam, Jesus.

Date posted: 2014-01-12

An Offering of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh

Our religion by its very origin is counter-cultural. We are all here in a passing world on pilgrimage with a specific and conscious goal in mind and heart - God and his world. The Wise Men left their homeland to find the Christ while we have more to know and love of God than they could obtain. The wise men did not fit in the culture of Jerusalem and left.

Date posted: 2014-01-05

The Problem with Mary

The problem with Mary, she was out of place in this world. Even before receiving the invitation from Gabriel Mary had vowed to a life of virginity dedicated to the Lord. I don't think we are capable of fully appreciating Mary's dilemma "full of grace" with all its attendant personal blessings, having chosen a life of virginity for the sake of the kingdom of God then to be thrust into the public life of her Son. She had chosen a life comparable to the lives of a religious women who take the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience. Mary also prized the gift of silence.

Date posted: 2014-01-01