Fr. Tom Bartolomeo column
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
I was ordained a Catholic priest for the Diocese of Rockford, Illinois, in 2006 at age 69. After graduating Saint John's 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.

February 2013


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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