About St. Bartholomew's Parish
Mission is the reason or purpose of a community's existence. The mission statement sets a tone and serves as a guide for all who comprise this community. It represents our basic values and our ministerial aspirations.
Saint Bartholomew Church, East Brunswick, NJ, is a parish in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen.
As one Christ-centered family, we are responsive to the current and future needs of our parish, community, and world. Realizing a universal human dignity, we are a worshipping community that embraces all people of all cultures.
In response to Jesus' call of discipleship, we commit ourselves . . .
- to grow in our relationship with Christ through the liturgy and through personal prayer
- to hold in highest reverence both Scripture and the Tradition of the Church
- to foster stewardship within our church community
- to be a center of mutual support and caring
- to live in a way that speaks to the world of the Gospel
- to invite others to become members of, and to participate in the life of the Church
- to actively teach and uphold the sanctity of life
- to reach out to the poor and those in need within our parish, our community, our world
- to support Catholic Education
- to support the spiritual formation of our youth, the future of the Church
- to support family life and values
- to act responsibly regarding the world God has entrusted to us
Our crest and patron saint
The Latin caption on our Parish coat of arms in the upper left hand corner of this page - Maiora His Videbis - is from the Gospel of St. John 1:50, and is translated as You shall see see greater things than these. Saint Bartholomew, one of the Twelve Apostles, is listed in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and in the Book of Acts. His name means "son of Tholomai" in Aramaic, and is therefore likely a surname. The Gospel of John calls him by his given name of Nathaniel. St. John also tells us that St. Bartholomew was from Cana in Galilee, and that he was evangelized by St. Philip.
According to the Roman Martyrology, he spread the Gospel to Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Persia and Armenia, and was martyred by King Astyages of Armenia, traditionally in Abanopolis on the Caspian sea. The church historian Eusebius writes that in the third century St. Pantaenus found Christians in India and that they had a copy of St Matthew's Gospel written in Hebrew which, they said had been brought to them by St. Bartholomew. Ancient writers used the name "India" quite indiscriminately, and it likely refers either to Ethiopia or Arabia.
St. Bartholomew is traditionally pictured in art (as in the stained glass window over the main entrance to our church) with knives representing the instruments of his martyrdom - being flayed alive. His relics are thought to be preserved in the church of St. Bartholomew-on-the-Tiber, at Rome. His feast day is August 24th (August 25th on the Byzantine calendar).
An apocryphal account of the "Martyrdom of the Holy and Glorious Apostle Bartholomew" is found in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 8, edited by Philip Schaff & Alexander Roberts. This account dates from the fifth or sixth century, and recounts the marvels by which the Apostle overthrew idolatry and converted a king and his subjects in "India". The account is legendary, and is unfortunately influenced by aspects of the Nestorian heresy. It is available online thanks to the Christian Classics Ethereal Library maintained by Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI.
History of our parish
The need for a parish in East Brunswick became apparent in the late 1950's because of rapid population growth. Middlesex County was then part of the Diocese of Trenton, which was under the leadership of Bishop George Ahr. It was on June 12, 1959, that the Bishop appointed Father J. Morgan Kelly to begin the formation of a new parish which was to be called Saint Bartholomew.
A parish census in October of 1959 indicated that the Saint Bartholomew family consisted of 879 families. For three years, Sunday Mass was celebrated at Memorial School. Religious Education began in the fall of 1959 with confraternity classes held in some of the East Brunswick Township schools.
In 1962, we moved into our church building on Ryders Lane. This new building contained not only a church, but an auditorium / gymnasium, kitchen facilities, and four classrooms. By September 1964, Father Kelly opened the Parish School of Saint Bartholomew with 130 pupils in grades 1 and 2. Each year a grade was added until we reached the eighth grade. A recreation center, Kelly Gym, was completed in the fall of 1972 leaving the Church Hall available for other parish uses.
In 1982, Saint Bartholomew Parish was assimilated into the newly created Diocese of Metuchen, under the leadership of Bishop Theodore E. McCarrick.
The parish continues to grow and prosper. The 1984-85 school year reached a new milestone with the addition of morning and afternoon kindergarten. A pre-school and an after-school day care program began in the fall of 1991.
On June 12, 1990, Msgr. J. Morgan Kelly retired from active parochial duties, 31 years to the day after being named our first Pastor. Bishop Edward Hughes named Msgr. Michael J. Alliegro as our pastor.
On November 1, 2007, Bishop Paul Bootkowski named Rev. Thomas J. Walsh as our new administrator.
Father Thomas Walsh became our third pastor - being formally installed on November 22, 2008.
There are now over 4000 families in our parish community, and over 400 students in our school. The members of the Parish Family have been enriched spiritually, socially, and academically by their association with Saint Bartholomew Church.
The parish facilities are comprised of six main buildings. They are the Church, the Parish Hall, the Parish Center, the School, Kelly Gymnasium, and the Annex.