Fifth Sunday of Easter (Friday Flocknote - 04/30/21)
Fifth Sunday of Easter, May 2, 2021
A Message from Fr. Brent Bowen, OP
In the Gospel today, Jesus says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit [...] I am the vine, you are the branches.” A few years ago, I tried to experiment with growing hops for use in my homebrew beer. I did my research months in advance, ordered the hop rhizomes, and they arrived in the early spring just as we had our last frost of the season. I quickly planted them, and within a few weeks, I had small sprouts. Having little experience with growing anything, I was very excited. Yet when the time came to prune my hop vines, I was sheepish. After working for many weeks to get this tiny plant to grow, I was concerned that pruning it would kill it. Sure enough, I had very little to show for all my work when the time came to harvest by the fall.
The image of the vine is such a good one for the growth in our life as disciples. First, God plants us as branches on his vine, the Church. As we move through life, we (hopefully) grow and mature into more faithful, loving branches. But alongside the good growth, we also pick up bad habits: sin and vices. In our culture, discussion of sin and vice is discouraged as though it is a “self-attack.” Some tell us that we should do things that “make us happy.” Ultimately God, our gardener, knows that which will bring about our flourishing. These sins and vices must be “pruned” away if we are to bear fruit for the kingdom of God. When we allow fear to prevent this pruning process (think: me and my hop vines), the vital food and drink of the Holy Eucharist cannot nourish us because we are not properly disposed to receive them.
Ultimately Christ desires every branch of his vine, every member of His church, to bear fruit for others. But this fruit can only be produced if we are in a relationship with Jesus and practicing the habits of a disciple (personal prayer, reception of the sacraments, reading the scriptures, growing in a life of virtue, etc.). Fruit for others always emerges out of a growing relationship with Jesus. It is born when we act because we say “yes” to God’s love, grace, inspiration, or command.
That is one of the primary objectives of St. Toms’ forthcoming pastoral plan. We want every person who encounters a St. Tom’s parishioner to be accompanied on his/her relationship with God so that they can remain in Jesus and bear fruit and become His disciples. You will be hearing more about it over the next few weeks and months, and we are excited to work with you to make it a reality.
Fr. Brent A. Bowen, O.P.
Gospel Reflection - 05/02/21
y Ted Tobias, student parishioner & coordinator for Boiler Catholic Men
“Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit because without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
These are some bold words from Jesus! They may also seem a little confusing at first glance. There are many non-believers out there who do plenty of things every day! They go to school, perform their jobs, hang out with their friends, and otherwise live their lives. However, the key point that Jesus is really making here is that without Him, you can do nothing that is actually worth doing.
This may be a subtle distinction, but it’s very important to keep in mind. If we are not doing our jobs out of love for God, what’s the point? If we are not somehow glorifying God when hanging out with friends and family, what’s the point? If we are not otherwise living our daily lives out of love for God, then what’s the point? God created us so that He could share His love with us.
This does not necessarily mean that we should be spending every waking moment of our days in contemplative prayer! It does mean, however, that all our thoughts, words, and actions should somehow glorify God, which in turn makes everything we do, in a certain sense, “one big prayer.”
As branches, we cannot bear fruit; we cannot do anything worth doing unless we remain on the vine that is Jesus Christ. May we all remember this the next time we are tempted to sin against God.
In-Person Mass Reservations
Sunday Bulletin (PDF)
Sunday of Easter
Faith Direct e-giving
Blessing of the Brains May 1-2
If you are a St. Tom’s student parishioner preparing for final exams, be sure to attend this weekend’s Mass for our traditional semester-end “Blessing of the Brains” after all Masses.
This Weekend: Mother Teresa Fund Second Collection, Campus Food Pantry Drive
A reminder that this Sunday our second collection will benefit the Mother Teresa Fund, which provides rent and utility assistance to community members in need. We also will be collecting items for the ACE campus food pantry. A white pickup truck will be parked in the back parking lot to drop off your items.
Granola Bar Crusade Success
Justice With Peace ministry thanks you for helping fight hunger this spring semester. Together we collected and donated more than100 pounds of food through the ministry’s Granola Bar Crusade program!
Baccalaureate Mass on May 14
On Friday, May 14, we celebrate St. Tom’s May, August, and December 2021 Purdue graduates with our traditional “Baccalaureate Mass” at 11:30 a.m. Graduating student parishioners are encouraged to attend the Mass in their commencement regalia and visit the
“Senior Send-Off” webpage
to make Mass reservations and leave their post-graduation contact information.
COVID protocols, effective May 15
Given recent adjustments to COVID guidelines on surface cleaning, St. Tom’s classroom spaces will no longer be locked. This change will also aid in access to safe shelter areas for inclement weather. And a reminder that St. Tom’s latest “Return to Worship” updates go into effect Saturday, May 15. Updates include the discontinuation of Mass reservations, Livestream daily Mass, and ushered seating. Masks continue to be required, and only cantors will sing.
A Flocknote was distributed on April 23 with details
St. Tom’s is still seeking parishioner volunteers to staff the office reception desk twice a month for three hours or less. If you would like to help visitors and answer phone calls on behalf of St. Tom’s, please contact Mary Riehle at
n weekdays between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
We encourage you to prayerfully consider what you might be able to give to the
“Hearts on Fire” Catholic Ministries Appeal
," which benefits both our Diocese of Lafayette and St Tom’s. To date, we have reached 89 percent of our goal, with about $25,000 in pledges still needed.
To provide a one-time or recurring gift to St. Tom's, visit our
FaithDirect giving page.
We are grateful for your generosity to our mission and ministries.
on Friday, April 30 at 1:31PM