From the Pastor's Desk

A Salute to Mothers

Of all the vocations that are important and necessary for human beings to live truly human lives, I believe that motherhood is at the top.  Like most worthwhile endeavors, it is done with sacrifice and pain. The nurturing that a woman gives as the baby begins to develop within her own body has a great impact on her very person. After the inconvenience and discomfort of pregnancy and the pain of giving birth, it is the mother who is the main giver of nutrition, love, care and character formation of the child during the early formative years and throughout life. Her self-sacrificing love is usually provided to her children far into adulthood, in many cases taken for granted by her children and society in general. Mother’s Day is a reminder to be thankful to the women who have answered God’s call to give life. Thank you, mothers! —Fr. Umberg

Posted to the St. Clare website: May 9, 2023

Printed in the Bulletin: May 14, 2023

Distributing the Precious Blood to the Faithful

The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has diminished to the point where extreme measures of caution are no longer required. In light of this, I believe that it is time to offer Holy Communion under both species (the Hosts and the Cup of Precious Blood) to the congregation at all Masses, beginning with the Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi). This feast falls the weekend of June 10/11, which will allow a few weeks for planning, recruitment, and training (and re-training) of extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist. This will take a renewed commitment on the part of parishioners, to do this ministry faithfully. Please consider volunteering to prepare for and perform this ministry. More information to come. —Fr. Umberg

Posted to the St. Clare website: May 2, 2023

Printed in the Bulletin: May 7, 2023

Welcome, Mrs. Randi Hom, our new Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry!

I am delighted to announce that Our Lady of Divine Providence family of parishes (formerly known as the S7 Family) now has a full time Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, Mrs. Randi Hom.

The Archbishop has expressed a desire that every family of parishes be well equipped for evangelization and catechesis, especially for the young, the future of the Church. Randi comes to us as an experienced and well-trained youth ministry professional. Her office is located on the St. Bartholomew campus, but her ministry is for all youth and young adults of all six parishes. Welcome, Randi! (Please see Randi’s youth and young adult article linked here.) —Fr. Umberg

Posted to the St. Clare website: April 26, 2023

Printed in the Bulletin: April 30, 2023


Our Lady of Divine Providence Family of Parishes
(formally known as S-7) is seeking volunteers for our website committee.

Now that we have our new name, we’d like to start building an online “home” for Our Lady of Divine Providence parish family. This will be a place where we can share activities and announcements that pertain to our new parish family. We’re currently looking for members from each parish to form a team to work toward this goal. If you have experience with the technical aspects of website creation or ongoing website maintenance, we would love to have you as part of this team.

Please contact Bill Rocklin - [email protected].

Posted to the St. Clare website: April 18, 2023

Printed as an insert in the Bulletin: April 23, 2023


After much deliberation and prayer, the Beacons Planning Council has decided on a name for our Family of Parishes, which will also serve (probably) as the name of the new parish we will form. The name is Our Lady of Divine Providence.


Palm Sunday, the Easter Triduum, and Easter Sunday are beautiful celebrations of our faith. They are also events which require a tremendous amount of work by many people in each parish. I would like to thank all the staff and volunteers of St. Clare Parish who placed orders, took deliveries, arranged decorations (and rearranged decorations as the week went on), as well as those who volunteered for special roles in the liturgy (lectors, servers, singers, musicians, “foot washers”, etc.) A special thank you to Fr. George for happily agreeing to celebrate the Triduum at St. Clare this year. Thank you! Thank you! Alleluia! Alleluia!



The promise of eternal life from the resurrection of Jesus necessarily comes with a call to repentance and the promise of an outpouring of Divine Mercy, that we may be cleansed and healed from our sins. While Lent is a special season of repentance, this Feast of Divine Mercy provides another special opportunity to receive God’s Divine Mercy. For almost 25 years, there has been a tradition of a Divine Mercy celebration in the afternoon of the Sunday after Easter at St. Vivian, and later, St. Bartholomew Parish. We will have this celebration of the Lord’s Mercy this Sunday afternoon from 2:00 to 5:00pm. There is a prayer/speaker program, but during this entire time there will be several priests hearing confessions.

—Father Umberg

Posted to the St. Clare website: April 12, 2023

Printed as an insert in the Bulletin: April 16, 2023

Dear St. Clare Parishioners,

As we mentioned at Masses over the weekend, this week, Holy Week, is a very important week in the Church year. The Sacred Triduum (that is, the three most sacred high holy days of the Church) begins with Holy Thursday Mass, Thursday evening.

I urge you to consider coming to one or all of these ancient and beautiful ceremonies.

Here is a brief synopsis of each liturgy:

            Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper (St. Clare: 7:00PM)

            This liturgy goes about an hour and a half. 

We begin with the tabernacle empty and the church specially decorated. During the Gloria, the bells are rung for the last time until Holy Saturday night.

            After the homily, the priest and Parish Council members wash the feet of some volunteers, to imitate Christ’s own example of service at the Last Supper.

            At the end of Mass, the Blessed Sacrament (that is the remaining hosts from communion) are paraded in a solemn procession around the inside of the Church and taken to a special shrine in church (known as a “repository”). The liturgy ends in silence, and the faithful are invited to remain as long as one hour at the candle-lit shrine, adoring our Lord on this anniversary of the Last Supper.

            Good Friday Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion (St. Clare: 2:00PM & 7:00PM)

            This liturgy goes about one full hour. 

The Church is devoid of decoration and unnecessary furniture, and the tabernacle is empty. (The Blessed Sacrament is now stored in a place outside of the Church.) This starkness causes a feeling of desolation. 

            In the first part of the liturgy, the congregation reads the Passion of Jesus as told in the Gospel of John. This is done in parts like on Palm Sunday. Following this, solemn petitions are sung for the Church and for the world.

            In the second part, the priest and people all come forward to make a gesture of reverence and adoration to the cross, which has been brought into the church for this purpose. 

            In the third part, the altar is set quickly and simply, and we share communion from the hosts that remain from Holy Thursday night. Good Friday is the one day of the Church year that the Eucharist is not celebrated!

After the 2:00PM Service, Stations of the Cross will be prayed for those who wish to stay.

Holy Saturday: The Easter Vigil (St. Clare: 8:45PM)

            By Church law, this liturgy must begin after sunset and goes approximately 2 hours. It fulfills the Easter Sunday obligation.

            We begin by blessing a fire outside of Church and lighting the Easter candle from it. The people follow the Easter Candle into the dark church and light candles that they are holding, so that the whole church is filled with candle light as we go to our places in church. A special song of Easter praise is sung by Darin. Several Old Testament readings are read that tell the history of salvation. Each reading has its own special responsorial psalm. 

            After that the Gloria is sung with bells ringing inside and outside of Church. The Alleluia is sung for the first time since the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. The Gospel is proclaimed and followed by a brief homily.

            Baptisms and Confirmations are then performed for any converts to the faith.

            The gifts are then brought up and the Liturgy of the Eucharist is celebrated in solemn fashion. The Feast of Easter has begun for all participants in the Easter Vigil.  Catholics are welcome to come to Mass again on Sunday morning.

If you have never been to one of these celebrations, I think it is a very good idea to go, at least a few times in life, if not every few years, or maybe every year. A great amount of effort is spent in preparing for and performing these ceremonies. These are ancient and beautiful ceremonies that involve the congregation in special ways, with movement around church and other special activities. Worship a little!  Be a part of it!

--Fr. Umberg

Posted to the St. Clare website: March 29, 2023

Printed as an insert in the Bulletin: April 2, 2023


The S-7 Family of Parishes is having another Confession-a-thon, this time for Lent.

It will take place at Assumption Church in Mt. Healthy, on Tuesday, March 28th, 4:00 – 7:00 P.M.

For those who don’t recall what a Confession-a-thon is:

A Confession-a-thon is an event for the Sacrament of Penance, in which we have lots of confessions over an extended period of time. During this 3-hour event, we will have the Blessed Sacrament exposed for adoration and prayer, and beautiful Lenten music playing in the background, while at least two priests will be available for confession, sometimes more. While there is a communal dimension to this event, as all are invited to pray for each other before our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, there is greater individual flexibility for the penitents to come and go and confess at the time most convenient for them, with little wait.

Let’s prepare to celebrate Easter. I hope to see you there!

-Fr. Umberg

Posted to the St. Clare website: March 16, 2023

Printed in Bulletin: March 19, 2023


Lent is a special season in our spiritual lives. It is a time for us to repent from bad habits, to grow in discipline, knowledge of our faith and love of the Lord. It is also a time for almsgiving and service to our brothers and sisters in need. This Lent is also a time for St. Bartholomew and St. Vivian parishioners to help all of our people in the S-7 Family of parishes to grow in community by praying, learning and receiving the Sacraments together.

For the most part, each parish will maintain its own schedule of Lenten activities this year. However, there are several special opportunities for us to grow by new spiritual exercises as a larger community of Catholics who will be united into one parish in the future. Members of all six parishes are invited to participate in these special activities:

  • 12 NOON Masses at St. Vivian Church on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays of Lent: Attending weekday Mass is a great way to grow in love of the Mass, your knowledge of the faith, and in the grace of Jesus Christ (by receiving His Body and Blood). Beginning on Ash Wednesday, there will be a weekday Mass every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of Lent at St. Vivian. There will be minimal music at these Masses, so they will usually last about 30 minutes. (Assuming that these Masses are well- attended, we intend to continue these three extra Masses through the Easter Season (which ends this year on Memorial Day Weekend)). This will be the first of several experiments regarding a mid-day weekday Mass in our Family of parishes.
  • Lenten Souper Wednesdays: On the evenings of the 5 middle Wednesdays of Lent (this year, that is all 5 Wednesdays of March), we will have Lenten Souper Wednesdays at St. Bartholomew Church. Each of these Wednesday evenings you are invited to (your choice of one, two or all three!):

5:30PM Mass ― minimal music, short homily (whole Mass finished in about 30 minutes) Location: St. Bart Church

6:00-7:00PM Soup Supper — (Yes, that is why we spelled it “Souper”—EEEEuuuuuwww!) Nothing really penitential, just fellowship and conversation with folks from our six parishes while we eat delicious soup. (Maybe YOU could sign up to make your favorite soup to be part of a homemade soup smorgasbord for one or more of the Wednesdays!). Location: St. Bart Activity Center (also known as the Krumpe Activity Center, or “KAC”—across the parking lot from church, on the high ground to the right of the school)

7:00-8:30PM Faith Formation Activity ― The first three Wednesdays March 1, 8, and 15), I will present my “Whirlwind Tour of the Bible”. We will get an overview of the whole Bible: some background information and then a mention of the basic contents of each book of the Bible in the context of the History of Israel and the Early Church. (We’ll move too fast for it to get boring!) Location: St. Bart Activity Center (also known as the Krumpe Activity Center, or “KAC”— across the parking lot from church, on the high ground to the right of the school)

On March 22, we will pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary together in Church at 7:00PM

On March 29, we will pray the Stations of the Cross together in Church at 7:00PM

Lent Confession-a-thon at Assumption: Instead of parish Lenten penance services, we will have an S-7 Family of Parishes Confession-a-thon at Assumption Church in Mt. Healthy, on Tuesday, March 28th, 4:00-7:00PM. –several priests hearing confessions for three hours, with the Blessed Sacrament exposed for adoration and beautiful Lenten music playing in the background.

--Fr. Umberg

Posted to the St. Clare website: February 22, 2023

Printed in Bulletin: February 26, 2023


Well, maybe not the best video ever, but the greatest speech by a talented young man giving witness to the Gospel for today’s youth (people 40 and younger).

Jonathan Roumie, the actor who plays Jesus on “The Chosen” (a tremendously well-done and wildly popular television series about the New Testament), speaks about his faith and his pro-life stance at a pro-life rally this past weekend.

Here is the link:

--Fr. Umberg

Posted to the St. Clare website: January 25, 2023

Printed in Bulletin: February 5, 2023