St. Barnabas, 'son of encouragement' Feast day: June 11
Catholics will celebrate the memory of St. Barnabas on June 11. The apostle and missionary was among Christ's earliest followers and was responsible for welcoming St. Paul into the Church. Though not one of the 12 apostles chosen by the Lord, Jesus, he is traditionally regarded as one of the 72 disciples of Christ and most respected man in the first century Church after the apostles themselves.
St. Barnabas was born, and named Joseph, to wealthy Jewish parents on the Greek-speaking island of Cyprus, probably around the time of Christ's own birth. Traditional accounts hold that his parents sent him to study in Jerusalem, where he studied at the school of Gamaliel (who also taught St. Paul). Later on, when Christ's public ministry began, Barnabas may have been among those who heard him preach in person.
At some point, either during Christ's ministry or after His death and resurrection, Barnabas decided to commit himself in the most radical way to the teachings he had received. He sold the large estate he had inherited, contributed the proceeds entirely to the Church, and joined Christ's other apostles in holding all of their possessions in common. His name was changed to Barnabas, which means "son of encouragement."
Saul of Tarsus, the future St. Paul, approached Barnabas after the miraculous events surrounding his conversion, and was first introduced to St. Peter through him. About five years later, Barnabas and Paul spent a year in Antioch, building up the Church community whose members were the first to go by the name of "Christians."
Both Paul and Barnabas received a calling from God to become the "Apostles of the Gentiles," although the title is more often associated with St. Paul. The reference to the "laying-on of hands" in Acts, chapter 13, suggests that Paul and Barnabas may have been consecrated as bishops on this occasion.
Barnabas and Paul left Antioch along with Barnabas' cousin John Mark, who would later compose the most concise account of Christ's life and be canonized as St. Mark. The group's first forays into the pagan world met with some success, but Mark became discouraged and returned to Jerusalem.
The question of Mark's dedication to the mission would arise again later, and cause a significant personal disagreement between Paul and Barnabas. For many years prior to this, however, the two apostles traveled and preached among the Gentiles, suffering persecution and hardships for the sake of establishing Christianity among those of a non-Jewish background.
The remarkable success of Barnabas and Paul led to one of the earliest controversies in Church history, regarding the question of whether Christian converts would have to observe Jewish rites. During the landmark Council of Jerusalem, recorded in the book of Acts, the assembled apostles confirmed St. Peter's earlier proclamation that the laws of the Old Testament would not be mandatory for Christians.
Barnabas and Paul finally separated in their ministries, while remaining apostles of the one Catholic Church, over Paul's insistence that Mark not travel with them again.
In death, however, the "Apostles to the Gentiles" were reunited. Mark is said to have buried Barnabas after he was killed by a mob in Cyprus around the year 62. St. Paul and St. Mark were, in turn, reconciled before St. Paul's martyrdom five years later.
He is said to have been stoned to death in Salamis in the year 61.
St. Luke described Barnabas as 'a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith' (Acts 6:24), and he was known for his exceptional kindliness and personal sanctity, and his openness to pagans.
He is the patron saint of Cyprus, Antioch and against hailstorms, and he is invoked as a peacemaker.
— Catholic News Agency
St. Barnabas Church in Arden
St. Barnabas Church first began as a mission of St. Lawrence Basilica to serve the families in the area between Asheville and Hendersonville.
The initial formation of the parish was the work of Monsignor George Lynch, pastor of St. Lawrence Parish, his assistant, and a group of Catholics who were living in the Arden/Skyland/Fletcher areas.
After many meetings, Monsignor Lynch (later auxiliary Bishop of Raleigh) petitioned Raleigh Bishop Vincent S. Waters to establish a mission of St. Lawrence Parish in the Arden area. The mission was named "St. Barnabas" after the home parish of Monsignor Lynch and attended by the priests of St. Lawrence Parish. The first St. Barnabas Parish church on Hendersonville Road in Arden had originally been a Presbyterian church and then purchased by the Baptists. St. Barnabas parishioners purchased the church from the Baptists and renovated it as a Catholic church.
The 36 original Catholic families of St. Barnabas Mission gathered with Monsignor Lynch for the first Mass at the new building on Nov. 15, 1964. The church was dedicated on Dec. 6, 1964, by Bishop Waters. From the earliest days, St. Barnabas has been blessed with a great sense of family. In fact, those moving into the area from elsewhere found that they each became "family" for each other.
By 1966, the mission had grown to 50 families in South Buncombe county area. The bishop raised St. Barnabas "mission" to "parish" status and appointed Oblates of St. Francis de Sales Father Joseph Maule as the first pastor.
— Source: St. Barnabas Parish history, online at www.saintbarnabasarden.org
- Read the Catechism in a year: A little to read every day, emailed each morning during the Year of Faith
- USCCB: Stories, videos and more about the Year of Faith
- Annusfidei.va: Vatican's Year of Faith website
- Catholic Relief Services: Features and stories about Year of Faith
- My Year of Faith App: Daily prayers, reflections and thoughts
- Video Catechism for Teens: A free online resource for youths and young adults
- Weekly video series: “C4: Ignite Your Catholic Faith”
- OnceCatholic.org: Geared for people who have left their Catholic faith
- Explore the Sacraments: An 8-part video series on the Sacraments
FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. John Eckert at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy