Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

Fourth Sunday of Lent

Mar 9, 2018

 

Catholic Ministries Appeal   CMA

 

St. Ann parishioners have now donated or pledged approximately 59% of our goal.  If you have already pledged or donated, Thank You!  If you have not yet done so or you never received your mailing, please take one of the envelopes at the back of church and make a pledge.  If everyone gives a little, we are sure to reach our goal.   Please join me in this worthy cause.

 

Tharp Think Tank

 

We at St. Ann are in need of ideas for enhancing our revenue from fundraisers.  The generosity of our parishioners is extraordinary, but limited by harsh realities.  We need to find new dollars from pockets (sources) outside the parish.  We need to analyze the cost/return rate for volunteer hours for innovative fundraising efforts for the parish.  We tried reintroducing bingo with disappointing lack of success.  The Oktoberfest took too many volunteer hours for very small returns. We have our annual festival and split the pot; but we need new ideas.

 

The caveat!  I have lots and lots of ideas for fundraising, but we must reject any and all of those that violate our Tax Exempt or 501 (c) 3 status under the IRS Code.  If we lost our tax exemption, our parish could not survive.  Ideas like affinity credit cards, parish receiving commissions for sales, and any participation in for profit commerce violates our tax exempt status.   Thus we are looking for fundraising ideas that will not jeopardize our 501 (c) 3 status and yet provide a maximum return for every volunteer hour spent.  Two heads (or in the case of St. Ann) six hundred families are better than one.  Please send any realistic ideas which you are perhaps interested in organizing or chairing to Fr. Tharp at frtharp@sacredheart-fairfield.org or to officemanager@saintanncc.com.   

 

Pastoral Region Penance Service

 

St. Ann and Sacred Heart will combine efforts for our annual Lenten Communal Penance Service to take place at Sacred Heart on Wednesday, March 21 at 7:00 p.m.   We use  Sacred Heart church for this each year because it has five small confessional rooms surrounding the church for ease of private confession.  We similarly use St. Ann each year for our combined celebration of the Divine Mercy Sunday Chaplet because the St. Ann church configuration and beauty lends itself so well to the celebration.   This combined St. Ann and Sacred Heart opportunity to make a Lenten Confession is open to any Catholic wishing to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  We will have multiple priests available.  This may be your last chance before Easter to enjoy short lines in front of the confessional.

 

Saint Vincent DePaul

 

St. Ann and Sacred Heart Pastoral Region have combined their St. Vincent DePaul Society into one.  Most of the members currently are from Sacred Heart.  A majority of the people receiving assistance are in St. Ann territory.  We need to remedy this imbalance.  Remember that many of the members are husband and wife teams.  What a wonderful way for a married couple to evidence their sacramental gifts by their charity to others.  Individuals and couples, please prayerfully consider what you want to hear on judgment day when the poor and needy say to you before the throne of God, “When I was hungry…”  

 

Lenten Devotions

 

I will have Stations of the Cross and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at St. Ann on Friday evenings at 7:00 p.m. during Lent (not Good Friday).  I will have Stations of the Cross and Benediction at Sacred Heart each Sunday during Lent at 3:00 p.m.  The Lay Presiders (lay men and women) of Sacred Heart will also have Stations of the Cross (without benediction) at Sacred Heart on the Fridays of Lent (not Good Friday) at 7:00 p.m.

 

Vacation Bible School

 

One of the highlights of the summer for me is the one week Vacation Bible School at St. Ann.  This year Sacred Heart will join St. Ann in our Pastoral Region VBS to take place at St. Ann.  I am looking for Virtus trained and approved volunteers who will help with this joint program.  I am asking parents from Sacred Heart and St. Ann to consider this your “home parish” Vacation Bible School.  If you have not been Virtus approved, we will provide plenty of opportunities locally.  For additional information, see notices in this bulletin.

 

Reflection on Scripture

 

“I cannot remove the splinter unless you show me where it is!”  As a small child, these were the words my mother would speak to me whenever I complained about having a splinter.  As an adult, it seems so obvious.  As a child, the logic eluded me.

 

How childish we can be when it comes to acknowledging our sins before God.  Like a child denying the reality of a splinter, we resist acknowledging our sins.  Most people will tell you, it is hard to acknowledge my personal sins before God and a priest.  Jesus wants to take our sins away.  But if we resist owning them, he cannot take away that which we do not own up to. 

 

Jesus cites Moses lifting up the serpent in the desert.  Only when the people looked at the symbol of idolatry were they healed of the serpent’s venom.  Only when Jesus makes us look at our sins as he hangs upon the cross; only then will we be able to acknowledge and let Jesus take away our sins. 

 

Own the guilt for the sin; then give it away to our loving savior.

   

Readings for the Fifth Sunday in Lent

     

Jer 31:31-34

Heb 5:7-9

Jn 12:20-33

 

Theme: Even Jesus experienced fear of suffering.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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