Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

April 23, 2023 - Third Sunday of Easter

Next Sunday:  Fourth Sunday of Easter               Celebrant :  Fr. Williams


Please Note:  We will NOT have the regular Group Baptism at 1:30 p.m. at Sacred Heart as there is a conflict with the St. Ann First Communion at 2:00 p.m.


Keep in Touch with Sacred Heart/St. Ann via email or text


Our Director of Evangelization (Jose Martinez) has invited us to participate in a parish communication tool provided by “flocknote.com.”  To join you can scan the QR Code or text SHSA to 84576.  You can leave the program at any time by texting STOP to 84576.  I think this will prove to be a great way for the parishioners of the St. Ann/Sacred Heart Family to stay in the “know!”


Thanks again to Easter Volunteers and Special Craftsmen


Special thanks to all who helped clean-up and set-up for Easter and during Holy Week at both church building locations.   The ambiance of each of the two worship spaces is unique, but the music, other ministers, and special attention to cleaning and detail enhanced worship at both locations.  Also special thanks to three parish members who have created and crafted new liturgical furniture.


At Sacred Heart, we now have a functional baptismal font.  Doug Webb, the designer and carpenter who build the first font in 1989, replaced all the wood and plumbing.  He had to work day and night to have it functional for Easter Vigil. 


Also at Sacred Heart, many thanks to parishioner Doug Krusenklaus for the three newly crafted wooden tables currently in use in the main entrance to the nave of church.  The tables are beautifully crafted and have already proven their functionality during Holy Week and at Easter Vigil. 


At St. Ann, special thanks to Joe Keller for the beautiful new columbarium already put to use for funerals during Lent. 


“Hats off” to these and all who by their craft have enhanced the warmth and functionality of our two worship spaces. 


Catholic Conference of Ohio


In a letter dated February 28, 2023, all the Catholic Bishops from the State of Ohio have asked faithful Catholics throughout Ohio to oppose the proposed ballot initiative for the November ballots enshrining and expanding abortion in the State of Ohio.  We have numerous copies of the letter at the doors of Church.  Please take a copy and read about this troubling ballot proposal aimed at the Catholic Church and pro-life efforts throughout the state.  You have seen similar initiatives reported in other states.  Catholics of good conscience are encouraged to read the letter, speak out, and stay informed.


Ask any Question!


Mr. Jose Martinez is the new Director of Evangelization for the Parish Family of St. Ann and Sacred Heart.  I am the old pastor of St. Ann and Sacred Heart.  Two times this summer, Mr. Martinez and I will attempt to answer  “any question” you may have related to our new parish family, theology, church administration, or any aspect of life in general.  We will have these open meetings at 7:00 p.m. on June 12 and July 10.  More information to come.


Beacons of Light Organizational Structure


The recommended Beacons of Light organizational structure requires a Family of Parishes to have a Director of Evangelization, a Director of Worship, and a Director of Administration.  The structure I envision will also include a Director of Real Estate and Physical Assets. (This is due to the reality that our Family needs both churches to accommodate our Sunday attendance, and both schools to accommodate our existing and anticipated students.)    Together with the two principals, all four directors will serve as an extension of the pastor in their specific areas of expertise.  “Beacons” foresees an environment not simply focused on maintaining what is, but directed to outreach, evangelization, and growth. 


The symmetry of all this organizational structure is not based on the clerical model I, and most priests of my age, have grown up with!  Rather it operates on a model of assumed delegation, so that the younger priest who replaces me when I retire will feel comfortable assuming the role of pastor in an organizational model normative throughout the Archdiocese.  In other words, my oversight in this process is to establish a manner of operation designed not for me personally, but for my successors about three years from now.  The reality is that priests my age (70 plus) have functional and canonical “expiration dates.”  The reality of the “post COVID” church is that fewer people are coming to Sunday Mass.  “Beacons” is a creative structuring for where we are going; not for where we have been.   


Review of Mass Schedules


There are “five Phases” of the implementation of Beacons of Light.  Family C-4 (comprised of Sacred Heart and St. Ann) has been designated a “one priest/pastor region.”  It is almost certain that this will become the reality by July 1, 2023.   This means that there is no assisting priest envisioned.  In the Archdiocese of Cincinnati no one priest is canonically permitted to celebrate more than three Masses on any one day.   At present we have two Sunday morning precept Masses at St. Ann and three Sunday morning precept Masses at Sacred Heart.  Five Masses may not be celebrated by any one priest.  Also every precept Mass at any parish must adhere to “space utilization requirements.”  We have a declining Sunday attendance based on St. Ann and Sacred Heart’s October Count numbers.  At least three of the five existing Sunday Masses are not well enough attended to meet these utilization requirements. 

After we have the data from the survey recently completed, we will empanel an ad hoc utilization committee representing St. Ann and Sacred Heart in order to study, discuss, and reconcile our Sunday numbers with Archdiocesan utilization requirements.   In the meantime, please remind parishioners that their presence each week at either St. Ann or Sacred Heart will result in a tremendous impact on the recommendations that the ad hoc committee will be required to bring to the Archdiocese.    

Re-introduction of Precious Blood at Communion


We have distributors lined up for two cups at “all three Sunday morning Masses at Sacred Heart.” 


For the time being we only have distributors for the cup at the 11:00 a.m. Mass at St. Ann.  Again, we can only do this to the degree we have enough Eucharistic ministers willing to do cups at the various precept Masses. 




I keep running this article because there are new scams everyday


Remember I NEVER solicit funds, donations, favors, or any request of any kind over the telephone, text, email, carrier pigeon, drone, etc.   NEVER!  Do not allow yourself to be taken in by scammers.  Even if they have my recorded voice, be assured it is computer generated fake!  It is not me!!!  


Reminder for volunteers who work with or around children


Please be aware that failure to register with and complete the requirements of Safe Parish will result in your inability to continue to work with or around children in any parish and/or school setting.  We have been informed by the Archdiocese that there can be NO EXCEPTIONS.


Live Streaming for Precept Masses


My sincere apologies AGAIN that the sound was not functioning for the live-stream of the 4:00 p.m. Mass from Sacred Heart.  We believed we had the problem solved from Easter, but sadly it did it again.   A component in the sound system has decided it will turn itself off as it wishes.  I will try to make sure to reset it before Mass until we have determined the precise reason it is doing this.  Please excuse us as we try to diagnose the problem.  So far it has only happened at Sacred Heart. 


Please remember to access the Sacred Heart / St. Ann Pastoral Region You Tube site by clicking on the following link:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVLLqbEY5hKWinwz069MVcg


Reflection on Scripture:


The story of the travelers on the road to Emmaus is the classic story of meeting Jesus in the most unlikely situations.  Cleopas is so frustrated that Jesus, although they did not know as yet that it was Jesus, did not know about the death and resurrection of Jesus that he looks at the ground and probably shakes his head.  “How could you not know?”  But as Jesus reveals his identity, the light bulb goes on in their brains.  Then Jesus disappears from their sight. 


How many times has Jesus revealed himself to you in the most unlikely people?  I have met Jesus in a nurse who cared enough to take my hand as a small boy and lead me to my mother’s hospital room, when the rules said I was not allowed to be there.  I met Jesus in a homeless man who stopped me to give me his blessing and brought me to an inspirational moment of good luck.   I have seen Jesus in the poor and the wealthy.  I have seen Jesus in every culture and ethnicity.    I met Jesus in a brilliant man with more academic credentials than I will ever possess, who was independently wealthy, but who shined my shoes for free with his bare hands and paste shoe polish in an airport, and explained this was how he brought the message of Jesus love to everyday people one at a time.  


Want to meet Jesus?  Start looking for him in the most unlikely people you encounter in your church pew or sitting next to you in a waiting room.  Like the travelers on the road to Emmaus, you will always remember the encounter.


NEXT WEEK   Fourth Sunday of Easter


Acts 2:14a, 36-41

1 Pt 2:20b-25

Jn 10:1-10


Theme:   The Good Shepherd



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