Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

August 13, 2023 - 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Next Sunday:  Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time     Celebrant:  Fr. Tharp

Feast of the Assumption of the BVM is August 15


Tuesday, August 15 is a Holyday of Obligation for Catholics in the United States.  It celebrates that Mary was God’s predestined chosen vessel through which the hypostatic union of Jesus came to be a reality.  Therefore God would reasonable afford Mary the gift of being body and soul in Heaven with her Son, Jesus Christ.  Mary is the model of the Church!  What God promises for the Church, he pre-figures in Mary.  Examples:  Mary’s immaculate conception is a model for Baptism.  The virginal birth is a model for all of us to participate in Mary’s title of Theotokos by receiving the Holy Eucharist.  The Assumption is a model for the promise of Jesus to the Church of “resurrection of the body and life everlasting.”  What God promises the Church in the Sacraments, God pre-figures in the Blessed Virgin Mary.   The follow is the Mass schedule for the Holyday:


Monday, August 14:  St. Ann 5:30 p.m.   Sacred Heart 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, August 15:  St. Ann 6:30 a.m.  Sacred Heart 7:30 a.m.    Sacred Heart 7:00 p.m.


Nota Bene…….Special presentation at 11:00 a.m. Mass next Week


Sacred Heart is home to a number of the Catholic faithful who have immigrated from west and central African countries including Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Congo, Ghana, and others.  I have been very blessed and have so enjoyed witnessing their practice of strong Catholic traditions in celebrating weddings, baptisms, funerals, etc. with parishioner families.  I have enjoyed not just the friendship (which is wonderful in and of itself), but the richness their Catholic based African cultural traditions have brought to the prayer of the Mass and the administration of the Sacraments.  As pastor, I am especially blessed by the presence of a special group of women from Cameroon who have established a Council of the Catholic Women’s Association of Cameroon here at Sacred Heart.  Under Catholic Church Law, groups such as the Knights of Columbus, Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, Daughters of Isabella, CWA of Cameroon, etc. are commissioned under Catholic Church Law (Canon Law) as “Associations of the Christian Faithful.”   Deeply devoted in prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the CWA of Cameroon focuses their devotion on the Blessed Virgin and her special Feast Days.  (Remember that the patron saint of the United States in the Blessed Virgin.)  


Initially the local CWA Cameroon council had hoped to share their cultural prayer experience with the rest of the congregation on this week’s Holyday, the Feast of the Assumption.  Work schedules made this impossible so we moved it to the Sunday 11:00 a.m. Mass on August 20.  At this Mass, the CWA ladies will perform the 1) presentation of the Word of God,   2) the African tradition of the Presentation of the Gifts and   3) the post communion Magnificat, all during the 11:00 a.m. Mass.  If you have never experienced the Mass (the Universal Prayer of the Church) as it is celebrated in Africa, you are in for a treat.   The word “Catholic” means “universal.”   If you are like me, experiencing this prayer form performed by our fellow members of the Body of Christ will make you so proud of your Catholic faith that you will come out of Mass with a whole new perspective on what Catholic (universal) really means.


Join us if you can for this special presentation of the ultimate prayer (The Holy Mass) with these parts performed for us in the African tradition by our fellow parishioners the members of the Catholic Women’s Association of Cameroon.


Beacons of Light


As of the deadline for submission for printing, I do not yet know the name for our Family chosen by your votes.  I will of course announce it at today’s Masses.


The Sunday Mass Schedule


Precept Masses on Sunday Morning for the Parish Family of St. Ann / Sacred Heart are 8:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart, 9:30 a.m. at St. Ann, and 11:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart.  All Masses are celebrated by the pastor, Fr. Tharp.


8:00 a.m. Mass at Sacred Heart worship space

9:30 a.m. Mass at St. Ann worship space

11:00 a.m. Mass at Sacred Heart worship space


Remember:  The Saturday evening Masses (4:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart and 5:15 p.m. at St. Ann) remain unaltered and are celebrated by the pastor, Fr. Tharp.


Children’s Mass Bags


Our new Director of Evangelization and his wife who is our new Coordinator of Religious Education have put together Children’s Mass bags which you will find displayed in the Narthex at Sacred Heart and soon at St. Ann.   Each bag is filled with age appropriate materials for your child.  After the items in the bags are used to entertain your child during Mass, please place the items back in the bag and place the bag back on the display frame.  You may have noticed the steps and other items for children in place in the restrooms at Sacred Heart.  This is all part of the process to make our churches and services more “child friendly.”  


Precious Blood at Communion


We have distributors lined up for two cups at all three Sunday morning Masses; two at Sacred Heart and one at St. Ann.”  For the moment, we do not have cups lined up for the either of the Saturday evening Masses.  Again, we can only offer both species to the degree we have enough Eucharistic ministers willing to do cups at the various precept Masses.  We hope to have cups offered at the Saturday Masses very soon.




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


As the new reduced Sunday Mass schedule is in place, it has been recommended that I continue to live stream the 4:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart, and consider not live streaming the 5:15 p.m. Mass from St. Ann but instead live stream the Sunday Mass at 9:30 from St. Ann.  We will experiment with this for a time and see which arrangement is more favored.


Good News!   We have installed a new (temporary) microprocessor in the audio system at Sacred Heart.  We are praying that this will eliminate the loss of sound during the live streaming of Mass.  At present, we have been told that the wait time for all the electronic components we need for a new system is running about one year from the time ordered to the time when we may actually receive the component.


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:


Elijah and the tiny whispering sound!   Jesus walks on water!  Today’s scripture readings invite us to ponder the eternal question: “How do we experience the limitless power of God?”  God’s power is not a magic trick.  God does not reveal his power to us to astound or bedazzle us.  Rather he reveals himself so we may gain humility.  Socrates said he gained wisdom because he knew what he did not know.  In today’s first reading, Elijah is not intimidated by the wind, earthquake, or lightning.  He is humbled that God communicates his presence by a whisper.  The disciples of Jesus were afraid because they saw him walking on the surface of the water in the midst of a life threatening storm.  Jesus assures them he is in control, so put away fear.  Peter says, “Can I try acting like I have the power of God?”   Jesus gives him a chance at it, but his fear and insecurity reveal he is only human. 


The point of these stories is this: Let God be divine and let human beings recognize that we are NOT gods.  We make a startling new scientific discovery and we want to strut around the chicken yard like a young rooster as if we are “all that!”  The humbling experiences of everyday life bring us out of our arrogance.  In other words, “Don’t live in the fantasy that it is all about me.  Live in the reality that it is all about God!”


NEXT WEEK   The Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Is 56:1, 6-7

Rom 11: 13-15, 29-32

Mt 15:21-28


Theme: Is your faith stronger than ridicule?





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