Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

August 2, 2020 - 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Announcing:  NEW St. Ann Parish Office


The St. Ann Parish Secretary is now available during posted hours for parish business in what was the old rectory.  You may access the offices during posted business hours via the front door on Pleasant Avenue.  Public access is NOT available when using the door on the back of the building.  Thanks to all who participated in the fundraiser for this repurposing.  As soon as all the refurbishing is completed, a virtual tour of the new Parish Office will be available on our website.



Tuesday and Saturday Confessions


For the foreseeable future the Pastoral Region of St. Ann and Sacred Heart will offer confessions two times per week.   Confessions will be heard every Tuesday evening from 6:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at St. Ann.   Confessions will be heard at Sacred Heart on Saturday Morning after 8:00 a.m. Mass at Sacred Heart from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.  A Penance Service with multiple priests hearing confessions simultaneously will take place every Advent and Lent.  As pastor, I will continue to hear confessions a half hour before 9:00 a.m. Mass and 11:00 a.m. Mass at St. Ann on the Sunday Mornings I am the celebrant.


Live-stream Sunday Mass links on Parish Websites


Please let me strongly recommend again that you not view our Sunday Mass from either parish website.  These websites are more prone to crash with high volume.  It is far easier and more secure to go directly to the Pastoral Region Youtube site.  You can always go immediately to our Youtube site by using the following link:


I suggest making this link a “bookmark” on your web browser for easy and quick access. 


RCIA means Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults


Schedules for the RCIA for St. Ann and Sacred Heart are available at church doors as well as on our parish websites.  Please contact me (Fr. Tharp) if you are interested in becoming a Catholic.  Because of the persistence of COVID, the RCIA classes may be able to take place “in person” in the basement of the church at Sacred Heart or they may be required to be held “virtually” using Zoom or some other platform.  We are six weeks out at this time from the first class, so it is more important than ever before that you register for the RCIA by contacting me at (513) 858-4260.   This comes directly to my desk, so if I am not in, please simply leave a voicemail and I will get back to you.  Please also feel free to email me at [email protected]


Call to report Hospitalized Parishioners


Recently one of our parishioners asked one of the hospital staff to contact me.  The person did not call that day, and when the patient took a turn for the worse during the night, no one called.  When I was finally called the next morning, the parishioner patient was in the ICU and on a ventilator. 


Because of COVID, some hospitals are not allowing clergy to enter except during official visiting hours.  There is little I can do in these situations.  Nevertheless, ask the hospital if a Catholic Priest can come at any hour to anoint in danger of death.  If they say “yes,” feel free to call me.


If you need me for the administration of the Sacrament of the Sick, you can get to me 24/7 by calling (513) 858-4210.  When the Sacred Heart automated switchboard answers you will hear, “To contact Fr. Tharp for an emergency push 2.”  Do so, and leave a clear spoken message with your phone number on my “emergency” voicemail.  The automated system immediately (within five minutes) notifies my pager that I have an emergency message, and I can access it no matter where I am.  If I am at Mass or in the shower, I will contact you as soon as I am able.  By doing this (if the equipment is working) you will know I have been notified without relying on someone else to do it.  Remember to leave a voice message on my emergency voicemail.  Leaving the pushbutton tones on my voicemail does NOT enable me to call you back!!!


Students who should have made First Communion last April or May


I wish to reiterate from former communications that as soon as we have assurance from the authorities in Ohio and from the Archdiocese that we can reduce the requirements of social distancing and masks so as to have a traditional large Group First Communion celebration, we will do so for St. Ann and Sacred Heart.  In the meantime, if any parent wishes their child who was looking forward to First Communion this Spring to have the opportunity to make an “informal” First Communion at any Sunday or Weekday Mass that I celebrate, please contact the Parish Secretary at Sacred Heart.  She has my schedule and will help you in choosing a regularly scheduled Mass when your child can begin receiving the Most Holy Eucharist.    


On the other hand, feel free to have your child wait until the group ceremony is permitted if you think that is best.  Whatever is best for your child is what I want to do.


Reflection on Scripture Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 


The story of the multiplication of the loaves and fish appears in all four gospel accounts.  No other miracle of Jesus is as pervasive in the scriptures as this.  Why?  I submit that this miracle simultaneously shows Jesus to be Divine, the Church to be an image of the Old Testament people of Israel fed by manna in the desert, Divine compassion, the humanness of Jesus, and the story foreshadows the establishment of the Sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist on Holy Thursday. 


The element in this scripture that is sometimes minimized or forgotten is: “What we have to offer is enough, (adequate) if we give it to Jesus.”  Sometimes, we face evil in the world which seems to grow exponentially.  What can one person do? Jesus would say, “Do your part.  I will take care of the rest.”   I am told that Mother Teresa of Calcutta consistently would give all the food donated to her for the sisters or herself to the poor.  Then after she had fed many, she and the sisters would beg for their daily sustenance.  Give your all, insignificant as it may seem to be to Jesus, and wait for the miracle.  However, remember that Jesus demands you give 100% of yourself to him.  Don’t give yourself 95% to Jesus and hold back a personal commission of 5% for yourself.  It’s all or nothing with Jesus.  Risk your life; all that you have and all that you are for Jesus.  This is what is required to be a saint.  The happiest people in the world (and in Heaven) are those who put it all on the line (they bet it all) for Jesus every day.  They know fulfillment the world cannot offer or deliver.  No one at the end of his (or her) life, ever regrets giving it all for the Lord.   You will regret only what you held back.


Next WeekNineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time     


1 Kgs 19:9a, 11-13a

Rom 9:1-5

Mt. 14:22-33


Theme:   Jesus walks on water.


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