Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

August 8, 2021 - 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Next Sunday:  Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary          Celebrant :  Fr. Williams


Fr. Tharp’s Pager is no longer in use!


For years I have used a pager to receive notification when someone leaves an emergency message on the Sacred Heart telephone system.  People have been telling me for years that pagers are obsolete.   Well the pager company I have used for years is now ceasing operation, and thus our telephone system now routes the notice of an emergency voicemail to my cell phone.  Therefore, please do not leave voice or numeric messages using my old pager number.  It won’t get to me.  Rather, just leave emergency messages on my emergency voicemail, and the system will alert me with a message on my cell phone.   You can leave an emergency message for me by calling (513) 858-4210 and select option number two; “Fr. Tharp for an emergency.”   The system will alert me to the fact that you have left an emergency message and I will call you back within five minutes unless I am having Mass.


Delete or throw away the old pager number.  It won’t work anymore.


New Sunday Celebrant


Fr. Ronald Williams, a priest of the Archdiocese since 2002, and most recently stationed in the Ripley area (before moving back to the Greater Cincinnati Area about a week ago); has agreed to assist St. Ann and Sacred Heart by celebrating  Sunday morning Masses as Fr. Schmitz had been doing until recently.  On the Sundays I celebrate at St. Ann, Fr. Williams will celebrate the three Masses at Sacred Heart.  When I am at Sacred Heart for Sunday Masses, Fr. Williams will celebrate the two Sunday Masses at St. Ann.  I am very grateful to Fr. Williams for his willingness to help us out so that we can maintain our current precept Mass schedule.   Please welcome our new Sunday celebrant to our Pastoral Region.


Beacons of Light


The Beacons of Light program continues to move forward.  Please reference the Beacons of Light web page for the most up-to-date information at:    The process of determining which parishes are likely to join together as “Families” is currently being studied.  This consultative process is moving forward so that a draft of the probable pairings can be announced for discussion with the general population of the Archdiocese before Thanksgiving. 


 The following is a message from the Archdiocese:


BEACONS UPDATE: BE HEARD, STAY INFORMED, SIGN UP - To stay on top of the latest developments on Beacons of Light, the archdiocese-wide pastoral planning process currently underway, sign up for the free monthly Beacons Update newsletter at  


Attention parish or school volunteers who work with or around children


The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has moved from using the “Virtus” Child Protection program to the “Safe Parish” program.   If you have done the Virtus training and have kept up to date on all your monthly bulletins, you should have received an email instruction as to how to reapply under the new program. If you are up to date on all bulletins, your eligibility should automatically transfer.   IF YOU DID NOT RECEIVE AN EMAIL MESSAGE, chances are that you were not up to date in your Virtus training and your eligibility to work with children did NOT transfer.  If this is the case, please contact your local parish Safe Environment Coordinator as to what is necessary for you to be eligible to work with or around children in any Archdiocesan location. 


The following is the message or instruction you should have received:

Hello and welcome to the new Archdiocese of Cincinnati Child Protection platform — SafeParish™. As an active child protection account holder, you must register for your SafeParish™ account to continue to work and volunteer in the Archdiocese. If you have completed your background and training requirements, that information will be imported to your SafeParish™ account and no additional background or training will be required.  To be certain your information transferred and you are registered with SafeParish, please contact your parish Safe Environment Coordinator.

If you are a new employee or volunteer, please register for your SafeParish™ account and complete your background and training requirements. Check with your local parish Safe Environment Coordinator for Registration instructions.

Live Streaming a precept Mass from St. Ann and Sacred Heart each week

Even though the dispensation for the precept of Sunday Mass attendance has now been revoked, live streaming will continue for the sick, shut-ins, and others unable to come to Mass.  Please remember to access the Sacred Heart / St. Ann Pastoral Region You Tube site by clicking on the following link:

Reflection on Scripture:


The pericope that is the first reading today could be titled, “Elijah and the intimidation of self-doubt.”  Read without context, its meaning and application to our lives can easily be overlooked.  Remember the context.   Elijah has just made the prophets of Baal look foolish; the object of ridicule and derision.  But by winning the battle against them, he has made a mortal enemy of Jezebel.  Jezebel, the Phoenician wife of King Ahab, had introduced the worship of the false gods of Baal into Israel.  So Elijah now realizes he has made a bitter enemy of the highest political and military authority of his time.   Essentially saying to himself, “What have I gotten myself into?” he runs out into the desert with the hope that the harsh desert elements will kill him.  Essentially, he is so afraid of Jezebel and her power that he is willing to commit suicide by putting himself into conditions almost sure to kill him. 


 God sends an angel with rations, and Elijah, with renewed strength, goes back to the source of his faith on Mount Horeb (also called Sinai).  (Remember that this is the mountain of the covenant where the Ten Commandments were received.)   Here Elijah comes to recognize the presence of God. 


Sometimes, we are intimidated by a secular society that holds such power over us that we are frightened and shaken, and begin to doubt our faith.  The Mass brings us the Bread of Life, Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist.  When we are one in Christ, united in our rootedness of faith, we no longer doubt ourselves; for we are no longer speaking by our own authority.  We are acting in the power of the Holy Spirit. 


Sometimes we all go through the self-doubt of Elijah!   We are intimidated and lonely, and perhaps even doubt our faith in Jesus.  This is when we need the power of the Holy Spirit most.  The intimidation of the powerful secular world melts away like frost when confronted by the power of God as we (the Church) become the Mystical Body of Christ. 


Next WeekAssumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary


Rv 11:19a, 12:1-6a, 10ab

1 Cor 15:20-27

Lk 1:39-56


Theme:  Mary, the model of the Church.





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