Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

August 9, 2020 - 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Next Sunday:  Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time   

Regular Schedule    Fr. Tharp

Please “SUBSCRIBE” to the Pastoral Region YOUTUBE Channel


Many of you have been watching Sunday Mass for some time now on the “Pastoral Region of Sacred Heart and St. Ann” accessed on Youtube.  PLEASE take a moment to hit the button which says “SUBSCRIBE.”  It is free.  It costs you nothing! BUT if we can reach one thousand subscribers, under the Youtube rules it will allow us to do so many more things VIRTUALLY!!!  (In other words, “OnLine”)    For example, instead of requiring parents to come “in person” to instructional meetings for First Reconciliation, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation, I will be posting a  VIDEO our Youtube Channel to provide this information to parents, to be viewed at their leisure. 


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. 




All priests in the Archdiocese must meet with the Archbishop after their sixty-ninth birthday to discuss the possibility of retiring from administrative duties.  (Priests do not ever “retire” from celebrating Mass or administering the sacraments; only from the duties of pastoral administration.)  After much prayer and consideration, I presented myself to the Archbishop as willing to stay on as pastor of this Pastoral Region on a year to year basis for as long as my health allows, and I can be of service (not a burden) to both communities.  I realize that my decision to ask the Archbishop to allow me to continue as pastor after age seventy will disappoint some and please others.  I apologize to those disappointed, but the shortage of priests is critical.  After much prayer, I realized that I could not be “happily retired” knowing that the shortage of priests was exacerbated by my seeking capricious leisure. 


Therefore, God willing, it is my intention to fulfill my assignment to St. Ann and Sacred Heart as pastor, past my seventieth birthday, to be assessed on a year to year basis.  


Pray a Minute Program


At the time of the printing of this bulletin, I do not have all the information regarding this Archdiocesan program.  I know it will have been announced on Sacred Heart radio.  More to come after I can download the information.


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.


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 five weeks out at this time from the first class, so it is more important than ever 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]



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: Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 


The gospel story of Jesus walking on the water appears only in the gospels of Matthew and Mark; not in Luke.  As in all rabbinic stories, the symbolism is far more important than the miraculous event.  Some look at the story and say, ”Well see!  This proves Jesus is the Divine Son of God.  Who else can walk on the surface of liquid water?”    Indeed! But the inclusion of the story in Matthew’s Gospel is far more purposeful.  The disciples in the boat represent the Church.  The stormy waters represent the tumult present in the Roman occupation at the time.  Jesus in right there with them, but they don’t readily see him.  Some in the early Church are fearful of recognizing Jesus in his power as the Son of God. (This uncertainty a century later presents itself as Arianism.)   They mistake him for a ghost or phantasm.  The apparition speaks to them, assuring them he is Jesus.  Peter asks indirectly to share in Christ’s divinity, by asking for the invitation to walk on the water as well.  Jesus says, “Sure, try it!”  But Peter is purely human, so he begins to sink in the water as all humans do.  Only Jesus can be the source of the miraculous.  Only Jesus can keep us from sinking.


Can you see how this story applies to us here and now?   In today’s world, are there any cultural storms taking place?  As the boat of the Catholic Church are we not tossed about by the waves of deceit, glamor, and illusion?  In our self-importance and arrogance does not humanity think we can do what Jesus did without him?   Sadly, without Jesus, we sink.  The moral is that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God.  Only Jesus has miraculous powers.  Faith in him is all that keeps us afloat. 


Next WeekTwentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time     


Is 56:1, 6-7

Rom 11:13-15, 29-32

Mt. 15:21-28


Theme:   The Canaanite Woman


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