Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

December 19, 2021 - Fourth Sunday of Advent

Next Sunday:  Feast of the Holy Family        Celebrant :  Fr. Tharp



I am told that unsuspecting parishioners have received texts, emails, and telephone solicitations (some mimicking my voice) asking for a “favor.”  Be assured, it is NOT ME!  All such messages are a SCAM.  I promise that you will never receive any such messages from me, so if you receive one do not even answer it.  Delete any such message as I assure I will NEVER contact you for a favor unless I am speaking to you physically in front of you at church.  Don’t be fooled by these criminals. 


Christmas Schedule


Christmas Eve (December 24) Masses at Sacred Heart:  3:00 p.m.  7:00 p.m.  12:00 a.m.  Christmas Eve (December 24) Masses at St. Ann  5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

Christmas Day (December 25) Masses at Sacred Heart  8:00 a.m.  10:00 a.m.  12:00 p.m.

Christmas Day (December 25) Masses at St. Ann 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.


Although Christmas is on a Saturday there are NO EVENING MASSES on Saturday (December 25) Christmas Day (afternoon)




When Christmas falls on a Saturday, the usual weekly schedule of Masses must be altered.  Thus, on Friday December 24th (Christmas Eve) Masses at St. Ann will be at 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.   Masses at Sacred Heart will be at 3:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. (midnight).   Masses on Saturday, December 25 (Christmas Day) we will follow the same schedule as we have for Sunday; namely St. Ann 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. and Sacred Heart at 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. - and 12:00 (noon).   However since the afternoon of Christmas Day is a Saturday, we will have neither the anticipatory (4:00 p.m.) Mass at Sacred Heart nor the (5:15 p.m.) anticipatory Mass at St. Ann.  In other words, there will be NO anticipatory Masses for Sunday (Feast of the Holy Family) on Saturday (Christmas afternoon)The Masses for Sunday, December 26 (Feast of the Holy Family) will take place ONLY on Sunday.  These are the directions we received from the Archdiocesan office for Divine Worship and Sacraments.


Since New Year’s Day (January 1) falls on a Saturday, the obligation to attend Mass for the Holy Day is removed.  Therefore there is NO MASS on Friday Evening (New Year’s eve) at either St. Ann or Sacred Heart although there is a wedding at St. Ann; and there is only ONE MASS on New Year’s morning (the regular Saturday morning schedule) at 8:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart.  Remember the obligation to attend Mass attached to the Holy Day is abrogated.  Nevertheless, we will have our regular anticipatory Masses on Saturday, New Year’s Day (namely 4:00 p.m. at SHJ and 5:15 p.m. at St. Ann) as usual.  Mass on Sunday, January 2 will follow the regular schedule. 


Schedules explaining this will be available at the doors of church from now until Christmas.  The schedule will also be posted on both church websites.


Synod 2021-2023


(The Archdiocesan coordinator for the Worldwide Synod on Synodality has asked that this be posted in all bulletins:


The Holy Father has called a synod inviting ALL the Baptized to come together to discuss and discern how we can walk together in accomplishing the Mission of the Church. He wants ALL those who make up the Church to participate: elderly, youth, religious orders, clergy, lay faithful, poor, disabled, divorced, migrants, those who no longer practice the faith, etc.   It is my understanding that the gathering for our deanery is scheduled for Saturday, January 22 at Queen of Peace Church in Millville.  More specifics to follow in the New Year.   Questions?  Please feel free to contact the Archdiocese at www.catholicaoc.org/synod.


Split the Pot


The annual “St. Ann New Year’s Eve Split the Pot” is underway.  Tickets are on sale in the vestibule of St. Ann after weekend precept Masses.  This is a major fundraiser for St. Ann Church and School, so as Sacred Heart and St. Ann become a new Family, let’s support each other.   Split the Pot fundraisers always work best when lots of tickets sell early.  This encourages others to consider buying tickets as the pot grows.


Reminder for volunteers who work with or around children


If you are a volunteer classroom parent in the school, a coach, drama club volunteer, scout volunteer, etc  please note that you should have been moved to the Safe Parish program.  Fulfillment of this requirement is mandatory for anyone working with children.  Please contact your parish safe environment coordination if you are uncertain whether you are registered or approved. 


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

Since I live stream both the 4:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart and the 5:15 p.m. at St. Ann; I usually manage to live stream both, but on rare occasions the internet is out at one or the other location.   If this happens, be assured that I will make every effort to correct the malfunction before the next weekend.

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:

“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”  This scripture passage from today’s gospel, spoken by Elizabeth to Mary, is familiar because it makes up part of the prayer we refer to as the “Hail Mary.”  What Elizabeth is saying is that Mary is blessed because she has believed in God and acted on her faith.  God is the source of everything; time and space, existence itself.  God made us in his image and likeness, and gave us free will.  Humanity abused God’s gifts, and thus we have original sin.  God keeps Mary free from sin from before she was conceived.  Free of sin, she is enabled to be a worthy vessel to bring the Son of God (the hypostatic union) into time and space.  Jesus dies on the cross to expiate our sins, rises from the dead, and ascends to the Father, so that all humanity is saved for all time by his sacrifice.  Through God’s grace, Mary said “yes” to God’s plan.  When we say “yes” to God’s plan, we participate in salvation history as well.  Are we postured in our life to say “yes” to God when he calls? 




Sir 3:2-6, 12-14

Col 3:12-21

Lk 2:41-52


Theme:   Holy Family


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