Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

December 26, 2021 - The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Next Sunday:  Epiphany of the Lord        Celebrant :  Fr. Williams



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 you 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. 


PLEASE NOTE:  Regular Mass schedule for New Year’s Weekend


Because there is no precept obligation attached to New Year’s Eve or Day (this year only) the Feast of Mary Mother of God is NOT a Holy Day of Obligation this year.  Saturday morning is still technically the Feast of Mary the Mother of God, but there is NO obligation to go to Mass.  Since New Year’s Day is on a Saturday we will only have the regular Saturday morning Mass for the Feast of Mary Mother of God at Sacred Heart at 8:00 a.m. followed by confessions from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. 


Saturday, New Year’s Day (afternoon) we will have our regular anticipatory Mass at Sacred Heart at 4:00 p.m. and at St. Ann at 5:15 p.m.  As far as Mass times and schedules, the weekend Mass schedule is exactly as it usually is on Saturday afternoon and Sunday.  Remember therefore that the Church requires you to attend Mass only once for the New Year’s weekend, unlike Christmas the week before.


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 winner for 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.  


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:

It is rare that Christmas is on a Saturday, and then the Feast of the Holy Family is the next day (Sunday) but that is how it works out this year.  Although my favorite religious feast is Pentecost, most Catholics would say Christmas or perhaps Easter.  Holy Family would probably be a little further down the list.  Nevertheless, the Holy Family is the context that makes the Hypostatic Union real.  Jesus is both fully human and fully divine.  He is not a hybrid.  He is not a genetic anomaly.  He exists ontologically as fully human and fully divine.  If we think of the reality of human existence and the reality of divine infinity, both measures of existence coalesce in Jesus Christ.  For the divine to be fully human, Jesus needed a family.  Thus, today’s feast.   




Is 60:1-6

Eph 3:2-3a, 5-6

Mt 2:1-12


Theme:   Epiphany


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