Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

December 4, 2022 - Second Sunday of Advent

Next Sunday:  Third Sunday of Advent                Celebrant :  Fr. Williams

Feast of the Immaculate Conception is this Thursday, December 8


Thursday, December 8 is a Holyday, designated as such by the Catholic Church.  It is also our national patronal feast.  Precept Masses at St. Ann will be Wednesday (December 7) at 5:30 p.m., Thursday (December 8) at 6:30 a.m. and limited access to the children’s Mass at 10:00 a.m. 


Masses at Sacred Heart will be Wednesday at 7:00 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 a.m. (Children’s Mass limited access only through the main school entrance) and 7:00 p.m. Thursday evening. 


Remember that the Feast of the Immaculate Conception celebrates that because God would choose Mary as the vessel through which the Son of God would be brought into the world; God kept her safe from Original Sin from the first moment of her existence.  Consider this!  If you had the medicine which would cure the world from every disease, you would not deliver the medicine in a used Coke or Pepsi bottle!  You would use a brand new fresh sterile container.  Thus God protected Mary from Original Sin before she was formed in the womb. 


Archbishop to Host a Six Week Video Series on the Eucharist


Archbishop Schnurr will host a six week video study available to the public starting Sunday, January 8 and concluding Sunday, February 12.  You may sign up anytime now before the New Year begins by going to CatholicAOC.org/theMass.   Promotion and sign-up for these video studies will take place during December.  This will provide a wonderful opportunity for families and individuals to come to more fully understand the Church’s teaching on transubstantiation. 


Beacons of Light


Nota Bene!   As part of the Beacons process, both St. Ann and Sacred Heart will be participating in a program called “Disciple Maker Index.”   This will allow every registered individual, couple, or family to express their feelings about a variety of topics pertinent to the Beacons of Light Planning Process.  So as to not cost a small fortune, the Catholic Leadership Institute will conduct these inquiries via email.  However, this can only work if we are sure the parish office has your correct email address.  During the next two months, (December and January) the CLI Company will provide the mechanism to verify your email address so you will be included in all the ongoing discussions.


Also; Parish Councils at both St. Ann and Sacred Heart have authorized a job posting for the position of Director of Evangelization.  The following is the official “job posting” for the paid employee position of “Director of Evangelization.” 




The Family of Parishes currently known as “The Sacred Heart, Fairfield / St. Ann, Hamilton Family of Parishes” is seeking a Director of Evangelization.  The Director of Evangelization is responsible for supervising and managing the Evangelization Team at Sacred Heart / St. Ann Family of Parishes.  The Evangelization Team includes but is not limited to the Associate Directors for Infant Baptism, RCIA / RCIC, First Reconciliation, First Communion, Confirmation, Marriage, Adult Education, Mission Commission, Bereavement Ministry, Small Faith Communities and Discussion Groups, Ministry to the Hearing Impaired, Senior Ministry; coordination of efforts of parish organizations (such as “Woman of Faith, Women Together, Rosary Society, Foot Ministry, Pro Life Ministry, Mom’s with Babes Ministry”); as well as Catholic organizations not under the direct control of the pastor such as “Knights of Columbus Roettele Council 8115, Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree, Knights of Columbus Ladies Auxiliary” as well as other groups like the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, etc.  The Evangelization Team is responsible for all efforts of accompanying youth, adults, and families throughout the Process of Evangelization so that the parish is creating missionary disciples.  The Director of Evangelization must be able under the authority of the Pastor to articulate and implement a clear vision / mission for Evangelization of parents, youth, staff, and parishioners.


Strongly prefer a Master’s degree in Pastoral Ministry, Religious Studies, Theology, Religious Education, or related field, or commensurate ministry experience.  Must have spiritual maturity, defined as a practicing Catholic in good standing with the Church who is faithful to the Magisterium, consistent in ones prayer life, regularly receiving the sacraments, and able to speak of one’s relationship with Jesus.  Must have a broad understanding of and ability to articulate Church teaching regarding evangelization, catechesis, prayer, sacraments, and ecclesiology.  Must have experience mentoring and accompanying adults at different stages of the discipleship path.  Must be able to pray in front of and with others, to lead and participate in spontaneous prayer.  Must be able to communicate effectively with a wide variety of people, using the spoken word, both within one-on-one coaching/apprenticing situations and in large group settings.  As is always the case in a working team setting, the person must possess and exhibit a cooperative, consultative, consolatory approach in all personal interactions.


Anyone wishing to apply by U.S. Mail or E-mail, please send resume to the Office of the Pastor:


Father Larry R. Tharp

Sacred Heart / St. Ann Families

400 Nilles Road

Fairfield, Ohio  45014

[email protected]


Remember:  The suggested structure under the Beacons initiative recommends three key “lay” positions in every “Family” structure directly responsible to the pastor.  These include the aforementioned Director of Evangelization, a Director of Administration, and a Director of Worship.  It is my intention to expand to a fourth ”Director” position working closely with the Director of Administration, but will function as Director of Real Estate and Physical Assets.   I believe three of the four “Director positions” can be filled by promotion from within.  I believe that the Director of Evangelization will need to be hired through a thorough “search” and open-listed employment process.  


For a Family of Parishes having one or more parochial schools, a process is being designed by the Archdiocesan School Office to assist each new “Family of Parishes” with procedures and processes designed to help the parishioners of the Family to discern organizational structures that will best suit the ongoing educational needs of all as individual students and as parish youth in general.  Each situation will be unique and will require “thinking outside the box.”   


Eucharistic Display created by Blessed Carlo Acutis


The Women of Faith group is sponsoring Eucharistic Miracle posters created by Blessed Carlo Acutis, who died of Leukemia at age 15, but had created a website displaying these accumulated Eucharistic miracles from throughout the world.  There is little doubt that when canonized, he will almost certainly become the patron of the internet and social media.  Remember that the three stages or “cause of sainthood”  to having one’s name placed on the “list” or “canon” of Saints in Rome starts with the title “Venerable, “ moves to the title “Blessed, ” and then after miraculous interventions is verified by the Holy See, the pope may name the person to the “list” or “canon” of titled “Saint.” 


To encourage especially the young to take note of these posters, the Women together have created a raffle for those who take note of each poster throughout the next year. 


Re-introduction of Precious Blood at Communion


We are continuing to re-introduce communion under both species at as many Masses as possible.  Therefore, as of Christmas Day, we believe we have distributors lined up for two cups at all three Sunday Masses at Sacred Heart.  For the time being we only have distributors for the cup at the 11:00 a.m. Mass at St. Ann.  Again, we can only do this to the degree we have enough Eucharistic ministers willing to do cups at the various precept Masses. 




I keep running this article because there are new scams everyday


Remember I NEVER solicit funds, donations, favors, or any request of any kind over the telephone, text, email, carrier pigeon, drone, etc.   NEVER!  Do not allow yourself to be taken in by scammers.  Even if they have my recorded voice, be assured it is computer generated fake!  It is not me!!!  


Reminder for volunteers who work with or around children


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 for Precept Masses


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:


In today’s world, John the Baptist would be considered “eccentric” or even perhaps “unconventional.”   In other words, by the standards of the world, he was weird.  For believers in Jesus Christ, he is considered the last and greatest prophet.  Remember that a prophet does not foretell the future; rather a prophet rubs our nose in the truth.  (If you have ever housetrained a dog, you will understand the “rubbing the nose”analogy.)  John the Baptist had taken a Nazirite vow.  He chose to separate himself from society, to dedicate and subordinate himself solely to God.  He foraged off the natural environment of the desert, eating locusts and honey.  He wore the scratchiest and most uncomfortable clothing he could find; namely camel’s hair.  He may have had some association with the Essenes, a somewhat fanatical group known for their participation in the “scrolls found at Qumran and fond of “washing ceremonies.”  


All these things and many more made John the Baptist stand out as a unique character in salvation history.  But most of all, John is the “last and greatest prophet.”   He is the greatest because he reveals Jesus as the Lamb of God, the Word of God made flesh.  He is the last because a prophet seeks to proclaim the truth from God; and Jesus is the “Truth;” the “Word of God made flesh.”  Jesus did not just reveal the truth; Jesus is the Truth.


NEXT WEEK  Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday)


Isaiah 35:1-6a, 10

James 5:7-10

Matthew 11:2-11


Theme: Gaudete “Rejoice” Sunday 







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