Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

December 5, 2021 - Second Sunday of Advent

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




Please take a copy of the two sided letter from Archbishop Schnurr available at the doors, as you leave church today.   The other side of the letter directs you to the website that gives all the up to date information about the final decision regarding the Families of Parishes. 


Feast of the Immaculate Conception


Wednesday, December 8 is the Patronal Feast Day of the United States.  It is a Holy Day of Obligation.  On this Feast Day, we celebrate that the Blessed Virgin Mary was kept safe from Original Sin from the very first moment of her conception.  In essence, God had a plan for Mary, and the vessel which was destine to bring the Son of God into the world could not have been corrupted by Original Sin and still have been a worthy vessel.    The Feast is really the celebration of God’s intervention into his own creation for the purpose of creating salvation history. 


Anticipatory Masses will be Tuesday, December 7 at St. Ann at 5:30 p.m. and Sacred Heart at 7:00 p.m.  I will attempt to see if I can secure another priest to hear confessions at St. Ann from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m.


Masses on December 8 will be at St. Ann at 6:30 a.m.  Sacred Heart at 7:30 a.m.   Sacred Heart School Mass at 8:15 a.m.  St. Ann School Mass at 10:00 a.m. and 7:p.m. evening Mass at Sacred Heart at  7:00 p.m.


Season of Advent


Today is the Second Sunday of Advent.  The first half of the season (until December 17) focuses our attention on the Second Coming of Christ.  That is why we call it Advent.  From the 17th to the 24th we focus on preparing to celebrate the Birth of the Lord. 


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.  More will be coming on how this is going to be accomplished at the local level, and what the discussion themes will be. In the meantime, please give participating in this first phase of the synod some prayerful thought. The Holy Father and the Holy Spirit value your input!  Questions?  Please feel free to contact me at jhomoelle@catholicaoc.org. God Bless!


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:

Preparing the Way of the Lord!  John the Baptist lived as described because he had taken (and was dedicated to) a Nazarite Vow from birth.  He led a life of penance, and abstained from the pleasures of the world.  He prepared the way of the Lord as the last and greatest prophet.  Many scholars wonder if John might also have been influenced by a group called the “Essenes.”   This Jewish sect was known for washing rituals and an annual recommitment ceremony to the Torah by being immersed in water.  It  would seem clear that the “Essene movement” must have influenced John the Baptist. 

This said, it is also clear from the Sacred Scripture that John was more than simply the sum of those influences he had encountered.  Like every prophet before him, he was empowered by the Hold Spirit.  The Holy Spirit who brought about the incarnation at the Annunciation, is also the same Holy Spirit of God (Breath of God) that hovered over the waters at creation, opened the Red Sea to effect the exodus from Egypt, who empowered the Apostles at Pentecost; and the same Holy Spirit called down by the priest at the epiclesis every time we celebrate Mass.  In today’s gospel, John the Baptist tells people that he baptizes with water, but Jesus will baptize in the Holy Spirit. 

There is an old saying that the Holy Spirit is like a powerful locomotive coming down the tracks straight for you.  “You can stand in the way of the Holy Spirit and show yourself to be recalcitrant and suicidal, or you can jump on and take the ride of your life.  John the Baptist by his obedience to God and the way he lived his life; chose to put his own comfort aside and take the ride of his life into eternity.   Are we giving evidence to our faith in Jesus Christ by the way we live our lives? 



Zep 3:14-18a

Phil 4:4-7

Lk 3:10-18


Theme:   Rejoice!  Half way through Advent!


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