Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

February 12, 2023 - Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Next Sunday:  Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time                 Celebrant :  Fr. Williams


Sunday Donation Envelopes


The company that prints and mails your donation envelopes to you has been unable to produce the envelopes for three Sundays in February (namely: 12, 19, & 26).  You will not receive envelopes until the first Sunday in March.  I am in dialogue with them on a remedial solution.   This company assures us that envelopes for March and April will arrive through the mail in a timely fashion. 


For the ensuing three Sundays, please write your envelope number in the advice section of your check to aid recording in the parish office.  Free envelopes are available in the vestibule for Sunday Donations.  For the next three weeks, please use these envelopes (or any envelope) printing your name and envelope number on the outside of the blank envelope.  If you have unused preprinted envelopes from previous months, write through the date and use them. 


Please be assured that we will take every step possible to never allow this to happen again.  Please help St. Ann by cooperating for the next three weeks until this unfortunate situation is rectified.


CMA: Catholic Ministries  Appeal 2023


If you donated to the CMA last year, you should have already received a personal CMA mailing and pledge card.  If you wish to put a stamp on the envelope and return it by mail, that is fine.  If you prefer, you may also place it in the collection basket at church in the weeks to follow.  We have plenty of blank cards if yours was lost in the mail.


Please remember that although generosity is important, and the amount of the donation moves us closer to our parish target, the percentage of parishioners participating by making even a small donation is equally beneficial in assuring the Archdiocese that we at Saint Ann have been and continue to be “team players” and all parishioners try to do their best.    Please know that the Archbishop, the Archdiocese, and I (as pastor) genuinely appreciate your continuing generosity.   

Disciple Maker Index


 I am imploring each adult in St. Ann and each adult in Sacred Heart to complete the 10-15 minute survey.  The survey will only be available from January 21- February 27 and will ask you to reflect on your own spiritual growth and enable you to provide feedback on what our parish is doing (or not doing) to help you grow spiritually.  The survey is available online and in paper format.  All responses will be confidential and the parish will only receive information about the community as whole. The “internet link” to the survey is https://portal.catholicleaders.org/d/y8c99y.  You can type this into your browser, scan the QR Code, or use one the paper copies available at the church doors.


The survey results will be invaluable to me as pastor and to every parishioner committee member working on this project as we seek ways to best support each parishioner in their discipleship journey.  Additional details are elsewhere in this bulletin.


Director of Evangelization for the St. Ann/Sacred Heart Family


A search committee of nine (two are St. Ann staff, two others are St. Ann parishioners, two are Sacred Heart parishioners, two are Sacred Heart staff, and one is staff to both parishes) are joining me in conducting interviews of the top four of the seven applicants.  This is only the first step of the interview process. 


The recommended Beacons of Light organizational structure requires a Family of Parishes to have a Director of Evangelization, a Director of Worship, and a Director of Administration.  The structure I envision will also include a Director of Real Estate and Physical Assets. (This is due to the reality that our Family needs both churches to accommodate our Sunday attendance, and both schools to accommodate our existing and anticipated students.)    Together with the two principals, all four directors will serve as an extension of the pastor in their specific areas of expertise.  “Beacons” foresees an environment not simply focused on maintaining what is, but directed to outreach, evangelization, and growth. 


The symmetry of all this organizational structure is not based on the clerical model I, and most priests of my age, have grown up with!  Rather it operates on a model of assumed delegation, so that the younger priest who replaces me when I retire will feel comfortable assuming the role of pastor in an organizational model normative throughout the Archdiocese.  In other words, my oversight in this process is to establish a manner of operation designed not for me personally, but for my successors in the long term future.  The reality is that priests my age (70 plus) have functional and canonical “expiration dates.”   Beacons is creative structuring for where we are going; not for where we have been.   


Review of Mass Schedules


There are “five Phases” of the implementation of Beacons of Light.  Family C-4 (comprised of Sacred Heart and St. Ann) has been designated a “one priest/pastor region.”   This means that there is no assisting priest envisioned.  In the Archdiocese of Cincinnati no one priest is canonically permitted to celebrate more than three Masses on any one day.   At present we have two Sunday morning precept Masses at St. Ann and three Sunday morning precept Masses at Sacred Heart.  Five Masses may not be celebrated by any one priest.  Also every precept Mass at any parish must adhere to “space utilization requirements.”  We have a declining Sunday attendance based on St. Ann and Sacred Heart’s October Count numbers.  At least three of the five existing Sunday Masses are not well enough attended to meet these utilization requirements. 

After we have the data from the survey currently taking place, we will empanel an ad hoc utilization committee representing St. Ann and Sacred Heart in order to study, discuss, and reconcile our Sunday numbers with Archdiocesan utilization requirements.   In the meantime, please remind parishioners that their presence each week at either St. Ann or Sacred Heart will result in a tremendous impact on the recommendations that the ad hoc committee will be required to bring to the Archdiocese.    

Catholic History Podcast

Dr. Kevin Schmiesing, co-host of the Sunrise Morning Show on Sacred Heart Radio has asked us to inform you of his new podcast.

Interested in learning more about our Catholic heritage? The Catholic History Trek podcast covers a wide range of topics: the history of Catholic schools, foods, and prayers; religious orders such as the Franciscans and Norbertines; the Mass and liturgical music; the origins of Catholicism in each of the fifty states; and much more. It is co-hosted by Scott Schulze and Kevin Schmiesing and available on all popular podcast platforms such as Spotify, Google, and Apple, with some video episodes also available on YouTube.

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


I may have been too quick to announce that we have distributors lined up for two cups at “all three Sunday morning Masses at Sacred Heart.”  So far we have not been able to schedule cups for the 8:00 a.m.  We will keep trying.


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:


Jesus says that in the discussion of the “letter of the law” versus the “spirit of the law”; one requires sincere interpretation while the other can be a means of deliberate deception.  If the law says “to spit on the sidewalk is a capital crime” then the letter of the law concludes that anyone who coughs or sneezes while standing on the sidewalk is destine for death row.  The spirit of the law would interpret this law as saying one must never  exhibit bad manners causing distress to the weak of stomach.  One seeks meaning.  The other attempts manipulation. 


Jesus wants us to be one in spirit and one in the Lord.  St. Paul reminds us that the letter of the law does not give life, but rather the law guides us to God’s grace.  If you are one in the Holy Spirit, you know what God wants you to do.  Do it because you love your creator, your redeemer, your giver of life.  In other words, do what is right to please the God you love, not just to fill out a spiritual scorecard.  Act in love; not in forced compliance. 


NEXT WEEK Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time 


Lv 19:1-2, 17-18

1 Cor 3:16-23

Mt 5:38-48


Theme:  Turn the other cheek.  



RSS Feed


Access all blogs

Subscribe to all of our blogs