Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

February 13, 2022 - 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

Since fewer than normal attended last weekend due to weather, some articles herein are repeated. 


When does Lent begin?


Ash Wednesday is March 2, 2022.  Ash Wednesday is determined by counting back forty (40) days (not counting Sundays) from Easter.  Easter is determined for the Western Church (Roman Rite of the Catholic Church) as the first Sunday, following the first full moon, after the spring equinox.    This year the spring equinox (in the northern hemisphere) is Sunday, March 20.  There had been a full moon on March 18, so that is too early and before the equinox.  We have to wait for the first full moon AFTER the spring equinox.  The first full moon after the spring equinox is Saturday, April 16.  Therefore Easter is Sunday, April 17, 2022.  This is based on the Gregorian calendar set in place in 1582 A.D.  


Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter based on the more ancient Julian calendar and presuming that Good Friday must come after the lunar calendar celebration of Jewish Passover (Jesus celebrated Passover Seder on Holy Thursday, the night before he died) Easter is celebrated by the Orthodox Christians one week later this year on April 24, 2022. 




Last week we had Commitment Weekend for the Catholic Ministries Appeal.  Each Sunday for the next few weeks, we will have envelopes with pledge cards available at the doors of church.  If you have not received yours in the mail, please consider taking one and filling it out with a pledge or gift.  You can put a stamp on the envelope and mail it if you wish, but I recommend simply bringing your completed envelope to Mass and dropping it in the collection basket. 


If you are filling out the informational part of the card, please be certain to include on the last line titled “parish” either St. Ann Parish Hamilton # 906 or Sacred Heart Parish Fairfield # 746.   Including the number assures us that any rebate from donation will be directed to our parishes and not to some other parish of the same name.    There are multiple parishes in our Archdiocese named Sacred Heart as well as St. Ann.  


Please make your donation as soon as possible. Let’s distinguish ourselves as an important contributor to the Archdiocese, so that all will respect our Family (formed from two very generous congregations) as a leader Family among the newly formed families.    


Beacons of Light


We are told to expect the formal public announcement of “assignment of priests to newly formed Families” this weekend.  As the news breaks, do not trust the media for answers.  Rather go directly to www.catholicaoc.org as the only reliable source. 




(You may be wondering why I keep running this same warning week after week?  The reason is that I continue to get calls from parishioners concerned that I may have been arrested in a foreign country without money, or need you to buy cash cards for someone who is dying, or some other deception or fabrication.  The scammers have even found a way to harvest my voice from the YOUTUBE Masses, and mimic me over the telephone.   The “scammers” are indeed immoral and destined for the fires of Hell; but they always seem to exhibit sinister creativity.  Please remember the following:)


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, it is computer generated!  It is not me!!!


Considering a “Men’s Retreat Program?”


Over the next month, we will be posting information about a rather challenging ascetic retreat option for adult men from St. Ann and Sacred Heart Pastoral Region, soon to be a Family of Parishes.  The program is called Exodus 90.  Here are the personal comments of one of our parishioners who has some experience with the program:

The goal of Exodus 90 is spiritual freedom. We are all attached and/or addicted to sins or material things that are holding us back from being the men God created us to be. Going back to the roots of the Christian Faith through the ancient traditions of the Church of prayer, penance, and community helps us to free ourselves so that we can be the husbands, fathers, brothers, sons, and leaders that we are meant to be.

The outline of the program is simple and built on 3 pillars: prayer, fraternity,and asceticism.  In short it requires commitment to one hour of prayer a day.  Weekly meetings with a small group and fasting from foods on certain days, and giving up certain luxuries like sweets, a sedentary life, warm showers and a commitment to exercise.      It’s difficult.  But today in our culture maybe we need something a little difficult.

Please keep an eye out for more information and feel free to email any questions in anticipation of an informative meeting which we plan on having a few weeks before Lent.  You know how the TV stations post a teaser announcement to gage interest.  Well, that is what this is!


Synod 2021-2023

Although the meeting at Queen of Peace in Millville has already taken place, you are invited to attend any of the meetings held in other deaneries throughout the Archdiocese.  Information about these meetings is available at “catholicaoc.org.”


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:

The beatitudes in Luke’s gospel strike a very different tone than those in Matthew.  In Matthew, Jesus is giving a teaching to follow a contrarian’s directive.  Jesus is saying, “It may be counter intuitive, but these sentences of moral wisdom are irrefutably true.  In Luke’s gospel, Jesus is the kind guy who is offering a friendly warning; both positive and negative.  In Matthew, Jesus is confronting heresy.  In Luke, Jesus is calling humanity to a loftier motive.  Matthew wants to win the argument.  Luke wants to win over hearts. 


Do we live our faith using only facts, or do we validate data and logic with heart?  A computer can reproduce notes and rhythm with precision.  Only a human musician can “make music.”   The faith in your head must also dwell deep within your heart.  Don’t just hear and believe.  Give your heart to Jesus and let his love permeate your being.  Don’t just live your faith; let your faith in Jesus live in you. 



NEXT WEEK (The Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time)


1 Sm 26:2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23

1 Cor 15:45-49

Lk  6: 27-38


Theme: Love your enemies?!!!  Are you crazy?








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