Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

February 18, 2024 - First Sunday in Lent

Next Sunday:  The Second Sunday of Lent           Celebrant:  Fr. Tharp                      

Personal Lenten Devotions


Sometimes people like to “give up” something as a self-imposed penance during Lent. It is also possible to “do something special” as a Lenten practice. I will have Stations of the Cross and Benediction at St. Ann on the Friday evenings of Lent at 7:00 p.m. (Good Friday of Holy Week is different) and Stations of the Cross during Lent on Sunday Afternoons at Sacred Heart at 3:00 p.m. (No stations on Palm Sunday)  Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is every Friday at Sacred Heart from 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m.  Embrace to the degree you can without hurting yourself the dietary restrictions on the Friday’s during Lent.  As we all live the discipline of Lent, we experience being the Body of Christ as the Church suffering.  As we engage the discipline of Lent together, we hope in the promise of Easter.




Lent is traditionally a time for almsgiving.  Here in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati we began the tradition of charity last Sunday with Commitment Sunday for the CMA.  Remember that the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Paragraph #2447) defines our duty to participate in corporal works of mercy.  Sometimes the scale of the task is beyond that which any one parish or Catholic parishioner could do.  Participation in the CMA allows every Catholic in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati by his or her donation to the CMA to fulfill their obligation to participate in these vital ministries; ministries that are clearly beyond the scope of any singular parish. 


Thank you for considering a donation or pledge to this year’s CMA.  I will report each week the results I have in the bulletin.


Beacons of Light Phase Two


 As we move through February, St. Ann and Sacred Heart will be conducting meetings and discussion sessions regarding the process for “visioning for the future.”   At present this has been done through Parish Council and some of the various committees.   Soon this will expand to include ideas for worship enhancement, stewardship (Finance Committee), evangelization, and an all-inclusive look at charitable outreach (aka Love in Action). 




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:


How do we know God’s promise is real?  In the story of Noah and the flood, God places the rainbow in the sky as a sign of his assurance that the world will not ever again be destroyed completely by water.  Rather in the Sacrament of Baptism we deliberately go into the font which is made to look like a tomb, so as to be “born again” when we emerge from the waters of death to eternal life in Christ.  Baptism is our participation in the Resurrection of Christ.  Jesus Christ the Son of God is not just the fulfillment of the promise; he is the promise fulfilled. 


In today’s gospel selection, Jesus goes into that place which is the absence of life (the desert) willingly to confront sin and death.  Jesus overcomes sin and death on the cross and blood and water gush from his open heart.  Creation and life (blood and water) becomes a new flood of grace giving eternal life to the world. 


By water (the flood) God showed that sin equals death.  The Holy Spirit hovers over the waters at creation.  Jesus Christ is the new creation by water and blood from his side on the cross.  Jesus Christ the Son of God is the source of the New Creation in (water) baptism, which is Resurrection and eternal life in Christ forever.   What God created the Son of God redeemed and through the graces of the Holy Spirit in Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist our destiny becomes to be eternal.  Jesus truly is the “alpha” and the “Omega.” 


NEXT SUNDAY  The Second Sunday in Lent


Gn 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18

Rom 8:31b-34

Mk 9:2-10



Theme: Transfiguration










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