Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

February 2, 2020 - The Presentation of the Lord

Jan 31, 2020

REMINDER:  No Confessions on Tuesday, February 4 at Sacred Heart!   I will be at Confirmation at St. Ann.

Catholic Ministries Appeal (CMA)

This Sunday, February 2 is “Commitment Sunday” for St. Ann.  The parish target requested of us by the Archdiocese is $21,976.  The Archdiocese relies on each parish to do its “fair share” so we can fund facilities like the Mt. St. Mary Seminary, Catholic Social Services and Catholic Charities, St. Rita School for the Deaf, Campus Ministries at Public Universities, Catholic Chaplains at public (non-Catholic) hospitals, Prison Ministries, New Evangelization, and retirement for Archdiocesan priests; purposes we could never achieve as individual parishes, but only when we work together as an Archdiocese.  By helping fund ministerial needs that exceed the capacity of any individual parish, we empower our Archdiocese as an important part of the Mystical Body of Christ (the Catholic Church) which extends throughout the world.    

Old Rectory / New Parish Office (in process)

We are still working out the logistics of new electrical service to the old rectory as well as the movement of some very heavy office items.  We hope to have HVAC in place so we can expedite the move as soon as possible with the least interruption of services. Thank you for your patience as we seek to complete the move and the old rectory becomes the new parish offices.

Information for Federal Income Tax

 The “statement of donations for 2019” should be arriving in the mail during the first week of February.  If you have a filing date earlier than April 15, and need this information sooner, please call the parish office and we will seek to expedite your statement.  We realize that with the new standard deduction amounts, there may be fewer donors who will meet the threshold for Schedule A itemized deductions. Nevertheless, we want any donor who wants one to have the record of his/her/their donations made through the Sunday envelope system.  I am deeply grateful to all our consistent benefactors.

Upcoming Confirmations

The Administration of the Sacrament of Confirmation will take place at St. Ann on Tuesday, February 4.   There will be no confessions at Sacred Heart on Tuesday, February 4.  Confirmation for Sacred Heart will take place on Wednesday, March 4, 2020.  

Reflection on Scripture   

The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord is forty (40) days after Christmas.  In Jewish culture, it celebrates the forty days of purification of the mother who has born a male child and the redemption of the first born with a sacrifice prescribed by one’s economic status.  As obedient followers of Jewish custom and ritual, Mary and Joseph present the baby Jesus in the Temple to the “kohen” (priest) according to the law.  

But this day is also known in the traditions of the Catholic Church to be Candlemas Day, the day when all the candles for the next year are blessed and distributed to the faithful.  For the Early Church, this feast replaced the pagan feast of the goddess of fire with the symbol of Christ the Light of the World. It also began the anticipation of Spring as newly greening grass hid under the lingering snow.  It is the pagan remnant that is probably at the root of the tradition of Groundhog Day, anticipating Spring.  

Until the industrial revolution, most people labored in agrarian activities.  People’s lives were closely linked to the land and its seasons. Forty days after Christmas was a good time to leave the cares and trappings of winter (and Christmas) behind, and beginning to anticipate Spring.  As the days get longer and the promise of warmth begins to return, we as a Church celebrate Christ the Hope and Light of the World. 

Next WeekThe Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Is 58:7-10

1 Cor 2:1-5

Mt. 5:13-16

Theme:  The image of salt and light.

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