Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

February 20, 2022 - 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

Beacons of Light


As announced at both parishes last Sunday, I will remain the pastor of both St. Ann and Sacred Heart as the two begin the process of becoming a new family of parishes.  It is my understanding that for a short time Fr. Williams will continue to help with Sunday Masses.   It is specified in the Beacons of Light listing that the new Family of St. Ann and Sacred Heart will be manned by only one priest, the pastor.  Thus, the Sunday Mass schedule will eventually have to change.  Any future Mass schedule changes will be approved at the parish level first, and then by the Archdiocese.  However, eventually all the Masses will have to be done by one priest, the pastor.


Personal Lenten Devotions


Ash Wednesday is March 2, 2022.  Sometimes people like to “give up” something as a self-imposed penance during Lent.  It is also possible to “do something” 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.  (First Sunday of Lent excluded excluded).  In other words, we do not have Stations and Benediction at 3:00 p.m. on March 6 (The First Sunday of Lent).   I have to be at the Cathedral for the celebration of the Rite of Election for our RCIA.


Dietary Rules of Lent


During Lent, Catholics are asked to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays during Lent, and fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.  Abstinence simply means “abstaining from meat.”  The flesh of mammals and birds (essentially any animal that is warm blooded) is considered meat.  The flesh of reptiles, fish (cold blooded), bird “eggs” and cheese are not considered meat.  The chicken itself is warm blooded and thus is considered meat. Anyone fourteen years of age or older who will not be physically harmed by the diet is asked to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays during Lent. 


We define fasting for Lenten purposes as meaning eating only one regular meal and two smaller meals or snacks, with no eating between meals.  Fasting only applies on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and then only to those between the ages of 18 and 59 who have no medical problem aggravated by the practice. 




Each Sunday for the next few weeks, we will have envelopes with pledge cards available at the doors of church.  If you have already pledged or donated, Thank You!  If you have not received your card 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.    




(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!!!


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:

“For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”   This sentence is probably my favorite in Luke’s entire gospel.  Why?  Because it says that God does not judge us.  We judge ourselves before God.  God knows everything we have ever done or thought.  He sees within our hearts.  When we stand before God on judgment day, he can see “the measure we measured with!”  Did we exercise forgiveness or exact retributive justice?  Did we live compassionately or judgmentally?  Did we cut the other person some slack, or did we simply cut them down and embarrass them?    By the way we interacted with others, we judged ourselves. 


God does not demand that we like everybody!  A priest I knew well who was an ordained priest, a practicing psychiatrist, and a professor for many of my counseling classes used to tell us that there are some people who just simply make our “teeth itch.”   Suffice it to say, “It is hard to like such people.”  But we are still directed to love them.  Love is evidenced by compassion, fairness, empathy, etc.  To be Christ-like, we must strive to love. 


A couple whose marriage I witnessed about forty five years ago, stated in their prayer of the couple, “I promise I will love you even when I don’t like you.”  Can we love the people who make our teeth itch?  I will bet this is on the final exam! 


NEXT WEEK (The Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time)


Sir 27: 4-7

1 Cor 15: 54-58

Lk  6: 39-45


Theme: Every tree is known by its fruit.








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