Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

February 4, 2024 - Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Next Sunday:  The Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time           Celebrant:  Fr. Tharp         

Boyscout Sunday


Next Sunday we will celebrate Boy Scout Sunday at the 11:00 a.m. Mass at Sacred Heart. 


Looking ahead!


Remember that Easter is early this year, so Ash Wednesday is also a bit earlier than usual.  Lent begins with Ash Wednesday February 14.  Ashes will be distributed at the regular weekday Masses at St. Ann and Sacred Heart, plus we will have a special 7:00 p.m. Mass at Sacred Heart on Ash Wednesday at which ashes will be distributed.  Ash Wednesday is NOT a Holyday of Obligation.   There is NO obligation to attend Mass or receive ashes.


Lenten dietary practices will be printed in next week’s bulletin but remember that Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of “Fasting.”    Fasting applies only to those who are between the ages of 21 and 59.   It does not apply to anyone who would be medically or emotionally harmed by eating only one regular meal, two smaller meals, and no snacks during the day.  “Abstinence” means not eating meat.  Abstinence is practiced by those over the age of 14 and includes Ash Wednesday and the majority of Fridays during Lent.    I will give more details in next week’s bulletin.   


This Weekend is CMA Commitment Weekend


Lent is traditionally a time for almsgiving.  Here in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati we began the annual Catholic Ministries Appeal by listening to a message from the Archbishop.  This message was played in every Archdiocesan parish at the weekend precept Masses on January 20 & 21.  The Archbishop reminded us of the need to focus on Archdiocesan programs that no parish could ever provide individually.  These ministries include our Archdiocesan Seminary (Mt. St. Mary Seminary), St. Rita School for the Deaf, Catholic Charities and Social Services, retirement fund for Archdiocesan priests, chaplains for Campus, Hospital, and Prison ministries, and the revitalization program known as New Evangelization.  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. 


If you have donated to the CMA in the past, you should have received through the mail a pledge card and return envelope for the CMA.  Please prayerfully consider participation.  Once you have completed your pledge or donation, you may place your stamp on the envelope and send it in, or you can bring the sealed envelope with you to Mass and place it in the collection basket.  We have bulk mail envelopes from the Archdiocese by which we can send them in.


Thank you for considering a donation or pledge to this year’s CMA.


Beacons of Light Phase Two


 As we move through the end of January into 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


I apologize that on January 27th the 4:00 p.m. Saturday Evening Mass was not live streamed from Sacred Heart.  Apparently someone inadvertently pushed some command buttons on the equipment used for transmission.  We are looking at the surveillance cameras to identify how this happened, but suffice it to say by pushing one button the person effectively wiped out our interface programing.  We are working on a way to contain the unit so it is accessible only to authorized personnel.  Barring the unforeseeable; Saturday evening Mass at Sacred Heart and Sunday morning at St. Ann will be live streamed each week.


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:


If you really want to be depressed (and I cannot understand why anyone would seek this) just settle back and read today’s first reading from Job.  This selection is one of the most unhopeful and pessimistic passages ever written.  And yet, if you read it with unwavering faith in Jesus Christ, the words become a beacon of hope.   In the second reading, St. Paul says, “It is not all about me!”  Indeed, that is the point of faith in Jesus Christ.   It is and must be all about him!   In the gospel, Jesus says he distains notoriety or celebrity.  He is here to plant the seeds of faith, hope, and charity, the theological virtues. 


Why is there so much depression (especially among our youth) in our contemporary world?  I submit it is because atheistic social forces in media, politics, art, entertainment, etc. want us to see the world without hope.  As a farmer uses the pain caused by a chain in the bull’s nose to manipulate the bull’s aggressive behavior, so also a depressed population can be controlled and manipulated by evil people preaching pessimism.   If there is no God then there is no hope in Jesus Christ.  If Jesus isn’t real, there is no hope in the world, and no hope for the world.   Then secular atheism  (dialectic materialism) which has plowed the ground of hopelessness  with the plow of pessimism, steps in with the solution of social anesthetics to dull the pain.  Like a junky pushing drugs; once he has you hooked on despair, he owns your life. 


The devil is the “pusher” aided by his minions the “atheists” who use despair to control their herd of the chronically depressed.  There is only one antidote; one way out of the maze!  The hope for the world and everyone in it is Jesus Christ. 


Think of it like breakfast!  Does it ruin your breakfast or day simply because you have to go out to the chicken coop and collect the eggs from beneath the hens who laid them?   Similarly, how can you be owned by depression when you are sure Jesus has a place for you in Heaven?  If you look forward to savoring the omelet, collecting the eggs is an act of hope.  See the hope in today’s reading by finding Jesus Christ!



NEXT SUNDAY  The Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Lv 13;1-2, 44-46

1 Cor 10:31-11:1

Mk 1:40-45



Theme: The contemporary leprosy!







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