Next Sunday: Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time Fr. Schmitz
The Archdiocese of Cincinnati asks every parish to do its part to fund essential programs and services in the Archdiocese that are beyond the capacity of any individual parish or pastoral region, but can be funded if all the parishes pool their resources and provide the services on a diocesan-wide basis. The “fair share” target that has been set by the Archdiocese for St. Ann is $21,210. Please prayerfully reflect on the mailed materials which you should have already received in the mail. Please consider your commitment. If you did not receive the mailing from the Archbishop, there will be plenty of additional pledge cards and envelopes available at the church doors.
Basketball versus Parking for Saturday Evening Mass
As you know, I have the 4:00 p.m. Mass every Saturday at Sacred Heart and then rush to St. Ann to have the 5:15 p.m. Mass. It is not infrequent during good weather, and on days when there is no wedding at 2:00 p.m.; that upon my arrival at St. Ann at about 5:05 to 5:15 p.m. the local youth are playing basketball on the parking lot. We have a sign that says “No basketball during Mass times” on the side of the stand-alone garage. I will either ask them to leave or I will ask them to play half court so that at least some cars can park in the area. Gaining compliance has proven to be very difficult, and by the time I arrive almost all St. Ann cars are already parked, or have left because there is no parking. Asking the basketball people to leave by the time I get there is too late. By the time you read this, I will have discussed this matter with St. Ann parish council. Resolution may require hiring an off duty police officer or sheriff deputy to correct the situation. I will keep you informed.
Ash Wednesday is 10 days away
Ash Wednesday is February 17. In next week’s bulletin, I will remind you of the dietary rules as well as special Lenten services which we can still have during COVID.
St. Ann Pleasant Avenue Front Doors
Since before Christmas, after the 5:15p.m.Mass, we have had problems with someone propping the left (as you go out) door open and leaving it until I am done greeting the people. I have been closed it before I greet the people leaving church on a couple occasions. As long as it is below fifty degrees Fahrenheit outside, I suggest that we do NOT prop the doors open! Please ask whoever is doing this to stop.
Moral implications of COVID-19 Vaccines
Some have accused the Catholic Church of moral duplicity in its teaching regarding abortion and the use of fetal cells harvested from aborted babies in the development and testing of vaccines like the COVID-19 vaccine. The USCCB website cited below reports the following: One of the three pharmaceutical companies making the vaccine apparently did use a compromised cell line in design, development or production, but it would seem that the other two did not. Later confirmatory tests applied to this vaccine manufactured by the three companies may have used the compromised HEK293 cell line.
The entire document is available on the USCCB.org website at: https://www.usccb.org/moral-considerations-covid-vaccines.
The following statement from page 5 of the referenced document seems to sum up the advice of the USCCB regarding the moral issue associated with the vaccines. It reads, “In view of the gravity of the current pandemic and the lack of availability of alternative vaccines, the reasons to accept the new COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are sufficiently serious to justify their use, despite their remote connection to morally compromised cell lines.”
Communion on the Tongue
Please remember as I stated in recent articles, until the threat of COVID is over; if you wish to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, you must come to me (Fr. Tharp) ONLY and you must be sure you are at the end of my line. Please do not present yourselves to Fr. Schmitz or any of the Lay Eucharistic Ministers for communion on the tongue! If on Sundays, you see that I am going to be at St. Ann, then you must come to St. Ann that Sunday if you want to receive ONLY on the tongue. I am not willing to ask Fr. Schmitz or any of the Lay Eucharistic Ministers to take a risk with which they are uncomfortable. Be assured, I will follow all the protocols necessary to administer on the tongue safely.
Live Streaming a precept Mass from St. Ann and Sacred Heart each week
Please remember to access the Sacred Heart / St. Ann Pastoral Region YouTube site by clicking on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVLLqbEY5hKWinwz069MVcg
Reflection on Scripture: Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Without God, there is no hope; only despair. In the first reading, Job feels abandoned by God and thus has no hope. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus avoids the accolades of those to whom he has preached and healed their sick, and tells his disciples that it is time to get busy and preach to the next town. Jesus is the source of our hope. Hope is more than just a positive attitude or an intangible expectation. Hope is the unquantifiable directedness to God resulting from an act of faith. A person with hope has purpose. A person with hope lives in the present and for the future.
If you take a walk on a dark stormy night when there is no moonlight, it is easy to become disoriented. One looks for any point of reference that can be identified by any of the five senses. In the darkness of the world filled with sin and death, we beg for any point of reference which helps us get our bearings. It is not so much that we are lost! We simply don’t know where anything or anyone else is! If you live so as to make Jesus Christ as your point of reference, you will never be lost.
Next Week: Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
1 Cor 10:31-11:1
Theme: Mortality and faith