Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

Fifth Sunday of Lent

From the Desk of Father Tharp

Celebrant for Palm Sunday Morning     March 25, 2018    Celebrant: Fr. Schmitz     




Catholic Ministries Appeal   CMA


St. Ann parishioners have now donated or pledged approximately 80% of our goal.  If you have already pledged or donated, Thank You!  If you have not yet done so or you never received your mailing, please take one of the envelopes at the back of church and make a pledge.  At this point, 80% of our goal has been donated by 18% of our parish families.  To those who have already donated, I say “Thank You!”  To those who have not as yet done so, please consider a very small one-time donation to CMA that will increase our percentage of participation and give you license to “bragging rights” that St. Ann always does its part for the Archdiocese.

Tharp Think Tank


We at St. Ann are in need of ideas for enhancing our revenue from fundraisers.  The generosity of our parishioners is extraordinary, but limited by harsh realities.  We need to find new dollars from pockets (sources) outside the parish.  We need to analyze the cost/return rate for volunteer hours for innovative fundraising efforts for the parish.  We tried reintroducing bingo with disappointing lack of success.  The Oktoberfest took too many volunteer hours for very small returns. We have our annual festival and split the pot; but we need new ideas.


The caveat!  I have lots and lots of ideas for fundraising, but we must reject any and all of those that violate our Tax Exempt or 501 (c) 3 status under the IRS Code.  If we lost our tax exemption, our parish could not survive.  Ideas like affinity credit cards, parish receiving commissions for sales, and any participation in for profit commerce violates our tax exempt status.   Thus we are looking for fundraising ideas that will not jeopardize our 501 (c) 3 status and yet provide a maximum return for every volunteer hour spent.  Two heads (or in the case of St. Ann) six hundred families are better than one.  Please send any realistic ideas which you are perhaps interested in organizing or chairing to Fr. Tharp at [email protected] or to [email protected].   


Pastoral Region Penance Service


St. Ann and Sacred Heart will combine efforts for our annual Lenten Communal Penance Service to take place at Sacred Heart on Wednesday, March 21 at 7:00 p.m.   We use  Sacred Heart church for this each year because it has five small confessional rooms surrounding the church for ease of private confession.  We similarly use St. Ann each year for our combined celebration of the Divine Mercy Sunday Chaplet because the St. Ann church configuration and beauty lends itself so well to the celebration.   This combined St. Ann and Sacred Heart opportunity to make a Lenten Confession is open to any Catholic wishing to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  We will have multiple priests available.  This may be your last chance before Easter to enjoy short lines in front of the confessional.


Saint Vincent DePaul


St. Ann and Sacred Heart Pastoral Region have combined their St. Vincent DePaul Society into one.  Most of the members currently are from Sacred Heart.  A majority of the people receiving assistance are in St. Ann territory.  We need to remedy this imbalance.  Remember that many of the members are husband and wife teams.  What a wonderful way for a married couple to evidence their sacramental gifts by their charity to others.  Individuals and couples, please prayerfully consider what you want to hear on judgment day when the poor and needy say to you before the throne of God, “When I was hungry…”  


Lenten Devotions


I will have Stations of the Cross and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at St. Ann on Friday evenings at 7:00 p.m. during Lent (not Good Friday).  I will have Stations of the Cross and Benediction at Sacred Heart each Sunday during Lent at 3:00 p.m.  The Lay Presiders (lay men and women) of Sacred Heart will also have Stations of the Cross (without benediction) at Sacred Heart on the Fridays of Lent (not Good Friday) at 7:00 p.m.


Vacation Bible School


One of the highlights of the summer for me is the one week Vacation Bible School at St. Ann.  This year Sacred Heart will join St. Ann in our Pastoral Region VBS to take place at St. Ann.  I am looking for Virtus trained and approved volunteers who will help with this joint program.  I am asking parents from Sacred Heart and St. Ann to consider this your “home parish” Vacation Bible School.  If you have not been Virtus approved, we will provide plenty of opportunities locally.  For additional information, see notices in this bulletin.


Reflection on Scripture


“Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies,…”  By these words Jesus signals what he is about to do.  Namely, he signals that he will die on the cross, and rise from the dead to show us the way to the resurrection.  For example, the toddler will not open his mouth to take the spoon full of baby food until Mom or Dad takes a bite.  He will watch to see how it goes down for Mom or Dad.  Similarly, Jesus knows that the only way he can assure the Apostolic Church not to fear death but to live for the resurrection is to “go first.”  How does our skepticism always challenge the leader?  We say, “OK! But you go first.”    Jesus conveys to his Apostles and Disciples, “Don’t be afraid.  I will go first.”


Readings for Palm Sunday


Mk 11:1-10

Is 50:4-7

Phil 2:6-11

Mk 14:1—15:47 


Theme:  Passion according to St. Mark










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