Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

First Sunday of Advent


Advent Penance Service (Sacrament of Reconciliation)

The Advent Penance Service for St. Ann and Sacred Heart will take place in the Sacred Heart Church location on Wednesday, December 6, 2017.  It will begin at 7:00 p.m. with a seven to ten minute examination of conscience, and will continue with individual confessions being heard by a number of priests in the many confessional alcoves located in the circumference of the worship space.  If you want to avoid confession lines, please plan to avail yourself of this opportunity.


December 8 Feast of Immaculate Conception

I will announce this in next week’s bulletin as well.  The schedule for Masses at St. Ann for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception begins on Thursday, December 7 at 5:30 p.m.  I have Mass at St. Ann on Friday, December 8 at 6:00 a.m. (please note that this is one half hour earlier than usual because of the regular Friday Mass schedule).  I have the school Mass at the regular 8:00 a.m. time. 

The schedule for Masses at Sacred Heart for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception begins on Thursday, December 7 at 7:00 p.m.  Masses on Friday, December 8 are at 7:00 a.m.  The 10:00 a.m. school Mass at Sacred Heart is security restricted (access restricted so that adults must enter through main school doors).  There will also be Mass at Sacred Heart on Friday, December 8 at 7:00 p.m.   We will be sure to announce this again in next week’s bulletin.


See Financial Report for St. Ann in this Bulletin

Thanks to your generosity and the timely payment of tuition by parents in the school, St. Ann posted an operational surplus of $102,614.42 for the last fiscal year.  Eighty percent (80%) of the cost of operating a parish school is salaries and benefits.  Cumulative school costs including utilities, repairs, and capital improvements together with salaries and benefits drives the total annual cost of operating our parish school above one million ($1,000,000) dollars per year.  Your generosity in the Sunday collections, your support of the festival, and other revenue sources result in our finishing the fiscal year in the black for the second year in a row.  The generosity of St. Ann parishioners to the One Faith, One hope, One Love Campaign has resulted in a rebate from the satisfied pledges for this fiscal year of $16,072.06.  This Catholic Foundation created by the One Faith, One Hope, One Love Campaign has also awarded significant dollars in tuition assistance to students at St. Ann whose parents have requested assistance from the Archdiocese.  Thus the generosity of St. Ann parishioners to this Archdiocesan Foundation has paid dividends back to St. Ann parents in need. 


St. Ann parishioners should be proud of what you have accomplished by your generosity in the past few years; but realistically we cannot proceed with even a limited building project unless we already have an annual operating surplus equivalent to the operational cost increases of a new multi-purpose gymnasium.  Utilities, supplies, maintenance, and added personnel mean from a budgetary perspective, that the parish has “another mouth to feed.”  One of the questions in any feasibility study will be is the sustained surplus equal to or in excess of the normal operational costs of an added building.  Therefore since Sunday collections always diminish during a capital fund drive, we must work to sustain and possibly increase our annual surplus before we can reasonably consider moving to a costly feasibility study.


Annual Fr. Tharp Split the Pot

We are beginning to sell tickets for the annual “Fr. Tharp Split the Pot for St. Ann.”   As in the past, we will sell tickets to the end of the calendar year.  As the pot grows larger, interest swells.  Encourage your friends and associates to buy early and buy often. 


Tickets will be sold after all Sunday Masses in the vestibule.


Reflection on Scripture

Happy New Year!  What?   That’s not for a month yet.  Well, for the Catholic Church, the First Sunday of Advent is the beginning of a new liturgical year.  As of today, we move from Cycle A for the readings to Cycle B.  The readings at Sunday Mass for the past year, particularly the gospel readings, have for the most part come from the Gospel of St. Matthew.  We will begin to read now from the Gospel of St. Mark. 


Advent, as a season, is divided into two parts.  Early Advent runs from the First Sunday of Advent until December 16.  Late Advent begins on December 17 and runs until Christmas.  Early Advent focuses on the eschatological (end of time) theme of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.   Late Advent focuses on preparing for the celebration of the first coming of Christ which we celebrate with the birth of Christ (Christmas). 


The readings for the First Sunday of Advent are all about being prepared for the Second Coming of Christ.  Since no one knows the day or the hour, we must remain vigilant and keep watch so we are ready.  The military sentry who is found sleeping is derelict.  We must wait and watch without becoming complacent.  We must remain alert.


Readings for the Second Sunday of Advent   

Is 40:1-5, 9-11

2 Pt 3:8-14

Mk 1:1-8


Theme:   John the Baptist


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