Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

January 14, 2024 - 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

CMA Commitment Weekend is February 3 & 4


The Liturgical Season of Lent begins Ash Wednesday (February 14).  Lent is traditionally a time for almsgiving.  Here in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati we begin the annual Catholic Ministries Appeal with a message from the Archbishop.  This message will be played in every Archdiocesan parish at the weekend precept Masses on January 20 & 21.  The Archbishop will remind 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. 


Please listen carefully with your heart as we play the Archbishop’s message next Sunday.


Declaration from the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith


The Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith recently published the declaration Fiducia Supplicans on the pastoral meaning of blessings.   The media (in my opinion) deceivingly reported this as “Pope allows for blessing of same-sex marriages.”   The following is paragraph 39 of the referenced declaration:  “39. In any case, precisely to avoid any form of confusion or scandal, when the prayer of blessing is requested by a couple in an irregular situation, even though it is expressed outside the rites prescribed by the liturgical books, this blessing should never be imparted in concurrence with the ceremonies of a civil union, and not even in connection with them. Nor can it be performed with any clothing, gestures, or words that are proper to a wedding.  The same applies when the blessing is requested by a same-sex couple.  


Clearly the Dicastery has NOT legitimized “marriage” or for that matter “a marriage ceremony” for couples in canonically irregular situations in general; or for same-sex couples in particular.  The Holy Father has simply permitted for pastoral reasons, non-liturgical prayers for and private prayer blessings of persons whose situation renders them canonically constrained.


So when you hear broadcasts stating that the Catholic Church is now doing same-sex marriages, be assured that this is not accurate. 


Beacons of Light Phase Two


 As we move into January, St. Ann and Sacred Heart will be conducting meetings and discussion sessions regarding the process for “visioning for the future.”   The more people who contribute to the collective brainstorming the better!     Check the bulletin for opportunities as they are announced. 




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


Barring the unforeseen, 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:


Cephas ( in Aramaic “Kephas”) is the Aramaic word for “rock.”   The New Testament was written in koine Greek.  In koine Greek, the word for “stone” is “Petra” or Peter.  In today’s gospel, Jesus gives this nickname to Simon.  Thus he becomes known as “Simon Peter” or “Simon, the rock.”  In architecture, building on immovable stone is a foundational standard.  Stone or rock is the antithesis of flexibility.  Therefore, Jesus was complementing St. Peter with his nickname “Rock” and commenting on his unwavering loyalty.  Jesus was saying St. Peter’s loyalty was “rock solid.”  He was “all heart.” 


In today’s first reading we hear the story of the “Call of Samuel.”  At first, Samuel cannot differentiate the call of God from the voice of Eli.  Finally when he opens his ears in faith, he responds to God’s call. 


How do we hear God’s personal call (aka Conscience) in the midst of being summoned by a hedonistic world?  We research the Sacred Scripture and the traditional teachings of the Catholic Church.  Once we recognize that it is God who is calling us, then we can form our conscience accordingly.  In today’s electronic media terms; the world sends us all kinds of SPAM.  God speaks solid truth to our hearts!


NEXT SUNDAY  The Third Sunday in Ordinary Time


Jon 3:1-5, 10

1 Cor 7:29-31

Mk 1:14-20



Theme: “I will make you fishers of men.”















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