Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

January 23, 2022 - 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Next Sunday:  Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time        Celebrant :  Fr. Williams

CMA Announcement Weekend


January 22-23 signals the official beginning of the annual Catholic Ministry Appeal.  The CMA is an annual effort of all the parishes of the Archdiocese to work together to put forth six areas of ministry that no one parish could address alone.  These areas include: Catholic Charities and CSS, diocesan clergy retirement and disability needs, chaplains for prisons-hospitals (non-Catholic affiliated) and campus ministry; seminary and vocations, St. Rita School for the Deaf, and the Center for the New Evangelization.  These are all ministries we could not hope to address as individual parishes, but in solidarity we can benefit from each.  Please ponder the message of Archbishop Schnurr given to all this weekend, and join me in making a strong and unwavering commitment to doing together that which none of us could do alone.




(You may be wondering why I keep running this same warning week after week?  The reason is that I continue to get calls from parishioners concerned that I may have been arrested in a foreign country without money, or need you to buy cash cards for someone who is dying, or some other deception or fabrication.  The scammers have even found a way to harvest my voice from the YOUTUBE Masses, and mimic me over the telephone.   The “scammers” are indeed immoral and destined for the fires of Hell; but they always seem to exhibit sinister creativity.  Please remember the following:)


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, it is computer generated!  It is not me!!!


Considering a “Men’s Retreat Program?”


Over the next month, we will be posting information about a rather challenging ascetic retreat option for adult men from St. Ann and Sacred Heart Pastoral Region, soon to be a Family of Parishes.  The program is called Exodus 90.  Here are the personal comments of one of our parishioners who has some experience with the program:

The goal of Exodus 90 is spiritual freedom. We are all attached and/or addicted to sins or material things that are holding us back from being the men God created us to be. Going back to the roots of the Christian Faith through the ancient traditions of the Church of prayer, penance, and community helps us to free ourselves so that we can be the husbands, fathers, brothers, sons, and leaders that we are meant to be.

The outline of the program is simple and built on 3 pillars: prayer, fraternity,and asceticism.  In short it requires commitment to one hour of prayer a day.  Weekly meetings with a small group and fasting from foods on certain days, and giving up certain luxuries like sweets, a sedentary life, warm showers and a commitment to exercise.      It’s difficult.  But today in our culture maybe we need something a little difficult.

Please keep an eye out for more information and feel free to email any questions in anticipation of an informative meeting which we plan on having a few weeks before Lent.  You know how the TV stations post a teaser announcement to gage interest.  Well, that is what this is!


Synod 2021-2023

Although the meeting at Queen of Peace in Millville took place yesterday, you are invited to attend any of the meetings held in other deaneries throughout the Archdiocese.  Information about these meetings is available on


Reminder for volunteers who work with or around children


If you are a volunteer classroom parent in the school, a coach, drama club volunteer, scout volunteer, etc. please note that you should have been moved to the Safe Parish program.  Fulfillment of this requirement is mandatory for anyone working with children.  Please contact your parish safe environment coordination if you are uncertain whether you are registered or approved. 


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 a precept Mass from St. Ann and Sacred Heart each week

Since I live stream both the 4:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart and the 5:15 p.m. at St. Ann; I usually manage to live stream both, but on rare occasions the internet is out at one or the other location.   If this happens, be assured that I will make every effort to correct the malfunction before the next weekend.

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:

In the first reading from Nehemiah, Ezra the scribe reads from the Torah (the Mosaic Law) and reinstates the Festival of Sukkot (or Booths) a thanksgiving feast in the Jewish Calendar.  In the Gospel, Jesus in his local synagogue and reading from the Book of the prophet Isaiah tells the listeners that the fulfillment of Isaiah’s  prophesy is standing right there in front of them.  Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the “Word” (Greek word: “LOGOS”) of God.  A person’s “word” communicates his (or her) very self.  Thus we hear the phrase, “You have my word on it.”  God’s word communicates God himself.   Thus the divinity of Jesus is revealed. 


Hearing from God directly changes human hearts.  Ezra sees the audience weeping and tells them not to be sad but to rejoice and celebrate God’s gift to them of the Law.  Jesus takes the ultimate step when he forgives those killing him and everyone in time and eternity for their sins.  The Word of God, Jesus Christ, seeks to change the hearts of all humanity through the Sacraments of the Church.  John so eloquently says, “and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.”  Have we fully opened our hearts to the Word?


NEXT WEEK (The Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time)


Jer 1:4-5, 17-19

1 Cor 12:31-13:13

Lk 4:21-30


Theme:   Jesus suffers from being too truthful!





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