Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

January 29, 2023 - Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time


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


CMA: Catholic Ministries  Appeal 2023


No parish (or even Family of Parishes) can provide all the services needed by their congregations.  But together as a diocese, we can!  Funding these services would be a Herculean endeavor, and a seemingly impossible task.  But together as a diocese, we can!  That’s what the CMA is all about.  All the “Families of Parishes” funding a diocesan outreach enables us to do as a group what we could never do as individual parishes or families. 


The commitment weekend for CMA is February 4 &5.  Your generosity gives the Church “strength in charity” it could otherwise never have.  If you donated to the CMA last year, you may have already received (or will soon receive) a personal CMA mailing and pledge card.  If you wish to put a stamp on the envelope and return it by mail, that is fine.  If you prefer, you may also place it in the collection basket at church on Commitment Sunday, February 4 & 5.

Catholic School’s Week


Today, Sunday January 29 is the beginning of Catholic School’s Week.  Catholic Schools are becoming more and more to be seen as moral beacons in a confusing world.  All this week, we take time out to celebrate Catholic Schools as our greatest evangelical tool.


Disciple Maker Index


You should have received an email, (if we have you on the parish list) in addition to a QR code posted at the doors of church, plus a link posted on the parish website; all of which will allow you to access and complete the Disciple Maker Index survey for both St. Ann and Sacred Heart.   We can also supply a non-digital “paper copy” of the survey to anyone who does not have computer access.  The results of this survey will become a major resource of parishioner opinion and data for the forward migration of discussions as to how we assimilate two parishes into one “Family” still utilizing two church buildings and two schools, but sharing the same pastoral vision and goals.   From my perspective, it is a priority that the unique intangible treasure of each parish not be lost in some attempt at homogenization.  We must not squander the uniqueness of each community, but lift both up as important in the new whole.  However, accomplishing this task will require each nuclear family in both parishes to embrace and articulate the components that will form the essence of the new whole.


 I am therefore imploring (begging) each family in St. Ann and each family in Sacred Heart to complete the 10-15 minute survey.  The survey will only be available from January 21- February 27 and will ask you to reflect on your own spiritual growth and enable you to provide feedback on what our parish is doing (or not doing) to help you grow spiritually.  It will be available online and in paper format with more instructions to follow.  All responses will be confidential and the parish will only receive information about the community as whole.


The survey results will be invaluable to me as pastor and to every parishioner committee member working on this project as we seek ways to best support each parishioner in their discipleship journey.  Additional details are in this bulletin.


Application for Director of Evangelization for the St. Ann/Sacred Heart Family


A search committee of nine (two are St. Ann staff, two others are St. Ann parishioners, two are Sacred Heart parishioners, two are Sacred Heart staff, and one is staff to both parishes) are joining me in reviewing the resumes of the seven applicants for the position of Director of Evangelization.   Present anticipation is that interviews may begin as soon as this coming week.


The recommended Beacons of Light organizational structure requires a Family of Parishes to have a Director of Evangelization, a Director of Worship, and a Director of Administration.  The structure I envision will also include a Director of Real Estate and Physical Assets. (This is due to the reality that our Family needs both churches to accommodate our Sunday attendance, and both schools to accommodate our existing and anticipated students.)    Together with the two principals, all four directors will serve as an extension of the pastor in their specific areas of expertise.  “Beacons” foresees an environment not simply focused on maintaining what is, but directed to outreach, evangelization, and growth. 


The symmetry of all this organizational structure is not based on the clerical model I, and most priests of my age, have grown up with!  Rather it operates on a model of assumed delegation, so that the younger priest who replaces me when I retire will feel comfortable assuming the role of pastor in an organizational model normative throughout the Archdiocese.  In other words, my oversight in this process is to establish a manner of operation designed not for me personally, but for my successors in the long term future.  The reality is that priests my age (70 plus) have functional and canonical “expiration dates.”   Beacons is creative structuring for where we are going; not for where we have been.   


Catholic History Podcast

Dr. Kevin Schmiesing, co-host of the Sunrise Morning Show on Sacred Heart Radio has asked us to inform you of his new podcast.

Interested in learning more about our Catholic heritage? The Catholic History Trek podcast covers a wide range of topics: the history of Catholic schools, foods, and prayers; religious orders such as the Franciscans and Norbertines; the Mass and liturgical music; the origins of Catholicism in each of the fifty states; and much more. It is co-hosted by Scott Schulze and Kevin Schmiesing and available on all popular podcast platforms such as Spotify, Google, and Apple, with some video episodes also available on YouTube.

Eucharistic Display created by Blessed Carlo Acutis


The Women of Faith group is sponsoring Eucharistic Miracle posters created by Blessed Carlo Acutis, who died of Leukemia at age 15, but had created a website displaying these accumulated Eucharistic miracles from throughout the world.  There is little doubt that when canonized, he will almost certainly become the patron of the internet and social media.  Remember that the three stages or “cause of sainthood”  to having one’s name placed on the “list” or “canon” of Saints in Rome starts with the title “Venerable, “ moves to the title “Blessed, ” and then after miraculous interventions is verified by the Holy See, the pope may name the person to the “list” or “canon” of titled “Saint.” 


To encourage especially the young to take note of these posters, the Women together have created a raffle for those who take note of each poster throughout the next year. 


Re-introduction of Precious Blood at Communion


I may have been too quick to announce that we have distributors lined up for two cups at “all three Sunday morning Masses at Sacred Heart.”  So far we have not been able to schedule cups for the 8:00 a.m.  We will keep trying.


For the time being we only have distributors for the cup at the 11:00 a.m. Mass at St. Ann.  Again, we can only do this to the degree we have enough Eucharistic ministers willing to do cups at the various precept Masses. 




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


I apologize that the transmission of Mass from Sacred Heart on January 15, 2023 was so dark that it was difficult to watch.  I forgot that whenever the power is out, the cameras return to their default setting.  I must reset each camera after any power outage in order for it to function properly.  I simply forgot that the power had been off , and that I had to reset before live streaming. I am looking at battery back-up devices like we use on our computers in order to avoid this in the future.


Please remember to access the Sacred Heart / St. Ann Pastoral Region You Tube site by clicking on the following link:


Reflection on Scripture:


The Beatitudes are a study in counter intuitive thinking.  Most of the “Blessed Naming” seem contradictory at best and insanity at worst.  And yet as illogical as it may appear to be, the truth emerges from each seeming contraction.   The result is the epiphany that God’s logic is not our logic!  God’s loyalty to his creation transcends logic and exposes mercy.  God says, “It is mercy I desire and not sacrifice.”   God’s idea of justice is not the blindfolded person holding the scale. That is “human justice.”  God’s justice is mercy.


Today also begins National Catholic Schools Week.  Our Catholic Schools allow for a foundational “faith” paradigm of academic continuity in contrast to the ever changing standard operative in secular education.  Although, in my case, I attended a small rural public grade school for my initial academic formation, I remain a strong supporter of
Catholic primary education as imperative for maintaining cultural and ethical integrity in education.  Let us celebrate the contribution of our Catholic Schools.


NEXT WEEK Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time 


Is 58:7-10

1 Cor 2:1-5

Mt 5:13-16


Theme:   Salt of the Earth and Light of the World 




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