Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

January 31, 2023 - The Feast of the Holy Family

Next Sunday:  The Epiphany of the Lord           Celebrant:  Fr. Tharp       

New Year’s Eve (Sunday afternoon) and Day (Monday)


New Year’s is NOT a Holyday of Obligation this year.  There is NO SUNDAY EVENING Mass on New Year’s Eve.  Liturgically it is still the Feast of Mary the Mother of God (aka Theotokos) but the canonical precept obligation to attend Mass on the eve of the Holyday or the Holyday itself is eliminated. 


Therefore Sunday, December 31, 2023 (the last day of 2023) will be the Feast of the Holy Family as usual, but there is no canonical precept obligation to attend Mass for the Monday, January 1, 2024 Holyday. Therefore, there is NO Sunday evening Mass on New Year’s Eve.  On Monday Morning New Year’s Day there will be Mass at Sacred Heart at the usual 7:30 a.m. time slot, and Mass at St. Ann’s at 9:00 a.m. because the “Holyday is also a Holiday!”   There will not be a 6:30 a.m. Mass on January 1, 2024. 


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:


The Feast of the Holy Family reminds us each year that the Church is our “blood family.”

Now you may say that by saying this I am denying the reality of DNA and genetics.  In fact, I am in no way denying science.  I am simply stating that physical reality is subordinated to metaphysical reality.  Science is dependent upon empirical evidence.  Spiritual reality is dependent on faith.  When Jesus Christ tells us that in the Eucharist we drink his blood, then we are “blood brothers and sisters.”  If we eat his flesh, then we are his body.  If we are united with Jesus Christ body and blood, soul and divinity; then we are more than physically in touch with our Lord and Savior; we are one in the love of God which is a reality far beyond any physical measures of width, length, or depth. 


Magicians make us see physical things that are not real.  Faith allows us to see realities that are not physical.  Jesus died and then rose from the dead.  Jesus is real.   His promises are real.  Heaven is our real home.  If we are not one in Christ, then this is all an elaborate illusion. 



NEXT SUNDAY  The Epiphany of the Lord


Is 60:1-6

Eph 3:2-3a, 5-6

Mt 2:1-12



Theme: Jesus Christ is savior for all humanity






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