Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

July 30, 2023 - 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Next Sunday:  Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord     Celebrant:  Fr. Tharp



St. Ann Festival took place on July 28th and 29th.  Sacred Heart’s festival is August 11th, 12th, and 13th.  As “One Family,” let us support each other’s festivals.


Beacons of Light


The next phase of the Beacons of Light process calls us to envision our identity by choosing a name for our Family.  The Combined Parish Council now has produced four possible Family Names that they would like to present to parishioners.  The vote will take place on August 5th & 6th at all the precept Masses:


  • The Family of the Divine Jesus
  • Mary, Mother of Grace Family
  • Immaculate Heart of Mary Family
  • The Family of Christ our Light


The combined Parish Council is planning to vote on the possible names at all the precept Masses on the weekend of August 5 and 6.  Please prayerfully consider your preference. 


The New Sunday Mass Schedule


Precept Masses on Sunday Morning for the Parish Family of St. Ann / Sacred Heart are 8:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart, 9:30 a.m. at St. Ann, and 11:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart.  All Masses are celebrated by the pastor, Fr. Tharp.


8:00 a.m. Mass at Sacred Heart worship space

9:30 a.m. Mass at St. Ann worship space

11:00 a.m. Mass at Sacred Heart worship space


Remember:  The Saturday evening Masses (4:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart and 5:15 p.m. at St. Ann) remain unaltered.


Children’s Mass Bags


Our new Director of Evangelization and his wife who is our new Coordinator of Religious Education have put together Children’s Mass bags which you will find displayed in the Narthex at Sacred Heart and soon at St. Ann.   Each bag is filled with age appropriate materials for your child.  After the items in the bags are used to entertain your child during Mass, please place the items back in the bag and place the bag back on the display frame.  You may have noticed the steps and other items for children in place in the restrooms at Sacred Heart.  This is all part of the process to make our churches and services more “child friendly.”  


Catholic Conference of Ohio


The Catholic Bishops from the State of Ohio have asked faithful Catholics throughout Ohio to oppose the proposed ballot initiative for the November ballot which would enshrine and expand legal abortion in the State of Ohio.  In addition, the amendment could mean that parents would no longer need to give consent or even be informed if their minor child is seeking an abortion, redefined gender assignment, or reproductive reassignment.  Catholics of good conscience are encouraged to read the Archbishop’s communications, speak out, and stay informed.


August Special Election


As you all know, there is a special election on August 8 asking for approval or denial of Issue #1.   As I understand it, Issue #1 deals with the percentage of votes (or vote count) necessary to change the Ohio Constitution.  At present, the vote count necessary to alter the Ohio Constitution is a simple majority; that is 50% plus 1.   Issue #1 requires a 60% majority. 


Many parishioners have asked if the Archbishop has issued any advice from a moral perspective.   People and organizations who are strongly Pro-Life have made it clear that a “YES” vote on Issue #1 will make it harder for Pro-Abortion forces to enshrine abortion in the Ohio Constitution come the November vote.   Since “percentage of votes to change the constitution” is not in and of itself a strictly “moral” issue (although the vote in November is a moral issue!), the Archdiocese has not issued a moral statement of instruction on Issue #1.   This being said, virtually all Pro-Life spokespersons, agencies, and individual pro-life voters are praying for a “YES” vote on Issue #1 in the August election to make it harder to enshrine abortion in the State of Ohio Constitution come November.      


The Sacrament of the Sick in Hospitals


Please remember that even Catholic Hospitals are not permitted to tell me when my parishioner enters their hospital.  If two or three people tell me about their loved on in the hospital after Mass, I will not keep it straight in my weak brain long enough to get it on paper.  Therefore, if your loved one enters the hospital (if it is not an emergency) and would like me to provide the Anointing of the Sick; please leave a clear and accurate message on my daytime voice mail at (513) 858-4260 or email me at [email protected].  Please also remember that you cannot text me at the above number as it is a land line and does not receive texts. 


If an emergency arises during the evening or night after the secretaries leave and you need me for an emergency Anointing of the Sick, you must call (513) 858-4210, and press option number 2 to leave a paging voicemail for Fr. Tharp.  This is the only way to be sure I will receive your message when I am away from my desk until the next morning.  I suggest you use this emergency procedure only at the times when the secretaries are not available to answer the telephone. 


Precious Blood at Communion


We have distributors lined up for two cups at all three Sunday morning Masses; two at Sacred Heart and one at St. Ann.”  For the moment, we do not have cups lined up for the either of the Saturday evening Masses.  Again, we can only offer both species to the degree we have enough Eucharistic ministers willing to do cups at the various precept Masses.  We hope to have cups offered at the Saturday Masses very soon.




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


As we move to the new reduced Sunday Mass schedule, it has been recommended that I continue to live stream the 4:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart, and consider not live streaming the 5:15 p.m. Mass from St. Ann but instead live stream the Sunday Mass at 9:30 from St. Ann.  We will experiment with this for a time and see which arrangement is more favored.


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 today’s second reading: Romans 8:28-30 we hear St. Paul use the dreaded word “predestined.”    The word “predestination” whenever it appears in theological conversation always means there is about to be an argument.  The argument goes like this: God creates humanity and then gives us free will!   Thus I can choose to abandon God in which case I am doomed to Hell.  But if God knows all things and is beyond time and space, then God knew when he created me that I am doomed to Hell, but he created me to suffer for all eternity. Reason tell me God would not do that.   If God, on the other hand foreknew how I would choose before I chose, then I do not have free will because God created me to be doomed.  If I really had free will beyond God’s predestination, God would not be omnipotent.   


So what is the logical mistake in the argument?  The logical error is that, in my arrogance, I believe I can out think God.  God is so big, so powerful, that I cannot begin to understand.  Human language is limited so all my words describing God are automatically inadequate.   Human mathematics is also limited; so every equation describing God is finite, not infinite.   If God made time itself, then God is not constrained by time and space and exists beyond time and space. 


God reveals his infinity in finite terms and finite language.  If Jesus reveals that we have free will, then I can assure you, we do!   Jesus tells us in scripture that God makes every soul for eternal life, but we choose to accept or reject the offer.  I may not be able to explain the “how” but I can love the God who bestows the gift.  I think God gets a kick out of our attempt to understand what our limited minds cannot contain.  Why not accept that which we cannot explain and simply rejoice in the reality of God’s love that we can feel, and yet can never be explained by humans?  I can joyfully bask in the sound of the symphony without understanding the intricacies of music.   I can bask in the joy of God’s omnipotence and infinity accepting the reality of that which I can never know!


NEXT WEEK   The Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord


Dn 7:9-10, 13-14

2 Pt 1:16-19

Mt 17:1-9


Theme: Transfiguration: a visual revelation







RSS Feed


Access all blogs

Subscribe to all of our blogs