Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

March 10, 2024 - Fourth Sunday in Lent

Next Sunday:  The Fifth Sunday of Lent           Celebrant:  Fr. Tharp       

RCIA    Second and Third Scrutiny


The second scrutiny and third scrutiny both take place at the 11:00 a.m. Mass at Sacred Heart on the Fourth Sunday and Fifth Sunday of Lent.    Those to be baptized and those to be received into full communion are invited to reflect in prayer on the spiritual journey to Easter. 


Easter Vigil


Recall that on Holy Saturday, the liturgical regulations will not permit the Easter Vigil to commence until after it is dark.  Therefore we are not permitted to have the normal anticipatory 4:00 p.m. Mass at Sacred Heart or the 5:15 Mass at St. Ann.  The Archdiocese has recently told us that we may not start the Easter Vigil ceremony until 8:45 p.m.  (They actually prefer 9:00 p.m.)  Also, please remember that I asked some years ago if we could have the first part of Easter vigil (the vigil of light) at St. Ann and move to Sacred Heart for the Liturgy of the Eucharist, thus including both parishes.  The answer from the Archdiocese was “NO!”  


It was therefore decided that we would alternate the Easter Vigil from one church to the other on an annual basis.  Last year we had the Easter Vigil at Sacred Heart.  There was no Easter Vigil at St. Ann.  Therefore, this year, Easter Vigil will be at St. Ann.  There will be no Easter Vigil at Sacred Heart.  Traditionally we do not have large crowds at Easter Vigil as the service usually lasts about three hours.  This year we have more than 20 in the RCIA, so we are expecting it may be even longer.  Please remember that I have no control over this.  The liturgical regulations are non-negotiable.  We are required to do this according to the rules.


Masses on Easter Sunday are the normal Sunday Schedule:  8:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart, 9:30 a.m. at St. Ann, and 11:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart.  The Catholic Women’s Association of Cameroon is hosting a 1:00 p.m. Easter Mass at Sacred Heart done in the traditional African Catholic Style.


Lenten Devotions


Sometimes people like to “give up” something as a self-imposed penance during Lent. It is also possible to “do something special” as a Lenten practice. I will have Stations of the Cross and Benediction at St. Ann on the Friday evenings of Lent at 7:00 p.m. (Good Friday of Holy Week is different) and Stations of the Cross during Lent on Sunday Afternoons at Sacred Heart at 3:00 p.m. (No stations on Palm Sunday)  Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is every Friday at Sacred Heart from 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m.  Embrace to the degree you can without hurting yourself the dietary restrictions on the Friday’s during Lent.  As we all live the discipline of Lent, we experience being the Body of Christ as the Church suffering.  As we engage the discipline of Lent together, we hope in the promise of Easter.


On the third, fourth, and fifth Sundays of Lent, we will celebrate the scrutiny for that week at one of the weekend precept Masses.  At all precept Masses during the petitions, we will prayerfully remember all of our RCIA elect catechumens and candidates.  




As of last Sunday, Sacred Heart is at 176% of target with 459 families participating.  St. Ann is at 113% of target with 166 families participating.  Remember that when any parish exceeds target, a percentage of the money over target comes back to the parish. 


Thanks to all who have pledged or contributed.  Thank you for prayerfully considering a donation or pledge to this year’s CMA.  I will report each week the results I have in the bulletin.


Beacons of Light Phase Two


 As we move through February, St. Ann and Sacred Heart will be conducting meetings and discussion sessions regarding the process for “visioning for the future.”   At present this has been done through Parish Council and some of the various committees.   Soon this will expand to include ideas for worship enhancement, stewardship (Finance Committee), evangelization, and an all-inclusive look at charitable outreach (aka Love in Action). 


We must also recognize that Beacons expects our two parish schools (St. Ann and Sacred Heart) to abandon the stance of “maintaining” what traditionally has been, and embrace a more forward looking (all encompassing) approach.   To use an analogy; we have become accustomed to swimming in our fresh water lake.  Now we must learn to swim in the ocean. 




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


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:


When the Israelites escaped Egypt, they entered the desert.   When poison snakes came and bit the people, Moses put a seraph serpent on a staff.  It represented their sin.  If they acknowledged their sin by looking at the seraph serpent, they did not die.  Jesus was raised up on the cross on Calvary.  If we look at and ponder the cross, we will find salvation from sin in Jesus Christ.  The cross of Christ is the means of our salvation.  Looking at the seraph serpent, the people of Israel realized that they had to abandon Egypt as their savior and embrace God.  Looking at the cross of Christ, we must acknowledge our sin so that Jesus can take it away.  Acknowledge your sinfulness before the cross of Christ.  Own up to it.  Only then can Jesus save you from it.   You can’t give away to Jesus what you don’t own. 


NEXT SUNDAY  The Fifth Sunday in Lent


Jer 31:31-34

Heb 5:7-9

Jn 12:20-33



Theme:  Jesus admits that he came into the world to die for the world.  A grain of wheat must die to feed many.











RSS Feed


Access all blogs

Subscribe to all of our blogs