March 15, 2020 - Third Sunday of Lent
Mar 17, 2020
Saturday Confessions at St. Ann
With numerous Saturday weddings coming up and still having Mass at Sacred Heart at 4:00 p.m. and Mass at St. Ann at 5:15; and a few Saturdays with another wedding at 6:45 p.m. your “long in the tooth” priest (me) is getting rushed to a frazzle. Add to this the 8:00 a.m. Saturday Mass, confessions at Sacred Heart from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. and the usual funeral; it is a hectic morning with an impossible afternoon for one priest. I try to hear confessions at St. Ann from 3:30 p.m. until 3:45 p.m. (only 15 minutes) so I can get back to Sacred Heart by 4:00 p.m. We have tried but can find no priest to hear confessions from 3:30 to 3:45 p.m..
I have been told that this is the time St. Ann has ALWAYS had confessions and changing the day of the week would not work; I think we are going to have to consider some change or resolution. I will see what I can work out, but something has to change.
Catholic Ministries Appeal (CMA)
At the time this is written, we (St. Ann) have achieved nearly 96% of our target in gifts and pledges, but only about 19% of the parish has donated or pledged. Please remember that the Archdiocese relies on each parish to do its “fair share” so we can fund facilities like the Mt. St. Mary Seminary, Catholic Social Services and Catholic Charities, St. Rita School for the Deaf, Campus Ministries at Public Universities, Catholic Chaplains at public (non-Catholic) hospitals, Prison Ministries, New Evangelization, and retirement for Archdiocesan priests; purposes we could never achieve as individual parishes, but only when we work together as an Archdiocese.
To those who have already pledged, I offer my sincere gratitude. To those who have not yet responded, we only need a few more gifts to meet our goal. Please prayerfully consider a donation in any amount.
Healthy Practices regarding the Coronavirus for Sunday Masses
You are reading this Saturday (3/14/20) afternoon or Sunday (3/15/20), but the deadline for submission for the bulletin was last Monday (3/9/20). As of when this is written, we have not yet been told by civil officials or the Archbishop to suspend the practice of communion from the cup at Masses. This is however a distinct possibility. We will probably have removed the Holy Water from the fonts, as this is an obvious risk for contaminating one another. We will probably recommend “no touching” at the sign of peace. We will inform you as we go of any new adaptations to healthy practices directives from the civil authorities and/or the Archdiocese.
Tuesday, March 24 “The Light is On”
Each year during Lent, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati engages in “The Light is On” program. This one night during Lent, every Pastoral Region (at least at one parish in the pastoral region) offers the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confessions) from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. especially for those who have not been to Confession for many years. The priest will not yell or complain about how long the person has been away, but will simply welcome the person back. Obviously, there are some limitations. The priest cannot fix a serious “canonical problem” that may require the intervention of the Archdiocesan Marriage Tribunal, or give immediate absolution for a reserve sin on the spot, but every priest promises to be kind and understanding in helping the penitent to return to the good graces of the Church. For the St. Ann-Sacred Heart Pastoral Region, Fr. Tharp will hear confessions from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart on Tuesday, March 24 in the confessional room in Sacred Heart Church. Consider inviting someone who has been away from the Sacraments for a long time.
Stations of the Cross
During the Season of Lent, I will have Stations of the Cross and Benediction at St. Ann on each Friday evening at 7:00 p.m. I will have Stations of the Cross at Sacred Heart on the Sundays of Lent at 3:00 p.m. To the best of my knowledge, the Lay Presiders will still offer informal prayer of the Stations of the Cross at Sacred Heart at 7:00 p.m. on Fridays.
Reflection on Scripture
The story of the woman at the well reveals how Jesus leads us (not pushes us) to faith. First, to set the scene, no respectable Jewish man would speak to a woman without proper introduction. Second, no respectable Jewish man would speak to a Samaritan. Samaritans thought of Jews a “stuck up!” Jews considered Samaritans as genetic traitors as they had Jewish blood but had intermarried with gentiles. Jews only offered sacrifice in Jerusalem.
Jesus leads the woman to the truth by playing the poor thirsty guy who wants a drink but has no bucket. Can we be self-deprecating enough to invite others to hear the truth? Are we able to be humble as we are praising God? This is the Jesus method. Do you want to be an evangelist? Try the “Jesus method” and see how much God can do through you.
Next Week: The Fourth Sunday of Lent aka: Laetare Sunday
1 Sam 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a
Theme: The Man born blind