Next Sunday: Palm Sunday - Fr. Schmitz
Special Confessional Times THIS WEEK!
St. Ann Tuesday, March 23 Confessions from 6:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
Thursday, March 25 Confessions from 6:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
Sacred Heart Monday, March 22 Confessions from 6:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
Saturday Morning, March 27 Confessions from 8:35 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Will there be crowds at Easter Masses?
In a normal year, the unequivocal answer is “YES!” In this year of COVID, I do not know. Remember that for Easter, we still must wear masks and obey social spacing requirements. Every other pew will still be taped off.
For Easter Sunday morning, the plan is for Fr. Schmitz to take the two Masses at St. Ann and I will take the three Masses at Sacred Heart. I will live stream the 8:00 a.m. Mass at Sacred Heart. If there is overflow, we may be able to accommodate them in Fellowship Hall where they can watch the live-stream and receive communion after those in church. If Fr. Schmitz experiences overflow at the 9:00 a.m. at St. Ann, he can invite them to watch the recording of the 8:00 a.m. Mass on their phone or pad and come into church at communion time to receive communion. (More on this next week.)
Internet Scams using my Name
Please do not EVER believe any of the internet scams using my name and asking you to do something. Note that they never come from my email address. If you ever receive such a scam in the future, simply delete without opening. Even opening it can jeopardize your system. Don’t fall for these. I will NEVER contact you in this fashion.
Unauthorized persons prohibited from basketball court
We will soon have new signs prohibiting unauthorized persons from using the basketball court in the parking lot. Some basketball players have decided to refuse to leave before and during 5:15 p.m. Saturday Mass. Hopefully we have some new procedures in place to reclaim the parking lot that belongs to us so our parishioners may use the full parking lot for services.
Beacons of Light
If you have access to the internet, go to https://catholicaoc.org/beacons-of-light or type Beacons of Light into your favorite search engine. The Archdiocese has known we were facing a shortage of priests for the last forty years. Back in the early 1980s there was an article in the Catholic Telegraph titled “A Plunge to Scarcity.” Before the turn of the century, we had diocesan-wide programs like “For the Harvest” and “Ministry 2000.” In the early 2000s we had “The Futures Project.” Now we need to use all the modern tools at our disposal and the power of the Holy Spirit to plan for our future. Sadly there are many in our secular world who would love to see us fail. This is why we must all participate as parishioners of our pastoral region in the Beacons of Light initiative so we can look to the future with hope and trust in the Holy Spirit.
I encourage everyone to check this website out and pray for this important initiative.
I have Stations of the Cross and Benediction at St. Ann on the Friday evenings of Lent at 7:00 p.m. and Stations of the Cross during Lent on Sunday Afternoons at Sacred Heart at 3:00 p.m.
Monday – Thursday 6:30 a.m. Mass…Church opens at 6:15 a.m.
During the Lenten Season more people are attending the Monday – Thursday 6:30 a.m. Mass. Please note that the sacristan who in the past came very early to open the church is unable to do so at this time. I will therefore open the church at 6:15 a.m. I have been doing this for a few months now and there is still plenty of time for me to make preparations for Mass and start on time.
Dietary Rules of Lent
During Lent, Catholics are asked to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays during Lent, and fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Abstinence simply means “abstaining from meat.” The flesh of mammals and birds (essentially any animal that is warm blooded) is considered meat. The flesh of reptiles, fish (cold blooded), bird “eggs” and cheese are not considered meat. The chicken itself is warm blooded and thus is considered meat. Anyone fourteen years of age or older who will not be physically harmed by the diet is asked to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays during Lent.
We define fasting for Lenten purposes as meaning eating only one regular meal and two smaller meals or snacks, with no eating between meals. Fasting only applies on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and then only to those between the ages of 18 and 59 who have no medical problem aggravated by the practice.
Communion on the Tongue
Please remember as I stated in recent articles, until the threat of COVID is over; if you wish to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, you must come to me (Fr. Tharp) ONLY and you must be sure you are at the end of my line. Please do not present yourselves to Fr. Schmitz or any of the Lay Eucharistic Ministers for communion on the tongue! If on Sundays, you see that I am going to be at St. Ann, then you must come to St. Ann that Sunday if you want to receive ONLY on the tongue.
Live Streaming a precept Mass from St. Ann and Sacred Heart each week
Please remember to access the Sacred Heart / St. Ann Pastoral Region youtube site by clicking on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVLLqbEY5hKWinwz069MVcg
Reflection on Scripture: Fifth Sunday of Lent
Jesus faced his crucifixion not saying, “How do I get out of this?” but rather by praying “Father, how do I fulfill your will?” As the Son of God, Jesus knew he could hold nothing back. Though he was innocent, Jesus was willing to die for the guilty as the ultimate expression of God’s infinite and boundless love. This is why 1 John says, “God is love.” God’s justice is mercy. And to add insult to injury, Jesus endures his passion and death with humility. As the Son of God, Jesus had the innate capacity to wipe out all his torturers; indeed all humanity with nothing more than a thought! Instead, he forgave them as he died on the cross. That’s humility.
Next Week: Palm Sunday
Mk 14:1- 15:47 (The reading of the passion)
Theme: The passion and death of Jesus