Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

March 24, 2024 - Sixth Sunday in Lent

Next Sunday:  Easter                           Celebrant:  Fr. Tharp                      

Holy week and the Sacred Paschal Triduum


Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday.  We have our regular slate of Sunday Masses for Palm Sunday; the two anticipatory Masses at Sacred Heart at 4:00 p.m. and the 5:15 p.m. at St. Ann.  On Sunday morning, we have the 8:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart, the 9:30 a.m. at St. Ann, and the 11:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart.   This year we will read the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.  Because of the long passion reading, we will dispense with the homily.  We do NOT have afternoon Stations of the Cross at Sacred Heart on Palm Sunday, March 24.


Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of Holy Week are treated as regular Lenten
Weekdays.  As usual, for the three days we will have the 6:30 a.m. at St. Ann and the 7:30 a.m. at Sacred Heart.  We have confessions at St. Ann on Tuesday evening from 7:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., or until all are heard.  We have confessions at Sacred Heart on Wednesday evening from 7:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. or until all are heard. 


The Sacred Paschal Triduum consists of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday.    There are NO morning Masses on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, or Holy Saturday.  For the Catholic Church, these are the “highest” Holy Days of the annual calendar.  On Holy Thursday, Mass of the Last Supper begins at St. Ann at 5:30 p.m. and at Sacred Heart at 7:30 p.m.  Note the two hour window due to the length of the Mass. 


On Good Friday, we begin with Stations of the Cross at noon at Sacred Heart.  At 1:00 p.m.  the Immaculate Heart of Mary Family Choir will present the sung passion.  If you have never experienced it before, it is very close to an opera like presentation.  The music allows you to walk with Jesus in prayer as you listen to the narrative.  At approximately 2:00 p.m. we have the traditional adoration of the cross.  Finally at approximately 2:30 we have the distribution of Holy Communion.  This completes our “Tre Ore” service. 


The evening Good Friday service takes place at St. Ann and follows the order of service prescribed in the Roman Missal.   We will have the reading of the passion, the veneration of the cross, and Holy Communion. 


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 on Holy Saturday, March 30.  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.




As of last Sunday, Sacred Heart is at 192% of target with 376 families participating.  St. Ann is at 115% of target with 132 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 past Easter, 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


I apologize for recent problems of transmission.  Four weeks ago we had a problem with access codes being arbitrarily changed at both locations.  Three weeks ago, we had a similar problem.  Two weeks ago we had a server malfunction.  Last week the devices connecting the church to the office building had been damaged by the recent storms. We have tried to correct all these problems, and hope for “smooth sailing” sometime soon.


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:


As a child, I remember the reading of the passion being too long.  I had not yet learned the solace of meditate listening and prayer.  Now as the priest taking the part of Christ, I really feel every word.  I am humbled each year to remember that Jesus’ love for me is beyond my understanding.  He thought of every human individual ever born as he walked the road to Calvary.  God created us as individual souls.  Jesus saves each of us as individuals when he dies on the cross.  The Holy Spirit makes each of us a temple of his graces.  We are the Body of Christ because we are in communion with one another, bound together in Christ.  We will all stand as individual souls before the throne of God on Judgment Day.  We are all individuals made in the image and likeness of God.  What arrogance on our part to say that one “image and likeness” is more worthy of life and freedom than another. 


Secular society loves to try to compel us to believe that the life of the “herd” supersedes the right of the life of the individual.  Don’t be cajoled into believing that individual souls don’t matter.  One fully divine and fully human man loved each one of us as individuals so completely that he died on a cross for all. 


NEXT SUNDAY  Easter Sunday


Acts 10:34a, 37-43

Col 3:1-4

Jn 20:1-9



Theme:  Resurrection





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