Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

March 27, 2022 - Fourth Sunday in Lent

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

Pastoral Region Penance Service


The St. Ann/Sacred Heart Communal Penance Service is Wednesday, March 30 at 7:00 p.m.  Including me, there will be a total of five (5) priests hearing confessions simultaneously. 


Archbishop’s Novena for Ukraine


You should have received an email blast containing the Archbishop’s letter regarding the Holy Father’s decision to dedicate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in a ceremony last Friday.  Even though we were unable to place the Archbishop’s letter in the bulletin (bulletin copy must be received a week before the Sunday due to printing arrangements) I recommend continuing to offer each rosary you pray as well as other daily prayers for peace with justice in the Ukraine. 


Lenten Devotions


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. 


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. 




(Wondering why I keep running this same warning week after week?  Last week, I received two calls from parishioners, one of whom was unaware of the following article.   Please remember the following:)


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!!!   Because my recorded voice is available on the Masses we post on our YouTube channel, anyone with the right sound equipment can copy it. 


Reminder for volunteers who work with or around children


If you are a volunteer classroom parent in the school, a coach, drama club volunteer, scout volunteer, etc. please note that you should have been moved to the Safe Parish program.  Fulfillment of this requirement is mandatory for anyone working with children.  Please contact your parish safe environment coordination if you are uncertain whether you are registered or approved. 


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 a precept Mass from St. Ann and Sacred Heart each week

Since I live stream both the 4:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart and the 5:15 p.m. at St. Ann; I usually manage to live stream both, but on rare occasions the internet is out at one or the other location.   If this happens, be assured that I will make every effort to correct the malfunction before the next weekend.

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:

The parable of the prodigal son is probably the most well-known of the parables that appear exclusively in Luke’s gospel.  Jesus tells three parables about a lost sheep, a lost coin, and the prodigal son (a lost son) in Chapter 15 to point out that no one is so righteous that he is justified before God, and no one is so sinful he cannot repent and return to the Lord.  No one of us has earned salvation by his own actions and yet no one is a lost cause.  Both sinner and saint are in the same boat; and Jesus Christ is the only boat.  None of us save ourselves.  We are all saved by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.  He  is the only boat!  This is what the Church means when we say, “Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus.  (Outside the Church there is no salvation)  Salvation is exclusively in Jesus Christ.  We authentically come to know and have faith in Jesus Christ only through the Apostolic Tradition and the Sacraments available only through the Church.   In other words, Jesus is the only way!  

In the Old Testament, the prophet’s role was to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.  By using the parable of the prodigal son, Jesus is showing us that salvation is a gift to every soul, if we can recognize that Jesus is savior of us all; and all humanity, whether we are the prodigal son or the older brother, we are dependent on Jesus Christ as our only hope for salvation.

NEXT WEEK (The Fifth Sunday of Lent)


Is 43:16-21

Phil 3:8-14

Jn 8:1-11


Theme: The woman caught in adultery



RSS Feed


Access all blogs

Subscribe to all of our blogs