Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

March 6, 2022 - First Sunday in Lent

Next Sunday:  Second Sunday of Lent        Celebrant :  Fr. Williams

Please remember:  No Tuesday evening Confessions at St. Ann

for the next two weeks! 


I have Confirmation at Sacred Heart on Tuesday, March 8 and I have Confirmation at St. Ann on Tuesday March 15.   REMEMBER however that we DO have the Lenten Pastoral Region Penance Service for both parishes on Wednesday, March 30.  There will be multiple priests available to hear your confession


Daylight Savings Time begins March 13. 


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.  (First Sunday of Lent excluded excluded).  In other words, we do not have Stations and Benediction at 3:00 p.m. on March 6 (The First Sunday of Lent).   I have to be at the Cathedral for the celebration of the Rite of Election for our RCIA.


Dietary Rules of Lent


Rules of Fasting and Abstinence are not intended to do any harm.  They are designed to make us aware of “why” we are fasting or abstaining.  The self-deprivation reminds us that Jesus died on the cross for us.  Our act of penance reminds us of who we are and why we do what we do.  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. 




Each Sunday for the next few weeks, we will have envelopes with pledge cards available at the doors of church.  If you have already pledged or donated; I am appreciative!  If you have not received your card in the mail, please consider taking one and filling it out with a pledge or gift.  You can put a stamp on the envelope and mail it if you wish, but I recommend simply bringing your completed envelope to Mass and dropping it in the collection basket. 


As of the most recent accounting, Sacred Heart stands at 169% of target with 16% of families responding.  St. Ann stands at 106% of target with 21% of families responding.  Remember that even the smallest gift increases the participation percentage.   


If you are filling out the informational part of the card, please be certain to include on the last line titled “parish” either St. Ann Parish Hamilton # 906 or Sacred Heart Parish Fairfield # 746.   Including the number assures us that any rebate from donation will be directed to our parishes and not to some other parish of the same name.    There are multiple parishes in our Archdiocese named Sacred Heart as well as St. Ann.  




(You may be wondering why I keep running this same warning week after week?  The reason is that I continue to get calls from parishioners concerned that I may have been arrested in a foreign country without money, or need you to buy cash cards for someone who is dying, or some other deception or fabrication.  The scammers have even found a way to harvest my voice from the YOUTUBE Masses, and mimic me over the telephone.   The “scammers” are indeed immoral and destined for the fires of Hell; but they always seem to exhibit sinister creativity.  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, it is computer generated!  It is not me!!!


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:

Temptation is not sin!  Nevertheless, temptation can lead us to sin if we are not strong.  In the desert, Jesus faces the temptations of health, wealth, and comfort.  For a human to resist these temptations, the person must rely on the grace of God.  Without God’s grace, we are spiritually helpless.  Thus the sacraments are necessary to nurture the soul with grace, so frail humanity can withstand temptation.  “Das Geist ist willig aber dem Fleisch ist schwach.”  (Translated: the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.  Mt. 26:41)  This was one of the first Bible verses I learned in German.  Weak flesh requires God’s grace to enable it to withstand the onslaught of temptation.  As is written in the Catechism (2025) “We can have merit in God’s sight only because of God’s free plan to associate man with the work of his grace.  Merit is to be ascribed in the first place to the grace of God, and secondly to man’s collaboration.  Man’s merit is due to God.”


NEXT WEEK (The Second Sunday of Lent)


Gn 15:5-12, 17-18

Phil 3:17—4:1

Lk 9:28b-36


Theme: Transfiguration





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