Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

May 21, 2023 - Feast of the Ascension

Next Sunday:  Pentecost               Celebrant :  Fr. Williams

Ascension Thursday is now on Sunday


Every year people call me and say, “Oh no; I missed the Holyday of the Ascension.”    For a number of years now, most Bishops in the U.S. have decided to move the celebration of the Ascension from forty days after Easter to the following Sunday.  


Celebrations and Graduations


Pentecost is often referred to as the “Birthday of the Church.”   The Monday following after Pentecost has been established as the celebration of “Mary the Mother of the Church.”  The Feast was reestablished by Pope Francis for the Monday after Pentecost to remind Catholics that the Church is a Family.   This year the celebration of Mary the Mother of the Church is also celebrated in the United States as Memorial Day.  Because it is a National Holiday and most will not work, we will NOT have a 6:30 a.m. Mass at St. Ann, but we will have a 7:30 a.m. Mass at Sacred Heart and a 9:00 a.m. Mass at St. Ann.  All weekend we will remember and honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom as Americans, and also celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost and the Memorial of Mary the Mother of the Church.  I see no conflict in celebrating religious truth as we prayerfully remember those who valued freedom more than life. 


The eighth grade graduation Mass for Sacred Heart School is May 24th.  The eighth grade graduation Mass for St. Ann School is May 31st.   Congratulations to all.


Review of Mass Schedules


There are “five Phases” of the implementation of Beacons of Light.  By the end of Phase One, Families of Parishes are to have streamlined their Sunday Mass Schedules.   Family C-4 (comprised of Sacred Heart and St. Ann) has been designated a “one priest/pastor region.”  This will become the reality by July 1, 2023.   This means that there is no assisting priest envisioned.  In the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, no one priest is canonically permitted to celebrate more than three Masses on any one day, except in the case of an emergency.   At present we have two Sunday morning precept Masses at St. Ann and three Sunday morning precept Masses at Sacred Heart.  Five Masses may not be celebrated (except in an emergency) by any one priest.  Also every precept Mass at any parish must adhere to “space utilization requirements.”  We have a declining Sunday attendance based on St. Ann and Sacred Heart’s October Count numbers.  At least three of the five existing Sunday Masses are not well enough attended to meet these utilization requirements. 

The Combined Parish Council presented a survey at St. Ann on Sunday, May 7th and at Sacred Heart on Sunday May 14th.  Now that we have the data, the Combined St. Ann/Sacred Heart Parish Council will provide me with their decision as to the new streamlined Sunday Morning Schedule for our Family.  The decision will then go to the Archdiocese for approval.  If all goes well, the new schedule will be implemented on July 2, 2023

The Sacrament of the Sick in Hospitals


Please remember that even Catholic Hospitals are not permitted to tell me when my parishioner enters the hospital.  If two or three people tell me about their loved on in the hospital after Mass, I will not keep it straight in my weak brain long enough to get it on paper.  Therefore, if your loved one enters the hospital and would like me to provide the Anointing of the Sick; please leave a clear and accurate message on my voice mail at (513) 858-4260 or email me at [email protected].  Please also remember that you cannot text me at the above number as it is a land line and does not receive texts. 


Keep in Touch with Sacred Heart/St. Ann via email or text


Our Director of Evangelization (Jose Martinez) has invited us to participate in a parish communication tool provided by “”  To join you can scan the QR Code or text SHSA to 84576.  You can leave the program at any time by texting STOP to 84576.  I think this will prove to be a great way for the parishioners of the St. Ann/Sacred Heart Family to stay in the “know!”


Catholic Conference of Ohio


In a letter dated February 28, 2023, all the Catholic Bishops from the State of Ohio have asked faithful Catholics throughout Ohio to oppose the proposed ballot initiative for the November ballots enshrining and expanding abortion in the State of Ohio.  In addition, parents would no longer need to give consent or even be informed if their minor is seeking an abortion or reproductive reassignment.  Catholics of good conscience are encouraged to read the letter, speak out, and stay informed.


Ask any Question!


Mr. Jose Martinez is the new Director of Evangelization for the Parish Family of St. Ann and Sacred Heart.  I am the old pastor of St. Ann and Sacred Heart.  Two times this summer, Mr. Martinez and I will attempt to answer  “any question” you may have related to our new parish family, theology, church administration, or any aspect of life in general.  The meetings will be on June 5 and June 26 at 7:00 p.m.  More information to come.



Re-introduction of Precious Blood at Communion


We have distributors lined up for two cups at “all three Sunday morning Masses at Sacred Heart.” 


For the time being we only have distributors for the cup at the 11:00 a.m. Mass at St. Ann.  Again, we can only do this to the degree we have enough Eucharistic ministers willing to do cups at the various precept Masses. 




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 that last week there was no sound (again) for the Sacred Heart Mass.  Our technician has ordered the components we need but the lack of availability of electronic components has been a problem.  I was especially rushed last Saturday and forgot to check for sound after I booted the live streaming system.  It is my fault that I did not make time to check before Mass.   I apologize and promise that we will correct the error permanently as soon as we can secure the components.  In the interim, I will try to check the sound after I initialize the live streaming and do so before Mass while I still have time to reset. 


Please remember to access the Sacred Heart / St. Ann Pastoral Region You Tube site by clicking on the following link:


Reflection on Scripture:


On the Feast of the Ascension forty plus years ago, as I read the gospel, the server would extinguish the Easter Candle.  This symbolized that Jesus was no longer visible to us on earth as he had ascended into Heaven to be at the right hand of the Father.  It conjured up a feeling of loss and emptiness.  Now the liturgical norm is to display and burn the Easter Candle until Vespers on Pentecost evening.  Only then does the Easter Season officially end.  We no longer emphasize Jesus leaving our sight at the Ascension!  Rather we focus on Jesus showing us the way to fulfill our baptismal destiny.  The Feast of the Ascension reminds us that we, as followers of Christ, are in a constant process of leaving the tangible façade behind in favor of the intangible reality.   Every second of every moment of every day we exist, we leave behind the last second for the next.  By the Ascension, Jesus is telling us not to live in the past but focus on the future.  The future holds our destiny in Jesus.  As we follow Jesus, we are in a perpetuating process of leaving the physical behind and moving forward toward the eternal.  It is fine for us to indulge ourselves in a bit of pondering the past as we make our ascent through this life to our God.  But never forget where you are going and who you are following. 


When Jesus first meets the disciples he says, “Drop what you are doing and come follow me.”  When my father would finish work at his shop and it was time to go home to supper, he would say, “Don’t dawdle! Call it a day.   Let’s go home.”   When Jesus ascends to the Father he beckons to all of us saying, “Finish what you are doing, and then let’s go home.”


NEXT WEEK   Pentecost


Acts 2:1-11

1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13

Jn. 20:19-23


Theme:   The Birthday of the Church







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