Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

May 23, 2021 - Pentecost Sunday


Dispensation from Precept Mass ends June 6


Beginning June 6 (the Feast of Corpus Christi) the Archbishop has reinstating the obligation to attend Sunday Mass.  The law of the Church has always been that those with special medical challenges or obstacles are exempt from the obligation; but during the pandemic the Bishops of Ohio extended this exemption to all fearful of the Corona Virus.  The dispensation for the general public has now been revoked as of June.


Personal “Thank You” to Fr. Jacquemin


St. Ann and Sacred Heart were pleased to be the venues for last week’s extraordinary celebration.  Fr. Jacquemin’s First Mass at St. Ann was beautiful and so touching to those who have seen him grow up in front of them.  Sacred Heart was pleased to offer Fellowship Hall as a place where all could be seated comfortably for the reception.  My congratulations to Fr. Louis Jacquemin and his family.  Remember that the entire First Mass is available on our YouTube channel.


On Monday morning (the day after) I was losing a battle that started with a kidney stone two weeks ago, and culminated with my needing to interrupt 6:30 a.m.Mass for a time at St. Ann.  Fr. Jacquemin was gracious enough to take my 7:30 a.m. Mass at Sacred Heart as well as a 10:00 a.m. funeral at Sacred Heart so that I could get to the emergency room at Mercy.  I am very grateful. 


Beacons of Light


The future planning process to determine the changes in parish organization structure of the entire Archdiocese of Cincinnati (to be implemented on or before 2025) is well underway.   Please be aware that this planning process will result in dramatic changes in the organizational and identity structure of every parish and parochial school within the Archdiocese.  I have met (or will be meeting with) the parish councils and paid parish staff at both parishes in our Pastoral Region to engage in a discernment process to refine and determine the “parameters” of discussion regarding the six “Guiding Principles” as articulated on the Beacons of Light web page:    Another option is to type “Beacons of Light” into your favorite search engine.  It is expected that the beginnings of the discussions with the general parishioner population of the Archdiocese will begin this Fall.  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. We have been assured by the Archdiocese that the future organizational structure of every existing parish, with or without a parochial school, in the Archdiocese will be impacted. 


How will Beacons of Light work?  By gathering and analyzing demographic, sacramental, financial, and school data; while also considering the pastoral situations that affect life in our communities, the Archdiocese will be assimilating all existing parishes into new Families of Parishes in the cities, towns, rural communities and suburbs throughout our 19 counties in Southwest Ohio.   Eventually, there will be one priest pastor for every “Family;” and eventually one Canonical Parish (juridic person).


I encourage everyone to check this website out now and frequently as the process moves forward; and pray for this important initiative. 


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


Even though the dispensation for the precept of Sunday Mass attendance has now been revoked, live streaming will continue for the sick, shut-ins, and others unable to come to Mass.  Please remember to access the Sacred Heart / St. Ann Pastoral Region You Tube site by clicking on the following link:


Reflection on Scripture:


The Feast of Pentecost is one of my favorite feasts.   No, there are no decorated evergreen trees or hidden Easter eggs to hunt, but it is an extraordinary celebration marking the Descent of the Holy Spirit.  When Genesis says: “The breath of God (Ruah Elohim)” it refers to the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit empowers the Old Testament prophets.  The Holy Spirit testifies to the authenticity of Jesus with a theophany at his baptism.  And today we celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles creating the “Birthday of the Church.”    Now some scholars would contend that the Last Supper is the “birthday of the Church,” but remember that it is the epiclesis at Mass that signals the changing of the bread and wine to the Body and Blood of Christ; not only the words of consecration and the anamnesis.  Jesus promises not to leave his Apostles abandoned, but promises the Holy Spirit.  And after all the years we ended the Divine Praises with “Savior of the World, Save Russia”; I hope you all saw the power of the Holy Spirit work through a pope and a president a couple of decades ago to reduce the threat of world atheism. 


I often use the analogy of the power of the Holy Spirit like a fast moving freight train.  You can either jump on and take the ride of your life or you and stand on the tracks and face oblivion.  My suggestion is simply this: “Jump on the train and take the ride of your life into eternal life.”


Next WeekTrinity Sunday


Dt 4:32-34, 39-40

Rom 8:14-17

Mt 28:16-20


Theme:  One God in Three Divine Persons


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