Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

May 8, 2022 - Fourth Sunday of Easter

Next Sunday:  Fifth Sunday of Easter                            Celebrant :  Fr. Williams

Catholic Ministries Appeal


Thanks to all who have donated to the Catholic Ministries Appeal for 2022.   As the drive comes closer to the end for 2022, and if you have not donated as yet; remember that any amount donated (no matter how small) increases our donor participation number for St. Ann.  Thanks for your extraordinary generosity. 


Re-introduction of Precious Blood at Communion


We have been informed by the Archdiocese that we may (at the pastor’s discretion) re-introduce communion under both species at all Masses   At present, we do not have enough lay distributors willing to do this to staff more than one precept Mass per Sunday.  Since the rules of how distribution is to take place (the Catholic liturgical norms) cannot be altered, I will attempt to seek out more Eucharistic lay volunteers who will be comfortable filling this role. 


Therefore, for the time being, we have only enough distributors for two cups only at the 12:00 noon Mass at Sacred Heart, and perhaps 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. 


Beacons of Light


As we move through the Easter Season and draw closer to the official July 1, 2022 beginning of “Phase One” of the Beacons of Light program, we will offer some listening sessions, so we can hear from everyone even before we officially start Phase One. 


The title of my assignment as pastor will change from “Pastor of the St. Ann/Sacred Heart Pastoral Region” to “Pastor of the St. Ann / Sacred Heart FAMILY OF PARISHES!”   Throughout phase one the Mass times will remain the same, the schools will continue to operate the same, and everything we are currently doing now will remain the same for the time being.  What will change is how we plan for the future. 


The Beacons process is unflinchingly committed to the “principle of subsidiarity.”  The only “top down” decision that has been made by the Archbishop is that, since St. Ann and Sacred Heart have worked well together as a “Pastoral Region” for the past ten years; from now on the parishes will begin the process of determining how (for the long term future) one priest will be able to serve the needs of both worshipping communities as “one family.”  THESE DECISIONS WILL NOT BE MADE BY THE ARCHBISHOP OR BY ME!  The decisions will be made by the parishioners who make up the FAMILY.   The process to be announced July 1, 2022 calls for the establishment of “layers of consultation” ranging from existing committees and boards from both parishes, moving up to divisional consultative committees and ultimately up to the leadership committee made up of members from both worshipping communities.  In other words, this is going to be a lot of work. 


The principal of subsidiarity requires that every parishioner voice be heard; from athletics, to the rosary altar society, to buildings and grounds, festival, worship, etc.  Parishioner concerns are legitimized by the very fact that you have a vested interest as a “parishioner.”  Everyone in a “Family” has to have a voice. 


All this means that we will begin (perhaps before July 1) to hold listening sessions (just like we did for the Synod on Sodality) allowing people to express ideas, preferences, concerns, feelings, and anything else that will provide a context for the remainder of the consultative process.  In planning for the future, we do not want to leave out any steps.  Many Families may not see significant change or movement for three, four, or five years.  But remember that although there are “phases” of the process, the timeline of the phases is entirely up to the parishioners.  To use a car analogy (which you know I frequently use in homilies) you, the parishioners (through a defined consultative process) will make the decisions that drive the car.  I will serve as the mechanic who tries to keep it all operating throughout the process. 


So tighten your belts, put your work gloves on, dawn your hard hat, and be prepared to engage in the renovation process of taking two fiscally solvent, ministerially complete parishes with schools, and make them into a functional family whose needs can be met for the long term by one priest.  But it will only work if everyone participates, and if all of us set our minds to the task.  With the Holy Spirit helping us, we cannot fail.  Without the Holy Spirit, we are all doomed anyway.


Be alert and plan to participate in the upcoming listening sessions.  And please, keep us in your prayers. 




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

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:

Remember the old song, “What a friend we have in Jesus.”   Because Jesus is fully divine and fully human, members of the Church have always struggled with “Jesus my best friend,“ versus “Fear of the Son of God.”  The teaching of the Church known as the hypostatic union, often leans more to fear than to friendship.  The image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd helps correct the imbalance.  A shepherd often gives names to his sheep.  He or she puts himself or herself in danger to protect the sheep.  A good shepherd stays with the sheep, right out in the open with them.  Sheep are often intimidated by fear of predators.  The Good Shepherd calms the sheep by his or her presence. 

Jesus explains himself as having a relationship with his sheep.  They care about him and he cares for each one of them.  Jesus Christ is our Good Shepherd.  Fear does not result in loyalty.  Oftentimes fear becomes distain.  Affection can easily engender loyalty.  Jesus does not want to intimidate us into Heaven like cowboys in a cattle drive.  Jesus wants to lead us into Heaven as we follow him out of loyalty, not fear. 

Jesus reminds us that while we are following our friend Jesus into Heaven, we are really following God the Father, since Jesus and the Father Creator are One.

NEXT WEEK (The Fifth Sunday of Easter) 

Acts 14:21-27

Rev 21:1-5a

Jn 13:31-33a, 34-35


Theme:  “Love one another as I have loved you.”


RSS Feed


Access all blogs

Subscribe to all of our blogs