Next Sunday: The Ascension of the Lord Fr. Tharp
Infant Pre-Baptism Class
I have the Infant Pre-Baptism Class every second Monday of the month at 8:00 p.m. in the basement of Sacred Heart Church.
Beacons of Light
If you have access to the internet, go to https://catholicaoc.org/beacons-of-light or type Beacons of Light into your favorite search engine. The Archdiocese has known we were facing a shortage of priests for the last forty years. Now we need to use all the modern tools at our disposal and the power of the Holy Spirit to plan for our future of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. 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.
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 forming 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) or family.
I encourage everyone to check this website out and pray for this important initiative. During the month of May, parish staffs, as well as parish councils, will be using tools provided by the consultants hired by the Archdiocese to better define the parameters and expectations, before engaging the entire congregation of each parish in the discussions. It is imperative that you be involved and conversant with the website, as the process will plan for the future not from the top down, but following principles of subsidiarity.
Communion on the Tongue
Because we are still obligated to fulfill COVID guidelines, if you wish to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, you must come to me (Fr. Tharp) ONLY; and you must be sure you are at the end of my line. Please do not present yourselves to Fr. Schmitz or any of the Lay Eucharistic Ministers for communion on the tongue! If on Sundays, you see that I am going to be at St. Ann, then you must come to St. Ann that Sunday if you want to receive ONLY on the tongue. If on Sundays, you see that I am going to be at Sacred Heart, then you must come to Sacred Heart that Sunday if you want to receive ONLY on the tongue. I always celebrate Saturday at 4:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart and 5:15 p.m. at St. Ann every week.
Live Streaming a precept Mass from St. Ann and Sacred Heart each week
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: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVLLqbEY5hKWinwz069MVcg
Reflection on Scripture: Six Sunday of Easter (Mother’s Day)
The gospel selection for today coincides nicely with a phrase that subsequent to the Second Vatican Council had fallen into disuse. The term of which I speak is “Holy Mother Church.” Prior to Vatican II, we used to define the stages of the Church as the Church Triumphant (Saints in Heaven), the Church Militant (saints alive and struggling in this life) and the Church Suffering (Purgatory). A good mother always rejoices with her children’s success, prays for her children who are suffering, and guides and directs her children to walk in the right and just paths.
In today’s gospel, Jesus tells us that he no longer considers us only honored servants (Greek word “doulos”), but now calls us “friends” (in Greek “philous” meaning beloved). If Jesus is the revelation of God the Father, and we are Christ’s beloved friends, then the Church is the Household of God. By analogy then, if God is our Father, and Jesus makes us reborn in baptism and one in the Body of Christ through the ministry of the Church, then the Church guided by the Holy Spirit is our “spiritual mother.” In Revelation the Church is referred to as the bride of Christ. The disciples are called “beloved” and similarly, the whole Church is the “beloved of Christ.”
During this month of May, Mary the Mother of Jesus is also titled Mary the Mother of the Church. The motherly image of the Blessed Virgin Mary caring for Jesus, is carried on in this world through the nurturing love, care, and instruction of the Church.
Next Week: The Ascension of the Lord
Theme: Jesus leads the way.