Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

November 28, 2021 - First Sunday of Advent

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

Season of Advent


Today is the First Sunday of Advent.  It is for the Catholic Church “liturgical” New Year’s Day.  The vestments worn by the priest will be purple or violet.  There are three cycles of readings for Sunday Masses; cycle A, cycle B, and cycle C.   As we move to year C (2022), we are more likely to read each Sunday in Ordinary Time from Luke.    


The first half of the season (until December 17) focuses our attention on the Second Coming of Christ.  That is why we call it Advent.  From the 17th to the 24th we focus on preparing to celebrate the Birth of the Lord. 


Humble Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament to Pray for Life


The Catholic Pro-Life movement has alerted the faithful that on November 30 and December 1 the Judicial Branch of the Federal Government is scheduled to make some key constitutional interpretations that could lessen the number of babies killed by abortion each year.  The Women of Faith Group from our pastoral region (soon to be a Family) are encouraging all of us to join them in humble adoration of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament on each of these days, prayerfully asking the Holy Spirit to change the hearts, minds, and conscience of our nation so that the judicial interpretations of the Constitution being pondered, may result in a reduction or even elimination of the slaughter of the innocents. 


Because I have confessions at St. Ann on Tuesday night and RCIA at Sacred Heart on Wednesday, the adoration both days will be at Sacred Heart.  We will have exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at Sacred Heart Tuesday (November 30) from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart and the same Wednesday (December 1) from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. again at Sacred Heart.  Both periods of adoration will end with simple Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament as I do every Friday at 3:00 p.m.  The Women of Faith are inviting any parishioner of St. Ann or Sacred Heart as well as anyone within driving distance, to join us as we acknowledge and pray to the only power capable of changing the heart and conscience of a nation.  If you cannot join us physically, please join us in prayerful unity during these prayer times.  


Rite of Acceptance


Our RCIA Catechumens and Candidates will be received as official students on this First Sunday of Advent at St. Ann next weekend.   We pray as the communities of St. Ann and Sacred Heart as our catechumens and candidates prepare for the Easter Sacraments.


Synod 2021-2023


(The Archdiocesan coordinator for the Worldwide Synod on Synodality has asked that this be posted in all bulletins:


The Holy Father has called a synod inviting ALL the Baptized to come together to discuss and discern how we can walk together in accomplishing the Mission of the Church. He wants ALL those who make up the Church to participate: elderly, youth, religious orders, clergy, lay faithful, poor, disabled, divorced, migrants, those who no longer practice the faith, etc.  More will be coming on how this is going to be accomplished at the local level, and what the discussion themes will be. In the meantime, please give participating in this first phase of the synod some prayerful thought. The Holy Father and the Holy Spirit value your input!  Questions?  Please feel free to contact me at jhomoelle@catholicaoc.org. God Bless!


Split the Pot


The annual “St. Ann New Year’s Eve Split the Pot” is underway.  Tickets are on sale in the vestibule of St. Ann after weekend precept Masses.  This is a major fundraiser for St. Ann Church and School, so as Sacred Heart and St. Ann become a new Family, let’s support each other.   Split the Pot fundraisers always work best when lots of tickets sell early.  This encourages others to consider buying tickets as the pot grows.


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:

The First Sunday of Advent in all three liturgical cycles features the eschatological.  Since today we begin a new liturgical year (Cycle C) we take the gospel reading from Luke.  Today’s gospel asks that we not become complacent.  We can look at lightning from afar and ponder its beauty.  When we are in the midst of the storm and lightning is striking all around us, we realize we should have taken shelter before the storm was upon us.  It is easy to become complacent about evil and allow ourselves to be influenced by the evil around us, without being cognoscente of being infected or influenced by it.  


In the early 1980s I was stationed at a parish that built a new church.  The state of the art lighting at the time was the sodium vapor bulb.  One of the first weddings I had in the new church featured bridesmaids wearing pink dresses.  In the sunlight outside, the dresses were pink.  When they came inside under the sodium vapor lighting, the dresses were bright orange.  Being immersed in the sodium vapor lighting changed the image of all under it.  Being immersed in a world filled with evil, we are changed by that in which we are immersed.  Only when we abandon the evil and come into the light of Christ; only then can we show our true colors.  This is one of the reasons why we take a respite from the world each Sunday, and celebrate the Sacred Liturgy in the sunlight of Christ.  In this context, we can show the true colors of our faith while immersed in the congregation of the faithful. 


Stay away from the places that are bathed in evil.  No one looks weak because he walked around the snake pit rather than through it.  In fact, his detour gives evidence of his intelligence.  Don’t go into the theater that shows pornography.  Don’t visit the website.  Be selective as to where you socialize.  You wouldn’t wear your tuxedo while greasing your car.  Don’t stain your immortal soul by immersing yourself in the trappings of a sinful world.  We may have to live in a world that embraces sinfulness, but by the grace of God, we do not have to allow it to infect us.




Bar 5:1-9

Phil 1:4-6, 8-11

Lk 3:1-6


Theme:   Prepare the Way of the Lord


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