Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

October 1, 2023 - 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Next Sunday:  Twenty Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time     Celebrant:  Fr. Tharp     

Blessing of Pets


The Blessing of Pets in honor of the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi (October 4) will take place THIS Sunday (today!) afternoon (October 1) at 3:00 p.m. in the west parking lot of Sacred Heart.  For pets that might be harmed or suffer trauma by bringing them to the blessing, it is fine to come for the blessing with just a photo of your beloved pet.  We do not want any tragedy or harm to come to any pet; only the opportunity to ask God’s special blessing on our animal companions.


Beacons of Light  Phase Two


In Phase One of Beacons of Light (Leadership) we hired or promoted from within the four “Directors” who will be in charge of much of what the pastor traditionally has done that is non-sacramental.  This restructuring allows the parish to focus on evangelization rather than simply maintaining what we have done in the past and doing it the same way.  In addition to hiring and promoting lay ministers, we have refined the Sunday Mass schedule so that the Family can be served by only one priest. 


We are now moving into Phase Two which is “Visioning.”  We will use this time to discern goals and create teams.  We will explore opportunities for the parish to reach out in faith into a broader scope of community.  We can pinpoint the purposes for our stewardship efforts and consider new ways to structure into cost centers which could pinpoint purpose and enhance revenue sources.  We will marginalize the maintenance of the impractical and highlight the opportunities for purposeful expansion.  We will seek to redefine the pathway and reaffirm priorities.  All this must be done is the context of practicality and feasibility.  We will look for opportunities to expand, not just maintain.  Please watch for discussion sessions that peak your interest as we move forward through this discernment process.


November Ballot Issue enshrining Abortion as a Right


In a letter dated August 12, 2023, Archbishop Schnurr cites the following reasons this amendment to the Ohio Constitution on the November Ballot must be defeated:


  • Put women at risk. This amendment would enable elimination of some of the most basic, fundamental safety regulations on abortion clinics, including the current requirement for an abortion to be performed by a licensed physician.
  • Threaten parental rights. The vague language in the amendment opens the door to anyone under 18 having an abortion, or even beginning cross-sex hormone treatment, without parental consent or notification.
  • Allow abortion through 9 months of pregnancy. The amendment provides caveats such that a healthy, fully-formed infant in the womb who otherwise could be delivered with no issues would still be a candidate for a surgical dismemberment abortion.


For the Catholic Church and indeed all “life centered” religions who believe that God created all life, this is not a political issue.  This is a moral issue.  We see absolute law in the Decalogue.   (Thou shalt not!)   Even for those who would cite some good thing that resulted from abortion, the end does not justify the means.  The Archbishop is encouraging priests, Catholic laity, and all people of good conscience to get involved in attempting to send this “pro-death legislative initiative” down to defeat in November.  


Precious Blood at Communion


We have distributors lined up for two cups at all three Sunday morning Masses; two at Sacred Heart and one at St. Ann.”  For the moment, we do not have cups lined up for the either of the Saturday evening Masses.  Again, we can only offer both species to the degree we have enough Eucharistic ministers willing to do cups at the various precept Masses.  We hope to have cups offered at the Saturday Masses very soon.




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


As the new reduced Sunday Mass schedule is in place, it has been recommended that I continue to live stream the 4:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart, and consider not live streaming the 5:15 p.m. Mass from St. Ann but instead live stream the Sunday Mass at 9:30 from St. Ann.  We will experiment with this for a time and see which arrangement is more favored.


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:


Actions speak louder than words.  This sums up today’s gospel.  Talking the talk that you are committed to Jesus is fine.  It may even inspire some.  But walking the walk is what really matters.  Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta could have been a great motivational speaker, but her life of service caused her to become an inspirational saint.  In today’s gospel, we hear the parable of the two sons.  The father asks them both to go to work.  The first says, “Yes Sir!” but never makes good on the promise.  The second says “No!” but later repents and follows his father’s command.  The difference is between enthusiasm and commitment.  It is easy to say “Wow I want to play football!” until you find out that seemingly endless repetitive “wind sprints” are involved.  But when you run the sprints complaining about it the entire time, you prove you are in shape. 


Jesus tells us that it is OK to be enthusiastic and talk the talk, but if you are committed, you will walk the walk.  Jesus always tells us, “If you want to be my disciple; take up your cross and follow me!” 



NEXT WEEK   The Twenty Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time


Is 5:1-7

Phil 4:6-9

Mt 21:33-43


Theme: The stone the builders rejected!






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