Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

October 11, 2020 - 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Next Sunday:  Twenty Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time          Fr. Tharp


Communion on the Tongue


It is my understanding that some have been disappointed when they ask to receive communion on the tongue and are not accommodated.  Remember that I have said from the outset of COVID that as pastor, I am the ONLY ONE who will give communion on the tongue.   Here is what you must remember:  If you believe you must receive communion on the tongue, you MUST come only to me.  I will not ask any visiting priest or distributor to put themselves at risk of illness.  I am the only one who will distribute on the tongue.  If I am at St. Ann that week; then you must come to St. Ann.  If I am at Sacred Heart that week, then you must come to Sacred Heart to receive on the tongue.


If you feel you must receive on the tongue, you may not come to me in my line until the end of the line.  At the end of the line, I will carefully place the host on your tongue without touching your tongue.  I have done it for over forty years so I have practice.  If I were to accidentally touch your tongue, I will stop, go and sanitize my hands, and then come back and resume.  I do not justify this by the classical excuse of “epikeia”  but rather by my discretion as pastor.  The safety of everyone in the church is my priority and thus the reason for the rules.  Please do not present yourself to any assisting priest or distributor for communion in the hand.  You must come to me alone, and at the end of my line.  This is for the safety of all involved.


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


At the time I am writing this article, we have still not diagnosed all the problems with our live streaming system, but are working diligently to correct new problems as they arise.  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


First Communion for those who could not last May


I wish to reiterate from former communications that as soon as we have assurance from the authorities in Ohio and from the Archdiocese that we can reduce the requirements of social distancing and masks so as to have a traditional large Group First Communion celebration, we will do so for St. Ann and Sacred Heart. 


In the meantime, if any parent wishes their child who was looking forward to First Communion last Spring to have the opportunity to make an “informal” First Communion at any Sunday or Weekday Mass that I celebrate at St. Ann or Sacred Heart (Saturday at 4:00 p.m. excluded), please contact “Lauren” the Parish Secretary at Sacred Heart (513) 858-4210.  She has my schedule and will help you in choosing a regularly scheduled Mass when your child can begin receiving the Most Holy Eucharist. 


Feel free to choose the aforementioned option or to wait for the formal First Communion Mass (which cannot happen until current Health Department restrictions are lifted.)   This is a parental decision.  Whatever you think is best for your child; that is what I want to do.


RCIA:  Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults


Schedules for the RCIA for St. Ann and Sacred Heart are still available at church doors (both St. Ann and Sacred Heart) as well as on our parish websites.  If you wish to join but missed the first three classes, please call me at 858-4260 to talk about alternatives


Reflection on Scripture: Twenty Eighth  Sunday in Ordinary Time 


The story of the wedding guest who won’t wear a wedding garment seems very appropriate at this time of wearing COVID masks.  I hope no one has been thrown out where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth for lack of a mask. 


The gospel story is a parody of salvation in Christ.  It was not that the man could not afford a wedding garment.  No, he simply was not going to follow the rules of etiquette to show submission to the king.  This is similar to the follower of Christ who says, “I want to get to Heaven, but I will not abandon my favorite behavior (aka sin).”  In the parody, Jesus tells us that if you disobey in a recalcitrant manner, you disrespect God.  God may have made it easy to find salvation in Jesus Christ, but you must still follow the rules.    


You cannot “pull a fast one” on God.  Either you obey God in humility, or you disrespect God.  Care to guess which is the best option?


Next WeekTwenty Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time     


Is 45:1, 4-6

1 Thes 1:1-5b

Mt. 22:15-21


Theme:   “Render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God.”


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