Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

October 29, 2023 - 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Next Sunday:  Thirty First Sunday in Ordinary Time     Celebrant:  Fr. Tharp   

No Confessions at St. Ann on Halloween


Because Tuesday, October 31st is the eve of All Saints Day (in other words Halloween) there will be NO CONFESSIONS at St. Ann on Halloween.


November 1 is a Holy Day of Obligation


November 1 is the Feast of All Saints.   Masses for the Holyday at St. Ann are Tuesday, October 31 at 5:30 p.m.   On Wednesday November 1 Masses at St. Ann are at 6:30 a.m.  10:00 a.m. School Children’s Mass (limited access only with school permission.)


Masses for the Holyday at Sacred Heart are Tuesday, October 31 at 7:00 p.m.  Masses on Wednesday, November 1 at Sacred Heart are 7:30 a.m.  8:15 School Children’s Mass (limited access only through school)  and 7:00 p.m.


Pray for the Conscience of Ohio


We have two more special adoration of the Blessed Sacrament times left:  Wednesday, November 1 Holyday Mass at 7:00 p.m. but adoration of the Blessed Sacrament from about 7:30 p.m. (or after Mass) until reposition at 9:00 p.m.  Then also Monday, November 6 from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. reposition.  If you cannot come at these times, please pray wherever you are for the conscience of our State.  Governor DeWine is opposed to Issue One.  The Catholic Bishops of Ohio are unanimously opposed to Issue One.  If your understanding of God’s law obliges you to be pro-life and pro parent’s rights, you can easily see that Issue One is not right for Ohio. 


The Tabernacle is moving!


When you first hear these words, you may think we are speaking of a miraculous event.  Rather, the title reveals a decision approved by our Worship Commission, our Parish Pastoral Council, and the Archbishop.  After reflecting on the Canon (universal) Law of the Church (referenced below), and given the USCCB’s National Eucharistic Revival; we have asked and been given authorization to move the tabernacle to the center of the sanctuary at the foot of the crucifix, displacing it from the small chapel which has been its home since shortly after the new church was built in 1989. So why should we make the change now?  For one thing, placing the Blessed Sacrament in the center of the sanctuary renders us more compliant with the spirit of the current Church Law.  Reference the following:

Canon 938: paragraph 2 & 3

¶ 2. The tabernacle in which the Most Holy Eucharist is reserved is to be situated in some part of the church or oratory which is distinguished, conspicuous, beautifully decorated, and suitable for prayer.

¶ 3. The tabernacle in which the Most Holy Eucharist is reserved habitually is to be immovable, made of solid and opaque material, and locked in such a way that the danger of profanation is avoided as much as possible.

In addition to conformity with Church Law, placing the tabernacle in the sanctuary speaks volumes to the centrality of the Eucharist in our spiritual self-understanding. For those coming to our worship space for the first time, there will be immediate recognition that this is a community that focuses on the Eucharist as our foundation.  One of the most compelling reasons for using the brass tabernacle from the former church (now the gym) is that it provides a real sense of continuity. 

We plan is to move the tabernacle to the center of the sanctuary for the Feast of Christ the King.  We will have to remember to genuflect (or solemn bow) when entering or leaving the church.  We will also wish to use the narthex a bit more for conversation so we show the appropriate respect for the presence of the Sacred Species.  Be assured that we are simply moving existing furniture in this process.  Nothing is permanently or irreversibly changed.   There is no cost.  The only cost are two dowel pins for the securing of the marble, and I have two old ones in my tool box that I will donate.  

More instructions to come as we move closer to Christ the King. 

November Ballot Issue enshrining Abortion as a Right


As regards the Church’s stance on Issue One, the Archbishop is not offering a “political opinion.”   He together with the other Catholic bishops of Ohio are proclaiming the “moral teaching” of the Church which is their magisterial duty as bishops in the Catholic Church.  Remember that the Church grew up condemning horrible pagan rituals encouraged by the Roman Empire. These practices were politically correct and even encouraged at the time.  The Church complained that these practices were immoral in the eyes of God. They were not playing politics then.  They are not playing politics now. 

The bishops of the Catholic Church were then and are now, standing by the moral truth regardless of the political repercussions or consequences.  The truth from God may put us in conflict with what is culturally acceptable, but then again, the Church does not make decisions from polling results.  The Church simply tries to apply the Laws of God.


You can find on the internet the “Full Text of the Proposed Amendment One” annotated by the Ohio Roundtable explaining and commenting on each legal phrase.  Even for those who would cite some remote good thing that resulted from an 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.  


The Purpose behind Beacons of Light


Beacons of Light is a new way of thinking.  Most of us think of maintaining our parish, but as attendance has declined at most all “organized religion” churches, Beacons challenges us not to maintain but evangelize and expand.  We are and have always been a missionary church!  Christ could have sat in the temple or his local synagogue and enjoyed the affection of many local rabbis, teachers, and congregants.  Instead he “mitto” that is sends out the disciples to evangelize. 


You can focus on your house and let your lawn go to seed.  Or you can make your house inviting by enhancing its appeal with a well-manicured lawn.  One looks outward; the other inward.   Beacons calls us to always be going forth with the message calling others to Christ.


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.




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


There has been no sound for the St. Ann live stream for two weeks.  We hope the problem is now fixed.


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:


How do you read the scripture?  Here is an excerpt from the Book of Exodus:  "If you lend money to one of your poor neighbors among my people, you shall not act like an extortioner toward him by demanding interest from him. If you take your neighbor's cloak as a pledge, you shall return it to him before sunset;…”   Does it mean it is wrong to accept interest on your passbook account?  Is it wrong to loan your money to a corporation expecting interest from the company under the debenture bond?  That’s what the scripture from Exodus seems to say!


The theological opposition to usury was based on the model of society as a family.  There were no accountants following FASBE regulations.  Usury was seen as a direct affront to the theological virtue of “charity.”   Collateral was seen as restricting a man’s right to his property.  This was the judgment in a family based model.


Today (unless you are talking about a loan shark), debt and equity are regulated by law in the name of justice.  In a capitalistic economic system, money is a commodity.  Well regulated equities and debentures (debt securities) are no different than renting another your hammer so he can drive a nail.  I have a number of chainsaws because I have about fifteen acres of dense wooded property.  If I had only two trees on my property, it would be cheaper for me to rent a saw, rather than buying one and letting it deteriorate most the  time.    Many people would never be able to buy their own home if it were not for reputable banks and savings and loans. 


In essence, scripture is addressing the idea of a loan shark ripping off his own family.  This certainly constitutes injustice.  In a capitalistic society however, buying equity, leveraging debt, and manipulating the valuation of the asset of capital are not uncharitable.  They are well regulated, well monitored commerce.  


NEXT WEEK   The Thirty First Sunday in Ordinary Time


Mal 1:14b—22b, 8-10

1 Thes 2:7b-9, 13

Mt 23:1-12



Theme: Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven






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