Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jan 12, 2018


Saint Vincent DePaul Society

In the past, almost every parish had its own St. Vincent DePaul Society that assisted the needy and poor.  In recent years, some parishes have lost their SVDP societies; while others have combined their efforts.  St. Ann and Sacred Heart have combined their efforts into one St. Vincent DePaul Society serving both parishes in the Pastoral Region.  The tradition at Sacred Heart has been to have SVDP people collect at the doors on the fifth Sunday of any month containing five Sundays.  St. Ann has continued to include a SVDP envelope in their donation envelopes, but has not solicited donations at the doors.  We missed the fifth Sunday in December and so will attempt to make it up by soliciting donations for the Pastoral Region St. Vincent DePaul On Sunday January 28, 2018.  Please also consider whether you might be interested in joining the SVDP ministry.  We have many husband and wife couples from Sacred Heart as well as some individuals.  We only have one representative from St. Ann.  Please prayerfully consider this worthy ministry.


Virtus Training for the Decree on Child Protection

Every adult working with children in the context of the Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati MUST go through the Virtus training session and be approved by the Archdiocese to be in contact with children.  I am in the process of writing to each of the heads of the various groups in the parish asking them to verify that all members in their group who are in contact in anyway with children are Virtus approved.  As pastor, it is my responsibility to see to it that every group complies.  I ask all employees and volunteers to work with their leaders to be sure no one “slips through the cracks.” 


Remember to Remember and Pray

Monday, January 22 is the forty seventh anniversary of the Supreme Court Decision Roe v. Wade which legalized the tragedy of abortion in this country.  The Catholic Church in the United States has designated this day as a “Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of the Unborn.”  Please pray for, work for, and support Pro-Life causes. 


Reflection on Scripture

In today’s gospel, Jesus calls Simon and gives him the nickname “Rock” which is “Petram” in Latin, kepha in Aramaic, Petros in Greek.    Rock is solid.  Apparently Jesus perceived Peter to be that unbreakable foundation for his Church.  A fisherman would have been an unlikely choice for such a foundational person if Jesus had been consulting Human Resources.  A preferred choice would have been a scholar or a well-positioned person of wealth.   But God does not see us with the lens of human prestige.  God looks straight into our soul.  God could have designed the perfect candidate.  Instead, God chose an average guy.

When I worked as a tractor mechanic, I would look at my tools as extensions of my hands.  With this tool, I could unlock the bolt or screw.  I have a deep affection for my tools to this day because my mind can work through them.  This is how God looks at us, his creatures.   So to paraphrase a famous quote, “Ask not what you can do by yourself, but what God can do through you!”  By the mystery of the Sacraments, you (like St. Peter) can be a tool in the hands of God.


Readings for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jon 3:1-5, 10

1Cor 7:29-31

Mk 1:14-20


Theme:  “Fishers of Human Beings”












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