Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

Second Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday)

Sunday Mass live streamed and recording available on Website


At the time of the printing of this bulletin, the “stay at home” order for today (Divine Mercy Sunday) remains in effect.   Please consider worshipping with me by either tuning in for Mass at 5:00 p.m., live-streamed (in real time) from Sacred Heart (we cannot live-stream as yet from St. Ann until we can get WIFI in the building) or tuning in after the live streaming for the recording of the Mass which was live streamed earlier.  At St. Ann, we will pre-record and post on our Pastoral Region Youtube site, the sung Chaplet of Divine Mercy together with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament for viewing anytime on Sunday or thereafter.  For the duration of the quarantine, we will live-stream the Sunday Mass at 5:00 p.m. every Saturday from one of our two parish locations.  The Mass is automatically recorded for viewing at any time after the live-streaming is complete.


Remember that you can access our Pastoral Region Youtube page by clicking on same from either parish website.  Since both our parish websites are hosted by our Bulletin Company, and since many parishes are live-streaming at the same time, the websites have sometimes crashed from sheer volume.  The best way to assure that your connection will not crash is to go directly to the Pastoral Region of Sacred Heart and St. Ann Youtube page.  You can access this site by highlighting and (control + clicking) the following address: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVLLqbEY5hKWinwz069MVcg  Make our site one of your “bookmarks” on your computer, pad, or phone. There you can immediately access any past Masses or anything currently being live streamed.  Please also remember to click on the grey box at the top of our page entitled “subscribe.”  It is free, and by doing this you become an official subscriber to our Youtube webpage.  This is very beneficial to us.  Subscribing to our site for free does not mean you are subscribing to Youtube and all its benefits “for free” you are simply identifying yourself as a subscriber to our webpage.  




For the time being, I will continue to have individual confessions at the published times at Sacred Heart, unless or until the authorities prohibit them.  Saturday afternoon confessions at St. Ann will be only 15 minutes, from 3:30 p.m. until only 3:45 p.m.  If and when public Masses resume, I will hear confessions before Sunday Masses on the Sundays I have Masses at St. Ann.  We will have to follow the abbreviated schedule for Saturday confessions at St. Ann until we can find a priest willing to take them every week.


RCIA Candidates and Catechumens


The Archdiocese has decided that baptisms, confirmations, and first communions for the RCIA will take place on Pentecost Eve.  More to come.


First Communion at St. Ann


First Communion at St. Ann would have been on Sunday, April 26.   It is certain now that we will still be under the “stay at home order” and prohibited from having public Masses.  The Group First Communion at St. Ann is postponed, although we will allow individuals in the class to make First Communion with their families at a regular Sunday Mass as soon as we are permitted to celebrate Sunday Masses.  We will also reschedule the Group First Communion very soon after we return to public Masses.  There will be more instruction on this as soon as we are informed as to when we are permitted to reinstate public Masses. 


Healthy Practices regarding the Coronavirus  


At the time of the printing of this Bulletin, the directive of the Catholic Bishops of Ohio still stands.  I will keep you informed as soon as I receive official word.   


“After serious consideration of the grave health risk involved in public gatherings and in order to curb the spread of the Coronavirus, the Bishops of Ohio have decided, effective immediately, to suspend temporarily all publicly celebrated Masses until further notice.” 


Reflection on Scripture for Divine Mercy Sunday  


My Confirmation name is Thomas; in part because I was in third grade when I was confirmed and “Thomas” was the name of my best friend, and in part because I have always been “skeptical” by nature; and thus admired St. Thomas.  I have often stated that as Jesus showed Thomas his wounded hands and side, I fear I would have been the one who would also have asked for a laboratory quality DNA swab.  


Why are people like me so skeptical?  I suspect it is that skeptics like me are naïve enough to have been “taken advantage of” by someone or something in the past, and we are defending ourselves from ridicule and the possibility of being called a “fool.”  In our contemporary society, being skeptical is necessary for survival.  We all are seen as “prey” to every scammer who has a telephone or internet connection.  St. Thomas was not going to be taken advantage of because these companions of his had seen an apparition.  Thomas was saying, “I am not going to be the sucker who takes the bait.”  


So what caused St. Thomas to change his mind?  The simple answer is, Thomas knew Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ was his friend.  Because he knew Jesus, he abandoned his fear of looking like a fool.  He abandoned human reason and scientific logic.  He was ecstatic that his friend was alive.   


If you know Jesus Christ personally, you are not afraid to look like a fool to the world.  Reason, logic, fear of embarrassment, and feelings of inadequacy all become trivial.   Friendship and trust take over.  If you have become part of the mystical body of Christ through the Most Holy Eucharist, you already know Jesus Christ in your heart.  


If the label on the bottle actually says “Champagne” I have “probability” that the contents came from a specific region in France.  If I add two plus two, I have mathematical “certainty” the answer is four.  And if I know Jesus Christ personally as my brother, Lord, Savior, and Son of God, and I have been washed clean by his blood; then I will follow him anywhere without any skepticism, without a doubt; because when the world sees a “fool,” Jesus Christ sees his friend.


Next WeekThird Sunday of Easter Sunday   


Acts 2:14, 22-33

1 Pt 1:17-21

Lk 24:13-25


Theme: Walking to Emmaus with the Risen Lord


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