Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

Second Sunday of Lent

Mar 7, 2017

The Light is On Program

The Light is On Program will take place on March 14.  This program asks all pastors to have confessions available for the general public between the hours of 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. throughout the entire Archdiocese of Cincinnati.  This will be promoted in the media as a way to invite people who have been away from the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) for a long time to come to any Catholic Church for confession during these hours.  Unfortunately when there is only one priest pastoring two or more parishes, he must rely on another priest (who is not a pastor) to help.  Fr. Adam, our Sunday helper has a retreat at Fenwick High School and is unable to come.  My staff has called religious order priests, retired priests, and other priests who are not assigned as pastors to see if they could help.  No priest has been able to do so.

Therefore, the Light is On Program for St. Ann and Sacred Heart will of necessity take place at Sacred Heart only.  Since I have regular weekly confessions at Sacred Heart from 6:30 until 7:00 p.m., I will be available to hear confessions from 6:30 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. or until all are heard.  St. Ann will be unable to “Have the Light On” but we will post signs on all doors directing people to Sacred Heart.

I am sorry my staff could not find another priest.  With the priest shortage, sometimes all you can do is all you can do!


Employment Positions to be Open Listed at St. Ann

Our Business Manager/Secretary at St. Ann, Susan McAbee, has indicated her desire to retire on July 1, 2017.  I would like to say upfront that “No one will be able to replace Susan.”   However after consultation with St. Ann Parish Council it has been decided that St. Ann will divide her tasks into two full time positions.  Position One will be “Business Manager with Secretarial Responsibilities” and Position Two will be “Receptionist with Data Entry and secretarial Responsibilities.”  These job descriptions will be posted at St. Ann and Sacred Heart initially, but then more widely open listed as determined by applications received. 


Buildings for the Future

I offer my gratitude to all of you who attended the first general gathering of the St. Ann Buildings for the Future program.   The meeting took place in church Thursday, on March 2.  We discussed the options for the future configuration of buildings such as the cost of maintaining the old rectory and convent for which we have limited usage versus razing the buildings and configuring a multipurpose structure.  The architectural firm Brown and Bills presented a site plan that would maintain present levels of parking and provide a more useful structure.

No decisions were made at the meeting.  We are not even close to making any decisions yet.  At this point, we are simply reviewing the options and engaging in discussion.  The purpose of the meeting was purely to start the discernment process as to what would be the most advantageous use of the footpad or parcel which we presently inhabit.  We are not even ready to do a financial feasibility study as yet, since we do not know the will of the parish as to the future.  After a few months of discussion, I will ask the parish as a whole to vote as to whether or not to move forward with a feasibility study.  For the next few months, I ask that all parish groups and clusters of parishioners discuss this among yourselves.  The architect will review the ideas from the meeting and report back to us.

So basically what I am asking you to do as a parish is to think and talk about these ideas.  A few years ago, the general mindset of many was that St. Ann should be in the market for a “tombstone.”  Now that we are doing better in terms of attendance and finances, we now are asking how we want to posture ourselves in terms of our facilities for the future.  To paraphrase Mark Twain, “Rumors of our demise are greatly exaggerated.” 


Lenten Services

St. Ann:  Stations of the Cross and Benediction Friday Evenings (7:00 p.m.), March 3 – April 7.  Good Friday Service on Good Friday (7:00 p.m.) but no stations.

Sacred Heart:  Stations of the Cross and benediction Sunday afternoons (3:00 p.m.), March 5 – April 2.  NO stations on Palm Sunday afternoon because the Passion was already read at all the Sunday Masses.

The Lay Presider Ministry at Sacred Heart has Stations without Benediction on Friday evenings at 7:00 p.m. during Lent, (except Good Friday), led by lay persons without a priest or deacon.  No Benediction.



At the time when this is being written, St. Ann has donations or pledges of 70.33% of its goal of $23,249.  This represents participation of 19.08% of the parish families.  Thanks to all who have made a commitment.   If you have not pledged as yet, please prayerfully consider a commitment, no matter how small. Remember that this is St. Ann’s way of doing its fair share to support programs that every parish uses throughout the Archdiocese.   Envelopes are available in church.


Reflection on Scripture

The story of the Transfiguration allows us to experience through the eyes of Peter, James, and John the revelation of Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior of the World.  As the veil is lifted and the Son of God is made visible in Jesus Christ, the revelation also fulfills the messianic hope.  Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets symbolized by Moses and Elijah respectively.  The purpose of the Law and the Prophets is to allow us to intellectually recognize and emotionally draw close to God.  In Jesus Christ, God becomes one of us so we can be one with God.


Readings for Third Sunday of Lent

Ex 17:3-7

Rom 5:1-2, 5-8

Jn 4:5-42

Theme:   Woman at the Well




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