Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

September 10, 2023 - 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Next Sunday:  Twenty Fourth  Sunday in Ordinary Time     Celebrant:  Fr. Tharp

Religious Education Program (REP)


REP  for St. Ann and Sacred Heart (religious training for students 1-8 who do not attend a Catholic School) begins with a prayer service on September 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the worship space at Sacred Heart.    


November Ballot Issue enshrining Abortion as a Right


In a letter dated August 12, 2023, Archbishop Schnurr cites the following reasons this amendment to the Ohio Constitution on the November Ballot must be defeated:


  • Put women at risk. This amendment would enable elimination of some of the most basic, fundamental safety regulations on abortion clinics, including the current requirement for an abortion to be performed by a licensed physician.
  • Threaten parental rights. The vague language in the amendment opens the door to anyone under 18 having an abortion, or even beginning cross-sex hormone treatment, without parental consent or notification.
  • Allow abortion through 9 months of pregnancy. The amendment provides caveats such that a healthy, fully-formed infant in the womb who otherwise could be delivered with no issues would still be a candidate for a surgical dismemberment abortion.


For the Catholic Church and indeed all “life centered” religions who believe that God created all life, this is not a political issue.  This is a moral issue.  We see absolute law in the Decalogue.   (Thou shalt not!)   Even for those who would cite some good thing that resulted from 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.  


RCIA begins Wednesday, September 20


RCIA classes begin Wednesday, September 20, 2023 in the Church undercroft.  (RH 2&3)   Printed schedules are available at the Church doors, on our website, and promptly sent to any emailed request. 


Precious Blood at Communion


We have distributors lined up for two cups at all three Sunday morning Masses; two at Sacred Heart and one at St. Ann.”  For the moment, we do not have cups lined up for the either of the Saturday evening Masses.  Again, we can only offer both species to the degree we have enough Eucharistic ministers willing to do cups at the various precept Masses.  We hope to have cups offered at the Saturday Masses very soon.




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


As the new reduced Sunday Mass schedule is in place, it has been recommended that I continue to live stream the 4:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart, and consider not live streaming the 5:15 p.m. Mass from St. Ann but instead live stream the Sunday Mass at 9:30 from St. Ann.  We will experiment with this for a time and see which arrangement is more favored.


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:


Justice must be remedial, not simply punitive.  Fraternal correction is not an option but an obligation.   This summarizes today’s first reading from Ezekiel as well as the formula for justice in Matthew’s gospel. 


The reading from Ezekiel makes it clear that fraternal correction is not optional.  God reminds Ezekiel that he is obligated to warn the wayward soul of God’s impending justice, lest he be destroyed by his sin.  But if Ezekiel fails to warn the wayward, in justice he will die, and Ezekiel will be held responsible 


In today’s gospel, Jesus tells us that fraternal justice requires that we engage in multiple attempts at remediation.  Jesus demands that we do our best to dissuade the sinner from his error.  It reminds me of the old Merle Haggard song in which he sings, “Momma tried to raise me better, but her pleading I denied.  That leaves only me to blame because Momma tried.”  Merle’s character in the song exonerates his mother from guilt for his sin or subsequent incarceration, by admitting that she tried to warn him. 


Sometimes in our cynicism we presume that the sinner will not change regardless of our intervention, and therefore relegate him to the scrapheap of humanity.  Jesus says that such apathy makes us complicit in the consequences.  Jesus is basically saying that if you tell your friend the stove is hot but do not say, “I mean it!  Stop or you will be burned!” you have cooperated in the injury.  In essence, Jesus is referencing the question Cain puts to God in the Book of Genesis when Able is missing: “Am I my brother’s keeper?”  The answer to the rhetorical question is obvious and unspoken.  The answer is “Yes!”   


NEXT WEEK   The Twenty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Sir 27:30—28:7

Rom 14:7-9

Mt 18:21-35


Theme: Forgiveness




RSS Feed


Access all blogs

Subscribe to all of our blogs