Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

September 24, 2023 - 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

                         Respect Life Sunday

Cooperative Mission Appeal this Weekend


Thanks to the Divine Word Missionaries for their presence this weekend at the precept Masses at St. Ann and Sacred Heart.  Funds collected are distributed according to Archdiocesan formula and procedure.


Parking Lot at Sacred Heart not accessible

Friday late afternoon and early evening on September 29


Each year in the Fall, Fairfield High School uses the parking lot at Sacred Heart for the staging of participants in Fairfield High School’s Homecoming Parade.  Access to or from Sacred Heart will be restricted from about 3:30 p.m. until about 7:00 p.m. that day.


Official Family Name


With the completion of the run-off election of the two top names, the official name of the family is: “The Family of the Immaculate Heart of Mary at Sacred Heart” or “The Family of the Immaculate Heart of Mary at St. Ann.”  Thus we have one name for our combined parish family which serves the faithful at two physical distinct church buildings (or worship space) locations. 


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.


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 began Wednesday, September 20, 2023 in the Church undercroft.  (RH 2&3)   Printed schedules are still available at the Church doors, on our website, and promptly sent to any emailed request.  It is not too late to join this year. 


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:


The positive adjective “good” has a comparative and a superlative form.  Good is referred to as the “positive.”  Better is the “comparative.”  Best is the “superlative.”  You cannot do better than the superlative.  Heaven is a superlative.   In Heaven we are with God forever in Paradise.  No existence can be more perfect than perfection.  


In today’s gospel all the workers got paid the same amount.  Some had worked all day and some for only an hour.  Is that fair?  It is certainly not equitable!   Jesus tells the parable to remind us that it is never too late for salvation in Christ.  But this begs the question, “Are their higher and lower places in Heaven?”  Is it more practical to sin extravagantly in youth, and then convert immediately before death?  Especially if the end benefit is the same?  


Conversion is not an “Ah Ha” moment revealed by the acquisition of data.  Conversion is a state of being in which we accept Christ once and for all as the culmination of God reaching out to humanity.  It does not come with an academic degree.   It is not simply an emotional experience.  It is a complete and unequivocal handing over the existence of self to Jesus Christ.  This is what the Eucharist is intended to be for us each time we receive Christ’s Body and Blood.   The Eucharist is a foretaste of the perfect union of God and humanity in Heaven.




NEXT WEEK   The Twenty Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Ez 18:25-28

Phil 2:1-11

Mt 21:28-32


Theme: Action is more important than “talk.”




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