Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

September 27, 2020 - 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Next Sunday:  Twenty Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time          Fr. Tharp



St. Francis blessing of Pets (animals)

Sunday, October 4 is the traditional Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi.  Normally we would gather in the afternoon for the traditional blessing of animals (pets).  Because of COVID and the risk of spreading infection, this year we will have prayer cards at Church which you can pick-up after Mass.  I will also create an email blast before October 4 containing and explaining the “Blessing Prayer” and how to pray it over your pet.  The dogs, cats, parakeets, fish, and even a goat I have had as pets over the years add so much to our lives.  Asking God’s blessing upon them as St. Francis did seems the least we can do.  I will also add a blessing at the end of the video Mass on our Youtube channel on the weekend of October 3 & 4.  Let us praise God for all manner of his creation.


Pastoral Region YOUTUBE Channel

Many thanks to all who helped us achieve over one thousand subscribers to the Sacred Heart and St. Ann YouTube channel.  This enables us to do so much more “on-line” than we could do in the past.  Even if the COVID crisis ends soon, (and we all hope it does) we intend to continue to use our YouTube channel to reach shut-in parishioners as well as former parishioners who have moved away but still have affection for their old home parish.  Thanks to all who subscribed.  Remember that we cannot have too many subscribers, so it is never too late to subscribe.


Also (if all goes well) we should have all the equipment installed to allow for live streaming of Mass from St. Ann as well as Sacred Heart each weekend.  If you are stuck at home, you will have the option of viewing Mass from either location. 


First Communion for those who could not last May

I wish to reiterate from former communications that as soon as we have assurance from the authorities in Ohio and from the Archdiocese that we can reduce the requirements of social distancing and masks so as to have a traditional large Group First Communion celebration, we will do so for St. Ann and Sacred Heart. 


In the meantime, if any parent wishes their child who was looking forward to First Communion last Spring to have the opportunity to make an “informal” First Communion at any Sunday or Weekday Mass that I celebrate, please contact “Lauren” the Parish Secretary at Sacred Heart (513) 858-4210.  She has my schedule and will help you in choosing a regularly scheduled Mass when your child can begin receiving the Most Holy Eucharist.  Distancing rules do not allow us to do many of the things associated with First Eucharist like banners,

gathering around the altar, etc. Nevertheless beginning to receive communion will not preclude them from the Group First Communion when we are permitted to have it.    Feel free to choose the aforementioned option or to wait for the formal First Communion Mass (which cannot happen until current Health Department restrictions are lifted.)   This is a parental decision.  Whatever you think is best for your child; that is what I want to do.


RCIA:  Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults began this past Wednesday

Schedules for the RCIA for St. Ann and Sacred Heart are still available at church doors (both St. Ann and Sacred Heart) as well as on our parish websites.  If you wish to join but missed the first class last Wednesday, please call me at 858-4260 or simply come next Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.  We will be sure to socially distance and wear masks.  If you call me first, I will inform you as to whether we will continue to meet “in person” or if we will move to an online format.


Reflection on Scripture: Twenty Sixth  Sunday in Ordinary Time 

How you decide to live your life, and how you actually live your life may be similar or disparate.  In the bravado of youth, we may reject any deity, and anything that reminds us of God.  As age brings us closer to the recognition of our own mortality, we may grow into a different set of priorities.  Referencing today’s gospel, this may be the case with the first son who responded negatively to his father initially, but then later followed orders. 

But the second scenario is the son who responds affirmatively to the father; only to later (as time goes on) forget his duty and become recalcitrant.   Jesus asks the crowd which is better?   They correctly respond that the former is better.  It is not what we say we are going to do that counts; it is what we actually do that counts.  The first son regretted his disobedience, and with remorse he chose obedience and loyalty.  The second son “talked the talk, but did not walk the walk.”     


So what is the point of the parable?  I suggest that it means that God wants an obedient heart rather than an articulate dismissal.  We may gravitate to God when we find it stimulating, but abandon faith when in our lethargy we just don’t find the time to get around to it.  Often disobedience is borne of disinterest.  We don’t get around to doing what disinterests us.  The most obstinate conduct is indifference. 


God can change disloyalty into recommitment, hate into love, disappointment into hope; but because God gives us free will, God will not force the disinterested and indifferent heart to metanoia.   The truly disinterested heart becomes its own trap, and creates an impenetrable barrier for itself that cannot be breached even by a miraculous event.  It is the “germ” that causes the “disease” of cynicism. 


Next WeekTwenty Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time     


Is 5:1-7

Phil 4:6-9

Mt. 21:33-43


Theme:   “The stone the builders rejected…”







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