Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

September 3, 2023 - 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

Labor Day Mass Schedule


Monday, September 4 is Labor Day; a National Holiday.  We will therefore follow the “Holiday” (not “Holy Day” but “Holiday”) schedule of Masses on Labor Day.  We will NOT have  a 6:30 a.m. Mass at St. Ann on Labor Day!  Labor Day Mass at Sacred Heart will be 7:30 a.m. and Mass at St. Ann will be 9:00 a.m. 


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. 


Beacons of Light:  Choice of Family Name and Envisioning


Today we have the runoff election for the official name of our St. Ann/Sacred Heart Family.  The option is between the two highest vote getters: “Immaculate Heart of Mary Family” and “the Family of Christ our Light.” Once we have our “official” name, we can begin Phase Two of the Beacon’s process, namely “Envisioning.”  We are already “far ahead of the pack” (so to speak) in that we already have one RCIA, one REP, one St. Vincent De Paul, one combined Parish Council, and essentially one group of key staff serving both locations.  There are some “givens” as we begin envisioning.  For example, it is a given that our One Family will have two worship spaces (aka: church buildings) as neither worship space can house the entire congregation at one time.  It is a given that our one family will have two “stand-alone schools;” each offering unique benefits tailored to the ever widening diversity of prospective clients in our respective territories.  It is a given that our Family will be served by only one priest/pastor for the long term future.


The envisioning in Phase Two will challenge us to determine how we posture ourselves for the future so as to maximize our evangelization, stewardship, etc.  Consultation will begin with parish council and fan out to hopefully engage all parishioners.   The focus is not how do we maintain everything as is, but rather through efficiencies and creativity, how do we evangelize and become the catalyst to draw more to Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church?   More to come for fall and winter. 


The Sunday Mass Schedule


Precept Masses on Sunday Morning for the Parish Family of St. Ann / Sacred Heart are 8:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart, 9:30 a.m. at St. Ann, and 11:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart.  All Masses are celebrated by the pastor, Fr. Tharp.


8:00 a.m. Mass at Sacred Heart worship space

9:30 a.m. Mass at St. Ann worship space

11:00 a.m. Mass at Sacred Heart worship space


Remember:  The Saturday evening Masses (4:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart and 5:15 p.m. at St. Ann) remain unaltered and are celebrated by the pastor, Fr. Tharp.


Children’s Mass Bags


Our new Director of Evangelization and his wife who is our new Coordinator of Religious Education have put together Children’s Mass bags which you will find displayed in the Narthex at Sacred Heart and soon at St. Ann.   Each bag is filled with age appropriate materials for your child.  After the items in the bags are used to entertain your child during Mass, please place the items back in the bag and place the bag back on the display frame.  You may have noticed the steps and other items for children in place in the restrooms at Sacred Heart.  This is all part of the process to make our churches and services more “child friendly.”  


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 logic of God does not always match the human idea of practicality.  In the reading from the prophet Jeremiah, we hear Jeremiah complaining to God that he has been deceived and treated unfairly by God.   In the gospel, we hear Jesus chastise Peter for worrying about the approaching passion and death Jesus is soon to endure.  Peter and Jeremiah are applying human standards to matters of divine providence.  God sees every facet of every nuance of time and eternity.   But immersed in and entrapped by the reality of time, we humans are myopic and focus on the here and now.  How do you explain the eloquence of E=mc2 to an infant?  The infant lacks the language as well as the ability to form abstract concepts.   In just the same way, it is impossible for us as human beings to see things as God does.  This is not intended to be humility answering the inexplicable!  This is the art of purposefully accepting reality.  In other words, “Faith.”  


God offers each of us the opportunity to acquiesce to a version of Kierkegaard’s “leap of faith.”    Jeremiah did but made it clear to God that he did not like it.  Peter did out of friendship with Jesus.  What is it that will cause a rational human being to yield to the absurdity of fate?   The answer is “Faith in God.” 


NEXT WEEK   The Twenty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time


Ez 33:7-9

Rom 13:8-10

Mt 18:15-20


Theme: Discipline within the Church




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