Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

September 7, 2020 -23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Next Sunday: Twenty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time Fr. Schmitz


Labor Day Mass Schedule


There will NOT be a 6:30 a.m. Mass on Monday, September 7.  I will have the regular 7:30 a.m. Mass at Sacred Heart on Monday, September 7 and a 9:00 a.m. Mass at St. Ann.  Both churches will be locked after the respective Masses as there will be no staff to monitor either facility.


Please “SUBSCRIBE” to the Pastoral Region YOUTUBE Channel


Please note:  The necessary equipment to begin to live stream Mass from St. Ann as well as Sacred Heart is supposed to be delivered by mid-September.  A great deal of additional wiring had to be completed at St. Ann to make live streaming possible.  To be able to utilize the new equipment, we must have at least one thousand subscribers on our You Tube channel.  For this reason, I am reprinting the following plea.


Reprint of earlier plea!


Many of you have been watching Sunday Mass for some time now on the “Pastoral Region of Sacred Heart and St. Ann” accessed on Youtube.  PLEASE take a moment to hit the button which says “SUBSCRIBE.”  It is free.  It costs you nothing! BUT if we (Sacred Heart and St. Ann Pastoral Region) can reach one thousand subscribers, under the Youtube rules, it will allow us to do so many more things VIRTUALLY!!!  (In other words, “OnLine”)    For example, instead of requiring parents to come “in person” to instructional meetings for First Reconciliation, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation, I will be posting a  VIDEO our Youtube Channel to provide this information to parents, to be viewed at their leisure.  


Please let me strongly recommend again that you not view our Sunday Mass from either parish website.  These websites are more prone to crash with high volume.  It is far easier and more secure to go directly to the Pastoral Region Youtube site.  You can always go immediately to our Youtube site by using the following link:


I suggest making this link a “bookmark” on your web browser for easy and quick access.  All you need is an email address to subscribe.   Please help.


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 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 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 means Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults


Schedules for the RCIA for St. Ann and Sacred Heart are available at church doors as well as on our parish websites.  Please contact me (Fr. Tharp) if you are interested in becoming a Catholic.  Because of the persistence of COVID, the RCIA classes may be able to take place “in person” in the basement of the church at Sacred Heart or they may be required to be held “virtually” using Zoom or some other platform.   The first classis September 23, so it is more important than ever that you register for the RCIA by contacting me at (513) 858-4260.   This comes directly to my desk, so if I am not in, please simply leave a voicemail and I will get back to you.  Please also feel free to email me at [email protected].  


Archdiocese of Detroit controversy over Validity of Baptism


Reprinted for those who may have missed it the first time.


Some of you may have seen the letter of Archbishop Vigneron to his diocese regarding a Deacon who was apparently saying: “We baptize you” rather than the words specified by the Ritual: “I baptize you.”  The bishop, priest or deacon who administers the Sacrament of Baptism must stand “in persona Christi” not as just one of the congregation.  The “matter” of the Sacrament of Baptism is water, and the “form” of the Sacrament is the Trinitarian Formula, “I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”  Both matter and form are necessary for the valid administration of the Sacrament.


I think the aforementioned Detroit case is the only one I have heard of in which any Catholic minister strayed from the form “I baptize you…”   I suspect it is an isolated case.  I don’t think this should be a cause for concern for anyone here.  


Reflection on Scripture: Twenty Third  Sunday in Ordinary Time  


“Whose fault is it?”   When brothers and sisters try to explain something broken or damaged, this question streams from the mouths of all.   I our present litigious society, this is the question asked of the judicial system by attorneys for the plaintiff and the defendant.  This is also the question about “sin” that is asked by today’s gospel.  Ezekiel tells us that if we warn the sinner beforehand, either way we are free of any complicity.  But if we do not warn him beforehand, we share in culpability.  In the gospel, Jesus sets up an appellate procedure.  We have a duty in Christian charity to call the sinner back from the error of his ways.  We must exhaust every possibility.  In the end, I am responsible for my sin.  It is done of my free will.  But if I tempt someone else to sin, and he sins, we both are guilty.  The question then become, am I the proximate cause of his sin or the remote cause.  If the former, I am guilty.  If the latter, I am exonerated.  


In our world today, whatever it is, if it is bad, it is someone else’s fault.  Like a child trying to wipe cookie crumbs off his shirt while denying his hands were in the cookie jar; our society suborns the lie as an effective escape of moral culpability for almost anything.  But God knows the truth.  And he is the only judge who holds the gavel of eternal life.  Jesus is simply saying, “honesty is the best policy.”  


Next WeekTwenty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time     


Sir 27:30 – 28:7

Rom 14:7-9

Mt. 18:21-35


Theme:   Forgiveness


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