Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Resumption of Sunday Masses 

Alleluia!  The resumption of Sunday Masses takes place on the Weekend of May 30 and 31.  However, the Bishops of Ohio have extended the elimination of the obligation of the precept of Sunday attendance indefinitely.  This means that NO Catholic in the Archdiocese regardless of health is obligated to physically attend Mass on Sunday.  In fact, those with underlying medical conditions making them more susceptible are strongly encouraged to remain home and attend the Mass (virtually) on our Pastoral Region Youtube channel.  We will create means for you to inform us and for our ministers to provide that Holy Communion will be brought to you during the week. 

It is my intention to resume both Saturday Afternoon Masses (4:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart and 5:15 p.m. at St. Ann.)   and on Sunday Mornings (8:00 – 10:00 – 12:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart AND 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Sunday Morning Masses at St. Ann.  I do not know at present if Fr. Schmitz will be able to help, but I will do all five Sunday Masses if necessary. 

This will NOT be “return to life as usual!”   It will be necessary for everyone to wear some nose and mouth covering for the full time you are in church.  Each household unit (mom, dad and kids living in the same house) will have to socially distance from other households or individuals.  All individual or single adults (not of the same household) must adhere to the six feet socially distancing rule.  This will mean no greeters, no large choir, no books in pews, no hand passing of collection baskets among the congregation (ushers can still use the baskets with extended handles), no sign of peace, no holding of hands at the Our Father, special communion choreography, elimination of communion on the tongue, and no congregating for conversation or fellowship before or after Mass.  

I am in the process of collecting all the restrictions into an easy to read “bullet point” listing specific to each of our parishes.  I will provide these in next week’s bulletin as well as the email blast.  This way all will be prepared to accommodate the new way of attending Mass for the resumption of daily Mass on May 25 and the resumption of Sunday (Weekend) Masses on May 30 & 31 Pentecost.  

Sunday Mass live streamed and recording available on Website

The suspension of all Sunday Masses continues to be in effect in Ohio until Pentecost (May 30 & 31).   Please consider worshipping with me by either tuning in for Mass at 5:00 p.m., live-streamed (in real time) from Sacred Heart (we cannot live-stream as yet from St. Ann until we can get WIFI in the building) or tuning in after the live streaming for the recording of the Mass which was live streamed earlier.  At St. Ann, we will pre-record and post on our Pastoral Region Youtube site, the Sunday Morning Mass for viewing anytime on Sunday Morning after 8:00 a.m. or anytime thereafter.  For the duration of the quarantine, we will live-stream the Sunday Mass at 5:00 p.m. every Saturday from at least one of our two parish locations.  The Mass is automatically recorded for viewing at any time after the live-streaming is complete.

Remember that you can access our Pastoral Region Youtube page by clicking on same from either parish website.  Since both our parish websites are hosted by our Bulletin Company, and since many parishes are live-streaming at the same time, the websites have sometimes crashed from sheer volume.  The best way to assure that your connection will not crash is to go directly to the Pastoral Region of Sacred Heart and St. Ann Youtube page.  You can access this site by highlighting and (control + clicking) the following address: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVLLqbEY5hKWinwz069MVcg  Make our site one of your “bookmarks” on your computer, pad, or phone. There you can immediately access any past Masses or anything currently being live streamed. 


For the time being, I will continue to have individual confessions at the published times at Sacred Heart, unless or until the authorities prohibit them.  Saturday afternoon confessions at St. Ann will be only 15 minutes, from 3:30 p.m. until only 3:45 p.m.  unless I can find another priest to take them.

RCIA Candidates and Catechumens

The Archdiocese has decided that baptisms, confirmations, and first communions for the RCIA will take place on Pentecost Eve or perhaps Pentecost Sunday itself.  I am considering having the adults baptized, received, and confirmed on Pentecost Eve at a private Mass after the 5:15 p.m. so we can all still follow the rules of social distancing. 

Reflection on Scripture for the Sixth Sunday of Easter 

“I will not leave you orphans.”  With these words, Jesus announces his ascension to the Father as well as his promise of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus would never come into the world to give his life for us, rise from the dead, and then leave us behind.  In battle, when the Marine Sergeant goes first through the minefield, he is not leaving his squad behind.  Rather he is going first to show them the way.  Similarly, Jesus says to his disciples that he lives in them and they are alive in him. 

When we receive Holy Communion, Jesus truly lives in us and we live our life in him.  This is not just figurative or symbolic.  Jesus means what he says.  His words to his disciples are true.  His words to us are just as true.  Divers tell us that, if we use our snorkel properly, we can swim under the water and breathe.   Jesus tells us that if we live in his sacraments left for the Church, our souls will never suffer death.  Like the squad that follows their battletested sergeant, they know that he will lead them through all the perils to safety.  Sustained by the Eucharist, we know Jesus is with us.  He does not leave us orphans, but shows us the only way through him to eternal life.

Next WeekFeast of the Ascension    


Acts 1:1-11

Eph 1:17-23

Mt 28:16-20


Theme: “….baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”


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