Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time


St. Ann Building for the Future Project


Please come to a meeting at church after the Saturday 5:15 p.m. Mass on October 28 to discuss some issues relating to the possible future building project.  We have had all summer to review the artistic renderings of a plat plan devised by the architect, and now it is time to decide if there is adequate interest to spend the money for a financial feasibility study conducted by a professional fundraising group.  The group that handled the One Faith, One Hope, One Love Drive for the Archdiocese has indicated that the cost of such a “financial feasibility study” (a study that would indicate anticipated donations) would cost between $17,000 to $20,000.  I would have to seek approval from the Archdiocese to spend the money, but at this point I want the parish to vote as to whether it is time to test the financial waters or if delay and discussion regarding the scope of the project would be more prudent at this time. 


The architect has indicated that a best guestimate of the cost to raze existing buildings and build the new parish center (as envisioned) would be around $3,000,000.  If the feasibility study showed that we could probably only raise $1.5 million, we would know the price tag is beyond us.  If the feasibility study were to indicate that St. Ann could easily raise three to three and a half million, the parish could petition the Archdiocese to allow us to actually conduct the capital fund drive and receive donations. 


I have also looked into two additional options which I will present for consideration.  One is the reduction of the size iof the project to create nothing but a gymnasium adequate for the school and for tournament games.  There would be no offices and no razing of the old convent.  The rectory would be razed. 


Another possibility is to petition the City of Hamilton Building Department to consider an all steel building with no basement but façade brick on the visible front.  Buildings like this are most often used as warehouses, but some house churches and gymnasiums.  These buildings are typically half to three quarters the cost of slab on grade masonry structures, and vary mostly by virtue of the price of steel.


Come to the meeting and help me form an understanding of the mind of the parishioners regarding this envisioning of the future.  After the meeting, we will conduct the parish vote by mail.


 Annual Fr. Tharp Split the Pot


We are beginning to sell tickets for the annual “Fr. Tharp Split the Pot for St. Ann.”   As in the past, we will sell tickets to the end of the calendar year.  As the pot grows larger, interest swells.  Encourage your friends and associates to buy early and buy often. 


Little Flower Girls Club


One of our St. Ann Moms is looking into starting a “Little Flower Girls Club” at St. Ann.  You can read about this Catholic program for school aged girls on the internet, but we also encourage you to attend a meeting at St. Ann Office Building Basement Meeting Room on Monday, October 30 at 7:00 p.m.  We will need other Moms to help with the program, so come if you have a girl who might be interested and/or come if you are an adult woman interested in the program. 


Fr. Tharp away on Tuesday Afternoons


For the past eight years, I have been given the opportunity to teach a class at the Seminary on Pastoral Administration.  I teach a three hour class once each Tuesday afternoon between now and Christmas.  Therefore, from now until Christmas, I will be unavailable by telephone and out of my office on Tuesday afternoons. 


Reflection on Scripture


“Should we pay taxes to an oppressive foreign government that rules over us by its army occupying our land?”  This is the question put to Jesus in today’s gospel.  If Jesus says, “Yes, pay taxes” then the people will hate him as a traitor to his own people.  If Jesus says, “No don’t pay taxes” he will be arrested as a subversive to the Roman Government.  It seems Jesus can’t win!  But then Jesus simply speaks the truth.  He says give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.  For the Jews who heard his response, he is surreptitiously reminding them that God made everything and thus nothing belongs to Caesar or to anyone for that matter.  For the Roman soldiers who heard Jesus, he was saying go ahead and acquiesce to the Roman authority.  Everyone was happy with his answer except the Pharisees because Jesus had outwitted them. 


For us today, the story reminds us not to put our faith in conflict or collusion with politics.   Our morality cannot come from politics.  It can only come from our relationship with God.


Readings for the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Ex 22:20-26

1 Thes 1:5c-10

Mt 22:32-40


Theme:  The greatest commandment!



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