Fr. Shane Ian Tharp, RIP

Fr. Shane Ian Tharp, RIP October 16, 2015

Bad news tonight. Just got off the phone from Oklahoma. Fr. Shane Ian Tharp, a priest of Jesus Christ and a dear friend has died of what I’m told was a massive heart attack (though the autopsy is today, so that may change). He was in Wichita and, as it happened, was visiting his spiritual director. He died in hospital, having received anointing and apostolic pardon from his spiritual director, who was with him when he collapsed, just about the happiest possible death I can imagine for him.

Fr. Shane was a friend for 13 years. He was funny, witty, and above all a serious disciple of Jesus. I spoke to him just a few days ago (He wanted me to come out and speak at his parish in December. No idea what will happen on that front now. It’s weird how your mind races to stupid stuff like that when you are in shock.)

His family is, of course, in need of our prayers, as is his parish. Please offer intercession for him as he completes his earthly pilgrimage. As it happens, I have been watching 90 Minutes in Heaven, about a near death experience by a Baptist pastor who, unlike Fr. Shane, did not get to stay and who therefore spent months mourning the loss of heaven and having to stay on earth.

As I sit here in shock and felt grief well up, I suddenly had it occur to me what I have been sitting here watching for a couple of hours. It almost felt like a friendly dope slap from Fr. Shane. He died in Christ.

All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of thing will be well.

But Jesus wept too. So will I.

Goodbye, Fr. Shane it was an honor to know you. I will pray for you and I ask you to pray for me. You are a priest forever, bub. You don’t get off the hook that easy.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

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  • Evan

    I’m sorry for your loss, Mark. My prayers are with you and Fr. Tharp and his family.

  • Marianne Moore

    Fr. Tharp’s passing is such a shock. I have only known him for a few months, as a member of his current parish, and it is hard to believe he will not be with us anymore. He accomplished so much in his short time at our parish and school. His reverence during Mass, and also his sermons, were food for the soul.

    It’s makes my soul happy to hear that he had asked you to come speak at our parish. Further evidence of how seriously he took his calling, even in caring for the flock he had known for so little time. We are truly blessed that God sent Fr. Tharp to us, if only for a little while, and he will be greatly missed.
    May God console you, also, in your grief.

  • What a loss. His “Catholic Ragemonkey” was one of my first introductions to St. Blog’s, along with your place and Amy Welborn’s. I’m sure his intercession will bear tremendous fruits here on earth, but it’s still a loss. Prayers for his soul and the consolation of his family and friends.

  • Reader Yesterday

    Oh, Mark, I’m so sorry. Tears and prayers for him and for us all. He will be missed, even knowing that nothing is lost in Christ. Heading out to Mass this a.m. and will offer whatever indulgences God is pleased to grant my poor prayers for him. God bless and keep you and grant you and all Father’s family and friends much consolation. Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.

  • Heather

    I had never heard of the man, but your post brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful tribute to a man of God. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

  • I only knew his electronic presence, but I will be adding my prayers to yours. Requiescat in pace.

  • Charlotte

    He was our priest at Sacred Heart in Alva for a time. He was a great teacher as well as priest. He will be missed very much. May God rest his soul.

  • Joe Sales

    My thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends, the Archdiocese , and all those who knew Fr Tharp. I only knew of his online presence.

  • elmccl

    Blessed in the eyes of the Lord is the deaths of His Saints.

  • K. Lundquist


  • Lady Bird

    What a nice tribute. Thanks for sharing and condolences for your loss. Will pray for the repose of his soul.

  • Sean Herriott

    I’m just floored by this, Mark. A former co-worker shared this on his FB feed, and it took me a couple minutes to wrap my head around what he was saying. He was genuinely granted the grace of a peaceful death. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about him.

    • chezami

      Yeah. I’m still absorbing it. I sense his boistrous laugh through the veil and joy at receiving not only anointing but and apostolic pardon from his spiritual director–just about as happy a death as you could possibly ask for. I know he’s fine. It’s me I mourn for, and everybody else who has, for the time being, lost him.

  • Father Shane was among those who helped lead me into the Church. He was a holy priest and a wonderful human being. Besides praying for his repose, I am praying for consolation for you and for all who were blessed to know him.

    • chezami

      God love you, Dawn.

  • orual’s kindred

    Prayers for him and the repose of his soul! Eternal rest grant unto him, o Lord! Prayers as well for his family, friends, and all those affected by his passing!

  • jesspinosa

    I saw Fr. Shane Tharp interviewed by Marcus Grodi recently on The Journey Home – He struck me as a happy, holy priest. May he rest in peace.

    • Carolyn Schuster

      Thank you for posting this!

  • Shelly

    While I know you are grieving, I simply ask that you report the facts. 1. Fr. Shane died in Wichita Ks, NOT Kansas City. 2. The autopsy is being done today (monday) so the cause of death is unknown. 3. Fr Tharp died in the hospital. He was with his spiritual director when he collapsed the first time.
    Please, these crazy rumors are causing so much pain for those who are grieving… on top of their pain they have to stop and correct.

    • chezami

      I’m doing the best I can and was going on what I was told by people who were with his sister. Cut me some slack.

  • Lazarus

    My condolences and prayers to all affected by this death. May we all remember our brief lives, and value everyone in it.

  • Emily Kimmel

    I met Fr. Tharp while I was going to college at St. Gregory’s. He was definitely one-of-a-kind. I’ll be praying.

  • Brant Pitre

    Mark, I just somehow stumbled onto your post. I am deeply saddened by the death of Fr. Shane. I got to know him during several years of summer conferences for priests at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe. I can still hear his boisterous laugh and, even more, still recall the insatiable curiosity he had to learn everything possible he could about Jesus Christ and the Scriptures. After virtually every presentation he would come up with a hoard of questions and we would talk and talk and talk… May eternal rest be granted unto him, O Lord, and may his soul rest in peace.

  • Dwight A. Lindley III

    May he rest in peace.