Father Adam's Articles

November 28, 2017

Fr. Adam’s Articles

During Advent, we will be having an extra Mass at 6 p.m. on Sunday. I will be offering a series of homilies on the four Marian Dogmas of the Church at these Sunday Evening Masses. The order of the Dogmas covered will be:

December 3rd: The Perpetual Virginity of Mary

December 10th: The Immaculate Conception

December 17th: The Assumption

December 24th (at 6:30 p.m.): Mother of God.

Since the birth of Christ, theology concerning Mary has been hotly debated and often contested. The debates have flared up at certain times during our history, especially by our separated brethren who follow in the traditions of the Protestant movement. Perhaps some of you have friends or family who have asked questions about Mary, and haven’t been able to give a response. These homilies are introductions to the four Dogmas, that is, the four declared teachings of the Church that are Divinely revealed and ought to be held by all faithful. The homilies will give a few talking points for you to use should someone ask you about Mary.

All are welcome to attend.

These Masses will also begin to gauge the desire of St. Luke’s parishioners for a Sunday Evening Mass with themed homily series; depending on the response, we may do this again in the near future!

"On another note, Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to fill out the feasibility study online survey. If you haven't had a chance to do so, please go to our website and follow the link that says, "Take the St. Luke's Survey Here". We look forward to building in the future, and we need everyone to share their thoughts about our current and upcoming projects."

Blessings,
Fr. Adam

STRATEGIC PLANNING COMMITTEE UPDATE

St. Luke the Evangelist parish is our family, our community, our connection to the universal body of Christ, and a place of encounter with God and one another.Our parish provides a means of encounter through Catholic education for youth via our RE program and our parish school, and through support for home schooling families, and through our faith formation programs for the adults of our parish.Developing our Catholic faith across all ages strengthens the domestic church and nurtures the character and values of our parishioners as we live our faith by serving God and others. We are one parish, united in one common mission.

Part of expanding our mission involves expanding our facilities.Thank you to everyone who participated in the Strategic Planning survey that went out in recent weeks.Thanks especially to the people who offered constructive criticism with regard to our current facilities; we began to take steps as soon as the surveys were received to address issues that surfaced in the comments.We will be doing some minor work on our facilities to make our spaces safer and friendlier with regard to acoustics.

The Strategic Planning survey was one part of a larger plan which is being developed to guide our community into the next phase of our growth.We are looking into expanding our facilities soon.Many committees are involved in the development of the next phase, but there is a specific Strategic Planning Committee tasked with coming up with a plan for making the next stage happen.The Strategic Planning Committee continues to discuss and assess the needs of St. Luke’s, and we are even looking into hiring a demographic research firm to provide concrete statistics which we will then use to further guide and mold our discussions.

With the conclusion of the surveys and incorporating the comments contained therein, we are working with the Invision Architecture firm to tweak the initial architectural concept.This architectural plan which we are developing will help guide us as we start the fundraising portion of our expansion.We are in the opening stages of selecting a capital campaign company to guide us through the next capital campaign.We are also planning on starting a feasibility study to see if the next steps are viable now and, if so, how much is possible to build in the near future.

All the discussions of the Strategic Planning committee thus far have involved adding classrooms for the parish school and parish RE to use and general meeting rooms which will be available to the whole parish.At the heart of our discussions is how to best provide enough space for everyone at this stage of our growth.We realize space is limited, and the next step will give us some breathing room. In addition to discussing rooms for everyone, the conversations have always included more parking and more storage, two things we desperately need here at St. Luke’s.

Thanks to you all for making this parish a place of community and encounter, and thanks for your generosity and most especially your prayers as we continue to plan for future community growth.

Sincerely,
The St. Luke’s Strategic Planning Committee

September 12, 2017

When the Inklings, gathered together in the small English town of Oxford, began discussing their stories and their faith journey as a group of friends, none of them could predict that they would build a literary corpus which promises to impact a dying Western culture almost a century after that group first gathered.

At the heart of their lives stood the Cross, and as their works flourished through a process of critique and growth within the group, the members each understood that the others had a unique perspective on the mystery of faith, something to share, that helped achieve mutual growth. Tolkien was a master linguist, Lewis a philosopher with a rich imagination, Barfield a dramatist, Charles Williams a poet; many others came and went in this wonderful group of scholars, and all contributed to what became the common goal of defending the Christian faith, taking eternal truths and sharing them in a new light. Their writings and poems and plays, coupled with the even more sublime story of their life together, continue to inspire people of faith today, encouraging them to find new ways of encountering the Cross in the midst of the Christian community. While these men didn’t always agree (to put it mildly), they were men of prayer with an eternal vision.

At St. Luke’s, we recently conducted a survey of parishioners regarding the future of our Church and School. The responses, given by roughly 115 people, exemplify marvelously the various diverse viewpoints which are present in our parish community. These differing viewpoints are essential and show that each has something to offer in the great goal of building our community together. Each has a unique perspective. We will face challenges in the years ahead as we try and build a greater community together, one that can truly respect varying viewpoints, but the success (or failure) of our time together will be determined by whether or not we strive to bring out the best in the other members. The ministries at this parish are manifold, and they will only increase. All of us has something we can learn from one another, and something we can contribute, and as long as we remain a people of prayer with an eternal vision, open to growth along the way, then all the growing pains of the upcoming years will result in a stronger and more united community, under the sign of the Cross. It is going to be an amazing road we walk together, and may the road lead to a deeper encounter of our Christian religion for all of us, just as it did for those wonderful Inklings nearly a century ago.

Blessings,
Fr. Adam

August 22, 2017

I recently decided to conduct a social experiment and offered, via our Saint Luke the Evangelist account on Facebook, to do house blessings.  At first, the view rate was a little slow for social media, so I stepped up my game with the help of Fr. Larry, who was able to get this amazing photo before we were caught and run off the property.

Accompanied by the above photo, my last offer on Facebook reached over 3000 people 48 hours after posting it, and I booked up the intended day (and, subsequently, the two days following) with 22 house blessings.

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Given the immense popularity on Facebook, I have decided to extend the offer of a house blessing to the Parish once again, this time through the bulletin and through announcements at Mass.  I will be offering two dates:  First, September 9th. While I know it is the ISU vs. Iowa game (the one and only sporting event I watch every year), I consider it of utmost importance as part of my sublime pastoral duty to visit your parties, bless your houses, and make sure the provender you provide at your festivities is fitting for those who have the high honor of being part of the lay faithful.  It is a tough job, but someone has to do it.

For those of you who are unavailable or attending other parties on the 9th, or for those of you who do not wish to endure my unflagging, zealous, once-a-year loyalty to the Cyclones (Go State!), I will also be available all afternoon and evening on September 10th. 

In either case, drop me an e-mail at fradam@slte.org to schedule a time. 

I have made it a personal goal to meet outside of weekend Mass all of the 480 registered families of our parish by August 15 next year.  I am off to a good start, and it has been wonderful to get to know you all a little better in my first month here.  Know that I am praying for you.

Blessings,
Fr. Adam

August 08, 2017

It is hard to compete with Fr. Larry’s letters. The title above, and this article, are my first crack at taking over a wonderful custom started by our dear Pastor Fr. Larry.

As I write this I am coming up on one week officially assigned to St. Luke’s, and have enjoyed getting my first taste of the parish. Coming from DC to Ankeny is almost as great a shift as Dorothy coming from Kansas to OZ, and I could have sworn for a brief moment that I had come to munchkinland when I held up the collection plate for the kid’s collection for the first time. Prudence kept me from singing my own rendition of Gelinda’s “Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are” during this part of the Mass.

I love the energy this parish has, and I’m excited to welcome the teachers and students back for the academic year so I can get the full St. Luke’s experience. I myself attended Catholic Schools my whole life, from Holy Trinity in Beaverdale to Dowling Catholic, then to the Franciscan University of Steubenville where I earned my B.A. in Philosophy with a minor in Theology, afterwards earning my M. Div. at St. Paul seminary, and finishing up my academic studies (God willing) with a JCL from the Catholic University of America as soon as I complete my thesis.

I’m looking forward to putting myself at the service of the parish and to helping this community to grow closer to Christ and one another. If I can be of assistance to you or your families, or if you want to meet for coffee/tea or dinner, or for pranking someone or shenanigans or other fun social activities, the easiest way to get ahold of me is through e-mail. fradam@slte.org