As I am writing this letter, there is a little dusting of snow that is coming down on Friday evening. We were very fortunate to miss the snow that fell even in Norwalk and certainly further south. This has been a good winter to have the bad weather North of us and South of us - “The Joy of being in between.”
This last weekend, I had the privilege of celebrating Reconciliation for OLIH on Saturday afternoon. Because Fr. Steve was part of the Christian Experience Weekend (CEW) I was glad to celebrate the masses for him. It is great to see many of you at these masses and begin to recognize faces and even put a few names with them. Keep introducing yourselves and I will improve.
Earlier on Saturday, I had a chance to visit with a future St. Luke’s couple to talk about the baptism of their child who will be born in April. They will do their preparation here and then go to mom’s home parish for the baptism. That evening I joined several priests to celebrate Reconciliation with those on the Christian Experience Weekend. The grace of God’s forgiveness was very evident.
During this week, I was the celebrant for the daily masses at 8:30 am for Fr. Steve. On Monday, I celebrated the Funeral for Joyce Wisdom, mother of Karen Carbino at OLIH. Keep Joyce and her family in your prayers. We now have our parish computer capable of organizing and printing checks for our bills as soon as we get some checks. I had a good time with the “Wise and Wonderful” seniors at their social and dinner Monday evening. Following the dinner, some members of our Finance Committee met to begin a budget for the period until the end of the fiscal year. I encourage you to begin your financial support for St. Luke’s. We already have bills to pay! Incidentally, if you would like to begin Automatic withdrawal from your account for St. Luke’s, the form is now on this website.
On Tuesday, I spent a lot of time with Bishop Pates. From 10 am – 3:00 pm, we met with the Priests’ Presbyteral Council for our quarterly meeting. We discuss the concerns of the priests, the bishop and the diocese. We serve as the elected representatives of priests in the regions of the diocese. Later that evening, the bishop invited me to give a short report on the progress of St. Luke’s to the “Bishop’s Council” a group of advisers from the diocese. It was not a bad deal – dinner at the Des Moines Club!
On Wednesday, Bob Lickteig accompanied me to the Ankeny Community Schools Office where we handed in the forms for the use of Ashland Ridge Elementary School from March 13 – August 28, 2011. We also made a $2,000.00 deposit that will be returned after we no longer use that facility. We made the first $200.00 rental payment as well. Afterward, we went out to visit the school and look at the ways it can be used for our masses and socials.
That afternoon, I visited for a while with a representative of The Opus Group, a design-build company interested in future work at St. Luke’s. Wednesday evening there was another gathering of folks from St. Luke’s to help organize things. We talked about the Sunday March 6, 3 – 5:00 pm gathering at the Pinnacle Club at Otter Creek. Come and find out about all that has happened so far at St. Luke’s. There will be information and opportunities to begin helping with things. We also did some planning for St. Luke’s First Mass on March 13, 9:00 am at the Ashland Ridge Gym. Mark your calendars and plan on coming.
Thursday was kind of a day off. I had a pastor’s lunch with several area priests followed by the St. Joseph’s Education Center Board meeting. I encourage you to check out their extensive and wonderful website. Soon we will have a link to it. Dr. Tom Neal is the Director of the Center. He will be coordinating the Saturday “Dying with Grace” workshop at OLIH. And now here we are at Friday.
Do keep up your prayers for St. Luke’s. Consider filling out the registration forms if you have not yet done so. Together, we will grow to be the parish God has in mind.