As I compose this letter, I am watching the raindrops come down. It is a lot better than snow which could happen later on. I am reminded that this is State Basketball Tournament time when often the weather is not cooperative. May it keep raining instead of turning into ice and snow.
On Saturday February 26, I joined over 100 people from the wider community at the “Dying with Grace” workshop sponsored by the St. Joseph’s Educational Center under the direction of Dr. Tom Neal. This workshop featured Mr. Paul Malley, president of Aging with Dignity. He gave us a keynote address and told about things to look at when facing the final sickness and death of loved ones and our own death. There were very good break out sessions following the main presentation. It is good for all to know and to have written down and discussed, the final directives we want used for ourselves and our loved ones. That evening, I was one of the judges for the 1st Annual Trivia Night for Our Ladies Little Learners. It was a great evening with good team decorations and wonderful food at the team tables. I am glad that I had the answer sheets and did not have to come up with the answers!
On Sunday February 27, I joined Fr. Steve for mass at OLIH at the 8:30 am mass. I enjoyed the 3rd grade hospitality and did manage to find a chocolate doughnut with chocolate frosting! On Monday, 3/1, I concelebrated mass with Fr. Steve at 9:30 am. I met with a family to plan the funeral of Robert Dodd from St.Theresa’s.
On Tuesday, again I concelebrated at the 8:30 am mass. I completed the funeral homily for the next day and led the Scripture service at the Vigil for Robert Dodd at Westover Funeral Home. Before the vigil service, I had a chance to enjoy supper with the priests at the Dowling Priests Residence. It is good to stay connected with those who live there.
On Wednesday, I celebrated the Funeral for Robert Dodd at St. Theresa’s and stayed for the lunch following. At 2:00 pm, I met with two representatives from another architecture firm. They spent some time reviewing what they could do to help St. Luke’s in the process of developing ideas for a master plan for our new facilities. We will have many very good firms to choose from when the time comes. I worked for a little while on a possible Lenten Schedule for St. Luke’s. Then I went to visit Rev. Bob Kem, the pastor of St. Anne’s Episcopal Church. I let him know that we would like to rent office space from them and to be able to use their facilities for other St. Luke functions during the week as needed. An agreement is being drawn up for the rental of space for St. Luke’s at St. Anne’s.
Later that evening, interested parishioners gathered at the OLIH Rectory basement again to talk about things happening for St. Luke’s. After praying the St. Luke the Evangelist prayer, we discussed the $1,011.00 in our bank account after paying the Ankeny Community School deposit of $2,000 to use Ashland Elementary School, the $200.00 rent for the first week, and various other bills. At the time of the meeting, 58 families have registered in the parish. I encourage many of you to send in your registrations to build our community. Reports from the committee planning our Parish Gathering on Sunday 3/6, 3 – 5:00 pm were given. There will be food, time to visit, presentations of progress made so far, time to hear about committees and to sign up for them. Come and hear about what is happening so far and about what will be happening soon.
Thursday was supposed to be my day off but I attended a Parish Staff Benefits meeting sponsored by the diocese at LMC who manage the benefits for employees working in the parishes and for the diocese. Considering I am the only employee, I figured that I better have a sense of the benefits that are being used throughout the diocese. It was a good session. Then there was time to ride my exercise bicycle, do laundry and do some reading.
Today, Friday, I am trying to get ready for the weekend – homily – thoughts for the Parish Gathering at Otter Creek. Keep St. Luke’s in your prayers. Plan on coming to the Sunday March 6, 3 – 5:00 pm gathering. Mark your calendars for our first Mass on Sunday March 13, 9:00 am at Ashland Ridge Elementary School Gym.