Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,
No matter how I think about this Sunday being the 40th anniversary of my Ordination on May 29, 1971 by Bishop Maurice Dingman in Harlan, Iowa, it still seems that it cannot be that long ago. When I went digging through old pictures, then it become a little more possible. There has been a lot that has happened through those 40 years.
The Ordination and First Mass was a wonderful beginning as family and friends gathered in prayer and celebration to begin my ministry. My assignments were at St. Joseph’s in Des Moines 1971—1973, the Leon Team Ministry 1973—1978, St. Anne’s and Holy Family in Logan and Mondamin 1978—1985, Queen of Apostles in Council Bluffs and Our Lady of Carter Lake 1985—1992; a sabbatical, St. Ambrose Cathedral spring 1993, St. Anthony’s in Des Moines 1993—2003, St. Theresa’s in Des Moines 2003 –2010. In January of 2011, I was assigned to the new Parish in Ankeny—St. Luke the Evangelist.
You might think that once a person is ordained, their vocation is pretty much set. My experience however, has been that my vocation continued to develop through those years. It developed through the wonderful people who were part of every one of those parishes. Movements like TEC, Cursillo, Charismatic Prayer, RENEW and Christ Renews His Parish all have touched my vocation. The community, the parishes, the insights, the life of the Lord shared have all let my vocation grow and develop. Vocations to the priesthood are life-long enterprises. God is never finished with us until He is ready to bring us home.
My family, parents, 9 siblings and their spouses, their children and grandchildren, have been and continue to be a wonderful source of God’s life for me. The parish communities where I have served touched me with the life of God that was within them and they still do so. God’s plan is to share his life with us abundantly. In these 40 years, I have known that abundant life through the many, many people whose lives have touched mine.
In these 40 years I have seen that each one using their gift builds and enlightens the Body of Christ that we all are. I am grateful to all who have used their gift for the community, in care of those in need in the wider world, and n generous ministry to God’s people.
Thank you for your prayers and support over the years. May all of you be blessed as God continues to lead each one in their vocation. May we always be open to the work of the Holy Spirit guiding us as we follow Jesus to God the Father.
Peace, Fr. Larry Hoffmann