Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,
As I write this letter today, there is a strong South-East wind blowing lots of warm air all around us. It is to be near 50 degrees today. Winter in Iowa is creative this year with a promise of snow for Thursday. This last week on Monday, the Recruitment-Welcoming team met at St. Anne’s, among other things to finalize plans for the Saturday, February 16 Newcomer welcome event. Updates on Social Media guidelines were reviewed. Earlier that evening, I joined parishioners from All Saints, OLIH and St. Luke’s outside Ankeny Planned Parenthood for a prayer service to begin the “40 Days for Life.”
Tuesday, I attended the St. Joseph’s Education Center Board meeting. We reviewed the progress made at the center and plans for the next quarter. I encourage you to go to their web site for lots of helpful links and information. That evening, I joined the 3 St. Luke’s Supper Clubs at the Iowa Culinary Institute on the DMACC campus. The institute students prepared and served a very fine meal. It was a delight for over 40 of us to share this wonderful meal.
Wednesday was Ash Wednesday and large groups came to both masses to begin the season of Lent marked by ashes. We all recognize in our lives how we fall short of our potential in our relationship with our God. It is certainly one way of understanding the huge crowds gathered for this special day.
Thursday, I had the privilege of being the Pastor of the Day and saying the opening Prayer at the Iowa House of Representatives and the Iowa Senate. I was the guest of State Senator Rita Hart from Wheatland, Iowa. Her daughter, Michaela Carhoff, is a member of St. Luke’s. Our first day of Adoration at St. Anne’s from 3:30-5:30 and 6:30-8:30 pm followed. In between, we celebrated Mass and Stations of the Cross. Consider coming to some part of these Lenten opportunities.
Friday at noon, I met with bank representatives to discuss how they could help us in the financing of building our facilities in the near future. It was very helpful. On Saturday after Reconciliation, a St. Luke’s committee interviewed four Capital Campaign Consulting firms who may help us with our campaign this spring. More to follow.
After the 4:30 pm Mass, the Recruitment-Welcome Team hosted our 1st Newcomer’s Welcome. It was a great time to meet a good number of families who have registered recently, to tell them a bit about what is happening in St. Luke’s and to take time to visit. I encourage you all to reach out to folks that you do not yet know by name. The potential for life long friends and members of our parish is at hand.
I will be hearing confessions every Thursday throughout Lent from 6:30-7:00 pm. Adoration will be going on at that time but what a great atmosphere in which to prepare for this sacrament. May the Holy Spirit open your hearts to the forgiving grace the Lord longs to share with each one of us in this sacrament.
Fr. Larry Hoffmann