Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,
Iowa is truly amazing. Just three weeks ago as I write this letter, there was several inches of snow on the ground! Today, the flowering trees have been in their prime - the leaves of the trees are almost fully spread, tulips are in full blossom, corn and now soy beans are quickly being planted. God’s gift of creation explodes all around us.
Last Sunday, I had the opportunity to arrive just in time for the Sunday dinner at my Mother’s home in Panama. A great meal and a wonderful gathering with siblings, in-laws and nieces and nephews were at hand to celebrate Mother’s Day. We had a chance to visit the new St. Mary’s Parish Community Center that is nearing completion. It gives a little visual look for what St. Luke’s will be like soon.
On Monday, May 13, I joined lots of golfers at the annual St. Vincent de Paul golf outing and dinner. I enjoyed the day and even hit a few good shots to help the team.
On Tuesday, I was host at the new rectory for my “Jesus Caritas” Priests Support Group. They enjoyed the new place and we shared important moments in our lives followed by prayer for each one.
Wednesday evening, I met with the Strategic Planning Team to interview four different General Contractor firms. The Strategic Planning Team is in the process of recommending to the Parish Council and Finance Council, a firm to become our General Contractor to work closely with our Architect in developing our 1st Phase for St. Luke’s. More will be shared next week.
On Thursday, the Capital Campaign Advance Gifts team reported their progress. As of Sunday, May 19, $780,000+ has been by some 40+ parishioners. This is truly wonderful. May the Lord’s blessing come to all who help move St. Luke’s to our $2,000,000 goal. The Community Gifts leaders went through their orientation. They will be inviting other volunteers to help with the June 8-9th Community Gifts weekend where parishioners will be invited to fill out their cards after Mass. Our goal is to have 100% participation.
Friday was a day to catch up. I went with Scott Schoaf, our Campaign person, to visit Joan Bindel from the Diocesan Development Office. We talked about how to encourage people from outside the parish to help St. Luke’s in our campaign. Don’t forget to talk to the companies you work for to see if they do matching gifts.
On Saturday, I had the chance to celebrate with a couple of High School graduates. Nice parties and nice food. At the weekend liturgies, we were decked out in Red to celebrate Pentecost and prayed for the coming of the Holy Spirit to this day and time. May we open our hearts to the dwelling presence of the Spirit.
Sunday, May 19, the new council of the Knights of Columbus Council 15063 had their formal reception of their charter at our 9:00 am Mass. It was great to have 4th degree Knights serve as honor guard along with the Pentecost processional banners to highlight Pentecost, the birthday of the church. Afterward, appropriate birthday cake was served!
May all graduates be blessed as they complete their course of Study both in High School, College and beyond. May the same Holy Spirit guide them in finding God’s way and how to continue their journey of faith to all that God has in mind for each one.
Fr. Larry Hoffmann