Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,
On Sunday, June 9, as I write this letter, central Iowa continues to have the quickly alternating rain, shine dry a little and then rain again. I hope soy bean farmers and seed corn farmers get a chance to plant their crops. We will keep them in prayer.
Last Sunday, June 2, the Stewardship Committee met for its regular meeting. We looked at the different charity opportunities outside the parish that we could make contributions to for the month of May. Our tithe of the tithe continues to be supportive of a wonderful array of ways to help people in need.
After that meeting, I went down to Conception Abbey for our annual Priests’ Retreat. We stay at the new St. Gabriel’s Guest House - it is a wonderful and quiet place for a retreat. Our retreat master was Fr. Dennis Lyle, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago. He has been rector of the Seminary there and most recently he is in charge of the Cardinal Stretch retreat house. As a diocesan priest, he was able to relate very well with us. He helped us look at ways priests can grow in their spirituality and let the Holy Spirit enable us in our ministry. It was very relaxing and peaceful. If you ever are near Conception Abbey, stop in to visit.
I returned to Ankeny on Thursday afternoon and promptly lost my cell phone. My brother Tom arrived at about the same time. We used his phone to call mine and eventually found it in all places - in the garbage! That evening we had three Capital Campaign meetings. The Advanced Gifts volunteers made their progress report. Following that, training was given to the Community Gifts volunteers so they would be able to visit parishioners on June 9. Then the campaign Cabinet met to update the progress of the campaign. All of these meetings were held in the St. Luke’s Rectory basement. It served as a nice meeting space. The neighbors may have wondered what kind of party I was having! It was a good party with lasagna served.
Friday I spent some time with my brother Tom looking at possible Phase I ideas for St. Luke’s. That evening, I went to the ordination of Frs. Ross Parker, Fabian Moncada and Adam Westphal at St. Ambrose Cathedral. My what a full house - every space had folks present. It was a wonderful celebration.
On Saturday morning, I had an early meeting at the 1st Christian Church of the Finance Board of AMOS, AMOS is A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy. It has done a lot of work to implement Project Iowa - a workforce training program for the unemployed or hard to employ persons along with concerns about mental health and juvenile offenders. Check out their web site for more information.
Saturday evening and Sunday we unfolded “Commitment Weekend” for our Together We Build Capital Campaign. Lots of volunteers helped people fill out their pledge cards. Sunday afternoon, they made calls on others who had not yet filled out their cards. All are encouraged to join with so many who have pledged to help St. Luke’s get our 1st Phase funding in place. It truly is laying the foundations for the generations yet to come. May we all find resourceful ways to participate in our campaign.
Keep Msgr. Joseph McDonnell in your prayers as well as his family who mourn. His funeral was last Saturday June 14. He was in my priests’ support group for over 40 years.
Fr. Larry Hoffmann