Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,
Sunday 10/11 when I am writing this letter, may be the last “summer” day even though it is well into the fall. I have noticed that St. Luke‘s facilities are now much more in the open since the corn has been harvested. I heard that the St. Luke’s School students had an opportunity to go outside and watch the combines quickly get the harvest finished for the parishes 14 acres of corn. May the Lord bless and keep all those working the harvest.
Last Sunday evening through Thursday noon, the priests of the diocese were gathered for our Annual Priest’s Workshop at the Gateway in Ames. Each year the workshop is outside the diocese in one of the four directions so that all will take time to be away from their parish work and focus on the topic for the week.
Dr. Ralph Martin from Ann Arbor, MI, professor at the Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, was our speaker. His topic was the New Evangelization. He described the world that does not want to have the good news of Jesus influencing our world, our day to day activities, even the use of our religious rights. There are great challenges in a secular society that wants to keep belief in God contained within the worship buildings of faithful people and not let it touch the depth of their lives and how they live them.
The New Evangelization is a call to each believing person. Dr. Martin showed that this Evangelization is a call to each of us priests, to each baptized person, to open our hearts and lives to the person of Jesus Christ. When we do, then the grace of God, the gift of the Holy Spirit will assist us in sharing the good news of Jesus with those who enter our lives.
On Thursday afternoon, I returned to lots of US mail, email and phone calls to return—pretty typical when you are gone for a few days. That evening after the 5:30 pm mass and Adoration, we held our regular Parish Pastoral Council meeting in the Conference Room. Reports concerning the upcoming St. Luke’s Feast Day Pasta Dinner and Silent Auction were given. Mike Fitzpatrick, chairperson of the Finance Council gave us a review of the financial status of our parish. He summarized the costs of the new facilities. He shared the current budget compared to last year. It reflected lots of estimates about the costs of maintaining our new facilities and the beginning of our St. Luke’s Catholic School. Thank you Mike.
We also looked forward to The Jubilee Year of Mercy that will begin December, 2015. We looked at the possibility of St. Luke’s participating in “Alpha for Catholics”, and to having council representatives attend the Diocesan Summit on Administration later this month. Reports from our committees, councils and groups were also reviewed. We will attempt to study Chapter 8 of “Forming Intentional Disciples” next month.
The weekend masses had a Right to Life Focus: “Recognizing God in Every Life.” When we reflect, we know that each person is created in the image of God. So when we just look into another person’s eyes, we can believe that God is within them. They may differ from us greatly, but God is within them. Even more interesting, when they look into our eyes, they can see God there too!
Sunday 10/11, we held our regular Stewardship Committee meeting in the afternoon. We looked to provide direction for the monthly “tithe of the tithe” to various charitable needs outside St. Luke’s.
Keep St. Luke’s in your prayers as we continue into this beautiful fall season. Pray for all the new families who continue to join us in our growing community of faith.
Fr. Larry Hoffmann