Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,
With this weekend, the new Liturgical Year begins. We are into four full weeks of Advent when we wait for and long for the coming of Jesus into our lives. May we wait in prayer, reflection and in finding ways to reach out to those we meet with patience and love.
Last Monday 11/14, the St. Luke’s School Board held its November meeting early because of Thanksgiving. Adjustments to the Admissions policy were made, the 1st draft of the budget for next year was presented and sent to the Finance Council for review.
Tuesday 11/15, the St. Luke’s parish staff met for their regular meeting and welcomed Deacon Fred Cornwell. I have requested that Bishop Pates approve Deacon Fred become part of the ministry at St. Luke’s. After the staff meeting I met with Mrs. Battani’s Kindergarten class. We talked about the Annunciation and the Visitation. They had lots of questions. That evening, the RCIA talked about “The Last things: Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell.” It was a lively discussion.
Wednesday, I enjoyed lunch with the area priests where we talked about events in our parishes. At the afternoon and evening RE sessions, the 2nd grade met in church to see a demonstration of 1st Reconciliation. They saw it again with their parents on Thursday evening at the 1st Reconciliation Retreat in church. Wednesday evening, the Facilities Committee held their regular meeting.
Thursday, the Ankeny Ministerial Association met at the Methodist Church and heard a presentation by the Impact agency. We also enjoyed a nice lunch. Following that meeting, the Ankeny Community Adult Education office held an input focus group for non-profit groups at the Schools Offices. There was lots of lively input. That evening, the Finance Council held its regular meeting. Financial reports were reviewed, snow removal was discussed, the 1st draft of the St. Luke’s School budget was presented.
Friday morning, I enjoyed the 8:30 am School mass. In the evening, the wedding rehearsal for Robert White and Rachel Rimathe was held with the celebration the next day at 1:30 pm. Congratulations Robert and Rachel!
With the feast of Christ the King on Sunday 11/19-20, the Year of Mercy has closed. It has been a great time to reflect on the need we have for mercy ourselves. It has been a great time to realize that God is just waiting to share his mercy with each one of us. It is also a great time to know that we are to be instruments of God’s mercy to others. Reflecting on the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy and how we can do even one or the other of them in daily life has been our challenge from Pope Francis.
May we carry forward the good work that we have done in this year of Mercy into this new Liturgical Year by making “mercy” a daily part of our lives. The more we reach out in mercy, the more we can open our own hearts to God’s gift of that mercy.
May all of you take advantage of the Advent daily readings for your reflection and prayer. It is a wonderful time to gather as family with your own Advent Wreath each day. Come Lord Jesus.
Fr. Larry Hoffmann