Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,
Today as I write this letter, the warm South winds are bringing 70+ temperatures to our early April. It will no doubt encourage early plants and trees to bud out. It is nature’s sign of new life that parallels the new life of Resurrection.
Lots of young people with their parents enjoyed the Easter Egg Hunt on Holy Saturday morning on our south lawn. Easter Sunday, the 600+ people celebrated the glory of the Resurrection at our Sunday mass. It is great to have technology that allowed the live presentation of what was happening in Church to be shown to the 300+ people in the gym. It was a great celebration of the gift of Easter joy for all who came.
Easter Sunday afternoon and Monday, my sister Anita and I traveled to another sister’s home in Gretna, Nebraska for Easter dinner. It was great food and a wonderful time to share all kinds of stories and memories, to celebrate the joy of the risen Lord. That Monday evening, I was able to join the Knights of Columbus for their regular meeting.
Tuesday in the Octave of Easter, the morning study group began the study of “Beautiful Mercy,” the book given out on Easter. We studied the Prelude that set the tone and direction of this work on Mercy. I stopped that evening for the visitation at OLIH for Sarah Magnani, Mother of Kathy Lickteig from St. Luke’s. That evening, the RCIA class met to reflect on the continuing need for conversion in our lives. We reflected on their experience of the Easter Vigil sacraments they had received.
On Wednesday in the Octave of Easter, I attended Sarah Magnani’s funeral at OLIH. The Ankeny Ministerial Association was meeting after the funeral. That evening, the Finance Council had a special meeting to work on next year’s budget. St. Luke’s School needs to know some details of its budget as they make plans for the coming year.
Thursday evening the Social Concerns Committee held its regular meeting. They continued their study of “Laudate Si,” Pope Francis’ latest encyclical. We set the Tithe of The Tithe contributions for the month. We recommended three items to include in the Visioning workshop for April 2.
Friday morning, I celebrate mass with the St. Luke’s School students and parishioners. Then I went to Vintage Hills for their regular 1st Friday mass.
Saturday morning, the St. Luke’s Visioning Workshop was held in the gym. About 35 members of various committees gathered and shared their ideas and recommendations for the short and long term direction for St. Luke’s. The Visioning committee will take the ideas and recommendations and collate them for the Parish Pastoral Council. They will then go back to the committees with priority directions.
On Saturday and Sunday, I presented the “Increased Offertory Appeal” to the parish. It is a series of letters sent to every household to encourage that everyone use their envelopes or electronic giving. It is also an effort to encourage an increase in the level of giving. All anyone who receives these letters need do is to fill out the envelope and return it to the parish with the new level of giving that you will use. When that is done, the appeal for you is over.
May all of you be blessed by the Holy Spirit’s guidance as you reflect on how to be good stewards of your time, talent and treasure.
Fr. Larry Hoffmann