Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,
As I write this letter, the masses for the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God have finished. People are celebrating the New Year - 2017. No doubt, many of us are glad that 2016 has come to an end. We look forward to God’s blessings in 2017. We can now take some time to fill our hearts and our lives with hopes, dreams and promises for this New Year.
Our hopes, dreams and promises can be very much an individual time of reflection. Perhaps we hope to grow in our faith this coming year, to take a step to be more serious about our relationship with God. Maybe we have dreams about being more healthy this year, in what we eat, the exercise we get and the quiet time we schedule in our lives.
Perhaps we have hopes and dreams for St. Luke’s. I can recall on 1/1/2011 when my assignment here at St. Luke’s first began. It meant packing up from St. Theresa’s and moving in with Fr. Steve at the OLIH rectory. The first office and meeting for St. Luke’s was in the large Rectory basement. We had the mandate from Bishop that was made public at the 12/17/10 Press Conference, that St. Luke’s would be a parish, a Catholic School and Senior Housing.
So far, we have our parish well established with now about 430 registered families. We have St. Luke’s Catholic School entering its 2nd year with K-4th grades and 93 students. We have visited with Catholic Health Initiatives who have inherited land North of our property. They are dreaming about an assisted living, memory care, possible nursing care and clinic being built there. It would make sense for St. Luke’s to have any future Senior Housing close to their complex on the North of our land. Hopes and Dreams continue about our Senior Housing.
We have a Strategic Planning committee looking at the immediate needs of our parish that is growing so fast. We have about 250 students in Religious Education and have need of more space for the Faith Formation during the school weeks. The fast growing Catholic School classes push for more space as well. We need more parking and storage. The planning committee is putting together these needs in their process to look at how to meet these immediate needs.
But more than anything, the hopes, dreams and promises for St. Luke’s for 2017 and beyond are centered on all of us taking steps to become stronger disciples of Jesus. Each one of us is being called to not only know more about Jesus, but to know Jesus as one who wants to have a deeper relationship with us.
All our facilities are for the purpose of worshiping and praising our God who has been so generous to us. In our facilities, we have a place to be formed in our faith, to take advantage of ways to realize what our faith is. Here we can begin to see that being a disciple of Jesus means that we are to be people who let our care for others become a higher priority in our lives. We can see that finding ways to be of service to someone in need gets higher on our to do list. We can see that spending real time in prayer, even in adoration can help us find the nudge we need to be stronger disciples. Growing in our faith, becoming stronger disciples of Jesus is why we have and will have facilities here at St. Luke’s.
Let us hope, dream and reflect on God’s promises as we take our next steps to grow in faith and to follow Jesus as his disciples in 2017.
Fr. Larry Hoffmann