Father Larry's Letters

"Father Larry's Letters" are a weekly letter/journal about the many events occurring within and around the St. Luke's community.

Rain, Sun and Hospitality

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

Rain and rain and rain and sun and warm and cool. It must be Fall in Iowa! While I was gone to Omaha for the Annual Priest’s Workshop, our corn was harvested - before all the rain. Praise God!

Saturday 9/30, I had a house blessing. After the 4:30 pm mass, we had a parish gathering to welcome Fr. Adam Westphal and Pete Haack to St. Luke’s. The cupcakes, Fr. Adam’s own brew and wine were great. Welcome Fr. Adam and Pete.

Sunday 10/1, I had the privilege of baptizing Fulton John, son of Travis and Katie Funseth at the 8:30 am Mass. I enjoyed breakfast following at their house. Then I had a home blessing for James and Candice Gordan. Alpha in a Catholic Context held their 1st meeting in the Gym at 4:30 pm. Before it was over, I left for the workshop in Omaha.

The workshop featured Bill Simon who wrote the book “Great Catholic Parishes: How Four Essential Practices Make Them Thrive.” He formed an organization called Parish Catalyst and works closely with Claire Henning. They both made presentations and led us in discussion. On Wednesday, 4 millennials from our diocese formed a panel to help us look at the demographic group of the millennials. Their presentations were very thought provoking.

Thursday on returning from the workshop, the Liturgy Committee had its regular meeting at 7:00 pm. On Friday 10/7 Fr. Adam had the 1st Friday Mass with the School students followed by Adoration of the Eucharist for an hour. Classes came in for their visits during the hour. During that time, I had the 1st Friday mass at Vintage Hills at 9:30 am.

On Saturday, we began regular Saturday morning Mass at 8:30 am that was followed by Adoration from 9:00 am - 10:00 am. Confessions are available during that time as well. That evening, we celebrated the baptism of Kashden William Grabau Keele, son of Kalvin and Paige after mass. Welcome Kashden! All enjoyed great supper at his parents home.

Sunday 10/8, the Stewardship Committee held its regular meeting. Study of the book “Resisting Happiness” by Matthew Kelly continued. Participation in the Ministry Fair and Time and Talent surveys was reviewed with recommendations for next year.

On another note, one of the concepts from our Workshop was a focus on “Hospitality.” This is not just what the people who hand out the books at mass and take up the collection do. That is hospitality, but it is not all it is. Hospitality is an attitude that we have when we are with other people. It is how we take the initiative to introduce ourselves to someone we have not met. “Hi, I’m Fr. Larry (or your name.) Glad that you have come today. What’s your name?” Being the one that reaches out can be hospitality. Asking what can I do to help can be hospitality. Volunteering to set up or take down tables and chairs can be hospitality. Serving coffee and donuts can be hospitality. When we are growing in our efforts to welcome people, to help people, to be part of serving others, we are developing the attitude of Hospitality. May we let God’s Holy Spirit inspire us when these opportunities are at hand.

Invite your family, friends and neighbors to come to the St. Luke’s Pasta Dinner and Silent Auction this Sunday evening from 4-7:00 pm. All are welcome.

Peace,
Fr. Larry Hoffmann