Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,
This letter is being written with wonderful sun shining, new snow on the ground and everything frozen with well below zero temperature. We are catching up with the last hours of December as we look to the New Year.
On Saturday December 23, I had a chance to share a little pre-Christmas joy with my sister Anita and her family. It is great to see the excitement of the young ones as we approach Christmas.
December 24 was our celebration of the 4th Sunday of Advent at our morning masses, then followed by last minute decoration of the Church. The Christmas Eve mass at 4:30 pm meant a very full church and gym of those gathered to rejoice in the celebration of the birth of Jesus.
Children were invited to place ornaments on one of our trees as they arrived. The Children’s Choir led us in song and their full voices were wonderful. The 3rd and 4th graders with a kindergartener played their parts of the Christmas story as I read the gospel from Luke. Thank you “Gospel Players.”
The 6:30 pm mass was very well attended with those celebrating Christmas. And our Christmas day masses had lesser numbers but joyful celebrations. May we always focus on the one whose coming into our world as God become human has made all the difference.
In the days of the Octave of Christmas, things at the parish were pretty calm. The carpet layers continued to finish the school and the office floors. We definitely have a finished look with these additions.
Jenifer and I were treated by Bryan Freund from West Bank to a marvelous lunch at District 36. Thanks Bryan.
The Social Concerns Committee held its regular meeting on Thursday 12/28. They reviewed the Angel Tree project, looked forward to Meals from the Heartland this spring, and decided on the Tithe of the Tithe allocations for the month. They were planning with the Faith Formation Council for a presentation by the OLIH AMOS committee of their comprehensive study of the needs of Ankeny. That presentation is scheduled for February 27 in our Gym. More information later.
On Friday, I visited some of the residents at Journey. We have a growing number of Catholic residents there. We are in the process of having a weekly communion service for them.
On the weekend, we celebrated the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. A good number of folks were out in spite of the cold. A family blessing was given at the end of our masses. That Sunday 12/31, I traveled to Gretna, Nebraska for our Family Christmas. It should be fun if we all survive the cold.
To all of you, may you be blessed as we continue into the New Year. May your faith in God grow as you welcome 2018 with all your loved ones.
Fr. Larry Hoffmann