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.

Celebrating 100 Years - Beginning the Next 100

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

This last week, I had the privilege of interviewing a young man who is seriously considering going to the Seminary to discern if he has a vocation to the priesthood. I have been part of a team of people doing these interviews for a couple of years. Please keep him and all our seminarians in your prayers. 

I was the homilist at a funeral of a young family man with two grade school children. He died at hospice after a three year battle with cancer. During those three years, he was very intentional in what he chose to make his central focus. He put God, his family, his parish community in proper priority. He lived life fully, spent time growing in his faith, traveling with his family, enjoying baseball, learning how to be a very good cook. He lived more life in three years than many of us in long years of life. It was a privilege to place him in the hands of the Lord.

Thursday after the funeral, I met with the St. Joseph Education Center Board. Dr. Tom Neal is the center director and a wonderful resource person. The center has a wonderful web site — www.sjeciowa.org. I encourage you to go to it and check out some of the links. The St. Joseph’s Education Center is an Adult Faith Formation resource center funded by the parishes of the greater Des Moines Area.

This last Sunday, November 6, I spent at the Diocesan Celebration of our Centennial as a Diocese. It was very well attended. I think the Youth Rally had over 1,400 attending. I heard there were over 450 3 year old—5th graders at the “Hometown Nazareth” program in the morning from 10 am—noon. I was with a very large crowd of adults from all over the diocese who heard Archbishop Harry Flynn give a very dynamic talk on how each one is called to be an evangelist. Three speakers from the diocese followed with their experience of the faith in their lives.

After lunch, parish commendations were given to individuals and groups from each of the 81 parishes of the diocese. The Mass included a long procession with ethnic groups, deacons and their wives, the priests of the diocese, bishops and archbishops from the area, as well as our Bishop Richard Pates. I would guess that 7,000– 8,000 joined in the Mass. Special medals were given to people from the diocese, including Fr. Steve Orr. It was a wonderful celebration of the living faith of our diocese over these 100 years.

This week, please remember to fill out your Stewardship of Treasure form that you received in the mail or at Mass. Your commitments begin to move us from “giving to a need” to “needing to give.” That moves us into being good stewards of all that God gives us. May we use well what God has entrusted to us and love God in return by sharing the 1st and best with our God.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann