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.

Ground Hog Day Perspectives

Dear St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church Website Visitors:

I was scheduled to have the 8:30 am daily mass at OLIH on Wednesday 2/2 but when the Ankeny Schools are closed because of snow, then there is no mass … so I slept in and had a leisurely breakfast and coffee. When I went over to the office I think I discovered that the office is also not open if it snows a lot. We are getting a little winter this winter.

And how about that ground hog? I looked up at the sky and there was a bit of sun poking through to give that ground hog a shadow. Spring will still come on March 21.

Last Wednesday 1/26 I went with Sr. Susan to the nursing home at Polk City to visit the parishioners there. I had a chance to visit our four residents and to offer them the sacrament of the Anointing of the sick. I was introduced to the activity director Jan Wagner as well. That afternoon, I joined the OLIH faith formation staff led by Dr. Tom Neal from the St. Joseph’s Education Center in a reflection on our faith. He helped us see the importance of adult faith formation in order for that faith to be passed on to our young people. That evening I led a wake service at Brooks Funeral Care Tonini Chapel for a former parishioner. 

On Friday, I visited the hospital and then stopped at Bishop Drumm to visit on the way home. I decided to try to find a way home to OLIH from there. It would seem that Saylorville Lake is in the way. On Saturday, Fr. Frank Palmer had the confessions and the 5:00 pm mass at OLIH. I took time to visit before and after mass with folks. Slowly I will be able to match some faces and names. On Sunday, I celebrated the 8:30 am mass. It is good to celebrate with so many of you. After the mass I celebrated the Anoint of the Sick with one our new parishioners who will be having surgery next week. Later that day I called several people who have expressed interest in St. Luke’s and invited them to a Monday evening meeting to give an update about St. Luke’s.

That Monday evening meeting saw ten future parishioners gathering in the OLIH rectory basement, our temporary office, to talk about what has happened so far. We have a phone – 515-343-6040, an address: St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church P.O. Box 1087, Ankeny, Iowa 50021, a bank the 1st National Bank, a website www.saintluketheevangelist.org, I have an email address: lhoffmann@saintluketheevangelist.org. I have been looking at temporary office space out in the parish and have several possibilities. I will be talking with the Ankeny Schools again to pursue using Ashland Ridge Elementary School for our masses. Those who gathered thought that beginning the first Sunday of Lent, March 13 was a good date. Mark your calendars.

We also thought that Sunday evening March 6 would be a good time to invite everyone who is interested in knowing more about St. Luke’s to gather to celebrate our progress, to pray, to give an update, to have some good food and to invite folks to volunteer for needed ministries and parish activities. More about that later. Enough of this rambling on. We are meeting again Monday 2/7 5:30 pm in the OLIH rectory basement.

For now, enjoy the pause that a blizzard on ground hog’s day gives.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann