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.

Easter Joy!

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

The celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus was wonderful this year at St. Luke’s. The Triduum was celebrated at Ashland Ridge beginning with a nice crowd at the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper. We began with the presentation of the Oils blessed by Bishop Pates at the Chrism mass. The Oil of the Sick, the Oil of Catechumens and the Sacred Chrism were presented and placed by the Ambo where the Word of God is proclaimed.

Good Friday with it’s somber note of red saw even more parishioners gather. The readings and the passion from John helped us recognize the great gift Jesus has won for us in his suffering and death. We symbolized that recognition as we came forward to venerate the cross. We prayed for the many needs of the whole church and then shared the Eucharist consecrated the day before. The somber note continued as we left in silence.

That solemn note gave way to a bursting forth of joy and celebration as we gathered for our 9:00 am and 11:00 am masses on Easter. With wonderful environment focused on the white of new life, the pastoral colors of spring, the flowers in bloom, with Easter bonnets and families in their finest, the delight in our faith in resurrection was being celebrated. We noted our own new life through baptism as we shared the baptisms of Carolyn and Calista Edwards. These twin sisters became the first persons baptized here at St. Luke’s parish. They even enjoyed the celebration without so much as a peep – even as the water was generously poured! Welcome to our newest members Carolyn and Calista.

And speaking of welcome, perhaps many of you came to St. Luke’s for the first time this Easter. I want to welcome you to our new parish community. I encourage you to consider becoming a part of this new faith community. I am greatly encouraged by the enthusiasm of our beginning communities and parish activities. Come and be part of this community being born.

I want to take a moment to say thank you to all who have been part of the preparations for and celebration of our Holy Week and Easter services. The environment, the Lectors and Commentators, the Music Ministry, the Hospitality, Welcome and Ministers of Eucharist, Servers, sound engineers and even our coffee and donuts folks – all your help made our celebrations true memorials – making present of the Lord Jesus – in his suffering, death and resurrection. I appreciate your enthusiastic efforts to be community as we welcome the risen Lord among us.

After our masses, I was able to go home to Panama, Iowa to spend the day with many of my siblings and my mother who still lives in her own home. It was a blessing for me to spend time with them. I pray that you were equally blessed as your family gathered.

Jesus is risen! He is risen indeed! He is the Lord of Divine Mercy. Consider attending the 3:30 pm Divine Mercy Mass at Christ the King, Sunday, with Bishop Pates.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann