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.

Transforming Gifts All Around Us

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

It is amazing to see the transformation happening all around us in just a few short days. We went from frost warnings to 90+ degree heat – from hardly any corn or soybeans planted to most of the corn in and a good part of the beans as well. No one is now wearing sweaters or jackets. The flowering trees are giving way to regular leaves. We are leaving the burst of joyful faith energy with the glory of the resurrection of Jesus to come to the mission of proclaiming that good news with our words and actions. The season changes so quickly. 

Last Tuesday, I met with a family to plan the funeral of their 25 year old son and brother who had been killed in a traffic accident. We held his funeral at St. Anthony’s on Thursday with a very large church full of family, friends and neighbors. He was a young man who lived life fully and we pray that now he knows the fullness of life Jesus has in mind for him. 

On Wednesday, I attended the ongoing Good Leaders, Good Shepherds Institute one day session at the Creighton Retreat Center in Griswold. We are about half way through this program. It is going to be very helpful in getting personal insight into how to be a good shepherd with individuals, team or staff, councils, the parish at large and in the wider community. There is lots to learn from others good experience. That evening we had our second Liturgy Committee meeting. 

On Thursday after the funeral, I went to an AMOS meeting. AMOS stands for A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy. It is an Ecumenical effort to find ways that faith communities can work together to bring about change in the community so that justice can be done. One of the current projects is to have a workforce enhancement project through DMACC to train people for life sustaining jobs that current employers are looking for and have committed their companies to provide. It is fascinating to look at what is being planned. That evening we had our second Finance Committee meeting. Brian Mulcahy has agreed to chair this committee. 

On Friday, I met with some Catholic Families from Polk City. They wanted me to know about some Catholic activities going on there. Several families help with a prayer service and communion every other Sunday at the Nursing Home. They also have been hosts to a High School Youth group from the area for a few years. It is great to hear about some of their activities. They are wondering if any St. Luke’s parishioners would be interested in hosting the prayer service on the other Sundays’ If you have any interest in helping every other week, or once in while, let me know. On Saturday after Reconciliation at 9:00 am and after finishing the Homily, I did get the bike out for a nice ride down the trail almost to Sheldal. What a beautiful day! 

Sunday was a great day to celebrate the Easter Season at St. Luke’s weekend mass and to bless all mothers attending. Then I had the chance to get home to Panama, Iowa to see my Mother and a good number of siblings and extended family just as they began the mid day meal. Wonderful pork loin with the trimmings. On Monday, I had the chance to join lots of other would be golfers in the annual St. Vincent de Paul Golf outing. It was beautiful and I even hit a few good shots. 

I thank God for the gift of wonderful spring weather. I thank God for the gift of mothers. I thank God for the gift of this Easter Season. May we all continue to be grateful for God’s many gifts in this blessed season of celebrating the Resurrection. 

Peace, Fr. Larry