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.

Life’s Journey; Beginning Baptism, Viaticum Home

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

Remember Sunday afternoon September 30? It was about 75-80 degrees? St. Luke’s Baptismal Preparation team hosted a picnic at Watercrest Park at 4:00 pm. It was great to see the little kids run, play in the sand and enjoy the hot dogs and other delights. Now of course, coats and sweaters are all being found for the 28 degree morning temperatures. That is what happens when October comes.

Monday, October 1, I had the l privilege of celebrating the funeral Mass for Larry Reising. He and his wife Shari recently moved to Ankeny. As he went into hospice care at home, I was able to celebrate the Anointing of the Sick and give him Eucharist - ”viaticum” - a Latin word meaning “food for the journey.” The journey in this case of course, was the journey from this life to eternal life. The funeral Mass was a large gathering of family and many, many friends - speaking of all the lives he had touched.

After the funeral, I joined the priests at our Annual Workshop in Coralville. Our topic was the “Theology of the Body” that comes from the 120 Wednesday morning teachings of Blessed Pope John Paul II given over several years of his early pontificate. It was great to get an appreciation of the Pope’s concept and how we can understand it. The importance of the human body in God’s plan “from the beginning” began to become clear. There is so much more in this area that I need to learn.

Thursday evening when I returned from the workshop, the Liturgy Committee met for its regular meeting. Friday was catch up day. It seems all the parish business just waits for you if you are gone for a couple of days - especially those emails!

Saturday morning we held our Site Planning Workshop for St. Luke’s Master Plan at OLIH. After our opening prayer, each of 8 tables were given a large aerial map of our 35 acres with elevation markings on it. We were then given blocks representing square footages for the various buildings that were mentioned in the previous workshop. Each table of 6-8 people were then to arrange them where they thought would best carry out the plan for our parish facilities. Eight plans emerged with many similarities and differences. The church being central and prominent on a higher elevation was pretty consistent. Having church and school and sometimes the senior housing connected also surfaced as important.

Several children had a separate workshop where they drew pictures and built their ideas for church. Nice job kids!

This Sunday, we have our St. Luke’s Feast Day Mass and Pasta Dinner. The dinner will be from 4-7:00 pm, along with our Silent Auction. (Bring your checkbooks for some wonderful baskets!) Invite your family, neighbors and friends to come to the dinner at the OLIH multipurpose room.

At the Saturday, October 6, 4:30 evening Mass, we baptized Maxwell Leo, son of Tony and Jessica. Welcome to our newest member of St. Luke’s parish family.

May all of you be blessed as fall makes up for lost time.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann