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.

Advent Snow, Hope and Generosity

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

As I looked out the window this Sunday morning, I noticed it was snowing! The snow continued for several hours, getting everything white with the heavy wet snow. The mood for the Advent season, the preparing for the Lord’s coming has just changed and moved to the hope filled time it is to be.

Tuesday, December 4, I attended a Confirmation meeting at St. Theresa’s sponsored by the Diocesan Evangelization and Catechesis office. Faith Formation directors and pastors looked at possible ways to incorporate Confirmation into the High School Catechesis that every parish is developing.

On Wednesday, I helped with Reconciliation at Dowling Catholic High School from 9:30-12:20 pm. That evening, I was part of a joint meeting of the Parish Pastoral Council, the Strategic Planning Team and the Finance Council to review the progress on the Master Plan for St. Luke’s facilities and what needs to be done now with regard to the financing of the 1st Phase when it comes likely later in the Spring of 2013. Various possible 1st Phase ideas were explored.

Thursday over lunch I enjoyed the Chamber of Commerce Christmas celebration at the United Methodist Church Center on 36th Street. Great food was followed by music from the Little Cherubs and from the Ankeny Community Chorus. That evening, the Liturgy Committee met and worked on planning for the coming Advent and Christmas season.

On Friday, we gathered at OLIH for the funeral of one of our parishioners, Rosalie Graham, from Mill Pond here in Ankeny. Keep her and her family, including Pat Olson, in your prayers in the days to come. Saturday, we celebrated the Feast of the Immaculate Conception at the 9:00 am Mass at St. Anne’s. The weekend meant that we were celebrating the 2nd Sunday of Advent as we lit two candles on our Advent Wreath. We were challenged by John the Baptist to straighten out our ways, to change our hearts and to repent as our way of preparing the way for the Lord to come.

And speaking of preparing the way, I can’t believe all the gifts, wrapped and unwrapped, that have appeared in our office! My office has a stack. The table next door has several stacks. Boxes of coats, hats, socks and so forth are appearing. It is great to see so many wanting to reach out to those in need as our way of preparing for the Lord’s coming.

The end of the year is rapidly approaching. It is a good time to remember the St. Luke’s Building Fund with your generosity. If you have not yet completed your Stewardship of Treasure Commitment sheets, please do so and return them to the parish office. Indeed I am delighted with your generosity. The Lord blesses those who share what they have with the church and with those in need.

Third and Fourth graders who wish to be “Gospel Players” for the Christmas Eve Mass, we will have practice the next two Sundays after 9:00 am Mass. Children are invited to be in the children’s choir as well for Christmas Eve. See the bulletin for the times. May all of you be blessed these Advent days.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann