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.

Faith Studied, Planned and Celebrated

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

This past week seemed to be full on several levels. First of all there was winter-snow, wind, cold. Do you suppose that was all of it for this year? For the sake of the moisture we need, I hope not.

Then there were meetings! I concelebrated at a funeral on Monday and followed it with a special St. Joseph Education Center Board meeting. Dr. Tom Neal, the director of the center told us that he had accepted a new position teaching Theology at the Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. We are happy for him because this was the job and career he had dreamed about. We are sad for us in the Des Moines Region because he was such an excellent director, speaker and organizer of events for our region.

On Tuesday, two members of the Strategic Planning Team and I went to visit Christ the King in Des Moines and their just opening Senior Housing. We visited with the parish manager who was instrumental in how this project came to conclusion. We gained a good understanding of the possibilities that could apply to St. Luke’s Senior Housing. It sounds like a lot of work, but yet very feasible.

That evening, we had the 1st Session of “Catholicism 101.” We began the three session review and discussion of the book Exploring the Catholic Church by Marcellino D’Ambrosio. This small book will give us lots of opportunity to talk about many dimensions of our faith. I may be able to offer the same study after masses on Sunday mornings in Lent.

Wednesday evening, those who had indicated interest in being part of the 1st Parish Pastoral Council gathered to review what is involved in getting this council in motion. We have 11 people who have begun the process and will begin the steps to take our Vision and Mission statements into lived reality. Keep them in your prayers.

Thursday evening, the Adult Faith Formation Committee had its meeting to talk about plans for Lent and this remaining winter and spring. Friday morning after Mass, many gathered at OLIH to celebrate Fr. Steve’s birthday. We are not talking about how old he is. Even Our Lady’s Little Learners came in to sing “Happy Birthday.”

Saturday evening after the 4:30 pm Mass at St. Anne’s, I had a wonderful meal at the Women’s CEW weekend at OLIH. After the great food, I helped celebrate Reconciliation with the Candidates and Team on the weekend. Sunday morning, we all delighted in the baptism of Cian Michael McAlister at our 9:00 am Mass. He managed to cry a lot except when I introduced him to the community. Of course I gave him back before he knew what had happened. After Mass, I had a chance to meet with the 2nd grade Religious Education class, bless water and talk about their baptism. They are a delightful group.

Stop by for the blessing of St. Blaise for throats after Mass on Saturday or Sunday.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann