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.

Frigid February and Looming Lent

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

As I write this letter on February 12, our heavy wet snow is still with us after 10 days! We are getting “winter” in February this year with talk of snow for February 13. The 60 degree weather could not last. But now we will have reason to rejoice in 5 weeks when spring arrives.

Saturday and Sunday, February 5-6, I enjoyed blessing throats with the blessing of St. Blaise. I also enjoyed talking to the 8th grade about the History of St. Luke’s Parish - even though it is brief. It was good to spend some time with the many questions of the 3rd grade as well.

On Monday, I had a funeral of a woman whose mother, husband and son I had also buried. She was a resilient woman of faith. That evening, I enjoyed the variety of soups for supper at the Knights of Columbus meeting.

Tuesday-Thursday, February 7-9, I attended the Good Leaders, Good Shepherds Institute at Griswold. The third session of “Catholicism 101” was held that Tuesday evening - so back and forth I went. We had a good session.

On Thursday evening, the Parish Pastoral Council met for the second time and worked on their “charter document” detailing how they will operate with some detail about values and outcomes for the council. They will be giving a report soon.

On Friday, I attended the Presbyteral Council with Bishop Pates at the Catholic Pastoral Council and then helped interview another candidate for the seminary. It is great to be part of this interviewing process for those pursuing a vocation to the priesthood.

The weekend of February 11-12, I presented Bishop Pates’ letter to the Diocese about the HHS mandate for Catholic Institutions and the Insurance Coverage they would have to provide and pay. His letter said this mandate would threaten Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience. We are waiting for the USCCB Bishops response to the HHS Revision of 2/10/12. Check out their web site www.usccb.org for the latest.

This Wednesday, February 22, will be Ash Wednesday. We will have Ash Wednesday Masses at St. Anne’s at 7:45 am and 5:30 pm. We will have Stations of the Cross on Thursdays at 6:00 pm after the 5:30 pm Mass. On Tuesdays of Lent, we will have a 6:00 pm mass as well as the usual weekday masses. During Lent we hope to pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary 25 minutes before the Saturday and Sunday Masses. Bring your rosaries. We will be having a Lenten Penance Service on Tuesday, March 20 at 7:00 pm at St. Anne’s - mark your calendars. We have tentative plans for a parish retreat for Saturday afternoon, March 10. More information to come. Consider coming to “Catholicism 101” for 4 Sunday mornings after the 9:00 am Mass at Northview.

Lent is upon us! May we grow during this season of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann