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.

Winter Pushed by Summer!

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

These days of summer (I mean winter) have been wonderful! It makes you wonder what will happen when spring actually does arrive. The grass is getting very green. There is a hint of green appearing in the trees. Tulips are springing out of the ground! We bless the Lord when He blesses us!

Last Sunday, March 10, at 1:00 pm, I enjoyed celebrating Mass with the residents of Polk City Care Center. It is nice to have several volunteers help share Holy Communion with them every Sunday. Monday evening, I was among the priests helping with Reconciliation at St. Joseph’s parish.

Tuesday morning, I joined several from St. Luke’s, along with Dr. Tom Neal and his associate Faye Akers, to review the materials for our new Baptism preparation program that we will begin using soon. It looks very good and user friendly. On Wednesday, I met with the gentleman who will be farming our 35 acres this spring to talk about arrangements. It looks like soy beans this year.

Later that day, I met with my priests’ support group at Christ the King in Des Moines. It is great to have brother priests with whom you can share the significant moments in your life and get honest feedback and prayer. That evening, the Strategic Planning Team met again. We are reviewing all the questions we can think of that we feel will need answers from the various resources available as we arrive at our Master Plan for the parish campus.

On Thursday, I enjoyed lunch at Grand View University with the Lutheran/Catholic pastors for our annual dialogue. We reviewed and discussed the Joint Declaration on Justification that was agreed on by Lutheran and Catholic leaders in 1999. Thursday evening Mass and Stations was followed by helping OLIH with their Lenten Penance Service.

Friday morning, I was part of the Search Committee meeting seeking a replacement for Dr. Tom Neal at the St. Joseph’s Education Center. He has done a wonderful job during these last 4 years as director of SJEC. Saturday morning, we held our Baptism Preparation class for two couples anticipating baptism for their children. What a joy to be part of these moments.

Sunday, March 18, saw me wearing the “Salmon” colored vestments (some say Pink) for the 4th Sunday of Lent – the midpoint of Lent. The color is a time of joy and recommitment to the disciplines of Lent.

Keep our 5 Candidates for full communion in the Catholic Church in your prayers. We look forward to celebrating the Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist with them at the Easter Vigil Saturday, April 7 at 7:30 pm at Northview. Mark your calendars and plan on joining us for this celebration.

We will be having Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Thursday, April 5 at 7:00 pm at Northview. If you would be willing to have your feet washed as part of that service, please let me know. Good Friday will be on April 6 at 7:00 pm at Northview as well.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann