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.

Steady Steps in the Desert Days

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

I am amazed that this much of Lent has already unfolded. It gives us all a chance to remember the commitments we made on Ash Wednesday and to renew our efforts to open our hearts to God’s change.

After the Rite of Election at St. Ambrose, I went to visit some friends in Modale, Iowa, for dinner and a good visit. It is good to connect with friends from years ago. After an overnight stay, I gathered with priests from Shelby County for our periodic dinner and card playing. I even managed to win a couple of games of 10 Point Pitch. Fr. Don Bruck is a wonderful cook!

Tuesday must have been a Reconciliation Day. I helped with the Sacrament of Reconciliation at Dowling Catholic High School in the morning and at the Holy Trinity Mission in Des Moines that evening. On Wednesday, I had lunch with the members of the Ankeny Ministerial Association at the Presbyterian Church. It is good to share concerns and events in the faith community.

That evening, a good number of St. Luke’s parishioners gathered to celebrate Bob Lickteig’s “15” Birthday - only gets to celebrate every 4 years! Later that evening, the Strategic Planning Team had its meeting at St. Anne’s.

On Thursday evening, after Stations of the Cross, we had our monthly Liturgy Committee meeting. We looked at the various Liturgical Ministries and the initial plans for Holy Week and Easter. We will be having our Holy Week Celebrations - Holy Thursday and Good Friday at 7:00 pm at Northview - Easter Vigil at 7:30 pm at Northview and Easter Sunday at 9:00 am at Northview. Mark your calendars for the times and place. Please sign up at the entrance of church for the Liturgical Ministries for these special days.

On Friday, I was able to celebrate the 5:30 pm Mass at OLIH for Fr. Steve and then enjoy the Knights of Columbus’ Fish Fry. They really do a great job! On Sunday, after our regular Mass, I enjoyed leading a nice group studying the book Exploring the Catholic Church by Marcellino D’Ambrosio for our 1st (delayed) session of “Catholicism 101.”

I ask that you continue your prayers for Fr. Steve’s brother in law, “Rich.” He still has a long way to go after his heart attack and stroke. Keep the residents of the Polk City Care Center in your prayers. We will be celebrating Mass with them this Sunday, March 11, at 1:00 pm.

If you have not yet had a chance to join St. Luke’s parishioners in the Annual Diocesan Appeal, cards for your pledges can be picked up at the parish office. There should be extra cards after Mass today and next week as well. If we all make some gift, we can help meet the goal of 100% participation of St. Luke’s in this Appeal. Remember, anything given comes back to the parish.

As we continue our Lenten journey, think thoughts of Spring now only 10 days away! As the earth begins the process of coming alive once again, may we open our hearts to the life God wants to renew within us.

Note again and mark your calendars for our Lenten Penance Service that we will hold on Tuesday, March 20, at 7:00 pm at St. Anne’s. There will be 5 priests to help with confessions.

Be blessed during these Lenten days.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann