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.

Fern Ringgenberg: May She Rest in Peace

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

Friday evening, September 20, Fern Ringgenberg peacefully died at the Mercy Hospice in Johnston. St. Luke’s will be forever grateful to her and her sister Mary for the gift of the 35 acres of land that will become our St. Luke’s parish campus.

Tuesday morning, her funeral was celebrated at the Bishop Drumm Chapel. Fr. Tom DeCarlo, Fr. Steve Orr and I joined residents, staff, friends and St. Luke’s parishioners in the Mass of the resurrection. We are saddened that Fern did not get to live to see facilities built on her home place. We are filled with joy that her time of waiting for the Lord to take her home has come to an end. May she rest in peace with her sister Mary and the other members of her family. They were among the founders of a Catholic presence in Ankeny along with the beginning of OLIH.

Later that day, I attended the Confirmation Workshop for parish leaders and catechists at St. Francis parish. We are getting closer to a plan for Confirmation at St. Luke’s for those in 10th grade. It is a two year process and so this spring, current 9th graders will begin with anticipation of confirmation the following year.

Wednesday, September 25 was a busy day for me. After the 7:45 am Mass, I attended the weekly meeting with the architect and contractor downtown. Further developments move us very close to having the final footprint for Phase I that will fit within the budget. After the Strategic Planning Team meeting on October 2, we will be scheduling a parish update meeting about recent developments.

After that meeting, I came back to St. Anne’s to host the Ankeny Ministerial Association Lunch. Thank you to volunteer ladies from the parish for preparing the wonderful soup, rolls, fruit and dessert. We then heard an explanation of what “Mosaic” is and how we can be involved in this work with adults with handicaps. That afternoon, Brian Mulcahy and I had an opportunity to visit with R.W and Mary Nelson from Kemin to talk about St. Luke’s School. Still that evening, the Parish Pastoral Council held a special meeting at the Rectory to arrive at a draft of a Constitution and By-Laws for our future St. Luke’s Catholic School Board.

This board will need to be in place soon so that we can search for, interview and hire a principal for our School who would begin work in July of 2014. It is all coming very fast!

On Thursday after evening Adoration, the Social Concerns Team met for their regular meeting. The first chapter of The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic was used for our study. After the study, my head cold got to the point that I went home to rest while they continued their meeting.

Saturday after the 4:30 pm Mass, the Recruitment and Welcome Team hosted our Newcomers Welcome. We enjoyed nice snacks and wonderful meatballs. It is a great way to meet and welcome newly registered parishioners.

Before the evening was over, UNI, Grandview and Iowa fans were happy with their football teams. Iowa State was happy last Thursday evening. May they all be able to play their very best.

The blessing of the Lord is appearing as the Rectory lawn is starting to return to green instead of carpet brown. It may need cutting yet this fall!

With this Sunday, we begin Respect All Life month. May we be filled with gratitude for the gift of life we enjoy. May we find ways in prayer and action to support respect for God’s gift of human life from conception to natural death.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann