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.

Colors of Faith and the Spiritual Life

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

I’m looking out my window and see a variety of fall color. For one, the green grass has returned big time with the recent rains. I even had the lawn at the Rectory mowed for the 1st time in months. As I am driving about, I see a bit of red, yellow and gold in the trees. Fall color is at hand.

This last week, the priests of the diocese were at their Annual Fall Priests’ Workshop in Omaha. Fr. Ron Knott, a priest from the diocese of Louisville, was our presenter. He currently is on the faculty at St. Meinrad’s Seminary in Indiana. His topic was concerning the Spirituality of Diocesan Priests and how that spirituality was to lead people into a deeper relationship with God. With pictures of shepherds with sheep, he would open his various talks helping us focus on another aspect of being a leader of the people of faith.

Fr. Knott loved to use images that were easy to understand. He talked about Institutional Spirituality being a heavy focus on learning what the rules and regulations for church life were and to follow them very carefully. He spoke of how some people get so focused on the rules, it is like they are all concerned about the banana peel that they never are concerned about the banana inside the peel. He spoke of how some get so focused away from the rules that they say: “I’m spiritual. I just don’t go to church.” Of course, he concluded that we need both the peel and the banana when it comes to our spiritual lives. We need some structure to guide how we live our spiritual lives. We need to see that a relationship to God and to receiving the gift of God’s life is most important. It was a great workshop that covered much more in reference to the diocesan priesthood.

When I returned, I was part of a short meeting of our capital campaign leaders to talk about steps to arrange visits to folks outside the parish who might be willing to help us with our 1st Phase. Following that meeting, the Parish Pastoral Council met for its regular meeting. We received reports from the Recruitment and Welcoming committee about the Newcomers gathering, the pictures taken for a Pictorial Directory update, and the bonfire for Sunday, October 13.

The council also reviewed the draft of the St. Luke’s School Board Constitution and By-Laws. A schedule for information/discernment about membership on this board was set with elections to be held November 23-24. This board would update and ratify the draft of the constitution. Before the business of the meeting, the Council spent time reviewing the 1st Chapter of The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic by Matthew Kelly. It was moved that these books would be passed out to each family at Christmas time as a gift from the parish. It was thought that lots of practical ways to take steps to become “dynamic Catholics” could be found there.

Saturday after the 9-10:00 am Reconciliation at St. Anne’s, I attended “Stirring the Fire of Faith from Spark to Flame” workshop at St. Francis for those involved in Adult Faith Formation. Sunday morning, I had the privilege of baptizing Briel Anne-Marie Hogan at the 10:00 am Mass. I just love being able to baptize these little ones and present them as the newest members of the St. Luke’s Faith Community. I am looking forward to the bonfire tonight out at the St. Luke Building Site. It has been a long time since I’ve had s’mores.

May all involved in the harvest remain safe in their work. May all of you find joy in seeing the fall color all around you this week. God has creative ways of leading us to appreciate his gifts of creation.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann