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.

Christ the King leads us to Glory

2013 Retirement Fund for Religious Women and Men

My dear people,

As the Advent season of hope approaches, we once again will be conducting the appeal for the Retirement Fund for Religious. This annual collection benefits thousands of senior sisters, brothers and religious order priests who have answered the call to lives totally focused on serving the people of God. Their example, whether it be ministering in foreign missions, running soup kitchens or offering pastoral care to the sick, has inspired many of us to lead God-centered lives.

In a profound way, we also are inspired by the on-going witness of our elder religious. While many continue in active and volunteer ministry, others must accept the limitations of aging and embrace the opportunity to focus more fully on praying for our Church and world.

Because most elder religious worked for small stipends, many religious communities are challenged to meet the ever-rising cost of health care and the increase in the number of those needing care. The Retirement Fund for Religious offers vital financial assistance to communities in responding to those needs.

Throughout the history of this collection, parishioners in the Diocese of Des Moines have been incredibly generous. This is an opportunity for each of us to bring that Advent spirit of hope to our senior religious. I ask simply that you join me in giving what you can. Please also join me in praying for God’s continued blessing on our nation’s elderly sisters, brothers and religious order priests.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Richard E. Pates

Christ the King leads us to Glory

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

Ice and snow! November seems to have been a little rude on Thursday, November 21. I suspect it is just a little taste of that which is to come. Perhaps a good reminder as we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King and look forward to what is to come in God’s gift of eternal life in the presence of the King.

I was glad that I could be with the family of Linda Narvkal from Polk City whose funeral was November 19 at St. Mary’s in Elkhart. She was one of the friendly folks who always greeted me when I went to 1st National Bank. That evening, the St. Luke’s School committee discussed goals and strategies for marketing St. Luke’s School.

On Wednesday, the Ankeny Ministerial Association met at Mill Pond for their regular meeting. We look forward to the Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service at the Christian Church on November 26, 7:00 pm and the “Longest Day” healing service on December 22, 7:00 pm at St. Anne’s.

I met with the architects with Kyle Lectenberg from the Diocesan Office of Worship to discuss arrangements for our worship space in our new hall. That evening, the Finance Council had their regular meeting as did the Social Concerns Team. All arrived safely over ice and snow.

On Friday, I met with my priests’ support group at Our Lady of the Americas. Thanks to all who have agreed to run for St. Luke’s School Board at our election this weekend. May the Holy Spirit guide them and our parish as school plans begin to unfold.

May Christ the King lead us all to the glory of the risen Lord.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann