Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,
The rain came, filled the ditches, melted the snow and filled the rows in the fields. Now as I look out the window, the snow is coming down - plop! Is it all part of March madness? But as I write this letter, there are only eleven days to spring!
Last Sunday, March 3, I met Scott Schoaf for the first time. Scott is the representative working for Walsh and Associates for our Capital Campaign to take place this late spring. After a short meeting with him, we then met with several parishioners who helped contact people to be part of 30+ interviews for our feasibility for the campaign. Since then, the interviews have been set up and are underway. We are moving forward in the process of establishing St. Luke’s facilities. It is exciting.
Tuesday morning, Brian Mulcahy and I met with a representative of the Des Moines Community Foundation who will help us establish a way for parishioners to make gifts that can be matched by their employers for St. Luke’s School. We are hoping that can be set up in the very near future.
On Wednesday evening, the Strategic Planning team met and reviewed what needed to be done for the “Town Hall” meeting for Sunday, March 10.
At 7:30 am on Thursday, I had a chance to be on KWKY for a few minutes to talk about Prayer during this Lenten season. Later that morning, I went out to St. Peter’s parish in Defiance, Iowa (North of Harlan) for the funeral of Fr. Fred Reischl. Fr. Fred was pastor of my home parish, St. Mary’s, in Panama when I was ordained. Fr. Fred loved to study the bible. He had taped on the front cover on one of his bibles: “Read the Bible. It will scare the hell out of you!” He was a character. May he rest in peace. That evening the Liturgy committee had its regular meeting. There we reviewed plans for the rest of Lent and Holy Week.
Saturday morning, after Reconciliation, the Stewardship Committee met. We made suggestions for revising the Newcomer Ministry and volunteer form. Suggestions for further hospitality efforts were also discussed.
Sunday I enjoyed dinner after the 9:00 am Mass at the Vittoria Lodge. When I came back, it was time for the “Town Hall” meeting at Ashland Ridge cafeteria. I am guessing that about 100 people gathered with the snow threatening. Our architects presented the process they have used so far to arrive at the Master Plan they have developed. I was excited to see the possibilities that they have developed for us. The prominence of the church and elements that have come out of our previous parish workshops are obvious. The dedicated worship space (the parish hall), the space for St. Luke’s School classrooms, seem to fit together very nicely. I am excited to imagine seeing their plan unfold following the ridge of our site.
Before the snow started, I then went up for 3:00 pm Lenten Penance Service at St. Mary’s in Elkhart. They had a nice group that gathered after their parish retreat.
May all families traveling for Spring Break do so safely. May you know the re-creation by the Lord that these days can bring. Have a blessed conclusion of Lent.
Fr. Larry Hoffmann