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.

Holy Week Journey

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

Spring is upon us! I am writing this letter well in advance and so I don’t know if the snow, spring rains, bright sunshine or even early flowers are at hand. Yet, spring is here. New Life is at hand. The promises of green things are unfolding.

Not only is Spring upon us, but Holy Week is with us as well. This weekend Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord is here. It is a great time to join with the followers of Jesus to gather and wave palm branches and shout “Hosanna to the Son of David” as Jesus processes riding on the donkey into Jerusalem. Everything that is to happen with Jesus as he arrives in Jerusalem will be celebrated, commemorated and made present beginning this Palm Sunday and continuing throughout Holy Week. May we be present to the Lord present in these gatherings.

On Monday, March 18, the Knights of Columbus had their regular monthly meeting at St. Anne’s. Earlier that day, I had a chance to go to St. Anthony’s for their annual St. Joseph’s Altar celebration at the Italian American Cultural Center.

Tuesday, March 19, the conclusion of the Feasibility Study that had been going on since the Town Hall meeting was presented at a meeting of volunteers at St. Anne’s. More will be available soon about that report.

Wednesday, March 20, the Strategic Planning Team met at St. Anne’s to review the Town Hall Master Plan presentation and the meeting with the Diocesan Building Commission. The development of this plan and the 1st Phase continues.

On Thursday, March 21, the Finance Council met at St. Anne’s for their regular meeting. Following shortly after, the Parish Pastoral Council had their meeting for March.

On Friday, March 22, the priests of the diocese met for a Day of Recollection at St. Ambrose led by Abbot Polan, OSB from Conception, Missouri. Following the Day of Recollection, we gathered with the Bishop for the Chrism Mass at St. Ambrose Cathedral.

This Sunday, Palm Sunday, we look forward to the 6th and 7th grade RE class bake sale after the 9:00 am Mass. This afternoon, we will be celebrating Mass for Holy Week at the Polk City Care Center at 1:00 pm. Keep the residents there in your prayers this Holy Week.

The joy of the procession of Jesus into Jerusalem amid joyful folks waving palm branches quickly turns in our Liturgy of the Word with the reading of the passion. We easily place ourselves within the crowds gathered as Jesus is condemned, suffers and dies on the cross and is buried. May we open our hearts to the salvation that Jesus enables to know through his death and resurrection.

Plan on attending our Holy Week celebration of the Triduum - the three days - Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil/Easter, all being held at Ashland Ridge. Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper will be March 28 at 7:00 pm; Good Friday on March 29 at 7:00 pm; Easter Vigil on March 30 at 7:30 pm and Easter Sunday on March 31 at 9:00 am. This is a wonderful week to invite your neighbors and friends to join you in our celebrations.

May the palms we carry today be a reminder of how fickle our human heart can be and how faithful our God is to each of us.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann