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.

God’s Surprises in Autumn Glory

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

Last Sunday, September 15, I enjoyed the Serra Club Priests’ Appreciation Dinner at St. Augustin. The Serra Club is an organization whose main work is to pray for vocation, for seminarians, religious and for us priests. We greatly appreciate their prayer support that is so important in our day by day ministry. Later that evening, a number of Shelby County priests gathered at Fr. Jerry Stessman’s apartment for cards. I still did not win one of those 10 Point Pitch games even though I was the scorekeeper.

Monday, September 16, I joined the Knights of Columbus at their regular meeting at St. Anne’s. Tuesday morning as I was getting ready for The Bible Timeline Class, I was called to Mercy Hospital to anoint Fern Ringgenberg. Later that day she was taken to Mercy Hospice in Johnston where she rested comfortably until Friday evening, when she passed away.

That evening, I met with the three leadership couples of our Capital Campaign. We began to draw up our plan to visit potential donors outside the parish to help us in our Phase I for St. Luke’s. Later that evening, the Recruitment and Welcome Team met for their regular meeting at St. Anne’s. Plans for the Newcomer Welcome party were made for September 28. Comments from the Ministry Fair were also discussed. Membership in the Team for the coming year was reviewed. Next month, leadership roles will be determined.

On Wednesday, I met with Neuman-Monson architects and The Hansen Company contractors for the weekly planning meeting. Initial cost numbers were presented by contractors. Much discussion followed about how to bring these numbers into the overall budget of $8 million that had been set from the beginning of our planning. That evening, the Strategic Planning Team met at the Rectory and this discussion was continued. Several cost reduction ideas were brought up and will be developed over the next two weeks. Pray to the Holy Spirit to guide us in discovering God’s way in these planning processes.

On Thursday, I attended the “Year of Faith” presentation on the Catechism of the Catholic Church given by Dr. Peter Murphy from the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops. He gave a wonderful outline of the catechism and how to use it. After the 5:30 Mass and Adoration, the Finance Council held its monthly meeting. Review of the Financial Statement of Activities for the month and the Financial Status was held. Updates on the Capital Campaign were given. The Request For Proposal for 1st Phase borrowing from area banks was reviewed. We still have more work to do on it before sending it out to financial institutions.

Friday at lunch, we had a Thank You farewell to Fr. Ed Pfeffer who has worked with the Tribunal for over 50 years. His limited mobility gave us occasion to thank him for his many years of service. That evening, I enjoyed dinner with the St. Luke’s Supper Club at Greenbrier in Johnston.

On Saturday at noon, I had the baptism of Janae Marie Sypolt, daughter of Casey and Audra from St. Pius X. There was a conflict with the time there and so I enjoyed the celebration at St. Anne’s. That evening, we celebrated the Rite of Recognition for three of St. Luke’s candidates in RCIA. Recognition is given to those who have already been baptized and had a faith catechesis as they grew up.

At the Masses on the weekend, we held our second collection for Seminarians. It is wonderful for our diocese to have 20 men studying for the priesthood. Thank you for your generosity in supporting the cost of their education.

Be blessed these Autumn Days. Keep Fern Ringgenberg in your prayers. Her funeral was on Tuesday, September 24 at Bishop Drumm.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann