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.

Parish and Pilgrimage - Prayers and Plans

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

Sunday morning, September 1, at about 4:00 am, there was a loud clap of thunder that woke me and lightening. I praised God as I rolled over to return to sleep. Thank God even for the little splash of rain. Perhaps it will be the beginning of better gifts to come.

The previous hot Monday, August 26, I joined lots of golfers at Bishop’s Catholic Charities Golf Classic at Echo Valley golf course. We played from 1-5:00 pm. It was only 100 degrees actual temperature! The score that our team recorded must have been hindered by the heat! That evening, I came back to OLIH to lead the RCIA class at 7:00 pm on the Eucharist. It was refreshing to talk about this sacrament and to lead the gathered candidates and team in reflecting on Jesus’ real presence.

On Tuesday evening, I met with Brad Shell and Bruce Mehlhop who put in the posts for our St. Luke shrine for the Sacred Heart statue that the Knights of Columbus have arranged for us. Great work on the shrine! At 6:30 pm, I was the celebrant for the St. Monica Mass at OLIH. It was a special time of prayer by families, parishioners and friends, for those who have left the Catholic Church. St. Monica was one who prayed 17 years for her son St. Augustin to return to the church. He did and became one of the great saints of the early church, influencing the philosophy and theology that was used for almost 1,000 years.

Later that evening, the Finance Council met to work on developing a Request For Proposal to be sent to banks for our 1st Phase construction and long term building loan.

Wednesday morning, I attended the regular 10:00 am meeting with the Architect team, Contractor team and parish representatives. We are getting very close to the point where the Contractors can give us some preliminary cost numbers. I met with the Ankeny Ministerial Association for Lunch at Vintage Hills Assisted Living on State Street. We were given a tour of their facilities. That evening, the Strategic Planning Team met at 6:30 with both architects and contractors. Progress was reviewed and new recommendations were given to the architects.

Thursday afternoon, there was a meeting with the City of Ankeny Public Works and Park and Rec representatives concerning the future 13th Street to be eventually built on the north side of the St. Luke property. City regulations determine that a certain percentage of a development needs to be given for park purposes. One acre of our property will be given to the city. Connecting this one acre to the existing Watercrest Park was discussed.

That evening after Adoration, the Pilgrimage Committee met to review the final plans and needs for our days of pilgrimage. Things seem to be well in hand for these special days.

Friday morning, after the 7:45 am Mass, I went directly to OLIH for their 8:30 am Mass for Fr. Steve who is still helping Bishop Charron on a trip to Rome. It is good to be with that morning Mass group again. That evening, I had the privilege of blessing the home of Greg and Donnelle Hogan. Their home uses the same basic floor plan as the St. Luke Rectory.

At the Saturday evening Mass, we celebrated the baptism of Averi Jo Dunkin, daughter of Ben and Mandi. With the warm baptism water, there was no complaint from Averi. Welcome Averi, our newest St. Luke’s member!

May the Holy Spirit bless St. Luke the Evangelist Parish as we celebrate with Bishop Pates and break ground for our 1st Phase facilities.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann