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.

Busy Downhill in January

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

Today I am enjoying a bit of “January Thaw” as the temperature is well into the 40s. That is about 90 degrees different from last week! Seven days can change almost everything.

Today, January 12, I enjoyed celebrating the Baptism of Jesus and at the same time celebrated the baptism of Andrew Lawrence Rinard at the 9:00 am Mass. What a joy to welcome our newest member of St. Luke’s Parish community.

Last Monday, January 6, everything was cancelled. I am sure that parents were concerned about their children being out in the very cold and wind. Meetings all over were delayed or cancelled. Tuesday was more of the same. That meant time for relaxing and reading, enjoying sports on TV. I did venture out to get the mail and to stop at the office. Others were more prudent and stayed at home.

On Wednesday, the Strategic Planning Team had their meeting. We reviewed the meeting with the Diocesan Building Commission and Bishop Pates. We are looking for his written approval of our request to continue with the construction of Phase I. At that meeting, the work of the Strategic Planning Team for more than 1 year enabled us with our architects to have our Master Plan for St. Luke’s facilities. They also continued their work to develop the Phase I specific plans for our facilities. It was obvious that there was need for sub-committees to help with areas like 1) Electronics, 2) Landscaping, 3) Liturgical Space, 4) Kitchen, 5) St. Luke’s School furnishings and finishes and other committees yet to be determined.

The Team recommended that a Building Committee be established to facilitate the work of these sub-committees. Strategic Planning Team members who wish will serve to help with the transition to the Building Committee. If you have interest or expertise in any of these areas or have interest in being on the Building Committee, let me know.

The Strategic Planning Team also recommended the approval of a letter of intent to “fast track” the order of the structural steel for Phase I. The Parish Council that met the next evening accepted that recommendation. With the Bishop’s approval, this will enable us to have the fabricated steel on site April 1, 2014. On January 20, the site plan for landscaping is being presented to the City for approval. The Finance Council will have met by this letter to move closer to selecting a Financial Institution for our loans. Indeed, we are moving forward.

Thursday evening, the St. Luke’s School Board met to prepare the posting for our 1st St. Luke’s Catholic School principal. Further work is being done on the job description and application process that will lead to interviews later in February. Keep who the Lord has in mind for our principal in your prayers.

Saturday evening, my brother Tom and I enjoyed the birthday/retirement party for Kathy Lickteig at the American Legion Post in Ankeny.

Sunday, January 12, the “Together We Build” leadership couples met to review the progress of financial support from our contacts outside the parish. We keep planting seeds to generate interest in supporting St. Luke’s Catholic School. Later this afternoon, I look forward to the delayed “Epiphany Fair” followed by the Catechists “Silly Supper.”

May the blessings of the Lord come to you as we return to Ordinary Time in our Liturgical year. We will see Jesus set out in his messianic mission bringing the good news to our world. May we open our hearts to that saving Word.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann