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.

Thanksgiving and the New Liturgical Year

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

Iowa is being Iowa again! It was in the 50’s and near 60 on Friday and Saturday, November 28-29. Today, November 30, it is 18 with a strong NE wind! But at least a good share of the snow has melted.

Last Sunday, November 23, I enjoyed celebrating the baptisms of Anderson Lee Abbas, son of Mark and Merron, and Brendan Edward Babbitt, son of Adam and Kimberley, at our community Mass. It is wonderful to keep welcoming newly baptized members to St. Luke’s.

On Monday, November 24, the St. Luke’s Catholic School Board had its monthly meeting. Marie Ott and Kayla Crann agreed to serve another year as president and vice-president, respectively, for the board. The uniform policy was passed with hunter green and white as the colors and the Donald’s Company as the supplier for the uniforms. Tonya Eaton gave us an update on the many activities she has been covering, including numerous home visits with parents of prospective students. Donna Townsend gave us an encouraging report on an Education Savings Account meeting that she attended. We encourage all school parents to google Education Savings Account for the state of Iowa to learn about the great possibilities for support of parents for choice in education.

Tuesday, I visited with Dr. Luvern Gubbels and Denise Mulcahy at the diocesan Schools Offices. We talked about the progress of St. Luke’s Catholic School. That evening, I enjoyed celebrating the Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service at the Ankeny Christian Church. Several members of our choir joined in the special music. It was very well done. And the pies were all enjoyed afterward!

Thanksgiving Day was a great time to gather with parishioners at 9:00 am for Mass. It is wonderful just to listen to the scriptures and to stir up images for all the reasons we have to be grateful to our generous and loving God. After Mass, I made my way home to Panama and my mother’s home. Several members of the family joined in the wonderful food.

The next day, Black Friday, we gathered in Council Bluffs at my sister Connie’s home for the watching of the annual Iowa-Nebraska football game. Unfortunately, the Iowa team did not score enough in the overtime. But we enjoyed the gathering, the appetizers and the pizza at half time and cards afterward. Mom still manages to challenge us in those card games.

On Saturday, I attended the visitation at Christ the King for Deacon Michael Riley who died last week. I worked with him over the years at the Marriage Tribunal in our monthly meetings.

Saturday and Sunday meant the beginning of our new church and the beginning of Advent. It is a time of watching and waiting for the coming of the Lord. We remember the 1st coming of Jesus. We long for the 2nd coming of Jesus at the end of time. In the meantime, now, we are challenged to actively watch and wait by being the light for those around us. It is a great time to reflect on the daily Advent readings. It is a great time to plan some family outreach activity.

Mark your calendars for our Advent Penance Service on Sunday, December 14, 1:00 pm at St. Anne’s. It is a great way to prepare for the Lord’s coming.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann