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.

Skiing, Retreating and Reviewing

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

Here we are at an early Sunday evening with 9 degree temperature and after Iowa winter has given another significant number of inches of snow. Several people have pointed out this last week that they have noticed the day light has gotten noticeably longer these February days. This means spring is even closer!

I spent a week in Colorado and returned the evening of February 6. Four friends and I took our annual skiing trip to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. We drove out on Friday, January 31 with snow on the road from Lincoln, Nebraska to the border. It was not slick but it did require care on the road.

We arrived about 5:00 pm and the snow began. By morning, the whole area had from 18-26 inches of snow. I think everyone in Denver came up to the various slopes that Saturday. It was as crowded as I have seen the area. But the 18” of new snow was wonderful. You could just float out there on the Intermediate Blue runs and gently arrive at the lifts. The following day, Sunday, was as perfect as a person could want.

We had moderate temperature - about 20 - with new snow. The bright blue sky was glorious all day. There was really no wind. You could see all the snow variations perfectly for skiing. Thank you, Lord. Two more days skiing followed with some snow and clouds with a little colder but not too bad weather. Then we took a rest day on Tuesday, February 4. We skied Wednesday with another day of sunny skiing. That Wednesday, we put in a very full day - waiting for the upper slopes to open to returning to our condo after the upper lifts had closed. It was wonderful.

A couple of us brushed up on simple evening meal preparation - pasta with Italian sausage and salad; roast beef, baked potatoes and frozen corn and roast pork loin, baked potatoes, green beans and salad. We ate well at the condo and when we went out as well. Starving was not part of our vacation plans. We enjoyed selected DVDs in the evenings along with college basketball on TV.

It was a good time away and it is a good time to be back. I came back to look at the US mail and the email, get a few things answered and then went to help with the CEW Men’s retreat at OLIH. We had 26 men from the area make the retreat. It is a wonderful way to know the Lord is among us and draws men closer to Him while encouraging them to reach out in faith. I highly recommend this retreat for our parish men and women for next spring.

I had the privilege of giving the Sacraments Talk and of celebrating Mass two days and leading the Reconciliation Service on Saturday evening. It is wonderful to see the Lord touching hearts in unique ways for each participant.

This week, St. Luke’s will be the Iowa Catholic Radio Spotlight parish. You are encouraged to listen to KWKY 1150 AM, 88.5 and 94.5 FM for their broadcasts throughout the day. Sometime each day from 7-8:00 am from February 17-21, St. Luke’s parishioners will talk about St. Luke’s.

I am looking forward to a special Children’s Mass on Sunday, February 23. It will be a special time for our children to be involved in special ways in our parish community Mass.

Keep our St. Luke’s School Board in your prayers as we draw to a close the time for candidates for our 1st school principal to apply for this position. We will have a good number of candidates to review and from that group, a number to interview.

Be blessed this week and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Fr. Larry Hoffmann