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.

All Seasons Winter - Lent is at Hand

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

This last Thursday, Iowa was being Iowa at its most creative self. It started off in dense fog that lifted only when the hail & sleet came down to about an inch thick covering everything. That was after the lightning and thunder. It was all followed by heavy wet snow in giant flakes. We were fortunate because there were only a couple of inches of this snow but it was pushed around by the 40 mph + wind. Iowa being Iowa.

Monday, February 17, I was to host the card playing and provide dinner for Shelby county priests. Two had funerals and two had bad colds and so I have enjoyed the Italian Sausage crock pot soup all week. It is good even if I did make it myself.

Tuesday noon, I met for lunch with the counselors at Catholic Charities. They were updating parish staff members about their services and asking how they could help. That evening, I was the presenter at the RCIA session at OLIH. We discussed the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. It was enjoyable to share with those gathered about how Jesus has a sacrament for the profound moments when in life we are seriously sick. The laying on of hands in prayer and the anointing with oil can be powerful and healing moments during the sicknesses of our lives.

Wednesday, I joined our Architect and Contractor for the weekly meeting. Each meeting means that we are drawing closer to the completion of the construction documents. That evening, I visited with the 2nd grade RE classes preparing for 1st Reconciliation. They had an opportunity to ask about the celebration coming up February 25. That evening, I helped with RE Reconciliation at St. Pius X parish.

Thursday of course, was the day of the much faceted weather. I was the guest call in speaker for St. Luke’s spotlight of the day on Iowa Catholic Radio. It is enjoyable to be able to encourage folks about the progress of St. Luke’s. The storm was doing its thing that day and the St. Luke’s School Board cancelled their meeting but the Finance Council hung in there and had their regular meeting. We reviewed the current financial status reports, received an update on the Capital Campaign (we are keeping on budget for collections) and reviewed bank loan progress. We are very pleased with the work that West Bank has done with us already. We are working to arrange a Tax Exempt Bond for schools through the city of Alleman. It is looking very good so far.

Friday morning I met with Jolee Belzung from the City of Ankeny. She shared with me documents about the sewer, water and storm sewer lines that had been built before we received the gift of our land. The Finance Council requested information about the arrangements for these utilities. At noon time, I joined a special Tribunal gathering to consider a difficult case. After clearing the rectory driveway and sidewalks of the ice before it froze, I finished up work for the day. That evening I enjoyed the “1st St. Luke’s 500 Card Club” gathering at St. Anne’s. This monthly gathering will be great fun.

Saturday at the 4:30 pm Mass, we celebrated the baptism of Sara Marie Vonnahme. The next day, we celebrated the baptisms of Eliza Marie Curran and Ezekiel Douglas Cogdill. The Sunday celebration was our 1st Children’s Mass. They covered being hospitality ministers, taking up the collection, serving, song leading and lectoring as well as helping set up.

Don’t forget that Lent begins with the Ash Wednesday Masses at 7:45 am and 5:30 pm at St. Anne’s. Be sure to pick up “the Little Black Book” and other Lenten materials after Mass today. May we all be blessed these special days.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann