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.

Lenten Journey from Cold to the Warmth of Resurrection?

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

I just checked the temperature on March 2 - minus 4! Wait, isn’t it March? Are we not just 19 days from spring? May the Lord bless us with warm weather.

This last Tuesday, February 25, I enjoyed meeting with my Priests Support group at Christ the King Rectory including lunch. That evening, St. Luke’s celebrated 1st Reconciliation with 15 of our 16 2nd graders. (One was sick and will celebrate later.) Thank you to Fr. Jerry Stessman for helping with our celebration. Later that evening, the St. Luke’s School Board continued its work on reviewing Principal applications and working out interview strategies.

Wednesday, February 26, I met the new pastor of Ankeny Christian Church at our regular Ankeny Ministerial Association. He is Owen Cayton. Welcome Owen! That evening, I had a few moments to join the RE students in their Mardi Gras celebrations. There were many opportunities to learn things about this celebration that leads us to Lent. Later in the evening, the Building Committee met at the Rectory. The committee and various subcommittees were represented. I asked if someone would agree to lead the committee. Dick Johnson agreed to chair the Building Committee. Bruce Mehlhop agreed to take minutes. You will be able to see those notes on the website soon.

Thursday evening, the Social Concerns Team had their regular meeting. We continued our study of The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic. We also reviewed our monthly efforts to support the St. Joseph Family Shelter. Look for an insert about St. Joseph’s activities that we can support.

Friday morning, the vocations interview team gathered to share the latest interview of a seminarian. It is with great joy that we continue to interview young men who are entering the discernment process for priesthood in our seminaries.

At the Saturday evening Mass, I had the privilege of supplying the ceremonies for the baptism of Felicity Marie Funseth. That means she was baptized with water in the Intensive Care center at Blank when she was born premature. This Saturday, we did the rest of the ceremonies of baptism and she did not even wake up! Welcome Felicity!

Wednesday, March 5, as you know Lent began. We come to receive ashes on our foreheads as a sign of our willingness to change our hearts during the forty days of Lent. It is a wonderful time to take a personal inventory - what spiritual goals have we put off and now can start anew? What times of prayer can we put into our schedule and not procrastinate longer? What service to those in need can we make a weekly goal for self and family after we discuss this goal? 

Note the extra time for confessions during Lent - 3:30-4:00 pm at St. Anne’s. Of course the regular time 9-10:00 am on Saturdays is also available. An excellent examination of conscience will be available - along with the words to the Act of Contrition in case you struggle with it. It is a wonderful opportunity to let the light of God’s mercy and forgiveness touch the dark corners of your hearts and bring peace within.

Stop by on Thursdays after the 5:30 pm Mass for Stations of the Cross. This year, members of St. Anne’s Church have been invited to join us. Let’s join them to remember the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus in this weekly devotion.

There is still time to figure out a fast for Lent. Of course it can be from some favorite food. It can be from”screen time” - TV, computer, iphone. Fasting can enable us to focus on how we are children of God and our journey to eternal life.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann