Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,
As I write this letter, I am rejoicing in the strong south wind and the temperature heading for the 70’s! What a delight and the possibility of heavy “rain” is to come early this week! As I have been driving around, there are hints of green beginning to appear. The real spring cannot be far away.
This last Monday, March 24, I joined a large number of priests and a large cross section of people from the diocese and Holy Trinity parish for the funeral of Vern Leach, father of Fr. Greg Leach, former pastor of OLIH. It was a wonderful celebration of a life of faith, joy and service that he shared with us. May he now know the fullness of eternal life with the risen Lord Jesus. That evening, I took my tax information to my longtime friend in Colo who does my taxes for me. I get to enjoy some home cooking at the same time. That is a nice combination.
On Tuesday, representatives from the St. Luke’s Finance Council presented the financial work that has been done with West Bank and our efforts to secure Tax Exempt bonds and the whole construction loan process for Phase I. It was presented to Bishop Pates and the Diocesan Finance Council. Thank you to Mike Fitzpatrick for developing this excellent and clear presentation. The diocese is being asked to secure the loan that St. Luke’s will be making for our Phase I. We have confidence that the proper documents are forthcoming. That evening, the St. Luke’s School Board had its regular monthly meeting. Sally Nicholson met the board and a nice discussion of what her job description would include followed as well as regular business.
Wednesday morning, I attended the regular meeting with the Architect and Contractor along with Dick Johnson. Good progress was made to value engineer our project to bring it still close to the $8,000,000 maximum. That evening, the Building Committee met at the Rectory. Review of the morning’s progress was given by Dick. The final drawings for the kitchen were presented. They represented the work that Bolton-Hay had done to get specifics about kitchen equipment to the Architects.
Thursday evening saw a lot of meetings for St. Luke’s. We had the 5:30 pm Mass followed by the 6:00 pm Stations of the Cross, followed by Adoration until 7:00 pm. At 7:00 pm, the Finance Council, the St. Luke’s Marketing Committee and the St. Luke’s Social Concerns Team all met! We had to pull out the room dividers in the St. Anne’s hall and try not to talk too loud! All the meetings unfolded without any difficulties. And the Praise Music band began practice in the church at 8:30 pm as we were all leaving. I think the building was heaving a sigh of relief when everyone finally left!
On Friday, I met with my Priests Support Group for sharing and lunch at Christ the King. From 2:30-4:00 pm, we had another meeting with the Architect and Contractor. We drew even closer to getting the specifics put together for our Phase I process. That evening, I helped with confessions at Youth 2000 being held at Dowling High School.
On Saturday, I traveled home to St. Mary’s Church in Panama for my 1st cousin Madonna Malberg’s funeral. She was a strong supporter of the parish and rural community where she had spent her whole life. On the way there, I stopped at the Harlan Hospital to anoint my mother who had a fall the day before. She was in good spirits but has some painful days ahead for healing. Keep her in your prayers.
Plan on coming to our Lenten Penance Service this Sunday, April 6, at 2:00 pm at St. Anne’s. It is a great way to prepare our heart in this season of Lent and be prepared to celebrate the joy of Easter and the resurrection of Jesus.
Fr. Larry Hoffmann