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.

From Thanksgiving Joy to Advent Preparation

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

I look out my window to the East and see ice on the ground that doesn’t look like it will melt soon.

November with its cold and ice is upon us.

Last Sunday 11/22, I was delighted to share the Serra Club priest’s appreciation dinner in the evening at

Sacred Heart parish center. It is nice to be appreciated.

The next day I went out to St. John’s in Greenfield to have lunch with the Shelby County Priests, and of course to enjoy several card games afterward. That evening, I was back for the Knights of Columbus regular meeting. They gave out the checks to groups that work with Persons with Intellectual Disabilities. The funds came from the Tootsie Roll Drive last summer and fall. Reports were given on the Christmas Wreath sale and the Pancake Breakfast.

On Wednesday, I enjoyed the 8:30 am School Mass. The third grade made a time line presentation of the life of St. Pope John Paul II. Nicely done! That evening the RCIA class met while I attended the Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service at the Ankeny Christian Church. It was a wonderful time of prayer and sharing of great pies! Wednesday also meant getting ready for the Thanksgiving Mass, putting together the plans for a Wedding celebration on Saturday and getting things in order for the 1st Sunday in Advent. By then, many folks had left for “grandma’s house” or where ever they were traveling to for Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Day meant a nice mass in the morning at 9:00 am. By then, the weather - rain and cold front moving in was at hand. I traveled to Council Bluffs and arrived at about 1:00 pm without any ice. It was on trees and anything above ground. Fortunately, the road was still too warm to get icy.

We had our Thanksgiving meal on Friday after the Black Friday Iowa-Nebraska game. The gathering was well split in their support. I was on the Iowa side! Great food followed.

Saturday late morning, we celebrated the marriage of Michael Roarty and Dana Bastian. Congratulations to you both! That evening and the next day, we celebrated the 1st Sunday of Advent. To the Environment Committee, nice job in giving us an Advent atmosphere for our liturgies.

This Sunday December 6th, we will have our Advent Penance Service at 3:00 pm. It is a great step to help in your preparation for the Lord’s coming. We will have several priests to help with our confessions. Take advantage of the other Advent Penance Services in the area if our service is not possible for you.

During the Jubilee Year of Mercy that begins on December 8th, there will be a focus on the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.

They are:

Corporal Works of Mercy:

  1. Feed the Hungry
  2. Give drink to the Thirsty
  3. Clothe the naked
  4. Shelter the Homeless
  5. Visit the Sick
  6. Visit the Imprisoned
  7. Bury the Dead

The Spiritual Works of Mercy:

  1. Counsel the Doubtful
  2. Instruct the Ignorant
  3. Admonish the Sinner
  4. Comfort the Sorrowful
  5. Forgive Injuries
  6. Bear Wrongs Patiently
  7. Pray for the Living and the Dead

As this Jubilee Year of Mercy approaches, begin to think of ways that you and your family can make different works of mercy part of your ongoing daily life. Be blessed in these Advent Days.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann