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 Plans Unfold

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

Iowa is in the midst of a roller coaster weather period. One day it is below zero wind chill and the next it is in the high 30’s. We are fortunate not to be out in Boston with nowhere to pile up the snow!

On Monday, February 9, I spent the morning and into the afternoon helping sand kneelers at Jim Brady’s barn near Polk City. We made great progress. Thanks for lunch Pat! During the week, under Bob Lickteig’s direction, the rest of the pews were sanded and stained. During this week, they will have them coated with Polyurethane. Great work is being done by our volunteers.

Tuesday evening was meeting night. The Liturgical Furnishings subcommittee met with a representative from Cosgrave's, a religious goods distributor. We looked at Stations of the Cross, crucifixes, and discussed possible Baptismal font bowls. We took a look at the tabernacle shelf built by Iowa Prison Industries - the first of our Liturgical furnishings they are building for us. It looks great. The Liturgy Committee met at 7:00 pm that evening, as well as the St. Luke’s School Marketing committee and the “Welcoming” Team. I was trying to give some input at each of them but spent most of the time at the Liturgy committee.

Wednesday, February 11, the Des Moines Regional Priests had their meeting at St. Theresa’s. These periodic meetings give us a chance to share mutual ways to help each other like the Lenten Penance services. They also give us a chance to bring items of concern to the Diocesan Presbyterial Council. That evening, the Building Committee met at the Rectory. Progress on our facilities was discussed. A schedule for the work that volunteers will need to do during April and May was presented. There will be need for help pulling cable for computer, security and phone hook ups. We will be looking for volunteers to help with planting our 185 trees as well!

Thursday, I went to the Blood Drive at OLIH and was happy that they found my vein right away. That evening, the Parish Pastoral Council held its regular meeting. We reviewed the activities of our committees and Teams and the Knights of Columbus. The diocese is asking for input on the Questions for the Synod on the Family this coming fall in Philadelphia when Pope Francis comes. The Council will be helping with this. See the copy in the bulletin. We also looked at how the Council will help with volunteers to help plant our trees. It can be a great way to remember loved ones as well as having individual families do the planting of a tree. More information later.

On Friday, I went to the Catholic Pastoral Center to help with the monthly meeting of the Tribunal panel. If any need to work on an annulment, I am more than willing to help out. Just let me know.

Thanks to all the Knights of Columbus who took on all the Liturgical Ministries for our February 15 9:00 am Mass. Nice Choir! The Knights are a great support to me and to St. Luke’s. I encourage all the men of the parish to consider becoming a Knight.

We have begun the season of Lent. Please pick up a “Little Black Book” for your daily prayer and meditation if you have not already done so. Free copies of “The Heart that Gives” from our Stewardship committee are also available.

Set out on your plan for Lent and find ways to focus on prayer, fasting and almsgiving during these 40 days. Mark your calendar for our Lenten Penance Service 3:00 pm Sunday, March 1, at St. Anne’s. May all be blessed as we journey these 40 days to Holy Week and Easter.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann