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’s Full Days

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

Iowa winter is up and down with its temperature, but at least we are not dealing with record snow. Spring is four weeks away!

Sunday evening, February 15, I had fun preparing and hosting the St. Luke’s Feast Day dinner that was on our silent auction. I went to Graziano’s for good advice about a Pasta dinner and it went well. The next day, I was hosting the Shelby County priests for our periodic card playing. We had Italian Sausage Soup. The soup was good but I did not win at cards.

Tuesday, February 16 was a busy day. I went out to the building site to see the day’s progress. Then I joined area priests for our pastor’s lunch at Talley’s in Beaverdale. In the afternoon, I visited my dermatologist for my annual checkup and then visited a financial advisor. That evening, Fr. Jim Kiernan joined me to celebrate 1st Reconciliation for our 20 2nd graders. Good work students and parents, teachers and Cindy.

Thursday, February 19, Bishop Pates came out to our building site for a tour of our progress. Dick Johnson, Tonya Eaton and I took him around to see all that has been done. He was impressed at the size of our worship space and classrooms. Later that afternoon, I joined the bishop and the priests’ personnel board for our regular meeting. We are advising the bishop on the various personnel changes for the summer. After the Mass and adoration, the Finance Council held its regular meeting. The costs for the building and the estimated future costs were presented. Costs for winter heating and electricity were noted as well as change orders. Review of the monthly financials were held. Discussion of a maintenance/custodian position was held with need for familiarity with the operating procedures for our new facility. Training will be held beginning in April.

Friday, February 20, I enjoyed the Fish Fry at St. Mary’s in Elkhart. It was good to see a nice number of St. Luke’s parishioners there. Following that meal, I joined other parishioners for an evening of cards at St. Anne’s. We played what our family calls “Up and Down,” a progressive rummy game. Again, even though I was score keeper, I did not win!

Saturday, February 21, I joined the St. Luke’s Primetimers for a Buccaneers Ice Hockey game. It has been a long time since I attended a hockey match. Unfortunately, they lost to Dubuque in overtime.

Sunday, February 22, I went to the AMOS presentation at OLIH to find out more about how we can work for justice in the local area. More about that next week.

Several of you have commented on how much you have enjoyed reading “The Heart That Gives,” the booklet given out before Mass from the Stewardship Committee. It is a simple but very good read - only 32 large print pages. It will get you thinking about joyful stewardship.

I encourage all of you to come to our Lenten Penance Service this Sunday, March 1 at 3:00 pm. It is a great way to do some serious reflection on the need each of us have to repent and to celebrate the sacrament of Penance. Fr. Bob Aubrey and Fr. Dave Fleming will help with confessions.

Thanks to the Knights of Columbus for $1,000.00 for our building fund. It is wonderful to be supported by such an active council. Consider signing up your family for a week of prayer and reflection at home using the “Family in Faith Kit.”

May your Lenten plan for prayer, reflection and charity be enabled by the Holy Spirit who is with us always.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann