Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,
Thank you for your prayers while I was on vacation skiing in Steamboat, Colorado. Four of us drove safely out and back without any difficulty. Not so for all of you who endured the biggest snow storm of the year!
When I returned from skiing, I had most of February 5 to recover, do the laundry, snow blow the drive again (Thanks Jim for the 1st time work), and get caught up on emails - 100’s of them! Friday was 1st Friday and I celebrated Mass with the residents at Vintage Hills.
On Saturday, February 7, we held our Baptism Preparation class. Thanks to Teresa Busch who led the class. It was a great way to look at the many dimensions of the sacrament beyond just the rite itself. That evening, I had the privilege of baptizing Camryn Dolores Edwards, daughter of Tracy Deutmeyer and Matt Edwards. Welcome Camryn.
Following the nice dinner at Tracy and Matt’s home, I joined several priests in celebrating Reconciliation with the men on the Christian Experience Weekend at OLIH. Men of St. Luke’s, you should consider being part of the weekend next year. It is a great way to take a step closer to the Lord and let your family be touched by your faith.
On Sunday after Mass, I invited those present to have the blessing of St. Blaise for throats and other sicknesses. The Stewardship Committee met at 1:00 pm that afternoon. We are studying the booklet “The Heart That Gives” by Fr. Thomas Connery. We will be putting out more inserts about the Pillars of Stewardship- Hospitality, Prayer, Formation and Service. I am looking forward to helping sand some of our kneelers so they can be re-stained and sealed out at Jim Brady’s farm on Monday.
The season of Lent is coming very soon! Ash Wednesday will be on February 18 with Masses and distribution of ashes at the 7:45 am and 5:30 pm Masses at St. Anne’s. I encourage you to make a Lenten plan based on the three main practices of Lent: prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
“Little Black Books” for daily prayer and meditation for the days of Lent will be available after Mass the next weeks. Take one as one part of your plan. Rice Bowls from Catholic Relief Services are also available after Mass. Put one on your dining table to remind you to simplify what and how much you eat. You can put in the bowl the amount of money saved by your fasting. At the end of Lent, it will be gathered for Catholic Relief Services projects. There will be Lenten 2nd collections for your almsgiving as well.
In your Lenten plan, put down our Lenten Penance Service to be held on Sunday, March 1 at 3:00 pm at St. Anne’s. It is a great way to make Lent a time of preparing to celebrate Holy Week and Easter.
There are lots of ways to fast in Lent. Obviously we can simply eat less - we can choose to refrain from eating acertain thing. We can also fast from such things at TV, Facebook, parts of each day from social media.
There are several area Day of Recollection opportunities that I would recommend during Lent. 1) “Together in Christ: Living Catholic Social Teaching in the Family” on Feb 24 at Christ the King and Feb 26 at Holy Trinity 7-9:00 pm and 2) Lenten Renewal Day featuring “The St. John’s Bible” led by by Susan Sink at SS. John and Paul Feb 21, 9:00-2:30 pm.
Don’t forget our own study of Pope Francis’ “Joy of the Gospel” - sign up for groups after Mass.
Fr. Larry Hoffman