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.

Holy Week is at Hand

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

The blessings of the Lord continue to surround us as we enter into the spring season. Last Sunday, March 15, I met with the Stewardship Committee for their regular meeting. We continued studying the Booklet “The Heart that Gives.” Plans for the next Stewardship insert for the bulletin were made. Later that afternoon, I helped with the Lenten Penance Service at OLIH.

After the Penance Service, I went out to visit my mother in Panama. We enjoyed the evening and the next day together. That Monday was like summer! It was up to 87 degrees! We enjoyed Mass at home and then played “Quiddler,” a card game that is based on scrabble. Mom won 3 games to 2.

Tuesday, I had a chance to enjoy lunch with the Brady’s near Polk City. With no meetings because of Spring Break, I enjoyed an evening reading a book on Thomas Merton and the Franciscan influence in his life. I am also enjoying “Jesus: a Pilgrimage” by James Martin, S. J. He shares his memories from a tour of Israel and his reflection on the gospels from the places he visited. It brings back lots of memories and is a wonderful Lenten reflection.

Wednesday, March 18, several from the Liturgical Furnishings Sub Committee had lunch with Ron Schiller, a representative from the Cosgrave Religious Goods Company. He had several suggestions for us in regard to our worship space.

Thursday, March 19, after the 5:30 pm Mass and Stations of the Cross, I went over to St. Mary of Nazareth to help with their Lenten Penance Service. On Friday, members of the St. Joseph Education Center board had a meeting at OLIH. That evening, I enjoyed dinner with Mike and Katie Walsh and their family at their new home. We all joined in the blessing of their new home.

Saturday after the usual 9 am Reconciliation at St. Anne’s, I went to the Basilica of St. John’s to help with their Lenten Penance Service. It is wonderful to be part of a celebration that has people from a very diverse set of backgrounds. That evening, I spent some time with my nieces, great nieces and nephew and my sister in Urbandale.

Sunday after the 9:00 am Mass, the Prime Timers had brunch at the Botanical Center in their Trellis Room - nice food and wonderful atmosphere. Later that afternoon, I went out to St. John’s in Greenfield to play cards with the Shelby County priests and to share dinner.

Now we are entering into Holy Week. With our Masses this weekend, we joined the crowds waving palm branches and welcoming Jesus as King and Messiah as he rode the donkey into Jerusalem. We anticipate the events that happen after this joyous welcome turning into hateful and violent cries for the crucifixion of Jesus. We join the Apostles at the last supper where Jesus washes their feet and invites them to do so for each other. We know the Passion and death that Jesus will experience on Good Friday. We long for His resurrection to new life after three days in the tomb come Easter morning.

I ask you to please sign up to help with the Liturgical ministries for the days of Holy Week. Set up time for Easter will be 8-9:00 am on Holy Saturday morning at Ashland Ridge.

This week is a great time to allow extra time for prayer and reflection on the way that Jesus can touch your life. Let the readings and the celebrations speak to your hearts these special days.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann