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.

The Glory of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

Today’s letter is from Monday after Easter. I had a great day with my mother and family in Panama after the Easter Mass. The glory of the feast was reflected by the sunny, warm but windy day. Green grass poking its head, a green/yellow cast to trees, some flowering trees opening, all lent to the glory of Easter - to celebrating the resurrection of Jesus.

During Holy Week, I celebrated Reconciliation with a good number on Monday evening at St. Anne’s. Tuesday saw the morning Adult class studying “Consoling the Heart of Jesus.” Afterward, I spent some time out at the building site. That evening, the Social Concerns Team held its monthly meeting. We continued our study of “Forming Intentional Disciples.” Plans for the upcoming service efforts were discussed. A report from the quarterly area parish Social Concerns Committee meeting was given where parishes shared their projects and programs.

Wednesday of Holy Week, we celebrated Mass at Vintage Hills with the residents. I joined area priests for our regular pastor’s Lunch at Bennigan’s. In the afternoon, I visited one of our parishioners at the Madrid Nursing home. In the evening, the Liturgy Committee had its monthly meeting. We reviewed Holy Week and Easter plans, as well as looking forward to Confirmation on April 12 and 1st Communion on April 19. It will be a busy few weeks!

Thursday of Holy Week, we celebrated the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. At the beginning of the Mass, we received the Holy Oils from the Chrism Mass the previous week. We now have enough oil for the Dedication of the Worship Space once we have it completed. Bishop Pates will come for that Mass and Dedication later on.

Good Friday of Holy Week services included the reading of the Passion from John, a wonderful homily by Deacon Dan McGuire, the Adoration of the Cross and Communion. The stark and simple service reflects the somber suffering, death and burial of Jesus.

Holy Saturday was a day of quiet and preparation. I met with a couple planning marriage, made a visit to the VA Hospital, gave my two cents to the Volunteer cable pulling meeting and then worked on the Easter Vigil/Easter Sunday homily. My brother Tom and I enjoyed my second attempt at tilapia stir fry with fried rice. Not bad even if we made it ourselves! The Easter Vigil followed with the lighting of the Easter Candle, the singing of the Exultet (Thanks Jim Roths and Cindy Clefisch), the Easter gospel from Mark, the blessing of the Easter Water and the presence of the risen Lord at our Eucharist. It is always a wonderful celebration.

Easter Sunday meant that we had a full house of over 500 people. It is great to see so many families gathering from so many different places. We welcome you all. To our newcomers, please consider becoming part of St. Luke’s. You can pick up a New Member packet after Mass or find the same information on our website “www.saintluketheevangelist.org.”

There has been wonderful excitement and interest in our St. Luke’s Tree planting project. As of this Monday morning, 120 trees have been selected and purchased. That leaves about 64. After Masses this weekend and at the office during the week, there will be a chance to select a tree and plan on helping plant them. Weather permitting, we hope to do so on Saturday, April 18. More information later. “Little White Books” for Easter season reflection are available this weekend after Mass. May you and your family be filled with the joy of the risen Lord.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann